Lust or Love?

Posted on: 07/30/12 5:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Love and lust are both frequented topics in today’s top music. The question most of us wonder is, “Do our kids know the difference?”

My good friend David R. Smith just posted an excellent Youth Culture Window article on the topic of love and lust in today’s top music. David dives into the lyrics of the top songs this week, reporting that 4 out of the top 10 fall in the “lust” category, and providing us with some helpful questions to ask teenagers about each of these songs.

But articles like this beg the question: are we just throwing stones here? At what point do we as parents and youth workers come across as whiney old people sitting on the porch ranting, “When I was your age…”

I guess that really depends how we discuss the subject matter with young people. Should we simply label these songs “bad”? Some of these songs are a mixed bag of nuts. For example, Continue reading “Lust or Love?”

A “Gamer’s” Look at the “2012 Most Anticipated Video Game” List: DAY 2

Posted on: 07/27/12 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Earlier this week I posted DAY 1 of our “Gamer’s” perspective about Nielsen’s recently released list of the “2012 Most Anticipated Video Games.” Nielsen projected which console video game titles have the greatest consumer anticipation for 2012. Halo 4 topped their list for Xbox 360 gamers, with Call of Duty: Black Ops II right on the heels.

Seeing that we have a video game reviews page for parents on, I thought it would be good to let a few of my Game-gurus chime in with their two cents about this list. Yesterday we heard “Gamer” James Trevillian’s perspective about Nielsen’s projections, as well as what parents might expect from content.

Today our very passionate game reviewer Thaius Tydane shares his opinion about this list: Continue reading “A “Gamer’s” Look at the “2012 Most Anticipated Video Game” List: DAY 2”

A “Gamer’s” Look at the “2012 Most Anticipated Video Game” List: DAY 1

Posted on: 07/25/12 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Last week Nielsen released a list of the “2012 Most Anticipated Video Games,” casting their vote as to which console video game titles have the greatest consumer anticipation for 2012. Halo 4 topped their list for Xbox 360 gamers, with Call of Duty: Black Ops II right on the heels.

Seeing that we have a video game reviews page for parents on, I thought it would be good to let a few of my Game-gurus chime in with their two cents about this list.

Today, Gamer James Trevillian shares his opinion about Nielsen’s list, as well as what parents might expect from content: Continue reading “A “Gamer’s” Look at the “2012 Most Anticipated Video Game” List: DAY 1″

Making and Achieving Personal Goals

Posted on: 07/24/12 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Saturday I participated in my first triathlon. It’s known in Northern California as the “no-swim” triathlon because in Eppie’s Great Race, you run, bike, then kayak.

Before the race I told my wife, “If I do really good, I’ll come in at 2 hours and 13 minutes.”

My time?

2 hours and 13 minutes and 14 seconds.

I don’t think everyone needs to do a triathlon to prove themself; but I think most of us could probably use a little self discipline in various areas. Personally, I’ve let my eating, and consequently my weight, get out of hand more than a few times in my life. I was fooling myself thinking that it didn’t affect my health and my marriage. Yes, my marriage. Continue reading “Making and Achieving Personal Goals”

The Dark Knight Rises- Alec’s Take

Posted on: 07/20/12 4:11 PM | by Jonathan McKee

The following is a guest post from my 19-year-old son, Alec who has been eagerly awaiting the release of the third film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman series. Alec attended a midnight premier here in the Sacramento area and admittedly brings you his “biased” perspective. It was hours after this premier that we found out about the tragedy in Colorado. Our prayers go out to the victims and families of those involved in the Colorado shooting this morning.

Here’s Alec’s two cents on the film:

If you want an unbiased review, Im going to have to ask you to stop reading this, because I am hopelessly loyal to this movie and could speak no evil of it. So excuse the rest of my fanboy rantings that you are about to read if you dare venture further into this review.

The Dark Knight Rises

    So I went to the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises this morning, and again I found myself geeking out at the sight of one of my childhood heroes gallivanting across the silver screen. This was a highly anticipated movie of the year for me, and the hush-hush nature of Chris Nolan’s secrecy while shooting this film only further contributed to the fervency of that anticipation. I think it is also safe for me to say that I was not the only one impatiently clawing at my seat waiting for the film to start, because the loud rabble of the packed theater was silenced in seconds when the lights dimmed and the movie began.

Continue reading “The Dark Knight Rises- Alec’s Take”

More Radical Than Jesus Graffiti

Posted on: 07/17/12 12:29 PM | by Jonathan McKee

This morning I was running on the paved bike trail by my house and I ran across a new piece of graffiti. It was a picture of a cross and then the words “JC rules!”

How sad!

Yes… how sad. What a wimpy way to take a stand for Jesus.

Allow me to elaborate. This trail is one of the nice perks in the Sacramento area. For 30 years I’ve seen politicians debating to cut funding of the trail, while residents fight to keep it. Thousands of people use the trail daily. Hundreds of volunteer groups pick up trash along the trail and rake the sides to keep it clean. Sacramento residents really love their American River Bike trail, and whenever someone paints graffiti on it, we’re angered. It’s not only breaking the law, it’s a disrespect of the trail.

So am I as a Christian supposed to forget all that and celebrate that someone broke the law… for Jesus! Continue reading “More Radical Than Jesus Graffiti”

Saying Goodbye to Fat Clothes

Posted on: 07/13/12 3:00 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Hi, my name is Jonathan, and I am a glutton.

You wouldn’t know it by just looking at me. Sure, there’ve been times where I was pretty chunky, but it’s not like you see me walking around with a turkey leg in one hand and a box of Twinkies in the other. The fact is, over the last 20 years, I’ve shown very little self-control with what I put in my body.

Enough is enough!

Here’s the history of the situation:

I think the only reason I’m not 5’9” tall, 300 pounds is the fact that I’m so active. My wife Lori and I usually exercise, running or biking, 4 days a week. But as I passed 30-years-old, and then 40, all this running and biking couldn’t keep up with all the pizza, burgers and soda I shoved into my cake-eater. About 5 years ago Continue reading “Saying Goodbye to Fat Clothes”

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Done with Number 10

Posted on: 07/11/12 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Put on some Lionel Ritchie… because it’s time to “party, carumba, fiesta…” (Come on… you remember the song!)

Celebrate with me; I just finished my 10th youth ministry book! And in celebration, I’m implementing two huge discounts THIS WEEK ONLY exclusively for my readers:

1. I’m putting all my books ON SALE UP TO 40% OFF!

2. I’m also upgrading all shipping to PRIORITY SHIPPING on ALL U.S. ORDERS! (You just choose the cheap “Media-Mail” and I’ll automatically upgrade it to PRIORITY this week! It won’t show the upgrade… but I will! I promise!)


For those who have been following my blog, you know that the book I’ve been working on was MORE 10-MINUTE TALKS. I’m really excited about this book, because not only is it going to be a lot more of the same talks that youth workers loved from the first 10-MINUTE TALKS… but this one I co-wrote with my dad… who rocks!!!

The book will be coming out early 2013, so I’m told. I’m looking forward to it! Keep on eye on my blog and web sites. As always, I’ll offer an early release and special discount. You can sign up to receive that “RECOMMENDED BOOKS” email HERE.

Side note: for those anal-retentive, meticulous people who counted only 8 youth ministry books in the above picture, and then the one parenting book… you are correct. That’s because I didn’t post the pic of my one e-book, “What’s a Fo-Sheezy” which YS is relaunching in the YS Store soon. So that’s 9, and this new MORE 10-MINUTE TALKS is ten. I also didn’t count my Spanish book, because that’s just a Spanish version of Getting Students to Show Up. Happy?   🙂

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Can You Blow My Whistle Baby?

Posted on: 07/9/12 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Little Wayne wanted girls to lick his lollipop, now Flo Rida wants girls to “blow his whistle.” I’m talking about the new song, Whistle. I was sitting with a parent last week who said that his kids were asking about downloading this popular Flo Rida song. The parent asked me, “Is it clean?”

Well, the song is definitely in the ears of kids today. It is currently #3 on iTunes, and this week it just moved from #58 to #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 (Billboard is always catching up to iTunes). It’s another catchy little diddy from the guy who brought us “Apple Bottom jeans, boots with the fur…” The rapper Flo Rida is slowly but steadily releasing hits.

Here’s the chorus of Whistle: Continue reading “Can You Blow My Whistle Baby?”

The Amazing Spiderman

Posted on: 07/5/12 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

My son Alec went to see “The Amazing Spiderman” on opening day with his friends. Alec, a true Spidey fan, has been eagerly awaiting this release and was ecstatic to finally see this. So I asked him to give us his two cents on the film. Alec not only provides a fun teenage insight, but he also gives a glimpse from the perspective of someone who was bullied as a younger teen. Here’s his take:

“The Amazing Spiderman”

It was all I could do to keep from peeing myself when I was walking into the theater to see The Amazing Spiderman. I was so exited to see one of my childhood idols being portrayed in what I was sure to be an accurate representation of who he really is– a wise-cracking high-school nerd who was gifted with fantastic powers that allowed him to stand up for those who couldn’t stand up for themselves. For some reason, as a small social outcast, this idea was very appealing to me.

From the get-go my eyes were glued to the screen and my attention was firmly locked on the unfolding plot in the young life of Peter. The humor in the movie was Continue reading “The Amazing Spiderman”