San Clemente

Been in San Clemente for two days now. May I just say...I love this place! Sunshine, great beach, good surf, cool downtown, art festival this weekend, great peir with great restraunt, and more!

If you click here you may very well see us. It is a 24/7 web cam that sweeps the beach. Pretty cool!

Got six more days here. Not enough!


 Having a great time in California!

On Vacation

As of to night, I'm on vacation!

We are headed for Southern California for a little R&R for the next 12 days! Gonna spend a few days in Brea, my hometown, with my parents, and then head to one of my favorite places, San Clemente, for the remaining time! We'll be staying in my parent's condo, pictured on the right.

This vacation is kind of the calm before the storm. When we return we head right into the busiest season of ministry, Inner City Mission Trip with middle schoolers, Grub Camp with middle school guys, White Water Rafting with high school students, Mexico Mission Trip with high school students, Wild Waves trip with middle school students, and more.

Enjoy your next two weeks, I know I will mine.

San Clemente Pier

Good Use of Diet Coke

The Fourth of July is almost upon us, and I'm thinking right now who needs fireworks when you can create a disply this good with Diet Coke and Mentos!

This is a trick that I think all youth pastors should have up their sleeve!

Summer Celebration

I love summer! Yesterday of course was the first day of summer, it was also Summer Celebration, our annual 180 Student Ministries kick off to summer. What a great night it was! Hot dog BBQ, crazy games, guitarchestra (9 guitarists leading musical worship), and the giant water slide!

For me yesterday was more than just a celebration of summer but also a celebration of all that God has done and continues to do. I feel so blessed to lead such a great group of students! What an honor.

Here is last night's group photo followed by photos from previous years.


To see all the pictures from last night click here.


One of my favorite summer time activities is sitting around a campfire. Spending time in the great outdoors on a warm summer evening with friends around a campfire. Love it!

In Sunday School yesterday with our middle schoolers I built a campfire, well kind of. As the class began I proceeded to build a campfire right in the middle of the room that we were in. As I broke apart sticks for kindling and neatly arranged them with the large sticks I talked about how nice campfires are. I had students share their favorite campfire stories, memories, food prepared over the fire, etc. All the while I was continuing to build the fire, ignoring their comments and wonderings as to whether or not I was really going to light the fire.

After it was all build I proceeded to pull out a book of matches and lit one. This of course got all the students excited. "Are you really going to light it?" they began to ask. Several chanted "light it, light it!" while others were screaming, "No, don't!" it was quite fun. Finally as I lowered a lit match to the wood and "came to my senses" I announced to the class that I wasn't really going to light the fire. Some were disappointed, others were relieved!

I then continued by reviewing where we have been on subsequent Sunday mornings. Recently we have been going through a series from 1 Corinthians. Yesterday we were in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, which deals with sexual immorality. We had a great discussion.

We discussed how just as a campfire as wonderful as it is, would be very dangerous and destructive outside of it's proper context. Sex is the same way. We had a very open and good discussion. That is what I found rather intriguing. It is quite plain to see that youth culture has changed in many dramatic ways over the years, some changes positive, other not so. I realized another big change yesterday morning.

Discussing the subject of sex with middle schoolers has always been rather fun to me in the past, frankly because they are so uncomfortable discussing the topic, especially in church. That was not the case at all yesterday! There were no giggles, know silly comments, or smirks, conversely it was a very mature and open discussion. I found that quite interesting. I am not quite sure what to attribute that to. I suppose the media has a lot to do with it. Sex is now so common place in movies, TV, music, and print, that it has been reduced down to just another common place topic. How sad.

What God has given to us as a very sacred, and beautiful gift to be shared between two married people, the world has reduced down to an activity that can be freely participated in, and very few people think twice about it. While many of my students have strong convictions about the issue of sex and purity, to which I am very thankful, it still is an issue that is no longer embarrassing or uncomfortable for them to discuss. Interesting.


So I just finished meeting with a couple of people in my office when two unexpected guests show up. Two of my recently graduated seniors! How nice...they have come to pay me a visit.

As they sit down to talk they immediately begin to giggle. "Do I have a booger hanging out of my noise?" I ask. "No, just an inside joke" they say, as they continue to giggle. We chat for a little while longer and then they leave.

Me then needing my afternoon caffeine fix, get up and head over to the main office to get some coffee only to see what was so funny.....

I feel loved.

My assistant, Aaron also felt the love. See it here.

90 Years of Journey

I along with 5 other guys spent the weekend camping. It was a return to the past yet also celebration of the future. Fifteen years ago we camped together, I as their youth pastor and they as my students. This last weekend we returned to the very same site for a return of Grub Camp.

We indulged in many of the same activities that we enjoyed many years ago, catching crawdads, eating crazy things like "garbage eggs", playing with fire; you know...good guy stuff! The highlight of the weekend though was hearing the stories of life. Each of us shared our last 15 years, thus 90 years of journey.

The stories were incredible. They were filled with joys, trials, heartache, tragedy, and triumph. There is no better story than real life. What made all these stories so great is that they all intersected with God's story. Some later than others, yet they all did.

What an awesome priviledge to have been a part of each of their stories and to see how God has worked deeply in each life over the years. Truly a demonstration of the truth of Philippians 1:6, that "...he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

We plan to return next year to celebrate even further all that God has continued to do and to enjoy the relationships that He has blessed us with.

Check out the slide show of the weekend that Adriel put together.

To view or download a higher quality sequence click here.

Grub Camp Reunion

For the better part of 20 years I have been taking middle school and high school boys camping at Indian Henry Campground on the North Clackamas River. We call it Grub Camp. A time to get away and just be guys. No girls, no showers, not really even any manners. Good times!

We tell guys that they go as boys and come back men. Kind of a rite of passage if you will. We fish, we swim, we jump off high rocks and logs into the icy cold river, we sit around the fire, and for the more gullible among us, we even go on snipe hunts.

Well this weekend I do it all again, but not with middle school or high school students but with grown men, men that were once boys in my ministry. It was 15 years ago that we went to Grub Camp together. This weekend we're going back, back to relive the fun, and relive the memories.

One of the most rewarding aspects of youth ministry is witnessing what God has done and is doing in the lives of students after they graduate out of our ministry. I love when students come back and share the things God is doing in their lives. This is just such an occasion.

There is a principle that says, your never reap in the same season that you sow. There is a lot of truth to that. In youth ministry the fruit of ministry is not always immediately seen, but it is often seen in later years. I look forward to sharing our lives with one another this weekend, and praising God for the things He has done and continues to do.

Culture of Fear

Today's date is 6-6-06 and I am amazed at how many people are living in fear because of that! Today is 666, it must be evil right? Well for starters the date is actually 06-06-2006, that right there should help put some things into perspective.

Today at my daughter's high school there were 400 students missing. It seems that there were rumors circulating that something terrible was going to happen on 6-6-06. As I arrived at the school to drop her off, we were greeted by an obvious police presence as well as the media. The police to help calm fear, the media, to help spread it! See the story here. A nearby middle school looked the same.

I also heard a report recently of expectant mothers who were due today, arranging their deliveries for different days, inductions, c-sections, etc.

We live in a culture of fear. The devil is in the business of striking fear into the hearts of people and does a great job. Jesus on the other hand is in the business of releasing us from fear.

The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

I am thankful that I am a child of God, a God that is bigger than any "scary" date on the calender, a God that is also bigger than a rumor designed to instill fear in people.

Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.
Romans 8:14-16


Had a great time in Sisters this weekend. Thought I would share some of the beauty with you.

The "Three Sisters"

South and Middle Sister

North Sister

I Dream of A Church

Dan Kimball has expressed on his blog the very things that I have been thinking, praying and speaking about lately. That is, what the church should really look like.

His post I Dream of a Church is worth your read.

May we continue to seek what God's desires are for His church, and may we pursue them with all that we are.


The Eberly's are bustin' out of Dodge this weekend!

We're headed to Sisters, Oregon.

If you are not familiar with Sisters, this from ....Towering forests of Ponderosa pines, snowy Cascade Mountains, pristine rivers, lakes and streams, sun drenched days and star-filled western nights - this is the special beauty of Sisters, Oregon. Sisters, elevation 3,100 feet, is located in western Deschutes County, just east of the Cascade Mountains in central Oregon.

Sounds nice doesn't it?

Gonna spend some time with Robin's brother's family and enjoy some good rest, relaxation, and fun times! We'll be back sometime on Monday.

Always good to get away!