The Presence In The Absence

alone-1492668

Used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/alone-1492668

Lately, I’ve been acutely aware of both the presence and absence of God. There are days when God feels present in the whole thing, like I couldn’t escape Him if I tried. Other times, however, He seems aloof and nowhere to be found.

It’s like David Crowder once sang, “Sometimes you’re further than the moon; sometimes you’re closer than my skin.” How do we reconcile this feeling of nearness and distance? Partly, I believe, is a recognition that there is a presence even in absence.

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Loving Life In The Rut

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This year has been good, but–and this is a big BUT–it’s also been incredibly difficult and unbelievably challenging. For much of this fall season, we’ve felt like we’re stuck in a rut.

Setbacks, financial struggles, and disappointment. These and more describe what the past few months have been like. In the turmoil, though, we’ve been reminded of something lately–the rut, as tough as it is at times, is life. And life is good. And we’re trying to love it.

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The Sweet Spot in Youth Ministry: Students Leading Students

used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/compass-1-1420922

used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/compass-1-1420922

Something special happens when students are given leadership opportunities. I’ve been a big believer in this for many years, seeking out ways to equip and empower students.

Like many things in life and ministry, good thoughts are not enough to make it happen. It takes an intentionality to make it work. Here are some thoughts on working with student leaders.

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This Election And Its Impact On Students

Used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/american-flag-1150851

Used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/american-flag-1150851

I feel like I’m late to the game when it comes to saying something–scratch that–ANYTHING about the upcoming election. This has been intentional on my part, not because I’m worried about anyone disagreeing with me, but because I didn’t know how to approach the subject.

Honestly, and I know I’m not alone here, I’m not a fan of either candidate. I know supporters on both sides and I figured I’d write something from the perspective of what I am–a youth pastor. So, here are some thoughts as a youth pastor on what I’ve heard and observed from my students about this upcoming election.

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