Friday, July 31, 2009

Sleepless in Seattle

So they say it rains in Seattle but every time I have visited and for the entirety of the time I have been here it has rained a maximum of four or five times. In fact I would absolutely love to have some rain, cloud cover, just a little something to break the heat. It been such a challenge to sleep in the heat I have almost mastered an art of opening and closing doors windows and positioning fans. (and lake jumps throughout the night) We set an all time record in the heat yesterday and I chose to go on a little run/exploration of some trails which gave me a fresh realization of the power of heat to drain the body. At the moment I am chillin in my dorm room which praise the Lord is on the ground level and taking the lunch break to hide from the heat. Today we studied Melchizedek and the continuance of the Abrahamic covenant which rocked my world and after lunch we are headed to do ministry track at a city ministry call Jubilee Reach. Gonna be fresh! Hot and fresh! Tonight we have to move our stuff across campus to some apartments where I will be sharing a room with I believe four or five other guys while remodels and maintenance are being done on our dorms. So at the same time as I pack my room I will be packing for a trip to Oregon for family camp in Silver Falls. Praise the Lord that Central District service was cancelled due to the heat or rather lack of air conditioning, otherwise I would be rockin out on the drums being cooked by the sky light that shines solely on the drums. Anywho, I am way excited for this weekend and the summer has been incredible. The freedom is awesome but also comes with a new degree of responsibility and so I would say to all my high school friends do not rush. Be excited and pray and plan but live well where you are right now. What you do now is what builds the platform for your life and ministry in the future. And before I say goodbye I want to dispense the lie that says when you leave home you will be able to change a lot easier and run after God more passionately with less distractions. Totally untrue, it is the day to day pursuit of God that brings real and lasting change in life not solely a change in environment although physical positioning has benefits. I love you all and pray that you would know who you are, a kingdom of priests and kings!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A penny worth

Focal Point Series, part 5 entitled Him We Preach by Judah Smith. June 21, 09
First Sunday at the Plateau Campus and exactly what I needed. This message was so on target with where my heart has been these last couple weeks it was as though almost every thought and prayer I have prayed Judah had studied out. The message was out of Colossians 1:21-2:3 and one new thing I learned in his introduction is that Colossians is referred to as the most Christ centered book in the bible because how many times it references Jesus and how it explains his relationship with the Father. In interior design a focal point needs to be decided off of which you then construct the flow, placement, and pattern in which everything else is placed. The focal point is Jesus, he is the corner stone, not a topic or discipline but the person of Jesus Christ. There must be a renewing of the mind that allows us to put Jesus as focal point and not Jesus + other things. The message was basically that maturity is to be basic, to be simple. The gospel is simple and we need to return to simplicity. It is all about Jesus, not Jesus and a degree, or Jesus and an internship or the right pastor or anything else. It is not about prayer from an anointed leader, not about the most recent book, not about 21 steps or a secret to life. Jesus is it and there must be a return to him. Be mature, be simple.

Devotions Monday June 22, 2009
1 Tim 4: This whole section has always been one of may favorites because of its never ceasing relevance to my life. I am young and I am an athlete so verse 8 which talks about physical fitness and verse 12 which talks about setting an example for believers in youth, speak to me clearly. I have been trying to study a little deeper when I read by using multiple translations. I find that with the diversity of word choice I can usually wrap my head around it a ton better. So today I have been in the ESV and The Message translations. One of the verses that stuck out to me was verse four and five which in the ESV say, "For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if accepted with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer." In The Message, "Everything God created is good, and to be received with thanks. Nothing is to be sneered at and thrown out. God's word and our prayers make every item in creation holy." Stinkin awesome! This connects back to yesterdays notes when talking about the simplicity that truth is as opposed to the lies that would say salvation is found in not eating this or that and never getting married. Sorry, it is just Jesus. It is all about the pursuit of him and in that comes an incredible holiness, because as we run after God we are also fleeing from sin. Okay verse 8 in the ESV is a verse most of us know well, "for while bodily training is of some value, Godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise fro the present life and the one to come." I love the Message on this one, "Exorcise daily in God- no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever." It is all about the daily pursuit of God. Training for godliness. Finally lets look at verses 15 and 16 in the message, " Cultivate these things. Immerse yourself in them. the people will see you mature right before their eyes! Keep a firm grasp on your charactor and your teaching. Don't be diverted. Just keep at it." Practical application: Keep at it.