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Career Change in May 2012

We announced Sunday that I would be leaving Graymere and full time student ministry at the end of May 2012. Let me first clarify that I will be taking a leave from student ministry as a career but not altogether. I don’t think I could ever leave student ministry. I love students. I love camp and retreats. I love teaching classes. I love going to their ball games, I love being with them. But my passion for ministry as a whole has been dwindling and it is time to take a break.

The number one question people ask is what will you do next? I do not know. I am hoping God will let me in on that soon or at least before June. I have a few things that I would like to pursue and see where God leads me. Here are some of the things I have had an increasing passion growing inside me.

  1. Non-Profit Work with a Kingdom Vision – I have been blessed to work with the Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch, Penrickton Center for Blind Children, Ronald McDonald Charities, Kings Daughters, Safe Haven, and many more places like them. They inspire me. I believe they are doing the Lord’s work even if they are doing it for humanitarian reasons and not for the kingdom. I remember coming back from the Penrickton Center two years ago and telling Dana I want to do something like that one day. I would love to work with a place that wants to take care of those who are hurting. I believe that the church has advocated their role in helping people. We used to build schools, hospitals, orphanages, etc. and make long term change in people’s lives. Today many churches puts on band-aids to provide temporary help for long term problems.
  2. Providing a Need for the Church – As a member of the church of Christ we have no publishing house. Due to this resources designed for us is lacking and almost non-existent. This may or may not be a fulltime career but I have an interest in this.
  3. Work using my gifts and passion – This is a long list that is hard to articulate so I will not stammer with words here. But if the right place and company came along I would jump at it.

Over all I don’t feel as if I am burned out or done with ministry as a career. But a short break is needed. It has been 15 years since I went home for Easter, Mother’s day, or Father’s day. Many Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays were cut short to be back for church. This along with my passion dwindling makes for a time to step away.  But I will still be full time for another eight months and then I will enter in that student minister dream world called a volunteer.


NFL Overtime

Yesterdays game between New Orléans and Minnesota has the sports radio lines buzzing over the NFL overtime rules.  Big question is why is it the only overtime in major sports that doesn’t give both offences a chance to score.

College football is much like high school in that both teams have a chance to score and they get the ball on the 25 yard line. This is ridiculous because most teams begin in field goal range.

I don’t know what would be the best way. I guess if I was to make the rule it would be that both teams get the ball starting on the 50 and eliminate the field goal. Each team gets a chance but it would make each side have to go for the TD.

Lane Kiffin and More…

Lane Kiffin was USC’s forth choice for a head coach and he jumped at the chance even though he was at Tennessee for only 14 months. Many people are outraged. But lets look at a few things.

Lane Kiffin was asked by his AD if USC offered the job would he be interested and Kiffin said yes. I don’t know all the reasons why except if you gave me a choice between Knoxville and So. Cal. I am going to the beach.

Here is the deal. Everyone has a job or two you would love to have. You may have a dream job. I know I do. What if you started a new job 14 months ago and then your dream job came open and not only was it your dream job it paid your dream salary, would you go? Be honest.

I think most of us would. It isn’t disloyal, untrustworthy, or anything like that. It is your dream job and you don’t turn it down. I don’t know where USC ranks on Kiffin’s list but it is somewhere below an NFL head coaching job and above UT.

A few years ago Dennis Franchioni was at Alabama and we were on cloud nine. He had a dream job it was Texas A&M. The job came open and he left for it. The way he left didn’t sit well (he denied he was interested then jumped on a plane, took the job, send a video tape telling the players goodbye).

Kiffin took a job he wanted. The way he left not so good. Of course coaches were going with him. You know why? UT is going to hire a new coach and he will fire them for his people. But the calling recruits and telling them not to enroll so they can follow him to USC, that is sketchy. I mean you recruited them on UT’s dime so that is quiet shady.

All I know is this, if I got a call and was offered my dream job for a dream salary I will tell them yes. I hope I would leave in a classy way but I would leave.

As a Alabama fan here is what I know. Nick Saban will leave one day. He will get the itch to do more. He probably has a dream job and he may well take it one day soon. He is not vested in Alabama. We are paying this mercenary almost 4 million to coach here. He has no ties to Alabama. He will leave in a heartbeat if and when he wants. And if he looses ball games he will leave when the school wants.

Phillip Fulmer was a UT player, assistant coach for 13 years, and then head coach for 16 years. He gave 33 years of his life to UT. He was born in Tennessee. Then they dismissed him after winning 75% of his games as a coach and all the UT faithful rejoiced. So don’t talk about loyalty or being betrayed.

College football is a business.

Alabama National Champions and 2010 Season

Image by © MIKE BLAKE

Alabama won their 8th national title since the polls began. Colt McCoy went out in the first quarter and I think everyone hated to see that. Colt is a stand up guy and he is first class. Everyone wants to see their team win playing against the other team’s best. But injuries are a part of football and so are making excuses for your team. Some will say if Colt doesn’t go out then Texas would have won. Maybe we won’t know. If Colt isn’t injured maybe Alabama doesn’t lay down in the 3rd quarter. If Ingram didn’t miss 20 minutes of play due to cramps maybe Alabama scores in the third and keeps Texas off the field. If Mac Brown calls a kneel with :15 left in the half, if the running back actually catches the pass, Gilbert actually tackles Darius, etc.. maybe Texas wins. But we all do it. We all make excuses for our teams. It was a bad call, injury, some injustice. Last year after the Sugar bowl I said if Smith didn’t talk to his agent get suspended and our other offensive lineman didn’t get hurt in the first series, then we may have stopped their defense from sacking JPW and interrupting our run game and we would have won.

As I gaze to 2010 a couple of things stand out:

Alabama will play Penn State, Florida, Tennessee, and LSU. Talk about a tough schedule. We need Duke and Georgia State to balance that out.

Texas will play UCLA, at Oklahoma, and at Nebraska.

Boise will play Virgina Tech (Herbsteit’s preseason #1) and Oregon State

Oregon will play at Tennessee and at USC and host Utah.

Cincinnati will play Oklahoma and in 2011 Tennessee and in 2012 Virgina Tech. I think their AD has stepped up and realized if they want respect this is how you do it. Play the big boys and win.

Utah follows suit adding Oregon and Notre Dame.

Notre Dame will play UCS, Utah, Stanford, Boston College, and Pittsburgh.

When I look at all of this here is what I see. If Boise wins out they will play for a national title. Their conference is weak but that would be two quality wins. If Bama wins out that will be a miracle. Notre Dame you may go 8-3. Oregon is playing a tough schedule they will do good to make the Rose Bowl. Texas is like Bama they return a lot of guys but play a tough schedule. If they go undefeated it will be amazing.

So here is my prediction. Boise v/s Alabama for the 2010 National Championship. Boise I think will go undefeated. I am very secure in my prediction there. Alabama, well I am a homer so that is wishful thinking and I don’t see any of the other guys listed above making it.

BSC and College Football

Tis the season for Christmas and BCS controversies. There is no perfect way to solve this problem. There is too much money and tradition to get rid of the bowls. The little guy will always get left out and to be honest I don’t feel sorry for them. I think BYU, Utah, Boise State, and all the other schools get exactly what they deserved. There are two things they could do to help them not get left out.

First you have 2-4 out of conference games. Play a top program school. Schedule a USC, Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, someone every one sees as a top program. Then if your conference is really weak play some other teams that may not be in the top-tier but respectable. Play a Virgina Tech, Cal, Rutgers, etc.

The second thing you need to do is make your conference 12 teams and have a playoff. The Mountain West may not recruit a big program to their conference but having a playoff would help them. A Utah v/s Texas Christian championship would have helped them get into the championship hunt.

If you are a school and you know people generally will not respect you then do something about it. Look at Boise State. This year they played Oregon but look at the rest of their schedule: Miami Ohio, Fresno St, Bowling Green, UC Davis, Tulsa, Hawaii, San Jose St, Louisiana Tech, Idaho, Utah St, Nevada, New Mexico St. In the meantime Alabama played seven teams in the top 25.

Texas Christian played Virgina (3-9) and Clemson (8-5) as part of their off conference schedule. Why would anyone not respect them?

The cards are stacked against the little guy but at some point they have to man up and schedule someone better. Look at USC. Their out of conference schedule included Ohio State and Notre Dame. Alabama played Virgina Tech and has Penn State on tap for next year. Florida plays Florida State and Miami.

The bowl system is not going away so man up little guys. Tell your AD to call and drop Bowling Green and get someone to play that people would respect. Tell your commissioner to install a playoff season in your conference.

NWYC – Monday and wrap up

Steven Furtick spoke today and he looks like a 19 year old. His message was inspirational. He talked about really believing that God could do great things in your life. I love this quote, “If your dream isn’t intimidating then it may be insulting to God.”

Monday morning I got to eat with Mark Matlock with about 11 others. He is great guy and we talked about the convention and the changes to YS. Learned many things. For example the bands and showcases that come to YS come for free and pay their own expenses. That open space cost more than having speakers. Youth Works is a company he believes in and feels that they have the Yaconelli heart.

I loved the conference this year except one big thing. In the big room YS had hired Big Stuff to run everything there. The speakers where great. The best overall in 3 or 4 years. The environment, structure, and feel were drastically different. So here are my list of grievances: 1) Lanny Donoho over explained everything. The frisbee deal was ridiculous. I mean seriously we are adults not 15 year olds. 2) One of the highlights of YS was the love and compassion they showed to youth ministers. Not this year. No affirmations, prayers for people, hooking someone up with a free trip here, etc. No instead of praying for people we played cheesy games and gave out frisbees. 3) Could Lanny promote Big Stuff Camps anymore than he did? I mean he made sure to work it into his introductions, interviews, talking points, ect. This speaker comes to BS, this kids has come to BS, we do this at BS, this band is at BS, go to BS website for this resource.

I hope that Youth Works will put the soul and heart back into the convention that Big Stuff ripped out of it. But overall the convention was great!

NWYC – Sunday

Donald Miller spoke today and it was amazing. I was amazed. I mean I was happy to hear him because of “Blue Like Jazz” but I had little hope that his message would be anything but nice. Well I was wrong. He talked about how after he got everything he wanted he was not happy or fulfilled. A guy wanted to make a movie about his book and as he explained what it took to make a great movie he realized why his life seemed empty.

Every good story has to have a character that endures himself to the audience and their has to be some conflict that he has to overcome and in the end he succeeds. Think about your favorite Bible story and see if that isn’t true. But we often avoid conflict, avoid opportunities to endear ourselves to others, and see success as accomplishing a goal and not as being in heaven with Jesus.

That was an inadequate recap, but get this CD it was great.

That afternoon I went to Mark Matlock’s class on mentoring and it was great. Planet Wisdom has developed a 12 week mentoring program and it is free. You can get it at

Reggie Joiner spoke that night but I skipped it because his talk was based on a series of lessons from last year in Nashville. If you have never heard Reggie you should and go buy his book Orange it is great.

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