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Monday, October 30, 2006

It wasn't easy being green...

Sunday was a landmark day for me.

I played a frog in Sunday morning service!

This past Sunday we wrapped up an adult series on "No Perfect People Allowed" and we talked about some of the reasons why people don't feel like they fit in at church... they doubt... they pretend... etc.

This past weekend was on the topic of pretenders. (The idea that in church a lot of the time we pretend to be perfect and have it all together when down inside we really don't.) With Halloween coming up this week, Chris (our Teaching Pastor) got this idea: What if someone (and by someone: me) came out on the stage in a costume and pretended to be Chris teaching the message. When in fact, Chris was backstage. Then Chris would come out and it would be revealed that it wasn't Chris in the costume.

So a plan was hatched...
And it went off awesomely...
I wish that I had a picture for you... but it would have ruined the surprise factor if someone was taking pictures...

Both services were totally fooled. If you could have seen the looks on people's faces (or at least what I could see from behind the head of a giant frog)! It was priceless...

In the end, I disagree with Kermit... It wasn't that hard being green.


JC

Sunday, October 29, 2006

High Voltage Outline October 29, 2006

Weekend Overview:
Attendance: Average
Lesson Topic: Week 3 - Ordinary Heroes... Peter/Peer Pressure
'Fun Factor': Average
Volunteer Involvement: Above average
Music:N/A
Student Involvement in Music: N/A
Lesson Quality: slightly below average
Length of Lesson: 31 minutes
Student Response: average
Overall Night Rating (scale of 1(not good) to 10(awesome)): 5/6

Here's the outline for Sunday night, October 29... See below for some questions and further evaluation.

--------------------
Ordinary Heroes
Week 3 – Peter (Part 2)
High Voltage – October 29, 2006 – Jim Clark
He appointed twelve—designating them apostles—that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons. Mark 3:14-15

Peter gave into peer pressure.
“Peter replied, ‘Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.’ ‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.’ But Peter declared, ‘Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.’ All the other disciples said the same.” Matthew 26:33-35
“Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. ‘You also were with Jesus of Galilee,’ she said. But he denied it before them all. ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about,’ he said. Then he went out to the gateway, where another girl saw him and said to the people there, ‘This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.’ He denied it again, with an oath: ‘I don’t know the man!’ After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, ‘Surely you are one of them, for your accent gives you away.’ Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, ‘I don’t know the man!’ Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: ‘Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.’ And he went outside and wept bitterly.” Matthew 26:69-75

Life is full of decisions.
As long as that’s true, there are going to be those who want to influence your choices.

Fact from Fiction:
FICTION: They’re my friends… They understand me.
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. But their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” Matthew 7:15-16
“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord.’” Jeremiah 23:16
“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1

FACT: Most of the influencers in life don’t have your best interest in mind.
“Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” Matthew 7:17-18, 20

Disciples don’t go the way of the crowd…
Followers follow the crowd… Disciples follow the Master.
“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” Colossians 2:8
“Then we will no longer be infants, toss back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.” Ephesians 4:14
“But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of golf you have set up.” Daniel 3:18
“The highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his life.” Proverbs 16:17

“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
Action Steps:
1. Know who you are.
2. Know who you’re following.
3. Know that some will try to change your path.
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone will come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’” Matt 16:24
The Bottom Line: Peer pressure is part of life… but knowing who you are will help you live in the right direction.

----------------------------
Questions for discussion with your student:
1. Where do you feel like you face the most amount of peer pressure?
2. Who do you feel like the pressure comes from?
3. What is one way that i can help you when you face peer pressure?
4. Are there some changes that might need to be made in your life so that you aren't faced with these sorts of pressures?

----------------------------
Overall the evening went well. We have a few new faces; that's always exciting. The message could have used a little somthing. Parts of it were really good... other parts were not so good...

We were full strength tonight with volunteers. That's always awesome.

Overall it was a good night.

JC

Saturday, October 28, 2006

New 24 Season!!!! Season 6 preview!!!

Hey all,
I don't know if you're 24 fans... I am a total fan.
A friend sent this link to a 24 Season 6 preview. If you're a fan, you don't have a choice. You have to go and check it out.

It looks awesome!!!

JC

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Interesting article

Here's a link to an interesting article that I stumbled onto today from Josh Griffin's blog (thanks Josh) about teenagers and the reasons behind their church attendance.

Part of what interested me was the personal connection that many of them seem to feel in why they continue coming to church. The top reason, if I'm reading the survey correctly, is because they feel a strong connection to their youth leader.

The question there for me seems to be, "Why don't they feel a strong connection to Christ?" And "How do we empress on them the necessity to come to church because they feel a strong connection to Christ and want to worship God, not because their youth pastor is fun or caring?"

Another question that interested me was that students' relationships with their youth leaders impacted their choices in drugs and alcohol, but not in sexuality choices.

If you have interactions on this article, feel free to post them.

JC

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Ministry Mutiny


I just finished reading "Ministry Mutiny" by Greg Stier.

It's a pretty interesting read. At first, I was a little skeptical. Mostly because I've read books like this before. This was quoted as a "youth leader fable." And most of the time, they start out like a fable and end up like a commerical. But this one didn't.

It is basically about 6 principles that can help student ministries become more dangerous.

Here is a rundown of the 6 principles:
1. Listen for God's whisper... Taking/Making the time to spend in God's word... Listening for God's leading through the power of the Holy Spirit.
2. Get Real... Don't be afraid to deal with real issues and have conversations about real topics in student ministry. Students are looking for real and authentic conversations that lead to real answers.
3. Go Wide... There is a world out there that needs to hear about God's love and his Son. Train the students and then turn them loose to witness to their world.
4. Go Deep... Take discipleship deep in teaching students about God... how to figure out what to believe... how to back it up. This only comes through true discipleship.
5. No More Outsourcing... Empower, encourage and expect parents to take the lead with their teenagers by living the Christian life and talking to them about living it. Deuteronomy 6 families...
6. Build on values, not fads... God's principles are timeless and we should build our ministries on these rather than on passing fads of postmodernism... worship, fellowship, evangelism, discipleship and ministry.

Overall it was a good read. It read like a fiction, mixed with some thought provoking times of consideration. I would recommend it.


JC

Matthew 16:23

Jesus comes to the disciples and asks them a question... "Who do people say that I am?" Honest question. Most of us like to know what other's opinions are of us. What are they thinking? Is it true? Does it illuminate some quality about me that needs to change?

I'm sure for Jesus, he had heard people talking and was curious what the consensus was among the people. A couple of the disciples said... "Some are saying John the Baptist... Some of saying Elijah or Jeremiah or another of the prophets." I'm sure that was insightful information for Jesus.

But then Jesus cuts to the chase... "Who do you think that I am?"

That's a question that we've all got to answer in our lives. Who or what is Jesus Christ? The answer to that question defines a lot of the rest of your life. If Jesus is who he said he is, then another choice is required: Follow him or Don't follow him. Following him requires some lifestyle changes. Not following him shouldn't require any changes but it does put you in an awkward position (What if you're wrong?). But if Jesus isn't who he said he is, then you're kinda back to the postion above where no changes need to be made but you have to wonder what if you're wrong and he really is who he said he is...

But then Peter goes on to say the words that might be more memorable than most in the New Testament. "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God." Pretty impressive statement there. Jesus goes on to tell Peter that God must have told him this information, not that that's bad or anything.

All of that is the contecty of verse 23. Because Jesus goes on to tell the disciples what's about to happen to him. That he is going to go to Jerusalem, that he's going to suffer many things, that he's going to be arrested. And finally that he's going to be killed and raised from the dead on the third day.

This information didn't jive with what Peter knows about the Messiah. So he tells Jesus that he must have it wrong.

Then Jesus said something to Peter that really jumped out at me today: "Jesus turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.'" (NIV)

This spawned a few questions in me:
Do I have in mind the things of God or the things of men?
Does Jesus ever feel that I'm in the way of what he's trying to do and would rather that I get behind him?
Am I ever guilty of being in front of God and in the way?
Are there things in my ministry to students that are of men, rather than of God?
How do you know for sure that the things that you are doing are of God and not of men?

Part of what made me think this is that Peter probably thought he was exhibiting good leadership. He knew the direction, or so he thought. But he was wrong. Good intentions and leadership weren't what Jesus was looking for. Rather good listening and following is what he expected.

We look back now at Peter's example and think: "Silly Peter... of course you are wrong and Jesus is right." But we see it from hindsight. We know the rest of the story and how it all turns out. But to be there in Peter's position, I'm not sure that I wouldn't make the same mistake. Part of me wonders if I ever make or are making the same mistake on a day in and day out basis. If Peter could make that mistake and he was standing face to face, toe to toe, eye to eye with God in the flesh and he made that mistake, who's to say that I wouldn't (given I can't see his face, toes or eyes physically).

???

No answers here... Just questions and thoughts...


JC

Sporting a new hat...


Last night I tried wearing my cat as a hat... (Sounds a little Dr. Seuss-ish) She didn't like it too much... but we snapped a picture anyway.

Monday, October 23, 2006

High Voltage Outline - Oct 22, 2006

Here are the notes from High Voltage on October 22, 2006.

The topic was Pride and Peter (the apostle). It was week 2 of the Ordinary Heroes series...


-------------
Ordinary Heroes
Week 2 – Peter
High Voltage – October 22, 2006 – Jim Clark
He appointed twelve—designating them apostles—that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons. Mark 3:14-15

Pride is a problem
Pride is an excessively high opinion of one’s self.

Pride will get you into trouble.
Peter
After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" Matthew 14:23-31
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7
They will spread out their hands in it, as a swimmer spreads out his hands to swim. God will bring down their pride despite the cleverness of their hands. Isaiah 25:11

Pride will lead to pain.
A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor. Proverbs 29:23
The proud and arrogant man-"Mocker" is his name; he behaves with overweening pride. Proverbs 21:4
To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. Proverbs 8:13
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud. Proverbs 16:18-19

Pride is one thing that God hates.
He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble. Proverbs 3:34
There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes (pride), a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood. Proverbs 6:16-17

Two Cures for Pride:
-Studying God’s Word
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. Luke 6:47-48

-Serving Others
All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 1 Peter 5:5-6

Action Steps:
1. Identify the pride spots in your life.
2. Intentionally take steps to eliminate them.
3. Invest in a lifestyle of humility.

The Bottom Line:
Pride is an easy problem to develop… Don’t let it keep you from following Christ.

----------
Follow up discussion questions for parents of students:
(Part of the idea here is to post some questions that might spawn some conversation between parents and students about the message topic. It would be ideal if parents would schedule some time to talk with their students about the topic.)
1. In what areas of life do you see pride showing up in your day to day world?
2. In what areas of your life do you see pride showing up?
3. What do you think the difference is between pride and confidence?
4. Do you think a person can be confident without being prideful?
5. What is one way that you are dealing with your pride problem?

----------
Weekend Overview:
Attendance: average
Lesson Topic: Week 2 - Ordinary Heroes... Peter/Pride
'Fun Factor': Average
Volunteer Involvement: Above average
Music: average
Student Involvement in Music: above average
Lesson Quality: slighty above average
Length of Lesson: 34 minutes
Student Response: average
Overall Night Rating (scale of 1(not good) to 10(awesome)): 7
-----------

Last night we seemed to rebound a lot from the privious week. Attendance was back up (both volunteers and students). It was a music night... which seems to always add some good vibrations.

Overall, it was a good night.



JC

Friday, October 20, 2006

Matthew 9:37-38

I was reading this today... I've read it before... but in light of our current needs, this has become my prayer for today.

Matthew 9:37-38

"Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest fields.'" NIV

We could use some more workers, Lord... Send out some more...


JC
The Evolution Of Beauty

I saw this on another's blog the other day... It's amazing what they can do with a photograph and 10 hours of makeup and hair. I downloaded this video and we'll use it early in the spring when we talk about sex at High Voltage...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Could it be true?

The myspace revolution is truly taking over... In fact, there's probably a good chance that you got here (my blog) from here (my myspace page).

This morning, I discovered that John Maxwell has a myspace page as well... Here's a link to it... It just kinda made me chuckle...


JC

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Go Bears Go

Monday night was an incredible night.

I was very disappointed as the game started... through Halftime I was a little more interested in my Hebrew homework than the Bears game. Mostly because Arizona was telling them all about it. I was almost set to go to bed with about 7 minutes to go in the game (realize that I have to get up at 4 am to get ready to leave for Lincoln)... but I decided to stay up. Then they started to come on... Finally, they choked on a field goal that would have won them the game... but the Bears come away with a close one...
Here's a link to the story if you missed (the best game of the year) it:
http://www.chicagobears.com/news/NewsStory.asp?story_id=2548

Great Game Bears...
They are Super Bowl Bound!!!


JC

Sunday, October 15, 2006

High Voltage Outline - Oct 15, 2006

Wow...

Here is tonight's outline...

See below for a rundown of how the night went...


Ordinary Heroes
Week 1 – Intro and Matthew
High Voltage – October 15, 2006 – Jim Clark
He appointed twelve—designating them apostles—that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons. Mark 3:14-15

A Disciple:
One who stays close to Jesus.
One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grain fields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?" Mark 2:23-24

One who is sent out on a mission.
Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits. They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. Mark 6:7, 12-13

One who lives with purpose and power.
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8

Jesus invited and they followed.
Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
-They didn’t have any special training or skills or a common background.

-They did stay close to Jesus, learned constantly and make mistakes.
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13

i.e. Matthew (left a dishonest life to follow The Truth)
As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. Matthew 9:9-10
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
Dishonesty is deceitfulness in someone’s character or actions.
Honest scales and balances are from the Lord; all weights in the bag are off his making. Proverbs 16:11
An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips. Proverbs 24:26

Action Steps:
1. Regardless of your past, understand that God can change your future.

2. Realize that you can be a disciple of Jesus.

3. Recognize others who are waiting be invited to follow Christ.

The Bottom Line: The disciples weren’t extraordinary people, just ordinary heroes following an extraordinary Savior.


+++++++++++++++++
Weekend Overview:
Attendance: Below average...

Lesson Topic: Week 1 - Ordinary Heroes... Matthew
'Fun Factor': Average
Volunteer Involvement: Way Below Average
Music: N/A
Student Involvement in Music: n/a
Lesson Quality: average
Length of Lesson: 32 minutes
Student Response: below average
Overall Night Rating (scale of 1(not good) to 10(awesome)): 4
++++++++++++++++
Tonight we started a new series, based in part on the "Heroes" TV show on NBC that started this season. The series is pretty interesting... We're talking about the disciples who followed Jesus and how we can be disciples as well...

But we played a game... which seemed like a good idea before we started... called "Straw Towers." In this game, we gave each table a couple of rolls of tape and a couple of bags of straws. The object was to create the largest and strongest tower that they could. Elisabeth, Marisela, Jared, Amanda and Ravynn won. They created an awesome tower... I'll try to post a picture of it tomorrow... the digital camera cord is at home...
But then several middle schoolers and a few others couldn't put down the tape or the straws... to the point where I was almost ready to get off the stage and forget the message. Which is really hard... considering the time that I put into these messages.

But sometimes I wonder... "Does anybody get it?" Several students were pretty dialed in tonight... that's just about the only thing that kept me going... if there weren't there, i would have called it off.

Not the best night in my book... This is one of those nights when I find myself hoping that God's Holy Spirit is doing something that I can't see, hear or perceive... Come Holy Spirit!!


JC

Adios: Audio Adrenaline




Last night was incredible. Jackie and I journied (and it was a journey... first, we got lost about 3 times... the road we needed to take was closed... and when we finally arrived, the line was around the building to get in...) to the MercyMe/Audio Adrenaline "Coming Up To Breathe" Tour in Hoffman Estates.

The show was incredible. Phil Wickam opened... I could have skipped that. But then, Audio Adrenaline came out and rocked the house for 45 minutes of intense Audio A hits. Here are a few photos from the night...




Mark reminded the crowd that their music has been all about God...













This was taken during "Hands and Feet"... one of Audio A's biggest hits...
















I remember it well... July 1993... Orlando Florida... North American Christian Convention... Audio Adrenaline caught my attention because they did a song called, "If you're happy and you know it... bang your head..." I was hooked...


Thanks Mark!!







MercyMe came out and rocked the house for almost 90 minutes...














It was a great show...









JC

Thursday, October 12, 2006

it snowed this morning...

It's officially October 12th and we had snow this morning...

I actually had to drive through it to get to the church this morning and there were a few flakes out there a little bit ago... not nearly enough to ski... but enough to get me started thinking about it.

I love snow...


JC

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

my family finally came...

We've been living here in Batavia for about 18 months and my family finally made the trip up. It was a great weekend too...

My mom, dad and sister flew up from Columbus, Ohio, which was a pretty big deal because my mom had never been on an airplane before. But she seemed to handle it fine while complaining that the landing was bumpy... But I'm thinking, "If you've never flown before, how do you know what a bumpy landing is like?"

On Saturday we went into Chicago... visited Shedd Aquarium, Navy Pier and the Magnificent Mile. We had dinner at Bubba Gump's on the Pier. All in all, it was a great weekend. They flew back on Monday...

Here are a few photos of the weekend:

The weather was beautiful... it couldn't have been a better day.















Here's the whole family at Navy Pier on the USS Chicago Anchor:
















Here's Mom, Dad, Addy and Jackie hanging out at the end of the pier:














We enjoyed a great dinner at Bubba Gumps:















And I took this picture off the end of the pier and just liked it... so I thought I'd post it too...

















All together... it was a great weekend. And I'm glad they finally came to visit us...

JC

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

High Voltage Outline - Oct 8, 2006

iLive
Week 6 – iServe
Jim Clark – October 8, 2006 – High Voltage
Jesus said… “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they (you) may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

Definition: Serving means using your uniqueness to meet needs with love.
If you think you are too important to help someone in need, you are only fooling yourself. You are really a nobody. Galatians 6:3 (NLT)
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

You are gifted.
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. 1 Pet. 4:10
We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; Romans 12:6-7
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:4
S Spiritual Gifts
H Heart
A Abilities
P Personality
E Experiences

You can make a difference:
-In the Church
So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church. 1 Corinthians 14:12
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. Galatians 5:13
-Local (Fox Valley Christian Church)
-Global (The Church Universal)

-In the Community
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men. Ephesians 6:7

-In the World
You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:13, 16

Action Steps:
1. Discover what you have to offer.

2. Determine to find a place to serve.

3. Don’t quit looking for places to serve.

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations (SHARE), baptizing them (BUILD) in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything (GROW) I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20
Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God (WELCOME) with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor (SERVE) as yourself.' Matthew 22:37-39

The Bottom Line: Only you can make your unique difference in the church and to the world.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Weekend Overview:
Attendance: Above average

Lesson Topic: Week 6 - iLive - Service and Ministry
'Fun Factor': Average
Volunteer Involvement: Average
Music: Average
Student Involvement in Music: below average
Lesson Quality: Below average
Length of Lesson: 35 minutes
Student Response: Above average

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I realize that "average" is a relative term. I use the term "average" in the context of our normal Sunday night happenings. Plus, this is an attempt at some self-evaluation.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Several students responded to the idea of "making a difference in the world." Especially to the aspect of adopting a child through Compassion International or Adopting a Missionary... More to come on that in the future...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Amish show the Christian community true forgiveness

Last night, I sat and watched the news as I always do.

But I was struck by the story about the PA gunman who entered an Amish School and killed 5 before killing himself. The feature of the story was that the Amish people are forgiving this man of what he's done and even invited his widow to the funeral services.

Here's the last paragraph from the usually avoided CNN:
"I don't think there's anybody here that wants to do anything but forgive and not only reach out to those who have suffered a loss in that way but to reach out to the family of the man who committed these acts," he told CNN.

Here's a link to this story: http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/10/03/amish.shooting/

As I thought about this: "If my daughter had been killed in that school, would I have been so quick to forgive? Or would my reaction be more vengeful?" My guess is that it would be more violent and less forgiving...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

High Voltage Outline - Oct 1, 2006 - iShare

I thought I'd try something different... for me that is... I know others are doing it. But I thought I'd try posting some of my message outlines for parents who might be interested in what we're talking about at High Voltage and might not be able to get the material from their students.

Feel free to email me if you have questions:


iLive
Week 5 – iShare
Jim Clark – October 1, 2006 – High Voltage
Jesus said… “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they (you) may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10
What is evangelism? Def: Sharing the message of the gospel with those who don’t know it.

What keeps us from sharing?
-Fear -Self-Doubt -Culture -Lack of answers

Why should you share?
1. God’s love for us.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10
We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19
2. Compassion for the Lost.
The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. Matthew 25:40
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36
3. Fear/Excitement for Judgment Day.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 2 Corinthians 5:10-11
4. Urgency
Snatch others from the fire and save them… Jude 23

A Pattern for Sharing: E-Sharing
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8
Pray for a friend

Pursue relationships

Persuade
Welcome, Believe, Build, Grow, Share.
Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. Romans 10:1
After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. Acts 4:31

Action Steps:
1. Start with one friend.

2. Take a step that you can do.

3. Keep sharing no matter the results.

The Bottom Line: Sharing God’s good news with the world is everyone’s responsibility.

Not enough time in the day

It seems to me that every day I get the same 24 hour time block... not only does it seem, but it's true. But for some reason, I can't seem to be finished all that I wish I could. My homework doesn't get completely finished... my to-do list at church continues to grow... projects are left unattempted...

Thankfully, tomorrow is another day and another chance to get another 24 hours. We'll see what happens...