When Your Story Goes Up In Flames, Remember This:

IMG_5092This past weekend my wife and I got the incredible opportunity to spend some time working at Pioneer Plunge, a majestic Young Life camp in Weaverville, NC.

If you’re not familiar with it, Pioneer Plunge is unlike any other Young Life camp. Nestled high in the mountains and hidden away at the top of Windy Gap (another Young Life camp), Plunge consists of only 3 minimal cabins, a pond and a garden. There’s no electricity or amenities of any kind.

The purpose of the camp is to provide young people with a chance to live in the wilderness for a week and discover God’s calling unhindered by any distraction.

Kate and I met as Young Life leaders and look for any chance we can to give back to the ministry. We never had the chance to visit Pioneer Plunge when we were leaders so when the chance came up to participate in a Work Crew weekend at the camp we jumped at the opportunity.

Unfortunately we didn’t see the camp in all it’s glory. In August of 2014 the main cabin at Pioneer Plunge burned down in a tragic accident. No one was hurt by the fire and it was miraculously contained to just the one building. Continue reading

You Don’t Need A Filter

photo.PNGA picture is worth a thousand words. And when a thousand words aren’t enough, we use Instagram.

People of my generation (myself included) can’t seem to post a picture without putting a fancy filter on it. Whether it’s through Instagram, Facebook or Twitter apps, or even just on the iPhone itself, no picture feels complete without adding a little tint to it.

Why is that? Why don’t we think a normal picture is good enough anymore?

Continue reading

Jesus and Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld would have made a great Young Life leader.

Can you imagine the talks he would give? “What’s the deal with forgiveness? Have you seen this? Have you heard about this?”

It’s not just the jokes Jerry would kill at. Jerry Seinfeld is really good at relationships.

For the past few months Seinfeld has been putting out a web series called “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee.” The show is exactly what you think it is and is absolutely worth 15 minutes of your time.

Each week Jerry phones up one of his famous funny friends, picks them up in a classic car, and picks their brain over coffee.

I’ve never not laughed during an episode. The wisdom from legends of comedy like David Letterman, Larry David, and Don Rickles is valuable for anyone in entertainment, business, or even ministry.

In between the laughter and the glamour shots of Lamborghinis and latte art, what I really take away from each episode is just how simple relationships have to be.As Chris Rock put it in his chat with Jerry, “Everything is about company. A gourmet meal with an [jerk] is a horrible meal. A hot dog with an interesting person is an amazing meal.”

Jerry Seinfeld, unsurprisingly, is really comfortable at talking with people. His conversations with comedians are at once light and deep. It’s something Jerry Seinfeld has in common with Jesus. Continue reading

POP GOD POPcast: Episode 8 – Adam Allen

slide.001Welcome to Episode 8 of the POP GOD POPcast – an exploration into the lives of people seeking God in the present tense.

This week’s guest is Adam Allen. Adam is the youth pastor at True North Church in North Augusta. Adam’s walk of faith across the past 13 years has led him to taking charge of an incredible youth ministry. We talk about his path to today, why he never went to seminary, his love for YoungLife, and the importance of a strong supporting cast. Plus Adam takes the Pop Quiz, we get to the bottom of his unique Twitter handle, and spend a few minutes geeking out on Friends and Train. Enjoy this look inside the life of a youth pastor seeking God in the present tense.

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, rate it, leave a comment, listen to all the other episodes, share it on Twitter and Facebook and anywhere else. And check out PopGodBlog.com for more content seeking God in the present tense.

I’m so excited to open up POP GOD and share more stories of people seeking God in the present tense. I’d love to hear your feedback. Leave me a comment and let me know how to improve things, what you’d like to hear discussed, and give me your ideas as to who you’d like to see on the POPcast.

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, share it on Twitter and Facebook and anywhere else. I’d really appreciate it. Thanks. Enjoy.

Listen Here:

[audio http://adoriot.podbean.com/mf/web/ia2rh8/Popcast8.mp3]

Subscribe and download on iTunes.

Listen on Podbean.

My Favorite Verse In The Message

Some people hate on The Message, the modern translation of the Bible crafted by Eugene Peterson. Not me. While it’s not my everyday Bible translation, I often turn to The Message for a fresh perspective on God’s word. Plus it’s probably the only Bible translation with a quote from Bono on the back.

There’s a lot of great translations in The Message. John 1:14 gets tossed around a lot by Younglife leaders – “The word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.”

But my favorite verse in The Message doesn’t come from the Gospels.

It doesn’t come from Genesis.

It doesn’t come from a prophet major or minor.

It doesn’t come the Psalms or the Proverbs or the Song of Solomon.

In fact, it doesn’t come from any of the 66 books of The Bible.

My favorite verse in The Message translation comes before the table of contents: Continue reading

Stuff I Learned From Love Does Stuff 2013

Sometimes your heroes let you down.

And then sometimes your heroes are Bob Goff.

This weekend author/lawyer/”real-life Great Gatsby” Bob Goff led the first ever Love Does Stuff conference in Tacoma, WA. My girlfriend and I were lucky enough to be able to attend, all thanks to the graciousness of a few loving people in our lives.

I’ve looked up to Bob for years. Meeting and hearing from him in person did not disappoint.

IMG_8663Bob has an incredible philosophy and appetite for life. He invited a few of his incredible friends along, and over two days they shared how they do love in the world. Here’s a few things I took away (I did my best to attribute certain ideas to their respective speaker, in case you want to find out more about them):

Continue reading

POP GOD POPcast: Episode 1 – Clay Bagby

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Welcome to the latest addition to POP GOD – the POP GOD POPcast. Throughout the next few weeks I’ll be interviewing different people in the Augusta community and beyond who are seeking God and sharing his message in unique ways.

This week’s guest is Clay Bagby, Young Life Augusta Area Director. Clay talks about growing up in Augusta and coming back to his home town and alma mater to lead Young Life. He shares one of the best pranks he ever committed, his views on pop culture’s effect on today’s teens, how he got involved with Young Life, and more. Plus Clay takes our first ever POP Quiz! You’ll really enjoy this look into one of Augusta’s leaders in youth ministry. It’s a great listen for anyone in Augusta or anyone not in Augusta who wants to hear a unique perspective on ministry.

I’m so excited to open up POP GOD into a new area and share with you other’s stories of seeking God in the present tense. I’d love to hear your feedback. Leave me a comment and let me know how to improve things, what you’d like to hear discussed, and give me your ideas as to who you’d like to see on the POPcast.

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, share it on Twitter and Facebook and anywhere else. I’d really appreciate it. Thanks. Enjoy.

Listen here:

Listen and Subscribe on iTunes.

Or download here on Podbean.