man, i have been a lousy blogger lately! i’ve had such limited bandwidth lately, and just haven’t found time to blog. hoping to get back in the saddle this week.
so, what have i been up to?
my last couple sporadic posts were the week of my 50th birthday. but that was a crazy week in itself.
i’m completely stoked that The Youth Cartel is working with World Vision (and, particularly, the 30 Hour Famine team) on a variety of initiatives. one of the ways we’re working with them is to lead the development of a couple additional engagement programs for youth groups. the first of those (which i can’t reveal much about yet) kicked off may 21 – 23 with a three-day program development retreat. i handpicked a half dozen brilliant people i knew i could rely on to bring passionate collaborative input and deliver on various aspects of the program development. i rented a house on top of a mountain (roughly in the san diego area), and we spent those days dreaming, praying, wrestling and planning. we came out of those days with an amazing plan that i’m completely pumped about (both in terms of how it will impact american teenagers, and how it will impact vulnerable children on the other side of the world). now we just have to write and create the whole thing by september 1! yikes!
the day after i came home from that retreat, a few friends and my family planned a really fun 50th birthday party for me. we had about 30 people for a great evening of laughter, food, cigars, and a pretty hilarious marko-roast. tic long was the emcee, and was clearly in his element. good friends from past and present (including a few who came in from out of town) blessed me with their presence and words.
then, after a weekend of recovery, i headed off for a couple weeks in new zealand! what a fantastic trip. the first weekend, i spoke at two youth ministry conferences: one for youth workers on the south island and one for youth workers on the north island. it was a fairly blistering pace, since i spoke multiple times at each event, and flew down to christchurch and back up to auckland in the midst of it.
then, after a day off, i headed out on a ferry to an island off the coast from auckland, where i lead a four day coaching retreat for youth ministry leadership from 4 different denominations. they had never gathered like this before, so it was an incredible honor to get to lead, encourage and challenge them. we stayed at a gorgeous house overlooking the ocean, graciously given to us by a husband and wife who believed in what we were doing and wanted to invest in these leaders.
after that retreat ended, i headed off with my good friend (really, she’s like a sister) tash mcgill. we headed north to her family’s bach (the kiwi term for a cabin, though this one was more like a beach house). we had a few days of chillaxing, conversation, good food, and a bit of sightseeing along the coast. i got smacked with a bad head cold; but it was otherwise a really wonderful weekend.
now i’m home (actually, i’m in the LA airport as i’m writing). can’t wait to see my family, though my oldest child is now gone for the entire summer working at a camp. this week i have two online coaching groups, and a TON of work to get caught up on.
man, i am a blessed dude.