Posted on: 08/27/08 3:49 AM | by Jonathan McKee

No… I’m not talking about Hannah Montana…. I’m talking about the state of Montana. I’m heading there today to speak at a fall kickoff for the youth ministry at Grace Bible Church in Miles City.

Funny… this will be my first time traveling to Montana. I’ve been to the majority of the 50 states in the U.S. and quite a few spots in Canada. But somehow, this California boy has never been to Montana yet (maybe because the population of the entire state is smaller than my own city of Sacramento). Regardless, I’m looking forward to the scenery. (My wife Lori told me that I better take pictures!) Just pray that United Airlines can get me there on time today! (flights have been kinda nuts lately)

I know that many youth ministries are doing fall kickoffs right now. I posted a freebie “talk” from my new book 10-Minute Talks on the web site this week, something you can use for your fall kickoffs. (Click Here)

Six States in One Day

Posted on: 07/5/08 9:09 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Tomorrow my family and I fly to the East Coast where I’ll be speaking at a camp all next week. If our flight goes through (don’t even get me started about the reliability of the airlines lately!!!), we’ll be arriving in VA tomorrow afternoon, then hitting D.C., Maryland… the edge of Delaware, and finally New Jersey within 24 hours (and that’s including a night’s sleep).

In California if I drove that long I would just run into… more California. So it’s always a fun experience for my kids. “Hey kids, we’re hitting a new state!”

“Huh? I thought we just arrived in a new state 10 minutes ago!”

“We did. But now we’re entering another one. Did you enjoy Delaware?”

Once the flight is done (grumble…), I’m really looking forward to this trip. I speak a week at Long Beach island in NJ. The camp is on a huge strip of land that parallel’s the shore. Beach on both sides… the kids are pretty excited.

If you think of it, pray for the week. I speak a couple times a day most of the week. I present the Gospel and do an invitation on Tuesday night (you can really pray for that), and then I teach about making Jesus a priority for the rest of the week.

When I finish up Saturday we are heading to Philly for a day to visit family, then onto the D.C. area to visit some friends. We’ll probably spend a day in the D.C. “Mall”… the monuments, museums, etc. We haven’t seen the new WWII memorial so we’ll probably go check that out.

It will be good fun having the family with me again on this trip.

Good times!

Ministry in Wide Open Places

Posted on: 03/31/08 5:28 AM | by Jonathan McKee

I just finished speaking at an event in South Dakota this past weekend. On Saturday night I spoke with a challenge to reach out beyond our church walls, and on Sunday afternoon I did a workshop for parents.

Saturday evening was a lot of fun. It was a hard speaking venue because I followed a really funny comedian (which made my “serious” talk quite the contrast. It worked… but it was tough. But I have to brag about this comedian. His name is  Tim Hawkins and this guy was one of the most hilarious guys I’ve ever seen.

Let me be clear. This isn’t a youth speaker who uses a little bit of humor. This is a guy who plays comedy clubs around the country (trust me- he ain’t cheap). But this guy had everyone crying they were laughing so hard.

Here’s a sample:

He uses a guitar for about a third of his act doing takeoffs of popular songs. Again- hilarious! Here’s his video, “Cletus Take the Reel.”

You’ll see other clips of him on YouTube- I love his Homeschool video too. You can find some other clips of him on his site.

The weekend was really fun, until trying to get home. My flight from Sioux Falls was delayed last night (Sunday)and I got stuck in Denver (missing my layover). I’m at an airport hotel right now about to catch a shuttle back to the airpot and fly home. I hope to catch up today and blog more tomorrow.

I wanted to take a second and make a few comments about the people of South Dakota. Great folks. I was in Huron. A lot of farmers and ranchers. I spoke for a youth network that brought together people from churches of all denominations. We had Methodist, Baptists and Catholics all in the same room. Great fun.

Gotta run!

Thanks for your prayers.

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South Dakota

Posted on: 03/29/08 3:48 AM | by Jonathan McKee

It’s 3:40 AM Saturday (yeah, trust me, I’m TIRED!) and I’m getting ready to head out to the airport to hop on the first flight out to Denver, then on to South Dakota. I will land in Sioux Falls and then drive into Huron where I’ll be speaking at an event tonight, then teaching a parenting workshop on Sunday afternoon (then flying home Sunday night).

This is an exciting trip. When I speak on Saturday night I’ll be speaking to parents and kids. It’s a big event that will be bringing out a huge portion of the small community as well as people from surrounding communities. It’s a church audience and my challenge will be to reach out beyond the church walls.

Sunday is a parent workshop. I’ll be talking to about 125 to 150 parents about today’s youth culture and raising our kids right before rebellion. I love this kind of training workshop… I’m looking forward to it.

Huron, SD is one of the coldest places I have been! Last time I traveled there it was about 7 degrees and the people there were excited how warm it was! I learned to appreciate heated seats (before then, I always wondered about the need of that. Now I don’t ask.) I checked and it’s supposed to be 42 in SD today. (Whew!) That’s still a tad colder than my chilly Sacramento 62 degrees today.

Well… off I go. If you think of it, please pray for my speaking and my travel.

Thanks so much for your prayers

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The Source “East Coast/West Coast” Thing

Posted on: 02/22/08 4:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Yesterday was a fun day for us here at THE SOURCE as David, our East Coast guy, flew West and connected with me before I flew East.

David R. Smith has been one of our speakers and writers for years, but in the fall of 2007 we were able to hire him enough hours where he can now speak, train and write full time. David lives in Tampa… our East Coast rep of sorts. I’m in Sacramento doing the West Coast thang. Funny though… I’m flying to Pennsylvania this weekend for a camp I am speaking at, and David is teaching one of our workshops in California this weekend. I had him come out a day early so we could do a few podcasts (note our cool podcast picture) and hang out. It’s not often we get to hang out together.

So yesterday I picked him up from the airport around noonish, we got some BAR B Q, and then came back to my home office, worked on his seminar a bit, and record two podcasts. One of the podcasts we recorded was our next episode of our new podcast for teenagers, A Li’l Bit. We’re really excited about this podcast. It’s a weekly podcast we just launched for teenagers to get them in the WORD each week. This is simply because we’ve noticed that more teenagers carry iPods than they do Bibles. We figure that maybe we can get the WORD in their heads through earphones if not through reading it.

After working we at dinner and watched American Idol with my Family (Where I picked 4 out of the 4 that got dropped… YEAH!) David was on East Coast time so he sacked early. I’m leaving on a 6:15 flight this morning, so I’m up at o’ dark thirty. Pray for our speaking and training this weekend if you think of it.

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Squeaking Through to Wisconsin

Posted on: 02/1/08 5:03 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Today I flew out of Sacramento on a direct flight to Chicago where I popped in my rental car to drive 2 hours to one of my favorite camps to speak at, Timber-lee Christian Camp.

I gotta admit, last night I had my doubts if I’d ever get here- the weather was looking pretty bad. My dad was flying back from Kansas City where he did a workshop and he said everything was stopped at Ohare (Chicago’s Airport.. my destination this morning). Sure enough, flights were being canceled or delayed up to five hours due to heavy snow in the midwest.

So this morning I checked flight status and surprisingly everything was fine (when I was leaving my house at 4 AM). But 5 minutes before we were supposed to board we received word of a delay (figures). Chicago had a foot of snow last night and they were limiting incoming flights. I popped open my laptop and began getting some work done. They actually didn’t delay long. Bottom line… we only arrived in Chicago an hour late. (Whew! There are a lot of people stuck in airports across the country right now. I squeaked through!)

I was in my rental car (a 4×4) navigating through the newly fallen snow by 1:30 PM and stopping at my favorite pizza place in the world, Giordano’s, at 2:30. (I wrote about Giordannos in an earlier blog.. wow… that’s some great pizza! This is my only time scheduled to pass through Chicago in the next six months… I had to get my fix!)

I arrived at the camp around dinner time and got settled in. I am excited about the weekend. I speak once tonight, twice Saturday, and once Sunday. I’m doing a new series on our two natures. Tonight I talk about the world’s focus on “external,” and God’s focus on “internal.” Tomorrow I’ll dive into our two natures (Romans 8) and reveal how we need to give it up to God and let Him work in us instead of us trying to “do works.” It should be a fun time.

I’d love your prayers as I speak to this group of high school kids this weekend. You can also pray for a mighty tail wind on the way home so I can catch the last 5 minutes of the SUPER BOWL!!!!    🙂

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Mall of America

Posted on: 12/29/07 8:33 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Wow! I never realized how big this thing actually was.

I’m in Minneapolis, MN right now speaking at a youth conferance about a block from the largest mall in America. you probably have heard of it- it’s called the Mall of America. I had heard that it was big… but DANG!

I was trying to explain it to my wife. I told her, “You know Sunrise Mall back at home? Take three of those and stack them on top of each other. Now take four of those ‘three story’ stacks and make them a square with a huge arena in the middle. Now fill the arena with an amusement park. There you have it!”

I called home from the mall and Ashley wanted to talk to me. I began describing the mall to her (not omitting any details about the amusement park)… and she began wimpering. LOL.

It’s amazing. I walked around for a few hours and didn’t even scratch the surface. They had my wife’s favorite clothes store New York and Company so I had to browse through there and check the sale racks (I’m a bargain shopper). Great stuff on the $5.99 racks! Plus, no tax on clothes here. Not bad.

But seeing those stores just made me miss her, so I had to bail.

I actually ended up in the movie theatre watching the newest Coen brothers  flick (they are directors), No Country for Old Men, with Tommy Lee Jones. (Good film, but so bizarre that it treaded on the obsurcity- I think I just made up that word- of David Lynch)

Such was my experience at The Mall of America.

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