Numbed Prayer

bebraveI’ve got a great new daily read for 2015.  It’s Everyday Prayers by Scotty Smith.  I know a Scotty well.  He’s Cellophane Glasses but that one is Scotty Meiser.  I don’t know Scotty Smith nor why he chooses to go by Scotty.

The book is a daily prayer to read.  Prayer is not one of my strengths so I like written prayers.  I like these prayers in this book.

Today’s prayer is “A Prayer About Burden-Bearing Love.”  It listed these painful situations.

…The woman who just got confirmation that the mass in her breast is malignant…

…The dad who just lost yet another job in the fragile economy…

…The couple whose two-year wait to welcome their adoptive child just ended childlessly…

…For the parents who’ve spent all and who are spent from trying to rescue their daughter from the ravages of an eating disorder…

…The friend who preaches a powerful gospel that bears fruit in everybody’s children but his own…

…The friends who are having to pay a great price for a misdiagnosed medical condition…

…The couples who are sleeping alone in the same bed…

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#Selma for Students

bebraveSuddenly race issues are a part of our main conversation again. Ferguson, #ICan’tBreathe, and #BlackLivesMatter have put this issue in the forefront for us. Thankfully we are having good discussions about this again.

Yes, we have come far on this issue. But there still is a crisis about being a young black man. There are internal and external reasons for this. I know. I’ve raised young black men. They are the best part of my story. I know the internal reasons why their lives have been endangered. Prison is a part of my life and I’ve lost one due to gun violence (stupid gun violence as it often is). I also know the external reasons and still fear that “driving while black” can lead to a mess of problems, even death as a possibility, to one of my sons. When I see the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter I resonatelives matter with it because my sons’ lives matter. They are and will be a part of changing this world.

Providential circumstances have come together for “such a time as this.” Long before Ferguson happened, a movie was in production about the story of the man who has done the most to bring healing to this problem in America. The movie is Selma, the first biographical movie on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. The first.

You have got to believe that God was a part of this providential circumstance. If not, read this interview with the actor who played Martin Luther King Jr.


selmaNow from the grassroots level, #Selma for Students has arisen. From their press release: Continue reading


Masquerades and Mask Parades

Crazy ScottyA few weeks ago, I started my fourth semester at Cairn University.  It’s a great school, and I’ve loved my time here so far.  But I’ve enjoyed it particularly since becoming an English major.

Why have I chosen to study English?  Because I like the smell of books?  Yeah, that’s part of it.  Because I’m afraid of the real world?  Mostly, but it’s also because I get to write.  About things I **like.**

What follows is an essay, a criticism I wrote on the cultural atmosphere of the Wizard World Comic Convention.  If those last four words excited you, prepare to be amazed, and perhaps seduced into pursuing a degree in English.  If they didn’t, well, you can feel free to read ahead anyway.  I tried to make the essay approachable.  Just remember, people: I got to do this for class.  My life’s pretty great.


The picture on the left is of my fellow-cosplaying friends: Eric, Ryan, Aaron, and Jerome.  The picture on the right is of me and…a girl with purple hair.  I don’t know who that is.

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A New Study That Affirms CFBYM as a Good Youth Ministry Model

bebraveOne of the principles of “Wild Frontier Youth Ministry is to teach a correct Biblical view.  Many Barna Group studies have confirmed this—or more likely inspired this strongly held belief.

A new study confirms this yet again.  And this one is not from Barna Group.  The study is from the University of Florida on substance use among adolescents.  For the first time ever the group of researchers focused on the role a teen’s worldview plays in the decision to avoid alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana.

According to James Shepperd, a professor of psychology and co-author of the study, the term “worldview” should be understood as “an explanatory way of seeing the world.” “It is the frame through which people answer questions like ‘Who am I?,’ ‘Why am I here?’ and ‘How should I behave?’ Not all worldviews are religious, but religious worldviews can be particularly effective at discouraging substance use because most religions offer guidance for everyday behavior that strengthens adolescents’ moral grounding and worldview.”  Yes, youth ministry–and more importantly the overall church ministry (CFBYM)–do offer guidance for everyday behavior that strengthens adolescents’ moral grounding and worldview. Continue reading


Church: Set Up Your Singles

bebraveI’m reposting an article here from Christianity Today.  It directly speaks to a project I am working on.  And am not ready to reveal yet.  dating coach

So…”A few friends recently listed for me their current dating apps: Tinder, which asks you to swipe photos to indicate who you’re interested in; Hinge, which makes connections from extended circles of friends; and Coffee Meets Bagel, which sends a match daily at noon. (Note to those who are long past the dating stage: yes, now there are a lot more online dating options than just eHarmony and…

“…Our generation is staying single longer and delaying children more than any other generation in history, yet desperately discontent with solitude. A friend asked me recently, ‘If God said it is not good for man to be alone, but all he does is good, is my singleness actually good?’ Sometimes the best answer to difficult questions is to just say, ‘I don’t know but he is good,’ and so I did.”

Read more at Christianity Today.


Fear Never Pulled a Family Out of Poverty…Or Cleaned Out the Cluttered Excess in a Home or Makes the Sacrifices to Support an Orphanage Or…

bebrave“Oversize and rude, fear is unwilling to share the heart with happiness. Happiness complies and leaves. Do you ever see the two together? Can one be happy and afraid at the same time? Clear thinking and afraid? Confident and afraid? Merciful and afraid? No. Fear is the big bully in the high school hallway: brash, loud, and unproductive. For all the noise fear makes and room it takes, fear does little good.

“Fear never wrote a symphony or poem, negotiated a peace treaty, or cured a disease. Fear never pulled a family out of poverty or a country out of bigotry. Fear never saved a marriage or a business. Courage did that. Faith did that.” –Max Lucado, Fearless , p. 5.

Wow. That is Wild Frontier thinking. What can you do with this new year that will require some bravery and a lot of faith but will affect lasting change to someone?