Sunday, December 31, 2006

My New Year Blessing

This is my new year blessing to all those that read my blog.

May 2007 be your greatest year yet, filled with blessing, proserity, health, and inspiration. Know that you are the head, the top and from above. Let everything you put your hand to prosper. Let your storehouse be full and never be for lack of anything. Let God's light shine brightly on you and know that you are highly favored. Proserity and health will be yours. May all your expectations be reached and be blessed.

Elevate Podcast #9 - I'm Not Out-cast

Here we go...I'm Not Out-cast...Podcast #9 for Elevate Student Ministries. This week our host Juno Garcia and I freestyle in our talk show about this past year. This weeks message on the Podcast is part two of God Dwells in the Darkness and is about how to handle life when it deals a knockout blow. This message was given in our adult meeting is for anyone that is going through some bad times.

To read all the posts on Elevate click here.

Download the MP3 directly here.

Listen online here.

Best Blogs of 2006

This is tough cause I read posts to over 60 blogs but I felt I needed to boil down each of my best posts to only three..

1. Perry Noble - excellent, speaks from the hip, and is a great teacher as well.

2. Mark Batterson - Drives my creativity

3. Tony Morgan - Lots of ministry inspiration

These are the first three I look for each day and pretty much in that order as well...Props do go out to others on my Favorite Blog links; go and check them out as well. These are there cause I read them for inspiration daily.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

My Best Books of 2006

Thought I would join in on some of the top thoughts of 2006 as it comes to a close.

This post will be dedicated to the top books I read:

1. In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day

This book was exciting, thought provoking, challenging and all around excellent. I loved how Mark Batterson writes in such, to me, down to earth speak write at ya language.

2. Communicating For A Change
Communicating For A Change.jpg
This book has stretched me to the max. It has challenged my approach to communicating totally. Needless to say I will never be the same communicator that I was. I can't now that I read it. Andy Stanley and his team have some great principles of communication that can help any communicator go from good to great.

3. Revolution YM
Revolution YM.jpg
Ron Luce has written an excellent book that I believe can transcend youth ministry and be applied to all areas and departments in ministry. Covering areas such as leadership and planning this book can be an excellent resource to take your department to a higher level.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Back From Vacation

So I have been absent now for 5 days from the blogosphere...Been on the farm with my parents...It has been a great few days of vacation with family. The kids absolutly love going there and this week a baby calf was born so they got to see it.

Well, I am back once again and am getting ready to fire up the fingers on some great posts for the new year.

We will be updating our podcast for those that listen with a message I gave this Wednesday night. (Now did you think I could go on vacation without doing something.)

It is part two of my God Dwells in the Darkness series. This one was a really great one that I hope to update everyone on within the next few posts. Just wanted to get my fingers warmed up.

Saturday, December 23, 2006


I'm's a Merry Christmas to you all...Check it out at your own as well...

The Finished Tamales

Ok they're done and boy are the delicious...What's this have to do with Making Difference Makers...absolutly nothing but the making part...just enjoying the Christmas time with family and wanted to share it with all of you.....

The finished product...

Can't keep my fingers off them...and my belly shows it.



Dude that was good...

The Tamale Factory

The tamale factory is in full force now...we have 8 dozen down and many more to go...The whole family is involved...except me, cause I'm fixing to grill some steaks.

Man I can't wait to eat some...


My mother in law came over today and is in the process of making some tamales...OH YEAH...the thought of them is making my mouth salivate. This isn't one of her's. It's just a picture of one. Can't wait for later...

The Griffen Method

Over the past three days I have been utilizing the Griffen Method of blog posting perfected by Josh Griffen of Simply Youth Ministries. Don't know how everyone has liked it. But thought I would give it a try.

Don't know the Griffen Method. It is posting smaller posts up to 6 or 7 times a day.

New Post Series for 2007

Beginning in the new year I hope to start two posts series. I am thinking about developing the following two topics:

1. Personal Life Plan - Taking you through the development of a five year life plan.
2. Our Ministry Principle - Going through the 7 principals by which we do our ministry.

Merry Christmas from the Family


Friday, December 22, 2006

Out of This World

Wow...I never thought it would happen...not only have I been read international...but now off-world as well, someone from Jupiter has officially read my blog...Not really off-world though...Jupiter, Florida. How cool is that!!!!


Here is wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I know many will be leaving and traveling. Be safe and be blessed in all you do. I will be traveling to visit my parents on the farm. My kids love it there. My wife would love to have one. Nope, won't be getting one for Christmas...sorry babe. You'll just have to be happy in your new ride.

Again, be blessed everyone and Merry Christmas.

Santa Claus From an Engineer's Perspective

Ok I hope not to burst anyone's bubble but here goes Santa. Thanks to Mark Batterson for the post.

There are approximately 378 million Christian children in the world according to the Population Reference Bureau. At an average census rate of 3.5 children per household that comes to 108 million homes, presuming that there is at least one good child in each.

Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west. This works out to 967.7 visits per second. This is to say that for each household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh; hop out; jump down the chimney; fill the stockings; distribute the remaining presents under the tree; eat whatever snacks have been left for him; get back up the chimney; jump into the sleigh; and get on to the next house.

Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the earth which, of course, we know to be false, but will accept for the purposes of our calculations, we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household--a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting bathroom stops or breaks. This means Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second--3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second, and a conventional reindeer can run at best 15 miles per hour.

The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium sized Lego set weighing two pounds, the sleigh is carrying over 500,000 tons, not counting Santa himself. On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that the flying reindeer could pull ten times the normal amount, the job can't be done with nine of them--Santa would need 360,000 of them. This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, another 54,000 tons, or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth, the ship not the monarch.

Six hundred thousand tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance--this would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each. In short, they would burst into flames almost instantaneously. The entire reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip.

Not that it matters, however, since Santa, as a result of acceleration from a dead stop to 650 miles per second in one-thousandth of a second, would be subjected to centrifugal forces of 17,500 g's. A 250 pound Santa which seems ludicrously slim would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4.3 millions pounds of force, instantly crushing his bones and organs and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink goo.

Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

5 Things You Might Not Know About Me

Tonight I got tagged....I know what your thinking, "I have no clue what that means." That's ok. All you need to know is that Evan has tagged me and I need to let you and everyone else know five things about me that some of you might not know. So here goes.

5. I used to weigh 275 pounds and would wear itty-bitty bikini shorts...hey quit laughing, it was on stage as a competitive bodybuilder. (And only I have the pictures so you can't dig 'em up online somewhere. Thank God.)

4. I lettered in football my freshman year in college at then Texas A and I in Kingsville, TX. (It's now Texas A and M - Kingsville)

3. The only guy from my high school to earn 1st team all district in 5 different positions on my football team. (Ok that's enough football trivia)

2. I was a d.j. in a night club. (oh yeah I used to mix it up on the turn tables.)

1. If I wasn't in the ministry...I would love to be a chef even though I probably wouldn't eat everything I cook. (It's a vegetable thing.)

So the tag is on......Eric, Tommy, Jason (there's something about that name that I really like), PD and Cory Miller...TAG YOUR IT.

My Videos

I have several videos that we have created...some good and some better...these are our first attempts into video editing creative elements for our meetings.

You can check them out at my youtube. Go to

Elevate Podcast #8 - Darknesscast

Here we go...Darknesscast...Podcast #7 for Elevate Student Ministries. This week our host Juno Garcia, Joann Clouse, Josh Garza and I talk about dark times in our lives. This weeks message on the Podcast is called God Dwells in the Darkness and is about how God allows dark times so He can show up and show off. Check out The Elevate Rundown 12-20-06 for meeting & message details.

To read all the posts on Elevate click here.

Download the MP3 directly here.

Listen online here.

God Dwells In The Darkness 3

Tonight I continued to explore the whole topic of God Dwelling in the Darkness at our Elevate meeting.

We looked at David's life of how the lion, bear and giant were all events where God dwelled in some dark times and He showed up and showed off.

Many times we wonder why bad things happen to good people or why if God is omnipotent does He let us go through some of the things we go through.

Think about know that David being a shepard had to have been praying prayers of protection over his flock. Prayers like "God don't let any lions or bears come and take any of my flock. Protect them." The very prayers he prayed were exactly the very things that ended up happening.

But these events were the very events that prepared him for the battle with the giant. Another battle that God showed up and showed off in his life and prepared him for even greater things in his life.

Friends God sees the end and understands the timeline of our life. It is He that knows that the very events that you are going through that are preparing you for the road ahead. A road that will be littered with exploits of a mighty God who will show off in and through your life.

The Elevate Rundown 12-20-06

Here is how Elevate went down last night, December 20th.

Worship Set:
What The World Will Never Take
Salvation Is Here
Beautiful One
The Heart of Worship
From The Inside Out

This week begins a short two week series that will be continued in the new year. Next week I'll be on vacation but Elevate will still be meeting. Tonight we talked about how God Dwells in the Darkness of our lives. This is probably one of the best messages I have ever given and answers the question of why do bad things happen to good people. Make sure you listen to this on the podcast when it comes out. The next message in the series is going to be called, "I'm Down But Not Out."

Sermon Title - Show Up and Show Off

Big Idea - God allows dark times so He can show up and show off.

Total Attendance-48, Total Teens-41

Service Notes:
I these were some good numbers for not meeting with Elevate for the past two weeks. I am always very fearful of long breaks cause people crave normality. This was a great message and the team worked well together tonight.

Click here to view other posts on Elevate.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Building Resonance

Some people think that position is about leadership. Although leadership does sometime come with position it does not necessarily mean that because you have position that you are the or a leader and that others will follow you.

Remember if you think you are a leader and no one is following you, you are only taking a walk.

Leadership is about creating resonance. Resonance means "richness or significance, especially in evoking an association or strong emotion." More often than not some "leaders" are unintentionally creating dissonance within their own organizations. Building resonance is a strong key to leadership and brings the people that you are leading into an atmosphere that lends itself to quality relationships.

Wanting blind submission is no longer an effective style of leadership.

This is a prime proponent of leadership through position. Follow me because I'm the boss or the pastor or the department head.

Although there may be some biblical application to headship, today's leaders can elicit a stronger leadership quotient through building resonance. This is different for each person you lead and takes work but in the long range will bring a greater working synergy within your team.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Creating Human Connection In The Church

Great interview with Howard Schultz CEO of Starbucks. This excerpt stood out to me.

We just had this level of optimism that I think we felt what we were doing and how we wanted to do it and treating people well and we just felt that the place, I want to go back to that, that America lacked a place, and if you'll look at what Starbucks is created, we really have created perhaps not since the English pub this place of meeting, of gathering and at a time in the world not only in America where there's such a fracturing of humanity and human connection and we live in such a fragile environment that human connection is important and Starbucks has brought people together.

Would would it be like if your church or youth ministry name could replace Starbucks in that quote? Could that be said of by you? Starbucks doesn't just say it they created it. In a world of fracturing humanity and human connection we must create the same type od environment where human connection is important and brings people together.

Full Transcript of Interview

Thanks to Brand Autopsy for Interview

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Best of The Best Blogs

Here are five of the bests posts I read this week out there in the blogosphere.

1. Ramblings on.. talks about Change - this was an excellent post that tied in with the next best.
2. Kem Meyer talked about The World As You See It - What are you doing to learn about people today that don't see things the way you do? is something she wrote about in her blog.

These two got me thinking. Change is needed in church today if we are going to reach the what we are doing today effective? Are we currently changing the community around us or is it changing us? Jonathan Herron talked about that a couple of weeks ago when he said "to not just shape culture, but to create culture." Are we creating the cuture around us or are we allowing culture to shape the church?

3. Joseph Sangl asks "Do We Deceive Ourselves?" Ouch this one could be dangerous reading!!!!

4. Dave Ferguson wrote about "The Power of Passion" This was a great one cause I believe passion is what sets a difference maker apart.

5. Mark Batterson talked about "Weekday Faith" Hey Sunday Morning only comes around once a week but there are five weekdays and they are where the majority of our lives are lived. So live out your faith everyday.

The Meal of All Meals

 We went to our absolute favorite restaurant in Corpus Christi tonight. After doing a little Christmas shopping we chose to drive south on SPID through Flour Bluff over the Laguna Madre and in to Snoopy's Seafood Restaurant It is actually on a pier on the Laguna Madre.

Tonight we came in and watched the sun set over the water. The Maui Maui there is absolutely awesome. You haven't had great fried fish 'til you've gone to Snoopy's. Dress casual and be prepared for some open air seating. It rocks. Ask for Larry and tell him Jason C sent ya. Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 15, 2006

Being Held Hostage

This morning after I got to work I received a phone call from my wife and she was in a state of panic. "I'm Being Held Hostage!" was what she kept telling me and that I had to come home.

For the past week we have been on a mission to catch a new visitor to our home, a mouse. Well this morning it made an appearance. My wife opened a cabinet and it busted loose. It startled my wife and made a run for it. So she calls me on the phone to get home and find it.

This really got me thinking today. How many times in our life are we holding ourselves hostage to the potential God has for us? Think about that. We hear all the time that God wants to bless us and that He has set us free. But sometimes it sure doesn't feel like it, right? Maybe it is a habit you need to break. Or you feel like your trapped in a relationship and even though you want to get out you keep coming back to the same situation. Or maybe you have heard this before, "Well God is going to keep bringing you back to the same situation till you get it right." (Is that even really a Biblical Principle? Isn't God taking us from glory to glory?)

Some of the smallest things can hold us hostage. In fact, the bible says that "it's the little foxes that ruin the vineyard." The vineyard could be our life and the little foxes could be our current mindsets. God wants us to reach our fullest potential and for us to get from our present to that potential we got to cross a land called chaos.

Our mind craves normality. It resists and does not like change. Even when normal doesn't look like normal it is still normal to the mind. This is why people who are trapped in hurtful and damaging relationships sometimes only end up in other hurful or damaging relationships. It is because to the mind that is normal.

For us to move on we must transform our thinking as Romans 12:1-2 tells us. We must create new thought patterns and close the door on those things that are holding us hostage. Part of that process is happening right now just by realizing what is holding you back. So begin creating a new order. Set out a few traps and catch that mouse...or those small things that may be holding you back.

What if you could acheive all that God created you to be? What would your world look like if you reached your full potential? Go ahead and go for it.

Oh by the way...I caught that little sucker tonight...No more surprise calls...I hope!!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Crazies

I love my wife and she is going to probably kill me when she reads this but I was wondering how many Christmas Crazies there are out there. As you already know I was up at like three in the morning the day after thanksgiving doing I thought I would let you in on how many trees were in our house...

Not just one...

Or two...


How about four....



That's right...six...and if you count the one in our kitchen that is like a stick configuration and the one on the porch...that would bring it to eight...don't know if I missed one in there somewhere...

I do love that she brings such a Christmas Spirit to our home...although if I hear one more Christmas song I'm gonna look like this picture only with a fatter gut...

So does anyone out there top that????

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A New Feed For My Site

First off I want to apoligize to all my readers who are subcribed through my guys are totally awesome.

I ran into some problems the other day. I went to Feedburner to check out my feeds and noticed that for some reason it does not show my feed in my account. This is lame even though everyone who is subscribing through it is getting feed from my site as well as getting feed for our podcast. But as some of you know it doesn't help in tracking how many people are getting to your site.

So today, I created a new feed and hopefully this will never change. The new feed address and this will be reflected in all of my feeds links from here on out is

If you click my little orange it should bring up a subscribe screen with the feed with some options to choose from.

For some of my readers that may be novices to blogging and still go to site front pages over and over each day this is a tip that can save you some time.

Tip: Use Google Reader (of course you can use many other readers this just happens to be the one I use and it is really simple) to subscribe and read blogs. This is very helpful and can save you time because it automatically shows you when someone has made a new post. And when you track about 60 blogs this can save you some much needed time.

I know this can be a pain for some of you (it is for me as well cause I have to go make sure all my links are correct everywhere)...and the old feed will continue to work but this is vital for the future of what I do. Be blessed all and know you are highly favored.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Making Difference Makers

As some of you may or may have not noticed...recently I changed the title of this blog from Jason Curlee to Making Difference Makers...let me explain that for some of you.

A couple of years ago on my journey through life and being a Christian I was challenged as to what my purpose fact this happened in a staff meeting at Faith Family Church.

What happened was we had a consultant come in and challenged us to write the purpose for our lives in less than 11 words and only gave us 2 minutes to do it in. I had already been going through a stage at this time in discovering what it was that God wanted me to do in my life. So when this happened I threw down on paper in exactly 10 words what I knew my purpose was, "to influence others to make an impact in their world." Since then I have changed as follows: "to influence and develop others to make a impact in their world."

Many years ago when I became a Christian one scripture that God laid on my heart was Isaiah 62:10. I have always felt that I have been called to raise up people who are going to make a difference. People that are going to achieve all they have dreamed of. People who are going to make an impact in this world. People who are going to shake off the limits and constraints that are holding them back.

So with that I encourage you tonight. Dream big dreams and don't hold anything back from achieving them. Our God is a big God able to do more than we can ever dream or ask.

Issues In Youth Ministry

Life In Student Ministry (Tim Schmoyer) posted an interview on Issues in Youth Ministry he did with me. You can read the post here.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Elevate Podcast #7 - Purpose-cast

Here we go...Purpose-cast...Podcast #7 for Elevate Student Ministries. This week our host Juno Garcia and I talk about the purpose of Elevate and breakdown how we do ministry here.

We give great statistics on today's teenagers with the five purposes we do ministry by.

To read all the posts on Elevate click here.

Download the MP3 directly here.

Listen online here.

To check out all my posts click here

Best of the Best Blogs

As of this week I counted that I track about 56 blogs of various types. From pastors to youth ministers, marketing to branding...I read and feed myself from a variety of sources. I thought that it would be great to give you what I thought were the best of the best this week.

These are blogs that I starred in my blog reader, Google Reader. So last week from Sunday to Saturday these are what I considered to be the top ten posts that I read.

1. Church Relevance wrote "A Statistical Portrait of Fathers and Mothers in America"
2. Monday Morning Insight wrote about "
Joel Who? Most People Have Never Heard of the People We Discuss Here..."
3. Joseph Sangl wrote about "
Items that EVERY person needs in their financial plan"
4. Monday Morning Insight wrote about "
Pastors and Pop Culture"
5. Church Communitcations Pro wrote "
7 Steps to Building Your Church Brand"
6. Ministry Marketing Coach wrote "
Tasks for Ministry Marketing Coaching: Deliver the Message"
7. Matt Card wrote "
The power of a vision"
8. Tony Morgan wrote "
Leadership Lessons from Yahoo"
9. Strategy Central wrote "
Listening Broadly"
10. Matt Card wrote "
A Great Story"

Friday, December 08, 2006

Youth Ministry Help

I need some help by any youth pastors, youth directors, or youth leaders.

I am trying to find out the percentage of youth attendance to the sunday morning attendance on churches nationwide. For example if the sunday morning attendance is 500 and your youth ministry runs 50 on its meeting then your percentage is 10%

If you don't want to provide all the numbers that is ok. I mainly need #1 but the other info would be great. Email it to Jason Curlee...

1. Percentage of youth attendance to the sunday morning attendance.

2. Sunday Morning Attendance Avg.

3. Youth Meeting Attendance Avg.

If you know of any youth ministry leaders that you could send my way to help me I would appreciate it.

Presentation is Everything

Holding your attention, creating an excellent experience, and discipline in learning are just some of the keys to a presentation.

View the link and be prepared. Keep in mind that all 21 performers are completly deaf. They perform this with cues from four trainers that are off stage. The video was recorded in Beijing during the Spring Festival celebrations this year.

Click the following link.

Thanks to Bert Decker for the link.

Diet Coke & Mentos

Thanks to Marko for this link. Crazy way to play with Diet Cokes & Mentos.

If you are subcribed through a reader you may have to go to my site to view video. If so click here.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Top Blog of the Day

For the "Top Blog of the Day" I found this great quote on Brand Autopsy

Taken from the book "How Full Is Your Bucket?"

“Each of us has an invisible bucket. It is constantly emptied or filled, depending on what others say or do to us. When our bucket is full, we fill great. When it’s empty, we feel awful.”

Sounds a lot about the principle John Maxwell teaches about how each of us has a pocket full of change. I think it is also emptied or filled by our actions and words. Are you filling your bucket today?

The Night Off

Tonight is Wednesday and we had the night off in lieu of a Christmas concert tomorrow night at Church. Here is what we did:

I was dubbed chef for the night cause my wonderful wife wanted her favorite dish..."Skilletini"...a dish I sort of copied from Johnny Corrino's. It is very good...In a giant skillet I cook some sliced chicken, sliced Italian sausage, adding in some cajun seasoning, garlic salt, garlic, red pepper flakes, tomato sauce and some water from the pasta...then when that's done I add in spagetti will rock your world.

Then we, the family, watched the "Heroes" season ender. I am now waiting for January 22nd. "Are You On The List"...that is gonna be a great sermon title or series. Of course I still don't exactly know what "Save the Cheerleader, Save the World" means just yet...but assume it will be revealed.

Today, I was up on three flights of scaffolding in our sanctuary ceiling hanging was scary...I know that I don't have a fear of heights...just of falling off of something very high...that would probably hurt.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Podcast Around The World

Can you say "stupid" with me....

I'm sitting here looking at what I think are my podcast statistics and I am so geeked cause it shows that I have people all around the world downloading. I even typed out this whole email on different countries. When all of the sudden I start doing a little more investigating and realize that I was looking at an example of statisics...ok let me hear it now...."stupid"

Ok that's enough...I got it....Now back to the real world.

God Dwells In The Darkness 2

One of my favorite movie series is you have to watch this preview before you read on.

Oh no you don' the preview first.

Last week I wrote a post called God Dwells in the Darkness...I also spoke in our adult meeting last week about it. Last night I was at our Men's Ministry when our Pastor asked me to do a devotional with about 20 minutes notice. I know I hear ya...your a Pastor your supposed to be ready in season and out of season.

Well I wasn't ready. In fact my mind was so off preaching last night...(maybe it was on those chicken wings)...

Anyway I strolled up to my office and was totally blank...I looked through all my past message titles wondering if I could use one of them(It's a good reason why I keep all of them), but that wasn't working. So I was frozen until I started thinking about my favorite verse, Micah 7:8. Here it is in the message paraphrase.

Don't, enemy, crow over me.
I'm down, but I'm not out.
I'm sitting in the dark right now,
but God is my light.

I love it.

In that trailer of Rocky...his trainer talks about all the things Rocky doesn't have to beat his opponent...You know what we don't have them either.

Our opponent has years of experience. But we do have one thing he doesn't...we have a God that is bigger. Sometimes we need to remind our adversary of the fact that "We may be down, but we are not out. It may be dark all around, but that is just where God wants us cause He is our light."

God dwells in the darkness cause He wants to be the only source of light we have.

So when you are feeling overwhelmed or that there is just a little to much on may be down but your not out.

Say that with me, "I may be down, but I'm not out."

Monday, December 04, 2006

And Now The T-Shirt

This past week I had the honor of delivering the message for our adult service. The message was called God Dwells In The Darkness. This I feel was one of the most powerful messages I have ever preached. It is one of the messages that I have given about 3 times over a period of 10 years. I don't repeat often but this is one that many people need to hear.

I often wonder though what people hear and take in when they leave. So it was cool last week on Thursday when one of the ladies there came in wearing a t-shirt with a quote from my message. The quote said something like "Sometimes God puts us against impossible odds with no weapons but our faith in Him."

So now there is a t-shirt..hmmm...I can see the book deal coming next. LOL

Saturday, December 02, 2006

New Changes

I am not a patient for the past two days I had been waiting for our podcast to upload so I can post it...well this morning I decided to go check out Podomatic.

And the decision is made. I will be using it right now as the host for our podcast. It will add a few more features that improve how we were doing as before.

There won't be any changes to my feed if you are already subscribed. I will always link the post through this site which automatically feeds my subscribers.

It is easier to upload pictures. It has a nice little player that can be added to all my sites. I can post to various sites right from it. Those are just a few things I have discovered so far.

Oh is also free for now...I like freebies...

The Missing Podcast

For those that have been waiting on the podcast...I apoligize...I have been having problems with the server that hosts it. It will be up as soon as things are resolved.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Elevate Podcast #6 - It's All About Mecast

Here we go...It's All About Mecast...Podcast #6 for Elevate Student Ministries. This week our host Juno Garcia, Gilbert Herrera and I talk about our night. I was speaking a message to our Adult Service this night and was not in Elevate. This week Juno brought us a message on Pride. Check out The Elevate Rundown 11-29-06 for meeting & message details.

FYI - The Next Two Weeks will be special Talk Show Only Podcast because Elevate will be combining with our adult meeting.

To read all the posts on Elevate click here.

Download the MP3 directly here.

Listen online here.

To check out all my posts click here

Free Loops & Backgrounds

How many of you love freebies?

Much thanks to Church Video Ideas for this link to Eleven72.

Sign up for their email list and get a FREE downloadable package. The package includes 3 high quality still backgrounds and 2 really cool worship loops.

All you have to do is go to the homepage and sign up in the lower right part of the page, then you’ll receive a welcome email that includes a link to download the free stills and loops.

This looks great.

Countries This Blog Has Been Viewed In

As of October 20th of 2006, I have tracked my blog statistics with a tool called Google Analytics.

Below is a running list of the countries (UPDATED 05/5/2007) my blog has been read in with most viewed at the top:

1. United States
2. Canada
3. United Kingdom
4. Australia
5. China
6. New Zealand
7. Mexico
8. Singapore
9. Spain
10. Ireland
11. Sweden
12. Netherlands
13. Belgium
14. France
15. Colombia
16. Germany
17. Philippines
18. South Africa
19. Chile
20. Russian Federation
21. Greece
22. Brazil
23. India
24. Poland
25. Croatia
26. Hungary
27. Argentina
28. Turkey
29. Slovenia
30. Vietnam
31. Austria
32. Fiji
33. Israel
34. Romania
35. Qatar
36. Japan
37. Taiwan
38. Cote D'lvoire
39. Egypt
40. Portugal
41. Albania
42. Hong Kong

We have also been read in 48 states.

Now I don't know if all you guys and gals dig that but I do. It is so cool to see what you do being spread around the world. Check back here often to see where else in the world we've been.

The Elevate Podcast Format

A little bit of country...and a lot of bit of rock and roll...well maybe not but let me tell you what you can find in our Elevate Podcast if you are not already listening to it.

You can see all our past Podcasts by clicking here.

The format of our show goes a little like this:

Intro - Cool music with some info stuff by Joann.

Talk Show - This is a behind the scenes talk show of the night hosted by Juno Garcia...Gilbert Herrera and I are usually on and we have different guest each week.

Message - We then have the power-packed message from Elevate on it.

Close - More cool music with info by Joann...

And that is about on the lookout for our next one coming to you very very soon.

Evangelism Linebacker

Boo---Yah...How funny is this...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

My Work Week Is Done

Here is a rundown of what the last 4 days were like for me:
  • Monday - (Christmas Decorator Hat) We decorated the church for Christmas and I created a ticket for a radio station promotion we having for our Christmas Concert with "Butterfly Kisses" Bob Carlisle. I also pulled down a ministry promotion table and set up the room we have our youth meeting in. There were some other minor things that don't need to be discussed.
  • Tuesday - (Graphic Designer Hat) I finished working on the "Get In The Game" CD covers and CD labels for our Sr. Pastor. That took most of the morning. In the afternoon I created and finished the CD covers and CD labels for our Unquenchable Series. We launched our first podcast with that series. More minor things this day as well.
  • Wednesday - (Pastor of Student Ministry Hat) Started the day putting together the Powerpoint, note handouts, and created a logo for the message for the youth meeting for my boy Juno. (As a little side note...he is going to have to get up to speed on doing these things...I rib him a lot about it in our next Elevate Podcast. During this time I am in a lot of thought about my message for the adult service I did last night. In the afternoon I typed out my entire message, created the graphics and Powerpoint for it, and lastly created note handout sheets. I then checked on how the youth pre-service was going and how our adult pre-service were going. Both services went excellent. Afterwards we recorded the talk show part of our podcast. All in all it was an 11 hour day for me.
  • Thursday - (Computer Tech Hat) Edited and mixed our podcast...this week I changed up a lot of the music and intro. Took me the whole morning. In the afternoon I think I had a memory lapse cause I don't remember much...either that our the excitement of scheduling our main speaker for our March Youth Conference has made me forget everything else. OK, OK...I know you want to know who it is...go check out his website and be surprised. For those that might not know who this is...He brings it. The absolute #1 service I was ever in...and I have been to lots...big time preachers, mid-level, name it...He rocked it. Tonight, the family and I lit our first fire (in our fireplace) for the season, cooked some stew (yummy) and watched Monday's episode of Heroes. It was a good night...and since I already put in 40 hours this week I get to spend the day tomorrow shopping with my hunny. Oh yeah I took the Heroes Quiz...guess what..."I have not yet taken the next evolutionary step" (now come on...I don't really believe in the whole evolution thing...just having fun with the quiz...)

I'm Out...

The Elevate Rundown 11-29-06

Here is how Elevate went down last night, November 29th.

Worship Set:
Salvation Is Here
The Time Has Come
Take It All
From The Inside Out

This was a message on Pride by our very own Click here to view other posts on Elevate.

Click here to view all my current posts.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

God Dwells In The Darkness

OK, OK, I know that might be an extreme title for some people...I mean we all have heard the scripture God is Light and in Him is no darkness...that is 1 John 1:5 for those that like to look it up themselves...but I want you to hear me out.

Yes, I know theologically that God is light and there is not darkness in Him, but the darkness I'm talking about is the dark times of our lives. I believe that we are all destined to go through some type of dark time...for some it may be darker than others.

Let me give you a few before I get a huge response from people about which scriptures I'm using and how the background of those scriptures means this and that (by the way I do encourage you to respond to all my posts) just be patient and hear me out.

Exodus 20:21 says "...Moses approached the thick darkness where God was."

Deuteronomy 5:22 These are the commandments the LORD proclaimed in a loud voice to your whole assembly there on the mountain from out of the fire, the cloud and the deep darkness;

Deuteronomy 5:23 When you heard the voice out of the darkness, while the mountain was ablaze with fire, all the leading men of your tribes and your elders came to me.

2 Samuel 22:12 He made darkness his canopy around him— the dark rain clouds of the sky.

There are lots of other scriptures and I don't want to get bogged down on all of them go to Biblegateway sometime and do a keyword search on darkness.

There was this time that my wife and I got this phone call at about 2:00 a.m. when we were pastors of a student ministry in Kingsville. Now when you pastor teens there are only two reasons you get calls at that time of night. Either it is a crank call or it is trouble. Well this night it was trouble. Five teens from our youth ministry were involved in a car accident and two were being lifeflighted to Corpus. Those are not the words you want to hear. My mind originally thought the worst.

One of the teens who was with them ended up breaking her pelvis and had to be in the hospital for a couple of weeks. This was her senior year in high school, obviously some dark times for her. Prior to the accident she was really questioning if God was around. Where was He? Was He out there? Even though she was in church and did have a relationship with God she felt all alone in at this phase in her life.

After getting out of the hospital she spoke about these times to the teens we were pastoring. Her message was that she felt God was not around but realized laying in that hospital bed that God was closer to her during the accident than ever before.

See many times we think that God is not around. We question why are these things happening to me? Where is God in all this? Let me tell you that God is right there with you. Scripture says that He will never leave you nor forsake you. That even though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death...He is with you.

My number one favorite scripture is Micah 7:8 it says "Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light."

I firmly believe that God dwells in the darkness to reveal His light and glory to us and those that are lost around us. It is a light that shows the world that there is someone out there that cares deeply for us.

God is going to allow dark times in our life so that His glory will be revealed through them. It is through these times that our faith is released. Scripture is full of examples of people who travel through dark times in their life. Joseph, Job & Paul are just a few men that endured times of darkness only to have God do great things through them.

So when you are experiencing some dark times in your life just know that God is there. He always has been and He always will be.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Building Team Leaders

The value of having a competent team does not go under-rated here in our youth ministry and the same should be true of any church or business. It is not something that develops overnight though. It is a process that is on-going and requires much diligence to a team concept. Teamwork is just that "work".

For example, this Wednesday I get the privilege of bringing the message to our Wednesday night adult meeting. Our youth meeting is still going and will be led by a great team. I can honestly sit here and say that I am not worried. One of my good friends and right hand man Juno will be delivering the message. My wonderful wife will be overseeing the meeting while I am in the adult meeting. I have even thought about not even going over there. Of course I will be checking in before the meeting cause the whole pre-meeting is just as important as our meeting.

This wouldn't happen if we weren't diligent in creating and taking care of our team. One of the main ways of accomplishing this is by hosting a monthly team leader meeting. This is on an off-night and during this time my wife and I really pour into them. My ultimate goal is always on replacing myself. On this leader meeting we will feed them. Then I teach them some principles they can put in place in their life that will enhance their leadership skills and their careers. We will then spend some time discussing and our planning events. It is a great night where we can bond together and I can impart our lives to them.

I believe that every department in churches should have a department leader that is pouring into their main leaders. People don't want to just come and volunteer. They want to come and be part of a family...especially one that bonds together. People will serve when they know you care about them and are imparting your best in their life.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Christmas and Finances

Seeing this is the Christmas season I know many people will be spending lots of money on goodies for friends and family. It is also a time that many people will stretch themselves financially.

I recently came across a great blog site by Joseph Sangl. This site has great tips on finances and looks like a blog I will be tracking daily. Go by and check out the site.

Thanks to Perry Noble for the link.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

It's Over

So it's over...IT'S OVER...

No, I'm not talking about Thanksgiving...Although it is through and it was really good...especially that fried was the best...

No, I'm not talking about Friday's Christmas shopping...thank God that it is though...3:15 a.m. came really early and we were at Wal-Mart by 4:00 that morning waiting in line with hundreds of other Christmas crazies taking advantage of all the deals...the store we were at was pushing over women...people cutting in line...all to be the first to get that bargin...WELL THERE I wife drug me out there.

What I am talking about is the Longhorn's...ok here it is it might be the only time I ever put this out for the world...the aggie's beat the Longhorn's...aaghh...that was horrible...I can't believe that even came out...but it's horn's lost and to top that off Oklahoma State couldn't pull off the win by a finger tip. No BCS bowl, no big twelve, no, no...all that's left is to wait and see what bowl we will get...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Just a note to everyone who reads...I hope everyone has a great Thankgiving Week. I will be spending time with family and hope that everyone is safe and blessed.

Elevate Podcast #5 - Faithcast

Here we go...Faithcast...Podcast #5 for Elevate Student Ministries. This week our host Juno Garcia, Gilbert Herrera and I talk about our night with our guest Jerad Day. This week Jerad brought us a message on Faith. Check out The Elevate Rundown 11-21-06 for meeting & message details.

FYI - I thought I would make everyone really happy and get this out before thanksgiving. Next week, I will go back on my regular schedule of posting on the weekend.

To read all the posts on Elevate click here.

Download the MP3 directly here.

Listen online here.

To check out all my posts click here

The Elevate Rundown 11-21-06

Here is how Elevate went down last night, November 21st.

Worship Set:
What The World Will Never Take
The Heart of Worship
Jesus Lover of My Soul
Your My Everything (This is a song by Pocket Full of Rocks that has not been recorded. We heard it this weekend at MWC and learned it for tonight.)

This was a message on Faith by our guest speaker.

Sermon Title - Faith

Sermon Scripture - Hebrews 11

Total Attendance-56, Total Teens-41
First Time Salvations - 1

Service Notes:
This was a switch for us. Due to Thanksgiving we had our meeting on Tuesday instead of Wednesday and we brought in a guest speaker, Jerad Day, who is a Master's Commission student in Oklahoma at Journey Church. Jerad brought us a message on Faith and it was awesome. Check out the podcast in future posts for a funny and insiteful interview with our guest as well as his message.

Click here to view other posts on Elevate.

Click here to view all my current posts.

The Flip Side of "Just"

"Just a Youth Pastor" again is term that I established that I don't like. I still have not and don't know if I ever will.

This is what I do know. Thriving youth ministries always seem to help a church thrive. You will see their influence from ministry structures to music. There are many "youth pastors" that have gone on to build thriving churches.

Is the whole "just the youth pastor" a perception brought on by uneducated church people? (By uneducated I don't mean stupid, just not taught.)

Is it a perception from a business world concept? Oh you're not the ceo your just a middle-manager, I want to speak to someone on the top.

I believe there are some things that a "youth pastor" could do:

1. Keep having fun with teens. Don't ever change that. Of course you don't have to act stupid and infantile but have fun. People that laugh together bond deeper. Some of my greatest times in ministry have not been on the platform speaking. They have been on the church van having pillow fights or in the bus having an all out wedgy-wrestling war at a McDonald's. But when I am in public I conduct myself as an adult even when the teens are around. It is knowing when to have fun and when to be an adult.

2. On Sunday's connect with adults in how you dress. Look & carry yourself as a professional and you will garner respect for our profession. You can look professional and look young and hip as well...(My daughter's and wife always are attempting this with me.)

3. Plan & strategize everything you do. Most people work at or for businesses that do this on a daily basis and understand and see when you do things that way. You will also gain a stronger team from doing this.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Why Jesus Could Not Have Been A Pastor

Wow...go read Perry Noble's post on Seven Reasons Why Jesus Could Not Have Been A Pastor In Many Churches. Ouch...

Eight Countries

That's right I said eight countries. What does that mean you say? Since, October I have gotten real serious about blogging. I think it is a great tool to collect my thoughts as well as connect with a larger community. On October 20th of 2006 I started tracking my blog statistics with a too called Google Analytics. I had always seen the map in it that showed all the different places of where people are from who read. It puts a dot to show me and then I can see the city.

Today though I found a feature in there that lists out the countries, states, and cities. Here are the countries my blog has been read in:

1. United States
2. Canada
3. Belgium
4. France
5. United Kingdom
6. South Africa
7. India
8. Spain

Now I don't know if all you guys dig that but I do. It is so cool to see what you do being spread around the world.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Just The Youth Pastor

My wife says if she hears that again she is going to rip the hair out of the person's head. Not really but it really irritates her.

It irritates me as well. And I was thinking about it lately. I know a lot of "youth pastors" who run their ministries better than their "Sr. Pastors". OK y'all don't be hatin' on me just yet. I can hear you already, "that's coming from a guy who's just the youth pastor."

Hear me out. Youth ministry has come a long way from back in the day. Many pastors of youth ministries are and do run sharp programs. But many are just modeling what is modeled to them. And the main thing is that the church needs to wake up and treat these men and women as more than just "youth pastors." These guys have a great calling and a great responsibility seeing that many parents are dumping off their kids saying, "fix 'em for me".

Yeah, I can see that really happening. Here these pastors have maybe 2 to 3 hours a week with your teens and you are expecting a lot and to boot many people have the attitude that these men and women of God are "just". Many of these pastors are pouring out all they can to inspire, motivate, disciple and help you raise up a mighty child of God. Think about it. The public school with its philosophy has them for about 35 hours a week. TV, music, and internet have them for another 40. Their friends some more. All that and you expect a "youth pastor" to do what.

Listen folks it is time we partner together. Sr. Pastors, parents, teens and yeah "youth pastors" (I hate that term...I know some of you guys out there embrace it but I think we are more than that)...need to work together and realize that the future is right in front of us and it is our responsiblity to shape and mold it. We need to work together to ensure that the future of our country and the future of our chidren is a bright one. Things are a changing...let's change them for the better.

Grab Life By The Mane - 2

Of course by now I am deep into the book "In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day" by Mark Batterson. As I go back and review I notice that on the second page of Chapter 1 I underlined, "Normal people run away from lions...But lion chasers are wired differently."

What is it about Christians that makes us so timid at times? I know a lot of people that acted so crazy when the weren't saved and now that they are it's like "lame". You know what I'm talking about? It's like all of the sudden they get life...and then they let life suck it right out of them.

God has wired us different and we should be chasing lions. Last week we were talking about decisions in our meeting and I love that topic. Decisions will determine our destiny. What you decide today will determine what your future is like. Sometimes though I think we need to quit thinking it out. You know if you sit down long enough you will rationize yourself out of chasing that lion. You will start to think about just how big that lion is. All of the sudden when that happens we make our lion bigger than our God.

I imagine Benaiah did rationize it at all...cause what "sane" person does when they are faced with a lion. What "sane" person sits down and looks at the doctors report and just trashes it and goes to God in thanksgiving. What "sane" person looks at where they are going to get their next meal if they tithe and goes ahead and gives it. Lion chasers are so different. They grab life by the mane and they take it before God. They go ahead and put their foot on the enemies neck and give God the glory before they ever "think" about it. So go ahead...grab that obstacle...stomp down on it...and see if God doesn't come through for you. Grab Life By The Mane.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Out For The Weekend

So it's been since like Thursday or Friday since my last post. I think I'm going on withdrawals. Actually we have been out of town and I had no (and I mean none) computer access. The hotel we were staying in didn't have a business room. See if we stay there again. Where were we? In Houston at the Mighty Warrior's Conference but on by STXYM.

It was good. The band "Pocket Full of Rocks" rocked. If you haven't heard them go to their site or their myspace. The two speakers Brock Gill and Allen Griffen were both excellent. Brock Gill is an illusionist who brings a gospel message.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Elevate Podcast #4

Here we go...Decisioncast...Podcast #4 for Elevate Student Ministries. This week Juno Garcia, Joann Clouse, Gilbert Herrera and I talk about our night. This week we tag teamed for a message called "Decisions 2006." Check out The Elevate Rundown 11-15-06 for meeting & message details.

FYI - I usually post the podcast on Saturday nights...but due to being out of town I got it up early this on the lookout for it each weekend.

To read all the posts on Elevate click here.

Download the MP3 directly here.

Listen online here.

To check out all my posts click here or click to subcribe to this feed.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Elevate Rundown 11-15-06

Here is how Elevate went down last night, November 15th.

Worship Set:
Salvation Is Here
Take It All
What The World Will Never Take
Empty Me
This Is Life

This was a stand alone message called Decisions 2006. Our Decisions determine the quality of our life and our destiny. Therefore we must make sure they are quality decisions.

Sermon Title - Decisions 2006

Sermon Scripture - Joel 3:14

Big Idea - Our decisions determine the quality of our life and our destiny.

Total Attendance-54, Total Teens-48

Service Notes:
This was a stand alone message that Juno, Gilbert and I gave this night...the night went really well...our music team is sounding awesome...I am still excited about all the possibilities that stand before us...the altar was full of many teens choosing life week we will be having our service on Tuesday and will have a guest speaker.

Click here to view other posts on Elevate.

Click here to view all my current posts.

Click for an automatic feed from my site.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Turkey Giveaway Outreach

Yesterday, our church gave out over 400 turkeys to the community. It was exciting to be able to be an extension to the community. This is the second service outreach project my wife and I have led. The first was giving out 500 backpacks to area children. We had a great team of volunteers who helped us pull this off. We had two great teamleaders, Lee Enderle and Ann Bleakney who helped organize our volunteers. Our church is really starting to rally around these projects.

Most of my ideas come from Mark Longoria at Faith Family Church who I know as one of the top outreach pastors in the country. What he has done over there with his teams is awesome. He leads over 100 volunteers and 25 outreach teams that minister to over 1,000 people a year in their community and much of what he does is getting the community behind these projects. So he is just facilitating much of the community in reaching and changing their city. That's my boy.

Outreach isn't my main thing but reaching the community is one. When I do service projects like this it really feels awesome to know we are making a difference in peoples lives.

The Mystery of Faith On The Today Show

Segment on NBC's Today Show called "The Mystery of Faith - Evangelicals in America" it has a segment on Lakewood and Joel Osteen and mega-churches.

HMMM...what are your thoughts? I really noticed how they dropped in at the end about how evangelicals are now voting democratic...Was this whole thing really a political segment or what was it?

Significant Church Pastor's Conference

Yesterday, I went back to Victoria for one night to Faith Family Church pastored by Jim Graff. They are hosting the Significant Church Network Pastor's Conference. This conference is about helping pastor's in small counties across America. More than 90 million people live in small county America. I was on staff at Faith Family for 5 years and much of my ministry DNA is due to them.

For me what makes FFC so unique is that they have been able to build a church of 4,000 in a county of 85,000, a county that is not connected to a metropolis at always amazes me that I was a small part of that.

Here are some great highlights that Pastor Jim and Tamera discussed last night:

  • Are we making it clear in our region that devotion to Jesus makes a life-changing difference in every life? (Acts 1:1-24)
  • Are we maturing believers who connect with the unconverted? (Acts 2:1-4)
  • Are we turning our church from an institution into a fellowship? (Acts 2:42-47)
  • Are we focused on people more than on programs and property? (Acts 3:1-4)
  • Do we have enough unity with God and His people to overcome problems and possess promises? (Acts 4:32)
  • Do I have the right leaders in the right places? (Acts 6:3)
  • Are we doing all God's called us to do in our area, our region, our nation and our world? (Acts 1:8)

One of the things he always says that has one of the greatest impacts on my ministry and thinking is, "If our church was to be closed down today would the community feel it, would you be missed by the community."

Not just by the members but is the church making such an impact on the community that it will be missed.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Grab Life By The Mane - 1

Yum, Yum, Yum…today I just got my four books I ordered from Amazon…they are going to be the latest books to add for my bookshelf…I am so excited and have been especially waiting for “In a Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day”, by Mark Batterson of National Community Church. You can find out more about the book at the Chase the Lion website.

I have already begun reading it and it has already go me thinking and I’m only on page 12. Here are some of the things I’ve underlined:

“There was also Benaiah son of Jehoida, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds…” p.9

Now I know that was just the Scripture text on the first page of Chapter One….but this got me thinking about being valiant.

Valiant means 1) boldly courageous; brave; stout-hearted, 2) marked by or showing bravery or valor; heroic:, 3) worthy; excellent.

So I’m reading this and thinking does this describe me. To my kids am I marked by bravery…am I their hero… Sometimes putting aside the things I want to do to spend time with them is a heroic act. It is easy in life to run and do the things that “I” want to do but I only have one shot at their childhood. I only have one chance to truly make an impact on their life. Am I going to make that impact at work, or in the gym, or on the golf course? No, I will make that impact walking my life out in front of them. Being a hero to them is sometimes being home when the get home, cooking them dinner…jumping on the trampoline with them. (Getting off the computer sometime…LOL…that one’s mine)

So Benaiah was a valiant warrior…he did many heroic deeds. Make it your purpose to begin your start at being valiant…start at home…start at work…start at church…start in your relationships…just start… GRAB LIFE BY THE MANE!

What other books did I get today???

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Church Out Of Control

That is their growth. If you haven't checked out Newspring Church you need to. They have doubled in size since January. Now that feat alone would be awesome...our youth ministry doubled since April when we came in. But this church went from averaging about 4,000 in their service to 8,000. Go check out their Pastors blog Perry Noble Dot Com and read about how they are doing it.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Oh So Tired

Well I am flat out tired...I spent all day Friday getting ready for our S.H.A.P.E. is 12:30 a.m. on Sunday morning and I am forcing myself to stay up. The conference was yesterday or today, I don't even know anymore. I will try to update it tomorrow...after we give out 500 turkeys at Church of Hope.

By the way I am tired cause I was up till after 2:00 last night typing out and printing all our material for the conference. It went great and I will try to give more details on it in future blogs...

I also spent tonight getting Podcast #3 posted...I really am forcing myself to stay up right eyes are getting all droppy and ..... I . .... .. am. .... 2 ..... fall ...... aslee

Elevate Podcast #3

Here it is...Podcast #3 for Elevate Student Ministries. This week Juno Garcia, Joann Clouse and I talk about the service and we have the concluding message for our Unquenchable Series entitled "I Must Worship". Check out The Elevate Rundown 11-8-06 for service & message details.

To read all the posts on Elevate click here.

Download the MP3 directly here.

Listen online here.

To check out all my posts click here.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

5 Questions for Today's Youth Pastor - Tim Schmoyer

For our second installment of On The Edge With Youth Pastor's, I had Tim Schmoyer answer five relevant questions for today's youth pastor's....ok well maybe four...although I think ribs are a very relevant questions.

1. What are your details? Located, church, website, name of youth ministry, how long, etc…

Redeemer Covenant Church
Carrollton, TX
Name: C.R.E.W. Christians Reaching Everyone Worldwide
I've been the youth pastor here for 2.5 years.

2. What do you see as the state of youth today?

Students are searching for a place where they belong, feel safe, are understood, cared for and loved unconditionally. They'll even do whatever is necessary in order to gain that approval, which is why we see students wearing one mask at school, another at church and yet another on the athletic field, for example. They'll conform to the environment in order to feel like they fit in and are accepted. Youth ministry today needs to respond to this by creating an environment of safety, unconditional love, acceptance and a sense of belonging. So when I look at the state of students today, the only way I can see us effectively responding to this is by creating a place where genuine and authentic relationships are key and biblical community is intentional.

3. What is your unique way of doing ministry? What do you focus on the most? Examples: small group, technology, dramas, worship, speaking, creative, etc….

My style of ministry is based heavily on relationships. Almost everything we do revolves around that core value. The main context for these relationships takes place within small groups. Most of our discipleship takes place there, along with our outreach, worship, and fellowship.

4. What kind of technology do you utilize most in your services?

None. We don't have the resources to utilize much as far as video projection and sound is concerned. However, services aside, we do use our website on a daily basis, text messaging announcements, instant messaging, and other great Internet-based communication tools for ministry.

And on the lighter side:
5. Pork ribs or Beef Ribs?

Dude, beef all the way!

A true Texan all the way...beef..oh yeah baby...Thanks Tim great answers...

You can read more from Tim at his blog Life in Student Ministry.

Read all posts on this topic at 5 Questions for Youth Pastors

Or click here to read all my latest posts.

Milestone #100

Wow...number 100...I guess you know your into it if you hit your first milestone...of course over the past month I have really upped my contributions to the whole world...I have been thinking about what to post for this first milestone...hmmm...since it is the holiday season and thanksgiving is right around the corner how about what I am most thankful for...

1. God...first and foremost...without Him nothing is possible.

2. My Wife...she is the sugar in my koolaid, the cherry on my sundae, the apple of my best friend...she enables me to be able to do so much in my life...I am so thankful she is there...she complements me in many of my weaknesses.

3. My children have to share their Dad with other I am so thankful that I have three of the best girls in the is a joy to watch them grow up and become all God has planned for them.

4. My Parents...they were great examples to me...and it is still through their love and support that I am who I am.

5. Friends...Mark Longoria, Juno Garcia, Steve Solis, Arnie Silva: Over the years you guys have allowed me to lean on you when I needed to lean and kept my arms held high when I needed strength...

6. Pastor Ed Cann...because of his faithfulness I am saved today...he is one of my spiritual fathers and I will always be blessed because of him.

7. Pastor Jim Graff & Larry Helms...who for the past 5 years stretched, prodded and pulled greatness out of me. They helped take me to a higher level and put a desire and passion in me for excellence.

8. Pastor Rod Young...for giving me the opportunity to take COH to a higher level.

9. Elevate Team Leaders...Elevate would not be possible without you...Robbie, Juno, Crystal, Gilbert, Carolina & all the students in leadership...Together We Have Achieved More...ok so that didn't spell team but it does comes close to spelling awesome which is what you guys and gals are.

10. The blogging community...I read and track over 40 blogs that challenge me to be more strategic, creative, innovative, professional, and humorous...

To live the life I am living is a tremendous honor and blessing and I look forward to where this will take me...Everyone out there be blessed...

The Elevate Rundown 11-8-06

Here is how Elevate went down last night, November 8th.

Worship Set:
Take It All
Salvation Is Here
How Great Is Our God
Jesus Lover of My Soul

This is the last message of the Unquenchable Series. This message was about choosing to focus on God or Focus on our problems. Having a heart of worship keeps our focus on God. A heart that has a "must" desire is one that draws God's attention and brings Him on the scene.

Sermon Title - I Must Worship

Sermon Scripture - John 4:23-24 ...worshipers must worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth.

Big Idea - Worshipers who “must” worship God bring God into focus as they respond to God’s reality thus magnifying Him above their problems.

Two ways to Magnify God:
1. Focus on God - Worship in Spirit
2. Respond To God - Worship in Truth

Total Attendance-45, Total Teens-39

Service Notes:
This is the completition of this series...the night was full of little things...little problems...which was perfect for the team cause it was what the message was all pointed out that we had the choice of two things, either focus on the problem or focus on God. We chose God. And the service went great. Be on the lookout for the third podcast coming this weekend...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Stalk Wars

Nope that's not a mispell...I wrote it...STALK WARS...Apparently I'm now being stalked...Do a guy a favor and what happens? I thought this guy was feeling a little lonely so I would send him a little email to pep up his spirits and now...STALKED...

What's will I do? Erik Bramlet, Eric's Eddyfications, from Community Christian Church, has put the word out on me...where can I's not like I can just stop writing my blog and crawl back into a hole in life. I could change my whole blog and...aghhh...the thoughts....

Maybe I can call the CIA or the Secret Service...I have a few friends in low places that I still know. They might even drive all the way up to Naperville, Illinios, if the price is right. What's a guy to do???????????

I got it...retaliation....everyone, if you are reading this...if there is a single breath in your living soul, you need to go to Eric's Eddyfications and leave a comment on his blog's...tell him I sent ya...Tell Him THE WAR is on.

The Stalk War Begins

Eight Things That Excite Me

There are a lot of things that excite me that probably don't excite others and vice versa...

For example, when people come up and ask me if I watched the latest pro football game on the weekend. Usually I tell them, "nope, I don't watch pro football." In fact, I haven't watched the Superbowl in the last 3 or 4 years. (Whole Janet Jackson thing...missed it.) Now don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-pro football, they are a bunch of overpaid jocks kinda guy...oh no...I think they deserve every bit of the salaries they get. In fact, they should probably get paid more. It just I enjoy the college game a little more. The atmoshere at those games is a little different. Ever since I played ball in college, I can relate to the thrill of the rivalry of the college game. On top of that, college football has been marketed very well over the past few years and although the play on the field is not at the professional level, the excitement is definitely there.

So what does excite Jason Curlee...well here goes

8. A big stack of ribs from Smitty's in Lockhart, TX. I know it's debatable, but I stop there every time I go through.

7. When the Longhorn's win. (They still have a good shot at a national championship. It would be really cool though to win the Rose Bowl three times in a row.)

6. Reading a great book on leadership, church growth, business, etc...and learning that one concept that is going to take myself or my organization to a higher level.

5. Getting our Elevate Service out in a podcast. (My wife was so bored when I was telling her about how we did it.) Here is the latest.

4. Seeing our team at Elevate pull off a great service.

3. When my children succeed in whatever they are doing. I want them to be the best.

2. Of course I couldn't write this post without saying my wife excites me...even after almost 15 years of marriage she is the one I look forward to seeing everyday.

And the number one reason....(drum roll)

1. When I see God change people's lives. I love the fact that God uses me in all my imperfections to do something great for Him. I know you're probably saying this just cause you are a Pastor and you're supposed to say that. But I do what I do for this very reason. Not for the pay..(although more would be nice) but for the thrill of seeing people move forward in their lives.

What are the things that excite you? Leave me a comment I want to hear what some of yours are.