Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"To Save A Life"

Everybody needs to spread the word about this movie and watch it in theaters. This movie will change lives!

Friday, November 13, 2009

21 months...

Well, I try to avoid noticing when "the 13th" rolls around. And I'm usually pretty successful, but not today. I woke up at 4 AM this morning (definitely not planned) and couldn't fall asleep as I laid there listening to K-Love (on my iPhone, because it's the only way to get K-Love in Harrison) for at least 2 hours, I heard somebody mention that it was Friday the 13th and it hit me. Then on comes one of Steven Curtis Chapman's new songs that he wrote after he lost his daughter. 21 months ago, my older sister left this earth. As good as she was at getting on my nerves, I absolutely loved her. As kids, we apparently spoke a language that only we understood. Growing up, we played together: her barbies and my ninja turtles. We would later go to movies together, church together and usually hung out with the same friend group from church/school. In college, we lived together for two years and were teased that neither of us would ever marry and just live together for the rest of our lives (and here I am...still single). I would gladly accept "the call of Paul" to have her back. I think today has hit me hardest since the first one, or God has thrown the most "reminders" my direction; I'm not sure which one it's been. I turn 25 a week from today. Kiley never got the opportunity to be 25. I have lived to be older than she did, but she still saw the age "24" but never experienced "25." Here I am, only a week away, and 21 months after she died and I don't even know what to say, other than I hurt.

Another one of God's reminders today, was a email devotional that I get everyday, only this one addressed this particular day. I'd thought I'd share it with you.

"For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance." (Psalm 66:10-12)

How do you deal with the undeniable reality of painful moments in your past when you are praising God? What's the best approach? Should you pretend like those moments never happened? Is it impolite to bring them up in the middle of praising God for His goodness to you?

Right in the middle of this great psalm of praise to God, David reaches back to a painful time in Israel's history -- and says that God did it to them on purpose. He makes a choice to believe that God was responsible both for bringing them into that terrible season and bringing them out of it again.

Would a good God really "test" His people and use hard times to "refine us like silver"? Yes, He does -- and the fact that He does is evidence that He is good and loving and powerful. David saw that God cared about His people too much not to use terrible circumstances to draw them into the place they would find the most meaningful and satisfying life -- in closer relationship with Him.

Can we praise the God who takes us into and out of life's most difficult times?

Think: Have you noticed that God has used some of the harder times of your life to draw you closer to Him? Do you believe the best life is lived in leaning more closely on God?

Pray: Ask God to help you to praise Him for being your good God even during the most difficult times of your life.

Do: Read Job's shocking statement about this idea in Job 13:15, then listen in Hebrews 12:7-11 says about hard times and our Father's loving discipline.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Watching my best buddy nephew play some soccer in Conway. He just scored...again!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Quarter-life crisis?

So, as I approach my 25th birthday in two weeks, I think I may be going through a quarter life crisis...or else I'm only going to live to 50 and am having my mid-life crisis. I've just recently had these desires to do ridiculous things like get a motorcycle and cruise across the country.... Weird, I know.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I want to share with you a letter that I received from Junior, a child that I am sponsoring through Compassion International. Junior is 7 years old and is from Honduras. Compassion is an organization set-up for individuals to “sponsor” children living in poverty in other countries. The sponsorship enables these children to receive food, medication, an education, and an opportunity to learn about the love of Christ.

“Dear Sponsor Kirby Martens, I greet you with affection hoping that you are in good health along with the ones around you. Thank you for sponsoring me and I thank God for this means of communication with you. I want to tell you that I’m doing well in school, I can read and write and my classmates are very nice to me. I like going to school. I want to tell you that I have a parrot and she calls me Junior every morning when she is hungry. I also had cute puppies from my dog Blaki but they all died, she had 13 puppies, but they all died during the earthquake here in Honduras. I want to tell you that I had so much fun playing on Easter week, it was so much fun for me. I also had vacation in June and the sister took us to the field and we practiced volleyball, soccer and basketball and I had so much fun. I would like to know if you have children so they can be my friends like you. I received your letter and I was very happy to learn a little more about you. I want to ask you to pray for my family and my country. I say goodbye with many kisses and hugs and I hope we keep in touch.”

I share this letter with the hopes that we will all become more aware of the need to share the love of Christ with the world. I fear that sometimes, as a church, we get so inward focused that we don’t pay any attention to what is going on outside of our church walls. Christ commands us to “go and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19). Are we truly doing that? Making disciples of all nations starts in our own community and spreads to every country of the world. Are we focusing our attention and efforts on spreading the Gospel to every corner of the earth? Are we even going out into our community to spread Christ’s love? Or are we so focused on our church building, our worship service, and our Sunday school class that we have completely neglected Christ’s words. The Great Commission doesn’t state to sit in our church building and wait for non-Christians to come to us so we can make them into disciples. It says to GO!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Arkansas Children's Hospital Needs YOUR Help!

You may have seen on the news that Children's Miracle Network is teaming up with Microsoft to award an XBox game room. We all need to vote for Arkansas Children's Hospital. You can go to each day from now until October 16th to vote for Arkansas Children's Hospital. You can vote up to 10 times per day (simply hit the "vote now" button 10 times in a row).

Please pass this information on to everybody you know!

When I first heard about this and voted, ACH was in 3rd place. They are currently in 1st! Let's keep them there! Wouldn't it be great if Arkansas finally won something other than track? Hehe.

Monday, September 28, 2009

CWE is the place to be...

A group of our students just got back from an amazing weekend at Camp War Eagle for Fall Focus 2009. We joined with 190 other students and adults from about 10 different area churches for an amazing retreat. While there, students were able to participate in fun activities like “The Blob,” water slides, and Mission Impossible; Conquer fears and self-doubt on the high-ropes course; practice team-building exercises at the initiative games; and really grow in their relationship with Christ during worship and small group times. The Ryan Fitz Band led worship and Brandon Barnard, of Fellowship Bible – Little Rock, delivered God’s powerful Word.

The theme for the weekend was “Up There, Down Here.” The theme stems from the “Model Prayer” or the “Lord’s Prayer” found in Matthew 6:10. “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” The entire weekend was centered on how, as God’s children, we are called to bring God’s Kingdom here on earth through our lifestyles in areas such as servanthood, lordship, prayer, and missions. It was an incredible weekend and I believe that our students have been challenged and developed a desire to do their part in bringing God’s Kingdom into the world that we live in.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I'm sure you've all heard of P90X, the insane workout program that gets you buff in like 90 days (if it doesn't kill you first). Well, the pastor of Elevation Church in North Carolina created the B90X program, which he describes as: "a revolutionary system of intense, truth-absorbing, brain-busting Bible reading that will transform your understanding of Scripture from intro to nitro in just 90 days! Your personal trainer, Ruach “The Breath” Yahweh, will drag you through the most intense infusion of His vision that you have ever experienced and you won’t believe the results!"

I've done the "bible in a year" schedule, but have decided to take on the B90X challenge and I want to challenge you to do it to! If people are willing to take the P90X challenge so they can have great abs, shouldn't we be willing to push ourselves for God?

If you can't get the picture to work for you, you can go to:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What is worship?

This is what I wrote for my page in the church newsletter...

If you have had an opportunity to attend the 8:50 service on Sunday mornings then you may have noticed that things have looked a little bit differently the past month or so. We have aimed to redirect the focus back toward the cross. Our hope and desire is for our members and visitors to experience a more life-changing worship experience so that they can take that experience and completely change their lifestyles.

When I think about worship, I don’t think about songs that we may sing, or dancing, or really anything having to do with music. I think of worship as a lifestyle both in and outside of church. The Apostle Paul helps Christians gain a better understanding of true worship in his letter to the Romans.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will. - Romans 12:1,2 (NIV)

I really like how Eugene Peterson states that first verse in The Message. “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering”

Paul sums worship up pretty easily. It’s a lot more than what we do each Sunday morning. It’s how we live our lives everyday. It’s sacrificing your life each and everyday to God. When I think about sacrifices in the Old Testament, they are always called to be perfect. When an animal was to be sacrificed, it was to be always be the very best animal that the person doing the sacrificing had available. This mentality should mold our daily lifestyle sacrifices to God, causing us to say: “God, let everything I do today be for Your glory” and allowing that mentality to be the determining factor of what we do, causing us to give and do our very best for God at all times.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

You ready for this?

So, I've been meaning to write this blog for over a week now, I'm just such an excellent procrastinator that I would've hated to do it when I had originally planned. This is one of those deep thought provoking theological posts that probably won't get any comments, but should get you thinking outside the box. Are you ready? This may even blow your mind! (Or you may have already come up with this "what if" epiphany and just failed to inform me about it. If that's the case, shame on you for not sharing your own epiphany).

Ok, I've been going through the book "Wild at Heart" with one of my recently graduated seniors and in one of the chapters, Eldredge quotes some of Revelation 12. I have read this passage before but never had this epiphany before. Just shows the value of reading Scripture daily no matter how many times you've read it before b/c God is always prepared to teach us something new.

Revelation 12:1-5 gives the introduction and description of an enormous red dragon with seven heads, ten horns, and seven crowns on his heads that is wanting to destroy the male child that is about to be born to a woman and will "rule all the nations with an iron scepter." The child is born and snatched up to God and His throne while the woman fled into a desert place prepared for her by God. Then beginning in Revelation 12:7...

"And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down - that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him."

Now, here and in Isaiah is where (to the best of my knowledge) the Christian faith has developed the story of Satan causing a big ruckus and being thrown out of heaven with all his "angels." And we expect that this happens at some point either before or during creation, before Adam & Eve first sin....because Satan is obviously on the earth to tempt Eve. There is a lot of theological discussion to be had simply in those previous two sentences that I am not going to cover.

I want to really focus on the Garden of Eden, Adam, Eve, and the first temptation. So, we know that Satan tempts Eve with the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. What was the fruit? I think we have no comparison, because it was obviously the only tree of its kind so I would imagine its fruit was one-of-a-kind as well.

Growing up, I've always been taught and seen pictures of the "Fall of Man" with Adam, Eve, a tree, and a snake. But Scripture never calls the crafty tempter a snake, only "the serpent." Our idea today of a serpent is a snake, but what about thousands of years ago? What if the serpent is this enormous red dragon? Remember Revelation 12:9 says: "The great dragon was hurled down - that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray." If I'm Eve, and see this amazing dragon, I'm gonna be both scared and in awe at such a creature that can talk! I know it would be way easier for a dragon to tempt me to eat fruit from a tree than it would be for a snake. Just like it would be easier for a lion to tempt me to eat than it would for a house cat. Something about the awesomeness of the creature.

And think about the curse that God puts on the serpent in Genesis 3:14. "So the Lord God said to the serpent, 'Because you have done this, Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.'" For starters, the curse kinda drops the serpent on the "wild animal power rankings" below like everything! Which also means that he was probably ahead of at least most things before the curse. Snake? Not so much. A dragon? I'd say so! Then there's the other part of the curse. The serpent is forced to crawl on its belly and eat dust for the rest of its life. This obviously means that it wasn't crawling on its belly before! Let's say a dragon has wings and legs. If you take those away, what is its only mode of transportation? Crawling on its belly. In fact, if you think about a dragon and take away its legs and wings, what does it look like? It looks like a huge snake in my mind! (I just think about the movie Anaconda or something).

That's all that I could think of while writing this post, I'm sure theres more stuff in my head that won't make its way to the surface right now.

So, the serpent in the Garden of Eden. Was it a snake like we've been taught since we were little kids or was it a powerful dragon? Think about it and let me know what you come up with.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ankle Update

Well, I went to the orthopedist yesterday and got some great news. There aren't any torn ligaments in my ankle. It was just a high ankle sprain (which is a lot worse than a normal ankle sprain) and a bone contusion (which means when I did it two bones hit together and bruised each other). The only real dilemma that I may face is if the bone contusion actually caused one of the bones to chip off in which case I'll probably have to have arthroscopic surgery to take the bone chip out. But, the doctor doubts that will be the case. So, the doctor told me to start walking on it and lose the crutches as soon as it feels strong enough b/c no further damage would occur. Needless to say, I woke up this morning and decided that I was ready to lose the crutches. So I wrapped an ACE bandage, strapped on a "floppy" ankle brace, strapped on my stirrup ankle splint/brace, and somehow put on a tennis shoe. Let's just say, I now know how Kiley felt playing basketball. But I've been walking all morning...very cautiously and with a bit of a limp.

Monday, July 27, 2009

One Body, Many Parts

In the twelfth chapter of 1 Corinthians, Paul writes to the church in Corinth about the “Body of Christ” and how the church is one body made up of many parts. Many of us have read or heard Paul’s message that God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. Paul is teaching the church in Corinth that it is good for the members of the church to have different gifts and abilities and that no gift is greater than any other. This is definitely a great message, but there is another lesson in this chapter that often gets overlooked.

In verses 25 and 26, Paul writes: “so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” I recently hurt my ankle playing softball and the doctors think that I have a torn ligament. So for the past week and a half, I have been hobbling around on crutches trying to keep up with teenagers and make it up the stairs at my apartment. But my injury has helped me develop a greater appreciation for the idea that Paul presents in verses 25 and 26. Because of the injury to my ankle, my entire body has suffered. My whole left leg has been exhausted from holding the entire weight of my body and my arms, hands, and wrists have been sore from doing half of my walking that they are definitely not used to.

I’ve realized this past week just how important it is, not only for every “body part” to play it’s role, but for the other parts of the body to be ready and willing to step up and carry the weight and tasks of the body when an individual part has been injured. The same is true in our church today. Not only is it important for every individual to understand and DO his/her role in the church. It is also important for us (the people a.k.a. body parts) to be there for each other when someone else has been “injured.” It may be an actual physical injury, an emotional injury, or a spiritual injury; but I promise you that there are those in our church that are hurting and needing comfort. You may be the one that is hurt but trying to act like your not. I hope you wouldn’t ignore a broken foot and continue to walk on it. You need to recognize the problem and allow an opportunity for it to heal. If you are hurting, don’t be too prideful to admit it and ask for help. The rest of your “church body” would love to be there for you. Remember: “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it, if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A New Injury!

Well, I've dislocated my shoulder so many times that it was starting to get boring so I've decided to venture out and discover new ways to injure myself. So, last Friday night, I found a new way; although it really feels like I just decided to pick up where Kiley left off. While pitching with the bases loaded the ball was slowly grounded back about half way between me and home. I picked it up and decided to just step on home when I realized that the person running home was much faster than I had originally realized, so I went a little faster and as I was about to tag him, he slid. I tagged him out but to keep from stepping on him, I guess I planted my toe into the ground while the rest of my momentum carried forward. Needless to say, I (and my catcher) heard my ankle pop about 3 times. Knowing that I had slightly sprained my ankle, I waited for the ump to call the runner out (I was prepared to argue if he'd had been called safe). He called him out, I made my way to the dugout when all the sudden the adrenaline wore off and my ankle just started killing me. I couldn't put any pressure on it and when I looked down it was already swollen out of my shoe. I quickly realized that I wasn't gonna be able to "walk it off" like I had originally planned and made my way off the field to lay down, elevate and ice it. Eventually, as the pain got so bad that I was turning pale and shaking, we decided to go to a doctor. Nothing broken, but severely sprained with a possible torn ligament or two (which would be much worse than a break). I haven't been able to walk on it after 4 days and crutches while living on the second floor of an apartment has gotten real annoying. I've decided that dislocating a shoulder is much better than hurting anything that effects walking. Here are some pictures showing how swollen it all is from shin to toes.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

"Prettier Than You"

Here is a music video that my youth group made. The song is called "Prettier Than You." The lyrics were written by one of my recent graduates, Zac and I tweaked the words and added music to make an actual song. It is meant as a funny song so don't take offense to the words, they are only to make you laugh. And if your thinking, how could a youth pastor promote a song like this...get over it, I am promoting humor and creativity.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Seminary...more school...???

So, I've been thinking the last couple days about taking some seminary classes while working here in Harrison (either online or one day a week in like Tulsa) and was wondering what people thought. I would probably go with a Masters of Divinity which I believe takes 3 years. Take a gander at the poll to the right and let me know what you think. Thanks.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Being a FOOL for Christ

If you haven't ever seen, heard, or read this story then watch this video. It's a great encouragement to stand up for Christ no matter how foolish people may think you are.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Whew! What a week...

Well, I just wrapped up one of the most intense weeks I've had in quite some time. It's almost 8 PM Sunday night and starting with Monday morning, I just figured up that I worked at least 80 hours this past week. We had a lock-in Friday night, so that obviously made for a large chunk. But I also decided that I had to finish the construction aspect of the remodel. So I was up here late every night doing construction and painting. But, I got it all done! The remodel is almost done besides putting things on walls like signs, posters, etc. I'm still trying to get some before pictures to put up, then I will either put up after pics or an after video of where we're at so far.

But, I'm about to go eat and relax and hopefully take this next week a little easier!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Busyness of a Remodel

Well, like I've said before, I've been remodeling my youth area and it really has taken up most of what little bit of spare time I used to have. So I decided to share with you a little bit of what I've been working on the past week or so. I'm hoping to get some before pictures from somebody eventually but these might give you an idea of what I've been doing. Because I don't have before pictures yet, I'm not gonna actually show you any of the changes we've made in color, just physical things that we've built.

The first thing is a cabinet that me and dad built (thanks again dad!). There was just this random inset opening in this wall and I was needing a place to keep and lock up sound and video equipment so I decided a cabinet in the whole would be perfect and I was able to con dad into helping me with the project. We built it at the shop in Springdale and brought it to Harrison and slid it into the hole. It was a perfect fit. Then I went on to spend numerous late nights sanding, staining, and sealing this sucker (losing a few brain cells along the way). I think it turned out great. Here are some pics (don't mind the white wall since it is simply primer or the hole underneath because its just an air return that currently has the screen off):
Last Saturday, myself and Jeff Hudson, a member of the church built a wall to enclose another odd opening and turn it into a storage closet. I spent the last couple days putting up shelving and organizing some of my weird stuff. It's primary purpose is a skit closet which explains why it is full of weird clothes.

Well, maybe I'll do a better job of keeping you updated on how the remodel is going. We have a big outreach Lock-In on the 15th and are hoping to basically have the bulk of the remodel done. We mostly just need to paint and put up baseboards in the hall area outside the youth room, so I am completely confident that we will be ready.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

"Feel Good" Gospel

In an addition to what I talked about yesterday about the "feel good" Gospel... Paul actually predicts the situation of the "feel good" Gospel that I have seen a lot of in many churches today in the 4th chapter of his 2nd letter to Timothy.

"In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage - with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear."

I haven't been working in church ministry for a very long time, but in the short time that I have been, I've seen one issue that really scares me. The mega churches are usually the ones that preach the feel good gospel. Even in Harrison, the bigger, popular churches are the ones that leave attendees feeling happy and glad they are a Christian rather than feeling challenged to do something to make a difference in their community and to live like Christ. I've even seen pastors that do preach the word with sound doctrine either get run out of the church or forced to develop a "happier" sermon style to avoid being run off. The church is in a mindset of satisfying their "itching ears" with what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Alright, I admit that I've hit bloggers' block or something. Especially when it comes to my "theological" posts. But maybe this post is a sign of a comeback tour. Or then again maybe its just a grand finale one hit wonder sign of a comeback like you see with a lot of musical artists that try to make a comeback. Guess we'll find out....

I absolutely love Paul's letters to Timothy. I don't know why for sure. Maybe it feels so much to me like they were written to me. Yea, thats probably it. Sit down sometime and read through them. Great stuff! Something I read today and started processing in my mind (then pops the idea "I should blog about it") is from 2 Timothy 3:10-17.

"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

As Paul is wrapping up his second letter to Timothy, he gives Timothy a direct order of how to live the Christian life. First Paul writes "continue in what you have learned and become convinced of." This places huge value on tradition. Learning from past theologians such as Martin Luther or John Wesley and the history and tradition that stems from the universal catholic church. So often I see new churches that completely neglect this order from Paul. I have always thought that it would be easier to work at a new church plant because you wouldn't have any tradition restraining you and preventing you from thinking outside the box, but many churches have gone too far. We must appreciate and learn from the roots of our Christian faith as we continue to move forward or we begin to develop off the wall theological beliefs and practices that don't always go hand in hand with Scripture.

Paul then states in verse 15, "and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures." We are to know Scripture and stick to it. The one thing that probably bugs me the most that I see in churches and Christians is the "feel-good" gospel. I was watching Joel Osteen on tv the other night (and it took a lot of willpower for me not to change the channel every 3 minutes) and all I kept hearing was "if you stick with God, you'll get this and he'll bless you with that." He was sharing the story of Ruth (if your unfamiliar with the story, you may want to read it right quick before reading on) and saying that she got her "handfuls on purpose" for being faithful and that if we are faithful, our Boaz will come along and we will receive our "handfuls on purpose." I agree that God will bless us for our faithfulness, but where is the challenge? How many of us are suppose to be Boaz? Supposed to look out for others and be the ones giving out the handfuls on purpose? Instead, we're sitting around waiting for God to deliver ours. In verse 16, Paul even states the purpose of Scripture. Scripture "is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness." I didn't see anything in there about making us feel good...did you? I just feel that Scripture needs to be studied and taught in its entirety. Jesus used HARD WORDS. Jesus challenged and pointed out when his disciples didn't live up to the challenge. Then in verse 17 he tells why we need the training. "So that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for ever good work." The purpose of Scripture isn't to make us feel good about being a Christian until we get to heaven, its to challenge us to become more and more like Christ and to use our gifts and abilities to further His kingdom.

I couldn't help but compare this passage to sports, which I tend to do a lot when I teach Scripture. I'm gonna go with football (although I could easily do basketball or many other sports). If I give a football to a group of kids that have never watched football before are they really going to know what to do with it? Are they going to play the game just like it was designed to be played? No way! Before you can start playing football, you have to have watched it and understood it to some degree (verse 14 - tradition). So my group of kids (who I'm now coaching) have seen football, now what? I'm gonna give them plays, a playbook, so they can learn the plays. If everybody is doing whatever they want then we're not gonna be on the same page and we're not gonna function properly. But when everyone knows where to be and what to do, things work a lot better (verse 15 - Scripture). Next? We have to practice...a lot. And the saying "practice makes perfect" couldn't be any farther from the truth; "perfect practice makes perfect." As we practice I have to teach them technique, how to throw, catch, block, tackle. We have to train, we need to be stronger and faster. And we need to correct mistakes (verse 16 - training). So why are we going through all these steps? Why are we learning plays and practicing? Gameday! We have to go through the steps so that we are equipped and ready to play and win. It's the same in the Christian life, we go through all these steps, understand the game, learn the playbook, and practice (teach, train, and correct) so that we are "equipped for every good work," so that we are serving God in every aspect of our being and spreading the good news of His Kingdom.

It's Gameday. Are you prepared and trained or are you just wingin' it, treating it like just another pickup game?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Break

Well, its spring break. What does that mean for me? Unfortunately it doesn't mean a ski trip (hopefully next year) or the beach. But it does mean that I will have so many more opportunities to just spend time with students (since they aren't sitting in school). Which is the part that I love most about my job (you would think that it would be sitting in an office but its just not). Just yesterday some of us went out to the field and played some softball (really just hitting and fielding). We had a great time and I already got an early start on my farmer's tan (more like burn). There's no telling what I may do this week, hopefully the weather stays nice and provides even more opportunities to do stuff outside. I may play sports that I never grew up playing like tennis or golf or who knows what else. But, as a youth pastor, I do love spring break!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


My sister, out of desperation to get me to blog, sent me an email telling me that I need to blog. To keep her happy, I decided I would come up with something and maybe it might eliminate this "bloggers block" that I've had for a month or two now. So, I guess here are some things that have been going on in my neck of woods.

We are doing a minor remodel to our youth area at church. For some reason right now some of our walls are black, some are blue, some are white and I just haven't been real high on them. So, we are working on remodeling the youth area to tie into our student ministry name/logo (below) better.

This has kept me extremely busy after hours. We, and by we I mean Kelly one of my youth parents who is the type of person that you want on your side when your doing a project, started off by making big signs that we will hang up when we are done. Let me just say that these signs are gonna be sweet when its all said and done. We've been mudding rough areas and patching holes in walls, sanding, taping, putting up plastic, and plenty of other stuff. At some point this week, painters are coming in to texture the walls, then we will move on to painting. Build a audio/video cabinet with dad to put in and figure out some other wall/door stuff that I haven't even been able to decide on yet. I plan on putting up pics when its all said and done.

I've also been sick the last week or so. Don't really know what I had, never went to the doctor. Mom thought it might have been the flu, but being the stubborn Martens that I am, I wouldn't stay home and rest because it would've driven me insane, so I tried to work. I do feel much better now, not completely back to normal, but thats ok.

I took some kids to Conway for a training for our mission trip on Saturday. We had a great time except for the two boring hours that we were actually in training. I tried calling my sister, but she wouldn't answer, guess she didn't want to talk to me. And, Cici's was closed! I was very upset. We all had our heart set on eating Cici's then we get there (starving) and its closed so we had to settle on Pizza Inn. It just wasn't the same.

Well, I can't think of anything else exciting and I think I've forgotten everything I've done that was more than a week ago, so have a great day!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Prayer of Surrender

I spent the last couple days in Tulsa with my youth group at Planet Wisdom. It was a great student conference with the always hilarious Skit Guys, amazing worship with the Dutton Band, and powerful messages that, at least, challenged me to evaluate certain areas of my life.

I'm not one to share what I am about to share, and as you read you'll probably understand why, but we wrote a prayer of surrender and I just thought I would share what I wrote Friday night.

"God, I want to serve you completely. I want to live my life 100% for you. Help me to not be selfish, or scared, or lazy. Help me to not think I'm better than somebody else. Show me my brokenness and my need for you daily, hourly, every moment. Keep me from the thought that I don't need, that I don't need you, that I don't need others, that I don't need help, that I don't need encouragement. Don't allow me to ignore the issues that really hurt. Don't allow me to wear the mask that  so regularly use. Keep me from being arrogant and not allowing others to minister to me. I am fragile and breakable; help me live my life not afraid to show just that."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


After 3 weeks, I figure I had better post something or the couple people that read this blog might start getting extremely upset at me. So, I read in a news article today (it was sent to me because I don't freely read news) about something that was extremely shocking to me.

Student auctions off virginity for offers of more than £2.5 million

A student who is auctioning her virginity to pay for a masters degree in Family and Marriage therapy has seen bidding hit £2.5million ($3.7m).

Natalie Dylan: Virgin auction: bidding reaches £2.5m
Natalie Dylan, 22, is auctioning off her virginity to fund her master's degree Photo: BARCROFT MEDIA

Natalie Dylan, 22, claims her offer of a one-night stand has persuaded 10,000 men to bid for sex with her.

Last September, when her auction came to light, she had received bids up to £162,000 ($243,000) but since then interest in her has rocketed.

The student who has a degree in Women's Studies insisted she was not demeaning herself.

Miss Dylan, from San Diego, California, USA, said she was persuaded to offer herself to the highest bidder after her sister Avia, 23, paid for her own degree after working as a prostitute for three weeks.

She said she had had a lot of attention from a wide range of men, including "weirdos", "those who get really graphically sexual about what they want to do to me" and "lots of polite requests from rich businessmen".

Miss Dylan said she did not think it was particularly significant to be willing to sell your virginity and insisted that she was happy to undergo medical tests for any doubters.

She said: "I get some men who are obviously looking for a girlfriend but I try and make it clear that this is a one-night-only offer.

"I know that a lot of people will condemn me for this because it's so taboo but I really don't have a problem with that.

"My study is completely authentic in that I truly am auctioning my virginity but I am not being sold into this. I'm not being taken advantage of in any way.

"I think me and the person I do it with will both profit greatly from the deal."

She added: "It's shocking that men will pay so much for someone's virginity, which isn't even prized so highly anymore."

Now, I'm not sure which is more shocking to me. The fact that she is auctioning her virginity (seems like an overpriced form of prostitution) or the fact that somebody is willing to pay 3.7 million dollars just to take her virginity (in a culture where having your virginity is no big deal). Just thought I'd share that little story. Have a splendid icy day.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Modern Day Ninevah....

Well, I just finished reading Nahum today and some things really jumped out at me. Nahum is written to the people of Ninevah (you know, the people Jonah had already visited and warned) to pronounce God's judgment. As I was reading, certain verses popped out to me and really led me to insert the U.S. in the place of Ninevah because of what seems to be a weakening of our country and economy. 

Nahum 3:5-7 - "'I am against you,' declares the Lord Almighty. 'I will lift your skirts over your face. I will show the nations your nakedness and the kingdoms your shame. I will pelt you with filth. I will treat you with contempt and make you a spectacle. All who see you will flee from you and say, 'Nineveh is in ruins - who will mourn for her?' Where can I find anyone to comfort you?'"

Nahum 3:19 - "Nothing can heal your wound; your injury is fatal. Everyone who hears the news about you claps his hands at your fall, for who has not felt your endless cruelty?"

We have been shamed by our economic crisis among other things, yet other countries don't pity us, don't mourn for us. Most nations are happy that we have taken a hit because of how we have been the bully to so many other nations for so long. Nations are truly "clapping their hands" as we face different struggles.

This was just something that I was questioning in my head more than trying to interpret Scripture to today's situations. Read the entire book of Nahum (its only 3 chapters) and let me know what thoughts might be going through your mind.