Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Bible has a mouth, feet and hands

I love the Bible! This quote by Martin Luther accurately tells why,

"The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Communicating the reality of God

I've been thinking a lot lately about how to communicate the reality of God to our students and this quote has been a great primer.

"To communicate the reality of God we must share our humanness...that inadequacy of ours which made us need Him." - Larry Richards

Friday, November 21, 2008

Rooting, building & strengthening students

One of the reasons I promote small groups in our ministry to students is that it helps us work towards accomplishing Colossians 2:6-7.

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him rooted, and built up in him, strengthened in the faith...”

Paul’s words to the Colossians help us get our hands around what some of the elements of spiritual formation look like in student ministry:

• Rooting the new believing student
• Building up the growing believing student, and
• Strengthening the maturing student in their faith.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Out of Control Disciple - Part 3

"I am organized religion’s best friend and worst nightmare. I won’t back down, slow down, shut down, or let down until I’m preached out, teached out, healed out or hauled out of God’s mission in the world entrusted to the member of the Church of the Out of Control, a mission to unbind the confined, whether they’re downtrodden or upscale, overlooked or under-represented.

My fundamental identity is as a disciple of Jesus—but even more, as a disciple of Jesus who lives in Christ, who doesn’t trek through history simply ‘in His steps’ but seeks to travel more deeply in His Spirit.

Until he comes again or calls me home, you will find me not killing time so that one day he will pick me out in the lineup of the ages as one of His own. And then, it will be worth it all to hear these words, the most precious words that I can ever hear: 'You are my beloved son, in whom I am well-pleased. Well done, thou good and faithful…out of control disciple.'" Part 1 - Part 2.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Out of Control Disciple - Part 2

“I can’t be bought by personalities or perks, positions or prizes. I won’t give up, though I may give in…to openness of mind, humbleness of heart, and generosity of spirit. In the face of adversity, I will no longer simply hang in there. I will stand in there; I will run in there. I will pray in there;

I will sacrifice in there. I will endure in there; in fact, I will do everything in there but hang. My face is upward, my feet are forward, my eyes are focused, my way is cloudy, my knees are worn, my seat uncreased, my heart burdened, my spirit light, my road narrow and my mission wide.

I won’t be seduced by popularity, seduced by criticism, travested by hypocrisy, or trivialized by mediocrity. Just because the show must go on, whether in Hollywood, Washington, Nashville or Denver, doesn’t mean the show is worth watching."


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Out of Control Disciple - Part 1

“I am a member of the Church of the Out of Control. I am an out of control disciple. I’ve given up my control to God. I trust and obey the Spirit. I’ve jumped off the fence, stepped over the line. I’ve pulled out all the stops. There’s no turning back, looking around, slowing down, backing away, letting up or shutting up. It’s a life against the odds, outside the box, over the wall, the game of life played without goal lines other than ‘Thy will be done…’"

“I’m done primping and pimping for the overdogs, the wonderdogs, the lapdogs, or even the underdogs. I’m done playing according to the rules, whether its Robert’s Rules of Order or Miss Manner’s rules of etiquette or Martha Stewarts’ rules of living, Louis Farakhan’s rules of America’s least wanted, or Merrill Lynch’s rules of money-minding, bottom-lining and ladder-climbing."

“I am not here to please the dominate culture or to serve any all-show, no-go bureaucracy; I live to please my Lord and Savior. My spiritual taste buds have graduated from fizz and froth to fire and ice. Sometimes I’m called to sharpen the cutting edge and sometimes to blunt the cutting edge. Don’t give me that ‘old time religion’ or even the new time religion. Give me that all time religion that’s as hard as rock and soft as snow." My youth pastor passed this on to me years ago and I love it! I passed this on to our seniors as a part of our Senior Study. Parts 2 and 3 coming up.

Friday, November 14, 2008

National Adoption Day

Today is National Adoption Day! Today I am celebrating my adoption and our adoption of Noah! I am so thankful for our birth moms! Thank you ladies!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Becoming a Leader of No Reputation

This week I was given a message delivered by the former president of Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, R. Scott Rodin, Becoming A Leader of No Reputation.

This message has stopped me in my tracks. Read it!

He suggests that there are five things we should consider if we are to be leaders of no reputation in our ministry:

1. Anointed vs. Appointed
2. Fighting the Need to Increase
3. Being and Doing
4. Leadership is a Miracle
5. Seeking the Right Applause

I am looking forward to wrestling with these points in the context of student ministry over the next few days.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Praying through the Valley of Vision

I am excited tonight for our students to pray this prayer from the Valley of Vision, as one of their experiences, during our Adoration time. I am praying that tonight won't be the only time they choose to pray this prayer this week!

O Thou that hearest prayer,

Teach me to pray. I confess that in religious exercises the language of my lips and the feelings of my heart have not always agreed, that I have frequently taken carelessly upon my tongue a name never pronounced above without reverence and humility, that I have often desired things which would have injured me, that I have depreciated some of my chief mercies, that I have erred both on the side of my hopes and also of my fears, that I am unfit to choose for myself, for it is not in me to direct my steps.

Let thy Spirit help my infirmities, for I know not what to pray for as I ought.
Let him produce in me wise desires by which I may ask right things, then I shall know thou hearest me.

May I never be importunate for temporal blessings, but always refer them to thy fatherly goodness, for thou knowest what I need before I ask;

May I never think I prosper unless my soul prospers, or that I am rich unless rich toward thee, or that I am wise unless wise unto salvation.

May I seek first thy kingdom and its righteousness.

May I value things in relation to eternity.

May my spiritual welfare be my chief solicitude.

May I be poor, afflicted, despised and have thy blessing, rather than be successful in enterprise, or have more than my heart can wish, or be admired by my fellow-men, if thereby these things make me forget thee.

May I regard the world as dreams, lies, vanities, vexation of spirit, and desire to depart from it.

And may I seek my happiness in thy favour, image, presence, service.

p. 194-195 The Valley of Vision

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Two signs

I found this picture randomly on my computer this morning and I can't think of two better signs to describe my daily struggle.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

"I don't like John McCain"

Yesterday I was talking to my two-year old daughter about the election today! As I was talking about what happens and who the two main candidates are she interrupted me and said forcefully, "I don't like John McCain!" I replied, "Well, who do you like?" Adah answered smiling, "I like mama!"

I had to break the bad news to Adah that her mom wasn't running for president. I don't think it will leave to big of an emotional scar.