Archive for category: Religion (Page 54)

Reverend Fun strikes again!

20 Jul
July 20, 2008

Apparently I find anything that involves bodies and temples amusing … Reverend Fun just posted this comic and it made me laugh!

The Peacemaker: Student Edition (review)

18 Jul
July 18, 2008

The Peacemaker: Student Edition
By Ken Sande and Kevin Johnson
Baker Books, 2008, 176 pp., $12.99,

The teen edition of The Peacemaker is actually one stand-alone product in a host of Peace Making training materials put together by Sande for the church. Basically, it’s a training resource for biblical conflict resolution and seeking peace. I’m actually a big fan of the series overall, having seen it be put to great use in my own church in the last year, so I was excited to find out there was a teen edition on the way. Part of me thought it might be a bit much, but I certainly was curious, and it did not disappoint!

Because it is half the size of the adult version, it is very focused, which I thought was great. If the various peace-making illustrations throughout the book were not specifically from the life of students, whether school conflicts, situations at home or elsewhere, this is the edition I would recommend to all age groups because it is such a non-threatening size, yet the message is all there. This is absolutely a great resource for your young people!

You can also find my review of The Peacemaker: Student Edition on the Youthworker Journal website where it was originally published.

Church using Star Trek to advertise?

17 Jul
July 17, 2008

I’ve seen some weird things over the years from churches in their attempts to advertise … but using Star Trek and wise men following the star on a billboard?  Bizarre.  Anyway, just thought I’d pass on this little bit of goofy Star Trek weirdness that I stumbled across.  It made me laugh!

Stocking up on youth ministry resources for fall!

16 Jul
July 16, 2008

Is it really that time of year again?  It seems like summer just got here and I’m already grabbing resources for the fall!  Yikes!  Anyway, here’s what I got …

My first stop was Simply Youth Ministry; I took advantage of this link which gave me 10% off my total order.  Sweet!  Here’s what I got:

  •  Jr High Tuff Stuff; This is the DVD curriculum by Kurt Johnston, the Jr. High pastor at Saddleback Church.  I’ve used his other one, Jr High Bible Stuff and really liked it so I decided to complete the set.  It features talks by Kurt, and everything needed to shape and direct the lesson and discussion.  Good stuff!
  • Best of Try This One; this is a book by Group Publishing.  I actually already have a copy, but I’m grabbing this one for one of my volunteers.  Group has a great youth ministry magazine full of ideas, tips, devotionals and more for youth ministry – this book is a compilation of all of the best ideas from over the years.  Absolutely over flowing with fantastic ideas on everything from games to Bible studies.
  • On the Spot – No-Prep Games for Youth Ministry; I’m not actually familiar with this one at all, but it’s a $6 book that claims to be full of games that take no preparation and can be played on the spot.  For $6, I figured it’s worth a shot – not that I don’t like to prepare, but it’s always nice to have some backup games I can do on the spot.
  • Hope and Healing for Kids Who Cut; another book I actually already have.  It’s by Marv Penner and it’s the best book I’ve read on the subject of self injury.  I grabbed it for another one of my leaders – there are a lot of kids in our group that have struggled with cutting so it’s a pretty relevant topic for us (probably for most youth workers).  If you’re looking for a book on this issue, get this one first.

After my trip to Simply, I headed on over to to pick up a few other odds and ends.

  • Wild Truth Bible Lessons by Mark Oestricher.  I’ve used the journals for years, but this is the first time I’ve grabbed the curriculum.  I’m excited to see what it adds to the already great Wild Truth Journals!
  • Wild Truth Bible Lessons: Dares from Jesus by Mark Oestricher.  Between the two lesson books I’ll have 24 weeks worth of curriculum.  Not bad for $10 a book!  Less than a buck a week!
  • Shells – Nooma #20.  It’s the newest Nooma DVD.  Of course I got it!  Can you believe they’ve made twenty of them now?  I’d say it’s rediculous … but I love ’em too much.
  • Pulse #10 – Genesis.  It’s a curriculum I get for my Jr. High Sunday School teacher.  My volunter teacher likes it and it’s a solid resource.  The kids like it, too, so it’s an all around win.

Now I’m just sitting around waiting for all my packages to arrive!  I have to confess, I’m the most excited about the new Nooma DVD.  Here’s how much of a nerd I am … I’ve ripped all my Noomas onto my Ipod Nano so I can watch them anytime, anywhere!  I’m such a geek.

Igniter Video Volume 5 (review)

16 Jul
July 16, 2008

Igniter Video Vol. 5

Igniter Media Group, 2007, DVD, $40.00

Igniter Video Vol. 5 contains five video vignettes, ranging from two to six minutes in length. The DVD can work on either a DVD player, or standard and high definition mpegs of the vignettes, as well as leader guides, can be accessed through a computer’s DVD drive. On top of that, all five clips can be previewed at the Igniter website. Three of the videos are absolutely out of the park; “99 Balloons,” the story of baby Eliot who was born with severe complications, left everyone in my congregation crying but utterly inspired. “Smart” and “Teamwork” are great humorous clips that make a point without being preachy. Finally, the last two videos, a contemplative piece on the cross and humorous look at the relationship between husbands and wives are both decent – but really, the reason the disc is worth the high price are the other three.

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

Worship Band from Start to Finish (review)

14 Jul
July 14, 2008

I just got a hold of the new Worship Band from Start to Finish by Jason Carson & Doug Fields and I’m really excited about it.  Basically, what Carson and Fields have done is put together everything you could possibly need for your youth group worship band (I think it also applies to college and adult worship bands, but it’s specifically targeted as a youth ministry resource).  It covers topics like identifying leaders, making sure all the legalities are covered, rationales and explanations of every aspect of a healthy worship band, and TONS of printable resources (training sheets, handouts, letters – you name it!).

Honestly, there’s a ton of worship band and praise team resources out there, but the difference between the others and this one, and why I’m pumped about it, is the CD-Rom it comes with.  Included on the CD is EVERYTHING in the book, including the book itself.  There are editable versions of all the forms and handouts so you can print them as they are or customize them to your ministry, and there is even a PDF of the entire book as well as permission to make as many copies as you want for anyone you want in your church – I plan on making copies for everyone in the youth group praise band as well as passing it on to the worship pastor so he can use it with his teams.  For me, that makes it an incredible resource!

If you want to take a closer look, you can find it here: Worship Band from Start to Finish.

Biggest Loser Boothbay Round 3 final weigh in!

12 Jul
July 12, 2008

Wow, I can’t believe it’s happened already!  This morning we had our final weigh in for our third Biggest Loser Boothbay competion!  This time around we had over 80 people from the region sign up to compete at my church and ten weeks later the payoff was huge!  Normally we go for 12 weeks, but I went a little shorter this time because of my wife’s looming duedate.  🙂  The seven pictured above are our superstars; they took home the individual cash prizes.  Combined, they managed to sweat off 248.6 pounds!  Tim, the guy on the left was the all around Biggest Loser with a loss of 71 lbs, which translates to a 20.5% weight loss!  Incredible!  Kristi (bottom right), was the female Biggest Loser with a total percentage loss of 12.49%!  We also had cash prizes for the top three teams that managed to stay together until the end (we always have some drop outs – the team prizes reward the people that work together and support each other to the end).  Below is a photo of everyone who won $$$ today (teams & individuals), and me in the back right!

What really blows my mind is that we’ve got a growing club of people that have lost well over 50 lbs total over the different challenges, four who have lost over 70 lbs, and our two time winner, Tom, who has broken the hundred pounds loss barrier – and he’s stayed strong in keeping it off!  If you’re curious about how exactely we lose the weight, it’s all through counting calories and exercise.  No gimmicks, pills, shakes or anything like that – just healthy eating and activity.  Check out my Weight Loss page to get more specific info and resources on the plan and visit the Audio page to listen to audio from our meetings.