I am late to the Thanksgiving game but just this weekend the Holy Spirit (my pastor spoke from Psalm 103) prompted me in a spirit of being thankful so I wanted to make a list as much for myself as anyone else. I hope this list encourages you to do the same.

I am thankful for…

  1. God’s love-read this and tell me you aren’t thankful
  2. A wife who loves me, supports me, is hot and gives me kids in 20 minutes. She is my best friend.
  3. Canaan’s safe delivery
  4. Malachi-it is so awesome seeing his personality come out. He is musical, he is a people person, and he is a lover.
  5. My parents and siblings on both sides.
  6. A great church home
  7. A great church home to work at-I am cared for and treated better than absolutely every other pastor I know. It isn’t a money thing, but a culture thing.
  8. A senior pastor who cares for me and my family.
  9. The team I get to work with.
  10. A high school ministry that God is working in.
  11. Being able to see college students and young adults run after God years after they have been gone.
  12. 2 working cars
  13. A great home
  14. My Grace group
  15. Friends

Canaan Joshua Artrip

Well #2 is here. 7lbs. 7ounces, 18 inches.  Contractions started at 3:30, got to hospital at 4:50, Got in the room at 5:07, he was born at 5:27.

Mom is a champ and already looks so hot.

I think Canaan looks like Malachi alot… far:)

I will update with more pictures on tomorrow.


  • Great night at HSM
  • I love what I do.
  • Tonight was night 3 in our Life 101 series on 1 Peter.
  • We had 2 students teach. Blake Roth and Jared Acker were great.
  • So proud of those guys, they weren’t just good for high school guys; they were good PERIOD!
  • They highlighted our need for boldness and overcoming fear when we understand our lives in Christ.
  • There leadership is a walking commercial for OB, but that is a rabbit trail
  • Based on some recent trends that made themselves obvious last week we made some changes in setup this week.
  • We started our own version of the Prayer Patio tonight.  I can’t wait till a spirit of prayer, counseling, and response catches on before, during, and after Wednesday nights.
  • We also changed chair setup to pack people in more and basically only have a center aisle.  The good news is it cut down on trips to the bathroom.
  • Another big crowd, so I was glad we had the extra chairs.
  • Our band switched to in ear monitors this week.  We don’t have wireless ones but the sound was way better and more controlled.
  • Pastor Ed and Polly came and spoke to our students. He wanted to just talk to them and pray for them on Veteran’s day so how can you say no to that? He also wore his dress blues and got a couple of standing ovations.
  • We had our adults share testimonies this week since students taught, it was a great change and Kelly lead it well.
  • We stole a page our of the Josh Atkins game manual and did the impossible shot tonight…..I don’t think that game can fail….too bad it took me almost a year to remember it.
  • Weird week, I never know when we will be headed to the hospital for baby 2 and I don’t feel great, but it is awesome to be so encouraged to see a team execute great ministry on Wednesday nights and I can just sit back and worship and be taught.


I recently asked on my twitter and facebook what people wanted me to blog about and a few suggested “getting attacked” or “taking criticism”. I haven’t been in ministry forever but I have been at this long enough to take a bullet or two so I thought I would write my…

Top 5 tips for dealing with critics.

  1. Pray-Your first reaction will be to gossip or defend yourself by fighting back.  Resist this and stop what you are doing and pray.  Sounds so cheesy and religious but it is so necessary so that Satan doesn’t get a foothold.  He would love to cause division in the Body of Christ between people.
  2. Consider the source-You are always going to take attacks, but you have to know if it is someone who has the right to speak into your life and ministry. I am not encouraging arrogance and thinking that you are above confrontation or correction, but you have to make sure it is someone who deserves the platform.
  3. Confront things in person-not email or phone-If this person has a problem with you no matter how you found out (facebook, gosseip) it is your job as a believer to make it right.  Confront this head on and try to resolve it.  Don’t email back or text.  Talk in person and handle it as it deserves.
  4. Make sure that you are not being taken out of context or misunderstood-Many misunderstandings are simply because people misunderstood you, your vision, or your motives.  When you are face to face with people and clarifying what upset them you will find that many things are misunderstandings.
  5. Attacks always come from pain-This is one of the greatest things I think my lead pastor is great to teach and remind.  When people attack you it can be because they are let down or upset with you, but more often than not you are just the one they are taking out other frustration on.  A parent could be mad that there kid doesn’t go to church and it is your fault for making the youth group “boring” or “not inviting them”.  This is just like someone who hates their job and comes home and kicks their cat.  Don’t take it personal, you are a shepherd and you may have to absorb some kicks to get to their real life pain.


  • Let me first start by saying that I am trying to not eat sweets, but as you can see it isn’t going well. This week Stephanie Watson told me that she liked to bake so I naturally told her that I had the gift of eating.  She brought me some cookies tonight and after a Wednesday night it was awesome to down a couple. I took a picture just to show how thick these things are. They are the real deal.
  • Record night at HSM.  We had our biggest attendance ever for a Wednesday night.
  • Fall sports ended this past week. We just had our usual visitors but all the regulars and semi-regulars decided to come on one night.
  • Usually we have soft start of 7 but don’t get going until 7:15, tonight it was standing room only by 6:55.  That was when Vickie said “you need to add chairs” and she was right.
  • It is a weird thing when you pull the tables and setup chairs. I hope we have this problem again but I will miss the café.
  • When you add chairs things get ugly fast. I am not sure what happened to the aisle, but lets just say I am glad there were no evacuations.
  • This was week 2 of our Life 101 series in 1 Peter.
  • Mike McCaman got the call this week. Man it would be nice if he were sticking around.  I would never have to teach again. He did a great job for 2 reasons-he showed a movie clip (kept attention), and he had a natural progression as he taught through the passage.
  • Right before he went up I said, “this is our biggest crowd ever…good luck.”
  • It really was weird putting a friend in a situation that our ministry has never seen and isn’t really setup to do week in and week out.
  • Many dynamics are changing with size and I want to learn from people doing that week in and week out.
  • Sweet dear our band is good…..really good. If anyone wants them to do your retreat or something let me know because they will be incredible. They are doing our middle school retreat this weekend.
  • The middle school came down tonight and worshipped with us at the end.
  • In the coming weeks we are going to steal another idea from Saddleback’s high school ministry.  That’s right, we weren’t happy just stealing their name…now we want their prayer patio. I am excited because it will be a great place for response and counseling.
  • We are really stressing more of our students going to pray with Pastor Ed and Polly Jackson (our missions and prayer pastor who lives out front of the church) in the afternoon on Wednesday.
  • I stopped in late after church and thanked Pastor Ed for his investment and love of students.  Talking to him never gets old and he is never short on stories.
  • Not much else to say.  God is doing some neat things right now…it is gonna get interesting when a baby shakes up our schedule in the next few weeks.  Luckily God doesn’t need me to work, but I am thankful when he uses us.