Monday, May 20, 2013

Summer Break!

My young friend,

It’s been way to long since we’ve seen you and your family! But I am still praying for you. You are not forgotten. And neither is the fact that the summer is about to be upon us!!!

Ah yes … freedom! Free time! Late nights and late mornings! Swimming! Oh yeah … and complaining about being bored!

Your life is WAY different than mine so I can only imagine how you feel about your summers. I went to a public school where parents had free babysitting for most of the year but where they released us back into our parents trembling arms for 3 nerve-racking months. As I got older I was able to fill that time with serving at camp and learning while I had adventures on SBC trips, but even with all that diversion I remember complaining about being bored. I wanted something to do.

I think that impulse was a good one. We are not meant to be sitting around doing nothing. And contrary to the collective belief of modern teenagers we are not meant to be playing and getting entertained all day every day. God meant us to be productive people.

I don’t know what your summers look like. I don’t know how much free time you actually have but my guess is that you probably have more than you do during the rest of the year.

The childish response to this additional free time would be to use it frivolously and to wait passively for your parents to tell you what you need to do to fill that time. Never forget that Adam’s blood courses through your covenantal veins and that means, among other things, that you will have a

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Worried For Your Son? There is hope ... but it is not found in your son.

I could tell from his posture he was about to say something. Ryan was sitting across the table strewn with the casualties of a successful battle with lunch and we'd been catching up on how the last week had gone. Ryan is one of those guys who is pretty open about his faults when he feels safe. But usually this openness takes the form of me warning him that I am about to use God's Word to rough him up a bit and after getting knocked gently but firmly around, shaking his head and acknowledging his peccadilloes. But what was about to pour forth freely from Ryan's mouth was unprovoked.

Well not completely unprovoked. The Holy Spirit has been doing quite a bit of provoking in Ryan's life recently and this gusher was just another example of what happens to young men when God takes his hammer and chisel to their hearts.

Ryan was now leaning slightly forward as thought furrows began to creep over his forehead. Words were piecing themselves together behind that think piece of skull bone.

Then almost as if he was scolding himself for not having seen it years earlier the words began to

The Past Few Months in Pictures

The past two months have been a pretty constant pace of activity. Below are a few highlights in photos.
2013 CSB Staff Conference
Niagara Falls in April and the CSB Staff Conference
Once a year I have the privilege of getting together with the other field staff from around North America to plan and work (and play). This year was near Buffalo N.Y. where our new CSB Headquarters is now located. Some of the pictures are from the house where we stayed. Most of the rest were taken on a spur of the moment trip to Niagara Falls on the way to the airport. Yes ... it was cold. View the pictures...

Trip up to visit churches in Oregon and Washington
Trip up to visit churches in Oregon and Washington

My CSB region extends up to Oregon and Washington. Here are some pictures of our visit including the WW1 memorial along the Columbia river, and one of the churches we visited. View the pictures...

Norcal Camporal
Young men competing and practicing leadership at the Norcal Camporal
In April young men from around Norcal practice leadership and teamwork competing against one another at the Norcal Camporal. View the pictures...

Socal Father/Son team day
Socal Father/Son Team Day

Fathers and their sons teamed up earlier this month to compete with other father/son pairs in fun events at the Socal Father/Son Team Day. View the pictures...

Monday, May 6, 2013

Collision: Acid Tongued Atheist Meets Presuppositional Apologetics

COLLISION carves a new path in documentary film-making as it pits leading atheist, political journalist and bestselling author Christopher Hitchens against fellow author, satirist and evangelical theologian Douglas Wilson, as they go on the road to exchange blows over the question: "Is Christianity Good for the World?". The two contrarians laugh, confide and argue, in public and in private, as they journey through three cities. And the film captures it all. The result is a magnetic conflict, a character-driven narrative that sparkles cinematically with a perfect match of arresting personalities and intellectual rivalry.

In May 2007, leading atheist Christopher Hitchens and Christian apologist Douglas Wilson began to argue the topic “Is Christianity Good for the World?” in a series of written exchanges published in Christianity Today. The rowdy literary bout piqued the interest of filmmaker
Darren Doane, who sought out Hitchens and Wilson to pitch the idea of making a film around the debate.

In Fall 2008, Doane and crew accompanied Hitchens and Wilson on an east coast tour to promote the book compiled from their written debate titled creatively enough, Is Christianity Good for the World?. “I loved the idea of putting one of the beltway’s most respected public intellectuals together with an ultra-conservative pastor from Idaho that looks like a lumberjack”, says Doane. “You couldn’t write two characters more contrary. What’s more real than a fight between two guys who are on complete opposite sides of the fence on the most divisive issue in the world? We were ready to make a movie about two intellectual warriors at the top of their game going one-on-one. I knew it would make an amazing film.”

In Christopher Hitchens, Doane found a celebrated prophet of atheism. Loud. Funny. Angry. Smart. Quick. An intimidating intellectual Goliath. Well-known for bullying and mocking believers into

Back Home and Surrounded

Now is the time to be stubborn...

I had the privilege of speaking at the Jenness Park Father/Son Retreat this past weekend. Here's an email I sent to the guys who attended. FYI - One of the themes was the stubbornness of Faith which prompts us to obey the voice of God even when the evidence tells us that defeat is inevitable.

You're home. Well … probably not. You’re at work, or at school, or driving … or wherever you are you're not at Jenness Park. Life has begun again. The parenthetical rest has come to an end and the challenges of real life surround you.

The exciting intentions you had yesterday might suddenly seem far less exciting and far less realistic as you survey the hills around you and see the genuinely formidable armies of your life pressing in on every side.

But this is not the first time a man of God has been surrounded by enemies. This is not the first time God has required us to step out in that stubborn faith.

So step. It starts with one. Just one step. Worry about that first one first. Jesus said something similar “do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” Mathew 6:34

So what are you going to do? What’s the plan?

If you are a young man reading this are you going to keep trying to fight on your own? Are you tired of failing? Tired of being out-flanked by the enemy because your back is unprotected?  Are you ready to start running instead of getting shot up every time you try to take a stand?

Then stop trying to fight on your own. Go to your father, and with your faith placed NOT in your dad, but firmly and stubbornly in the promises of your Heavenly Father let him know what you’ve been struggling with. Fighting with someone alongside you is so much better than the loneliness of pride.

No father around? I know that story. It was mine. Thank God that you have at least one man who loves you enough to have brought you this weekend. He’s obviously already got your back. Now let him know what’s really going on so he knows your weak points and can really begin to provide the protection that each of us needs.

If you are a father reading this than you and I both know the load of reasons why change is seeming more impossible as each minute passes. Life is busy. The phone call that just came in and gave you