Thursday, December 15, 2005

What inspires you to change?

Earlier this week, I ministered to some teens at a nearby youth detention center. It's always an honor to bring God's word and love to these young men and women who have gone astray but who are now trying to get on the right path. When I finished, the pastor over that ministry thanked me, but added that I might want to include more of my personal experiences when I speak with them.

I can see his point. If they can see some of the struggles I've been through, even what I'm going through now, they'll realize that we all have it tought. We all make mistakes. And we stumble and get up, stumble some more, move forward, and so it goes.

Hopefully my blog has been at least somewhat balanced between talking of my failures and successes, giving examples of failures and successes from the news, and inspiration from Scripture. At least until heaven, only God will know what impact my words (and those who minister with their own blogs) will have. And I'm thankful for the feedback I've received from those who grace my blog with their presence.

I don't like reading blogs that only give instruction, with nary a word about their own person experience, including mistakes along the way. Maybe because they lack the human touch? Nor do I seek out those blogs that merely describe a person's day in the life (though these do seem to be quite popular; to each his own, I say). I guess I see the focus of my blog as a ministry. Some people like to just like to chat, and that's fine. Not every blog has to make a point of changing people.

But for those of you who like reading blogs that inspire you to grow into a better person, what do you look for? A slice of life mixed with instruction? Or more of one or the other? I'd love to hear from you on this. God bless.

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At 10:32, Blogger Yong said...

You're doing a great job. Keep it up. Have a Merry Christmas.

At 13:24, Blogger Jeff said...

Much appreciated. And may your Christmas also be wonderful!

At 14:59, Anonymous Tim said...

I agree with you. I enjoy blogs that give new ideas and perspectives on youth ministry, but the ones I actually look forward to reading are the ones that talk about hardships, success, failure, and lessons being learned in life through youth ministry. I usually learn more from their experience than I do from the next popular youth ministry resource.

At 15:35, Blogger Jeff said...

Thanks for stopping by, Tim. I think I agree with you.

At 16:56, Blogger Dave said...


I had a creative writing teacher in high school who repeatedly harped at us, "SHOW the reader, don't just tell them." I think we show best in life by good example and stories that illustrate our points. After all, Jesus himself used parables which weren't true stories, but teach us important lessons.

So I agree that stories move me more than just descriptions or even encouraging words.

Keep up the good work.

Dave Saintly Sinner

At 17:11, Blogger Chandira said...

I think you're doing a great job Jeff. You know I don't always agree with you on some things, but I do agree with your basic love of God, people and Jesus. I can feel your heart impulse, and that's awesome. I'm sure you feel like that about me and my blog.. ;-)
It takes us all, to reach those who need help, from our different points of view..
Whatever words it takes, to reach people who need love, hey?

At 17:40, Blogger Jeff said...

Dave, I've had that show don't tell drilled into me too. Of course, it usually requires more thought, which is why most people do the latter. Jesus's examples are a good point.

At 17:41, Blogger Jeff said...

Chandira, thanks for continuing to encourage me. I pray that we all can join together to make the world a better place. Thanks for doing your part. God bless.

At 18:12, Blogger John said...

Jeff, you have a wonderfully balanced blog, that's why I read it, kep up the good work mate!

Be encouraged!

At 18:34, Blogger David Schantz said...

I saw in your bio that you and your wife are thinking about adopting a girl from China. That is great. I know a couple that have went to China to adopt two children. I pray your plan works out. I'm adopted myself. When people ask where I stand on the abortion issue I tell them I'm adopted. I get some strange looks but I think most people figure out where I'm coming from. I seem to be going on and on. Your doing a great job here, keep it up.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

At 20:42, Blogger Anna said...


you have a wonderful blog, and is always a pleasure to read. Have a very nice Christmas.

At 23:19, Blogger James said...

I like blogs that honestly relate the struggles that the writer is going through in trying to live a life that pleases God, and shares both the victories and defeats. Some good blogs I've found pose questions, then let the commenters give the instruction. I'd say you've got a good balance here. Keep it up!

At 09:23, Blogger Jeff said...

Sorry I'm falling far behind on my replies. Thank you all for your comments.

John, I hope I stay balanced. I certainly don't want to appear that I have it all together, but I hope that I can show what I've learned in the process.

Dave, thank you for your encouragement, and for your support of our nation. It's wondeful you are adopting. Those of us who are Christians are all adopted into God's family, so God seems to highly value that process. I know we will do our best make our daughter feel every bit as much as welcome and loved as our son.

Anna, thank you too. I feel the same about your blog.

James, thank you. I'm always welcome to criticism from commenters, as long as it's meant to be constructive.

At 10:39, Blogger eph2810 said...

I have to agree with all the previous comments. I really like reading your blog! You have a great balance. What I really like about your blog is that you are honest with your struggles, your praises for Him...Looking forward reading your blog in 2006...
A very Merry Christmas to you & yours, Jeff...
In His grip

At 10:58, Blogger Jeff said...

Thank you, eph. Coming from one with a blog so well written and established as yours, I'm honored.

At 15:22, Blogger Chandira said...

Yes, we're all on the same team.

My deepest desire is to get people from all backgrounds and religions to see that, and to love whatever their own concept of God might be. What different God could it possibly be that we all love?
Here's to Peace on Earth in 2006. For all of us.

At 16:45, Blogger Jeff said...

Chandira, while I desire peace on earth, Jesus himself said he came not to bring peace, but a sword. I think by that he meant that he wants us to believe in and trust in him, even if it means being at odds with others. I don't seek to offend others, but at times it seems that's the natural outgrowth of believing in a jealous God, a God who doesn't want us to worship anybody but him because he is the only true God. He said it first, not me.


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