Last night our High School Ministry had our first ever Messy Night. Let me tell you, it got real messy. The night involved various games and relays all centered on getting messy. We arm wrestled with Crisco smeard all over arms and the table surface, we played games involving yogurt, flour, puffed rice, choclate syrup, toothpaste, well you get the picture. Of course we ended our time together eating sloppy joes.

As we went through the night I was remined how God allows us to come before Him in our messy state. I shared this with the students at the conclusion of the night. We have a God that takes us just the way we are, but loves us too much to let us remain that way.

Our students cleaned themselves up, as much as possible, before coming to the table to eat. Jesus allows us to come to Him, and dine, without cleaning up first.

I love the story of Jesus in John 4, in which He spends time with a very messy person. It is a lady at a well, at which Jesus stopped for a drink. For one, she was a Samaritan, and Jews in that day, would have nothing to do with them. Jesus did.

Secondly, as they conversed, her messiness came more and more to light. She had had five husbands, and the man she was currently living with, she was not even married to. To her suprise Jesus accepted her! Through all her messiness she revealed to Jesus a desire to know Him. That is what Jesus focused on. He did not focus on her past, rather her desire to know Him. It changed her life forever! It also changed the lives of many others. In verse 39 we see that many in her community came to faith in Jesus as well.

I am thankful to have a God like that. If for some reason you are holding back on approaching Jesus because of your past, don't. Don't allow your past or even your present condition, keep you from beginning a love relationship with Jesus. If you already have a relationship with Him, don't allow your past or your present condition, prevent you from going further with your relationship.

I appreciate the words of Mike Yaconelli who went home to be with his Lord two years ago today. In his book Messy Spirituality he says,

"Spirituality is not a formula; it is not a test. It is a relationship. Spirituality is not about competency; it is about intimacy. Spirituality is not about perfection; it is about connection. The way of the spiritual life begins where we are now in the mess of our lives. Accepting the reality of our broken, flawed lives is the beginning of spirituality not because the spiritual life will remove our flaws but because we let go of seeking perfection and, instead, seek God, the one who is present in the tangledness of our lives."

Don't allow your past stand in the way or your future.

I Need

Saw this funny Google idea here, so had to try myself. Go to Google and type your name and the word ‘needs’, in quotes — as in “Brian needs". Notice the first few sentences that come up. Here’s what I got:

Brian needs food badly.
Brian needs to communicate more effectively and stop being negative.
Brian needs assistance.
Brian needs to do a Gospel CD.
Brian needs both money and a job.
Brian needs to explain why he believes God intervened.
Brian needs to anticipate what questions might be asked about his work.
Brian needs to guard against responding.
What Brian needs to learn is that those life changing experiences don't stop.

What do you need?

How Great Is Our God

I recently got Chris Tomlin's CD "Arriving". What a great album full of amazing worship songs.

I particularily appreciate the song "How Great Is Our God."

The splendor of the King, clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice
All the earth rejoice

He wraps himself in Light, and darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
Trembles at His voice

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

Age to age He stands
And time is in His hands
Beginning and the end
Beginning and the end

The Godhead Three in One
Father Spirit Son
The Lion and the Lamb
The Lion and the Lamb

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

Name above all names
Worthy of all praise
My heart will sing
How great is our God

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God (x2)

What a great reminder. May we never forget how great our God is! Despite what happens in our lives. Despite what happens in our ministries. God is GREAT.

I am thankful for His greatness in my life!

Think On This

"The risk facing contemporary teenagers bear solemn testimony to the church's ineffectiveness at addressing adolescence. Youth look to the church to show them something - Someone - capable of turning their lives inside out and the world upside down. Most of the time we have offered them pizza."

-Kenda Creasy Dean, in the Godbearing Life: The Art of Soul Tending for Youth Ministry

Grande or Venti?

I guess you know you have truly "arrived" when your quote lands on the side of a Starbucks cup. For Rick Warren, his day has come! We've all seen our good friend, Rick Warren, in a lot of places lately. Because of the run away success of his book, The Purpose Driven Life, we have seen him in Time Magazine, the Larry King Live Show and countless other places. Well now he has landed on the side of our beloved Starbucks cup!

That's right, come spring we should be seeing on the side of our cups...

"You are not an accident. Your parents may not have planned you, but God did. He wanted you alive and created you for a purpose. Focusing on yourself will never reveal your real purpose. You were made by God and for God, and until you understand that, life will never make sense. Only in God do we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance and our destiny."

Prehaps this is due in part to the ill-thought decision Starbucks made recently to put the Armistead Maupin quote, "life is too damn short to hide being gay." on the side of their cups. Come on Starbucks you can do better than that! I guess now they have!

You must see this USA Today article. All I can say, is You go Rick!

Welcome PBC Youth

A Big welcome to PBC Youth of Providence Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Thank you for featuring Brian's Blog on your site.

I hope you enjoy what you see. Leave a comment to say Hi. If there is a way I can pray for you, I'd be honored to do so. Just let me know!


Our Worship

I've been thinking quite a bit about the worship songs that we sing, and I am beginning to feel more and more convicted. Do we really mean the words that we sing? Are they really the true expressions of our heart or merely lies that fall from our lips.

Confession time now. I am not always content with where God has me in life. There are many times in which I think I should have, or deserve, more than I do. There are times in which I have a difficult time trusting God with every area of my life. In times such as these, can I honestly and truthfully sing songs like

All of You
Is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You is more than enough

You are my supply
My breath of life
Still more awesome than I know
You are my reward
Worth living for
Still more awesome than I know

What a great song! I love to sing it, and I think I mean it. I wonder sometimes though.

What about this one...

Holy Fire burn away,

my desire for anything
that is not of you and is of me.
I want more of you and less of me.

Another great song that I enjoy singing. Another song that brings a great deal of conviction to my heart. Perhaps that is one of the purposes of such songs, to help us re-align our hearts. Whether it is or not, it certainly serves that purpose in my life.

May we not sing lies to our God, but rather express the deep longings of our heart and honor Him with our words.

I do not want to be included in God's judgement of His people found in Isaiah.

The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. Isaiah 29:13

I am also haunted by the words of Brennan Manning.

The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.

Let us acknowledge Jesus with our lips as well as our lifestyle. After all isn't that would genuine worship is anyway?

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. Romans 12:1

Featured Blog

Hey New Work Fellowship in Hopkinsville, KY, thanks for featuring Brian's Blog on your web site. Welcome! Hope you enjoy what you see.

How are things going for you in Hopkinsville? Can I pray for you? Leave me a comment.

Fun Read

For all that work with students, and even those that are, you must read Marko's post on the 21 types of students. Very funny! Very true!

Oh man, I love youth ministry!

The Life

There are not many in this world that can say what I am about to say. There are not many in this world that feel as priviledged as I do. I love my job!

I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have to serve my God by serving students. I can think of no other ministry I would rather do, dare I say any other ministry as important. Studies have shown that 85% of those that come to faith in Jesus do so before the age of 18. What a awesome responsibilty those in youth ministry have! I am proud and honored to be one of them.

I appreciate the recently blogged words of both Dan Kimbal and Lily Lewin. Youth ministry truly is SO important and it is indeed GREAT to be a youth worker!

I am thankful for the opportunity to lead 180 Student Ministries. I serve with some of the finest people I know, and minister to some of the greatest students I have ever known.

To follow Jesus' words in Matthew 28:19-20 in the context of ministering to students is a great honor and a great responsibility. One I do not take lightly and one that I enjoy so much.

I am truly living..... The Life!

God's Beauty

Yesterday, Robin and Benny and I went for a walk around our neighborhood. I took my camera. Each Autumn I am amazed and delighted by the amazing colors of Fall. This year for some reason I am even more enthralled. I couldn't stop taking pictures as we walked.

As I appreciate the beauty that God has created, I am moved to worship. I am thankful for the gifts that He gives us, particularly the gift of nature. As I walked our streets I thought, this is God's palate, look at the beauty He is creating.

I love to worship. I enjoy singing songs of worship. I enjoy worshipping God through my serving of Him. I enjoy worshipping Him in the silence of sitting quietly before Him. I at this time of year in particular, love worshipping simply by enjoying. Enjoying all the beauty God has created for us to enjoy.

Thank you Jesus.

What are you favorite ways to worship God? Is it through song? Is it through art? Is it through exercising the gifts God has given you to serve with? Is it in quiet reflection? Is it in writing? I would love to know.

Please share in the comments section of this post, how you most enjoy worshipping our God.

One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
Psalm 27:4

God Intends For Good

When I think about what is happening in Venezuela along with other situations in which one may conclude that a certain situation is hopless, I am reminded once again that nothing catches God by surprise. As cliche as it may sound....God is in control.

I am reminded of the "Genesis 50:20 principle". In Genesis 50 we read of Joseph's brothers coming before him to seek forgiveness for what they had done to him. Joseph's response is wonderful! He says, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."

I believe we often give Satan too much credit. It's too easy to blame every "bad" incident or situation on Satan. Perhaps Satan had a hand in things, but God is in control. What Satan may intend as harm, God can take and accomplish great good!

I believe that God can turn what Hugo Chavez is doing into great good. Let's pray that is exactly what happens.

God wins.

New Tribes Expulsion

Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, has just recently ordered the expulsion of all New Tribes Missionaries working with the indigenous tribes in his country.

Please pray for those missionaries that have given their lives to loving the people of Venezuela. Pray for a change of heart within the Venezuelan govenment. As seen on the New Tribes web site, President Chavez has not yet signed the pronouncement that would order the eviction of NTM from Venezuela, and NTM has received no communication from the Venezuelan government. Pray that they would not.

On September 4 I wrote about the great damage Pat Robertsons' ill-thought through words had on those ministering in Venezuala. Could this be the continuing fallout?

Below is a United Press International Article.

Chavez to expel U.S. missionary group
Oct 13, 2005, 19:00 GMT

CARACAS, Venezuela (UPI) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has announced that he will expel the U.S. Christian missionary group New Tribes Mission for being 'imperialists.'
Speaking Wednesday at a ceremony to present land titles and farming equipment to members of the indigenous population, the leftist leader said, 'This is an irreversible decision that I have made. We don`t want the New Tribes here. Enough colonialism!'
The BBC said Caracas views U.S. evangelicals as part of a Washington conspiracy to overthrow Chavez, whose regional influence is growing thanks to massive oil revenues.
New Tribes Mission, which has its international headquarters in Florida, preaches to non-Christian indigenous peoples in 17 countries. The group had no immediate comment to Chavez`s remarks, the BBC reported.
Chavez accused the missionaries of flying in and out of the country without proper permission, and of building luxurious camps for themselves alongside poverty-stricken villages.
He said he had yet to sign the expulsion order and was giving the missionaries time to 'gather their stuff.'

God Bloggers

BIOLA University hosted the first ever "God Bloggers" Conference this weekend. Here is a good article from the Orange County Register today describing the event.

Blogging is making a big difference in the world today. May we be responsible and God honoring with it.

Sunday, October 16, 2005
'God bloggers' address a bounty of topics
First national conference, at Biola University, tackles Christian concerns beyond the obvious, mingling politics, religion and technology.

The Associated Press

LA MIRADA – What would Jesus blog?

That and other questions drew dozens of Christians to Biola University this weekend for what was billed as the first national conference for "God bloggers," a growing community of online writers who exchange information and analyze current events from a Christian perspective.

The three-day conference at Biola marked an important organizational benchmark for Christian Web loggers, or "bloggers," who have worked behind the scenes for several years to spread the Gospel and infuse politics with religion.

It was the first time many of the 135 bloggers met face to face, and organizers took the opportunity to address sometimes-controversial questions surrounding the future of the Christian blogosphere.

Topics included God bloggers' relationship with the traditional church, their growing influence on mainstream politics and how to manage outsiders' perceptions.

Many bloggers are now putting less emphasis on hot-button issues such as abortion, homosexuality and assisted suicide and are instead writing about religious oppression, poverty and world hunger, said Andrew Jackson, a seminary professor and pastor at the Word of Grace Church in Mesa, Ariz., who blogs daily at

"I think there is more and more a voice in the blogosphere against partisan politics and a voice toward public policy, social action issues and justice issues," said Jackson, who was a panelist at Biola.

That change is in part because bloggers are realizing the tremendous influence they can have - and how that influence can be misdirected and misunderstood, he said.

"There is a voice of caution - and that is even coming from those who would self-identify as Republicans. Partisan politics is not what informs our faith, the Bible is what informs our faith."

Bloggers are starting to take on more unifying issues such as religious persecution, human trafficking and oppressive poverty, said Joe Carter, a panelist and author of who came to the conference from Deerfield, Ill.

"With blogging you tend to break out of those circles and you see other points of view," said Carter, 36. "There's a bigger world out there than gay marriage and abortion."

Bloggers at the conference stressed, however, that they don't want religious people to put aside their beliefs to appease non-Christians.

During one workshop titled "When Non-Christians Read Your Blog," Biola professor Timothy Muehlhoff instructed people on how to write about their faith without alienating nonbelievers.

He stressed that God blogging has the potential to be a "train wreck" because done wrong it can reinforce stereotypes of evangelical Christians as angry and close-minded "pit bulls of the culture wars."

"We need to write in such a way that people can see themselves presented as ... complex people who aren't monsters," Muehlhoff said.

"As Christians today we are embroiled in the argument culture, and we have forgotten this one thing: 'Blessed are the peacemakers.' Wouldn't it be nice if we could say we brought a level of civility back to the conversation?"

Other conference participants said they were concerned with the lack of interaction between the Christian online community and the traditional church and worried that someday the online church would replace physical congregations.

Panelist Carter compared blogging to the 95 Theses posted by Martin Luther nearly 500 years ago that launched the Protestant Reformation.

"It's like putting 95 blogs out there," Carter said.

On The Move

It's official...we now have a crawler! Benny crawled all the way across the room for the first time yesterday!

Life in the Eberly home will never be the same!

Oh no! Gotta go.... he's headed for the cat!!

A Collison

My latest, "Can't get it out of the CD player" CD is David Crowder Band "A Collison"

What a great work! So good that according to Crowder's web site "A Collision reached the #2 spot in iTunes!"

With a whopping 21 tracks it's a great listen, and experience. I especially like Here is Our King, Wholly Yours, A Beautiful Collison, O God Where Are You Now, You Are My Joy

"When our depravity meets His divinity it is a beautiful collision."

Helmet Pt. 4

Yesterday was Benny's second check-up visit to the Helmet Doc. I am happy to say he got a great report!

I won't bore you with all the medical terms like Cephalic Index, Right Anterior to Left Posterior, and Cranial Vault Asymmetry. Suffice it to say he has made great progress! We are very pleased and are hoping he won't have to wear it as long as originally thought.

Even if he did have to wear it for a longer time, I don't think he would mind. He may not even want to get rid of it when we're done. I think he actually likes it!

His next appointment is November 11. I'll update you then.

Thank you for your prayers!

Compare this picture with the one on my first helmet post to see the progress. Thank you Lord!


If you work with teenagers in any capacity, this is a must read. If you are a parent of teengers, this is a must read. The world of Middle Adolescents (14-20) is not the same world we grew up in.

Chap Clark spent a year immersed in the world of students and his findings will alarm you. You must understand the "World Beneath" that so many of our students live in. You must know what "Clusters" are, and what you can do about them.

If you live in the Portland, OR area Chap Clark will be speaking at the Western Seminary's TruthQuest Training Program on Saturday, November 5 at New Hope Community Church. Do all you can to be there. Learn more about this event at Chap will be revealing his conclusions from his months of research of the teen culture and behavior.

Chap is also presenting his findings and conclusions at the National Youth Workers Convention. If you will be attending, be sure to check out his seminar.

As youth workers we must be diligent students of students, and the culture they live in.

Featured Blog
Hey my blog landed as the Featured Blog in this week's Youth Specialties Update Newsletter. I'm honored. If you are here because you followed the link, welcome!

I hope you enjoy your read, and you find something of value here. Please feel free to leave a comment, or sign my Guest Map at the bottom of the page.

Thank you Youth Specialites for all you do!


Why is it so hard to be silent? Why is it so hard to escape the noise of life to stop and really listen. It is in the silence that I believe we can truly hear the voice of God.

There is too much noise in this world. Auditory noise. Visual noise. I often have a hard time being alone in my house without some kind of noise in the background. I turn the TV on. I turn my music on. I listen to my voicemail. I read my email. I surf the internet. I talk on the phone.

God desires that we be still. Be still and know that He is God. Be silent.

We live in a world full of noise. Society is competing for, and often winning, our attention. Broadcasters want our attention. Advertisers want our attention. Entertainers want our attention. Politicians want our attention. Preachers want our attention.

There are troubles in the world that create noise. Earthquakes that kill thousands. Tsunami's that kill thousands. Hurricanes that kill thousands. Wars that kill thousands. In the midst of the noise we can still be still and know that God is God.

I need to practice silence more. I need to know what it means to be still.

I love Psalm 46.

1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.

5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.

6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

8 Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth.

9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire.

10 "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

May we learn what it means to truly be still. May we know that God is God, and learn how to listen to Him; perhaps even stop praying (talking) for a while and just be still, and listen.

Fall Retreat

What a GREAT weekend! We played hard, prayed hard, listened, laughed....enjoyed!!

Camp Tadmor is amazingly beautiful this time of year. What a creative and wonderful God we have. A God that never stops amazing us with His beauty.

Take some time this Fall to wander about and appreciate His beauty, and His gifts to us! He can be seen!

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. - Romans 1:20

Want to see what we did? Go to MS Fall Retreat '05.

Seven Years Later

It was seven years ago today that I married by beautiful bride Robin! It has been the quickest and best seven years of my life.

I am eternally grateful to my Lord for blessing me with such a wonderful wife. A wife I do not deserve. A wife I thought I would never have. Thank you Jesus!

In our pre-marrital counseling, 7 and a half years ago, Pastor Steve asked us to each write out the "10 Things That Caught Our Eye and Stole Our Heart." I still remember mine and they still hold true.

1. That beautiful genuinie smile
2. Four words....”The Same Air Babe”

3. A love and passion for life

4. A love
for the Lord Jesus
5. A passion for worship

6. Georgeous

7. A great sense of humor

8. Straight life priorities

9. Incredible (singing) voice

10. An even tempermant

I can now add to that list A Great Mother along with so many others!

Thank you honey for a GREAT seven years! I look forward to many, many more!

I LOVE you!

Middle School Fall Retreat

Tomorrow we head off on our 6th annual MS Fall Retreat at Camp Tadmor. This retreat is definitely a highlight of our ministry year.

As always the weekend will consist of The Great Lake Race a race in which teams compete with each other by running all the way around the lake stopping at various stations to complete different/crazy tasks before progressing on to the next station. This year's station events will be Drain the Lake, Flash Flood Relay, Dizzy Basketball, Gloves & Gum, Paper Airplane Throw, Undignified, and the Banana Eat. Wow...don't you wish you were going to be a part of the fun?

Of course the retreat would not be complete without our infamous Night Games. We play different versions of the standard Capture the Flag, but in complete cover of night in the woods with glow sticks! Fun times!

This year we are priviledged to have Pastor Steve as our speaker. He will be sharing with the students how to make the most of their youth group and teenage experience.

All this along with the 70 foot rope swing, great worship, great food, at an awesome location, all stacks up for one amazing weekend!

See all of last's year's fun at MS Fall Retreat 2004.

Man I love my job!

Being The Church

Sadly we, the church, spend too much time debating how to do church as opposed to actually being the church. Do we sing traditional songs, contemporary songs, or modern songs? Do we build a building, do we not build a building? Do we let women serve in positions of leadership or do we not? The list goes on.

I appreciate the words of Brian McLaren when asked, How would you suggest that the church work in a postmodern world?

His reply was a refreshing.

"A good start would be for us to talk less about being Christians and more about being followers of Jesus. If we were to actually live the way Jesus taught us to live, it would humble us. We can be very proud if we understand the right doctrines and have certain opinions. But when we deal with the very nitty-gritty of living the way Jesus taught us, none of us can act very proud. We would start taking seriously the things Jesus said about caring for the poor. If we see our neighbor in need, we go and do what we can to help. The most important thing is that we stop being content as members of the Christian religion and actually aspire to start living in the way of Jesus."

The interview with McLaren can be found in it's entirety at Beliefnet.

Let's live more like Jesus and less like the church.

Numa Numa

Tired of the mundane? Tired of sitting idly at your computer? Ready for a "pick me up?"

Click Here.

Is It True?

Yes it is.

Yes it is true that my little girl continues to grow into a beautiful young lady. I wish she would stop. Not the beautiful part; she's always been beautiful. I mean the growing part!

Not really, I just miss my "little girl." I am very proud of her and enjoy watching her grow in new areas of life. I am learning more and more how important it is to "enjoy every moment." Children grow up very fast. If you aren't watching and enjoying you will miss it.

This weekend was a milestone.....the first Homecoming Dance!

Is it true? Yes!

Come on with it.


My time at the National Youth Workers Convention was amazing! It is hard to summarize my experience in just a few short words here on my blog. I'm sure much of my experience and thoughts will leak out for a long time to come.

I feel very filled up right now. Filled with the spirit. Filled with new information. Filled with inspiration. Filled with excitement. Filled with enthusiasm. Filled with passion.

I am so thankful for the time that Aaron and I got to spend in Sacramento. There is something very empowering in spending four days with nearly 4,000 others that share your passion for student ministry and do the same thing you do day in and day out.

I am thankful for the amazing times of worship with Chris Tomlin and David Crowder. There is just something very cool about singing and worshipping the Lord with the guys that wrote the songs you sing so often.

I am thankful for the the challenge I received from speakers like Mark Yaconelli, Doug Feilds, Lou Giglio, Steve Fitzhugh, Chap Clark, Duffy Robbins, Dan Kimball, and others.

I am thankful for comedians like Daren Streblow, The Skit Guys, Bob Stromberg, and others that made me laugh until it hurt.

I am thankful for artists like Third Day, Stephen Curtis Chapman, 4th Avenue Jones, Kutless, and Starfield that ROCKED THE HOUSE!

I am thankful for The Grace Place for allowing me to go to such a great convention.

I am thankful to my God for allowing me the privilege to to serve Him by serving students. There is nothing I would rather do!

If you work with students in any capacity, whether full time or volunteer might I make a suggestion to you? Attend the National Youth Workers Convention in 2006! Do all you can to get there!

Let's go together; Anaheim, California, November 2-6, 2006!