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5 Inspired Lessons for Today's Youth Pastors

We live in a time when the church is radically changing, a reality no more evident than among today’s youth. Yet, while the challenge may seem intimidating, when we, as youth pastors, seek to better understand the times, we can discover powerful truth and application.
Granted, it’d take a year and a day to unpack them all so for now, let’s focus on five inspired lessons for today’s youth pastor… 1) Understand the boundaries of social media It’s no secret today’s youth live and die by social media. Perhaps you’ve noticed more of your youth defining their identity by how many Facebook likes, selfie comments, or Instagram followers they have.
Regardless, it’s critical we, as Generation Z youth leaders, understand the social impacts of modern technology and how we can use social media not only in reaching the next generation, but teaching them boundaries through the question: “How can we better point people in the direction of God’s love?”  
As we’ll soon find, not only will this encourage our…

3 Ways to Overcome a Fear of Rejection

No doubt, we all burn to belong. Makes sense…considering we were made for relationship…to put on love and commune in harmony (Romans 12:16; 1 Corinthians 1:10, Colossians 3:14). 
But let’s be honest…such desires aren’t always realized, are they. 
Relocations…busyness…life changes…even the walls we put up…cycle through as hindrances interfering with our need to find unity in community. 
Yet, perhaps the greatest obstacle we face when we talk about healthy relationships is the fear of rejection.
Now, I admit: I’m still progressing through my own set of relational insecurities. But while I may have much to learn, I’ve also grown a great deal having persevered through idolatrous pursuits of acceptance in my early 20's, in addition to recent challenges as a bivocational minister. So when I say a fear of rejection is one of the most paralyzing strongholds, you can take my word to the bank. As far as dealing with this fear type, you’ve probably heard much on the topic already. 
Yet, for bivoc…

Gettin' Iggy With It: Why 'Savior' Is a Wake Up Call

So this may sound weird, but I think my biggest non-football related takeaway from Super Bowl Sunday was Iggy Azalea’s new debut, ‘Savior’, thrumming throughout the new Monster commercial.
I know for many of us, when I say ‘Iggy’, the explicit I-tunes icon immediately pops up (which for the record…doesn’t apply in this case); however, while the song’s actual message is up for debate, dare to consider Quavo’s chorus which three times reiterates…
…I’ve been looking for a savior (featuring "someone to hold on to" at the end of line 3 and ‘…to save me’ on line 4).
Now, I know there’s a good chance Iggy is pulling the whole ‘woman not needing a man for identity and worth’ theme (which shout-out to Nick Young…you may play for the Warriors, but bro…you owe this girl an apology. Be a playa on the court, not off of it. Ya mean?).
Sorry, Bill Simmons, NBA geek fan moment there…
But seriously, I couldn’t help but resonate to this heart cry from a witness perspective.
Sure, what we, as believ…

Rethinking Authority: Part 1

No question, many of us have a bittersweet relationship with [our idea of] “authority”. We know it’s essential, we know it’s relevant…but we chafe when it comes to being under it¹.

Perhaps you’ve wondered why “authority” rubs people the wrong way and creates quivers among the masses…

If that’s you, then you’re in the right place.

‘Cause whether you’re in authority and suspect the authenticity of your subordinates…or are under it and think the term is nothing more than a means for manipulation/a code word for power, addressing the issue of ‘what to do when you question authority’ is key.

With that said, here are a couple practical ways to rightfully deal with authority (as supported by Scripture):

1) Pray. As cliché as it may sound, voicing supplication is not so much a ‘good idea’, as it is a Kingdom mandate (or as I call…an "appointed opportunity") for us to engage. Take 1 Timothy 2:1-3 for instance. In this passage, Paul is urging his younger colleague to intercede for al…

The Path Less Traveled

On starry night in mid-July, I near a path less traveled by Two roads converged; I pause to ponder, breathing dusk in hope to wonder Where this goes…who really knowsto where it flows or where it slows But a path so lit, a sky legit…how can I not be up for it? And so it starts on foreign route, a journey lighting year’s commute A vane in motion once imposing, now a door in rapid closing
On cherished faces, all those places…counting down amid the paces

Where ‘tween a few along the trace, a tear comes streaming down my face Because I know the time is now; in stride I ride, in heart I bow To think about all I adore…and all the things I’m thankful for And all the reasons I am blessed even when my faith is pressed As for this day, I’m glad in it; for days to come, my hope is fit Yet for this road, who really knows bar the step out from the shadows Where from there forth I carry on, content with what is here and gone And so, my friends, be grateful still for what you have, what was, what will These days…

Passion Punch: 9 Truths for 9 Fruits (Part 1)

For those who follow me on His Girl Fryday, you know for the past few months, Lys and I have been leading a ‘Fruits in Fullness’ youth discipleship series, diving off Galatians 5 into the depths of Ephesians 3...and with two fruits to go, we figured we'd start looking back at the best of each session and re-examine each fruit in their wholeness... ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fullness of Joy
When we talk about joy, it’s important we grasp its contrast to happiness. I know when I was a kid, there were many times I'd encounter a burst of positivity assuming it to be joy (long term happiness) when in actuality I was experiencing a form of happiness (short term joy).
Not to suggest happiness is a bad thing. After all, if contentment is frequent in your life, clearly you’re doing something right. At the same time, it’s worth noting the biggest difference between joy and happiness …

Flash Weather: 2017-18 Winter Weather Forecast

Well, folks. We’re one week past the autumnal equinox…and I think we all know what that means…

…break out the fall décor, have yourself a very merry pumpkin-space latte, and check Cameron’s blog for yet another preliminary winter weather forecast.
Now, I’m not gonna lie: my forecastlast year busted badly due, in part, to a screaming Pacific jet and lingering 2015-16 Super El Niño side effects. If you recall, outside of a few days in January and March, we absolutely blowtorched from December 23 through the end of March with top 5 positive temp anomalies for the stretch.

Just look at how nasty these CF6's look...

While it’s hard to imagine a worse winter this season, given the nature of winters since 2011, it’s only fair to wonder what to expect in the months ahead, specifically between Thanksgiving and the start of spring 2018.
Thus, as I always do this wonderful time of year, I present you my preliminary teleconnection grades for the winter ahead... ------------------------------…

3 Ways to Better Love Your Enemies

Here’s a riddle for you: What’s something everyone has, is the evidence of having stood up for something…yet also the byproduct of brokenness?

Give up? The answer…our enemies.

You know those people who curse you yet you’re supposed to bless…who hate you yet you’re supposed to love…

In many ways, we love to hate our enemies…to exact sweet revenge without the calories. But what if I told you while revenge is sweet, forgiveness is sweeter? What if I told you while enemies hurt, not loving them hurts even more?

Whatever the case, wherever you find yourself…if you want to better love your enemies, here are three truths to remember…

1. Understand who they are

When it comes to our enemies, it’s easy to hide behind the labels we place on them. Seriously, how many of you at one point had a sinking relationship you wanted to write off? Like mileage on taxes…or interest on a mortgage?

Granted, enemies come in many forms and yield to subjective definitions; still, if you’re like me, then chances are you…