Sunday, March 30, 2008


Well, I'm hitting the road again. Last year, I rode 100 miles around Lake Tahoe with Team in Training to celebrate the life of my buddy, Mike, who made a full recovery from Hodgkin's Lymphoma, and I'm gearing up to do it again.

I started working at my current church in Benicia full-time in September of last year, and a short time afterwards, one of the long-time members of the congregation, Gary Nuss, passed away after a battle with Leukemia. He is survived by his wife and two teenage daughters, one of which is in our student ministry. My ride this year will be dedicated to a celebration of his life and memory. I'd love your support in prayer, as I need to get whipped into shape and it is a long road ahead. Pray that I would be the hands and feet (and legs) of Jesus to my fellow teammates, and that I would respect the law as well, as cyclists often don't obey things like stop signs and bike lanes. I would greatly appreciate your support financially as well, so please check out the links below to my fundraising website and support letter. See you soon.

"For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." (1 Timothy 4:8)

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I use a little gadget called Sitemeter to keep track of how many people visit by blog, when, and from what pages. As I was perusing this information, I saw that someone got to my blog by googling my name. Although I've done this myself before, I clicked on the link to see what came up when my name was googled. And there, the third entry from the top, is my contribution to

To set the record straight: it is true that a few days after I graduated from high school, I made these entries in the Urban Dictionary. I've always employed slang as a regular part of my vocabulary, which is kind of ironic given my propensity to use complicated verbiage. But there it is - if you are a prospective employer, I did clarify the meanings of "mugging" and "schmobbing" for the whole world.

This goes to show the power of the internet, that in this digital and interconnected age nothing stays hidden for long. It hurts my heart to see what some people post on the Facebooks and MySpaces, Flickrs and YouTubes, and then live like those things are completely separate from the other, "real" lives. I'm glad that these silly definitions are the worst thing that comes up when you google me. Well, I'm going to go schmob on some work. May I be able to bear all of me, in bits of bytes as well as in Christ, and by His grace not be ashamed. See you soon.
"Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs." (Luke 12:1-3)

Thursday, March 20, 2008


My friend Bronwyn posted some thoughts on how God is refining her, and she referenced a Calvin and Hobbes comic. I personally have a theory that you can tell a person's personality by the kind of comics they enjoyed as a kid. If you liked Peanuts, you might have a quirky sense of humor that people often don't understand. If you liked Far Side, you might enjoy puns and bizarre situational comedy. I liked the Far Side. The other one I loved was Calvin and Hobbes, because it's witty dialogue and hilarious characters brought me endless joy and laughter as I stayed up clandestinely reading after my bedtime.

All of this to say that I taught this last Tuesday on God being our father, one of the implications being that we are dependent on him as our children to provide for all our needs. This brought to mind a Calvin and Hobbes comic I'd seen years ago which, after searching the internet diligently, I finally found:
It's official: Calvin and Hobbes is money in the bank. Here's the online database where I found this, that has every Calvin and Hobbes comic : Calvin and Hobbes Archive. See you soon.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I'm breaking the silence. Tonight, we're talking in our youth ministry about the passage in Matthew 18 where Jesus talks about entering the kingdom of heaven:
"At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
We'll be talking about the importance of our humility as needy children before our heavenly Father, but before we get started I'm going to talk about what Jesus doesn't mean when he says "become like little children":
  1. Stay immature forever.
  2. Avoid having any kind of responsibility.
I came across an article today called "Raunch is rebranded as 'confidence'", which talks about the annual phenomenon that is "Spring Break." It had a lot of sad realizations, which definitely resonate with my experience going to a 4-year university. A quote:
"What's happening on on spring break beaches isn't just boys and girls being wild. It's young people... deciding that the way to measure their readiness for the adult world is not in terms of education or emotional maturity but sexual desirability... When they talked about what they wanted to do with their lives, they spoke not of jobs or grad school but of looking good, of having the right equipment and experience to ensure a place in the raunch-obsessed pop culture they'd come to see as the real world."
This is the deception that we as a generation, as a culture are buying: that life is defined simply by the value that other people place on what they can see, and that the blessings of material wealth are to be used to entertain ourselves and avoid adult responsibility and maturity for as long as possible. (I clicked through a few links today to the website of the TV show Greek, and I watched a few minutes of the pilot - it made me want to barf.) Going from an unmarried college student to a married youth pastor has definitely not been an easy transition, but my heart aches for those of my generation who are squandering their money, time, and energy on deceitful pursuits that leave us feeling only more empty and alone, disconnected from the real world. What will this mean for our children? For the countless means around our globe, starving physically and spiritually? When will our eyes be opened to see the terrible waste?

No easy answers, and I'm not free of guilt either - riches are deceitful indeed. But until then, may God's grace may I be a praying pilgrim, being led by God's grace and grieving over a generation asleep. See you soon.