Month: November 2009

Notes From The Field: Part 1b

These are my personal notes from the Promise Keepers event held on the 13th and 14th of November. These are my notes and my thoughts that go along with them. They are not necessarily the thoughts of the speakers, so they should not be taken as so. This event was a fantastic, eye opening weekend that I shared with my father. Enjoy the notes and thoughts and if you have any questions feel free to comment or email me.

Thanks,

Session 2 – Ted Dibiase

 

  • He started off his session with a video from the Skit Guys about Chiseling Away the ugly parts of our live
  • The question is are we willing to let God work at us.
  • Can we submit to HIm, enough for the ugly to be removed
  • Can we let ourselves die, so that we can live
  • Revelation 3:14-22
    • 14“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. 15“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19( Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'”
      • Challenge from this is for us to determine what is real and what is fake
  • 90% of believers have not led anyone to Christ
    • What does this say about our commitment to the Great Commission? Has it really become the great omission of the church?
  • Ted’s step-father was a wrestler for the University of Nebraska
    • He wanted to follow in his footsteps
    • It was obvious to those that saw him that his step-father was his hero
      • This he will parallel with his relationship with God later in life.
  • His challenge was whether or not we are willing to make it so obvious in our daily lives that Christ is our father.
    • Are we just playing at church?
  • As his life progressed and like many males his pride and ego began to take a stronghold in his life
    • It is ok to be ambitious – but the key is to use gifts and talents to glorify God, not ourselves
  • Ephesians 2:8-10
    • 8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
      • God prepares in advance
      • Love is to serve others
  • We need to surrender our will to God’s will when we seek out a relationship with Him
  • When we move Jesus from our head to our heart (an eighteen inch difference) it should become evident in our lives
  • God speaks to us in three different ways
    • His Word
    • Godly Men
    • Circumstance
  • Satan has the wonderful ability to tempt us at our most weakest points and for most men out there this is their pride and ego
  • The measure of a true man comes from his integrity and integrity comes from his words
  • Matthew 16:25-26
    • 25For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
      • What happens to us if we gain everything if we lose our souls
      • Ted gained popularity, money and women, but he almost lost his wife
      • Are we able to move ourselves beyond lip service to God
  • “I know and see you want to be a man of God, but I don’t think you are man enough to do it.”
    • words from Ted’s wife upon learning about the adultery, and Ted’s desire for repentance
  • Jesus has an uncanny ability to take our mess and change it into a message for both ourselves and others (Godly men mentoring young men)
  • Whatever our distractions are in life we need to LET IT GO!
  • We as men need to stop playing church and being lukewarm for Jesus – Men typically only do about 20% of the work in church – this might even be too high of a percentage, it may actually be less

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Notes From The Field: Part 1a

These are my personal notes from the Promise Keepers event held on the 13th and 14th of November. These are my notes and my thoughts that go along with them. They are not necessarily the thoughts of the speakers, so they should not be taken as so. This event was a fantastic, eye opening weekend that I shared with my father. Enjoy the notes and thoughts and if you have any questions feel free to comment or email me.

Thanks,

Session #1 Patrick Morley

The Parable of the Prodigal Son

11And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

17“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”‘ 20And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

25“Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31And he said to him, ‘Son,you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'”

  • A) Change Needs to Occur
    • We need to realize as men of God that as time passes on we must embrace the need to change
    • We can see this through the Parable of the Lost Son – We are able to witness the switch from rebellion to reconciliation
      • That is the change we must seek out from God
    • 1) Rebellion
      • The son chooses to orphan himself and choose a life that is full of squander and famine
      • He ends up taking a job feeding pigs
        • As a Jewish boy this would have been done out of desperation b/c pigs are considered unclean
      • 16And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.”
        • The result of the rebellion is sadness, guilt and in this case hunger
    • 2) Repentance
      • The son begins to realize how well he was in the father’s house
      • He also realizes how his father’s servants had a better life than this
        • 17“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”‘
      • He basically says to his father “Forgive me, but only HIRE ME as your servant.”
    • 3) Restoration
      • 22But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.
      • The father has unconditional love for the son
      • The son in this story never gets a chance to share with his father his repentance b/c of the overwhelming outpouring of unconditional love from the father
      • God has this unconditional love for everyone
        • Psalm 139 – Search Me O God And Know My Heart
          • Even though every child is a sinner, every father still chooses to have that child (earthly and heavenly father).
          • The Key note is that no matter what we have done we are forgiven and restored in the eyes and heart of God
  • B) What Type Of Relationship Does God Want?
    • He wants a reciprocal love relationship
    • The boy in the story begins as a son, he then orphans himself and wants to in the end, be restored not as a son, but as an orphan/servant
    • The father’s response is not to a servant, but to a son, that was lost and then found
      • 24For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.”
    • Jeremiah 20:9
      • 9If I say, “I will not mention him,or speak any more in his name,”there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.
        • Love can’t be held in, b/c it burns with passion
        • The father is unable to contain the love he has for his son that is now found
  • C) What Lengths Will God Go To In Order To Obtain A Relationship
    • The father in the story and God both possess the power to let the son go, but they also obtain the power to bring us to our senses
    • Isaiah 45:7
      • 7 I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things.
        • Power and Patience is His to bring us back into His arms
    • 2 Peter 3:8-9
      • 8But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
        • Timing is the Lord’s, he knows the complete plan and even though we are horrible when it comes to patience we need to realize that we cannot control or influence the will of God
    • One important note about repentance is this: The condition or past actions do not change our redemptive value or de-value our new self
      • He used the illustration that a crumpled $100 bill was just as valuable on earth as a crumpled or stomped on bill.
  • D) How Do We Further Our Relationship
    • Deep and meaningful conversation
      • Needs to be 2-Way communication

Suffering and Leadership

Suffering has an uncanny ability to kick us into a new future and a new hope as we are forced to imagine that new future. The key is to imagine and hope, and this is what Paul is giving to the Philippians. The ability to see hope beyond any suffering that may come to these believers of Christ. It is going to be, as Paul alludes to in his greeting, that suffering that will eventually unite us as Christians.

Paul tells the Philippians that they are saints in Christ – so what does that mean? Well, they would be entitled to the gift of full salvation through Christ. It says in chapter one, verse twenty-nine that we are given the gift of faith, so, in essence, Paul’s words “in Christ” tells us that we are given something to call our own salvation. In Christ, we are also given all we need. We are given a new way of life. In the big picture, as we heard in verse seven, we are essentially new people with new minds.

There is one more key phrase that Paul uses in his greeting and it is in reference to leadership. We first see it when he introduces himself and Timothy. Not one, but two people working for Christ. So, what does this mean for the people of Philippi? They need to work together in the church with the bishops and deacons. We are given here the relationship between leader and those they lead. How are they to lead? One word, “with” or another single word, “alongside.” The way it is written is pure genius as Paul addresses an area many leaders forget. It is that they, too, have gone through the exact same suffering, experiences and have the same hopes as those that are alongside them. It is the leadership of those who are content to stand among the saints as those who serve.

Jurgen Moltmann said in his great book, Theology of Hope, “Creative discipleship of this kind (working with others) in a love which institutes community, sets things right and puts them in order, becomes eschatologically possible through the Christian hope’s prospects of the future of God’s kingdom and of man.”

Paul paints a great greeting that at first glance looks just like that a simple greeting, but he goes deeper. Down into a world of suffering and then takes our lives.. skyrocketing into a hope for the future. As we wrap up think on this quote:

In regards to suffering:

It involves an indescribable sort of fidelity, an insane sort of hope, and indescribable sort of … well, it’s love isn’t it? There’s no other word for it … And don’t throw Mozart at me … I know he claimed his creative process was more than a form of automatic writing, but the truth was he sweated and slaved and died young giving birth to all that music. He poured himself out and suffered. That’s the way it is. That’s creation… You can’t create without waste and mess and sheer undiluted slog. You can’t create without pain. It’s all part of the process.

Paul is aware of the process. There needs to be a little hurt for hope to

shine through. Otherwise, what was the point of the cross? Isaiah 65 paves the way for Philippians 1:3-7:

Pay close attention now: I’m creating new heavens and a new earth.All the earlier troubles, chaos and pain are things of the past, to be forgotten. Look ahead with joy. ANTCIPATE what I am creating: I’ll create Jerusalem as sheer joy; create my people as pure delight. I’ll take joy in Jerusalem, take delight in my people: No more sounds of weeping in the city, no cries for anguish. What a sense of assurance we have in the greeting of Paul to the Philippians and even more so in the Words of God.

Abusing Scripture

I found this article to be very useful as I get prepared to teach youth through scripture. The following abuses of scripture allow me to focus my teaching, along with keeping it biblically sound. I hope this can help you as it has me. Where do you tend to have the most trouble?  What do you see most in the teaching of youth today? Let me know!

 

1. The abuse of the whole gospel, which he argues distorts the whole Bible: the healing, redeeming work of God is both personal-spiritual and social-corporate. Overdoing either or ignoring either distorts both gospel and the Bible.

2. The abuse of selectivity — selecting the passages we want to believe and burying the others.

3. The abuse of biblical balance — riding one hobby without considering of larger themes or complementary themes. He examines elevation of particular sins and imbalancing theology and ethics.

4. The abuse of words.

5. The abuse of context, and here he examines literary, theological, historical and cultural.

But I’ve been thinking of the many who have a great idea, know the texts where that idea is found, and then run everything in the Bible — and I mean everything — through that one idea. These folks “use” the Bible and end up “abusing” the Bible. That’s why we need more Bible studies that focus on what the Bible does say in its context.

ht: beliefnet

New Paul Baloche CD Tomorrow

Paul Baloche has been writing worship anthems for the church for years and his new CD “Glorious” releases tomorrow, November 3. Our friends at Integrity Music have put together a pretty cool giveaway for FIVE people out in blogworld. This Release Day Giveaway is a little different – there are five blogs all running the same giveaway and each site will have a winner who will receive a copy of the new CD as well as the worship leader digital songbook.

This is classic Paul Baloche – singable melodies, lyrics rich with theology and all of it presented in a way that is accessible and memorable. If you’re a fan of Paul Baloche’s song, you will love this CD.

Amy and her dad sing in a choir and have sung many of his old songs, they are classics that you can listen and sing over and over again.

Check out Chris original post here, to have a chance to win.