Yesterday I had the privilege of going out to lunch with Eric Miller.  It wasn’t just a privilege because Eric paid, (although that was sweet).  It was just fun to see an old friend again and pick his brain.  He is great at developing student leaders so I steal ideas from him and take the credit.  Eric has been a one man student ministry department wrecking crew at this church for 5 years now.  He really should start a blog and bless with world.

I commemorated the event with a picture for the following reasons.

1.      Eric really grows a nice goatee. I am jealous of his coverage.

2.      I wanted to capture him enjoying City Barbeque in Ohio or “hell” as he calls it.

3.      I have some girls who I am supposed to find husbands for.  Ladies look no further; this is the man for you.



Before Kary Perry blew up I posted that I had helped put on a show she played in my time at Grace College.  When she was a Christian singer and was just a 16 year old opening up for Bebo Norman she spent the day with me and my friends. I found the pic today in an old issue of the Sounding Board and thought I would share.


My musical tastes make no sense. I am not going to pretend that they do. Everyone thinks I am Mr. Hip-hop but the following event got me thinking of how weird I am….

  • I just saw Garth Brooks on The Kennedy Center Honors doing a tribute to George Jones and I had to stop what I was doing and just love it.


Here are some other examples…

  • I proudly own Mariah Carey’s greatest hits CD
  • I sincerely wish Color Me Badd would do a reunion tour
  • I have been to a Run DMC concert
  • I love to sing along to old school Out of Eden songs because they are in my perfect “car sing-along falsetto voice”.
  • I hate Lil Wayne yet love Joe Budden.


What is weird about your music choices and loves from today and long ago?


Recently I read Tim Stevens’ post “there is a dynamic tension between artists and leaders”.  Tim’s post was well written and pointed out that there are some obvious differences between artists and others. I know I have felt the divide many times and I made a list of thoughts.


  • Tim said artist want people to experience God and leaders want to give them truth.
  • The artist in me wanted to argue with that but I came to peace with it.
  • Does that mean that a perfect harmony in a service to reach all personalities and keep everyone happy who planned it would to give truth by allowing people to experience God? Easier said than done.
  • Some people think they should care about people more than time. 
  • Some people think caring about people’s time is caring about them.
  • Some people see me as an artist because I love music.  Some see me as a leader because I am all about systems and organization.  Is it possible to be both?
  • The reality is I couldn’t make it in an artist’s world.  I am OCD.
  • I don’t call these people “artists”.  I call them “rock stars” because most love to be late and or unorganized.
  • What does this law mean for those who work with the other type? Both types?
  • What does this mean for anyone who plans a weekly service?




The first time I saw the Jack Johnson video for Taylor I made a mental note to do a list of all the music videos I knew of that contained cameos from Ben Stiller.  It is Christmas and the world is one break and today is that day. Watching all of them will contribute to your life in no way, but Josh Atkins will do it anyway.

Taylor-Jack Johnson

Limp Bizkit-Rollin

Bad Boy 4 Life-Diddy





Some go on a blogging hiatus over the holidays….I just decided I have to get a little MIND DUMP off my chest.

  • I am a nerd. Every New Years Eve my wife and I go out for dinner and talk about/update our 1, 5, and 10-year goals.  That means this week I will have to spend some time thinking about them. I will post them for you all to see.
  • Did the Oklahoma City Thunder (new NBA team) design their jerseys and logo in Microsoft office? It is atrocious! Maybe that is part of the deal when stealing a team from a city, you have to suffer bad fashion.
  • One more family Christmas tomorrow.  No gifts at this one which means I can focus on my true love; pie.
  • While in Wooster tomorrow I am finally moving “all” my stuff out of my parent’s house.  The time has come for very last t-ball trophy, McDonalds toy, and baseball card, to move to Columbus.  My wife is obviously very excited for all my junk.
  • Got to hang out and spend some time praying with our good friends Jeff and Shannon Beckley tonight.
  • A while back I downloaded a new Game track on Kanye’s blog.  I am not gonna lie most of those free songs suck but I think this will actually be a single and even with Lil’ Wayne I like it.  WARNING IT CONTAINS LANGUAGE.
  • Grace College Youth Ministry module class I am teaching is coming up soon. I am pumped for that to rub shoulders with young minds and also tour some great local churches.
  • Finally getting to teach a whole series on Love/dating/relationships this February. We taught on it when I was the new guy but that never clicked. This time I sharpened my teeth at Momentum and am ready to go. I am so excited.
  • We decided to take all our Christmas stuff today. I think that might make us a couple of Scrooges but after a while we just want our space and non-clutter back.
  • While we were putting Christmas stuff in the crawlspace we did put the latest baby stuff to become outdated (clothes, toys, bumpo, etc) in their too.  Babies sure to need a bunch of stuff.
  • I taught Malachi to dunk on our new Nerf hoop today….of course video and/or pictures will follow.
  • I got a $25 itunes gift card for Christmas. Time to start spending.
  • Time to go to bed…I can hear Kristin talking to herself. Gotta get up their before she hurts herself.



I like to blame a portion of my pop culture addiction on the fact that I am involved in youth ministry.  Yes I do it with tongue in cheek, but I do think that as someone who is called not just to be in the world of high school students but to transform it, that I should be up on what is impacting their culture.  Having said that, here is a little test I think that you should be able pass at anytime. 

  1. What is the #1 song in the country?
  2. What is the #1 album in the country?
  3. What is the #1 movie in the country?  (#1 teen culture movie might not be #1)
  4. What TV shows are drawing teenage viewers right now?
  5. What websites are high school students going to these days?

This quiz gets tougher the older we all get, but I am committed to it.  No I don’t see movies because students do, but you can research al this stuff in 10 minutes a week on the Internet.  Check out my links to MTV and Billboard to the right if you are clueless. Are you current in your culture? Can you have an intelligent conversation?


Anyone who knows me knows that I love music.  Today I was thinking about some musical breakthrough moments for myself.  Times when I heard a new artist or genre that just opened my mind and helped me think and want to create music in a whole new light.

Like the first time my dad bought be my first rap cassette tape-Michael Peace, Vigilante of Hope.  Or the first time I heard Craig David-Born to Do It and knew that there was a marriage of singing with hip-hop. 

Today’s inspiration was a random video recommended by a friend.

Rob Blackledge-Worth Taking


I have been moving toward a breakthrough again.  For the first time in a long time I am wanting to write and record.  Time to try and make the EP I promised myself I would make before I was 30. Time to fuse a shameless love of pop, hip-hop, R&B, soul, and acoustic into some songs I can retire into fatherhood on.  I think I am going to make that my goal for the next year.



The last Wednesday night of the year rundown.

Botched opening sequence…..check

Technical snafu…..check

Worship not as good as normal…..check

Mark getting worked up as if the holy spirit depends on his organization and execution of schedule and elements…..check

Teaching effectiveness…..check

Glad to have some time off for the holidays…..check