“I Call the Butt!”

    “I call The Butt!”  is a familiar refrain at our house. “The Butt” is the seat at the end of our 9-foot dinner table opposite “the head,” where I normally sit.  We have Young Life leaders and teenagers over at our house for dinner every week, and somebody invariably calls out that they […]

The Evidence in the Lobby

Last week, I was in the final stages of preparation for the Capital District Young Life benefit. We had just set up the sound system, and I was going over the schedule of the night with our program tech.  My assistant Amy walked up to me and showed me the viewfinder screen on her camera, […]

Journal Entry: September 3-9

Tuesday, 9/3: Started this day at the Burnt Hills Diner with my friend Paul, who met Christ this summer at YL camp (That’s a story for another time). Later in the day, headed to Burlington, VT, for a meeting with adults. On the way, I stopped to meet with Kyle Esposito, who is in training […]

Water, Flour, and Grace

It is a beautiful sunny morning during our area camp trip at Lake Champion, and there are 400 or so campers and leaders on the front field for field games. One of the guys in my cabin group is named Chris. He is a teenager with Autism, and he is nonverbal. Chris came to Lake Champion […]

Journal Entry: Week of June 24th

Every now and then, you have one of those weeks that ends, and you wonder where it all went. Occasionally, I will share my week in the form of a journal entry: Monday: Spent most of this day catching up from vacation, and preparing for a busy week.  Highlight was Campaigner meeting at our house in […]

Nobody Likes Me

Below is an excerpt from a December 2012 update to our Capital Region team: Dear Friends, “Nobody likes me.”  This is what a teenager, whom I will call “Pete,” said in one of our group discussions recently.  We’re fairly used to Pete saying things like this, because he doesn’t have the same social filter as other […]

Heaven is Home

A few weeks ago, I asked a room of high school students what they thought of when they thought of heaven.  The answers weren’t particularly impressive.  One answer of course was the familiar image of clouds in the sky.  I was surprised to hear one student reference the 80’s hit song “Heaven is a Place […]

The Inertia of Relationships

“Objects at rest tend to stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force.”   –Newton’s First Law of Motion Objects at Rest . . .  Newton’s Law governs motion, but it also governs human relationships.  While I was talking with a high school student one day, he described one of his friendships to […]

Pepper It

Through the years, I have led and participated in hundreds of small group discussions that have followed a similar pattern: The group reads a passage of scripture, and then participants in the group take turns making observations about the passage, aided by questions that the leader has prepared ahead of time.  This standard format has […]