Archive for August, 2008

Scars Are Tattoos With Better Stories

I was having lunch with Corey and Debbie today and, as usual, it was awesome. Corey and I are about as different as two people can be, but through time, maturity and/or overcoming insecurities and head games, I think we’ve really come to appreciate our “differences.” It’s easy to appreciate similarities, but “appreciating differences” is a whole different ballgame. Hands down, without a doubt, Corey and Debbie make me better.

I heard myself saying at lunch, in reference to different but similar situations, I wonder if God sometimes allows things to cut so deep because He wants a scar to remain that we will remember forever, that in the end might actually catapult us into the future in a way we would have never imagined. I’m not saying that’s His first choice for us to learn by, but too often some things fade away too easily because the personal affect on our little world is limited (like a nice Sunday morning message about feeding the hungry and clothing the naked that ends as you pass the Section 8 housing on your way home or drop clothes off at Goodwill).

I remember a shirt I bought after I nearly drowned white-water rafting that said, “Scars are tattoos with better stories.” Isn’t that that truth, we have some outside scars on our body that all we have to do is look at them “to remember.” Could it be the same on the inside, all we have to do is think of them “to remember” … to remember “to do” something every day of our lives or “never do” something again as long as we live. It’s an interesting thought. It doesn’t fit into a nice theological box or a pretty little package, so it kind of hurts your brain to think about all the ramifications if it is indeed so. Things are not always so clean cut are they?


I am all about student ministry … ok, maybe not “all”, maybe only 4/5ths. The other 1/5th of my job is to lend some of my knowledge of finances to the accounting department. Well, I passed the CPA exam 18 years ago around 1990, did auditing work from 1987 – 1997 … and from then on it was nothing but student ministry. So, I’ve been out of the financial loop for over a decade. That’s a really, really long time. Plus, auditing is a whole lot different than accounting.

I needed a coach, so I called on a friend from GCC, Dave Moore. Dave is brilliant at finances (and an amazing water skier). Words cannot express how helpful … and patient … he always was when I’d be working the middle school budget at GCC. He coached me today on the balance sheet pieces I was struggling with. I texted Jeanne afterwards and said, “he helped us a lot … a lot, a lot.” I am grateful. Plus, it was fun laughing today over some of the stuff we used to have “discussions” about.

I was excited to hear that he is blogging about “church finances.” You can go to his blog at He’s also now linked on the side of my blog … “Dave Moore”.

Welcome to Youth Leader’s Coach Chris Infalt

God truly kissed me today when I was able to hire Chris to help me on a mammoth job I am working on with Youth Leader’s Coach. She will work part-time getting Source and Youth Leader’s Coach digitialized. I then have a gazillion other projects lined up right behind it. Chris, as I sat here this afternoon training you, I kept thanking Jesus over and over again. I sooooo believe in you and what we get to do … together … for the Cause, the King and the Kingdom. Thanks for saying “yes.” You will put feet to the dream and lives will be changed … forever! I couldn’t and wouldn’t want to do it without you.

No that doesn’t mean she will be moving to Atlanta. All the work can be done from her home in Indiana. The power of the Internet is making this world real small.

They will suck the life right out of you

There has to be some simple explanation, like when we eat Thanksgiving dinner why we want to take a nap (I forget what the name of the stuff is in the turkey that makes you want to do that, I just know it’s there). For me, this same phenomenon occurs after all-day meetings. We had a NYLC meeting in the board room that went from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., pretty much non-stop. It was a GREAT meeting, but immediately made me feel like I needed a nap afterwards. So, I took one. Now, and only now, after a nap do I feel ready to dive in and get some real work done. All-day meetings, all-day conferences and turkey will suck the life right out of you … but they are all good for you … go figure.


I loved, loved, loved watching Michael Phelps take the gold again last night. In part becasue he’s an amazing athlete, but mostly because I can only imagine what it must have been like going through childhood labeled as an “ADHD kid.” Having done youth ministry for 15 years, I’ve seen enough kids with ADHD go through their early years. Often times, they would drive my leaders nuts. Shoot, sometimes they would even drive me nuts. However, they always did and will hold a special place in my heart. Partly because the world seems to want to write them off. I suppose that’s my heart for the underdog.

Over the last couple of week, I’ve helped in on Children’s Church and have seen some of those ADHD kids bouncing off the walls (and when your services are 2 hours long, they bounce a lot). I was reminded of a kid years and years ago with Sheila in Kingdom Kids. I so wish I could remember his name. What I do remember is that half the time this kid’s head would be where his tail end should be in the theatre seats. Then one day, Sheila had him sit next to my nephew and help him run sound (which at that time meant he pushed play at the appropriate times on the cassette player). After that, we never had one single problem with him … ever. It got to the point where my nephew didn’t even need to be there, the 3rd grade kid just ran it himself. I guess the lesson with Michael Phelps and this kid was just keep looking for the niche. It’s there, you just have to discover it.

Act Your Way Into Feelings

My AA and I were tackling the good ol’ question of “Do you feel your way into action?” or “Do you act your way into feelings?” While it would be great if there was clean cut answer, we landed on “it depends.” However, we leaned more toward “You act your way into feelings.”

She’s been given the directive, by me, to ask every day, “Did you walk last night?” She is horrible at asking, unless I didn’t walk then she miraculously ALWAYS remembers to ask. She says she is only horrible because when I do walk, I’m so quick to tell her I did that she doesn’t have a chance to ask. She’s probably right.

I decided to walk 1-3 miles every day a couple of weeks ago. I did great out of the gate but have found when I’m home in Indiana or have friends in town I get dereailed … not their bad, but mine. Anyway, I’ve been back on track the last four nights. I’m proud to say I did 3.25, 3.1, 3.4 and 3.5 miles respectively … some of it even jogging. Here is what I’ve quickly figured out. So far, even on day 4, I’ve never “felt” like getting on the treadmill … not once, not even a little bit. But after I made the CHOICE to walk/jog, I can’t top the feeling when it’s all said and done and I’m dripping in sweat. You would think after the previous experiences, plus the last four nights of feeling great after the action, the feeling to get on the treadmill would come first. I don’t know if it ever will, but boy was it a strong reminder of “CHOOSE (key word) to do what you know to do and the feelings will follow.” Now, if only I could apply it to a few other areas of my life.

My final thought with this whole question is “If you act your way into feelings” then what does that mean in regard to the way we do church today…anything? Should we be doing more of some things and less of others? Secretly, I’m kind of getting tired of sitting in the pew/chair/seat (don’t judge me, I know teaching is muy importante). I wonder if anyone else is?

NYLC: March 30 – April 1 Dallas, TX