Archive for category: Ministry (Page 56)

Inside a Cutter's Mind (book review)

13 Mar
March 13, 2008


By Jerusha Clark with Dr. Earl Henslin; TH1NK Books, 2007, 240 pp., $12.99

Clark and Henslin have put together an incredible book on the topic of self-injury. This is an issue where it seems many have very little knowledge and a great deal of confusion, yet at the same time, if statistics are at all accurate, we all most likely have teens and adults in our lives impacted by this very issue. What the authors have put together is a thorough exploration of self injury; they deal with the psychology, the underlying issues, the triggers and shame, and they do it all in such a way that it is very understandable and eye opening. They deal with the myths and misunderstandings that are so common, and also provide great wisdom in how to respond, how to play a role in a self-injurer’s recovery, and what methods of treatment are out there. This is a must have for anyone working with young people today. It is well written, thoroughly researched and very relevant.

This review, by me, was originally published in the Journal of Student Ministries.

Vitality = Exercise

10 Mar
March 10, 2008

The following is one of the articles from my column in the Journal of Student Ministries entitled Tending the Temple.  This particular one, “Vitality = Exercise,” talks about – you guessed it – exercise!  It’s from the May/June, 2007, issue.

Tending the Temple: Vitality = Exercise (May/June, 2007)

God Cares About What We Eat

10 Mar
March 10, 2008

The following link is to an article I wrote for the March/April issue of the Journal of Student Ministries.  It’s from my Tending the Temple column; this particular one is on nutrition.  Enjoy!

Tending the Temple: God Cares About What We Eat (March/April, 2007)

Ambulance at church … again!

09 Mar
March 9, 2008

We had quite a Sunday morning!  You might remember a few weeks ago there was a nine year old who was repeatedly passing out during the Sunday morning service, an ambulance came for him, and it made for quite a day?  He’s fine, and has managed to stay awake since then … I haven’t been preaching the last few weeks, though, so that might be playing into that.

Anyway, this morning we had a similar incident.  One of the older ladies began to pass out towards the end of the service.  Thankfully she was sitting behind a nurse, and there were others nearby with level heads and great responses.  In all honesty, quite a few people thought she was having a stroke.  We had a guest speaker who was wrapping up at the time – poor guy kept going, but he knew he had lost the room at that point.  It was good, though – it kept people quiet and in their seats.  Well, the ambulance got their quickly and rushed her off to the emergency room while I led the room in prayer for her.

By the time I was finally able to leave and catch up with the others who had gone with her, almost an hour had passed.  I spent close to an hour sitting with her and praying with her when we finally got the word from the Doctor.  It wasn’t a stroke or her heart, which was a relief.  It turns out, she hadn’t been feeling well, dizzyness, etc., so she had taken a couple pills – but she had taken the wrong ones.  They dropped her blood pressure and caused her to pass out, leaving her sick and sore.  It’s a relief that she’s okay, but it will be a little while before she’s 100%.

Sheesh, two 911 calls in the space of a few weeks?  Usually we go years between calls!

Save Me From Myself (book review)

05 Mar
March 5, 2008


By Brian “Head” Welch

Wow. This was not what I expected. First the warning; if you need a clean, sanitized testimony, this isn’t the book for you. Welch doesn’t hide what his life and marriage were like during his years as the lead guitarist for Korn. Graphic memories, occasional profanity, stories of abuse, drugs and alcohol fill the first half of the book. But they only make the work of Christ in Welch’s life that much more incredible; how through his conversion experience he was able to walk away from the band, the spotlight, and literally millions of dollars – there is no denying the presence of Christ in his life. I bought the book because I have fans of Korn in my youth group and I wanted to have a talking point with them; instead I found a story so riveting that I literally read the whole thing in one day. For me, this is an important addition to my youth room – I want kids picking it up and reading his story. It is well worth the cover price!

This review, by me, was originally printed in the Journal of Student Ministries.

Reality of Failure (audio)

03 Mar
March 3, 2008

This is actually a message I gave a year or so ago, but haven’t gotten around to posting until now.  I have to admit, it’s actually one of my favorites because the passage of scripture that I was interacting with is just an absolute joy to read and explore.

1 Kings 18 records an incredible story about the prophet Elijah, hundreds of pagan priests, fire from heaven, and some fantastic smack talk.  And yet in spite of an absolutely incredible success, Elijah experiences inexplicable failure.  Or is it so unexpected?  What is so beautiful about it to me is that Elijah’s humanity really comes through in this passage; that after such an incredible high he has a horrific low.  And that is normal.  So whether it’s a spiritual failure, a personal failure, or even a weight loss failure – because while this message isn’t about weight loss, it very much delves into the exact feelings of failure that have destroyed so many of my weight loss attempts in the past.

Anyway, if you want to take a listen, you can right click the link below and select “save target as” to save it to your computer.  Enjoy!

The reality of Failure

Venti Jesus, Please (book review)

01 Mar
March 1, 2008

Greg brought a bunch of these books to snow camp to give away and use as prizes, so it reminded me of the review I had written a while back!  It’s a great book, and the teens I spoke with at camp who had already read it all told me they really loved it.  Good stuff, and you can’t beat the price!


By Greg Stier

Dare 2 Share Ministries, Inc., 2008, 108 pp., $4.50 (bulk discounts available),

A quick read, “Venti Jesus Please” is the fictional story of three teenagers hanging out at a coffee shop talking about Jesus. It is told from the perspective of the atheist teen; the other one is a Christian, and the third is an agnostic. Over the course of the conversation the reader gets a great picture of relationship evangelism as well as the message of salvation, so this is good for the kid curious about God as well as the teen wondering how to share their faith. If I’m honest, I had a hard time getting into it at first – but once I got a few pages into it, it grew on me. Stier has done a great job of capturing three distinct voices and wrapping it up without getting too preachy or unbelievable.

This review, by me, originally appeared in the Journal of Student Ministries.

Skit Guys = Hilarious

28 Feb
February 28, 2008

I stumbled across this last night and it brought back some sweet memories of laughing until my face hurt!  I was actually at this performance; in the front row, way over to the left (can’t see me).  It was at Youth Specialties’ youth worker conference in Texas a couple years ago, so this particular sketch is aimed right at youth workers – but it’s still funny!  I absolutely love these guys; you can check out their website here.  The Skit Guys have a great ministry and have put together some of the best ministry related drama resources out there.  I’ve used their skit videos as illustrations in youth group, retreats and even Sunday morning worship services with the whole church!  It’s not often you get a couple guys that can appeal to every generation!

Overnighter music video

26 Feb
February 26, 2008

Okay, this is for youth pastors’ only … like that warning is going to stop anyone!  Just found this on Josh’s blog.  Absolutely hilarious!

Superbowl Party will be back!

25 Feb
February 25, 2008

This year was the first year in a looooong time that I haven’t thrown a Superbowl party.  It was kind of nice in a way … a quiet afternoon at home … but sad, too.  And disappointing for dozens of teens!  We’ve had the reputation for having the biggest party in the area; tons of give aways (last year we even gave away an Ipod), piles of food, usually around 7-10 video game systems set up, ping pong, foozball, crazy games like our annual hot dog eating contest and more.  Well, all that was shut down this last year because the NFL had been cracking down on churches who have Superbowl parties!  I’ve never charged a penny – I factor the events costs into my youth budget and get a ton of donations from church people, but even in those situations the NFL was saying no deal.  Basically, it boils down to ratings; the NFL wants everyone watching it from their homes and they said gatherings of more than 15 violates copyright or something like that.  Last year they even sent some threatening letters to some churches about their parties being illegal.  With all the hoopla, we made the decision to cancel ours this year.  The bizarre thing is, sports bars were still allowed to have public screenings, but churches couldn’t!  Go figure!

Well, it looks like all the stink raised last year because of churches getting those letters has paid off! In an article on (you can find it here), it’s being reported that the NFL has reversed its earlier stance and now says churches can have Superbowl parties as long as they’re not charging admission!  Woo-hoo!  The party is back on!  Um, next year, that is …

All that to say, I’m really happy about their decision.  Every year we’ve had teens who have passed up unsupervised, drinking parties to come to our clean church party.  To me, that’s just awesome.  We’ve also always seen kids start coming to our other events and even youth group because of our party – it’s purely a “get them through the door” type event with no preaching and lots of party … with a five minute commercial part way through for our snow camps and other meetings.  And I can’t think of a single year where we haven’t seen growth in our other programs specifically because of the Superbowl party.