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Archive for the ‘Spiritual Thought’ Category

My heart breaks for so many of my students. So many lives full of confusion. There’s no peace. There’s no refuge. And I get sick to my stomach when I know my hands are tied.

I’ve seen that 93% of a student’s worldview will be developed from their home life. That leaves 7% for pastors and teachers, coaches and counselors, grandparents and BFF’s.

But thank Jesus that He’s not bound by Barna Group statistics, because He transcends all. He illuminates the darkness. He liberates the captives.

[Let the redeemed rejoice; Let vindication flow]

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Is May always this busy? I feel like I’ve been running from appointment to meeting to event to… this Saturday, for instance, I had a brunch event, a BBQ birthday party, and a BBQ dinner (all in three different cities). What does three events in one day mean? I can’t enjoy any of them because I’m planning/ worried/ thinking about getting to the next thing. So, instead of saying “yes” to all three, I’m only saying “yes” to one because if you say yes to one thing you indirectly say no to the other.

This is something I’ve learned from our church-wide fast: just because you’re doing a lot doesn’t mean a lot is being done. By saying “no” to something I’m able to fully enjoy another, better someone— Jesus.

Take the time to abide, connect, and remain in Jesus. And if you’re schedule is as demanding as mine is, you just might have to say “no” to a BBQ or two.

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Our church is doing a fast for 21 days. I’ve been asked to blog periodically about my journey.

“Fasting” is a simple practice: give up something and replace it with seeking God in prayer and petition. I’ve never been one to be enthusiastic about fasting, because food is traditionally what’s given up. So, I usually try to avoid it at most costs.

Several of my students from our youth ministry were fasting last week from lunch and one day many of them ran over 2 miles for PE. I thought to myself, what is stopping these students from dropping their fast and grabbing a sandwich? And then I realized that fasting is the ongoing choice that whatever it is your praying for is more important than whatever you’ve given up. So even though these students were light-headed and faint, their prayers were more crucial.

As we go on this journey together we are making the choice that the weight of fasting is less than the weight of the “other” burdens in life. If we can keep perspective of the big picture, I think we’ll be able to be strong enough even when we are light-headed and faint.

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My friend, Pastor Evan pastors a church in San Francisco of homeless people. He mentioned God’s been doing incredible things, including a recent jump in his weekly attendance to over 200 homeless people!

He doesn’t attribute the climb in attendance to a program, strategy, or model. Instead, he said God has been blessing his church of homeless people since they’ve started giving money to missions!

It really makes me ask myself some questions

  1. Am I giving enough? Am I doing enough?
  2. Am I consumed with stuff?
  3. What if God called me to the Dominican Republic or the streets of San Francisco– would I go?

You can see The Homeless Church site here.

You can see LaDawn’s ministry site here.

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I mentioned a couple weeks that we started a “Take 10 Challenge” for my students at Central Student Ministries to “master the spiritual disciplines”. So far, it has worked really, really well. My mentor wrote recently that it’s tempting to be method-driven to find results, when in reality Jesus is the difference-maker. That’s the idea of the Take 10 Challenge– no gimmicks, just allowing 10 minutes for Jesus to work.

The first week we dedicated 10 uninterrupted minutes to prayer. The second week we dedicated 10 uninterrupted minutes in worship. This week we’re going to be dedicating 10 uninterrupted minutes in scripture.

•Saturday: 1 John, chapter 1
•Sunday: 1 John, chapter 2
•Monday: 1 John, chapter 3
•Tuesday: 1 John, chapter 4
•Wednesday: 1 John, chapter 5
•Thursday: 2 John
•Friday: 3 John

To remind everyone I post facebook updates and schedule mass texts with the passage-of-the-day. I’ll also be asking students this week to film their thoughts about the challenge midweek for the ultimate Take 10 Challenge next week….

If you’re not a part of Central Student Ministries, we’d love to invite you to “Take 10”!

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•I spoke at our church’s Good Friday service out of Luke 23:48: And when all the crowd that came to see the crucifixion saw what had happened, they went home in deep sorrow. I think we often bypass the confusion, grief, tension, and mourning of Good Friday and simply proclaim “Sunday’s coming!”. But in order to comprehend the beauty of the resurrection, we need to experience the despair of the crucifixion.

What I like about church Easter Sunday:

•Little girls wear their Sunday dresses, and little boys wear their clip-on ties.
•People are excited about the resurrection, when I wonder if it’s become old news to some people.
•Target and Best Buy were both closed.

What I don’t like about church on Easter Sunday:

•The perception that we need to “impress visitors”. (I like what my pastor said, “I haven’t been praying about impressing you– I’ve been praying that you would experience God”)
•Service times. They always seem to be 10 minutes longer…

How was your Easter Sunday?

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Saw this post at TheResurgence, a blog I follow often. I came across this post, “3 Questions to Ask Before Committing iDolatry” and thought it was appropriate as Apple’s iPad is being released tomorrow. Not only do I find myself coveting Apple’s newest toy, but other items too, like this for instance.

Regardless, here’s the outline with a few excerpts. Be encouraged and convicted. I know I was.

“Do I get an iPad or not?” That is the question many are asking these days.

1. Is this a tool or a toy?

Is this an acute want or an actual need?

While this may seem like a simple question, getting an accurate answer might be harder than we think. Our remaining sin is strong, our hearts are deceitful above all things (Jer. 17:9), and our justifications are often powerful and compelling.

2. What’s the posture of my heart toward this device?

  • Am I just wanting to buy this device because it is new and I want to keep up with the digital Joneses?
  • Am I simply joining the throng of worshipers before our cultural idol of consumerism?
  • Am I defining myself by what I can purchase?
  • Does buying this make me feel more successful? (as in, “My identity is more in my position in this organization than my position in Christ.”)

Many times, as I answer these questions, I have found they lead me to repentance, not the electronics store. They have also exposed the resting place of my true joy and citizenship—I have become more excited by microchips and metal than Jesus.

3. Is this a wise financial move?

  • Tool or toy, can we afford it?
  • If so, is it worth the value it would add to our creation or recreation?
  • Would I feel good about having Jesus with me when I check out?

So can I tell you whether or not you should get an iPad? Nope. …But hopefully you now have some tools in your hand to make a Gospel-informed, wise decision.

Do yourself a favor and check out the whole post here.

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