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Archive for September 27th, 2006

Whether the investor investing in stocks, or Christian investing in the kingdom, don’t get caught up on numbers alone.

In an article by Robert Kiyosaki about investing in silver, Robert characterizes people that look only at the prices. Though Robert attempted to explain why the prices would go up, it was only after the prices went up they realized the value.

Likewise, whether leading morning prayer, bible study, or church service let’s not look at only the number of attendees, the number of baptisms, or the number of prayer requests. Like the roller coaster of the stock market, Christians may find themselves on an emotional roller coaster: overjoyed at the number of altar calls, discouraged at the number that fell; gleeful when new people show up, downcast when no one shows up.

Rather than worrying about ministering to those not there, minster to those that are. Rather than worrying about ministering when no one is there, minister to yourself! Don’t look at the numbers and miss the value like the investors above. Find out what God is doing to you, for you and not just through you.

God is sovereign and everything has a purpose. If you are the only person at prayer- God may want you to pray alone. If you minister to a hardened heart- God is also ministering to you.

Just as Robert quotes Warren Buffet as calling people engrossed in the price foolish, let us Christians not be foolish and understand the will of God.

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Why blog?

The Sept-Oct 2006 editon of Preaching, Mark Batterson gives 10 reasons for blogging.

 

#1 Blogging is a stewardship issue. It’s one way I share what God is teaching me.
#2 Blogging helps me remember what God doesn’t want me to forget.
#3 Blogging is one way of capturing the things God is revealing to me.
#4 Blogging is a form of autobiography.
#5 Blogging is a way to carry on a conversation with lots of people at the same time.
#6 Blogging is a sermon supplement. Actually, sermons might be a blogging supplment.
#7 Blogging is the way I leave a trail. My kids and grandkids can read it someday.
#8 Blogging is cathartic. It helps me process what I’m thinking and feeling.
#9 Blogging is the way I share what is happening in my head and my heart.
#10 Blogging is a form of digital discipleship. Neo-scrolls.

 


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I Hate Icebreakers

A recruiter in the Marines once placed a bunch of placards in front of me and asked me, “If you could only choose 3 reasons why you wanted to join the Marines, what would they be?” One of the items I choose was brotherhood.

I once made the observation that whenever I’m back with the Marines, it really felt like a reunion. Especially after returning from Iraq, it always felt like a blessing meeting them. “We made it back home alive.” We entrusted each other with our lives whether we liked each or not. It always brought a smile to my face to see on my buddies from Iraq. We grew close.

 This closeness is the type we should have in the Church. And what bothers me so much, is that for the last 2000 years, the brothers and sisters of Christ have loved each other, were glad to see each other, and would lay down their life for each other in a way different from today. Today we have a new invention: Icebreakers.

I hate icebreakers. I detest them with a passion. After having gone through retreats, high school and college group with ice breakers as a non-Christian and Christian I find them utterly pointless. If you really want to have a connection. If you really desire to rejoice upon seeing your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. To cry when they cry, and be burdened with their burdens- then take a lesson from the Marines and from the early church:

Serve the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul. You will grow to love the brothers and sisters that you serve with and suffer with, deeply connecting with them. Then and only then, will every chance you see them be like a reunion.

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You might go, huh?

I read this from American Vision’s website, an article by Gary DeMar that I thought was indicative of our churches at large:

Studies have shown that most of Christianity’s converts are teenagers.6 They also show that a high percentage of these same teenagers walk away from their childhood faith as they approach adulthood. They are hit with arguments against Christianity that they never had to consider as teenagers since few churches actually teach on worldview issues and apologetic methodology. Christianity is perceived to be a religion for children. High school youth groups are run more like secular encounter groups rather than a place where the rigorous study of God’s Word takes place with its real-world application.7


(SOURCE: http://www.americanvision.org/articlearchive/09-26-06.asp)

The last sentence especially stood out to me.
I have often been amazed at talking to high schoolers, and when I ask them about the type of classes they have the list sounds like this: Calculus BC, English Honors, Physics, American Government AP…it impresses me how much work load some of them have and how deep they can understand things! Where I live, there are middle school kids taking SAT Preparation Classes already!
Yet, you go to churches today, and sometimes the Friday Night Youth Group seems to assume that kids, well, won’t understand or can comprehend a deep and rigorous study of Scripture…
And I know of a Church who’s Youth Pastor didn’t even prepare messages, and another youth pastor who’s most rigorous stuff for his kids is his X-Box Games he bought in for a Saturday night! IN both instances, it was the kids in their churches that informed me about this!
Can it be that its our tendency to give puzzles as games when there are REAL MINDS with puzzles about life?

While I don’t want to use big words and sound Ivory tower that can take away the Clarity of the GOspel itself,
I’ve always enjoyed facilitating Questions and ANswers session to High Schoolers (or younger!) at Christian clubs and Churches Youth Group…
I’m not against good old fashion fun and laughter (everything has its time and place), but I think we can all ask those who teach to the youths and high schoolers what is the spiritual state of those in their charge, are the kids learning and KNOWING the WORD Of GOD and how we can pray for the kids and these dear Servants God has given to the Church

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