Books I Read in 2014

  1. 7 Ways to Be Her Hero by Doug Fields
  2. 99 Thoughts on Jesus-Centered Living by Rick Lawrence (Read as a family)
  3. After You Believe by N.T. Wright
  4. All My Road Before Me: The Diary of C.S. Lewis
  5. An Honest Look at a Mysterious Journey by John and Joanna Stumbo
  6. Bold Parents, Positive Teens by Karen Dockrey
  7. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  8. Compassion by Henri Nouwen, Donald P. Mcneill and Douglas A. Morrison
  9. Creating An Intimate Marriage by Jim Burns
  10. Culture of Honor by Danny Silk
  11. Edgar Allen Poe’s Complete Poetical Works
  12. Everyday I Pray for My Teenager by Eastman Curtis
  13. Francis and Edith Schaeffer
  14. God Space by Doug Pollock
  15. Holiness, Truth and the Presence of God by Francis Frangipane
  16. How to Hit a Curve Ball, Grill the Perfect Steak, and Become a Real Man by Stephen James and David Thomas
  17. How to Introduce Your Jewish Friends to the Messiah by Chosen People Ministries
  18. It’s Friday But Sunday’s Comin’ by Tony Campolo
  19. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  20. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  21. People Raising by William P. Dillon
  22. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
  23. Poems by Emily Dickenson, Series 2
  24. Prone to Love by Jason Clark
  25. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  26. Running With The Giants by John Maxwell
  27. She Said Yes by Misty Bernall
  28. Simply Jesus by N.T. Wright
  29. Sticky Teams by Larry Osborne
  30. Stories That Feed Your Soul by Tony Campolo
  31. The Beer Drinker’s Guide to God by William B. Miller
  32. The Case for Faith for Kids by Lee Strobel (Read with my daughter)
  33. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  34. The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
  35. The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkein
  36. The Will to Climb by Ed Viesturs
  37. Vertical Leap by Bill Rieser
  38. Why Nobody Goes to Church Anymore by Thom and Joani Schultz
  39. Youth Ministry in a Multifaith Society by Len Kageler
  40. Youth Ministry in a Post-Christian World by Brock Morgan

Revelation: Jesus is the Alpha and Omega

“You Were Once A Sperm”

cartoon-sperm-smiling-illustration-open-mouth-smile-44597421OK, I am reading a great little book by Tony Campolo called Stories That Feed Your Soul. You should get it. Yesterday I shared one of his stories. Today, I must share just one more. Then, you’re on your own to get the book. So good! Be encouraged today.

“When speaking to young people, I always enjoy telling them, ‘Do you realize you were once a sperm? That’s right. You were once a sperm, and you were one of five million sperm all together in a group. Do you remember? All of you lined up at the starting line and at the end of a long, long tunnel, there was one egg. There was a race, and you won! Stop to think about that. The odds were five million to one and you came through. Your victory makes an Olympic gold medal look like nothing by comparison! You came through! You’re a winner! You are here by divine appointment. You are no accident. Think about that. If your mother had had a headache that night, you wouldn’t even exist. You are a very special person!

– Tony Campolo

“Living the Life is NOT Enough”

“Every once in a while, I meet someone who says something like, ‘I don’t think you have to go around telling people about Jesus. I think all you have to do is live the life that Jesus wants you to live so others can see that life and want to become Christians themselves. That’s what I do.’

“What arrogance! Stop and think about it. These persons are saying, ‘I don’t have to explain Jesus to anybody. I am so righteous that all I have to do is let people take a good look at me and they will fall over converted.

“I don’t know about you, but there are enough flaws and  shortcomings in my life for me not to want people to look too closely lest they be disillusioned in a big way. I don’t preach myself; I preach Christ. I do not hold myself up; I hold Him up. I have to tell people about Jesus because only He embodies the goodness that is worthy of emulation. All the rest of us fall short of the glory of God. It is through hearing the gospel story that others gain the opportunity to enter into a transforming relationship with God – and transformed people are the instruments of love and justice who can transform the world (see Romans 10:15).”

– Tony Campolo

Jones Beach Christmas Light Spectacular

Tonight after Natalia’s Winter Chorus Concert I surprised the family and took them to the Jones Beach Holiday Light Spectacular. We had a very nice, enjoyable time together! Well worth the trip!

If You Could Thank A Youth Worker …

thank you noteToday I heard the two sweetest words a youth worker can hear: “Thank you!” I am always trying to say these words to my awesome youth ministry team. There is tremendous power in these words, and I know our youth workers don’t hear them enough.

I am compiling a list of things people are thankful to youth workers for. Would you mind posting a Comment? Please complete the following sentence:

Dear Youth Worker, Thank you for …

Share Your Story: At What Point Did Your Faith Become Your Own?

I am currently reading a book by Len Kageler in which he mentioned a question he often asks his students. I thought it was an interesting question, and I would love to hear your responses to it.

At what point did your faith become your own? That is, do you see your Christian faith as a carryover of what your parents told you, or has there been a point when you realized it is now your faith, not theirs. Be honest. Tell me your story.


Men’s Retreat Without Leaving the House

0849920566This weekend I went on a much-needed Men’s Retreat. But here’s the ticker … I didn’t leave the house. That’s exactly how I felt as I read Doug Fields’ new book 7 Ways to Be Her Hero. I could just picture myself sitting in a lodge at a retreat center hearing him speak, and I could virtually hear Doug’s voice and feel his passion for marriage as I read. The book was so conversational and practical, and I thoroughly enjoyed being challenged afresh to, as Doug says, “not suck as a husband.” I would highly recommend this book to any and every man. If you’re married, this book is a must-read, whether you think you’re an awesome husband (most likely a good sign that you’re not), know you’re not, or are somewhere in the middle (the majority of married dudes). If you are engaged, I would say this book is also a must-read. Get ahead of the game in understanding your calling as a husband before you enter your marriage. Why wait until you “suck” as a husband before reading it. Do some preventative maintenance so you can never be known as a “sucky” husband. Be the man God has called you to be and the man your wife needs you to be; be her hero!