Thursday, July 31, 2008
iTunes, how does the world see me?
Song: Dumb Reminders: No Use For a Name
Comments: That makes sense.
iTunes, will I have a happy life?
Song: If I Could Just sit With You: Mercy Me
Comments: Alright, pull up a chair
iTunes, what do my friends really think of me?
Song: Me and You Vs. Them: The Movielife
Comments: I'll take you all on
iTunes, do people secretly lust after me?
Song: We Need Jesus: Jeffrey Dean
Comments: That's what I thought
iTunes, how can I make myself happy?
Song: Big City: Operation Ivy
Comments: Which one?
iTunes, what should I do with my life?
Song: Insomniatic Sleep: Finch
Comments: I need to become an oxymoron (I got the moron part down at least)
iTunes, why should life be full of so much pain?
Song: How Can You Ever Face Me?: The Movielife
Comments: I have hope in Jesus
iTunes, how can I maximize pleasure during this life?
Song: Take Me: Only Crime
Comments: To California
iTunes, will I ever have children?
Song: From Here to LA: The Early November
Comments: Oh Dear!
iTunes, will I die happy?
Song: Saturn: Skillet
Comments: I'm going to take that as a maybe
iTunes, what is some good advice for me?
Song: 3rd Man In: Dropkick Murphys
Comments: Never be the first one to do anything?
iTunes, what is happiness?
Song: O Girlfriend: Weezer
Comments: Suzy does make me pretty happy
iTunes, what is my favorite farm animal?
Song: Hypocrite: World Wide Message Tribe
iTunes, how will I be remembered?
Song: Everyday: Sky Harbor
Comments: Legends never die! So I gotta do something legendary.
I spoke about hope. 1 Cor 13:13 lists 3 things: faith, love and hope. 2 weeks ago I taught about faith. Last week I talked about love for God (but it was a lot about worship as well. So tonight I finished the verse and spoke about hope. I had never taught about hope before. It's always been more of a word I skipped over. It's a word that doesn't mean as much to me as love and faith and grace do. But really, hope is an amazing thing.
I read about an experiment at Berkley. They put rats in a pool of water, and let them swim. They found that rats could swim for 7 hours before they drowned if they had no help. Then they put some more rats in the pool, but just before the rats gave up and drowned, a scientist would pull them out and let them rest. These rats could swim for 20 hours...and the scientists came to the conclusion that these rats would last longer because they had hope. They didn't give up as easily. Hope can motivate. Hope is what gives meaning to what we are doing now. It helps us endure the hard times, because we know God is going to make things better.
There are three things that we have hope in. 1. Jesus is coming back. 2. Jesus is taking us with him. 3. Jesus is giving us eternal life. It's pretty awesome to think about. And with that hope comes joy. With that hope, we can endure hard times. Because we know it's all going to get better. God is going to restore his kingdom and we're going to be here with him. Hope isn't just a good idea. The New Testament actually talks quite a bit about hope. And since studying about this word, it has gotten me more excited about my future with Jesus
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Gideon led worship, and he just keeps getting better and better. Our game was "Everybody's It!" Basically it's an all against all game of tag. Christine Cavender was the winner.
Our lesson was on anger. I gave a few case studies in the opener. Think about these and what you would want to do and what you should do.
1. You have somebody stay the night at your home or they go camping with you, and they eat all of your food and drink all of your drinks without asking, what do you do?
A. Just go buy more and say nothing
B. Chunk a chair at them
C. Tell them you don't mind sharing, but just ask first.
2. You are walking through the cafeteria and somebody throws their applesauce all over you, what do you do?
A. Just keep walking and clean yourself up.
B. Tell them that makes you angry and to not do it again.
C. Shove their face in their mashed potatoes.
3. You have been standing in line for a roller coaster for 2 hours. You get to the front of the line and some kids cut in front of you. They get on the ride, and the ride operator says that the ride is now closed, what do you do?
A. Just get of line, but wish something bad happens to the people on the ride.
B. Wait for the kids at the ride exit and throw dog poo at them.
C. Tell the Ride Operator that they cut in front of you.
D. Just leave and ask God to help you forgive them.
Honestly, I don't always do a good job handling my anger. When you're stuck in the moment, sometimes you lose control. We talked about things in our small group that make us angry and what are we supposed to do. One, we're not supposed to sin out of our anger. So I guess that means shoving a guy's face in mashed potatoes might not be good (although it sure would feel good at the time). We talked about how we are to handle anger with fellow believers who have done wrong against us. You go and talk to them and give them the chance to ask for forgiveness. If they don't, then you take another believer with you. If they still don't, then you take it before the church.
The question that came up during our group that I didn't really have an answer for (well I had a churchy answer, but not an honest answer) was about this guy on a show. I guess there is a guy who dresses up like a clown and goes up to random guys and kick them in their "special area." And then he laughs and says you just got kicked on t.v. They asked what would happen if the guy came up and did that to my son. Honestly, I want to be like Jesus, and Jesus says turn the other cheek, but I think I would have to smack the smile off that clown. We talked about things that make us angry and how we should handle that based on the Bible. We talked about not taking revenge and things like that. I'm OK, but if somebody hurts my family, I think I would have a hard time turning any kind of cheek. We went through the scriptures and the kids know what the Bible says about it. Hopefully, they'll think about these thing the next time they get angry with their brother or sister. But this is a hard concept for me to really grasp, and harder to put into action. I'm interested in seeing what other people think about these things.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
So, I finished his book. There were a lot of things about this book that I didn't like. Really, I hated them. It wasn't because it was bad writing. It wasn't because it was heretical. It was because he was saying some pretty hard stuff about how I am living my life; and it was truth. And sometimes the truth hurts.
This book looks at American Christianity, and how many of us are just missing the point. We are living our lives out of comfort. We are living our lives in such a way that even if we decided in a radical way that we didn't believe in God any more, not much would change. We might start cussing and drinking more, but other than our lives would be very similar to what they are now. We don't have a crazy love for God, and we're OK with that.
I know I said I didn't like this book, but I really loved the book. Yeah, it was hard for me to read in some areas, because it requires the reader to look honestly at their life and at scripture. Then it requires us to make a choice, either we are going to start following God with everything we got and live radically for him, or we are going to choose to continue living "lukewarm" lives for our comfort rather than living for God. Don't read this book if you are content with being ordinary with your faith. But if you want to love God more, if you want to live a life more in line with what God is asking of us, I recommend this book. This book doesn't have all of the answers, but it's an awesome way to begin.
Friday, July 25, 2008
I spoke about God. I think a lot of times, we put God in a box and think we have Him figured out. I think we take him for granted. In Deuteronomy 10, it says that the Lord asks us to fear Him, which is to have a reverence, an awe, a respect for God. I don't think we, the typical American Christian, have this fear. Every time it rains over a weekend, we know that attendance is going to be down. People don't want to get out to worship when it rains. But there are people who will go out in -10 degree weather and take their shirts off and paint a big green "G" on their belly to scream for a football team. We show up late to church. But if you go to a movie, you make sure you're on time, and get their early so you don't miss the previews. We skip quiet times because we get too busy or we forget. We choose sin; we know that God doesn't want us to do something, and yet we choose to go ahead and do it. This doesn't show that we have a fear of God; and I say "us" because I do every one of these things.
So here are some things about God.
1. God is holy, which means set apart. In Revelation 4, it talks about the glory of God. The author, John, couldn't even describe God and his glory because he is limited by language. We don't have the words to describe how beautiful and majestic God is. He says things like, he looked like jewels, and his voice sounded like a trumpet. God is so beautiful that he can't even begin to be described by the words that we use. And he has angels around him who continually say, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." When a word is said 3 times to describe something it means it is perfect. God is perfectly holy. So perfect and so good and so beautiful that words can't even begin to express how great he truly is.
2. God is eternal. He has no beginning and no end. He just always was. This messes with my mind a lot. I can't wrap my mind around this. Everything else has a beginning where it was made on a certain day, except God. He doesn't exist in time, because he created time, and so he just was always here.
3. God is all-knowing. You can never hide from God. In Psalm 139, David talks about not being able to go anywhere to hide from the Lord, and how he knows everything. He knows every thought we've ever had, every action, every word we've said. He even knows how photosynthesis works.
4. God is all-powerful. All things were created by God, for God. Sometimes we get this backwards. We think God is there for us. He's there to make us happy, rich, and fat. He's there to help us in our troubles and when our friends and family are in trouble. But God is not a genie. He wants to help us, and loves to, but he's got a purpose that is beyond our understanding. Daniel 4:35 basically says that God doesn't have to answer to anybody. I'm glad God doesn't have to ask for a human's permission before he does something. It would be like my 22 month old son coming up to me and telling me that he thinks we should move to Turkey. I would tell him to go sit in time out. I wouldn't listen to him. Why should I, he can't even get colors right. I ask him to pick up the blue block, and he brings me a yellow one, and he says red. Why would I listen to him about where we should live. His understanding is limited. God is all-knowing, so he could tell us his purposes, and we would have no idea what he was talking about. Sure, we might nod in agreement to his plan, but our understanding is limited, God is unlimited.
God is fair and just. God alone is good. He alone sets the standards for good and bad. He sets the standard for rewards and punishment. And he absolutely hates sin. No sin goes unaccounted for or unpunished. Sometimes we go easy on sin because we don't see the consequences. It's like we got away with it. Maybe you got drunk and didn't die in a car crash, or get caught by parents. But no sin goes unpunished. God hates sin so much that he sent his Son to die for us to pay for our sins. So every time we tell that little lie and don't see the consequences, it's because Jesus suffered it.
This God who created the billions of galaxies, who created all the animals, insects, rocks and plants still loves each of us individually. So much in fact that the Bible says he knows how many hairs are on our head. And he wants to have a relationship with us and wants us to pray to Him and tell Him what's going on in our lives, and yet we take God for granted and don't fear him.
I showed this video at the beginning. It's from Francis Chan, who I admire, and a lot of this message came from his book that I've been reading and thinking about. But I want you to see this video and think about how big God is and how insane that it is that He could create all of these things and be so big, and yet still love us so much individually.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Here's the article:
KOKOMO, Ind. - A pastor brought out a dirt bike during a church service to demonstrate the concept of unity. Now he's demonstrating the concept of healing.
Jeff Harlow, the senior pastor at Crossroads Community Church, broke his wrist when he lost control of the motorcycle at the start of Sunday's second service, driving off a 5-foot platform and into the vacant first row of seats. He underwent surgery on the wrist Monday.
"Jeff has already laughed a lot, so he's OK. I think his pride was bruised," said his wife, Becky.
Becky Harlow said her husband had recently attended a motorcycle race in Buchanan, Mich.
"He had this idea that he would bring this bike out onstage and show people how the rider would become one with the bike," she told the. "He was going to just sit on it and drive it out. He was just walking the dirt bike out onstage and somehow it got away from him. It was not intended."
No one else was hurt.
Jeff Harlow had performed the demonstration at earlier services Saturday night and Sunday morning without incident.
Monday, July 21, 2008
It started off pretty crazy because there were all sorts of sound equipment problems. Most of the band and the guys who run sound are on the trip to Jamaica, so I think it went pretty good in spite of all of that. Gideon led worship, and I think he was harder on himself than he needed to be. I think he did a great job. He only had Andrew with him on keyboards, so no bass and no drummer. Morgan did sing with him though. I thought it was great.
Charles Vickers, our 8th grade boys teacher, led the big group. It was his first time to speak to us, and I'm glad he did. I think he did an excellent job. He spoke about holiness. He said there were 3 keys to Holy living. First, Be Different. Live your life that isn't going to go along with the rest of the crowd. For him, he didn't listen to certain music or watch Rated R movies. Second, Be Diligent. Stand your ground and find people who can help support you. Third, Be Dedicated. Dedicate yourself to God and obeying his Words.
I think he did great, and we are going to have to use him more often to speak to the kids. He had a song for us to listen to at the end to go along with his sermon on holiness by Wes King. Unfortunately, we had some more sound problems and he wasn't able to play the song. It wasn't his fault at all, it was just one of those dumb things that happens. But besides that, everything went great.
I spoke to the high school group during their service. I haven't got to speak to them in a long, long time. I basically did the same exact thing that I did on Wed. Night for the Jr. high. I think they liked it and got something out of it. It was a pretty small group since a lot of the kids were in Jamaica for the Mission Trip. But they seemed to listen and agree with the things that I said (hopefully).
Friday, July 18, 2008
I spoke to the Jr. Highers on Wed. night about faith, and how to get more faith. I started off with a card trick that I learned off of youtube. I think it dazzled them. The Bible talks about having faith like a child. A child believes anything blindly. Tell them about a chubby guy who flies around on a sled that is carried by magical deer and gives presents to good little boys and girls, and they believe it. It's not that we should believe in just anything anybody tells us. God tells us to beware of false prophets, but we should have that full, innocent faith without any doubt.
So when I was a kid, I believed in magic. But I also believed that UFO's were going to come and abduct me when I fell asleep. I also believed that there were little men who lived in a village in my wall who would run all night in my room between the wall and the desk and my bed, but I could never catch them.
Belief is based on imagination. Faith is based on experience; even somebody else's experience. I've never seen molecules, but I have faith that they exist. I've never looked through an electron microscope to see them, but I've read about them in books and trust that the people who have written that book has experienced seeing these molecules. The Bible is what we base our entire faith on, and the experience of the writers.
The Bible is not a "How-To" book and we can't read it as that. We can't read it when we have a problem and scan it for a quick fix. Although it does tell us how to do stuff, that's not it's primary purpose. The purpose of the Bible is to communicate God's story through history of his creation.
So we're not going to find a 10-step process to finding how to get a deeper faith.
Our passage was Luke 17:5-10.
It starts out with the disciples asking Jesus for more faith. I use to think that if I saw a miracle, that would make my faith super-strong. But the disciples were with Jesus 24/7, and Jesus was always saying that they had such little faith. They saw all his miracles. They talked face to face with him, and they had little faith. I don't think miracles build faith. People forget about them or explain them off. I think God used miracles to get people's attention, not to build faith. The burning bush with Moses, the dew on the fleece with Gideon, these were to get attention. And most of the miracles that Jesus performed were on people that already had faith. He was always saying that their faith is what made them well. These people had faith already. So I don't think seeing a miracle is the way to build our faith.
The next verse Jesus says that if we have the faith the size of a mustard seed, then we would be able to tell this bush to get up and go jump in the Ocean. I don't necessarily think that Jesus meant this passage literally. Because if I had that kind of faith where I could do that, I would be doing it to every tree and bush I passed. I think that would be awesome. I'd have trees get up and start chasing people, swinging their branches at them. It would be hilarious to me, terrifying to them.
The mustard seed is the smallest seed that they knew of. So, Jesus was saying that our faith is even smaller than that. And a lot of my life I've worried about getting my faith to this point, because if I do, then I can have all kinds of power for God. I could heal the sick, raise the dead, move trees and mountains. But I can't even heal my headaches. Sometimes I beat myself up about not having a big enough faith. But having faith doesn't make you a magician. It's not so that we can do cool little tricks to impress people. Our faith should be to glorify God.
I think God gives us faith to accomplish what he wants us to do. Right after Jesus tells us about faith the size of a mustard seed, he tells a story about a servant serving his master first, and himself second. I think it's interesting that the disciples were asking about faith, and the story Jesus tells doesn't seem to have anything to do with faith, it's about serving God. The closest I ever feel to God is when I'm serving him and loving others. I think Jesus is saying to his disciples that to build your faith, concentrate on serving God first, and then yourself second. God has a purpose for you, and He will give you faith to accomplish that. Maybe it's not your job to heal a blind man. Maybe it's your job to encourage the old man at Wal-Mart. God will help you accomplish that.
So, to build your faith I think there are 2 things we can do. First, we can ask God for it. Pray for faith. Second, serve God first. Love him, love the people around you, and then serve yourself second. If we do these two things, I think we will see our faith grow.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I'm really not sure how I came across this book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but I'm glad I did. It's the diary of a middle school kid. Of course he calls it a journal and he's only doing it because his mom is making him, but he also figures that, when he gets rich and famous, this diary can help him answer questions about his childhood. He can just "go read the book."
I think this book did a great job at capturing middle school life. I remember going through some of the weird stuff that this kid went through (the cheese touch was brilliant). The kid also could not comprehend consequences. I see middle school kids do this all the time. They do stuff and have no idea why they are getting in trouble or why people are mad at them.
I thought this book was hilarious. It has little comic strips in it to illustrate how the kid sees things going on around him. This is a book written for middle school kids, but I think if you have middle school kids or work with them, you would like this book. If you are a middle school boy, you would probably really like this book too.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Nathan led worship. He did a great job. The more times he leads worship the better he gets. I think in a few years he will be great.
We had a time for Beach Blast Testimonies where kids could come up and tell everybody what they did at Beach Blast and what God did for them or taught them at Beach Blast. I think of testimonies as stories, so I told them it was story-time. I wanted a bunch of kids to come up, so I said they could come and tell even a funny story if they wanted. That's what it became. One funny story after another. A few kids got up and talked about what God did in their life, but mainly it became funny stories. That was my fault because of the way I communicated things in the beginning. That's the one thing that I wish I would have done better for Sunday, because I know that there were kids who got up and told a story that God did big things in their lives, and they didn't communicate that part because they were talking about scaring somebody or something else. But even with that, it was a great weekend.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
This was about a guy who is a superhero and he doesn't know how he became one. He's the only one of his kind and he's lonely. The beginning of the movie he's kind of a jerk and the people don't like him. He then begins to change and tries to do a better job. People then begin to like him. I won't give anything else away, but that stuff you can pretty much get from the previews. It's got some cool special effects and some good action. I also liked how it focused more on the humanity of Hancock and the super powers were more of a secondary concept. Most superhero movies focus on the powers more and the problems of heroes as a secondary part of the story. Even in X-Men, you see Wolverines powers foremost and his amnesia and stuff as a secondary part of the plot.
I couldn't really tell you why, but I really liked the movie. I think Will Smith did a great job, and Jason Bateman is becoming one of my favorite actors.
But eventually, after a call to my dad to confirm a couple of things, I began to find a few more. And once I got to one, that opened up a bunch more from research that other people did. So I got all the way back until about 1642. I already knew Campbell came from Scotland. My ancestors came from Scotland and Ireland somewhere in the 1720's and 30's. I haven't gotten very far on my mom's side. I need to talk to my grandma about it sometime.
So far, I haven't found any famous ancestors. It would be cool to be related to Patrick Henry or Adam Sandler. My luck it'll show that I'm somehow related to Brittany Spears. I would rather find out that somewhere in the 1800's I had a relative who was a mad scientist and he decided to try to mate his daughter with a walrus, and somehow he made it work. So in my DNA I am part walrus. In my old age, my whiskers are going to get super long and teeth are going to grow out of my nose. I would rather find out something like that rather than find out that I'm related to Brittany Spears.