Give The Gift of SAFE WATER For My Birthday!

I'm celebrating my 33rd Birthday today! For my big day I'm asking for something unusual. If you're considering giving me something of monetary value would you give me WATER please?

There is a SAFE WATER crisis.
People are literally dying because they don't have safe water to drink.

Scores of lives are at stake.
The reality is that it takes very little to solve the problem.

So I'm partnering with
Water Missions International to solve this problem and I want YOUR help.
Did you know that if you donate just $10.00 you can provide safe drinking water for one person who needs it? That is ONE life spared!!!
Join my team by simply going [here] and donating $10 dollars.
I hope to get at least 33 people on my team today in celebration of my 33 years.
So please, go [here]. Make a donation. Then come back and feel free to leave a comment to let me know you've given the gift of safe water. Thanks for celebrating my BIG day with me.

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Manic Monday MInute

Manic Monday Minute is a serious mind-dump that will probably take you one minute to read. Here are some thoughts going through my head right now...

This is the Manic Monday Minute...
  • Had a great Thanksgiving.
  • Enjoyed lots of eats over at a friend's home. We had TONS of food.
  • We fried a turkey which turned out to be one of the highlights for me. It was excellent.
  • Went to Christmastown at Busch Gardens on Saturday. Had the best time.
  • A friend dared me to get on stage and dance while a man was playing the bagpipes. Next thing you know, I was on stage. =)
  • Said farewell to our pastor on Sunday. He has accepted another position as the director for an association, which is a great fit for him.
  • I've been watching TD Jakes' sermons for the last few weeks. Love hearing him speak.
  • Have you checked out the ChurchLeaders Youth Channel? We've just put the finishing touches on the content of our weekly newsletter.
  • Hurry and sign-up [here] to receive your copy of the newsletter and get a free ebook!
  • I just a text message to our students using Simply Text. I love Simply Text.
  • My friends at the Simply Youth Min. Conference told me that seats are going quicker than last year! You best register soon [here].
  • Watched the Civil Forum live from Saddleback this evening with former President, George W. Bush. I want to read his new memoir, Decision Points.
  • My birthday is coming up Wednesday. Can't believe I'm turning 33.
  • My latest article is up at
  • It. cannot. be. winter. yet. Pleasssse, tell me winter is not already here.
  • Headed down to SC later this week to coordinate a retreat for youth pastors.
  • Recently brought my good friend EJ Swanson to town to speak to our students on a retreat. Not only did he bless us while here but he is continuing to do so. . .
  • Just the other day he sent me a package with notes of encouragement for a number of students he invested in while with us.
  • Had mexican food earlier with some students. Good times.
  • Are we connected on Facebook?
  • Don't miss the Manic Monday Minute. Get the feed [here].


Are Students More Stressed Now Than During Great Depression?

Next time your grandparents bust out that “walked to school uphill in the snow” line, you can let them know that your generation has its problems too—and there’s a growing body of research to back that up.

A study led by researchers at five different universities nationwide have concluded that youth today are more stressed than students their same age who were studied during the The Great Depression. 

Of the nearly 80,000 students surveyed,  five times as many students surpassed thresholds in one or more behavioral health categories, compared with those in the 1930's. Researchers noticed considerable increases in many different categories but higher scores were noted in areas dealing with anxiety and depression.

"It's another piece of the puzzle -- that yes, this does seem to be a problem, that there are more young people who report anxiety and depression," Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University and the study's lead author, told USA Today. "The next question is: What do we do about it?'"

Twenge previously documented the influence of pop culture pressures on young people's mental health in her book "Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled — and More Miserable Than Ever Before."

Some experts say such high expectations for today's teenagers are a recipe for disappointment. Meanwhile, they also note some well-meaning but overprotective parents have left their children with very few real-world coping skills, whether that means doing their own budget or confronting teachers or professors on their own.

Sarah Ann Slater, a 21-year-old junior at the University of Miami, says she feels pressure to be financially successful.  "The unrealistic feelings that are ingrained in us from a young age — that we need to have massive amounts of money to be considered a success — not only lead us to a higher likelihood of feeling inadequate, anxious or depressed, but also make us think that the only value in getting an education is to make a lot of money, which is the wrong way to look at it," says Slater.

"I don't remember it being this hard," said a mother from northern New Jersey, whose 15-year-old daughter is currently being treated for depression. She asked not to be identified to respect her daughter's privacy.

"We all wanted to be popular, but there wasn't this emphasis on being perfect and being super skinny," she said. "In addition, it's 'How much do your parents make?'

"I'd like to think that's not relevant, but I can't imagine that doesn't play a role."

MSNBC conducted a poll following the release of this research regarding the expectations put on today's youth. Over 70% of the people who voted said that, yes, there were external pressures to be wealthy, look perfect, and be successful.  What do you think?

Source: USA Today


Naked Grandma [Video]

I love The Family Feud. It's one of my all-time favorite game shows. If I am surfing the channels and see the show on (especially the "fast money" portion of the show) I simply MUST stop everything and watch. UFC gets me like that too.

I also love a good comedian... and Steve Harvey is hilarious. Watch Harvey in this video as he hosts The Family Feud.

RSS Subscribers: there is video [here]

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Video Games Not Harmful to Most Students

A new study by Yale University suggests that video gaming may lead to unhealthy behaviors for a minority of the teen population. This minority of students may be more likely to smoke, drink, do drugs or be more aggressive. For years there has been research and debate trying to link video gaming to aggressive behaviors, particularly in boys. This new research is one of the first of its kind to study gaming being associated with specific health behaviors.

"The study suggests that, in and of itself, gaming does not appear to be dangerous to kids," said study author Rani Desai, an associate professor of psychiatry and public health at the Yale University School of Medicine. "We found virtually no association between gaming and negative health behaviors, particularly in boys." "However, a small but not insignificant proportion of kids find themselves unable to control their gaming," she said. "That's cause for concern because that inability is associated with a lot of other problem behaviors."

In the study the "problem gamers" are characterized by three things: trying and failing to decrease the number of hours they play, feeling an uncontrollable urge to play, and experiencing stress or tension that only video games could relieve. Desai noted, "Frequency is not a determining factor in the study. While problem gamers may in fact spend more hours at play, the hallmark of problem gaming is the inability to resist the impulse."

Of the teens surveyed, 76 percent of boys and over 29 percent of girls reported playing video games. 61 percent reported gaming less than seven hours a week, while about 11 percent reported spending 20 or more hours a week gaming.

Boys that reported playing video games also reported having a higher grade point average in school and were more likely to not smoke and say no to drugs. Desai concludes, "the fact that gaming in boys is linked to healthier behaviors may mean that, for boys it's normal to play video games." For girl gamers, those who play were found more likely to get in fights or cause trouble at school. "This finding may not suggest that gaming leads to aggression but that more aggressive girls are attracted to gaming," Desai said.

The full study was published November 15th in the online edition of Pediatrics.

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Hilarious Cat vs. Mouse [Video]

We showed this video to our students in our pre-service this past weekend and EVERYONE was laughing. It's really entertaining... and makes a great icebreaker.

RSS Subscribers: there is video [here]

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Who Are the Leading Youth Ministry Voices Today?

Someone asked me just last week "Who are the leading (younger) voices in Youth Ministry today?"
I asked them to ellaborate.
"Well, you know, the next Doug Fields... Bo Boshers... Mark Oestreicher... Duffy Robbins?"
Problem is, I couldn't think of any. Don't get me wrong... had the question been rephrased, "Terrace, who are the leading Youth Ministry Bloggers today?" I could have very easily rattled off a few names - especially those I read regularly. But WHO are the leading youth ministry voices?
It made me think long and hard about who is investing in youth workers (and young, church leaders in general) today. I mean, you might argue that you take youth workers within your church under your wing... but what about the youth pastor down the street who is still in his first year? This is what I think of when I hear guys like Doug, Marko, Duffy and Bo named. These are veteran youth workers who are not just investing in leaders within their ministry context but they have gone above and beyond to mentor and equip the leaders down the street and across state lines.
You might say, "Well, I help others through my blog." Oh, please. Yea, that's great... but you need to be rubbing shoulders with workers in your field. Listen to them. Encourage them. Pray with them. See how you might even invest in their ministries. Remember, we're on the same team here.
Perhaps I should ask the rookies the question... WHO are you looking to in youth ministry for training, equipping, and encouragement? I might find a better answer there.

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Win a Free Kindle! needs your help. We value your opinion as a fellow church leader, so we're asking you to take a few moments out of your time to give us some feedback through a little survey we've put together. For taking our survey you'll have a chance to win a FREE Kindle!

Hurry and click [here] to participate in the survey. The winner will be announced next Thursday, November 11th.

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