Lessons I Tried to Teach You Without Teaching You

Another graduation ceremony is upon us. Young adults move from “young” to “adults” with a flip of a tassel – or so we say. In reality, some of them were adults long before there was a ceremony to prove it. Others will remain childish for years to come.

For 6 years, Crystal and I worked heavily in the youth ministry at Liberty Baptist. We saw the transformation from young to adult. We spent many hours with teens around the church, our kitchen table, a campfire, or a ball field. I taught a lot of lessons, and I think a few of them were actually helpful. So, a couple years ago I decided to write out lessons that I was trying to teach the teens without actually giving a lecture. The result was this short series. It includes lessons entitled:

  • Protect the face
  • Eat the hotdog
  • Read that verse out loud
  • Girls can go first
  • Let’s sing that first verse again
  • and others

So, if you ever sat in on a youth group lesson, suffered through a manathon, or choked down a burnt hotdog on one of our camping trips, this book may answer some questions. Or, at least it will give some background material for any therapy you may need in the future.

If you never had the “privilege” of participating in any of those, you can still read it. It should at least make you thankful that you didn’t have to learn these lessons the hard way.

Lessons I tried to teach you without teaching you

(Click on the link to download the PDF)


Events from 2014: Dominican Republic – the Team

We traveled with a group from Liberty Baptist to the Dominican Republic on July 25-Aug 4. There were ten of us total and our goal was to Serve and Learn in the church. We were able to visit Pastor Ramon Castro in La Romana and see the ministries of the local church.


For some of the team this was their first time out of the country, so we are very thankful we came back with them all!
IMG_3917 Tanzen was a great traveler for this trip and she seems to connect with nearly everyone! We thank God for the teens who both were responsible and easy to lead.IMG_0744

Events from 2014: Camping Trip

This year the theme of our Summer Teen Camping Trip was “National Treasure 3: Gold Rush.” For our time in Scripture we focused on Seeking the Greatest Treasure from Hebrews 2 and 11-12. It was a great camp with plenty of memories, lots of fun, and enough smoke in the eyes to make one nostalgic. In their free time the volleyball court was in constant use.

IMG_3747The team who found the treasure!
IMG_3748Our Group
IMG_3752 The (in)famous Blaser and Grotzke Pancakes and Sausages.IMG_0740

Manathon XIVw

In February a group of young men from Liberty Baptist braved the icy journey and sub-zero temperatures for our annual winter manathon. For more about the concept of “The Manathon” you can look at these posts.

Where we went: Wells Lake in Faribault

What we did:

  • Dug snow shelters
  • Camped out in the snow
  • Cooked over campfire
  • Explored new terrain

What we focused on: A true man…

  • Grows up- Luke 2:40,52
  • Steps up – Luke 3:23
  • Stands up – Luke 4:1-13
  • Looks up – Luke 5:15-16

Some of the pictures:


The Men


Digging the snow caves


Eating Bar S Franks around the fire


The Sub Zero morning


Cheesy Squirrel Stew


Collapsing the Snow Caves




Uncle Ron guiding us across the lake


Me: “Hey everyone, put your hands over your head for the next picture.” Everyone does and I push them over when the pictures is taken. Priceless.

Next time you have the opportunity to camp out in the snow, remember the words of the world record holder for consecutive bee stings, Jim “Buzz” Smith, “It’ll [be] swell.”

’14 Winter Meltdown

We just got back from our annual winter retreat at IRBC in Ventura, Iowa. This year we had a great weekend of Bible lessons, activities, wipeouts on the sledding hill, and snowmobiling!

IRBC Winter Meltdown

Mark Davis from Faith Baptist Bible College gave a series of messages on “Apathy to Impact” challenging us to reject passivity and follow after Christ.

One highlight was the Floor Hockey Championship which featured the returning champions “The Waterboys” and their arch nemesis “The FireBoys.” It was a lively game and much pushing all around.

For those who want to view the pictures, here is a link.

For those who want to download the pictures, here is a link.

(Bonus: here is a link to get 20 gigs free cloud storage with copy.com)


John 15:12-17 – Love each other

Pastor Odens spoke on John 15:12-17 this past Sunday. He explained and applied Jesus’ command to love each other.

Big Idea: Christ calls every believer to engage in nonstop love for every other Christian.

Three characteristics of that love:

1. Self sacrifice (13)

2. Openness (14-15) you are my friends

3. Commitment (16) I chose you

It would be worth you time to listen to this command that we often neglect. Do so here

Summer Stuff: Teen Camping Trip

Theme: “WipeOut – Where to turn when life knocks you down”

Games: Lots of slipping, sliding, falling, and sinking.

Lessons: Testimonies about how God is sufficient in every situation.

Tshirts – Designed by Corbin on shirts the color of “Ted” (i.e. – safety yellow)

Excitement – I lost my wedding ring in the lake playing Greased Pig. We had a pack of coyotes waking people up at night.