Friday, December 28, 2007

“Nobody Made It!”

Kepler, the astronomer, was troubled by one of his friends who denied the existence of God and took the view of the universe which prevails in some circles today, namely, that it came into being of itself by mechanical methods. Kepler, in order to convince his friend, constructed a model of the sun with the planets circling round it.
When his friend came into the Observatory and saw the beautiful model, he exclaimed with delight, “How beautiful it is! Who made it?” And Kepler carelessly answered, “No one made it: it made itself.” His friend looked at him and said, “Nonsense, tell me who made it.” Kepler then replied, “Friend, you say that this little toy could not make itself. It is but a very weak imitation of this great universe which, I understood, you believe did make itself.”
—A. Naismith

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The world needs you and I

God builds his kingdom primarily through ordinary people who are willing to use daily encounters to tell others about the salvation that is available in Jesus Christ.
-- Anthony Campolo

Thursday, November 29, 2007

School, School and more School!

Tonight is a long one for me. I am a wuss now that I am old, I love to be in bed by like 10. I just finished my homework and it was a killer. I read a book tonight and just wrote a two page report on it. That would not be so bad in itself, but I did this on Monday night also. Tuesday night I was our Middle School Ministry and Wednesday night I was at our HS ministry. It has been a long week. I have school tomorrow night and Saturday morning. I have a 15 page paper and a written final due on Dec. 7th and I have NO clue when I will get to them. I am just tired of school right now and needed some time to vent.

If you read this and Love Jesus, will you please pray for me to finish school strong. I know that I am learning so much and it is good. I am in a leadership class and I want to be a better leader and I love the books, its just so much info to process.
Thanks for reading my rant!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A good laugh

Last night my pastor came to stop in and hang out with us for our High School Ministry. I was a little nervous, but not really. I was speaking on gossip and confronting issues when people talk about you. We are doing a series called Mind Games that looks at the Sermon on the Mount.
I asked one of my student leaders to find a clip from Mean Girls that would help show what not to do in a situation. The clip was great, I was laughing out loud... and then it happened. The girl said "f-ing". She didn't say the "f word", but she said "f-ing" I was scared. Then as the clip ended the girl says to the other girl: "catch you later beotch". I was so nervous, but realized that it had happened.
Just had to share that with you all.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Quote of the Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. -
"A man who won't die for something is not fit to live."

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Last night I preformed my first funeral service; it was hard. I will never forget the call that I got received ten days ago from one of my boys. He called at 9:45pm sobbing, he was broken. I was broken. How do you help a young man bury his father? How do you comfort a person who has lost someone? I was so nervous preparing do the service, I was scared. We arrived for the service last night and spent time with the family.
The service started and I asked God to help me. I prayed for God to guide and lead me. The thing that God did last night was show people that we are the ones who are left here to deal with death. It is our choice as to how we will lead our lives. God moved. I was able to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the group of people that showed up and God moved. It was such an amazing service. I feel honored to know the family and honored to have shared in life with them.
Don't miss out on being involved in people's lives, we are not meant to do life alone. We are meant to die alone. God has a plan for us. Read John 14:1-6.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Lost it all

I wish that I could pretend that this was going to be happy. I got a call from my dad yesterday on our way home. I asked how he was doing and he told me that he was at a friends house because he lost his home. He and his wife were outside yesterday trying to get their carport back together because the winds were so bad. At 2:30pm the fire came over the hill (he lives in Santa Clarita). He told me that he went inside to get his car keys and check book, by the time they were leaving the house was on fire. He told me he was battling the flames to get out of his property (he has about 10 acres). He got some clothes from a friend and then stayed at another friends house last night. He went to his property today and his home is gone. My dad lost everything. Please pray for him, his name is Don Benson. Him and his wife are ok which is by God’s Grace. I am not sure where my dad is at with God, but please keep him in your prayers. I am praying that I will be able to go help him out next week with anything that he needs.

Friday, October 12, 2007


"How far you go in your life depends on your being tender with theyoung,compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerantofthe weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been allofthese."
- George Washington Carver

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Studying David

I have been studying David for this series we are doing in our HS ministry and David was truly a man after the heart of God. David really lived a life that was worth living. You have to check some of these verses:

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”1 Samuel 16:7

David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 1 Samuel 17:45

In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him. 1 Samuel 18:14

He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, or lift my hand against him; for he is the anointed of the Lord.” 1 Samuel 24:5-6

Friday, September 28, 2007

Check it!

I think that this is one of the gnarliest websites that I have been to. It will really open up your eyes:

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Just call me Rev!

Ok, just kidding. But for real, this last Sunday September 23rd was my ordination service and it was so amazing. I am so pumped to have completed this. If you would have told me 8 years ago that I would be an ordained Pastor I would have laughed in your face and took another sip of my beer, for real. But over the last 7 years and 7 months God has changed this man. God has grown this scared, mislead kid into a man that loves Him.
My mom, dad, sister, Jerry, and Marilyn all came out for the service to support me. My kids were there in full effect and a bunch of people from our church that love me. Do you ever think: "I wonder what they see in me?" Cause at times I dont see it.
I have to step back and realize that God has a huge plan for my life and your life. It is just our job to surrender to that plan (which is super hard) and trust in Him (which can be ever harder). Focus on God and things seem to be alot more manageable.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Back in Vegas

I'm back in Vegas today. 6 days ago Charity and I went to CO for 3 days got home for 24 hours and then got on a plane for something I look forward to every year: The Gathering. The Gathering is a time to connect with like-minded youth workers all over the states. We had a great time laughing, connecting, sharing, coaching and coming up with new ideas together. This is by far something that I look forward to every year that I can attend.
This year Charity came and I needed that. I spend too much time traveling and being away that having her with was so great.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.
- Mother Teresa

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Balls of Fury Review:
I really thought that this movie would be more inappropriate then it really was. Don't get me wrong there were some scenes in it that were crazy, but not as bad as I had expected. My review is that it was hilarious. I laughed my booty off. My wife and I went with some students and were kinda scared of what it would be like. There was a humor in this movie that I haven't seen in a long time. The humor was creative and used at a great time. They used some funny lines and brought some characters that I have no idea of what was coming.
Christopher Walken was amazing!!! I loved his character and the Chinese Master was a great man. I laughed every time he was moved to talk to someone. He had some lines that the movie could have done without. I almost said; "Welcome to America" but there has to be a way to get this funny humor without the dirty words, I really think it could be done. If you want to see some dumb humor and have a great laugh then you gotta see this flick!
BTW: Panda's dead.

Monday, August 27, 2007

You have to ride a Mule

This is short but sweet. Charity and I just took a Mule ride to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It was so amazing. We met my Mom and Jerry at the North Rim a week ago and had a rad cabin to stay at. We stayed about 300 feet from the rim of the Grand Canyon. If you ever can go to the North Rim and take the Mule ride. Here is our pic, it was so fun!!!
This is half way down, there is a tunnel, a bridge and a great place to eat some grub down at the bottom by a sweet river.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

When will it stop?

I don't know about you but I feel like we live in a society that is just so hurt and so bitter. This last weekend I went down to So Cal because my sister was getting baptized and Charity was in a wedding so it worked for me to fly in late Saturday night. Now this is one of those trips I will never forget. My plane landed in Orange County Airport 20 min early, which never happens. I was sitting on the bench waiting for my brother-in-law, Kevin, to come and get me.

As I was waiting I like to people watch, not sure how you all feel about that, but there was man standing in the close lane and talking on the phone. There was a woman behind him and her ride was pulling in and this man was standing right in the path that the truck needed to get his friend. Well this man on his cell phone starts yelling at the lady and then trying to get in her face, I was appalled. I grew in So Cal and I could not believe the way this man was acting. He was swearing at this women and the man who had come to get her, I was just really shocked at the situation and how someone could be so mad about something so little.

Well Kevin came and got me came a couple minutes later and we started driving back to his house. We were driving and chatting and just catching up. See just about four weeks ago my sister and Kevin had the toughest baby in the world, you just cant call him beautiful because he is a boy. So we are driving and there is man on the other side of the road and it’s dark and he was crossing the street. Well this lady driving starts yelling at him and swearing at him and just going crazy. She like totally slowed down so that he would hear all that she had to say and the dude just went off, there was middle fingers blaring and hate flying. I make it sound funny, but it really hurt my heart to think of all the pain that is in the world right now.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Hume Lake: July 22-28 2007
This year we took our HS ministry to Hume Lake and it was so tight. We had the best week I had had at camp in a long time. The messages that were given were just what I needed to hear. We talked about Daniel and looked at Shadrach, Meshach and Abendigo in a light I had never thought of.
The camp did all this to a Viking theme and made it so amazing. I continually feel honored to work with students and that God would use me. We a handful of students make life changing decisions and it is always a rad feeling to be a part of that.
Thank you Jesus for all I get to do.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Have you ever heard someone talking and they told you: "its all Greek to me."
Well that is how I still feel. I am currently in my fourth quarter of learning Greek and it's so stinking hard. One, of the many things, that taking this course has taught me is that hard things have a great reward. Learning Greek has been extremely hard, but so beneficial. I have learned so much about the original language that the Bible was written in. When you see some of the words and begin to understand what the meaning is and how it was used it really grabs your heart.
I know that most people will probably read this and just go on, but if you ever get the chance to take a Greek class, by all means please do it!!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

No one ever said life would be easy

I don't know about you, but no one ever told me that life would be easy. I learned that real quick when I was growing up. I learned that my family wasn't rich, we didn't have all the things that other families had. The funny thing is that I never cared. I knew that we had something that some of those families never had; we had dinner together.
My family ate dinner together at least 5 nights a week. My mom would say that we did this because she doesn't know how to cook and we never had the money for dinner. Every night we ate dinner at my grandma's house. It gave me a time that I could hang out with my family. My grandma would get us there and then shout: "Aubenbrout" which means "dinner" in German.
It was great
Then life went on and we all grew up. I miss eating dinner with my family. Even though life is not always easy, and no one ever said it would be, it is always worth it. I sit on my couch writing this and I am taking a break from doing homework. I think to myself; "Neal, you are 27 years need to be done with homework!" I want to be done, but I know that God has called me to get my degree and I will get it. I will stay focused on the task. I tell myself; "No one ever said being a christian is easy." I think; "Why should it just be easy for me?"
I know that life will never be easy, but I know that it will always be worth it. The great times far out way the hard times and that is why I can take a break, write this and then go back to homework.
God has called me to something and I want to pursue that!

Friday, July 06, 2007

I'm Stoked

So today is July 6th 2007 and I am 27 years right now. In the last week I have gone wakeboarding two times. I was so excited the last time I went I was able to clear the wake almost every time and even landed it. I just wanted to write this not out of pride and a "look what I can do spirit" but out of a "Thank God that I am still alive."
I am so blessed to be alive today. I am so stoked that I get to spend time with High School students and go wakeboarding with them. I am honored that God has called me to serve Him full time in an environment that encourages me to spend time with students and hang out with them. We went out wakeboarding on Monday and it was so amazing. I am once again honored to do what I get to do, to see live change happen before my eyes every day and to know that I am loved by God.
What are you thankful for today?

Monday, July 02, 2007


The purpose of religion -- at any rate, the Christian religion-- is not to get you into heaven, but to get heaven into you.
-- Frederick Ward Kates

Friday, June 29, 2007


A science which does not bring us nearer to God is worthless.
-- Simone Weil

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What is 100% certian for us all?

Remember how fleeting is my life.For what futility you have created all men! What man can live and not see death,or save himself from the power of the grave? Ps 89:47-48

I was reading my Bible this morning in Psalms and came across this verse and it just hit, every single one of us will die. Then it hit me: Where will I go? I thought about it and the joys of knowing Jesus and the blessing of serving Him and then it hit me even harder; what about those that do not know. I got scared for them, it made me sad. I started to ponder that. It made me think about my neighbors, all eight of them that live in our building and the other 400 that live in our complex; who will tell them about the hope that I have. Do they have that hope? Do they know where they will go when they die? What is their thoughts on it? Are they correct thoughts or lack of understanding?
From I see in the Bible it says that we all need to ask Jesus into our hearts to be our savior. We need to not only do that, but also to live for Him and His plans for our life. What I have learned is that the best choice you can make in your life is to live it for Jesus. None of us will ever be perfect, but I sure could use some guidance in this thing called life that I have trouble with all the time.

Friday, June 08, 2007


What is a podcast? That is a great question and my simple answer would be: a great way for you to hear what God is doing in Vegas and what students are learning about here.
How do you get our podcast? Another great question. Go to iTunes and on the left there is a section for podcasts. Click on that. Then in the bottom click on: "Podcast Directory". This will take you to all Podcasts. Go to the right side and click on: "Power Search". Then in the title line search: "Explode High School Ministry". That will bring up our podcast and from there you can listen to whatever you would like to.

Or all you have to do is have iTunes and click this link:

Friday, June 01, 2007


Burkina Faso’s human development index 2004
Life expectancy at birth (years)

1. Norway (0.965)
172. Central African Republic (0.353)
173. Guinea-Bissau (0.349)
174. Burkina Faso (0.342)
175. Mali (0.338)
176. Sierra Leone (0.335)
Adult literacy rate (% ages 15 and older)
1. Japan (82.2)
150. Uganda (48.4)
151. Mali (48.1)
152. Burkina Faso (47.9)
153. Ethiopia (47.8)
154. Kenya (47.5)
1. Georgia (100.0)
125. Niger (28.7)
126. Chad (25.7)
127. Burkina Faso (21.8)
128. Mali (19.0)
Think about this next time we (I enclude my self) complain about being American. Did you know that Burkina Faso is the third poorest country in the world? You could live in Burkina Faso West Africa and make a dollar a day if you are lucky to be one of the 14% of the population that has a job. Otherwise you may be sweeping up sand to buy a bowl of rice for about a quarter. Yep, how does living on 25 cents a day sound???
See what you can do at www. by sponsoring a child in need. Imagine what $35 a month could do in a childs life...

Thursday, May 31, 2007

So true

The world is a dangerous place,not because of those who do evil,but because of those who look on and do nothing.
- Albert Einstein

I love my wife

I think that marriage is probably one of the hardest relationships that we will ever have in life. Marriage is tough, there are times that it is so hard and you think: "can I keep doing this?"
The answer is: "YES". God loves marriage. God created marriage to be a wonderful thing, He created it to help us!!!
The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Gen 2:18
The sad thing is that we, sinful humans, are the ones that have messed up God's original design so badly. I imagine that it hurts God so bad.
Today I want to challenge you to seek God's plan for your marriage. Love your spouse like God loves you. Put them before yourself. Buy them a gift, show them that you love them. What if today was the last day you could show them your love, what would you do...
Do that!
I put a picture of Charity and I up here in Hawaii on the North Shore. My wife went surfing on the North Shore that day and I am so proud of her!

Monday, May 28, 2007

I miss Hawaii

About two weeks ago Charity and I had the blessing of going to Hawaii.

Today I am sitting in my living room, on memorial day, finishing an Ordination paper. I wish I was back in Hawaii. Charity and I were able to sit on the beach, swim with turtles and most importantly hang out with old friends. I will write more about this later, I just needed a 30 second vacation to look at my pics again.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


School is almost over. In about one month there will be thousands of kids that are out of school. They will be moving into the job place, they will be getting out of there homes and starting a new point in life. I often wonder things like: where these kids fit in? and Who do they have to look up to when times get tough?

My heart contiuneally breaks because I will be graduating some of these kids. On May 30th we are having our senior grad banquet and sending these guys into the real world. Did we train them right? Did we teach them how to live a God honoring life? Did we show them we care? Were we there for them? Did we model what we say?

Just some food for thought on what goes through my mind.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

This is Crazy

Dear GOD:
Why didn't you save the school children at....
Virginia Tech 04/16/07
Amish Country, PA
Columbine High School
Moses Lake, Washington 2/2/96
Bethel, Alaska 2/19/97
Pearl, Mississippi 10/1/97
West Paducah, Kentucky 12/1/97
Stamp, Arkansas 12/15/97
Jonesboro, Arkansas 3/24/98
Edinboro, Pennsylvania 4/24/98
Fayetteville, Tennessee 5/19/98
Springfield, Oregon 5/21/98
Richmond, Virginia 6/15/98
Littleton, Colorado 4/20/99
Taber, Alberta , Canada 5/28/99
Conyers, Georgia 5/20/99
Deming, New Mexico 11/19/99
Fort Gibson, Oklahoma 12/6/99
Santee, California 3/ 5/01 and
El Cajon, California 3/22/01?
Sincerely, Concerned Student

Dear Concerned Student:
I am not allowed in schools.
Sincerely, GOD

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Who will you be like?

Yesterday I was reading in my Bible about the kings of Israel (actually the king of Judah). I came to one of the last kings and reading about his life. Usaully you read that the man continued in the sin of his father and lead Israel incoreectly, it makes me sad. Then I came to read about a man named Josiah.
Josiah changed that pattern. Josiah lead Judah in the correct way. He tore down all the shrines and prostitue places. He removed all the false Gods from the Temple of the Lord. This dude was gnarly. He killed all the spiritualists and the mediums. He did what God wanted. Now I am not sugesting that you go and kill people and tear down places, but where is your passion for the Lord?
Are you following the sin of you fathers or making a choice to follow the plan of the Lord?

2 Kings 23:24-25
24 Furthermore, Josiah got rid of the mediums and spiritists, the household gods, the idols and all the other detestable things seen in Judah and Jerusalem. This he did to fulfill the requirements of the law written in the book that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the temple of the LORD. 25 Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the LORD as he did — with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses. NIV

Monday, April 30, 2007

Its been a while

Do you ever feel like its been a while... maybe it has been a while since you got a new pair of pants or a haircut or something like that. For me it has been a while since i have been here. The last what 8 months have been pretty packed. I have completed 4 more courses in my masters degree, gone on two winter camps and two mission trips. Oh ya i forgot to say that I also had a birthday.
For the last three mondays in a row I have been working on Ordination, something that not many people know about. I have been doing these papers and readin books that are required for Ordination. I am not the best paper writter (ask Alana Ledford) or the greatest reader (ask my wife) but it's something that I feel God calling me to finish. In about 5 weeks from now I will have an oral interview of about 300 questions that will decide my Ordination status.
With all that said to catch up with you all today has been a huge day for me. Today God has opened my eyes and heart once again to world missions. I dont know all the statistics or the percentages but I do know that people are dying because no one is sharing the gospel with the them.
Now a natural human response would be to ask; "Well what are you doing Neal?"
I understand that question and would love to tell you about the mission field that I work in, it's called Las Vegas. Half of the kids that I work with have never heard about Jesus Christ. Get this; 75% of their parents wont even come to church...yet.
See God has called Charity and I to work in a different mission field. We are working in a place that not many people think of when the think world missions. You probably think about Africa or Mexico, I think about them too, but I live here. I see the kids hurting. I see the ones that have given their life to Jesus only to have their parents ban them from coming back. It hurts my heart.
I dont know why this post or what it will spark, but if God is calling you to missions dont disobey Him. Check this quote out:

"Never pity missionaries; envy them. They are where the real action is -- where life and death, sin and grace, Heaven and Hell converge." -- Robert C. Shannon

Missions is where the real action is.