Showing posts from January, 2017

My 2016 Reading List

I love the quote from George R.R. Martin in his book A Dance with Dragons . One of the characters says, "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." Someone else once told me that reading is an act of love. While reading we are listening to one man or woman's story, thoughts, perspectives, hopes, dreams, fears, ideas, and anecdotes for hours on end. We let them have the floor. Theirs is the only voice we hear. And we don't talk back. (Well, some of us do talk back to our books...just be careful doing that in public.) We surrender our right to be heard in order to truly listen to the other. We give them our full mental capacity and concentration. Many of us even experience the real world grow more distant as we follow the author into the world inside their head. It breaks my heart to hear about people who never read. We've probably all seen the statistics. A very large percentage of the adult population never reads a b

NCYM | For Status or From Significance

The National Conference on Youth Ministries got underway today in Daytona Beach, FL. The theme this year is "CREATE." Youth ministry should be inherently creative. More than some other ministries, we have creative freedom to reach as many teenagers as possible. I'm looking forward to what the week has to offer. As we got started, Luke Norsworthy of the Westover Church of Christ presented the opening keynote. To be honest, his message was a punch to the gut. I'm one of those people who feels the need to achieve my goals, to appear successful, to impress others with my skills and knowledge. When things go wrong or when people don't respond how I think they should, I take it very personally. Luke challenged us to minister out of our own God-given significance. It's not a pursuit of status. We already have  status. We are children of God. God loves us and is pleased with us before we ever do anything to deserve it. He pointed us to the baptism of Jesus. Duri