Thursday, July 22, 2010


I've been reading like crazy in recent months. Right now I'm really enjoying a book by Mark Batterson called Wild Goose Chase: Reclaim the Adventure of Pursuing God. Here's a quote from the book that pierced my heart this week:

"I'm not convinced that your date of death is the date carved on your tombstone. Most people die long before that. We start dying when we have nothing worth living for. And we don't really start living until we find something worth dying for. Ironically, discovering something worth dying for is what makes life worth living.

"Maybe that explains why Jesus was so full of life. He had so much--or rather so many--to die for. No one was more passionate about life than Jesus. In fact, the final chapter of His life is appropriately referred to as the Passion. And we are called to follow in His footsteps. Christ followers ought to be the most passionate people on the planet. Pursuing God-ordained passions isn't optional. It is an essential part of chasing the [Holy Spirit]. And the adventure begins the moment we start pursuing a God-ordained passion."

I don't know about you, but that gets me fired up. I've experienced the passionless life of living for myself--for temporal things--and I've tasted the joys of passionately pursuing God's kingdom on this earth. And I know that I can never go back. Sometimes I allow myself to get distracted, but then the Spirit graciously pulls me back into the abundant life. I'm feeling that tug again, and I'm insanely excited about where the Spirit is leading me this time. He's got big plans for me, and He's got big plans for you. It's time to forsake all else and passionately pursue God at all costs!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pong Shots

Wanted to give a shout out to some of the kids from my old youth group at St. Mark. They just released their second "Pong Shots" video on Youtube. While they may have wasted an entire summer shooting this video, I'm not complaining because it's downright entertaining and actually quite impressive. To all you youth pastors out there, I think this would be a good "just for fun" video to show at youth group sometime. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jehovah-jireh, My Provider

I've spent several months now trying to figure out what in the world God is doing with my life. These months have included lots of soul-searching, lots of frustration, some low points spiritually and emotionally, and a true test in my patience. After a year filled with purpose and adventure in Africa, I was forced to slow down and wait on the leading of the Spirit for my next step in life.

So I waited...and waited...and waited. I waited for what seemed to be an eternity, knowing that God had a plan for my life but uncertain of where He was leading me next. My heart was torn between returning as soon as possible to Africa or staying home and continuing to be there for my mom and dad as my dad fights for his life. To make matters more confusing, in the midst of my soul-searching I sensed that God was calling me back to Africa and had a purpose for me there. At the same time, I felt like to abandon my family at a time like this would be disobedience. In the midst of all this confusion, I found it really hard to trust God--to trust that He knew what He was doing in my life and that He had a plan.

This past weekend I was at a spiritual retreat, and I heard from the Lord in powerful ways. The most impacting thing I heard from God was this:

"Adam, My plans for you are better than your plans for you."

Wow. Here I have been, running around trying to put together my own goals in life and set into motion my own plans, and I've honestly failed miserably in those efforts. I want my life to count for the kingdom, but that starts by allowing the King to call the shots. As I'm learning to come to grips with that reality, I'm again realizing what it means to die to myself. When I give my future over to God, I'm allowing him to reshape my desires and my dreams. And in doing so, my life will look significantly different than it would have been if I continued to be the one in charge. But at the same time I know that this "new life" will be so much better--so much more fulfilling--because it will be for Him and not for me.

So the Lord has led me to two unlikely places that were never a part of my plans. Through his unmistakable leading, God has brought me to Granger Missionary Church, where I've accepted a position as their interim worship leader. At GMC, the Lord has provided a place for me to use the talents in music He has blessed me with, serving the body of Christ in leading them before the throne in worship each week. Having been there for a few weeks now, I feel like the Lord has anointed me for that position.

While I'm passionate about leading others in worship, more than anything my heart continues to beat for impacting the lives of young people. Over the past couple years, I've also felt the Lord drawing me more and more to at-risk teens--to the kids that face poverty, broken families, lack of education, addictions, and abuse. In light of those passions, the Lord has provided a full-time job for me as a teacher at the Crossing Educational Center--an alternative Christian school for at-risk teens. Honestly, I never would have imagined myself as a high school teacher, but I sense that this job will be perfect for me at least for this period of my life. I seriously feel so blessed right now.

In the words of the old chorus:

"Jehovah-jireh, my Provider, His grace is sufficient for me..."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Contextual Youth Ministry in a Diverse World

I was recently given a really cool opportunity to write an article for Youth Specialties. For those of you who don't know, Youth Specialties is one of the largest youth ministry organizations in the US and a major publisher of youth ministry resources. The topic I was given to write about was "contextual youth ministry." The final product was an article I entitled Contextual Youth Ministry in a Diverse World. Give it a read, and let me know what you think!

*Shout out to Terry Linhart over at y.m.e.r.g.e. for helping me with the writing/editing/publishing process, and for helping shape my thinking for this article!

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Most Egomaniacal Man in the World

That's right, LeBron...we are all witnesses. Witnesses to the Most Egomaniacal Athlete in the History of Sports. At least that's one title you've already won...