Shepherd or Sheepherder?

Remember? Remember when you first got in to children’s ministry? Remember the calling God gave you? The burden you had for children? The awesome responsibility you accepted? The urgency you felt? Back when it was about reaching lost kids and discipling those who had accepted Christ? Remember when the stories were about changed lives and your conversations were mostly about the kids rather than the problems? Remember when you spent a ridiculous amount of time on some minor, but fun aspect of the ministry just so you could see the faces of the kids light up when they arrived? Remember when you didn’t even notice how exhausted you were? What changed? You went into children’s ministry because you wanted to be a shepherd of children – and all too soon you became more sheepherder than shepherd. Just getting the kids where they need to be and hoping to have a reasonable adult-to-child ratio became a weekly battle. Managing volunteers, appeasing parents, buying supplies, keeping the senior pastor as well as the janitor happy, answering voice mail, e-mail and snail mail and countless meetings gradually took over. Before you knew it, being a minister gave way to being an administrator. And …

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My Favorite Subject

What is my favorite subject? Is it math? science? English? recess?! Nope – it’s not a school subject at all, its a photography subject: my little boy. Daddy and the Boy Today we headed over to Garden of the God (note: I leave off the “s” as it is not Garden of the Gods, but of the One True God and Creator whom I worship!) While Luke’s favorite thing was the toy cars for sale at the Trading Post, my favorite was getting to take pictures of him at this beautiful place! (not my first time here!) And it should be noted, that if I’m in the picture, Sara took the shot, and she’s not a bad photographer herself! (She’s a great photographer!) “Look Dad, a ROCK!” I love Luke’s curiosity and enthusiasm over the littlest things. Often I had to call him on to see greater things when he was content with a little stone or stick. I wonder if my heavenly Father ever is trying to lead me to more amazing things and if I get content with lesser things and nearly miss the greater? Luke in his “special place” Luke loves finding little places he can crawl …

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Puppets, Publishers and Peaks!

I know I’m supposed to be taking it easy and recovering from near death and all that, but today we planned a whirlwind fun day that was relaxing and enjoyable – both because of the people we hooked up with and the sights we saw! We started out in Colorado Springs (where we are staying) and went up to Littleton to have breakfast with Todd Liebenow, the Top Puppeteer and El Presidente of One Way Street, and #1 puppet and creative ministry supplier in the world. (for real) I’ve long wanted to see the OWS headquarters, and finally got to! Todd Liebenow and Karl The extra treat was that I had Sara and Luke with me and my little boy (who adores all my puppets) got to see “where puppets come from” with a tour of the factory. I could not photograph much out of fear of compromising industry secrets, but here is Lukey with some eyeless lambs: Luke among the Lambs After One Way Street we headed up to Loveland to the Group Publishing headquarters where I had a meeting with Christine Yount who, besides being executive editor of CM Mag, has a new official title I love: Children’s …

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My Last Lecture?

About six months ago I picked up a book at Costco that looked like a good read, The Last Lecture. It was written by Randy Pausch, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. CMU had a tradition of having professors share what they believed was most important in life – what they would share if they could only offer one “last lecture.” By the time Randy was scheduled to give his “last lecture” they had renamed the series to Journeys and were unaware that it would indeed be his last lecture. I’m now in Colorado enjoying some vacation time that God sovereignly planned months ago when He knew that this past week I would end up in the hospital to have a stent placed in my heart. I’ve shared some personal reflections on facing my own mortality, and as I was packing for our trip out here saw The Last Lecture sitting on my desk, and grabbed it to read. Tonight I joined nearly ten million others who have watched the video (below) of his presentation and it was really good. You can watch it here on YouTube yourself (76 minutes long) as well as another talk he did later on …

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The Heart of the Matter

Waking up in a hospital bed on Easter Sunday morning after a life-saving proceedure on your heart does wonders for your perspective on life. While family and some friends are quick (too quick) to jump on my diet or love of Dew, the reality is that while I certainly have to make some minor changes to my diet to eat more “heart healthy” and increase exercise, diet is not at the top of my list of the things I’m thinking about. I’m not devaluing the importance of these changes, I’ll make them, many I already was over the past few years, but facing one’s mortality so dramatically impacted me more in thinking about relationships, not food. Months away from turning forty, I suppose everyone at some point truly faces their mortality, and the deep realization that truly every day is a gift from God. Perhaps they go through something like I did, or someone they love does, or it may just be a significant birthday number that hits them; “I’m getting old!” While I’ve always known and believed that every day was a gift from God – when the events of the last 48 hours are such that TODAY is …

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