Monday, November 27, 2006

High Voltage Outline - Nov 26, 2006

Attendance: Average
Lesson Topic: Week 1 - Tis the Season... Thankfulness
'Fun Factor': Above Average
Volunteer Involvement: Average
Music: Above Average
Student Involvement in Music: Above Average
Lesson Quality: Average
Length of Lesson: 20 minutes
Student Response: average
Overall Night Rating (scale of 1(not good) to 10(awesome)): 6

Overall the night was pretty good. The only problem was we seemed to have a train wreck with the computer every time we turned around. Half of the powerpoint game didn't get imported right, so we lost some of the questions. The message powerpoint was messed up. It's little things like that that attempt to derail a night.

But it was a good night for one HUGE reason... Kyle Reimers (a 6th grader in our group) had given his life to Christ at our Fall Retreat a couple of weekends ago... he was obedient in baptism last night. So, that was most excellent.

Here's last night's outline:
‘Tis the Season
November 26, 2006 – High Voltage – Jim Clark
Week 1
I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. Psalm 34:1-3
Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare. Psalm 40:5

Things to be thankful for (King David’s Thanksgiving List):
His love.
Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion. Psalm 103:2-4
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

His concern for all people.
The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. Psalm 103:6
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony and then the end will come. Matthew 24:14

His forgiveness.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:11-12
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift. 2 Corinthians 9:15

His grace.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse nor will be harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. Ps 103:8-10
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:13-14
Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:35-36

His continuing nature.
But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children – with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. Psalm 103:17-18
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like the shifting shadows. James 1:17

Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will. Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere his dominion. Praise the Lord, O my soul. Psalm 103:20-22
How to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude:
1. Make time for reflection.

2. Be honest with yourself and have the right perspective.

3. Make thankfulness a part of your lifestyle.

The Bottom Line: Thanksgiving is a great time of the year to slow down and thank God for the incredible stuff He’s done for us.

Discussion questions:
1. What is the thing in your life that you are most thankful for?
2. What, in your relationship with God, are you most thankful for?
3. How can you practically begin to include more thankfulness in your relationship with God and with others?



Sunday, November 26, 2006

things I'm thankful for...

Things I'm thankful for...

Fox Valley Christian Church...
Our students...
My friends...
A great team of volunteers...
My health...
An opportunity to serve God with my talents...
Da Bears...

Just a few of the things that I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving season.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Bulldogs run is done...

The Batavia Bulldogs took a tough loss today at the hands of the Normal Community Ironmen for the 6A State Championship 30-20. Near the end of the first half, Batavia lost it's starting quarterback... which was hard. But the sophomore brought them back and gave them a chance to win near the end. But it just wasn't enough.

Here's a link to the article.

Good Job Dawgs!!


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

What I'm reading...

Here's what I'm reading. Here's a link to the best place to buy it... (If you're going to buy it, buy it from my friends... you'll get it cheaper.) It looks like its going to be a good read, but I'm only a couple of chapters into it. Most on "What Matters Most" later...


Monday, November 20, 2006

Great Article in Time... Thanks Jared

Here's a link to a story that I just came across yesterday, thanks to Jared (one of my Sunday night leaders) who handed to it me.

Here's a chunk:
"As the exodus has increased, churches are trying to reverse the flow by focusing less on amusement and more on Scripture. When Chris Reed failed to convert a single youngster during one 12-month period soon after taking over as youth minister at Calvary in 1995, he decided to restructure his young people's program by adding both larger doses of doctrine and closer adult mentoring. Now, religious instruction, based on a model developed by youth pastors at Rick Warren's Saddleback Church, centers on five Christian principles--evangelism, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and worship.

There's still some fun, games and live-band music in the mix at Calvary, but every youth activity, from scavenger hunts to prayer meetings to scrubbing floors and donating food and clothes at Los Angeles homeless shelters, must relate to one of the principles. Additionally, Reed recruited parents and young adults like Jones to forge bonds with small groups of six to eight teens. The grownups lead weekly Bible studies, help plan missionary trips and monitor the high schoolers' emotional and spiritual well-being with frequent phone calls and face-to-face encounters outside of church. Since Reed's overhaul six years ago, the total youth rolls--including the reconstituted Sunday school and college programs--have grown from 70 to more than 200. In 2003, a record 64 teens accepted Christ as their savior at Calvary. "We're healthy spiritually," Reed says. He adds that even adults who once thought teen members had little to contribute and needed baby sitting welcome their involvement in all church activities."

Chris Reed is a personal friend of mine and guy associated with the same Saddleback "Gathering" of youth workers that I'm a part of. It was incredible to be reading this article and then run across the name of someone that I know! Chris is doing an incredible job running a similiar Student Ministry to what we're running.

God is leading his people back to his purposes!! It's incredible!


Sunday, November 19, 2006

High Voltage Outline - Nov 19, 2006

Weekend Overview:
Attendance: Average
Lesson Topic: Week 6 - Ordinary Heroes... James and John struggling with selfishness.
'Fun Factor': Above Average
Volunteer Involvement: Above Average
Music: N/A
Student Involvement in Music: N/A
Lesson Quality: below average
Length of Lesson: 30 minutes
Student Response: average
Overall Night Rating (scale of 1(not good) to 10(awesome)): 5

Here's tonight's outline about James and John and their selfish request to Jesus:

Ordinary Heroes
Week 6 – James and John
High Voltage – November 19, 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

One important question to ask:
Who’s most important in your life?
Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God 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 as yourself.’” Matt 22:37-39

James and John’s priorities were messed up.
Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. "Teacher," they said, "we want you to do for us whatever we ask." "What do you want me to do for you?" he asked. Mark 10:35-36
He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble. Proverbs 3:34

They made a request that was selfish and self-centered.
They replied, "Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory." "You don't know what you are asking," Jesus said. "Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?" "We can," they answered. Jesus said to them, "You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared." Mark 10:37-40

This request hurt their relationship with the other disciples.
When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. Mark 10:41

Jesus showed the true way to life.
Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:42-45

The True Path to life:
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men. Ephesians 6:7

I (Jesus) tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. Matthew 11:11
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. James 3:13
Do not exalt yourself in the king's presence, and do not claim a place among great men; it is better for him to say to you, "Come up here," than for him to humiliate you before a nobleman. Proverbs 25:6-7

Others First Attitude
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Philippians 2:3
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10

Action Steps:
1. Access who is central in your life.

2. Make the commitment to putting others first.

3. Recognize the concerns that are all around you.

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. Luke 14:11
The Bottom Line: We can lift ourselves up… which will give short-term glory…
Or God can lift us up… that will give us eternal glory.

Discussion Questions:
1. Who/What is central and most important in your life?
2. Is that a path that you want to pursue in your life or do you want to go in a different direction? Explain your answer.
3. What is one way that you could begin to put others first?
4. What would be the hardest thing about putting others first?
5. Is it worth it? Why or why not?


Tonight was a little off... it might have just been me... but the game was awesome!! And really funny.


Bulldogs roll on!!!

Batavia 28 - Geneva 0

Batavia High School will move onto the State Championship downstate on Saturday!!! What an incredible game. Batavia gave them a pretty good licking for playoff semifinal match up. Here's a story about the beating.


Friday, November 17, 2006

Go Bulldogs!!

Go Bulldogs!!! Go Bulldogs!!! I've got 2 tickets to the big game... Go Bulldogs!!!

Here's a story about the big game on Saturday night.

People Need a life...

This craziness over the new PS3 is out of control. Here's a story from a local retailer of Best Buy. People hanging around in cars... pitching tents... do these people have lives???

I even heard this morning on the drive in to the office that one person was hurt at a Wal-Mart in Wisconsin when they opened the doors and showed them 10 seats that guaranteed them a PS3... wow...

Don't these people realize that in 3 months you'll be able to buy all the PS3's you can carry... and they'll play just the same that they do today... and there isn't much chance of getting hurt over one.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Nativity Story - Movie Trailer

This looks pretty awesome. We are planning to go and see it with the students for our Christmas Party... given that it's going to be shown here.

Looks awesome!


Blog Correction...

Correction to an early blog...

The Batavia buttkicking of Geneva is scheduled for Saturday evening. It was previously posted that it was Friday night. Here is a link to a reent Kane County Chronicle article about the upcoming blockbuster!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Devin Hester does it again

The Bears are back!! And this was an incredible play... if you missed this game, you might have missed one of the best games of the year.

Super Bowl Bound BABY!!

turning 50!!!

This post will turn my blog 50!!!

50 posts under my belt... now, where's the cake???


visiting a different church, part 2

This is the final paper that I turned in about my experience visiting the Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church... enjoy...

Roman Catholic Church
Holy Cross Catholic Church
November 11, 2006, 4:15 pm Mass
Pat Haviland, High School Youth Minister
My wife and I decided to visit Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church in Batavia. This church is near Fox Valley Christian Church so I drive past this church regularly. We arrived early, to a mostly empty parking lot. As we came into the building, no one greeted us. There were plenty of pictures and icons of religious figures on the wall. The church was very quiet.
While waiting for the Mass to begin two ideas stuck out to me. The first observation was the number of icons around the sanctuary of the church. Later while talking with Pat, I learned Holy Cross has more icons than most. Aside from the very central and prominent crucifix in the center of the stage, there were also very prominent icons of Mary, the mother of Jesus and Joseph. In addition to these, the fifteen stages of the cross were present around the room as with many other pictures, statues and icons that were unrecognizable to me. This is very different from the single cross that exists in the worship center of my church.
The second observation I had was the silence before the service. When we walked in, everyone was very quietly waiting for the service to begin. There was a reverence in the air. The silence reminded me more of a funeral than the typical chatter that fills the air in my church on a Sunday morning before the worship service.
As the Mass began I felt uncomfortable, a feeling that lasted through the entire service. The people around us knew when to stand, when to sit, when to kneel, what to recite and how to respond. At different points in the Mass, the entire congregation recited the Nicean Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. As one who has never participated in this type of a service before, it was somewhat unsettling and uncomfortable to be unaware of what was coming next. My wife and I felt like intruders in a foreign land.
Several aspects of the Mass were remarkably different from the church I attend. One very intriguing difference was the Eucharist. Having never been to a Roman Catholic Church before, I was somewhat unprepared for witnessing the way they do the Lord’s Supper.
The priest meticulously organized his cups, towels, plates and other items. Everyone, including me, was glued to every move Reverend Barr made as he poured the juice, placed the towels, and read from the Scriptures. As the reverend would approach a part of the preparation that was important, a bell would ring either one time or three times. This act, as I found out later by talking with Pat, was to call attention to a very special part of the preparations. This practice was revived from the past when the services were done in Latin. Since people could not understand the Latin, they would ring the bell to draw attention to what was occurring. After the preparations, the whole congregation was invited to come up and participate in the remembrance. Again, I felt awkward as my wife and I stayed seated as others got up, quietly walked to the end of their pew, got into line down the center aisle of the sanctuary and patiently waited for their chance to participate in “the body and blood of the Lord.” The serving of the Lord’s Supper, from start to finish, must have lasted at least twenty-five minutes.
It was refreshing and energizing to see the kind of focus that was given to something so central to our faith as the Lord’s Supper. Often in Protestant churches, communion feels like a race rather than an intimate time of focus on our Lord and his sacrifice on the cross. Communion is prepared in another room of the church, usually the night before the worship service, and then placed in a refrigerator until it is needed in the service. Never is it prepared in full view of the congregation. Following a meditation that cannot last longer than five minutes, it is served as rapidly as possible so we can move onto the next element of the service. Our Communion seems rushed and pressured compared to the slow and intentional method of Holy Cross.
A second difference of Mass was a lack of a multimedia in the service and the absence of a projection screen or other discernable multimedia tools. In most churches, the most obvious thing in the sanctuary is the projection screen. In the sanctuary at Holy Cross, the most central and obvious thing in the room was the approximate 20-foot crucifix on the wall behind the stage. In thinking about the lack of a multimedia tools, I wondered how a church could interact with it’s culture without these seemingly indispensable tools.
A third difference was in the choice or tradition of music. The congregation sang to simply a piano. The songs that we sang were songs that Jackie and I were not even familiar with from our church tradition. In fact, as we walked into the building, we could hear the sound of organ music. One of the attendees commented to us as to who was playing the organ as though they didn’t use it very often. But being a member of a congregation that makes use of a full range of musical instruments, including guitars, drums and keyboards, and technological devices, like iPods and computers, it seemed very plain with only the piano.
Finally, the homily was very different from what we experience in a Protestant church. Reverend Barr, one of the two Parochial Vicars at Holy Cross, did not look to impress with lengthy illustrations or “preacher jokes.” The message revolved completely around two passages of Scripture, I Kings 17:10-16 and Mark 12:38-44, read from the Lectionary readings read earlier in the Mass. As someone who is accustomed to a typical sermon, the homily seemed to conclude before it had really begun.
As mentioned, I have never attended Mass before. Thinking about going to church, naturally I brought my Bible. Before the homily as the readers were reading from the Lectionary, no one seemed to reach for a Bible. There were no Bibles in the back of the row in front of me. During the homily, no one reached for a Bible in order to look up the verses that Father Barr was referencing. As I looked around, I realized that no one had even brought a Bible to Mass. I felt suddenly out of place again as I considered opening my Bible to read along with him. Although some elements were the same, they were done in a very different manner.
Following the Mass, Jackie and I sat down and had a conversation with Pat Haviland, Holy Cross’ High School Youth Minister. Sitting down with Pat was a great chance not only to have some questions answered but also to network with another local youth worker. My questions for Pat revolved around two areas.
The first area of questions arose directly from the Mass itself. Having never been to Mass, some of their practices were very unfamiliar to me. For instance, Reverend Barr was wearing a green robe. Reverend Deutsch, the “Senior” priest, came up during the Eucharist to assist Reverend Barr. Reverend Deutsch was wearing a green sash. Also the cloths that contained certain elements of the Eucharist were green. Following the Mass, I questioned Pat about the significance of green. He was surprised by the question but explained that green is just the color of “ordinary time” in which the Roman Catholic Church finds itself.
The second area of questions that I had for Pat were questions about the church, it’s leadership and staff relationships, and especially the youth ministry at Holy Cross. As I found out, the student ministries of Holy Cross and Fox Valley Christian Church are not as different as one would assume. Obviously there are some major differences in theology and beliefs, yet some of the weekly habits and traditions of our student ministries are very similar.
Hopefully, this experience was just an initial visit and this conversation with Pat will spawn some more conversations as we can learn from one another. I would like to build on this connection in order to learn from each other as we both serve the community of Batavia.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Friday Night is going to be a HUGE night!!!

I haven't had a chance to make it a high school football game yet this year... but I'm glad I saved it for this one.

Friday night, two local rivals meet on the field for the second time this year. (Check out the story.).

Local Batavia High School and Local Geneva High School will meet again. The Class 6A semifinals will be incredible and I'm planning to be there...

Go Bulldogs!!!
The Spider-Man 3 Trailer

This trailer looks awesome. I missed it on TV the other night, but found it on YouTube... I can hardly wait until summer!!!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

High Voltage Outline - Nov 12, 2006

Weekend Overview:
Attendance: Average
Lesson Topic: Week 5 - Ordinary Heroes... Thomas/Dealing with Doubt
'Fun Factor': Average
Volunteer Involvement: Average
Music: N/A
Student Involvement in Music: N/A
Lesson Quality: above average
Length of Lesson: 40 minutes
Student Response: above average
Overall Night Rating (scale of 1(not good) to 10(awesome)): 6


Ordinary Heroes
Week 5 – Thomas
High Voltage – November 12, 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

What is doubt?
A feeling of uncertainty or a lack of total belief.

God isn’t afraid of doubt or questions.
When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Matthew 28:17
Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it." A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" John 20:24-28

Doubt won’t go away on its own. You got to figure out where it comes from:
-Intellectual (Go to the Bible)
Test everything. Hold on to the good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21
Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11

-Emotional (Go for honesty)
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8

-Moral (Go for wisdom)
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

Doubt can lead to some good things.
-Deeper Understanding
For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6

-Stronger Faith
Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." Matthew 21:21-22

-Honesty and Integrity
Righteousness guards the man of integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner. Proverbs 13:6

Action Steps for Thomases:
1. Ask someone you trust for help.

2. Be honest with yourself.

3. Consider it a chance to grow.

4. Do the hard work of dealing with what you find.

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12
The Bottom Line: Dealing with doubt will lead you deeper in your relationship with God.

Discussion questions based on tonight's lesson:
1. Is there a particular area of your relationship with God where you experience doubt? What is it?
2. Are your doubts more intellectual, emotional or moral? Explain.
3. Which do you do more often: Deal with your doubt or bury it in hopes of it going away?
4. If you were to write your own personal action step for tonight’s topic, what would it be?

Tonight was a good night. Attendance was good... although I never know how good until I start breaking down the numbers on Monday morning. But overall, the night had a good feel to it. A couple of students brought some new friends; that's always encouraging.

Overall... a good night.


Visiting a different church

As part of a school project for Lincoln, on Saturday I attended my first Mass at a Roman Catholic Church. We, Jackie and I, visited Holy Cross Church here in Batavia, just down the street from Fox Valley.

It was an interesting experience. In fact, I am currently working on a paper about my experience that I will post here once I finish it this week. That will give you more detail.

But one thing that jumped out at me was the way that we were (not) greeted when we walked in. It gave me a new perspective on new folks who visit our student ministry. When we walked in, we had no idea where to go, where to sit, where the bathrooms were, what was going to happen or anything.

In fact, when we walked in, I did everything I could to try to draw attention to myself. We were visiting as part of this class and so in that visit, I was supposed to meet with a staff member. I had contacted their student minister and had set up the opportunity, but I wanted to meet him before the Mass. But I had no idea where his office was, or where any of the offices were. So I attempted to look as obviously lost as I possibly could to draw attention to myself. I looked around. I stopped in unusual places. I looked at the brochures that were near the entrance. I did everything I could think of.

Finally, I had to approach one of the greeters near the door and ask. Both of them seemed stunned that someone didn't know where to go.

The thought that I had to myself was this: "No matter how hard we think we are trying to make our church friendly to new visiters, we probably aren't doing enough." Especially in the area of student ministry. We need to go out of our way and bend over backwards to try to make people feel at home.

Just a thought...
More on this coming this week after I finish the paper.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Waiting on the World to Change

This is a pretty cool video done by a church about reaching out and noticing those around us. It was a good reminder.

PDYM Community Lunch

Yesterday was a great day. Yesterday we hosted, here at Fox Valley Christian, a local PDYM Community gathering. There weren't very many folks here... but it was a great chance to connect with a new youth worker, Jason.

Overall the event was good. We talked about "What's strong in our ministries right now." We also talked about what is in need of prayer. The conversation was great. It was easy and natural. It actually felt like we had been friends for years.

I can't wait until next Spring.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

High Voltage Outline - November 5, 2006

Weekend Overview:
Attendance: Average
Lesson Topic: Week 4 - Ordinary Heroes... Philip/Getting in the Game
'Fun Factor': Average
Volunteer Involvement: Above average
Music: Way above average (Kraig's group Conscience Striken was up from Johnson)
Student Involvement in Music: way above average
Lesson Quality: above average
Length of Lesson: ** minutes
Student Response: average
Overall Night Rating (scale of 1(not good) to 10(awesome)): 7

Todd taught this lesson... and he did a great job I might add.
Kraig's band (Conscience Striken) was here from Johnson. They led the group in worship and did a great job!!

Here's a copy of the outline. And check out the discussion questions below...

Ordinary Heroes
Week 4 – Philip
High Voltage – November 5th, 2006 – Jim look alike
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

Philip answered the question, but missed the test.
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
Philip answered him, “Eight months ‘wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

What do you really know? This world’s reality does not apply to the Son of God.

If you are willing to not stand on the sidelines of life (where it is safe), then God will put you in the game (which is under fire).
Acts 8: 4-8 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many , and many paralytics and cripples were healed. So there was great joy in that city.

Acts 8:26-39 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road – the desert road – that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. “How can I,” he said, ‘unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. The eunuch ws reading this passage of Scripture: He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.
The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.

1 Cor 1:27-29 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
Who is Jim Abbott or Tom Dempsey?

Trying to use common sense with an Uncommon God.
1 Cor 15:27 For he has put everything under his feet. “Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

What do we have mastery over? God has mastery over …. Everything.
Judges 7:2-7 The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave mount Gilead.’ So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained…….. The Lord said to Gideon, “ With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the other men go, each to his own place.”

Action Steps:
1. Realize the rules of this world confine us, but they do not define our God.
2. When the Lord calls on you, believe he will empower you with the tools needed to succeed.
3. Search for the Lord daily and find him in your heart.

John 14:1 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.
The Bottom Line: Trust God, you must choose to believe that an almighty God can take a pine riding person like you and make them a superstar.

Discussion Questions:
1. What gifts and abilities do you have that you would like to use in serving the church?
2. Where could you begin to use those abilities in serving and getting into the game?
3. What might be preventing you from jumping in to the full?
4. What might God be able to do through you that you could never do alone in terms of your abilities?



Admit it - You have limitations

This post is part of a youth ministry product called "Youth Leader Training on the Go" by Doug Fields. This part is quoted from a piece entitled "Admit It - Yu have Limitations." You could purchase this here.

"Many people go through life trying to be self-sufficient (what I was doing when I sat down to write this). They love the thought of doing anything they "set their minds to" and don't really think they need anyone's help. If that describes you, can I gently point out that you are missing the point of God's design for the body of Christ? God never intended for you to live life in isolation and do everything by yourself.
"It took me a long time, but I finally accepted the fact that I am "better together" when my strengths and weaknesses are mixed with othes who have gifts and skills that make me more effective. I want to be become the type of person who has enough humility and wisdom to ask others to compensate for my limitations. What about you?"

That is something that is true for me. It took me a while, but I finally came around to where Doug is talking about... understanding that the student ministry will be better if others are involved, doing the ministering, taking the credit and glorifying God. It took me a while because I was like many rookie youth workers are under the false impression that the church hired me to be the cool, fun, hip and best guy to hang out with that the church had on staff... at least for students.
But it took me a while to realize that health is more about students getting connected with a caring adult who has the ability to minister directly into their life.

The reality is... I want to know and work with each student in our ministry. But it just isn't possible. What needs to happen is for there to be 15 or 20 folks who care about students and are willing to minister to students like I am.

That's where I'm blessed. I've got an incredible group of volunteers who are working hard with students... loving on them... speaking God's truth into their lives... and carrying on the work of a student minister (without the pay).

We're better together!

Faith Hill is not happy!

It's amazing what stars will say and do when they don't think the cameras are on them. Amazing. She thought she had it wrapped up. Wow!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

i'm still around...


I'm still around... We had a really huge fall retreat over the weekend and I'm just trying to catch up...