Wednesday, May 31, 2006

If Money Weren't an Option

I would spoil Tracie like crazy. She is the kind of person that NEVER buys anything for herself. She would rather get stuff for the kids and for me. So, if I had money, I would spoil her like crazy.

I would...

Buy her an mini-van.
Buy her new clothes.
Buy her a new pair of tennis shoes. I won't tell you how old hers are, but it's embarrassing.
Buy her a bike.
Buy her an under the counter dvd player.
Buy her a MacBook Pro.
Buy her a Stove. Our stove is a little unsafe.
Buy her a new bed.
Buy her the diamond earings I promised her on our wedding night and the ones she has never asked for.

If I did all this, she would probably talk me out of it to buy these things for someone who really needs them. What can I say...She is incredible.

What I love about Tracie

I Beautiful she is. I love how Pure she is. I love how Forgiving she is. I love Amazing she is. I love Understanding she is. I love how Wise she is. I love how Incredible she is. I love how Accepting she is. I love how Quiet she is. I love how Loud she is.

I love...Her Heart. Her Hands. Her Love. Her Love for Her Savior. Her Love for Her kids. Her Love for Family. Her Love for Others. Her Love for Kids. Her Love for the Hurting. Her Wisdom. Her discernment. Her Protection. Her Eyes. Her hugs.

I love...Watching her play with our kids. Watching her hold a baby. Watching her read a book. Watching her teach a class. Watching her get uncomfortable.

I love that she tried to hide my Anchorman DVD and didn't succeed. I love her.

I am so thankful that God would send her into my life and allow me to be her husband. It is a great honor and a propelled.

9 years it is!

Well, I can hardly believe it, but today is our 9 year Wedding Anniversary! Yippee! Super-Duper! I can't believe how fast it goes. It amazes me that 9 years ago, our ceremony and reception were over by now and we were getting ready to head out for our honeymoon.

I wish I had some wedding pictures on my computer to post, but these early Jason & Tracie will have to do. The picture of me in a Tux was taken before my buddy's wedding and it was the day I proposed to Tracie.

We were way too young, but at we got married anyway and our ceremony was incredible. Tracie was Gorgeous and as she started walking down the aisle, my heart lept so many times I almost fell over. All I remember thinking was "What am I doing, doesnt' she know that she could get someone a lot better than me"! And that's true, I am so honored and amazed that she fell in love with me.

Our reception was a blast. My buddy's jazz band played and our parents blessed us with a great reception. We were just going to have the reception at the church I worked at, but they wouldn't allow us. First they wanted to charge us for rental fees and if that wasn't bad enough, they didn't allow dancing. How funny is that?

The only thing I would differently about our wedding is our honeymoon. We had a great honeymoon, but we went to the Baseball Hall of Fame, a Baltimore Orioles game and drove by many other baseball stadiums. I wish I would of taken her away to somewhere she would of loved to go.

Next year I am. I am going to try to save for a year and for our 10 year anniversary, I am going to do something special.

Bad Back Day

I can't figure it out, typically when it gets hot, my back feels good. But lately, it's been bad. I know I sound like a whiner, but here's the story.

When I was 12 I was riding my bike, jumped a curb and smash, a car hit me. I still remember the car for some reason, which those people that know me, know that I have horrible memory...(Except for useless baseball stats and what youth pastor is at what church). So, the car, it was a Ford Thunderbird and it was gray.

I jumped the curb and as the bike landed the driver didn't see me and I crashed right into his front bumber, got swung around and somehow got caught on his passenger side mirror. The crazy thing is, he didn't stop, so he drug me about 20 feet as I was pounding on his passenger side window. It sounds worse than it was, I bet he wasn't even going 18 miles an hour. But even at that speed, his car bent my front tire and bent my handlebars.

As I landed, I still remember hitting the ground. It hurt. I remember walking home and my mom was at my grandma's and I remember saying, "Mom, please don't be mad, but a car just hit me". So, that was the start of my back.

I have been through physical therapy three times, went to a chiropractor, have had all types of scans and it still hurts. In the winter and spring it's the worse, those are tough "tying the shoes" days.

I also was not smart with my back in my teens and early twenties. I roofed for awhile, have always hauled sound/lighting equipment and not always have lifted the correct way.

What sucks the worse about a bad back is how much pain it is to play with my kids on the floor.

The crazy thing is, I can make the situation better. The more weight I loose, the better my back feels. If my back feels like this at 30, I don't want to imagine 40.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Green Lantern it is

Your results:
You are Green Lantern

Green Lantern
The Flash
Wonder Woman
Iron Man
Hot-headed. You have strong
will power and a good imagination.

Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...

It's Hot!

What is the deal with Michigan? I have lived my entire life, all 30 years and I can't figure it out. Last week it was flippin cold, rainy and windy. Today and yesterday are 90 and hot as heck. What the heck?!

Now don't get me wrong, I love the heat. I think I would love to live in Texas or CA, because the heat is great on my back. Basically, when it's hot, I can bend. When it's cold, no bend, no tying of the shoes. But, I just can't figure it out.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Love it!

I just got this cd and I already love it. I first heard Starfield at the NYWC in Atlanta a few years ago and then we had them at Blitzfest last year and I have loved them since. Great CD!

Friday, May 26, 2006

First Summer Tour Meeting

Yesterday we had our first Summer Tour Meeting and now I am more excited than ever! Yippee, Super-Duper, Neat-O!

Well, anyways, we have a lot to do. But it was fun brainstorming and talking through all of the details for our first Project311 summer tour. One of our board members affectionately named our tour, the "Summer of Love Tour". Nice, thanks Dave.

Please be praying because we have some significant financial support to raise and we have still have some items we have to nail down.

The Checklist:

...Finish brainstorming/programming Summer Celebration
...Present Programs to Summer Celebration Team
...Nail down (2) more projectors, rear screens, and a video switcher
...Get Media Shout donated to Project311
...Find another laptop we can use for the 3 week tour
...Track down a couple of sub-woofers we can borrow
...Track down some processors we can borrow for the tour
...Get all of the lighting gear in one place and repair
...Buy airfare for the Matamoros, MX portion of the tour
...Raise funds or get someone to let us borrow a truck to haul our trailor down to Ohio for two summer camps
...Film, & edit a few videos for Summer Celebration and Camp Velocity
...Keep researching new stories, finish outlines, and finish talks. I need 46 seperate talks for this summer, fun!
...Get all the graphics done and loaded on computers

Why you ask are trying to borrow all this stuff? Because we want to bless these camps, that's it. Instead of us renting all the equipment, our thought is to borrow the stuff and then the camps can use more money on students, rather than production.

We'll see if it works.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

What a Day

Yesterday was a pretty funny day, ha, ha. I went to the Mac store, lusted over a MacBook Pro and an ipod, was kicked out, understandable. Then I headed over to the "cheesy Christian stuff" capitol of the world, Family Christian Store. Now don't get me wrong, I really do love Family Christian. I just hate the fact that they sell really dumb stuff. Like...Test-a-mints, Purpose Driven Mugs, Jesus bobbleheads (do they? Probably not), and all those great Christian t-shirts. Anyways, I am sucker for books and I have wanted a couple for awhile now, and I made the plunge. I saved up my pastor discount cards and cashed in some bottles and I bought:

Chazown...A different way to see your life by Craig Groeschel.

It has a crazy cover, but looked pretty intriguing to me. Craig is the pastor of LifeChurch and according to Outreach Magazine, the 15th most influential church in America. He has a crazy and I mean crazy, multi-site church but...all the sites are video sites, meaning the sermon/message is him in every location (much like North Points multi-sites). And they put his entire message on line for free, with the ppt. For a guy like me, who is not that creative, it's very helpful for me to borrow his talks, if you know what I mean (wink!?). Oh the website...
  • Life Church

  • And I bought a copy of "The Irresistible Revolution" by Shane Claiborne for my buddy Jason Shinn. His surprise birthday party was last night but didn't go, whoops. If I had the money, I would buy this book for everyone close to me, I would, but that's a whole lot of bottles.

    So, funny day. Tracie dropped off the boys out at my work, because her and Bekah had to go to a dress fitting way out west for her sister's wedding. The cool thing about having an office in a Fitness club is being able to take the kids swimming whenever we want, yeah, I know your jealous. So, the boys and I went on a little nature walk outside first and then hit the pool. It was a blast, they are so much fun in the pool.

    We stopped at Wendy's on the way home and things got interesting. For some reason my boys are climbing everything, I think it may be a condition they have, maybe it's something in the water, who knows. But it took forever to order and I put Zach on the counter at one point to help stop him from climbing and before I could stop him, he reached around and messed with the screen and he totally screwed up our order. Then while carrying the tray to the table I dropped a drink, made a huge mess and went everywhere. Then I realized Zach needed to be changed and I thought it was the kind that needed to be changed now, if you know what I mean. We went into the Men's room and we were greeted with an over-flowing toilet, water everywhere. So, I took both boys back out to the car and changed Zach. And, he didn't need to be changed.

    So, by the time we got back to our food it was cold and pop was still everywhere. Funny day, Funny day.

    Tuesday, May 23, 2006


    I was sitting in the living room watching my beloved Pistons trail the Heat and I heard a huge bang. It was the kind of bang, that as a dad, you know you need to get up quick and rush to find out if everybody is alright. Turns out Zach was trying to climb out of his crib and he succeeded. But, as he got to the top, he flipped over and landed on his back/head. Scared us all and really scared him.

    This book is changing my Life

    Incredible, and inspiring. If you have ever wondered if God has called us to serve & love the poor, then this book is for you.

    What a job description


    Church (I took off the name of the church) is currently seeking the right man to serve on our staff team as the Pastor of Student Ministries. The ideal candidate will be an ordained pastor with at least five years of proven leadership and growth on staff in a large church (800+).

    Lifestyle / Character:

    A lifestyle of integrity, commitment, and maturity.
    Spiritually growing with a vital faith in Christ.
    Internally motivated self-starter.
    Demonstrated high degree of confidentiality.
    Sense of humor, fun loving, spontaneous, etc.
    Essential Spiritual Gifts, Skills, and Abilities:
    Outstanding people skills.
    Detail oriented and organizationally gifted.
    Ability to manage multiple projects well.
    Ability to work closely with peers as part of a cohesive ministry team.
    Ability to implement a specific ministry philosophy, such as, Sonlife, Purpose Driven, etc.
    Engage in students' lives outside of typical youth ministry functions, such as, football games, lunch at schools, etc.
    Specific Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
    Develop a comprehensive ministry that provides for the spiritual and personal formation of students from 6th grade through college.
    Recruiting, leading, and training a dynamic team of volunteers who are committed to students.
    Oversee all activities and events in the Student ministry.
    Leading Student ministry with a strong priority on Sunday Mornings.
    Supervising appropriate staff in the Student Ministry.
    A willingness to assume other ministries or responsibilities as needed to lead the church to be all God intends her to be.
    Develop and manage the Student ministry budget.
    Serve as a member of the church's Executive Team and as a member of the Elder Board and meet the qualifications for an Elder as defined in 1 Tim 3 and Titus 1.
    Other Information
    Qualified applicants will complete a personality profile as part of the interview process.
    We are looking for someone with a BA or BS degree who is committed to long term youth ministry (5+ years).
    Salary will be based upon experience.

    Wow, what a description. My first thought was, this is really long, really long. My second thought was, is an 800 + church considered large? My third thought was, maybe it's good to be this descriptive. My fourth thought was, would I want to be a part of the Elder board...nah. My fifth thought was, should salary be based upon experience?

    All interesting.

    Sunday, May 21, 2006

    Out of my Comfort Zone

    This morning I jokingly told someone at church that I would teach their 4 years old class for them, whoops! Wow, was I out of my comfort zone. I kept reminding myself that I have three young children and this should be easy. Well, it was not easy and I have a much larger, bigger, more huger respect for our children's ministry teachers.

    My wife ended up saving my life and helped me out big time. The only thing I think I did well was throw balls around and tell stories, that was fun.

    Tool Alert

    I was just looking over my blog and I can't believe it, I am a TOOL. According to the Tool handbook, page 72, article 1.5, section 8.3, commandment 4 says:

    A Tool is one who promotes his speaking ministry by communicating his upcoming dates on his blog.

    Man, I caught myself! Maybe there is a loophole.

    Saturday, May 20, 2006

    Taco Bell & Bobby

    One of Bobby's favorite things to do is ride up to the bell on our bike. So, we are at taco bell enoying some fine tacos.

    Thursday, May 18, 2006

    Looking forward

    My buddy Ryan (Jr. High Pastor at Kensington Church) called me today and asked if I would come and encourage his adult volunteers at their annual end of the year celebraton party. My response was YES! Outside of retreats, outreach events, programs, and camps/mission trips for students, I love, absolutely love encouraging adults who love students. This will be a blast because I just partnered with them for their lock-in.

    I anticipate a lot of fun & laughter, lot's of funny youth group stories (like the time I caught 2 kids naked in an elevator at a lock-in, funny or sick, you decide) and then lot's of encouraging stories about how incredible they are. Can't wait.

    Updated Summer Speaking Schedule

    June 4...Elevate...Student Ministry of 2|42
  • Elevate

  • June 9-11...Albany Episcopal Diocese Youth Convention
  • Youth Convention

  • June 12...Kensington Church Volunteer Leader Celebration
  • Volunteer Leader Celebration

  • June 18-24...Camp Timber-Lee
  • Camp Timber-Lee

  • June 25...Elevate...Student Ministry of 2|42
  • Elevate

  • June 26-28...Student Impact Retreat
  • Student Impact Retreat

  • July 10-14....Summer Celebration Summer Camp
  • Summer Celebration

  • July 15-21....Mission Trip, Matamoros, MX
  • Adventures in Mission

  • July 22-23...Lakewood church Student Ministry
  • LakeWood Church

  • July 24-29....Camp Velocity Summer Camp
  • Kenyon College

  • August 16-19...Shepherd's Gate Student Ministry Summer Retreat
  • Shepherd's Gate

  • Well, it's not as hectic as last summer, I think. Last summer I made it to: Ft. Worth, TX, Tampa, FL, Detroit, MI, Gambier, OH, Inex, KY, S. Barrington, IL, and Tijuana, MX. The best part was that Tracie and the kids were able to come with me about 60% of the time, this summer, I am not sure how much they will be able to come.

    My sister-n-law decided to get married in July, so that kind throws a major wrench in some flight arrangements.

    Looking at the schedule, I just feel blessed that youth pastors and organizations would allow me to partner with them.

    I missed them

    Wednesday, May 17, 2006

    No pop!

    I am in Minn. airport waiting for my flight and there is no pop machines in this airport, grr.

    The Altar Call or Decision Card

    This morning and a little last night we discussed a topic that we discussed last year as well. It is also a topic that has haunted/followed and caused me to re-evaluate what I believe about it. It is the topic of the Altar Call or Decision Time in regards to the presentation of the Gospel message. As a person who LOVES the communication process and loves telling students about Jesus, this is something that I have been dealing with for about three years. Dealing with what? Is the Altar Call or having a student fill out a Decision card the best way to track their decision to follow Christ and do we need to track their decision. I understand that if we know about their decision we can help them, disciple them, etc. But, is an altar in 2006 the best way or is life on life the best way. I know the "preaching" process is extremly important and scripture tells us that we need to share the truth in love, but I think many "preachers/teacher's" misuse their gifts and end up manupilating students instead of simply sharing Jesus with them.

    A little history. I have been a youth pastor for 11 years and in that time the part I love the most is teaching/communicating/speaking/preaching or for me, telling kids about Jesus. The first 8 years I was all about the Altar Call, having them come forward, pray the sinners prayer, take them to a back room, give them a bible, have them fill out the card and welcome them into God's family. But, about 3 years ago, I started to re-think, re-evaluate the whole process and especially with young teens. In my short time in ministry I have been asked to be a guest speaker often (Is that a tool alert?) and that gives me opportunities to see how other churches/youth pastors help students make a decision. Just like countless of youth pastors, over the years I saw many students come forward time after time and that was one of the parts I began to think about a lot.

    While I was at my last church we would host an "outreach" event a couple of times a year and it was mandated to me that we needed to have a decision time. And I think at that time in my ministry life, I thought it was necessary as well. So, typically we would have hundreds of kids attend these events (TOOL ALERT..I used numbers, but not specifics, even though I wanted to) and at one point we moved them all together and I would do a fun, laughter filled talk that I hoped would present who Jesus was, how he could change your life and how could they respond to him. Then we would lead them through a prayer and then have them fill out cards with some simple boxes. I think that was sort of affective. The problem was we could never follow up with all these kids, heck we couldn't follow up with all the kids in our ministry, so I just wondered what good it did. I would go home that night and imagine if we had an adult just ready and willing to pour into that students life.

    I mean I have done "altar calls" for years and then something happened, can't explain, I just started getting a little uneven about them. I guess my question is do we need to give students an opportunity to respond and if so, what is most effective way. I know the most effective way is through a relationship, but in large group settings what is the best way?


    Huh, someone left this comment on Marko's blog today about the Jr. high summit:

    "All very interesting. What will come of it? I have to admitt that I am repulsed and attracted by the meeting. It makes me nervous when “power brokers” sit in a room to talk about the future of things. But it is a jr high power team so I am really curious about how your conversations will effect the face of young teen ministry."

    Comment by mike

    Wow, I don't get that at all. He uses the word "power brokers", huh. If anything, time and time again, I heard these words this week: "Our ministry is trying to figure out how to reach students better", "I feel unqualified", "I just pray that God would use a guy like me" and "I am so thankful that God would use me".

    Well, what are ya gonna do?

    I do really love these photo buckets

    These are so cool.

    Summit Group Photo

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    This is a great group of people who are dedicated to loving God, their families and their students. The best part for me was not talking "shop", or discussing the Gospel (which was very intense and I loved it), it wasn't fly fishing (which secretly I wish I would of tried), it was simply just hearing their stories. I am drawn to people who don't have everything together and admit they are just trying to figure out life by the grace of God, and this week was great to hear each of their stories and their journeys.

    I am going to miss Lost tonight

    Last week was so good and I have been dying to find out what will happen tonight. I was hoping to get on an earlier flight, but no avail.

    I will have to get in on itunes tomorrow.

    I don't see this in Detroit very much

    I saw more elk this week than in my entire life and they don't seem to be afraid of anything.

    Last Night was fun

    Last night was a crazy blog night at the Summit. At one point, about 20 of us had our computers open and were blogging.

    It was fun for me because I actually was able to help some friends set up accounts and put site meters on their blogs. Which is funny, because if you know me, you would be shocked because I am not smart with computers.

    Tuesday, May 16, 2006

    I love this

    This is so cool! Some sweet pictures of the Summit.

    ht to Johnny!

    I love Johnny!

    Johnny Scott and I met a few years ago at this very summit and it just so happens that we are bunking together again, how crazy is that? Crazy I tell you.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Alright, I know the photo does not fit. It was either super small or extra large and I choose large and in charge.

    By the Way

    Major props to my good buddy, Jason Shinn for help on the tool list. I forgot to mention that before, oops.

    What a view!

    I am sitting in our meeting room looking outside the window at this amazing view, maybe I should go outside and enjoy it? What is that? Is that a big Elk? I will go outside and find out.

    Embracing Grace

    Scot McKnight is discussing his book, Embracing Grace. I loved the book and this discussion is incredible.

    This discussion on Grace, the Gospel, Sin, Atonement, Cracked Eikons, and Judicial Sin makes me want to pursue my masters quicker than ever.

    I am the only Mac User

    I am officially the only Mac user at this year's summitt. As most PC users were struggling to get online and waiting to power up, I simply opened my computer and was immediately on the web. Nice.

    Monday, May 15, 2006

    "Tool Alert"

    So, I have been working on this for a long time and I am sure it will offend some, but I am ok with that. I am on a crusade of sorts to educate people (youth pastors/workers) on how not to be a Tool. Why? Because I have lived most of my life as a "tool" and that gives me credibility to educate others. So, this is a short snippet of a longer article that I have been working on.

    All right, I may have to go a little old school with my very own definition of a “TOOL”. A “TOOL” is someone who is so consumed with their own personal gain that they refuse to help others across the finish line.

    I asked a team of youth pastor friends to help me collect a group of viable descriptions to further my point on what a tool looks like. NOTE: This list will definitely offend some, but please read them in jest; also, when I use the word “guy”, I am referring to youth workers in general, male and female. I love youth pastors, and I am not trying to offend anyone, just trying to have fun with all of our personalities.

    ...The Different Types of “TOOLs”

    ...The Suck-Up Guy: they’re the person who tells their life story to conference speakers in hopes of impressing them.

    ...The Hard Core Worshipper Guy: you know who you are, you race to the front to be close to Crowder, come on, it’s true, you’re 35 and you sprint to be in front.

    ...The “Neon” Mission Trip Shirt Guy: you make your students wear those lame neon color shirts for your mission trips

    ...The Post Modern Beer Drinker Guy: you have never had a sip of beer until post modernity occurred.

    ...The Five Years Late Guy: you are always a few steps behind and you are still wearing your Newsboys’ Shine T-Shirt.

    ...The Show-Off Guy: wherever you are, you have to be the loudest and most annoying.

    ...The Four Square for Life Guy(s) at NYWC: what is the deal, are you still in Kindergarten? Do you really have to play right in front of the main doors?

    ...The Free Gift Guy: you only attend various youth conferences and similar events to get your fill on free stuff. You are the person filling your bag at conferences, taking some for you, and your pastor, and your wife, and everyone you know. Who needs that many copies of the skit guy’s cd anyways?

    ...The Insincere Guy: you are the person who says it the “way it is” and never speak with grace and love. You routinely say…sucks to be you.

    ...The Numbers Guy: you call other youth pastors and ask how many they are taking to camp. Also, while you are speaking to a new group you say something like…”Last week I was speaking to a thousand kids”. You’re not fooling anybody, you just have to divide your number by 3 and than we’ll know how many you really spoke too.

    ...The Fad Guy: you saw a student with ripped jeans, so you went right to Hollister and bought yourself a pair of $60 ripped jeans, plus you are probably sporting the pink polo with the collar up.

    ...The Toot my own horn Guy: you ever been at lunch with someone who won’t shut up about how awesome they are, yeah that’s you.

    ...The Postmodern Vulgar Guy: you never swore, not one day in your life, but now you do, heck it’s the postmodern thing to do- effen aye cotton, effen aye.

    ...The So Humble, your borderline depression Guy: have you met someone like this, you would remember.

    ...The I’m “Pastor Bob” Guy: please hear me out, no offense here; but you are the person who always refers to yourself as “Pastor”, even when you are talking with another youth pastor. Do I really need to call you Pastor Bob?

    ...The Amen at Every Word Guy: you love this word and you let the world know it, Amen.

    ...The, “Why is this guy speaking” Guy: you think you are better than any communicator you hear, and you make sure you tell others.

    ...The "Please Others at every attempt" guy: This is my story.

    Lots more to come.

    Marko doesn't get it

    So, Marko doesn't, let me repeat that, Marko does not appreciate my...Jedi/Ninja/Wrong usage of words. He has already corrected me and now he just made fun of my blog because of my random sentance structure. Oh well, maybe someday.

    What a Day!

    I am here in beautiful Estes Park, CO and I do have to say it is beautiful. Now, I am not....Let me repeat that...I AM NOT a nature guy, but I can sure admire the beauty of this place. It's crazy to see Elk everywhere and to watch everybody fly fish.

    The first day at the Jr. High Pastor's Summit has gone really well. This morning we started with introductions and life updates and got through about half of the group. I was picked to share this morning and I just simply shared that this last year has been tough, probably the toughest of my life.

    We had the afternoon off and as most hiked, fished, went into town...I took a nap. It was the king of all naps I do have to say.

    On an interesting note, I ended up bunking with Johnny Scott. We shared a room together a few years ago and this year we ended up picking the same room. Huh.

    Sunday, May 14, 2006

    Just got to Denver

    I seriously almost missed my flight out of Detroit. I was the last one on the plane and they started shutting the doors. I have never had it that close. Well, I am here and I already miss my kids and my wonderful wife. I know, I am a wuss. Now it's up to the mountains I go.

    On a side note: I feel very bad for not being home on Mothers Day! I was home this morning and the kids and I gave Tracie her gift, a Target gift card. Before you get all, "that's a horrible gift", know this. Tracie never buys anything for herself, NEVER. So, we got her a gift and we are forcing her to buy stuff for herself.

    What...Lost is SO GOOD

    Tracie and I love Lost, ALOT! The last 3 months have been great and the last episode was a dusy.

    But, I can't believe Anna is dead. On a side note, I saw her on Jay Leno the other night and I wish she was more like her character.

    But, it Michael one of them? Well see I guess.

    Crazy Story

    How awesome is this? I had a Treo 600 and I loved it! My very good friend Dave Kurt got it donated and it has been a huge blessing. Well, two days ago it died. I took it in to the Sprint store and

    they gave me a FREE UPGRADE...A Treo 650! How about that? What the heck, how awesome is that. What a blessing. Anyways, if I could just get the darn thing to sync with my mac all would be great. I have downloaded missing sync but I don't think you need Hot sync as well, so I took off all the Palm software from my computer and I still can't get it to sync. Bummer. I will keep working it.

    I love this Picture of Zach

    This guy can hit

    One of our family night time activities is playing a little baseball in the front yard and boy can my kids hit. We were playing the other night and I always have the kids growl before I pitch, long story. Well, Bobby hit a line shot right back at me and into my gut. It hurt like heck and it was awesome.

    ...Now starting at Short stop for the Detroit Tigers, Bobby Raitz.

    Friday, May 12, 2006

    DaVinci Code

    I don't know why, but I have been listening to a local Catholic radio station on my way to work recently. Anyways, I was listening this morning and they are stinkin MAD about the DaVinci Code. They are calling catholics to boycott the movie and book, send letters yelling at Hollywood, throw away all their Tom Hanks dvd's and refuse to watch Ronnie Howard flicks. Crazy.

    I almost did...but chickened out

    Last night I almost opened up with a couple "Ladies Man" jokes, but I chickened out. I thought it would be funny, but I didn't want an unruly crowd chasing me.

    Thursday, May 11, 2006

    300 Ladies and Bowls of Meatballs

    Tonight I had the honor of speaking at the Mother/Daughter Banquet for Shiloh Community Church's in Belding, MI.

    Shiloh is a pretty good size church in the middle of nowhere. There were 300 ladies, ages 8-80 and lots of meatballs at dinner. My very good friend Tom, the same guy who sent me that great leadership article by Dee Hock, is the youth pastor there. He's been there around 8 months and just loves it. He's doing a great job and he told his church staff about my speaking ministry and they asked me to come. It was a blast! I will tell you that.

    Last week, I got the chance to speak at a Jr. high lock-in with 400 jr. high kids and loved it. This week's crowd was so completely different it was wild. I think it was the first time I spoke to that many women at one time. The Jr. high crowd is my sweet spot, so I knew this was going to be fun. I spoke for 45 minutes and it went well. I would give it a B+.

    Tom had a really nice comment for me, he said it was wild to see woman ages 8-80 all connected and engaged with the talk. That was cool.

    The one thing I really need to learn is something my speaking Hero does really well. Oh, my speaking hero, Ken Davis. He just connects immediately in such an intimate way. I think I am learning. I think it just takes time.

    All in all, it was a blast. They really laughed at my "Who Loves Baby" story and my "Broken Toilet" story.

    On a personal note...I don't mean to throw around numbers like a tool.

    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    What the Ham and Eggs

    So, for some reason I cannot get the link to work for the leadership article.

    If your interested in it, go to this link and look up The Art of Chaordic Leadership by Dee Hock.

  • Leader to Leader
  • Interesting Leadership Article

    My buddy Tom sent me an awesome Leadership article.

    Check it out
  • Leadership Article

  • Check out his blog
  • Tom Rundel

  • The article will really play around you, so be careful before you read it. Here's the gist:

    As a Leader, this is where you should spend your time

    50% of your time Managing your Self
    25% of your time Managing your Superiors
    20% of your time Managing your Peers
    5% of your time Managing the People under you.

    Huh, was my first thought and Really? was my second thought.

    Then it really started to make sense to me. I have been in ministry for 11 years. 11 years are as a full time youth pastor/non-profit director/speaker. The one thing that I have consistently sucked at is taking care of myself. It's true. For years, I just ran at crazy paces. I ran this fast so I could lead as many kids to Christ as possible, so we could have the biggest youth group, have the biggest & best events, encourage as many youth pastors as possible and speak everywhere I possibly could and reach/love/encourage as many as possible. I had a heck of a time saying "no".

    That's why this leadership article makes sense to me. Or it's because I can't run at the pace I did when I was 20 or 25 or even 28. For me, when I hit 30, wild things started happening. I know I am still super young, but I am making a huge effort to take care of my self and my family more than ever.

    Monday, May 08, 2006

    Raitz House Project List

    Completed so Far:

    Floors: Sanded Living Room, Dining Room, Hallway. Ripped up carpeting in hallway. Stained floors, 3 coats of varnish.

    Painted: Living Room, 50% done in dining room, Boys Room.

    Black Mold: Cleaned it up in my boys room. Ripped out the shower and durock, replaced. Killed that darn mold!

    Still lots to go. My poor kids. We put all the toys in Bekah's room, so I could work on the boys room, poor kids.

    5 days, just 5 days

    In five days I get the honor of attending the Jr high Pastors Summit in Estes Park, CO. I got an invite the last two years and I have been looking forward to this for a couple of months now. I have to admit, I was majorly intimidated the first year I attended. Wow, did I feel out of place, big time. But it ended up being an incredible experience and I learned a ton. Like, at the time I was about to go to 3 weekend services for our Jr. high and I got to spend 2 days talking to guys/gals who had already been doing the multiple service format, very helpful.

    Plus, the last two years it was held in San Diego, CA, one of my favorite places on planet earth. A few years ago I got a phone call from a church in San Diego that wanted me to be their Jr. high pastor, that was tough to say no.

    At last year's Summit Chap Clark presented and it was awesome! He had just written HURT and he spent all day teaching us.

    So, this year's is in Estes Park, CO, which is stinkin beautiful I hear, but I am bummed it's not in San Diego.

    Better yet, someone donated my airfare, what a Huge Blessing!

    Then, it gets better. After the Summit, I am going to spend some time at Group in Loveland, CO.

    I tried to see if Greg Stier, from Dare 2 Share, had some time to hang out, but he's on vacation with his family, bummer.

    One of my favorite Blogs

    This is one of my favorite is in the Top Ten.

  • Tony Morgan
  • Saturday, May 06, 2006

    Just Got Back

    So, I am beat! I just got back and I am going to head to bed. Bottom line, it went great. Will post about it tomorrow.

    But, I saw a truly amazing thing tonight. The Sr. Pastor was there! Yes, you read that right, the Sr. Pastor of the church was there and he is a 6th grade small group leader.

    WHAT the @##$. Have you ever heard of such a thing? How incredibly awesome. It was cool talking with him.

    Friday, May 05, 2006

    Lock-In Tonight

    Well, I am just about ready to leave for a Lock-In. Yes that's right, a Lock-In. I get to speak to about 350 jr. high there anything better than that? I don't think so, should be a lot of fun.

    My talk goes something like this:

    People May Hurt You, Life May Hurt Love, But God Loves You.

    That's it, pretty simple with a lot of hopefully funny stories. I say hopefully, because it's always a fun ride laughing with jr. high students. My goal is to get them laughing, so hopefully they will listen and then learn. We'll see.

    I might pull out the White Gorilla story, maybe El Pepe and most definitely the Sweedish Goat story.

    The coolest part is that one of my former Jr. high kids is in the band that's playing, how cool is that.

    Well, gotta go.

    Thursday, May 04, 2006

    Great Conversation with

    Pat Williams the other day. Pat is the Jr. high pastor at Faith Lutheran in Troy, MI and I really loved getting a chance to talk ministry with him. I love getting together with youth pastors and this is one I always look forward to.

    Check out his blog.

  • Pat Williams
  • Pretty quit Blog week cuz...

    That's because we found Black Mold in our house, yes that's right, Black Mold. Let me back up.

    Our middle son, Bobby, has been complaining for months about headaches and he has been taking naps all the time. We have had in for some testing and they have found out so far that his allergies are double what they should be, but they still couldn't figure out the headaches and tiredness.

    Here are some of my favorite bobby pictures.

    So, I decide to finally refinish our hard floors last Friday. I call up my buddy Chad and he heads over and we start sanding. We get done around 2am and then we put down the first coat of varnish, we finally get done at 4am. Crazy. All of this has to be done. It will help us keep our house cleaner for Bobby's allergies. I spend all day Saturday finishing and then at 11pm I finish and head to bed. In between coats on Saturday, I decide to rip up Bobby's carpeting. A long time ago we bought hard wood flooring to lay down in his room, again to help with his allergies. Well, as I ripped up the carpeting, I find a ton of black mold. It gets worse, I find the mold directly underneath his bed.

    Well, I definitely get the award for "worse feeling dad". I felt awful! These last 8 months he has been complaining of headaches and he has complained alot about laying in his bed.

    So, it gets better. On Sunday I was speaking at church for both services and then I had Elevate that night. So, a weekend of no sleep and a ton of projects at home to be completed.

    It keeps getting better. Chad traces our black mold to a monster leak in the shower, so you got it, we had to rip out the shower and get the rest of the mold. So then Chad totally blesses us and helps us get our shower back in order.

    What a stinkin crazy week. Add a couple of minor family emergencies, and our house tore a part.

    But, at least we found the mold and took care of it.

    Two definitions I love

    I love these definitions, the best I think.

    Patience: The capacity to be wronged and not retaliate.

    Let me just say this...I don't think it's possible. It's so hard not to strike back when we are wronged..But, part of Love, according to 1 Cor. 13 is to be patient. So, we need to do everything possible to hold it back. The greek definition of patience is...takes a long time to boil. That's a great mental image for me.

    Faith: The quality which gives us mastery over life's difficulties.

    Love Him

    Dont' know how else I can say it, I love my brother. I know, really sappy moment. But, he's one of my best friends and has ALWAYS been there for me. He's probably the smartest guy I know and could run circles around most youth pastors I know, if he wanted to be a youth pastor. Of all the people I have worked with in student ministry, he would be a number one draft pick, if there was a draft in youth ministry.

    Now isn't that a great idea, a draft. Youth pastors and interns, it could be fun. Marko could do the selections, I am on to something here.

    Wednesday, May 03, 2006

    Check this Out...

    Alright, the debate is on. Check it out

  • Youth Ministry Exchange
  • Monday, May 01, 2006


    So, I really hate death, not going to lie, I do. I know everyone has to deal with it, but that doesn't make it any easier. I found out this week that a former student of mine, who is about to graduate from Taylor University, had a couple of friends (from Taylor) die in a car accident and then a friend from Kansas had his best friend die in a car accident. Man, tough week.

    I sort of relate because 10 years ago my grandma, an aunt and a cousin died in a car accident. Man, that was a pretty crappy time.

    So, this post is really meaningless, but I guess I wanted to say that I hate death. Well, let me think about that. I guess I am saying I hate tragic death. Because I am not afraid to die and I look forward to heaven everyday and I can't wait. But, dealing with death, while here on earth is tough. Maybe that's what I am trying to say.