One Year Ago Today

It was one year ago, today that we celebrated a very special birthday, the birth of Benjamin Andrew Eberly, weighing in at 8lbs, 12 oz!

Much has changed over the year! Now weighing in at a whopping 30lbs. and full of life!

Tomorrow is party day for both Benjamin and myself! How cool to share a birthday with my son!

Today Robin and Benny are traveling home from California. Can't wait to see them!

Winter Youth Reflections

I just got home from Winter Youth. What a fantastic time! I am very tired, yet very excited about what God accomplished in our lives this week. Thank you to those that prayed for us.

Our main speaker was Freddy T. Wyatt. Freddy is a very gifted speaker from Louisville, Kentucky, and really challenged us and the way we view worship. The theme of the week was We Shall Behold Him - Life As Worship. He addressed it very well!

Craig & Jake LIVE emceed the week and as well as spoke individually. Craig Gross is the co-founder of, a ministry dedicated to helping people break free from the grip of pornography. He shared some amazing things that God is doing in the lives of people that have been sucked into that lifestyle. He spoke on how loving people, including porn stars and producers, the very ones that the church wants to shy away from, is one of the greatest ways we can worhsip God. Excellent!

Both Shawn McDonald and Sara Groves played in concert. Both of them were great examples of people seeking, finding, and serving God.

Paul Ramey led us in worship through song, each session. The biggest hit of the week was definitely the David Crowder song, You Are My Joy! The students couldn't get enough of it!

By far the highlight of the week for me was the many youth group debrief times we had. Several times a day we would meet as a group to discuss the things heard and what God was doing in our hearts. It was very exciting to see our students come to grasp the full meaning of what worship is, that it is far more than singing, or a worship service or gathering. It is the way we live our lives. It is a daily lifestyle. One of our students realized and shared that we find our greatest joy when we find our satisfaction in God alone. True worship!

I was encouraged personally as I continue to discover myself what real and true worship is. May we as the church realize that what we do outside the walls of our church buildings is where real worship takes place.

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

Week In Pictures

We had a wonderful time in California over the holidays. I'll let the pictures tell the stories.

My hometown, Brea

Meeting Snoopy at Knott's Berry Farm

Benny's first merry-go-round ride

Standing in front of The Silver Bullet

Benny's first taste of birthday cake!

Winter Youth Celebration

After a great week in California with family, I'm now off to The Winter Youth Celebration, a big high school student conference held annually here in Portland. The conference runs from December 27-30.

I love the theme this year...Life As Worship! The very topic I will be preaching on this Sunday! (For those interested I plan to post the audio file of my message next week.)

It's our prayer that the Lord does great things in both the hearts of our students as well as us as a staff. Your prayers are valued as well.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Once Again

180 Student Ministries once again finds themselves in a Youth Specialites email!

This picture was taken at our High School Beach Retreat this last May.

See the last one here.

Fruitcake Freedom?

Last night, as we usually do while in California, Robin and I went out to dinner with my sister Lisa and her husband Mike. We had a great dinner at Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill. Man was that some good tri tip and barbequed chicken! But I digress. After we ate dinner we stopped at Cold Stone Creamery for a little ice cream to take home to eat while we watch a movie, "Christmas Vacation", I might add!

While at Cold Stone we noticed an interesting promotion they were running. It's called Fruitcake Freedom. The idea is that if you bring in an old unwanted holiday fruitcake they in turn will give you, the fruitcake hating customer, a $5 discount off any 8 inch ice cream cake. Sounds like a good deal! You can read more about the promotion here.

The real grabber at least at the particular Cold Stone that we were at, was that they said that they would be donating all the fruitcakes that came in to a homeless shelter. To that I thought to myself....really?! Now I am all for giving to those in need, but fruitcake?? At the risk of offending fruitcake loving readers of mine I must say, I'm not sure I would wish that on anyone! Cold Stone themselves even says on their web site that receiving a fruitcake is an "unfortunate event."

So I guess if you receive one of those bizarre culinary delights, you can take it in to Cold Stone, but you might just encourage them to use it as a door jam to hold their door open for others in need of a little of their wonderful Sweet Cream flavored ice cream.


I finally got a chance to sit at the computer so thought I would give a quick update on the ol' vacation. We're having a GREAT time!

It has been 80 degrees that last two days!! My kind of Christmas!

We spent the day at Knott's Berry Farm today. Awesome time! We even got Benny on the Log Ride. He loved it! Go to the Knott's web site and check out The Silver Bullet. It is the roller coaster pictured on the homepage. Amazing!

Tomorrow is In-N-Out Burger for lunch and birthday celebration for Benny and I!

Fun times! I will post lots of good pictures soon!

Outta Here

The weather is clearing! Thanks to all of you who prayed with us. While I don't believe God cleared the weather just for us, I have to believe we were part of the reason! Like I said in a previous post, I love when God does stuff like that!

We are looking forward to some serious Southern California sunshine, fun with family, and free tickets to Knott's Berry Farm, compliments of Joanne Hale! Thank's Joanne!

This may be my last post for awhile, so I hope you all have a terrific holiday and enjoy celebrating the birthday of our Savior, Jesus!

White Christmas

We had our family Christmas today due to the fact that tomorrow, weather permitting, we are traveling to California for the holidays. The cool thing is...we got a white Christmas! It snowed today!!

Unfortunatly it is supposed to turn icy tonight, and not get above freezing until Tuesday! We are praying that we will still be able to make it to the airport and then actually get off the ground!

We had a great day today! If you'd like to see our pictures, including our Christmas (palm) Tree, their all right here.

From all of us to all of you...
Merry Christmas!

Busy Good

The weekend is here and a busy, yet good weekend it is going to be!

To night is our annual Youth Staff Christmas Dinner/Party. Always a good time! God has blessed me with the greatest team of people to work with. Each of them is uniquely gifted and plays such a valuable role in our ministry to students. We have a lot to celebrate to night! I am thankful for each of them!

Tomorrow during our Education Hour at church, we are having a combined Middle School and High School Christmas themed worship time. We will be keeping both groups together for a time of focusing on the difference Christmas makes in our lives and how we as His children are to respond.

Tomorrow evening is our family Christmas celebration! Since we are heading to California on Monday we are going to have our own family Christmas celebration tomorrow! We'll go out for a nice dinner and then come home and give and open gifts together.

Monday after work we head for California to spend the holidays with my parents and sister and her family. We are really looking forward to the time but are a bit concerned and would appreciate your prayer. The weather forecast is for freezing rain and ice! That is not a good combination for getting to the airport let alone getting a plane off the ground. Please pray with us that the Lord brings good travel weather on Monday!

Well gotta get's the weekend!

Prepare The Way

We had an incredible night of worship with our high school students last night. On the second Wednesday of each month we have our Second Wednesday Worship (2W2). 2W2 is a night in which we lay aside our regular Wednesday night program and instead, spend the whole night seeking the Lord in worship. Last night the theme of our time was Prepare the Way.

We began our night looking at how the way was prepared for both Jesus' coming to earth and His ministry while here with us. We looked at Luke 1:26-56 and discovered how Mary prepared her heart for what God was going to ask of her, that of course being the earthly mother of Jesus. We also looked at Luke 3:4-18 and discussed how John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus' three years of ministry here on earth. We then spent the rest of the evening preparing our hearts for Jesus. Jesus desires to have His way with us and make us into someone very beautiful and useful for Him. We must prepare the way for Him.

As we spent the next hour singing and reflecting we also participated in different worship stations. There was a station for journaling in which students could express their hearts and feelings to God through writing. There was our Reflection Wall, a space in which students can creatively, through artwork, reflect and express their hearts to God. We also had a Prepare the Way station set up.

The Prepare the Way station consisted of a long paper pathway. Along the path were rocks, and to the side of the path were tea light candles. At the end of the path was a cross. We had each person go to the station and reflect on what the "boulders" were in their lives that keep Jesus from making His way to them. As we realized what those boulders were in our lives we wrote them down on a slip of paper along with a prayer of confession to God, and then nailed them to the cross. We then wrote on the pathway the names of the boulders in our lives, prayed, and then lit a candle. The candles symbolized the light of Christ making His way into our lives as we clear the path for Him.

The Prepare the Way station was an amazing experience and a beautiful picture of how Jesus desires to make His way into our lives and how when we clear the path (prepare the way) He then lights our path and begins to do great things in our lives.

With the advent season upon us, use it to prepare the way for Jesus in your life. Don't merely focus on the birth of Christ this Christmas but focus also on why He came to earth, to draw us into relationship with Himself, and to use us to build His kingdom. Make sure that your life is free from the "boulders" that might prevent Him from fully making His way into your life.


"If all of the unchurched people in the United States were a nation of their own, they would be the eleventh most populated country on Earth. Only Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Russia would have a greater head count."

- George Barna, "Grow Your Church From the Outside"

Napoleon Fun

Ok...I'll admit it, I'm a Napoleon Dynamite fan! I mean what do you expect, I'm a youth pastor. I have had countless "Napoleons" in my ministry over the years.

Well If you share in my love for Napoleon, then you must see this! Be sure to click on all the the quotes! It's pretty fun!!



I am thankful to be in my office this morning! I am always thankful to come to work, because I love what I do. I love the ministry God has given me.

Today I am just thankful to be here. Let me explain.

During breakfast this morning I flipped on the TV to catch the news and weather report. Scrolling across the bottom of the screen were school late start announcements. There weren't very many, but Sherwood was one of them! Due to freezing road conditions schools were starting two hours late this morning! I thought, that's strange, as everything looked ok to me when I looked out the window. Well let me tell you...they knew what they were talking about!

As Brittnie and I headed out at 7:00 to get her to school, it all made sense. It was slick, and in my estimation, pretty trecherous! It was a slow, slow drive out of our neighborhood. Even the main highway was slow and slippery. As I approached Roy Rogers Rd. the country road that I take to get over to the side of town in which Brittnie's school is, I was trying to decide if I should take it or go a completely different route. Roy Rogers Rd. is definitely the quickest route, and the road I take every morning. As I approached the intersection that I would need to trun at, I was debating over and over in my mind whether I should turn. I figured it would be a pretty slick route as it goes through an area that the fog just seems to collect in, and it was the fog that was freezing to the road.

Just as I got to the intersection, I decided not to turn, and take another route all together. Good choice. I continued on straight on Hwy 99 and within a mile the roads were perfectly clear! It was smooth sailing all the way to school. Thankful, we were.

The exciting part to all this, and what I am thankful for, is as soon as I dropped Brittnie off at school I flipped the radio over to the news (can't listien to that with Brittnie, she only wants music) and heard the traffic report. The big story was Roy Rogers Rd.! Apparently it was extremely icy and trecherous, so much so, that the sanding trucks were even having a hard time keeping it clear! They also reported numerous accidents along the road.

I'm certainly not thankful for the numerous accidents, but I am sure thankful that God kept me from turning left on to Roy Rogers Rd. like I have always done!

I just love it when God does stuff like that! Thank you Lord!

iPod Revolution

The revolution continues.....kind of.

Church Signs 3

Not sure this is the best approach either.

Thanks Gman.


I have been listening to Matt Redman quite a bit lately. I love his song "Let My Words Be Few" It is a simple yet profound song.

It goes like this...

You are God in heaven
And here am I on earth
So I'll let my words be few
Jesus, I am so in love with You

And I'll stand in awe of You
Yes, I'll stand in awe of You
And I'll let my words be few
Jesus I am so in love with You

The simplest of all love songs
I want to bring to You
So I'll let my words be few
Jesus, I am so in love with You

God I am in awe of You for:

• Your grace toward me
• The blessing of my beautiful family
• The blessing of my church family
• Being allowed to serve You in the capacity that I do
• For the beauty of Your creation
• Your incredible provisions in my life
• The gift of music

"Do not be quick with your mouth,do not be hasty in your heart
to utter anything before God.
God is in heaven

and you are on earth,
so let your words be few."

"Much dreaming and many words are meaningless.
Therefore stand in awe of God."

Ecclesiastes 5:2,7

Church Signs 2

Finally a church sign I can get excited about!

Imagine that!

Church Signs

Church signs have always intrigued me. You know, the ones that have the reader board on them that allow for the message to be changed. At my previous church I was the Pastor of Signs & Wonders, meaning I was the pastor that wondered what went on the church sign!

I must confess, I think most church signs are really pretty bad. Rarely do I see one that I think will really have any kind of significant impact on the community at large.

Anyways I was driving around town this morning and I came across this one.

Any guesses as to what the message will be about this Sunday?

Cup O' Joe

Where is this guy when I need him?

What would we do without coffee?

Could it be that there is even a spiritual component to coffee? See Steve Taylor's thoughts on coffee.

15 Minutes of Fame

Youth Specialties was recently collecting pictures to be used in publications, and email newsletters they send out, and asked youth pastors to send them photos of students having fun together. I thought to my, I have lots of those! So I sent them a few and look what hit my inbox today! My students!

This is a picture of four of our Middle School girls at our recent Fall Retreat at Camp Tadmor.

Everyone deserves their 15 minutes!

What I Want

I know many are hoping and wishin' for an iPod this Christmas. Not me. Oh no, not me. This is what I want for Christmas!

Less Talk

I came across a great quote today....

“ Too many of us have a Christian vocabulary rather than a Christian experience. We think we are doing our duty when we're only talking about it.”

- Charles F. Banning

Reminds me of James 1:22-25.

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does."

At the risk of sounding cliche..... Less talk, more walk!

Price for Hip

Perhaps this is taking Pauls admonition to become all things to all people a little too far.

Taken from Lark News, a Christian satire site, meaning it's not true....

Hip Youth Pastor Now Completely Unintelligible

AUSTIN — After immersing himself in popular slang phrases, youth leader Dave Jackson has become completely unintelligible to members of his church, even the youth.

"We stopped understanding him about a month ago," says Tanya Gooden, 17, of his youth group. "It was a slow process. Now when he preaches we have to assume a lot of things by his tone, not his words."

Jackson, tracked down at his church office, told a reporter, "Fo shizzle, my nizzle, it's the big mack tizzle, you trackin'? The get-down was off the hook, bra. Big-time ace. Dey scened until the old folk rolled in and the crew got dot gone. Good Sunday, bra."

Jackson can no longer speak plain English even if he wishes to. At times he desperately tries to cross the chasm of incomprehension he has built. For senior pastor Rich Leonard, that's not good enough.

"He's about to shizzle himself right out of a job," Leonard says.

Christmas Spirit

This is some serious Christmas spirit!

How do you think the neighbors feel?

Little Help!

You ever feel like you just need a little help?