Archive for February, 2009


Posted in Causes with tags , , on February 28, 2009 by joetheyouthpastor

worldvisionI’m exhausted. I can’t even describe to you how tired I am. I hurt. I ache. That’s what not eating for 30 hours and only sleeping for about 6 of those hours will do to you. But it was totally worth it.

When all the donations come in, my youth group should have raised just over $1000. Doesn’t sound like much, I know. But through World Vision, $1000 is basically enough to provide food, clean drinking water, vaccinations, education, and an opportunity to hear the Gospel for 3 needy children for one year. It’s enough money to save 3 lives for one year.

World Vision was founded in 1951 by Robert Pierce. As the story goes, he was visiting South Korea and saw a baby that had been left on the steps of an orphanage. He picked up the child and knocked on the door. When the matron answered he handed her the baby and  told her, “This baby was left on your steps. It has no home, no food, no hope. What are you going to do about it?” The matron handed him back the baby and said, “Sir, I only receive one bowl of rice per day, and I already share it with six children here. What are you going to do about it?” Convicted, Pierce handed her the baby and all the money in his wallet, telling her, “When I get back to America, I will send you more money to take care of these kids.” And he did. And he got his friends to do the same. And over the last 55+ years, World Vision has grown to an international ministry that meets the needs of hundreds of thousands on a daily basis and is still growing.

If you’ve never looked into it, please check out Prayerfully consider sponsoring a child. For as little as $30 per month, you can save a life and create an opportunity for a child to hear the Gospel. Jesus commanded his followers to go into all the world and minister to people. Most of us can’t afford to travel and do mission work around the world, but nearly all of us can afford to cut $30 a month out of our budgets, even in today’s economic conditions.

Our group’s goal was $1080. With that we can save 3 lives for the next year. I have never been so happy to be tired and hungry.



Nick Mitchell is my American Idol

Posted in Reviews with tags , , on February 25, 2009 by joetheyouthpastor
Nick Mitchell a.k.a. 'Norman Gentle'

Nick Mitchell a.k.a. 'Norman Gentle'

I want to say this as categorically, unambiguously, and emphatically as I possibly can – Nick Mitchell is my American Idol.

I do not care in the least how the voting goes. Nick Mitchell is my American Idol. I cannot imagine the guts that it must take to stand on that stage and sing, knowing full well that more than 30 million Americans will see your performance live. Add to that the fact that Nick stood on the American Idol stage this week and sang an original composition, and I’m just about sold on guts alone.

But what I really dig about Nick Mitchell is that his primary concern is not dominating the competition. It’s not proving himself to be the best singer. It’s not about validating his gigantic ego. It’s not showing America how cool he is (witness the picture).

It seems like Nick Mitchell is that rare individual who is in the national spotlight and is actually not consumed with glorifying himself. It genuinely seems like all Nick really wants to do is entertain people, and for that, he is my American Idol. Period.


What I’m About

Posted in Uncategorized on February 24, 2009 by joetheyouthpastor

You can find all this information on the ‘About’ page here, but I thought it would be appropriate to use my first post on this blog to just lay out what I and this blog are all about. Here are the basics…

  • This blog is for thoughts and ideas, commentary and conversation about life, faith, Jesus, culture, politics, and just about anything else that is on my heart and mind. I welcome comments. No one likes a one-sided conversation.
  • You need to understand right up front that I’m not perfect. I’m a youth pastor, but I still make mistakes. I feel like God has gifted me with wisdom, but I’m still young. I know a lot about the Bible and what it says, but not everything. I have a good understanding of right and wrong, Christian doctrine, what I believe, and what I think everyone should believe, but I’m always open to meaningful dialogue. Hence the fact that I welcome comments.
  • Relationships are the most important thing in the world. Your relationship with Jesus. Relationships between spouses. Friendships. Mentor/Mentored relationships. Family. God is all about relationships. So much so, in fact, that He himself lives in the relationship of the Trinity. If it’s important enough to God to live in relationship, it should be for us.
  • Stories are also incredibly important. You can teach truth all day long in a pedantic sort of way, and maybe some people will find a couple of points to latch on to. But put that same truth into a story, and it will stick with people for the rest of their lives.
  • I hate ‘The Bubble’. I know that hate is a strong word, but I mean it. ‘The Bubble’ is where a lot of Christians live a lot of the time. It’s where we only listen to Christian music, only read Christian books, only wear Christian t-shirts (there will be a blog later on Christian t-shirts). The worst of it is when we find ourselves only hanging out with and spending time with other Christians. How are we supposed to fulfill the Great Commission if we have little or no meaningful interaction with people outside ‘The Bubble’?
  • I will try as hard as I can not to be terse and forceful when it is not appropriate. But, honestly, that’s part of our problem in ‘The Bubble’ – we frequently don’t say what needs to be said because we’re afraid of hurting someone’s feelings. It just wouldn’t be ‘Christian’. Jesus didn’t seem to care too much. He spoke truth even when it hurt the people he was speaking to. I will do my best to be positive and uplifting, but if you know me (and as you get to know me through this blog) you know that that’s not always me.

So there it is. Welcome to Images and Words. Let’s get swept away into God’s great story together.