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The Battle Over the Bed... That Began Last Night
Improving Tomorrow Morning By Changing Last Night
David R. Smith

“Get up! I’m not telling you again! Get out of bed right now!” If your mornings start off with this many exasperating exclamation marks, there are several things you can do to fix it.

Most of which are very, very simple.

The Magic Number Is...
JONATHAN'S BLOG: A Glimpse of Youth Ministry in Uganda
As I write to you at this very moment, my dad is teaching a little over 120 youth workers about how to prepare a sermon.

I wish you could see it. We’re in the basement of an Anglican church, and when I say “basement”, understand I mean dirt floor, echoing cement walls, and exposed electric wires that function most of the time (we were in the dark for a good 12 minutes of one of my workshops yesterday… I just kept going).

img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-8552" src="" alt="Jonathan-CONNECT-Uganda" width="300" height="225" />Dad and I are team-teaching this enthusiastic group of young leaders (I think the oldest person in the audience is 35). They are educated, they are sharp, they are dedicated… and they are starving for resources and training.

So much fun!!!

We brought almost 100 books with us to give away this week. I handed out 20 this morning and it was as if I was handing a glass of cool spring water to someone stranded in the Sahara. The coordinator of their local youth leader network held up one of the books I had brought (Doug’s Purpose Driven Youth Ministry) and said, “We will keep several copies of this in our library for you to borrow.” Immediately you could people’s face light up, practically raising their hands, “Where do I sign up to borrow that?”

As we wrap up today we will have trained them in the following:

-       Connecting with Youth

-       Planning Activities that Engage Youth

-       Preparing Biblical Sermons

-       Training the Trainer

-       Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers!

img class="alignright size-thumbnail wp-image-8553" src="" alt="Uganda Certificate" width="150" height="150" />I had better quit typing… we’re about to give out certificates to all the youth leaders who have completed this two-day training. I was just told we are awarding 134 certificates. Wow!

I’ll try to share more of what I observe in the next few days (my thoughts last year).

Keep us in your prayers. I’m speaking at a large convention here tomorrow, then teaching University student leaders on Saturday, then speaking at “secondary schools” through Tuesday. (Here’s the breakdown.)

Thanks for your prayers!

Season 2, Episode 13—Beside the Dying Fire
Is this what Jesus meant by resurrection of the dead? Hershel and Rick bring it up in this week’s Season 2 Finale’ of The Walking Dead. This week we saw the true devastation “a herd” could bestow. Utter chaos swept

Some kids are too cool to do anything.  Part peacock, part pubescent, their pride gets the best of them at almost every turn... NOT these kids.

My kids will laugh at silly jokes.  They eat Happy Meals.  They watch kiddie shows and are unashamed.  They wear cat ears, 3D glasses with the lenses taken out, and give themselves names like Batman, Nightwing, and Doctor Wolverine (that name is mine, by the way). They are nerds…to the EXTREME.  So of course, we get along JUST FINE.  

Nowhere is this hardcore geekiness more evident than at our awesome new boys group, Guys and Fries Thursday. Every week I meet a small group of junior high 6th and 7th grade guys at McDonald’s to eat french fries, play card games, and talk about important life topics. We build mountains of french fries and use ketchup packets to make them into volcanoes (or we would if the kids actually ATE KETCHUP with their fries). Last week we had an epic battle of slapjack and used the parable of the unforgiving servant to discuss the topic of forgiveness. We also went off on rabbit trails, leading to one kid talking for ten minutes about the best way to get out of a cave. After all, these are junior high school boys, so focusing is always an issue.  Many have the attention span of a 6-week-old-puppy in a field filled with butterflies.  

And that’s on a good day.        

And yet, in spite of the silliness and beneath the crazy laughter, coupled with the random card games and the nerdy times, there are real Gospel truths being presented, and barriers, like walls, that are tumbling down.  

See, some of these kids you’d never spot worshiping in the youth room at your church on a Sunday morning.  But campus ministry is a different animal altogether:  With us, atheists mingle with Christians, agnostics with Mormons, Jews with Muslims.

And that’s Youth for Christ/Campus Life at its best. That’s what we can be: A haven for people who do not know the Gospel; a place where kids can go to just be themselves. We gather representatives from various tribes, tongues, and nations together in one room to learn stories, build relationships, and point kids to Jesus Christ.  

This is just the beginning of what we’re doing here at a Sacramento suburb middle school.  In less than a school year, we’ve launched a successful weekly Monday Campus Life club, a guys group, and continue to build contacts within the community, all while maintaining a breakfast club that regularly sees an average of 120 students every Friday (we’ve written about that before in this column).

How are you reaching the campus near you?

Movie Reviews and Quick Q's:
Godzilla (9/16/2014)

Posted on September 9/16/2014, 2014 at 04:35 PM
Video Game Reviews @

Posted on September 9/10/2014, 2014 at 01:22 PM
Music Discussions:
Am I Wrong?

Posted on September 9/4/2014, 2014 at 12:00 AM
YouTube Discussion Starters:
The Death of Robin Williams

Posted on August 8/15/2014, 2014 at 12:00 AM
Outreach Resource of the Week RSS Feed
Wreck It Ralph

Do your students know that, no matter who they are, they can be totally changed by Jesus? If not, check out this awesome resource from our MOVIE CLIP DISCUSSIONS page that provides that hope!

The Movie Clip: I Don’t Want to Be the Bad Guy Anymore 
Wreck It Ralph was the biggest animated film of 2012. It followed the “bad guy” character (Ralph) of a fictitious video game on his pursuit to becoming a good guy. Ralph knew that he was designed to be the bad guy, but that particular hard-wiring was destroying him on the inside. He didn’t want to be a bad 

Spiritual Growth Resource of the Week RSS Feed
Stuck Under Temptation

No matter how young or old we are, we all face temptation. This hilarious, but helpful, resource from our SPIRITUAL GROWTH AGENDAS page will help your teens face it with success.


Discussion Starter: Kids and Marshmallows 
Basically, the setup is this: kids are escorted into a room by an adult and given one marshmallow. They are told that if they wait to eat the marshmallow, when the adult returns, IF the marshmallow hasn’t 

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