Monthly Archives: August 2008

Parenting Lessons – Part 1 of Many

  1. Your newborn will act like a baby.  It’s normal, I guess.
  2. Putting the new diaper beneath the old diaper is a vital act of congress in terms of baby laws.
  3. Sometimes young children cry for no reason, similar to a similar gender unlike myself that will remain nameless.
  4. Simply by acting goofy, you can keep the audience rolling for long periods of time.  For example, I simply said the word “Booger” in a funny voice, which sent my daughter into laughter for an extended period of time.
  5. Anything that looks like, feels like, smells like, shines like, rolls like… IS FOOD according to the toddler mind.
  6. Toddlers have surprising hand-eye coordination.  Whatever is in your hand that you do not want the child to touch is an automatic spill or grab & toss (example:  glass lantern, which is now a shattered glass lantern)  Jewelry is also a dangerous combination.
  7. As a husband, attach your video recorder to your belt buckle.  Because every moment of the day your wife will want recorded, and it is nice to just be able to pull that thing from its holster.
  8. Playing with your child is better than any television show ever.  So if Jack Bauer is tied up to explosives or those “Lost” guys see a rescue chopper….doesn’t matter, your child’s laugh when you play peek-a-boo is a million times better.
  9. Cut your child’s nails (refer to #6).  My face often looks like Scarface – “Say hello to my little baby”
  10. “Get me a wipe, hurry” is a phrase that should put you in motion like an Olympic athlete in the final 25 meters of the race.

Olympics & Spirituality – Part 2

Oftentimes in Youth Ministry, spiritual lingo is used such as “Live for Christ” or “Follow after Jesus” or “Work hard spiritually”….What do these words mean to the average teenager?  Could they put these into tangible, measurable words for you if you asked them?  Maybe they can, maybe you gave a little chuckle with these questions.

Without diving into a deep theological discussion on spiritual lingo, the historical background, root words, etc…I’d rather just briefly give a practical approach such as what was seen in the Olympics.

When asked about the experience of the Olympics, 9 times out of 10 we hear something to the effect of “I’m just happy to represent my country” or “It’s not about me, it’s about my country”.  Taking that approach, explain to your teens, this is what it means to follow Christ or live for Christ.  The Christian life is a life where you are not living for your self, where you represent Christ in everything you do.  From the things you watch on TV to the words that come out of your mouth, you choose to live a life that resemble the life of Jesus, or shadows the world.

Don’t be afraid to allow something that is on the world stage, such as the Olympics, to draw your students closer to a knowledge of a true Christian life.  As GI Joe would say, “Now you know, and knowing is half the battle”.


Olympics In Heaven

Will there be Olympics in heaven? Put that in the file with, “Will I have Chipotle burritos for dinner every night in heaven?” & “Will my fridge be stocked with I.B.C. Root Beer” in my mansion in heaven?” with questions that really have no real significance in the grand scheme of things.

However, in the spirit of the Olympics, will there be the Games in heaven? Can’t say for sure. But I can say this, according to 2 Corinthians 5:10, all of us will appear in front of the real judges. Not the judges that give out 9.0’s in diving for 9.025 in execution in gymnastics…I’m talking about the ultimate judge, Jesus Christ.

Here’s the point, what award will you get when you reach that platform. On display, in front of everyone that ever lived, will you have nothing to show for the years that God gave you on this earth? Or will you be rewarded for a live well-lived? Hopefully, God will tell you “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” and present you with your medal…in this case, more like a crown. Truthfully, it doesn’t matter the substance. What matters is we will get to place that reward at the feet of Jesus.

Teen Choice Awards: Jonas Brothers or Jesus Followers?

Jonas brothers!  Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!  Recently, FOX aired the 2008 Teen Choice Awards.  And each time those two words “Jonas Brothers” were uttered, an enormous shockwave of verbal exclamations came from the young crowd.  I’m serious.  It was like an Oprah giveaway show.

FOX was so smart though.  They knew who the main consumers of America are.  The FOX associates were well aware the average teen watches close to 40 hours of television a week.  Don’t take my word for it.  Just look at who is making headlines in celebrity-dom right now.  It’s not the Temptations or the Beach Boys people; it is teenagers that are the common choice in iPods of tweens and teenagers.  Rather than the Beatles & Rolling Stones of yesteryear, it is now the Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana.  Let me tell you something, the screams that were made for these curly haired brother trio rivals the noise made on that first appearance the Beatles made on the Ed Sullivan show.

When I thought about this, I couldn’t help but link this to youth ministry.  What is making the teens excited about church today?  When was the last time the teens in your youth group screamed about Jesus, or almost fainted from excitement about an upcoming activity or event?  Hopefully it has been in this millennia.  If not, what are we missing?

Listen, do we know that the teens are what is driving the church of tomorrow?  Television understands this.  Why can’t the church?  If given the choice, would your youth group choose church over a Jonas Brother’s or Fergie concert? 

Here is my hypothesis solution.  No, I know what you are thinking.  I am not setting the youth room up like a rock concert.  And no, I’m not wearing a V-neck t-shirt with a tight-pant polyester suit to Sunday School.  But this is what I am going to do:  

1.     Get teenagers excited about Jesus Christ.  The One that can transform lives, forgive sins, and love the unlovable.  Can any Hills star come close to that introduction?

2.     With Hannah Montana promoting “Best of Both Worlds”, I want to present a freedom philosophy.  The world wants these teens to live, act, and dress a certain way.  What kind of freedom is that?  Living a life pleasing to God is the only way.  Why be a slave to culture, when you can be a servant to the Almighty Creator.

3.     Finally, present the Christian life as more exciting than a rock concert, more rewarding than a record deal, and more thrilling than meeting a celebrity.  There is nothing like it here on earth, because the life that comes from Christ is the life that will last forever.