I’m Running For a Change … YOU Can Help!

TeamWV14The training has begun!

On March 22nd I am running a half-marathon with Team World Vision to help change lives in Africa. The needs are great, but I believe there is something we can do!

$50 provides clean water for 1 person. Our church has a team running, and our goal as a team is to raise $100,000! My personal goal is to raise at least $1,310 ($100 for each mile I am running).

Please visit my personal Team World Vision webpage to make a tax-deductible donation.

Creating Memories: Seeing History at the Garden

Tonight, thanks to a friend donating some tickets, I was able to take one of our students and one of my youth staffers to the Knicks game. Andrew and I arrived early, so we grabbed some slices of pizza, then went up to Times Square and walked around a bit. We then went to the game and got to witness history. Carmelo Anthony was unconscious! He had 37 points in the first half, including a half-court shot at the buzzer. We knew we were seeing something amazing. He ended up scoring 62 points, breaking the Knicks record of 60 points set by Bernard King in 1984, and the Madison Square Garden record of 61 set by Kobe Bryant in 2009. The Knicks were up big, and he was pulled from the game with 8 minutes to go, otherwise he would have probably scored 75. I love that I got to be there to see it live, but I love that I got to share the experience with a student and emerging youth leader even more. #YouthMinistry

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When Sorry Isn’t Enough … A Book Review

WhenSorryIsntEnough_1Ever have conflicts or disagreements? Ever been hurt or felt misunderstood? Do you feel burdened by bitterness over wrongs and injustices that have happened to you? You’re not alone. We all deal with feelings of hurt and betrayal, whether that which caused those feelings was done intentionally or unintentionally. And there’s only one thing that can set us free: forgiveness.

Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages, and Jennifer Thomas have teamed up to release When Sorry Isn’t Enough, a revised and updated edition of The Five Languages of Apology. In the book they put forth five ways to make things right with people. Each approach is captured by a phrase that communicates apology in a unique way. Some people long to hear the words, “I’m sorry.” Others want to hear you admit you were wrong. Others want you to find a way to right your wrong through your actions. Others want to hear you say you want to change. Still others want to hear you ask for forgiveness.

As with The 5 Love Languages, each person has a primary way they communicate apology, and a way they desire to receive an apology. Apologies offered in a way (a language) that is foreign to the person receiving the apology is ineffective. We must learn the apology language of the person we are apologizing to in order to be effective in righting wrongs and restoring relationships. Forgiveness is the key to experiencing personal freedom as well as healing in relationships.

In the book Chapman and Thomas work through the how-tos of apologizing in each language. They also discuss the importance and the approach to apologizing when you don’t feel the need to, or don’t want to do so.

One area of forgiveness that is popular today is the idea of forgiving yourself, which Chapman and Thomas suggest in the book. I understand the logic of it philosophically and psychologically (if I can beat myself up and blame myself for things, why should I not also exercise self-forgiveness?), but I really struggle with the concept theologically as I personally can find no real precedent or biblical basis for it in practice. My understanding is that the Bible doesn’t call us to self-forgiveness, but rather accepting the forgiveness offered to us in Christ. An interesting dilemma perhaps they will address at some point.

Overall the book was most excellent, very informative, and really challenged my approach to the necessary practice of apology.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Youth Leader Appreciation Video

Here’s a little video we put together to say thank you to all of the youth workers out there. Know that what you do to invest in students is worth it.