Thursday, February 21, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
A quick recap of what we talked about:
- A desire that we all have is to be able to fully trust the people in our lives.
- Unfortunately, people let us down and no person or thing in this world can be fully trusted.
- Psalm 146 shows us how we should not put our trust in things that cannot save and that our hope should be fully found in God.
- Ultimately, he is the one that sets the slave free, opens the eyes of the blind, and is a Father to the fatherless.
At the end of the talk I had a couple of questions that were posed that I answered but I have begun to contemplate them more I have come up with what I think are slightly more comprehensive answers.
Should we not trust anyone in this world? Aren't almost all relationships built on a foundation of trust?
The answer to those two questions are yes and yes. Here is what I want to convey on these questions: I am not saying that we shouldn't trust the relationships in our lives but that we shouldn't trust them explictly. Worldly relationships are going to break down at some point in our life but Christ is our Rock and will never change and will never let us down. My marriage would really be a drag if Emily and I never trusted the other person but we cannot be looking for our satisfaction and hope in our marriage relationship.
What if someone continually breaks our trust how should do we continue to love them?
For me the most important thing here is to think about our relationship with Christ. I let him down day after day and yet he continues to love me. Showing Christ to someone means that you love them despite their shortcomings. Does that mean that you have to like the person and continue to trust them with the things in your life? Absolutely not, but the bible does call us to continue to love people that seem unloveable.
I hope this clears up my answers from Sunday night a little bit.
Friday, January 4, 2008
We are going to be talking about resolutions on Sunday in youth group and it should be a fun look at how as Christians we should look at and think about resolutions.
Friday, December 21, 2007
THE VALLEY OF VISION
Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou has brought me to the valley of vision,
Where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights;
Hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox
That the way down is the way up,
That to be low is to be high,
That the broken heart is the healed heart,
That the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
That the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
That to having nothing is to possess all,
That to bear the cross is to wear the crown
That to give is to receive,
That the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
And the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;
Let me find thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin,
Thy riches in my poverty,
Thy glory in my valley.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
As we are thrust into the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, I want to take just a moment to slow down, look around, and help. What is Christmas all about? Ultimately, Christmas is about the God of the universe making the ultimate sacrifice by coming to earth as a man and living the perfect life in order to save us from eternal punishment. Then, why do we fight traffic, mall lines, and deranged parents on this glorious occasion? It is because our culture has created a Christmas in which we are more worried about getting the good picture with Santa, standing in line at 3 am to get a new Wii, and making sure our house has a Clark Griswold amount of lights on it. Are these things bad? Absolutely not but I do think that we need to think about what we are celebrating this wonderful Christmas season.
That is why our youth group has joined a group called the Advent Conspiracy (www.adventconspiracy.org) whose goal it is to put justice, mercy, and compassion back in Christmas. The Advent Conspiracy has four main functions: Worship More, Spend Less, Give More, and Love All. The call here is to find more times to worship, give relational, less expensive gifts, spend the money that you save on a charity or clean water initiative, and find ways to love the people in your life now and those around the world.
As a result of these four things the youth group has decided to do things a little different this year. Instead of having normal Christmas parties, we wanted to find ways to give back to our local community. Our Middle School group brought in tons of clothes to be given away at Good News at Noon and our High School group will be volunteering at a local charity on December 21st (If you would like to be a part contact me and we would love for you to help out). I wanted us to take just a small amount of time and give back to our community in a real and tangible way.
Therefore, this Christmas season I want to encourage you to worship more by taking advantage of the things like Jingle Jazz and the candlelight Christmas Eve service as well as carving out time with your family to worship and reflect the magnitude of Christmas. I want to encourage you to spend less and give more by finding ways to give relational gifts and then spend extra money or time on a clean water initiative (Living Water International) or some other charity. Lastly, let me encourage you to love all. This may mean having to forgive your mom, or love your crazy aunt, or tell your kids you love them but whatever it looks like for you, just love.
Here is a link for a blog post with a couple of ideas for relational gifts/charities.