Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Don't Act Like You Know ME!!!

I find myself often saying don't act like you know me and this is my way of saying don't judge me. Usually i say it jokingly but there is a very serious aspect to that statement that Ed was talking about tonight, especially if you use that attitude when being Admonished.  I think whenever a brother or sister in Christ comes to us with a concern about the way our life is being lived or how we are throwing the name of Jesus Christ around we should take it to heart or at least give it some time and think through what they are saying to us and try and look at it from a different perspective.  I know that when you are the admonishee(Person being admonished) that is a hard thing to do is to look at what is going on positively.  The first response is that of being defensive, I think it is our instinct to assume that whatever we are doing is right and everybody else is wrong, even though for me that is rarely the case.  I also think that admonishing others is such an important think for growth in our relationships with Christ.  I think God will often times show us things that we can not see when looking through our own biased perspective that it really takes someone else who cares about us looking at what is going on 

  Ed really hit this "Don't act like you know me" or "Don't judge me" Attitude that an admonishee will often take and I really think it is important thing to talk about.  I think it is so crucial when getting admonished to try and view things from a different perspective than just your own and really spend some time thinking about it.  Especially if you get angry about it, just like Ed said for himself, I also do the same thing where if I really do get angry about it it usually is something that is dead on.  

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

490 Times

I love Peter. He reminds me of myself in so many ways. It seems that his intentions are good but he always ends up doing the opposite of what Jesus wants him to do. For instance, in the Garden of Gethsemane when the mob came to arrest Jesus, Peter took out a sword and cut off a guy's ear. His intentions were good, he wanted to protect his Lord but he was interfering in what was supposed to happen. There are numerous times when Peter just doesn't get it. Just like me.

In Matthew 18, Peter comes to Jesus with a question. "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Knowing Peter's history you can see that he is probably asking this question not to learn about forgiveness but to find out when he can cut someone out of his life. However, Jesus gave him the answer that I doubt Peter was looking for. He told Peter, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven." We might look at this and say, "OK I can forgive someone 490 times but after that I'm done with that person." I get this picture of someone walking around with a tally sheet, marking off each time they have to forgive someone. I'm sure Peter would have loved to get that answer but Peter understood what Jesus was saying. Jesus was using an exaggeration. Seventy times seven was basically like saying to infinity and beyond. We should always forgive. There is no limit on forgiveness like Peter and the Rabbis of the time were trying to rationalize.

God is always willing to forgive us when we are sorry. He forgives because He loves. There is no greater picture of this than the parable of The Prodigal Son. This spoiled brat was so greedy that he basically told his father that he wished he was dead. That way he could have all the money that was going to be left to him so he could do whatever he wanted. I can't imagine telling my mom that I wish she was dead just to get more money. That's what this son did. He went off, wasted the money and was to the point that he wanted to eat what the pigs ate. A Jewish boy wanting to eat with unclean pigs was just an absurd picture. He came to his senses and went home. While he was a long way off his father RAN to him. Not walked, power walked, or jogged. He ran to him like Armanti Edwards to the end zone. God runs to us when we want forgiveness. He knows our hearts and before we can even mutter the words "I'm sorry," He has His arms wrapped around us like the father in the parable.

God has forgiven us of so much, I know I am guilty of over 490 things against God but His forgiveness is still there. His mercies are new everyday. We should do the same. I know its not easy. When it comes to following Christ nothing is.

Why is it so hard to forgive people? What is the hardest part about forgiveness? Is it easier to forgive or to ask for forgiveness?

Ed gave us a great message about forgiveness and how love and forgiveness go hand in hand. Now its your turn...Speak Your Mind.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Don't Be a Smoker

Wow. Such a simple message. It seems so easy in theory, but we know from experience how terribly difficult it is to live out.

Love, which can only be found by the knowledge and acceptance of Christ, must be the foundation for everything we do. We lack the ability to honor, serve, and live in unity with a community following Christ on our own, and if our heart is empty of a love for God, we will fail miserably at being a friend to our brothers and sisters in Christ. But don't we try to hide anyway? We know it is bad for us. We feel disconnected, and we have people who want to help us; yet, we mask our struggles and pains because it is more comfortable to smile and pretend we're fine. Why do people go to such great lengths to cover up how they are really feeling when they know how badly it is stunting their spiritual growth?

It's like smoking today. People know it kills them, yet they do it anyway. There is no logical explanation for it, but it is easy to understand. People are missing an inspiration that comes from outside themselves. A smoker might tell you that he doesn't try to quit because he doesn't care if he increases he chances of death, but if he fell in love with a woman and she told him to quit because she would be heart broken if he died and left her alone, he would make an inspired effort. The same principle is true for Christians. Do you realize how good your friends are to you? Do you serve them in the same you they serve you? Do you desire to honor and serve Jesus more than anything in your life? If you do, and your filled with love, you would honor and serve the people around you with greater enthusiasm than they show you. If you feel you're not able to, you're probably missing the fundamental ingredient to Christian community: love (Don't forget Christ is the center of the Christian community. It isn't just your friends).

Danielle gave an amazing message. She really is a talented speaker. You could have taken so many things away from her message. This is just what I thought was most important. What did you get out of it? What going through that head of yours? Speak your mind...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Stop Staring at Your Chia Pet

Love. Spelled L.O.V.E. Symbolized by the heart shape, signified by cupids darting arrow, and simplified by McDonald's catchy slogan. And this, friends, is the image our world has painted for us in order that we might understand love and all that it means in our lives.

I think these are exactly the kinds of things Ed was referring to when he had to remind us all to stop thinking about lovey-dovey Valentines Day feelings each time he would mention the word "love." With this warped image set in our minds, we have difficulty loving the way Christ called the church to love.

Goodness. We are challenged by the reality that the greatest love is laying down one's life for another, as Jesus so evidently portrayed on the cross (1 John 3:16). I do not think Hallmark has a card with a verse like this on it. It probably would not be a top seller. Yet, as verse 23 of the same chapter explains, we are commanded to love in this way. Because it had to be commanded, we know loving the Body of Christ is not a natural thing. Nonbelievers can have great friendships and stay close, but I believe it is only through the love Christ gives us that Believers can truly love others with the greatest love possible. What are some of the differences you have found in the evidence of God's complete, unfailing, and redeeming love in a group of Believers verses good friendships any group can seem to have? Is it necessary that these look different?

Over these past few weeks, we have looked at the foundations of the Christian community and different areas in which Christ calls for obedience. Love is one of them. I know that a lot of the community that has developed in our ministry is a result of the love growing in our own relationships with God and then overflowing into each other's lives. Of course, we can always keep growing in this area (...even if you fail to grow in other areas, such as the mohawk on Mr. T's head. At least he never needed a hair cut, Ed). What are some specific ways you can think of to encourage a stronger bond of love in and throughout our ministry? The picture of everyone sitting together, praying together, and partaking in communion together is a great start!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Unity in Christ

Tonight Jim spoke about unity, using a clever clip from Remember the Titans. Just take a second to think about the impact a group of truly united believers could make on this campus. What does it even mean for a group of people to be united? I personally think it means for the group to have a single goal in mind and work as a unit to achieve this goal. So how do we begin and continue to work towards a single goal?

Just as Jim said tonight, it is only through Christ, change that, in Christ that we can truly be united. The reason I choose to say in Christ instead of through Christ, is because I think that gives us a better picture of the steps we must take. To be in Christ requires us to get rid of our walls or whatever may be blocking us, and to step into his love. It makes me think of the video game Gallaga, where that one spaceship comes and sends out those beams and if you go in them, then you get sucked up to the spaceship and your given a new life! (I hope ya'll have played that game before) But I think that is a great example of how we step into the love of Christ and the life of Christ, and through that can become united.

I also think its important to mention the fact that it is only through God, who is powerful and majestic, that a group of people could work together anyways. If you have a group of people without Christ working together for a single cause, good luck! People are too wrapped up in their own well being, and too interested in finding faults in others. ( I am very guilty of this a lot). And all that ends up leading to is a whole lot of whining. But when you have a group filled with and living in Christ, each member is willing and does there part, and more whenever needed. People aren't looking for faults in others, but more of looking at themselves and making sure they are giving their best. This makes me think of the rest of the movie. As most of you know, the Titans quickly began to bond, they began to work as a unit and look out for the team above themselves. And where did that lead? Well I hate to ruin the movie for anyone who hasn't seen it but to the state championship, where they won.

Anyways, Let us know what you think about unity. How do you think we can become more united? How do we work to unite the believers on our campus? And how does this begin to affect our community?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ten Commandments!

Tonight Jim talked about the ten commandments and how we can use them to show what a true community should look like.  The thing that really stood out to me tonight was when he was talking about using God's name in vain.  It really made me think about what using God's name in vain really looks like.  I used to always think that using God's name in vain meant saying GD (I hope you get my drift).  Which it does, but I never thought about using God's name in vain any other way.  After last night I feel like I have a new perspective on this topic.  I know many times when I've pulled the "God card" out of my back pocket and slammed it down in some ones face.  Whether it was to make me look good or just to get out of a situation in which I didn't feel comfortable in.  

For me tonight's message really made me think about how I use the Lord's name, not only as a cuss word, but more as a scapegoat and in a contradictory way.  I know I am guilty of this as well as messing up a lot of the other commandments, but I just have to keep checking my self and making sure that I'm staying on the straight and narrow.

So what did you think about tonight's message?  What stood out to you the most to you?  Is there anything that didn't make sense to you?  Lets hear some cool stories about how you've seen the ten commandments work or not work within a community.............

Monday, January 19, 2009


We are up and running!