Friday, May 29, 2009


Congratulations to PASTOR BRIAN for being the random correct comment chosen as winner from Tuesday's trivia! There are 66 chapters in the book of Isaiah, more chapters than almost every other book of the Bible. You are now up to $12 in prize money.

I mentioned that last Sunday I spoke in Crete. There is nice State Recreation Area nearby that many people go to for camping and fishing. Which of these is it?

A. Bluestem SRA
B. Champion Lake SRA
C. Pelican Point SRA

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday - Testimonies

I had a great time speaking in Crete this past weekend. The pastor, Brent, was teaching in Jamaica (tough life) so his wife Amy, pictured above, led the way. She is also our girls ministries director and has a big Impact retreat this weekend at the camp: 


I spoke about leadership and what role you can play in the church. I go through a list of many different leader positions and ask people to consider where they can contribute. At the end, we went around and honored those people who have served with distinction in the church. It was a great time, but I had to leave quickly to get to my sons bday party in Bellevue, so I didn't get to talk with people afterward.

Amy emailed me that she enjoyed the sermon and she had people ask her where they could get involved. She also had a lady approach her about starting women's ministries. It was an answer to prayer because she and Brent were considering asking her to do that very same thing.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday - Leaders Corner - Vulnerable

               Mason, an old youth pastor friend in Omaha, pastor in Auburn

There is something to be said with 'being real' as a leader. I've heard countless youth use the excuse 'I'm just being real' to try to excuse their sinful behavior. Leaders tend to go the other way, and refrain from 'being real' to keep their reputation intact.

Proverbs 14:12,13 - There is way that seems right to a man but in the end it leads to death. Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief. 

How many times have you laughed in front of others when your heart was aching on the inside? Leaders will make mistakes and it will affect us. Obviously, there are times when it is more appropiate to be vulnerable than others, but too many leaders never have a place where they can vent and 'be real'. If you find yourself laughing with heartache, find a friend and take some time to unload. Here's a great suggestion where you could go first:

When I youth pastored in Bellevue, I would get together once a week (Thursday mornings, 7am, Panera in Westroads Mall) with about 3 or 4 other youth pastors in the city. We laughed a ton, but we also shared our struggles and questions. We became great friends. Every time I see those guys, an instant connection takes place. God gave me them for relief and friendship.

Do you have that in your life? Can I help you find it?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

                                   Dave Busch, excited to work at camp

Congratulations to PASTOR MIKE for being the correct comment chosen at random as our winner from the Friday WHERE IS THAT IN NE? trivia. He is now up to $24 in prize money. Way to go!

I've been preaching a lot lately out of the book of Isaiah. It is one of the longer books of the Bible. Without looking, how many chapters are in the book of Isaiah?

A. 62
B. 64
C. 66
D. 68

Monday, May 25, 2009

Monday - Life Lessons

Happy Memorial Day

Only 2 weeks left till our first camps!!!!!!!!!!!!

Recently, we've been prepping our campgrounds for our summer camps. We put 40 new bunk beds in and a bunch of other improvements as well. One of the biggest things we've done is put a new layer of paint on the gym floor. We had a camp board meeting last week, and we inspected how it looked.

It took us a long time to paint it. The paint order was messed up a couple of times, and then it took us two whole days to cover the whole floor. We had to buff it, power spray it, sand it, etc. It wasn't the most enjoyable job. 

After looking at it, the board approved to lay down another coat. Here we go again! At first, it was hard to take in, but after looking at the floor, it makes sense. We will have this floor for a hopeful 10 years, so why not make it the best it can be. 

When doing a job, take a little bit more time to make it excellent. It's worth it. Incidentally, if anyone wants to come down and help us finish the paint project, we'll be working at the camp Monday June 1st, and Thursday, June 4th.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Congratulations to Kevinlibby27 for being the correct random comment chosen as our winner from Tuesday's Bible Trivia. As a new contributor (and our new youth pastor in Westpoint) he is now up to $2 in prize money. Great job.

What a day. It's my kids last day of school, my son Eric has a sleepover birthday party tonight, and I'm working at the campgrounds with PastorBrian, PastorMike, THE VIEW FROM MY PICTURE WINDOW, and some others as well.

The picture above is one of my favorite pastors, Jeff Clark. He and his family and wonderful teammates in the NE district. Can you guess which city they pastor in?

A. Bears
C. Tigers
B. Lyons
D. Worms

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thursday - Testimonies

                                  Pastor Steve, excited

Just 2 and 1/2 weeks till camps start. The man above in the red striped shirt is Steve Warriner, head pastor at Abundant Life Christian Center in Grand Island. He is a big proponent of camp and he'll be there at some point this summer, serving on our staff.

I was with his youth pastor Jay, also our youth camp director, and Jay told me that it was because of camp that Steve was the pastor at ALCC. Upon further questioning, I found out that he came and spoke at one of our camps, and the connections made eventually led to his offer of the pastorate at ALCC. So, he was filled with the Holy Spirit at the camp, he became pastor of ALCC through the camp, and his church sends one of the largest contingencies of students to camp every week they come. 

See, camp can really make a difference in your life! Come to camp, you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wednesday - Leader's Corner - Lead the way

Just under 3 weeks until our first camps start for the summer!

2 Samuel 14,15 - David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the Lord with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets. 

We often think of this passage and how great David was in dancing without shame before God. But look at the leadership value of it: First David led the way, than THE ENTIRE HOUSE OF ISRAEL followed with shouts and trumpets. Simple lesson - they followed their leader. They weren't all wearing linen ephods and dancing, but they were worshipping God without shame.

Once I went for a jog with a leader under me in Jr. High Ministry. It was after a service on a Wed night and I started to complain about how I'd like to see the students get more excited about reaching the lost and worship. My leader simply said, 'maybe you need to do it first'.

Want students to worship more?
Want students to come to camp?
Want students to give more to God?
Want to reach more unchurched teens in your area?
Want a revivial?
Want to see something you've never seen before?

Maybe you need to do it first...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

                            Ashley Drury (Clearwater, NE) is gross

Congratulations to THE VIEW FROM MY PICTURE WINDOW, for being the correct comment chosen as our winner from Friday's Trivia. That pictures is the road leading into Valentine, NE, home of the infamous Mike Maroney. The View is now up to $4 in prize money because they already claimed prizes with their winnings at an earlier event.

Our STL theme for this year is EXTRAORDINARY ( Can you find a verse in the Bible which mentions this word?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday - Life Lessons

                        For more pics, go to:

Yesterday, I spoke in Gothenburg, NE. It's a small town off the interstate just west of our campgrounds in Lexington. I was able to bring my family with me because we stayed at the camp the night before. In our cabin, my son found a dime under his bed, probably left over from popstand money last year. He called it his lucky dime and kept it with him the rest of the weekend at the camp. 

On Sunday morning, he asked if I had seen it in the bathroom, because he had lost it. We scrambled frantically, but found it at last. That dime was real important to him.

Well, in church, it was youth Sunday, so our kids stayed with us the whole service. During offering, the pastor encouraged everyone to give their best to God. After a couple of minutes and after the offering container went by, my wife leaned in and said, 'Ryan gave his lucky dime'. I looked at him, and he had a big smile on his face, proud to give his best to God.

Kind of like the widow and the offering. I think God really appreciated that lucky dime yesterday. How can you give your best to God today?

Friday, May 15, 2009


Unfortunately we don't have a winner from Tuesday's Trivia. People must be getting pretty busy getting ready for camp, which is fine by me. 

Next weekend we've got a number of different groups from different churches coming to the camp (21st-23rd) to work. The road above leads into one of these cities - which one do you think it is?:

A. Gering
B. Columbus
C. Red Cloud
D. Valentine
E. Alliance

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday - Testimonies

                          Cleaning rafters and bringing down lost balls

1. North Central University has 2 graduates that were voted on as the Minnesota state teachers of the year over the past decade. That's the most from any school in the region.

2. At camp work days, I have the Master's Commission team from Bellevue. Two students, Reggie and Caleb, used to be junior high students in the youth group I led there years ago. They came to me and said that they are best friends. It all started when I introduced them to each other in youth group. Good to know it had a lasting impression

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wednesday - Leaders Corner

                          Needs some of this 'anointing'

John 12:3 - Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

When Jesus was anointed, it left a beautiful smell about him that filled up the space where he was ministering. God wants to give us that same kind of anointing, that will fill up the cities where we live and move.

A pastor in one of churches recently did an amazing illustration. He had volunteers come up and he put a heavy T-shirt on them. Then, a man took big oranges and crushed them over these people and their T-shirts. Then, they walked through the crowd for about 2 minutes. Amazingly, the large gym suddenly smelled like tasty oranges. 

God wants us to make the world a better place. Wherever we go, we'll bring a 'smell' of victory and hope. (A great word, especially for Jr. High boys)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

Congatulations to Pastor Mike on being the correct comment chosen randomly as our winner from Friday's Trivia. I was in Paxton checking out our BGMC/STL Missions Bike Ride coming up in September, and Ole's is the pride of their town

The picture above is one that was painted during the worship time at Abundant Life Christian Center in Grand Island. Can you name a story in the Bible where someone looked directly into Jesus eyes?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday - Life Lessons

                        The Graduation Banner at NCU, Minneapolis

God has a way of bringing us the places where he wants us to live and serve. 

At the graduation brunch with graduates and families at North Central University in Minneapolis last Friday, a few graduates got up to speak about their experiences at the school. A sharp young man got up who was graduating with a degree in intercultural studies. He has just married his wife, and they decided to marry in a parking garage, because it was the place of their mission field. They also knew that many of their 'homeless' friends would not be able to attend if it was in a fancy church. What a heart towards ministry.

He went on to tell the story of how he was a freshman and struggling with the curfew rule. One night, he was late, but rather than sneak in late and be punished, he decided to sleep outside on a bench in one of the local parks. How interesting that a young freshman, trying to avoid trouble, actually did something that would help him relate to his area of ministry later in life. 

Again, God has a way of helping us get to the places where he wants us to live and minister.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Congratulations to LARISSA for being the correct comment chosen as our winner from Tuesday's trivia. She is now up to $12 in prize money. I spoke from a passage out of Isaiah chapter 3.

I'm up at North Central University's graduation today. Should be a great time. Then, next week we've got a big work week at the camp, so if you can spare a day, come day and say hi (and work some too!)

The picture above is of a great restaurant in western NE. They are famous for having wild game on their menu. Can you guess what city it is located in?

A. Hershey
B. Paxton
C. Sidney
D. Imperial

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thursday - Testimonies

                              Playing the 'shock' game. Gotta try it sometime

I'm on my way to the Board of Regents meetings at North Central University in Minneapolis. It's going to be great seeing other DYD's before we get busy with our camps across the midwest. Yesterday, I had the chance to see Criag Bunck, and old MC student with me at Bellevue back in 1999. He was originally from Fremont and after MC's, he went back to school and got an art degree. I remember going to his senior gallery and seeing him pursue his dream. He is now the media expert on staff at Westside Church in western Omaha. It's great to see someone pursuing his dream and getting a chance to do it for God.

Last Sunday, I spoke at Southridge church in Bellevue. I went to check out the kids area, and the leader greeted me at the check in table. He said that he recognized me, so I figured he had been an air force man in the young adult group I led at Bellevue Christian Center. Well, actually, I had done business with him when I was that pastor. We made a couple of neon signs for our ministry, and we used his business for it. At the time, he wasn't a Christian, and though we invited, he had never made his way by. Well, now he's working with Troy Vandament and preparing to take his Berean courses to become a pastor himself. Wow!

Sometimes, you only hear bad news about people that fall away from church and their dreams. It's good to hear the stories of the people who make it, by the grace of God. Be someone that makes it too.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wednesday - Leader's Corner - Knowledge

            Spoke at Southside last night. For more pics:

Romans 10:1,2 - 'My heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.'

1. Paul cared about the Israelites. He used to persecute the Christian ones and destroy them, but now he genuinely wants to see them saved. God has truly changed his heart.

2. Paul prayed for the Israelites. Sometimes, we look at lost people like they are the enemy. That's an Old testament thought, when they used to kill them. Our purpose is to reach them and bring them into the light. Pray for them as Paul did.

3. Paul knew they were zealous for God. He knew them. He didn't try to explain who they were without really knowing the truth. We must research to understand the people we are trying to reach and lead.

4. Their zeal wasn't based on knowledge. Paul's prayer was based on the knowledge of who they were and what God could do. They were living their lives without the truth because they didn't understand what was really true. Being a Christian is being someone that loves God and studies to know the truth. The better student you are, the more potential you can have in working for God.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

Well, unfortunately, we once again do not have a winner from Friday's trivia. It amazes me that more people don't sign in for a chance to win, especially when we have a multiple choice question. Good effort from Brian, but Don actually helped lead THE PEPPER in McCook.

Here's the trivia for today. Tonight, I am speaking at the youth group from Omaha Southside with Kevin Jacobs (above, in the background, with his mouth opened akwardly). I'm sure it will be a great time, and it's my first official visit there since Kevin's been the youth pastor. I'm speaking about being SUPERHERO's for God.

With that title in mind, what book of the Bible do you think my text is from (I'll make it as easy as I can!)

A: Hebrews
B: Isaiah
C: Genesis

Give it a shot. What do you have to lose?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday - Life Lessons - Change is good

Yesterday, I had the privilege of speaking at a fairly new church in Bellevue, Southridge! Troy Vandament is the senior pastor. I love his family and we used to work together at Bellevue Christian Center. He planted a church in North Omaha and now he has planted this church for Sarpy County.

The church meets at Twin Creek Theaters. They have the most comfortable seats that rock, auditorium style, and they have coffee holders, which come in handy for the free Scooters coffee. As I got up to speak, I looked out and the theater was mostly full, with probably about 200 people in attendance. They used to meet in a strip mall that probably could only hold about 75 people comfortably. Had they not moved to the theater and tried something new, they would probably never have grown to where they are today. 

Change is good. Though uncomfortable and challenging, it gives us the opportunity to grow and become better.

For more pics, check out my picasa web album -

Friday, May 1, 2009


This is Don Chester. He is the director of operations at our Camp, the Crossing, in Lexington. Before that, he was a youth pastor in two different places in NE. In one particular place, he helped lead a community youth group with the name THE PEPPER. Can you guess what city that was in?

A. McCook
B. Norfolk
C. North Platte
D. Gothenburg

Also, we didn't have a winnner from our trivia on Tuesday. Larissa was close, but there are two books with the letters 'M', 'I', and 'C' in them. Keep trying and H\have a great weekend. Come see me at Southridge Sunday morning if you can.