How To Fix A First Season Failure

Muppets-TV-Show-2What’s wrong with The Muppets?

This question has been the topic of discussion on all sorts of major entertainment blogs and sites after the first few episodes of the new ABC mockumentary show starring pop culture’s favorite felt creatures.

The ratings have been strong for the series that reveals the behind the scenes mishaps of The Muppets putting on a new late night talk show starring Miss Piggy. But the response online has been mixed, mainly due to the show’s slightly more racy sense of humor and storylines focusing on romantic and sexual relationships.

If you’ve already chosen to give up on “The Muppets” I respect your decision. Life is too short to watch TV shows we don’t enjoy.

As for me: I’ve seen the first few episodes. I’ve heard the criticism. And as for now I’m not giving up on The Muppets. Continue reading

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11 Lessons From My Resume

photo 2-7As I enjoyed the Labor Day holiday this past weekend I had a chance to read an article in my hometown paper where the great columnist Bill Kirby shared lessons from some of the many jobs he worked over his life. I thought it would be interesting to go back and do the same for my years in the workforce.

Though I’m only 29-years-old at the moment I’ve amassed a good size resume and I believe there’s at least one lesson to be learned from every job I’ve had over the years. So, with full credit to Mr. Kirby for the idea, here’s one lesson from every job I’ve had since I started working at age 16:

1) The Masters Tournament (First week of April 2002):

The Job – 4 straight 14 hour days in a concession stand at the most popular golf event in the world.

The Lesson – The paycheck is not always worth the work. Continue reading

Do Small Things Matter To A Big God?

***NOTE: For me, 2013 will always be the year I stepped away from my position as Director of Student Ministries at The Hill Baptist Church. Working at The Hill was a incredibly challenging and incredibly rewarding experience, one that taught me countless lessons I’m still being transformed by. As 2013 comes to a close, I thought it would be fitting to share the article I wrote for The Augusta Chronicle on the eve of my final day on staff at The Hill. As you reflect on the year that was and make plans for the year to come, I can only pray you’ll believe the small things really do matter to God. 

IMG_1524“Does it matter?”

Every morning I make the drive down Central Avenue, turning onto Kings Way and into the parking lot of The Hill Baptist Church, thinking to myself, “Does it matter?”

For five years I have served as the director of student ministries at The Hill. When I began I was a 22-year-old student in my final semester at Augusta State University. I was a fresh-faced intern with adventurous faith who dreamed of changing the world through youth ministry.

Though I thought I knew it all (as most 22-year-olds do), I never could have predicted what the next five years would hold. Today, as I prepare to step down from my position at the church, I am questioning if anything I did mattered.

Did picking up and dropping off students for an hour before and after church matter? Did the conversations over late-night fast food matter? Did silly Facebook wall posts matter? Does small ministry with a small group of students in a small church with a small budget matter to an incredibly big God?

The Hill Baptist Church is a small church. The Hill Youth is a small group, about 20 active students. When I see some of Augusta’s most vibrant churches bringing in hundreds of students to camps and lock-ins, I sometimes wonder if I’ve been doing something wrong this whole time. Continue reading

The Two Ways To Respond To Interruptions

“Not today.”

Wednesday night I was ready to go. I was in the zone for my usual Wednesday activities as Youth Pastor at The Hill. My lesson was memorized. Everything was in place for our game. The slides were set for the keynote. I was all prepared for kids to start showing up around 3:30.

And then the kids showed up with this:

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A stray dog. “Oh no,” I thought, “Not today.” Continue reading

What Do You Doubt?

Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother. – Khalil Gibran, poet

What do you doubt about God? If you have any faith in God, you surely wrestle with doubt as well.

In a world where innocent Marathon runners and spectators become terrorist victims one day and innocent plant workers become victims of an explosion the next, doubt creeps in about a loving God.

What kind of God does this to His people? What hope is there in this world? What do we have to cling to?

The doubt in our heart is nothing new. The stains of doubt are never fully washed from our cup no matter how powerful our faith is. For as long as people have had faith they have wrestled against doubt.

482376_858133227665_1363584939_nTake Thomas for instance – the doubting disciple. For the past few weeks I’ve been rehearsing for a play called “Eight Days After”. The play is an exploration into the mysterious appearances of Jesus after His resurrection and how they affected the people He once knew. Continue reading