Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


So, 10ish days ago my wife and I were going out after church on Friday night and we go to Rubios for dinner. Rubios in right next to Barnes and Noble- so upon finishing our grub, we decide to go parooze. This is always a big mistake because I’m a sucker for books. I already have a stack of to be read that is too tall to admit so I was falsely hoping we would really just look.

We started down the center isle which is large table after medium size table after larger table of books according to themes. One whole table on Cooking. One whole table on the upcoming “Lion, the witch, and the Waredrobe” movie. (We bought this book to read to the boys before the movie comes out. We finished chapter 9 last night and we are the part where all 4 kids fianlly went into the wardrobe and just met the beaver and his wife for dinner. We read it in our guest room which has a wardrobe. I’ll probably find Jake in it one day trying to get to Narnia) Anyway.. . There was one table of comics- which made me really want the exhaustive anthology of the Far Side, but it costs like a benjamin and change… then onto a table of like random board games and books about how to become a pro at them…

…and then we stumbled onto this entire table on a subject I’d never heard of. It was Su Doku. Not one book. Not 4 books. Like 30 books on a subject that sounds like something you should say after someone sneazes. “Su doughku”. We felt very ignorant on what was obviously a very important subject. I mean- it got a medium sizeish table to itself. Anyway- we looked over the table and found it was books of games you play like the cross between a math problem and a crossword puzzle. We decided to try it.

So we bought “Su Doku for dummies” cuz that seemed appropriate and then went home and layed in bed and did 4 puzzles together. Now, like eating one Dorito chip, we’re hooked and addicted and my “to read” pile is getting higher. We now own 2 Su Doku books, I downloaded a wigit for my computer, and the dumb game calls to me when I’m sitting on the couch. I think if you scream it, it can be a word you use to vent frustrations “SU DOKUUUUU!!!!” But it creates it’s own set of frustations as you try to solve the problems. Of the 4 we tried labeled “easy” that first night- we quit on 2 of them. So much for our collective college degrees.

Anyway, the thing about Su Doku is that if you stare at it long enough and rework solutions over and over in your mind, eventually you find something you had been missing the whole time and then you’re one step closer to completing the puzzle. Eventually, you’ll get far enough that the clues start screaming at you and the thing almost fills in itself.

One day while staring at a puzzle, and trying to think about life, I realized this is how I feel about youth ministry too. It’s a partially filled in puzzle that is missing some key pieces. Problem is, I started a brand new puzzle, and I’m staring at all the empty boxes and the puzzle is laughing at me like it owns me. Again I find myself tempted to declare myself defeated and put the puzzle down. I could give some real life examples here.. but it would be depressing to read. It will suffice to say that I almost walked out of my own second service this last week cuz yet again- it felt too defeating. Then I get one square to click and it gives me hope that if I stay at it, evenutually another one will click and then the puzzle will be finished. But, I know that the puzzle is endless, and life is not nearly this mathmatic and well… somedays I wonder how God sticks to it too. If I was God, I’d have put the puzzle down a long time ago and walked away from all of us. It seems that He too finds faith in the baby steps… like one student who told me she put the sticky note we gave them on her dashboard to remind her to pray…. go figure. 93 kids and at least one was listening. WOOOO HOOOO or maybe I should say SU DOKUUU!! Back to the drawing board I go.


  1. NOOOOOOO…… It’s sucked me in too. I do the thing every stinkin’ day in the school newspaper. I made a covenant with GOD not to do them during class, overwise my life would’ve evaporated by now. They are fun, though. I’m praying for you too, dude. Miss you like crazy.

  2. What the heck? su doku is like crazy for math ppl stuff. I’m proud of it ’cause it’s Japanese (oh yes!) but yeah. looks evil…too many numbers… have fun figuring it out!

  3. japaneeasy


  4. 10 more pieces and you’ll be just like Jesus and change the whole stinkin world with only 11. Tell dash board girl she rocks and to put a sticky some place else so she can double the talk time with her Father. Stay real, serching, stretching and running the race.
    shalom my brotha
    Marky Mark

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