Wednesday, April 30, 2008

4 Lies about Youth Ministers

I saw this on Josh Griffin's blog, youth pastor at Saddleback in California, and I found it interesting.
1. Youth pastors aren’t real pastors - Some of the most caring an genuine pastors I know dedicate their life to serving youth. We often focus too much on the “youth” part of the title - the audience, where we should perhaps focus on the “pastor” part of the title - our job description.
2. Youth pastors like to push boundaries for no reason- Youth workers are often accused of pushing the edge of what is allowed in church. I’d like to think it is the desire for honesty and relevance that causes that to happen, not a thirst to shock and awe.
3. Youth pastors just play all of the time - Many youth workers have more fun at their jobs and senior pastors envy them. Therefore, senior pastors made up a lie that youth workers just play around a lot to diffuse their own anger about having to deal with adults and have less fun in life.
4. Youth pastors don’t need vacations - With all of the camps, mission trips, retreats and overnighters youth workers do, is it really fair to give them time off as well? Besides, they’re not real pastors and play all day, too. Lie!
I couldn't agree more. I would add one though. Youth Pastors are responsible for the spiritual training of all the kids of the church even though Deut. 6:6-9 says the following to fathers:
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Just some things to consider. . .

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Great God!

I think this is my theme song right now.
Great God greater than us all
forgive us we have made You small
God open our eyes to see
great God greater than us all
let Your people stand in awe
God we will rise up and say great God!
~Daniel Doss Band

I make God really small. . .

Monday, April 28, 2008

It sure is raining a...

It sure is raining a lot down here in Raleigh(?). It's hard to believe that this is the same area that has been droughting for so long. Anyway, I don't have anything else to say, except it's raining out and I'm really not enjoying driving in it since today I had a dentist appointment and a health checkup. So hooray. Go wings. listen

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Food for thought. . .

I saw this study today from the Triangle Business Journal.

Survey: Poor leaders lead to high turnover

Triangle Business Journal - by Tierney Plumb

For companies wanting to stop turnover, a recent survey suggests that the source lies at the top.

Both ineffective leadership and a lack of opportunities or challenges within the organization are reasons behind employees throwing in the towel, according to Philadelphia-based Right Management's survey of more than 1,000 respondents.

Thirty percent say they left their jobs to seek new challenges or opportunities that were lacking with their previous employers.

In addition, 25 percent said they left because of ineffective leadership; 22 percent cited poor relationships with their managers; and 21 percent said their contributions were not valued.

"We've identified four critical elements to retaining top talent: having a voice in the business, receiving regular and substantive feedback, effective leadership, and career development opportunities," said Douglas Matthews, president and chief operating officer of Right Management.

Turnover can cost a company more than just a seasoned employee: research found that it costs nearly three times an employee's salary to replace someone, which includes recruitment, training, severance, lost productivity, and lost opportunities.

"Poor management results in lower morale, decreased productivity, and employees who are disengaged from their jobs," says Matthews.

Only 43 percent of U.S. employees are fully engaged in their jobs, meaning more than half are not, according to Right Management's research.

"There is a direct correlation between the level of employee engagement and important business benchmarks such as higher customer retention, lower employee turnover, and increased sales and operating results," says Matthews.

Right Management is a wholly owned subsidiary of Manpower Inc.

Hmmm. . . I wonder if this carries over to families and the church? Does "poor" parents make a children "quit" families? Do "poor" pastors make for high church turnover. Food for thought. . .

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Eating a whole lot of...

Eating a whole lot of Mexican food in one sitting is a bad idea, because then, you're up at 12:45 in the morning playing NCAA football because you cant sleep, due to refrag(?) beans in your stomach. Hurray for gluttony. listen

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Charlie the Unicorn is BACK!

I am the Banana king!

10 Signs It's Time to Confront.

I saw this this post today. It reminded me about what I talked about on Sunday morning C4 (you can download it here) and it is a good practical summary when to "judge".

1. It’s time to confront when things aren’t working out even after you’ve given them sufficient time to do so.

2. When you’re avoiding each other.

3. When your silence is more about fear than the truth.

4. When allowing the contact to go on is hurting the other person.

5. When the contact is hurting other people.

6. When you see there is still time to redeem the relationship, the job, the person, or the potential future.

7. When you’re responsible for the health and well-being of the people involved in the situation. You have the power to do something, therefore you have the obligation.

8. When you’re able to separate the behavior from the person. You love the person always, even though you can’t support the behavior.

9. When your integrity and reputation as a friend, manager, leader, or business owner is on the line, it’s time to confront.

10. When you understand that sometimes love must be tough if it’s truly love. Love that is based on a lie is indulgence. Love that is based on truth and applied with mercy and grace is truly a gift from God. (HT to MMI)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Few Random thoughts

Between watching American Idol Results and Democratic debates, I choose to watch Quantum Leap reruns.

Also, this week I watch the last of the five best pictures nominees for this year's Oscars. Here is my two month late ranking now that all of them are on DVD in this order.

The worst of the five was Atonement. I agree with the critics that said that things really changed when the movie went to war. I love war scenes and it made me read up on Dunkirk but it wasn't very clear story telling.

There will be Blood will be next. Daniel Day Lewis was awesome but the ending was a little weak.
Juno is next but it would be the only one of the bunch I would watch over and over again. Humor was great and very original. It was honest with th e problem but I've blogged on Juno before.

While No Country for Old Men won, it was great and very bleak portrayal of evil running a muck. The acting was outstanding but it trying to glorifying violence a bit too much. The ending was a little confusing.

My favorite was Michael Clayton. I love George Clooney and the the major premise deals with integrity. It is an issue that is not dealt with much but you can see Tom Wilkinson battle with doing what was right and doing his job. It gripped me for the entire movie. It really makes you think about the delicate balance that we all face.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

For all of you critics of "Organized" Religion

I read an interesting post from Seth Godin about "What happens when we organize?" Here's what he said:
Most power occurs because one side is better organized than the other. Labor is usually less well organized than management, criminals are usually less well organized than the police and customers are always less well organized than producers.

The internet promises to change that. It does it occasionally, sort of randomly. Sometimes, users will rise up and complain (as they did at Facebook). Or voters will organize online and hurt (or help) a politician or candidate.

Wikipedia works because so many contributors figured out how to self-organize into a group that produced something far more useful than a traditionally organized document.

I think we're at the earliest possible beginning of the changes we're going to see because of this sort of grass roots coordination.

Simple example: the Starbucks in Larchmont, NY keeps their thermostat at 64 degrees. And the stores in Breckenridge, Colorado keep their doors wide open all winter. If you're raging mad about energy waste, you could say something. And nothing would happen. But if customers organized and ten people said something or a hundred people said something... boom, new rules.

The system doesn't know what to do with a movement.

A lot of people say they don't like "organized" religion. Many will do everything they can to keep religion from organizing. The root is that they don't want an authority to tell them what to believe and what to do. What would happen if we didn't have organized Government? Wait, maybe we don't. What would happen if a company wasn't organized? Would people want unorganized religion? Isn't that where the religious "nut jobs" come from?

If some thing isn't organized, the more likely a nut job will rule the roost. In many cases, Churches aren't as organized as they should be because people today have an authority issue. They don't like any organized entity to tell them what they should do. That only happens when people are focused on the same goal. In the church, that should be worshiping Jesus and making his kingdom real on this earth. Often though, it is on something else that is contrary to the leader's (Christ's focus) and that prevents us from truly organizing.

I don't do this well. What are you doing to keep the church from organizing in a way to take the world by storm?

Monday, April 14, 2008

My First Baseball Game!

I've finally was able to go to a pro baseball game. Granted, it was the Durham Bulls versus Scraton Wilkes Barre Yankees. The Yankees crushed the Bulls but it was good to watch a game. In the second, the Yankees had 10 straight batters reach base on singles or walks. It was classic baseball for a purist like me. Quite enjoyable.

During the game, I wondered whether Scraton had Dunder Mifflin Night at their stadium. If they didn't, that should be an episode of the office. The thought of Michael Scott trying to pass out free paper to the first 5,000 people is priceless.
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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The start of the NHL playoff today.

I love hockey. I love the playoffs. This is my favorite hockey moment ever for two reasons: Goalie Fight (Roy vs. Vernon) and Darren McCarty becoming a Detroit legend. . .

Monday, April 7, 2008

Pregnant "Man"

Yeah, I thought that was an oxymoron. See below.

He is legally a male but biologically he is a female. He went through a "sex change" but yet can still get pregnant so did it really change his sex? If someone can get pregnant, that person is a female. It doesn't matter what the outside looks like. There are only somethings that a surgery can change. A surgery can't give you a "Y" chromosome. A surgery can't turn testes in ovaries. He admits it.

On the Oprah show, he and Oprah agreed that having children is not a male thing or a female thing but a "human" thing. If we could reproduce asexually, I could agree but there is a reason why it takes two to make a baby. God knows what He was doing when he made it that way.

"Different is normal and love makes a family." He says and I agree but normal doesn't make it the best and only certain types of love makes a family. A lot of men "love" their families enough to work 60 hours a week but not enough to spend time with them. A lot of women "love" men in their lives only enough to make them a mom. "Love" can also be enabling a family member that is living destructive behavior. There is a lot that goes into love that many of us forget.

Even during the Oprah interview, I could see a little jealousy in the wife's eyes as they talk about the roles are going to stay the same. I'm waiting to see because there is nothing like the bond of a birth mother for her kid. Even during the interview, I can still see why God has two sexes. He was talking about not being able to protect his family because the maternal instinct

Morals aside (I don't want to comment on the issue of GLBT couples having kids since that is a bigger issue), he is not a pregnant man. He is a transgendered woman having a baby with his legally married spouse. Call it what it is.

Clothes don't make a man. Appearance doesn't make a man. Acting like a man doesn't either. Neither does having a "Y" chromosome since I know plenty of straight males that aren't men. Sexually is defined by reproductive, relational and cultural factors (not just one of them). They are intertwined. They cannot be separated. Though the GLBT community wants to separate them from each other (in some ways so does the church), they can't no matter how hard you try.

It is what it is. While I have opinions on their situations, I can't blame them for wanting to enlarge their family. It is a God-given desire (though it is a little like Abram and Hagar). I just hate the way it is being publicized and mentioned. While he lives like a man, he was born a woman. When someone born a man has a baby (i.e. the Govenator in the movie Junior), then write about it. This is not a big deal. A person born XX with a uterus is having a baby. That's all it is. Thousands are everyday (except probably not legally a man).

I wish them the best in their situation and his 15 minutes should be up shortly.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I'm loving that baseball season has started up. I'm an avid fantasy baseball player and this is the first year in a while that I'm in two leagues (a head to head and a roto league) with two different groups of friends from college, though only one other is in both leagues (yeah, Sam Mick!). I've enjoyed getting up in the morning and checking out stats (though my beloved Tigers have been stinking up Comerica Park). Even the Reds are looking good right now.

I really miss though having a major league team less than an hour away. In Toledo, I could go to a Tigers game in less than an hour. In Cincinnati, I could go to Reds game whenever I wanted. Heck, it was my first date with my wife. Here in Raleigh, the closest major league cities are Washington D.C. and Atlanta. A friend and I here are already trying to get up to Nationals Park for a game but they don't any weekday day games except one in April that is too close to plan a day trip for. So if we go, it would be an overnight thing.

At least there are two minor league teams in this area (One AAA and one AA). I think I'm going to a Bulls game when the in-laws visit so that will be fun. At some point, I'll go to a Mudcat game since I love baseball. Funny though both teams are linked to the two Florida baseball teams so I know there are a lot prospects playing on these teams because the major league teams like prospects a lot more than talented major league players. Here's to saving a buck!

Just to put you in the mood: