I love making lists. I made a list tonight of my worst days ever in my life. Today came in at number 4. I'll describe more of the why later on and also talk about the other really bad days. Bad days definitely help you appreciate the good ones. JM


Stuff You Probably Don't Know - Part 3

I think about my mom nearly every day. Probably at least 5 days a week. My wife and I were just talking about this, actually. And it's weird stuff that makes me think of her. Like I was thinking the other day about when I would get my hair cut. I started going to a nicer place for it (somewhere that you had to make an appointment) and my mom made sure that I knew that I was supposed to tip her and approximately how much. That's kind of something that a guy just doesn't intuitively know for some reason.
At first after she died I thought about her all the time. I thought about how she died and I really struggled to get that image of her dying out of my mind. For several weeks I carried around a picture of her with me so that if that image was stuck in my head, I'd pull out that picture and really try to focus on it. I wanted to remember her the way she was in that picture, and not how she looked as she died. That's actually the toughest part about losing somebody. You have to try to conjure up those memories, and they don't come easily. You have to think more situationally. Like remember moments when something happened, or that really meant something. And those are the memories that you have to hang onto. The good ones. I'm scared though that as I get older and I spend more time without my mom that I'll begin to lose those memories. That I might forget her.
So yeah, that's really rambling, but it's something you probably didn't know. I didn't know most of it until I just wrote it. JM

Peter Pan

I've laughed at this skit for 7 days now. This is the kind of stuff that SNL can do so well, but they do so rarely. JM

Seth Godin

Seth Godin is a genius. I love this quote:

Persistence isn't using the same tactics over and over. That's just annoying.

Persistence is having the same goal over and over.




I've gotten fat. It's time to face the facts. I look at myself as this skinny little kid. But I'm not. I'm fat. That being said, I'm not really fat. My BMI is somewhere around 23, and overweight doesn't start until 25. But I feel fat. And it's gross. Typically I would just go out and run, but that's been really difficult lately because of Brooklyn (not the borough, my 4 week old daughter). So the other day I ordered this workout video system thing after seeing a few minute of an infomercial for it. Hopefully 90 days after I get it I'll look like this


Stuff You Probably Don't Know - Part 2

Probably every day of my life I have been told that I look tired. I don't know if it's that I'm so slovenly, or that I don't get very excited about most things, or that I don't smile a lot, or what. I know one of the problems is that genetically I have circles under my eyes (bags) that give off the impression that I am tired. But I'm not. I'm wide awake. Yet I can assure you that somebody tomorrow will ask me if I'm tired, or comment on how tired I look, or say "looks like that baby's keeping you up". She's not. It's just my eyes. JM


Church Architecture

People are searching for spirituality. They want to tap into something greater than themselves, and to do so they look to spiritual things of the past. They seem more real. More organic. Check out this study that talks about church design and where people feel comfortable encountering the spiritual. JM

Stuff You Probably Don't Know - Part 1

I haven't been posting a lot of personal stuff lately, so I thought I would make up for it by posting some stuff that basically nobody knows about me. In that vein:
I pick my nose. A lot. Each nostril at least once a day. If I'm home, then I'll put the booger in a tissue and throw it away or dump it in the toilet. If I'm in the car, which I usually am when I pick my nose, then I'll break the booger up into little pieces in the passenger side floorboard. If I'm at work, then I'll break the booger up into the trash can. The only variant to this is if the booger comes out snotty, or liquidy. Then I'll either flick it out the window as I'm driving (which is difficult to do because of the stickiness) or I'll wrap it up in a post-it note and throw it in the trash can if I'm at work. So do you pick your nose? JM


Chasing Daylight

Finished the book Chasing Daylight the other day. It's not my typical style of book as it's basically just some guys thoughts as he was dying. Lots of great thoughts, though, on how to really enjoy life, have perfect moments, live in the now, and appreciate the relationships we have. JM


I saw U2:3D last night. It was awesome. The way it was shot made it seem incredibly real with the camera angles and the 3D was incredible. At one point when Bono is singing directly into the camera it almost felt awkward like I was waiting for him to sing to the next person instead of focusing so directly on me. It was also amazing to see their light show and stage design with tons of LED's. Go see it. JM


The New Face Of Youth Ministry

People talk about how different youth ministry is now. How old, outdated ministries are no longer effective and how in order to be effective, youth ministry must look different. The problem is that everybody talks about it, but nobody is really doing it. The people who say they are doing something unique and different are just doing the same things, but using different words. Love this frustration post about how to change the face of student ministry. My favorite line:
Now what? It's time for change, but what? It isn't working. Let's deal with it. It isn't a fad or a season. It is reality. We are doing youth ministry just like the 1970's. Same old stuff in new shoes. It is time to be honest and embrace change. But where to start?


Did I tell you that I sold my house, and that we're buying one up here? We close 03.25 in Atlanta and 03.28 in St. Charles. I cannot wait. JM


So I've started the leader recruiting/retention process for this coming year. Our ministry year starts at the beginning of June, so we're getting close to the end. My ministry can't function without adult leaders, so recruiting is a huge part of what I do. At the same time, I don't just want a warm body in the room, I want somebody who cares about students. The tough part is that most people that care about students don't know it until they actually start working with students, but most people are too intimidated to try it. We'll see how it goes. It's going to take a lot of prayer to get the right people in there and also fill all of the holes. JM

Ludacris' Map

Love this map of area codes in which Ludacris claims to have hoes. My favorite line:
Ludacris has a disproportionate ho-zone in rural Nebraska. He might favor white women as much as he does black women, or perhaps, girls who farm.”



Larry Norman

Larry Norman died. I don't know much about him. He's referred to as the father of Christian rock. I've heard some of his songs before, but am largely unfamiliar with his stuff. His funeral sounded incredible though. A party. A celebration of life rather than a culmination of regret. What was cool to read about was how he impacted people. Here's part of what happened at the funeral:
I think many of us expected a bunch of famous musicians giving testimony of the greatness of Larry. Instead, the family gathered a bunch of everyday people who’s lives were touched by Larry. After the musical collage, a man came on stage and said, “Hi, I’m Jerry, Larry’s mailman. For years I have delivered Larry’s mail” — he spoke of Norman’s kindness and love for him.

I wish I took the time to get to know the periphery people of my life. To show kindness and love for the people who I don't have to have a relationship with, but I choose to. JM


Why do we hang on to traditional forms of ministry when they don't even work. It doesn't make any sense. Love this post at Church Relevance about "Scary Clown Ministry" citing research talking about how children don't like clowns. Here's a good quote:
Very few children like clowns. They are unfamiliar and come from a different era. They don’t look funny, they just look odd. Children are much more happy with things stuck on the wall that have some sort of personal relevance for them, not some images that are foisted upon them by adults.

But it's not just clowns in children's ministry. We hang onto all sorts of bad ministry ideas just because they are easy for us to do, or we're comfortable with them, or they worked for us in the past. It just doesn't make sense. JM


I don't think I'll be going to a conference this year, at least not until at least late fall. But if I could go to one I would go to the Whiteboard Sessions. Such an interesting concept and some amazing leaders. Sounds awesome. Maybe next year. JM


I like art in almost all of its forms (I struggle getting into dance). So after watching the oscars the other night, my wife and I decided that we were going to watch every film that's ever won the academy award for best picture. Of the 80 listed, I've only seen 18. I wonder how many I'll like. JM



Is it any wonder that Britney Spears went crazy? Imagine that this was what it was like for you every time you wanted a frappuccino. JM

Tomorrow Never Comes

I keep thinking that I'll start posting regularly tomorrow, but it just hasn't happened. So hopefully tomorrow I will. If you were forced to watch that stupid quarterlife show the other day like I was, you'll be happy to know that it will never happen again because it got cancelled after just one airing. JM