When I was in high school I loved Shawn Kemp for his basketball skills and for his commitment to only endorse snakers that were under $100. Then I loved Shaq for his bball skills and for his commitment to offer Starter brand (a subsidery of Nike) kicks for under $30 at Payless. Now, I have fallen in love again. This time it is with Stephon Marbury. While I still struggle to understand his move out of Minnesota where he was teamed with KG21 (other than the snow), Starbury has now put out a line of shoes and clothing that are all priced at a little under $15. Stephon does not have to be doing this – he could have a big old shoe deal (of course, he may need to get out of the Knicks locker room to make that a reality…lol). Here’s his quote:

“It costs less than $14.98 to make a $150 shoe. That’s not what people are being told. We are allowing kids to become more edu­cated. Through this world of trying to live an exclusive life, kids are being lost in translation. Kids are not allowing themselves to see the big picture. And the bib picture is not having a $200 pair of sneakers when your mother’s income is $15,000 to $20,000.”

I’ve looked, but I can’t seem to be able to purchase them online. Looks like a trip to a washington mall is in order…

I hope that his shoe line does fabulous and becomes a move that forces the big three (nike, reebok, addidas) to acknowledge the cause and effect relationship that they are a part of that is detremental (sp?) to youth culture.

ps. as a side note, I wonder what a guy like Shane Claiborne does with something like this. Surely these shoes were made with cheap labour, but does making them affordable for the poor carry some weight?



Catching my son’s puke in my hand is one of the specialist moments in my life. My son has taught me more about God and Jesus than most of you who read this ever will – most likely because God chose to reveal Himself to us in a Father/Son/Spirit trichotomy (prolly not even a word). So, being a father teaches me about the Father.

A prayer for today…

God, thanks for catching my puke in your hand.
thanks for wiping my chin and giving me juice.
thanks forlaying next to me while i sleep.
thanks for taking me out and treating me well and carrying me when i am tired of walking.
thanks for loving my son.


I love learning new things. Yesterday I learned that when people call me a relativist (unjustly for sure) I can counter by asking them about their addiction to absolutism. By then, the conversation will be over. Sometimes I make short posts that say very little, but say it so dangerously….


Adamic perfection does not imply a lack of imperfection. At the very least we must admit that there was relational lacking in the pre-fall garden. Adam was alone and it was not good. Adam was perfect in a holistic manner; not in a individuated manner.

PESM 2.3

I finished the emerging church book by Gibbs and Bolger last night at dinner. Then went through 30 minutes of the biographies at the end. One said that when he went to Seminary he learned that it is not a place to develop and grow imaginatively theologically; rather it is a place to reinforce already held belief systems. hmm.

Day 2 – Friday, sunny but windy

NYWC – Day 2 – Friday –

10-1130am – Heather bailed on her “leading students in worship” course because it really had nothing to do with leading youth – it was just worship leading in a general sense. For us, it was the biggest disappointment of the entire convention. Won’t go into it too much, but it wasn’t worth it – and joined me for Dan Kimball’s seminar on changing youth group kids into youth missionaries. I already agree with Dan, but wanted to sit under his humble, wise teaching. Here are my gleanings:

Ø What is the role of missions trips in youth ministry? What is the next step?
Ø 1 Chronicles 12:32
Ø Judges 2:10
Ø Citizens of the Bubble vs. Citizens of the Kingdom
Ø The American Idolzation of the Church: we evaluate the services instead of praise God for encounters
Ø Bono’s quote: “Christians are hard to tolerate. I don’t know how Jesus does it.”
Ø Dan’s story of telling the girl at the gym his vocation as a pastor and tripped up reaction
Ø A question that I continued to struggle with is how to address when students are saying, “That other church over there does this – I want to go there.”

I think this comes from the cultural church shopping consumerist paradigm, but I am struggling with how to turn students from consumers to missionaries and this seminar was a huge help. Dan has powerpoints available from the Vintage Faith site. It’s not there yet, but he said it would be. I’d look after the last conventions are over.

11am-1pm – lunch at ihop. Eating anywhere with Jeremy is so much fun.

1-330pm – we rolled into General Session 1 late and ended up sitting up pretty high. Crowder led worship though and I was pretty overwhelmed during the song, “You Are My Joy” – if you know me, it wasn’t crying, it was overwhelmed. I am so glad that God is my joy – and not anything else. Then Kendall Payne sang – she’s awesome, every girl who follows Jesus ought to buy her albums – Khobi will definitely own Kendall Payne and Pink albums. Then Kenda Creasy-Dean spoke. I was pretty cranked for her teaching because of my appreciation for her books. Here’s what I gleaned in her message:

Ø An original idea of mine: BURST – an evangelism movement focused on getting out/popping the bubble mentality…needs more thought, maybe a good book title
Ø Doing theology sideways
Ø Presbycusus: inability to hear certain frequencies
Ø 1 Samuel 3:1 – while, today…80% of people don’t feel the presence of God in worship, 50% have had no connection with God in their worship service in the past year, 75% think worship is for us and not for God. The theological implications of that thought line is very dangerous.
Ø St. Benedict: “Go often reveals what is better to the younger” – he often included the youngest monks in the most important monastery decisions
Ø Eli’s ministry had become an embarrassment to God – He chose Sam to tell him that, yet Sam needed Eli to discern God’s voice.
Ø Leadership knowledge: 10% school, 20% other people, 70% past failures. So if you are always successful, you are 70% bad leader…addendum added by me.
Ø Nothing but Nets – stopping malaria worldwide

4-5:30pm – Seminars. I first dropped by Dan Kimball’s “The Importance of Theology in youth ministry” The hand out seemed like some rehashing of his thinking from the NPC that I was at in San Diego last February. So I nabbed the handout and bailed. I ended up in Tony Jones’ seminar on adolescent neurological development and recent developments in research therein. I always appreciate Tony and his deep thinking influence on youth ministry. Here’s my gleanings:

Ø Spoke of Erikson being the prophet of adolescence and his thoughts on moratorium. I think that, if Erikson has any validity, that moratorium in decreasingly available to adolescents today – which contributes to the abandonment dysfunction that is rampant in western adolescents.
Ø Carol Gilligan as a critique of Erikson (because all of Erikson’s research was done on males) and her book “In another voice” – which purports that girls are beings in relation.
Ø Another author was Emmanuel Levanis who wrote on a relational ontology. We are who because we exist in relationship. I need to read this in order to further form my thoughts on the necessity of the Trinity for the very existence of God.
Ø A woman’s brain is more active during sleep than a man’s brain is while watching tv. Think about that next time you change the channel.
Ø Jones mentioned a Columbia (Colorado?) University study that showed that kids learn better from teachers of their own gender. Right away I think of our church’s children’s ministry and it’s staffing of near 100% women. Is it any wonder that the percentage of mature Christians and the percentage of church attendees and the very percentage of Christians in our culture is a majority of females? How can we complain of the spirituality of males when we do not have males teaching children in our churches?
Ø Jones brought up “Harwired to Connect” – a new study from medical doctors and such that is finding that the mental and behavioral health of American children is deteriorating because, as a society, we have failed to recognize broad societal environmental problems because of a lack of interpersonal connections.
Ø Neurologically the brain stops forming around the ages of 15-16, I think that, if this is true, then there should be a major split/change in paradigm in youth ministry around the age of 15/16. I will email Tony about this.
Ø Jones had some further points that were really detailed and involved the prefrontal cortex. If interested, he offered to email the powerpoint to people who were interested. You can find his email on his blog.

4-730pm – skipped dinner, hung out, watched Jeremy and Aaron sneak in a side door to the general session. Met Marko when he asked me if I was the high school guy that belonged to this middle school guy, pointing at Jeremy. It was hilarious. Watched Jeremy sneak backstage looking for Crowder. Man.

7:30pm – sat in the front row for general session. Family Force 5 preformed. Dang they are a wicked live set band. Totally great – deny categorization. Then Crowder led worship – again really great. I have to youtube some of the video we got of “I saw the Light”. Then Effrem Smith spoke. Really great. Gleanings:

Ø Colossians 3:1ff – What do you love most? Is my loving watching kids grow a dangerous idol?
Ø Matthew 9:35
Ø Matthew 1 – Jesus was an Iraqi – Abraham was from Ur in Genesis 11
Ø O.I. = God wants to love the hell out of you.

Also if you want to laugh go buy Steve Case’s “A to Z” Guide to Youth Ministry and look under F.


10:15pm – went to the future of youth ministry forum with Lacy. It wasn’t that fantastic. Alright host though. Young youth pastors with a lot of zeal, no experience, lots of complaints about parents, senior staff, school sports, etc. I hate sitting around and complaining, it doesn’t get anything done.

11:59 sleeping.

Zondervan Youth Specialties National Youth Worker Convention 2006 Anaheim

I am going to record here by day my experiences, teachings, ideas and questions while at the NYWC in Anaheim, November 2-6. I’ll go by hours so that it makes sense.

NYWC – Day 1 – Thursday

12:00am-3:15am – I packed and stayed up and took care of my household. I had a few construction type things to take care of so I was up working like a meth addict in the middle of the night.

3:15-4am – Sleep. With the lights and tv on in my clothes – I was nervous of sleeping past my 4am wake up time.

4am-6am – travel to airport

6am-11am – flying

11am-1pm – travel from airport to hotel

1-5pm – wandering, reading, sleeping, eating

5-7pm – bought the noomas for a significant discount

7-9pm – a vague nothingness. Walked around the vendors.

9pm – went to see Leeland. I like them. But they are really freaky. They make me feel weird. I bet their mom finds this and comments me really nasty stuff about homeschooling gone wild.

Later – went to sleep