Curious Josh: Spell It Out

I used to write a series of posts that allowed me to explore all of the weird things I'm curious about. Want to read some of them? Go here.

One of the twitter feeds that I follow is from the magazine, Mental Floss. And their twitter is full of tons of glorious trivia facts. (You can follow them at @mental_floss.)

For the past week or so, they've been tweeting (and instagramming) the meaning behind popular abbreviations, initials, or acronyms.

The one that caught my eye was that ZIP code stands for Zone Improvement Plan.

Want more? Check out all 31 of them compiled here. And BTW (see what I did there?), this would make an excellent up front game for your large group gathering!


Leadership: Moving From a Boss to a Guide

I've had the joy of working with (and for) one of my lifelong heroes for the past 8 months. One of the things I love about our partnership is that, even though we've got a lot of differences, we still work really well together. In fact, I've learned a lot about leadership from him.

Here's the biggest thing:


An Idea For Motivating Your Student

Not too long ago, a mom stopped by my office to ask for advice in dealing with her son. She told me about how tough of a time she was having getting him to do his homework, chores, and basically listen to what she said.

She didn't go for my idea of using a soda can with a few pennies in it. (Even after I told her I had seen it work on a cat.) But I listened to her, prayed with her, then said I'd talk with her son to see if I could make a difference.

A few months later, I came across something that I thought could potentially work with this particular student.


Honoring Your Graduates

I've been on staff at three churches in my professional career. So I've seen graduation weekends done a few different ways.

Here at Trinity, they've been doing the same thing since I graduated high school. But, this year, we decided to switch things up a little bit. Here's what we did:


Looking For a Service Opener?

I love new ideas. Whether they're totally new or just new to me, new ideas bring about new thinking and new thinking brings new perspective.

So, I thought I'd leave an idea here that I have loved for the past 9 years.

If you're looking for a creative way to open your large group gathering, this has worked for me!


Worship Songs We're Loving

I love stews. Seriously. They're delicious. I especially like the ones where all kinds of flavors and ingredients blend together to make one tasty treat.

My job is a lot like a stew. I have a lot of different responsibilities (some completely unrelated to others) that come together to form my ministry life. One of those responsibilities is that I oversee the worship through music part of our ministry.

I'm always looking for new songs to introduce to our students and appreciated this post on Griff's blog listing what songs HSM and Geoff's ministries are loving right now. So I thought I'd weigh in with what songs we're doing at MidWeek right now that seem to be working.

In no particular order...


Tips On Planning Your Summer Calendar

It's a little tough to believe that we're almost done with May! As we're staring down the barrel of summer, there's something that all of us have to do (or, hopefully, have already done): PLAN!

One of the things that I've learned that parents appreciate from me as a leader is a calendar that they can refer to during the summer months. Now, there's a thousand ways to put together a calendar. So I won't bother with trying to name the "X Best Ways to Plan Your Summer Calendar". Instead I'll just give you some principles that we used to plan ours.


Summer Camp Cheat Codes

I was born in the eighties. As a result, I grew up playing the original nintendo entertainment system. Shout out to that orange duck hunt zapper. Well, as any good eighties kid knows, there was a secret code that worked on many games that could, if inputed correctly, help you get a leg up on your game completion.

"Up, up, down, down, b, a, b, a, select, start" was known as the "Konami code". It could grant everything from extra lives to extra energy to extra power ups. But, no matter what this cheat code gave you, there was one thing you always gained: progress.

One of the things that I love so much about taking students to summer camp (or any other kind of extended retreat) is that it allows you to leap ahead in your relationships with students. Lots of time spent together + fun + late night talks = earned trust. Earned trust = relational progress. Relational progress = the ability to speak into a teenager's life.