Category Archives: music

Best of ’09: Websites

The year 2009 A.D. is almost over. The past 12 months have brought with them many new things; some good, some bad, and some not worth mentioning. I would like to take some time and highlight some of my favorite parts of 2009. I will call this list the “best of ’09” – which simply means that, in my opinion, these are the best items in a certain category. I fully expect you to disagree with some of my choices or to be upset I did not add other items to the list. If you feel this way, please add your “best of ’09” ideas in the comments.

The fourth list will be websites. These are the sites I used the most this past year. This list is in no particular order.

Facebook – Now, if I have to explain why I use this site then you must not be involved with youth ministry or on the internet very much. A great site to connect with students, old high school and college friends and family.

Google – I use a lot of online Google applications. My two most used are Docs and gmail. I have a Wave account (I’d love to connect if you are on wave, too), but its fairly new and still in Beta, so I do not get too much use out of it.

Pandora – Simply a great site for listening to music. For me, its a much better alternative to buying a bunch of CD’s or mp3’s.

Twitter – A simple way to stay in touch with friends (and like minded people) all over the world. If you can’t say it in 140 characters, then you don’t need to say it on Twitter.

Blogger – I use Blogger for my blog. I know there are other alternatives, especially WordPress, but I just have not moved to anything yet. Blogger has everything I need. And to be honest, it probably helps me keep the blog fairly simple.

Youth Ministry Websites
YMToday – A great site for finding a wide assortment of youth ministry material. The site is filled with articles, tips, games, and much more. If you are in youth ministry, you need to check this site out. (disclosure – I do have a few articles published on the site)

YMX – Again, this is a great site with an assortment of useful material. The best part of YMX is the forums. The best youth ministry forums out there. A great place to connect and talk about youth ministry (or anything else) with other youth ministry people.

YouthMinBlog – Hear from a wide spectrum of youth ministry voices on a single topic. Each week, the authors discuss a single topic from their own personal perspectives. I was a fan of the site before I became a contributing author, so I’m not saying its a good site because I have articles on it – I’m saying its a good site despite my stuff.

What websites did you use the most in 2009?

Other posts in this series:
Best of ’09 – Music
Best of ’09 – Youth Ministry Books
Best of ’09 – Non-Ministry Books
Best of ’09 – Websites used
Best of ’09 – Blog posts
Best of ’09 – Web Apps
Best of ’09 – Ministry Moments
Best of ’09 – Random Favorites

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Best of ’09: Music

The year 2009 A.D. is almost over. The past 12 months have brought with them many new things; some good, some bad, and some not worth mentioning. I would like to take some time and highlight some of my favorite parts of 2009. I will call this list the “best of ’09” – which simply means that, in my opinion, these are the best items in a certain category. I fully expect you to disagree with some of my choices or to be upset I did not add other items to the list. If you feel this way, please add your “best of ’09” ideas in the comments.

The first list will be music. These are the best albums I heard this year, for the first time. They may not all be new in 2009, but this was the first time the songs have reached my ears. This list is in no particular order, and will not include a long explanation of why. I am not going to attempt to persuade you of each album’s greatness, you’ll just have to listen to it yourself.

Brandon HeathDon’t Get Comfortable” – Last year at the NYWC, in Nashville, I got to hear a little of Brandon’s music. But I got to hear a lot of people speak very highly of it, so when I got the chance I picked up his first album. It has been one of my favorites all year. I am wanting to pick up his new stuff, but just haven’t gotten around to it. (I know, I’m a little behind on this one)

Tenth Avenue NorthOver and Underneath” – I got this CD from John at Lifeway, well I won it for taking a picture of my next to a tenth ave. street sign. But since my town only has up to 8th st. I got to take two 5th street pictures. I have really enjoyed this music. If you haven’t heard them yet, you need to. (and here is a pdf of a $3 off coupon good until March 31, 2010)
KutlessIt Is Well: A Worship Album” – I picked up this album without ever hearing anything from it, because their first worship album “Strong Tower” has been one of my favorite albums over the last few years. I think Kutless does a fantastic job taking worship music and making it their own. I have really enjoyed this album, it has been a great source of encouragement.
Francesca BattistelliMy Paper Heart” – This album was picked up because I was looking to get something for my wife. A student had told me this was a great album and I needed to listen to it. So I picked up the CD. I’m glad I did. My wife really likes her sound and has listened to the CD repeatedly. And, I have to admit that I think its a really good collection of music.

Mat KearneyCity of Black and White” – This CD was recommended to me shortly after its release. I have enjoyed his first album for the past few years and was in need of some new music from Mr. Kearney. I am glad I picked this album up, it has not disappointed.

You will notice there are some “big” absences to this list (even for the “Christian” music industry). I have not heard any of Tomlin’s new stuff, nor Crowder’s, nor Owl City, nor any of a number of great music out there. I am not saying its not good music, but as I have not listened to it all, I can make no comment of it being the Best of ’09. I would love to hear what music you would add to this list…

Other posts in this series:
Best of ’09 – Music
Best of ’09 – Youth Ministry Books
Best of ’09 – Non-Ministry Books
Best of ’09 – Websites
Best of ’09 – Blog posts
Best of ’09 – Web Apps
Best of ’09 – Ministry Moments
Best of ’09 – Random Favorites

Learned from Twitter: week ending September 5, 2009

I took last week off from posting these updates, but this week’s edition is jam packed with great information and resources. Enjoy 🙂

1. snavenel (Len Evans) shared a link that youth ministers need to read – the newest Youth Leader Only from Interlinc.

Savy Youth Ministry: Work Smarter Not Harder http://bit.ly/11PX8N by @interlinc

2. Psych_USA (Psych) shared a great picture from an upcoming episode. Looks hilarious.

RT @psychwrites: http://twitpic.com/flb0c -From L to R: Jaleel White, Kenan Thompson, Dule Hill, Demord Dann. THIS EPISODE IS AMAZING.

3. gavoweb (Gavin Richardson) shared a link to an article on how to turn your blog ramblings into a published book. And one about putting your youth newsletter on Twitter.

Blog to Book-12 Keys to Posting for Publishing http://ff.im/-7jBhe

How to make a Twitter Youth Group Newsletter http://ff.im/-7suNF

4. saraeden (Sara Eden Williams) reminds us that some chances are worth taking in youth ministry. (Especially if you really want to go to the amusement park) 🙂

70% chance of rain but we’re still going to the amusement park. If I were I mom I’d probably say no. But I’m a youthworker and we’re crazy.

5. Writepop (Writepop) thinks we all should know these great opening lines from great novels. I must not pay attention to the first line, because I did not know many of them.

Great list! 100 of the best first lines from novels http://u.nu/78m43 #writing #books

And he wants to inform us that laptops have been “around” for a long time, since 1937?

Is this the first appearance of a laptop in fiction, all the way back in 1937? – http://u.nu/3am43 #scifi #comics

6. SYMConference (Simply Youth Ministry Conference) is getting relationally ready for the upcoming conference in Chicago. If you haven’t heard of this conference yet, you need to check it out.

lots of reconnection this week with a whole bunch of #symc volunteers who’ve become like family to us…I seriously love these people!

7. radarradio (Under the Radar) let us know about Amazon’s free download. It only lasts until tomorrow, so hurry!

Here’s link to the FREE DOWNLOAD (1 song your choice) on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/ktvssj

What did you learn from Twitter this week?

Learned from Twitter: week ending July 18, 2009

Being gone for most of the week meant that I didn’t catch a lot of the good stuff Twitter had to offer, but I did catch a few things.

1. SITM (Stuck in the Middle) is giving stuff away, and all you have to do to win is help promote their awesome middle school event.

“WIN $50 and Free Pizza from Stuck in the Middle: http://seaninthemiddle.com/…

2. bigsmooth433430 (Matt Couch) is celebrating a collaboration with a local school for one of their upcoming events. Awesome chance to impact more students and work together with the local school system.

“We’re in! Avon has agreed to support our Battle of Schools event! Thank you Jesus!”

3. shawnmichael (Shawn Michael Shoup) got to hang out with Skillet. Its always nice to hear good things about “Christian” bands.

“Secret’s out: I just got to hang out w/ the guys from Skillet for the past four hours. Great guys!”

What did you learn from Twitter this week?

Learned from Twitter: week ending July 4, 2009

Hope you are enjoying your 4th of July weekend. To help get you going this weekend, here are a few tidbits of information I learned this week on Twitter.

1. crowderband (David Crowder Band) let us know some specifics about the upcoming album. Mark your calendars.

“Church Music releases Sept 22. 17 tracks. 73 minutes. There you have it!

2. Drpoulette (Dennis Poulette), along with a few others, shared a link to the article about the walkman review by a 13 year old. Its a great read. My favorite part is when he admits to not knowing there was a second side to the tape – classic.

“RT @boingboing 13 year old kid reviews a 30 year old Sony Walkman http://tinyurl.com/lgwu3g original story: http://bit.ly/SAZSX

3. bigsmooth433430 (Matt Couch) has a student photography team. I want one! Better yet, I wish my group would have had one when I was in high school.

“Getting ready to meet with our student photography team for the first time. Pretty pumped about all the new ministries starting this summer”

4. nikomas (Nikomas) shares a link worth reading.

“Apostle Paul’s bones tested and pass authenticity: http://www.google.com/hoste…

5. YMX (Youth Ministry Exchange) provides the link to the story about the accident involving a youth minister, a youth coach and some teens during a day at the lake. If you haven’t already, take some time to pray for those involved with this tragedy.

“News story about the youth trip accident that claimed 2 in MN http://is.gd/1j7gq

6. steelehousemark (Mark Steele) is in control of the Tomato’s words. Look out toddler world, the next VeggieTales movie is gonna be funny, at least I would expect it to be with Mark working on the script. (I am looking forward to this one.)

“Working on outline & script for the next VeggieTale. Oh tomato, you will say what I tell you to say.”

What did you learn from Twitter this week?

Learned from Twitter: Week ending June 27, 2009

This is the first full week of summer and for the youth worker that means not being in the office. That was noticed this week on Twitter, as many days were low on the tweeting by friends. I can only hope this means a lot of ministry was done with teenagers. Anyway, here are a few things I learned this week…

1. jenhowver (Jen Howver) shared an article on conducting surveys.

“an ingenious way to conduct a survey (& probably get a good grade on your research project!): http://bit.ly/xtxfV

2. ellerytheband (Ellery) has been sharing thoughts on what is going on in the studio. A new album is coming. If you do not know Ellery, check out their music – its good.

“Several times through “Christopher,” and a new idea w/ each try. Finally have an arrangement we’re living with; feels good.”

3. MarkMatlock (Mark Matlock) passed along an article on teens and sex. If you work with teenagers, you’ll want to check out this article.

“Teens Just as Likely to Have Sex, But Less Likely to Use Contraception Than They Were A Few Years Ago http://tinyurl.com/m5mp8o

4. outsideallday (Andy Brazelton) announced a brand new small group curriculum from Simply Youth Ministry. The Live curriculum is a downloadable 4 year curriculum that is easily customizable to fit your group. (I am honored to have been able to contribute a few of the lessons for this curriculum and hope they challenge students to live for God)

“Drum roll please…after several years in development, check out our brand new 4 year small group curriculum plan. http://budurl.com/bwaf

5. FlowerInTheRain (Janelle Painter) passed along some sad truth about Apple and the iTunes App store. They are now allowing porn in their apps, which means I am disappointed in Apple.

“RT @kcampos: Porn is now allowed on the iTunes App Store, because 3.0 has age restriction ability. http://is.gd/1daEV // such a shame Apple”

What did you learn from Twitter this week?

Learned from Twitter: week ending June 20, 2009

An interesting week for Twitter. Here are a few of the things I learned this week..

1. crowderband (DavidCrowder*Band) let us all know that the new album is close to being done.
“Church Music is getting mastered in new york today!

2. RickSkip (Rick Lawrence) shared some thoughts from Kurt Johnston about job descriptions. How could this change your leadership team?
“Riveted by Kurt Johnston’s insight at our GROUP Leadership Summit—use “job boxes” instead of job descriptions. Leaders need room to develop.”

3. MarkMatlock (Mark Matlock) wanted people to know about a great opportunity for life planning. Check it out.
“For those asking about Life Planning. Dan Webster has a grant that allows reduced pricing, but it is limited. http://tinyurl.com/nr9xov

4. justinross (Justin Ross) shared an article about why Twitter rescheduled its already scheduled maintenance.
“Twitter reschedules planned maintenance to allow Iran protests to continue. http://bit.ly/gfF6K

5. AdamLehman (Adam Lehman) shared one of the joys of youth ministry. “Hanging” out with teens, suffering for the sake of ministry. 🙂
“Some students were bored and now I’m sitting in the church office with 2 xbox360s, 2 TVs, and 5 dudes playing halo.”

6. gavoweb (Gavin Richardson) shared a link to an article about what it might look like if Tiger Woods happened to twitter from the US Open. Pretty funny.
“if Tiger Woods twittered the #usopen http://twurl.nl/g7qrir (hilarious, except they go oldest to newest top to bottom, not quite right)”

What did you learn from Twitter this week?

Learned from Twitter: week ending June 6, 2009

Like most weeks, there was a lot to learn from Twitter this week. Here is just a sample of the goodness I took away…

1. uthministerman (Jasper Rains) reminded us of the importance of rest.

“And God said, “Let there be Sunday Naps,” and there were Sunday Naps and they were good.”

2. MarkMatlock (Mark Matlock) thinks if you use personal illustrations in your messages, make sure they are true – all the time. Don’t use someone else’s or make one up just to prove a point. A reminder to any of us who communicate. Be authentic.

“a pastor saying “true story” after an illustration implies some are not true. It’s like a magician saying “i have an ordinary deck of cards””

3. crowderband (Davide Crowder*Band) is going to be on tour, pick up your tickets.

“be the first to get your fall crowder tour tickets, available NOW @ http://www.sixstepstickets….

4. YMTV (Dennis Poulette) offers this link to a few tips for youth workers. If you are in youth ministry or know someone who is, you need to take a look at this list.

“Reading 45 tips for youth workers – http://bit.ly/94O7N

5. DougFields (Doug Fields) offers a link to a video he thinks you all need to watch.

“Somehow this video seems fake, but I know the editor & it’s real–real AMAZING. Guys will love it: http://tinyurl.com/nqf89r

6. rainnwilson (Rainn Wilson) linked to an interesting discussion on SoulPancake about explaining God in less than 10 words.

“What God IS or ISN’T in 10 Words or less. http://tinyurl.com/qdyqph

And then he followed it up with this retweet:

“Nice! RT @giannajessen Faithful, Savior of a girl who limps, comic, mysterious, Lord.

7. 3DGomers (Third Day Gomers) let us know about a photo contest over on the forums. Follow the link to find out more info – some really cool prizes for the winners (if you are a Third Day fan, which you should be, btw)

“Photography Contest – Win art prints by @JasonMitchener! Grand prize: Third Day Retro Pack! All can enter! More here: http://www.Gomers.net

What did you learn from Twitter this week?

Learned from Twitter: week ending May 2, 2009

This week in Twitter was full of insight, laughs, free stuff and lots of discussion. Here are a few things I learned from Twitter this past week.

1. BtotheEtotheN (Ben Boles) added something to my “wow, really?” file.
“The Catholic priest officiating the wedding opened the service with, pray for this couple to your god whom ever that may be.

2. kentshaffer (Kent Shaffer) shared this story, which is sure to make you feel a little less smart than you did this morning.
“One student gets perfect scores on the ACT, SAT, & PSAT – http://bit.ly/40vQq

3. justayouthguy (Jon McIver) shared a great interaction he had with a student.
“Just asked Middle School girl ‘why do you have a water balloon in your purse?'”

4. YouthMinBlog (Youth Ministry Blog) provided a code to get a free video download from Bluefish TV.
“Use the code BFP3 to get a free video download from http://BlueFishTV.com

5. theofficenbc (The Office) provided a link to a new ringtone that Office fans will want to get. Might I suggest not putting this as your sr. minister’s ringtone – that might get you into some trouble. 🙂
“You asked for it, you got it! Get the Dwight “Idiot” ringtone that Jim made in “Broke” @ http://www.nbc.com/The_Offi…

6. 6drews (Mike Andrews) brought up a great thought for all youth ministers to consider.
“weighing the risk/reward of changing culturally based thinking in the church vs. behavior modification in order to avoid controversy”

7. AdamLehman (Adam Lehman) mentioned a church that saved money by trying to be good stewards of their resources. [Personally, I think its sad that this type of church is different enough to be considered newsworthy. We are all called to be good stewards.]
“a church saves $268,000 by going green. http://tr.im/jVdN

8. williamhartz (William Hartz) shared some wisdom/insight he learned at his small group.
“Anyone who holds to the theory that girls don’t poop… Tonight’s conversation at small group has amply disproven it. #awkward”

9. kentshaffer (Kent Shaffer) provided another article link, this one tells us that most people who use Twitter quit way too early.
“60% of Twitter Users Quit Within the First Month – http://bit.ly/oIwCO

10. drumdog00 (Justin Van Rheenen) shared a link to a free download from Thousand Foot Krutch.
“RT @chuffybass5: You can download new TFK free at www.welcometothemasquerade.com and if you’re a TFK fan like me, you’ll love it!!!”

11. YS_Scoop (Youth Specialties) has a really cool offer going right now.
“Help us purge our offices! You get great YS stuff and help mentor kids. http://tinyurl.com/realityc… Spread the word!”

What did you learn from Twitter this week?

5 Things that would have been great April Fool’s Day jokes

While thinking about April Fool’s Day jokes, I starting pondering a few things that would have made a great joke. Unfortunately these things are not jokes, they are real.

5 things that would have made a great April Fool’s Day joke… if they were not real:

  1. Hulk: the movie (2003)
  2. Sanjaya on American Idol
  3. Crystal Pepsi (check out these commercials)
  4. the Seinfeld finale
  5. the day I learned that WWF wasn’t real wrestling

Honorable Mention:

  1. The Cubs not being champions for 100 years
  2. Furby

What would you add to this list?