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#Influence

#Influence#Life
May 17, 2012

The Avengers Initiative

Hidden in The Avengers is one of the greatest lessons for those who find themselves in a position of leadership in any organization. It's revealed thanks to Joss Whedon's stellar screenwriting.  As Tom Hiddleston (Loki) puts it, "He was trusted with the responsibility of combining the various tones and colors of different characters, many of whom have lead their own films,…
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#Influence#StuMin
April 11, 2012

In the Beginning Pt 1 // Image

Every beginning has an end in mind.  When God created the universe and humankind, His end purpose was to have perfect relationship with Him.  (more…)
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#Influence
February 3, 2012

Hardened Hearts

As part of the First Steps Reading Plan for 2012, I just finished reading through the book of Exodus.  The storyline (maybe better known from The Ten Commandments or Prince of Egypt) tells the lot of Moses and his quest to free his people from slavery in Egypt.  Throughout ten plagues and an exit toward the Red Sea, I came…
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February 1, 2012

Zombie Attack Pt 4 // Live

The irony of How to Survive a Zombie Attack is that the final basic principle isn't about surviving at all.  Surviving the zombie apocalypse isn't enough because life isn't about surviving, it's about thriving. The fourth basic principle: Live. Too many times we live life in survival mode.  We are just trying to make it through the next test, the…
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January 25, 2012

Zombie Attack Pt 3 // Attack

The past two Wednesdays we've approached our How to Survive a Zombie Attack in a sly, metaphorical manner, using plausible scenarios to illustrate the unity and security that can come from a church body.  As we venture into the final two weeks we move toward the ultimate goal of the series, revealing the mission of the church and exploring God's…
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January 23, 2012

Gen Next Pt 1 // Desperation

The letters written to Timothy in the Bible could be read as letters to the current generation of young adults roughly 16-30 years old.  Call them Generation Next, Generation Y, Millenials, or whatever you'd like, they are poised to influence their world like no other generation before it.  As Paul was committed to helping Timothy finding his place in God's…
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#Influence#Life
January 21, 2012

Sufficient Quality Pt 1

Technological advances in the last few years have allowed non-professionals to create video, photo, and web content just short of professional grade, but short enough for no one to notice. (more…)
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#Influence#StuMin
January 18, 2012

Zombie Attack Pt 2 // Defend

Our first Wednesday night of training for How to Survive a Zombie Attack went well.  We learned how to outfit an SUV for survival on the go and more importantly we looked at the first basic principle of survival, Unite.  Shared vulnerability brings survivors together, hope keeps them going, and unity in purpose guides their path. The second basic principle:…
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#Influence
January 18, 2012

SOPA, PIPA, and 13%

If you're on the internet today you'll have trouble avoiding online protests against two copyright infringement bills trying to pass through Congress.  I've been reading up on this for the past few months as momentum has been building from online giants like Facebook, Wikipedia and Google strongly opposing the bills (the bills are supported by the likes of the MPAA…
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#Influence
January 17, 2012

I’m a ’93 Dodge Dakota

A few of you might remember our blue '93 Dodge Dakota that we owned for a few years.  It was a decent machine we picked up from a local dealership for around $3,000.  We have some fond memories of that truck, mostly involving youth group activities.  There was the time when teens were riding in the back with a thousand…
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#Influence#Life
January 13, 2012

Based on a True Story

This week I watched Moneyball again for the first time since seeing it in the theater.  If you haven't seen it yet and you love baseball I definitely recommend it.  It's an excellently crafted story based on the 2002 Oakland A's and their general manager, Billy Beane (Former Twin).  It's really a David versus Goliath tale that shows how low-payroll…
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#Influence#StuMin
January 11, 2012

Zombie Attack Pt 1 // Unite

I'm prepared for whatever 2012 might bring even if it's a zombie apocalypse.  The more I research, the more I discover that a good portion of the population is ready for such a catastrophe.  I've found countless videos and books on weapon selection, outfitting vehicles, zombie-proof fortresses, and all kinds of survival techniques.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) in…
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#Influence
January 8, 2012

I Heart Haters

I haven't heard the word hater used as much as it has been since Tim Tebow started winning.  The fuel for contempt oscillates between his throwing arm and his faith, the latter of which seems to truly offend.  Through it all he's maintained his integrity, diverted praise to God and teammates, and has shown Christians that the proper way to…
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#Influence
January 6, 2012

Fruitcheck

I imagine there was once a time when gas stations didn't have the Minnesota Department of Commerce regulating the accuracy of their pumps.  I'm also guessing that long ago the discovery of dishonest merchants prompted the formation of this regulatory agency though probably not as dramatically as Daniel Larusso breaking a clay weight in half.  To be honest I have…
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#Influence
January 4, 2012

That’s Tempting

We are the suckers who are tapped on the left shoulder and look to the left.  We've sized our hands up to our face to see if we have cancer.  We've tried to find gullible written on the ceiling.  We've looked down to see if our shoelaces are untied.  They're the oldest tricks in the book, but we still get…
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#Influence#StuMin
January 1, 2012

First Steps Reading Plan

This past October we started a 28-day challenge in youth group featuring the First Steps Bible Reading Plan.  The challenge was to spend 28 minutes each day broken into 7 minute chunks of reading, praying, and journaling.  It went so well that I continue to send group texts and post the daily challenge on Twitter and Facebook and we just…
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#Influence
July 28, 2011

God doesn’t have Grandchildren

I'm nearing the end of Senior High camp in Alexandria, MN and God has been doing some incredible things all week in the lives of teenagers.  Eric Samuel Timm (twitter/web) is speaking all week and shared a great message on Tuesday night.  The heart of the message was that God doesn't have grandchildren... only sons and daughters. The idea is…
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#Influence
June 20, 2011

This is a Courtesy Honk

You're at a stop light while the light is red.  While you're waiting for it to turn green, you're buckled in, your car is running and you're anticipating the moment the light turns green. (more…)
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#Influence
June 11, 2011

My Place in Space

I'm sitting on the roof looking at Saturn just to the right of the moon and to the left of the Big Dipper while waiting for the space station to make its fourth visible appearance of this day.   The Twin Cities are fighting for my attention but are beaten by the furious blinking of the two television towers Jill…
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#Influence#StuMin
June 7, 2011

Youth Group Games Pt 1

Finding games for youth group is usually more difficult than putting together a worship set, small group questions, or even a message.  We all know there's a ton of resources for great games, but so many of the games are a little lame.  Games that work for us are highly active, involve everyone, and have a false sense of danger.…
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#Influence
June 1, 2011

Despicable Me

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.” Have you ever wondered what a wretch is?  I’ve always thought it sounded a little like a small bird or something in my toolbox. Doesn’t it seem strange to sing that?  The dictionary defines wretch as “a despicable, or vile person”.  Maybe for fun we should change it…
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#Influence
May 14, 2011

Burnt Out on Burnout

When I was in high school, my dad overheard me telling someone that I got "yelled at".  He later corrected me, because, as he pointed out, he didn't actually raise his voice at me.  I explained to my dad, a school teacher, that being "yelled at" only meant I got in trouble.  The phrase had transitioned from the literal meaning…
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#Influence#StuMin
January 24, 2011

Schooled-2010

Schooled is a series we did for 10 weeks near the end of the school year.  We used the book Essential Theology by Andrew Hedges as the outline for discussion and speaking.  It offered some good questions and illustrations for small groups.  The Schooled graphics came from Stuff I Can Use, a website with a number of other graphic and…
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