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    Hey, I'm Dugan! I'm a traveling speaker who loves to serve any event geared towards middle school, high school, or college students. If you're interested in finding someone to speak at your next retreat, camp, conference, ministry night or leader training, I'd love to connect! For a quick sample of some things I've done, check out this short video. Or just shoot me an email 72,69,82,69,46.EREH


Some of the most powerful and inspiring words I’ve ever heard about today:


This isn’t Sunday.

This isn’t Friday.

This is Saturday.

The day after this but the day before that. The day after a prayer gets prayed but before it gets answered. The day after a soul gets crushed way down but before it gets at all lifted up.

It’s this kind of strange day, this Saturday.

It’s the in-between day. Not Friday. Not Sunday. In between despair and joy. In between utter confusion and blinding clarity. In between bad news and good news. In between darkness and light. In between hate and love. In between death and life. It’s the in-between day.

On Good Friday our sins get paid for. On Easter Sunday our hope is brought to life. Saturday is the day with no name, the day when nothing happened.

Saturday is the day your dream died. You wake up and you’re still alive. You have to go on, but you don’t know how. Worse, you don’t know why. It brings up this odd question, this strange story: Why is there a Saturday? Why is there a Saturday? It doesn’t further the storyline. If Jesus is going to be crucified then resurrected, why not get on with it? Just die on the cross then boom, resurrection. Why is it just those two events but over three days? There is a reason. There is a reason for Saturday.

The story of Easter isn’t a two-day story. It’s a third-day story.

The trouble with a third-day story is you don’t know it’s a third-day story when you’re in the middle of it. Nobody saw Sunday coming. That is the bad thing about Saturday.

I said before Saturday is the day when nothing happens. That’s not quite right. Something happens on Saturday. Silence. After trouble hits you, after the agony of Friday, you call out to God. “God, help me! Hear me! Listen to me! Respond to me! Do something! Say something! Rescue!” Nothing. On Saturday, in addition to the pain of Friday, there is the pain of silence and absence of God.

“What happened today on earth on Saturday? There is a great silence, a great silence and stillness. A great silence because the king sleeps. God has died in the flesh, and hell trembles with fear.” (an ancient homily, written over 1,600 years ago)

- John Ortberg


On Saturday, the disciples believed Jesus had failed. Jesus failed. The man they believed to be Divine, the promised Messiah, and their Savior was in a tomb. Everything they had planned for the rest of their life was shattered and gone.

We all experience this on the post side of pain, we all experience Saturday. Our Saturdays usually last more than a day, but there is a reason for them. Something God is doing behind the scenes or deep in our spirits that we cannot see or feel or touch. But there is a reason for it. It’s not fun, it’s not easy, it requires patience and a healthy processing through our pain, but know that God is at work.

And more importantly, never, ever forget the truth:


Sunday is coming…




Full Teaching Transcript

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Teaching Audio

Between Cross and Resurrection: A Theology of Holy Saturday by Alan Lewis

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Friday Five #15

Happy (Good) Friday Five! Here’s a few things to hopefully make you laugh, enable you to use the phrase “well, you learn something new every day”, and challenge you. Have a wonderful weekend of remembering and celebrating!


1). Chuck Lidell and a Rhino. I’m not sure what the latest study says about how many commercials we see a day on average (I’m sure it’s around a million) but I’m sure it’s a lot. So when a commercial not only grabs my attention but also makes me lol, I’ve gotta give it props. I don’t know if it’ll make me shop at AutoZone or buy Duralast more, but I was sure entertained. (just wait for the toe nails)

2). “She’s Not Bossy, She’s A Leader.” That’s what Linds and I have said about Eva since she was real young. And as the dad of a future female leader, I like this video. Eva is only 2 but it’s already clear that she has a strong personality with leadership gifts. She’s super inclusive and happiest when everyone around her is joining her in doing the same thing (most often: dancing, singing, or watching Frozen). Every time she starts being bossy, Linds and I remind ourselves that she’s simply a leader and instead of shutting her down, we’re trying to learn as parents how to channel and guide her strength into her growth as a future female leader. So for all of you with “bossy” daughters (like the woman at the park last week who shared a laugh with me as our daughters spent the majority of their time playing together telling the other what to do), this one’s for you. Check out more HERE. #banbossy

3). 12 Obvious Baseball Rules. I know ‘Merca is a football nation, but summer baseball will always have a special place in my heart. Maybe it was going to games with my dad at Wrigley Field (before it became full of bitter cubs fans who are now old enough to numb their life-long frustration with beer), maybe it was playing little league, or maybe it’s just nice to take a long nap during a Sunday afternoon game and not miss much. Whatever it is, I like baseball. Here’s some fun stories about some pretty foundational rules and how they came to be (click the picture):


4). True Detective Parody. This will only be funny if you’ve seen true detective, but even if you haven’t, this guy’s impression of Matthew “Alright-Alright-Alright” McConaughey/Rust Cohle is fantastic. Also check out Ross Marquand’s video series through Soul Pancake called “The Impression Guys.”

5). Incredible Forgiveness. Last but definitely most important is a truly unbelievable article from the New York Times about a level of forgiveness that I cannot even comprehend. On this day and weekend where we celebrate the undeserved forgiveness of our Savior, check out these stories of people whose forgiveness challenged, humbles, and inspires me almost beyond explanation (click the picture).


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Do What I Say, Not What I Do…And Also Sometimes Not What I Say

The other day Eva and I were watching Frozen (of course) in the living room and after seeing Olaf take off running in a comedic way, Eva whipped her head around at me, said “Abba! Come on!”, and started to energetically run out of the room. Before even thinking about it, I found myself saying: “Eva, honey, no we gotta stay in the living room.”

She turned around and looked at me. “Come one, abba!” she said again.

And all of a sudden I thought:  Why the heck do we have to stay here? Just because I don’t want to get up? 

I got off the couch and walked over to my girl. I took her head in my hands and told her I was so sorry. From her experience of apologizing to Linds and I in the past for hitting us or throwing her juice after we told her not to, she knew what to say: “It’s okay, abba!” She then took off running with me enthusiastically following behind her.  

She’s only 2 and doesn’t fully grasp the idea of being told sorry and offering forgiveness, and me not wanting to get up to run might not seem like a big deal (nor is it even close to the only thing I’ve needed to apologize to her for), but I made a decision a long time ago that I never want to shy away from apologizing to my kids when I do something wrong, or even unintentionally hurt them.

I want to be the kind of parent that readily admits when I’m wrong and readily asks for forgiveness from my kids. I’m often tempted to think that it might be counterproductive and appear weak by doing so, but I think it takes a greater strength to humble myself and demonstrate for them the life-long need to be honest when I get it wrong.

A mentor of mine once told me one of his parenting rules, which was: If, after asking one of his kids to do something, he couldn’t answer them asking “why” with a healthy, appropriate answer, then they didn’t have to do it. He couldn’t ever use “because I said so” since most of the time he would say that, the thing he was asking them to do was because he didn’t want to do it himself or it wasn’t even worth doing.

So taking the garbage out was to serve the family and learn the importance of maintaining a home. Helping build the deck was to learn construction and home repair. Putting the phones down at dinner was to practice healthy boundaries and engaging in conversation.

But not getting off the couch to play with my daughter, was just me being lazy and dumb.

I’m new at parenting so I could be way off, but I know I want my kids to never be afraid to apologize, because I never was.

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Jesus Surfs Without a Board

I think the Bible is a lot less dramatic that we sometimes think.

I’m not sure if it’s the old school King James,  Charlton Heston, or something else but accounts from Scripture are so often presented and read in an overly-serious, over-dramatic (and probably slo-motion) kind of way. We picture everybody with these stern looks on their faces as they talk and even crazy displays of God’s power are met with chiseled, frowning faces, as if to make it clear that this is no surprise to them.

But the more I read the Bible, the more it seems like most accounts are just about normal people like us trying to follow and experience the same God.

At church yesterday, the pastor read the account of Jesus walking on water from Mark 6.

Dramatic right?

The disciples are in their boat as the storm rages and the angry seas crashed. It’s dark and loud and confusing. And then out of the mist comes a shadowy figure in a tan-colored robe, walking across the water with that same stern look on His face and stealy resolve in his eyes.

Or maybe not?

After reading the story again, it seems like it was probably a lot less dramatic than I used to think.

Here it is:

Jesus Walks on Water

Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and head across the lake to Bethsaida, while he sent the people home. After telling everyone good-bye, he went up into the hills by himself to pray.

Late that night, the disciples were in their boat in the middle of the lake, and Jesus was alone on land. He saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. He intended to go past them, but when they saw him walking on the water, they cried out in terror, thinking he was a ghost. They were all terrified when they saw him.

But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage! I am here!” Then he climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. – Mark 6:45-51 (NLT)

It’s obviously a pretty incredible story, but a few totally non-dramatic things stuck out to me.

Verse 48 says that Jesus intended to go past them. Haha, what?! Instead of this super dramatic moment, maybe Jesus was just being practical about getting to the other side of the lake! I know He’s God and all, but it’s funny to imagine that He was just walking to meet up with His disciples on the other side of the lake, He then sees that they’re in a boat and was like: “Wow, I can’t believe I caught them…I figured they would have made it by now. Oh well, I’ll just meet them there.” And proceeds to keep walking.

The only reason He didn’t pass by them was because they saw it was Him. So then in verse 50 He’s like: “Hey, guys! Don’t freak out, it’s just me!” (my words, not His)

This same account written by Matthew goes into more detail about Peter stepping out onto the water to join Jesus and John’s version says that once Jesus stepped into the boat, they were immediately at their destination (Jesus must have been making up time for not being able to just walk there on His own).


Bo Boshers, who’s like a student ministries guru, talks a lot about the “Be With Factor” when it comes to discipling students. Essentially this means that discpling students doesn’t have to be some dramatic, overly-serious, produced thing. Instead, one of the most powerful forms of discipleship is simply being with students in every day life. Just doing life together.

Pouring into a student could involve inviting them to run errands with you, hanging at the mall to buy their brother a birthday gift, having them over for a causal, chaotic dinner with you and your kids, watching a game or awards show together, or much more.

Students respond much more to a relational investment than some dramatic form of attempted discipleship like breaking down the Livitical Law or trying to read a Dallas Willard book in less than 6 months. Not that there’s anything wrong with those things for students who are ready, but just like Jesus seems to do when simply trying to get across a lake, we can make teachable moments by simply taking advantage and being open to the Holy Spirit in normal, everyday life while we hang out with students.

And if nothing else, student ministries makes it possible to call things like playing video games, going out for ice cream, or seeing The Hunger Games “ministry”! (that’s why all senior pastors are secretly super jealous of student ministry leaders..!)

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Friday Five #14

Welcome to the Friday Five! This week consists entirely of funny videos, so, if you have exactly 21 minutes and 2 seconds, enjoy these 5 videos that will hopefully make you laugh!


1). Louis CK’s Opening Monologue for SNL. Louis CK is easily one of my favorite standup comics. He seems so authentic with his comedy, like he’s just having a casual conversation with the audience about things that he makes very funny. At times I wish he wasn’t so crude in his content, but he’s still pretty gol darn hilarious. His performance on SNL was good but his opening monologue was outstanding. Enjoy.

2). Controversial Target Ad Model on Ellen. This is just plain brilliant in so many ways. I don’t watch Ellen but every time I see a segment from her show, (or when she hosts an awards show) I love what I see. I really like her sincere and humorous approach to everything she does. This was such a fun and smart way to make people laugh about a hot button issue while also bringing it to people’s attention in a nonthreatening way without an agenda .

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3). SNL Jos. A. Bank Commercial. This caught me off guard and made me literally laugh out loud (llol). Mostly because it’s true!

4). The Record Collector. I do have records and gladly put myself in that hipster category, but in the vein of Portlandia, this video made me laugh a lot. I wonder when cassette tapes are going to become cool and vintage?

5).Tig Notary on Conan. Tig is easily one of my favorite comedians. Arguably the best standup performance I’ve ever heard was one she did the day she found out she had cancer. In fact, Louis CK was in the audience that day and was so impacted by her performance (which she essentially ad-libbed since she didn’t feel up for doing her normal routine), that he sold it on his website with some of the proceeds going towards helping cancer research. Check out the story HERE and if you want to buy the audio (which I highly recommend), you can HERE. Here’s her latest performance from Conan this past week.

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