Monthly Archives: August 2015

3 Reasons People Do Not Find God

According to Acts 17:27, God is not far away. So how do people miss God? If God is sitting in front of everyone with open arms, why are so many turning the other way, or missing out on a relationship with the Creator. Here are 3 reasons why people miss out on “finding” God.serendipity

Fail to Look. Men, we are famous “give-up lookers” – we ask our wife – “Hun, where are the keys?” “In the diaper bag” – 2 seconds of looking – “They’re not there”…we get frustrated…BUT WE FAILED TO LOOK! Heard this happens, not like I have personal experience with this.

People – don’t fail to look for God. So many are looking in the wrong places for answers to life, and God is right there waiting. John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

There is only ONE way…and many are taking a wide turn so far from the truth – finding it hard to come back…but you are not as far as you think. No matter your past, no matter what you have done – one simple turn to God – and you can find forgiveness, eternity, and salvation.

Distractions. So many distractions in our lives from what really matters. Our enemy, Satan, has become a master and taking our eyes off of God. Let me give you an example. If you go out to lunch today, just look around – see how many families are actually talking to each other vs. their faces glowing by the screen of their smart phone/tablet. Our jobs, families, sports, current events…while they are not evil, can distract us to finding God.

Darkness. That phrase “feel their way” is the same description used in Homer’s classic “Odyssey”. It described the blind Cyclops who was groping to find Odysseus in the cave…knowing he was there but unable to grab him in the darkness.

The darkness…it is sin. Sin is the darkness…and because of that darkness, many find it hard to find the light. Sin is getting in the way of finding God. But you know what – God sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for those sins – to wipe them away – and if you put your trust in Him today – He can forgive them and place them as far as the east is from the west.

Listen, God is not far away. Like that lost item we spoke of earlier – when you find it, you almost kick yourself, because it was there the whole time. 2 Peter 3:9 – “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.” God is patiently waiting with open arms – for you to take place in his family. The adoption papers are all signed and approved – it’s up to the child to come running to the Father.

 

Disclaimer:  “Find” is in air quotes, because it is truly God that finds us.  But this is the words used in Acts 17, describing someone’s conversion experience.

Entire Sermon can be found here:  http://mbconline.org/images/files/sermons/2015_sermon-archive/MBCOnline.org%20Sermon%2008-30-2015.mp3

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , ,

We are gods, No…We Are God’s

Remember that children’s song, “My God is So Big”.

What incredible truth. My God is so big, so strong and so mighty…but our world does not operate according to that philosophy. And sadly, we, as believers, often fail to exist under this truth as well. Let me just start with what our world thinks. Our world would like you to think that you are number one; you are strong enough to handle anything, “you take care of you” type philosophy. A philosophy as if you are gods…others should treat you this way, you deserve the very best, and you are the most important. Let me just give you a few examples from our culture that I found in a quick search using the Google machine…

Quote after quote I read from celebrities that said “Love yourself, love yourself, love yourself”. Where are they getting this philosophy? The world is telling us that we are gods (little g-o-d-s), when in actuality they are right in pronunciation, but wrong in their grammar and practice. We Are God’s (capital G-o-d apostrophe s). You get it?

This world needs a wake-up call. We need the reminder. We are not to be treated like gods. God is to be treated like God. People often treat themselves like a god, rather than realizing “My God is so Big”, He is God, and He is Lord.

The entire sermon can be heard here:  http://mbconline.org/resources/sermon-serieswe are gods

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Magazine Reviews for the Youth Pastor & Parents of Teens

I realize the sky is the limit of the amount of magazines out there.  But here are a handful of ones I have had on my desk that may be some help to you and your ministry/parenting.Reviews-of-smallcarBIGCITY

  1. Relevant.  This may be my favorite. The purpose is in the title, to stay relevant in present culture, but also providing a Christian foundation. The content is often stretching and engages the reader. Often, there are interviews of popular celebrities and entertainers on the subjects of religion and Christianity. The reviews of popular music, books, and movies are very helpful. Also, the dry humor throughout is very enjoyable.  Review:  Highly Recommended.  (5 Stars)
  2. Group.  For anyone in youth ministry, in any capacity, this is highly suggested. I find myself ripping out pages in these magazines and putting them in my idea file or passing them along to youth leaders for the future. The articles are often encouraging, enlightening, and entertaining. There has not been a time where I have not opened its pages and it has not been worth it, in terms of adding something to my current and/or future ministry. These pages are filled with wisdom from veteran youth workers, and it has saved me from learning many lessons the hard way.  Review:  Recommended. (4 Stars)
  3. World Magazine. This magazine is the conservative version of relevant magazine. It allows the reader to stay current on what is happening on the world. Basically, it is a Christian filter to the news and world reports that are one TV each night. This is typically for an older audience, but is something that needs to be addressed with our teens as well. It can provide a greater global focus and a more informed Biblical worldview.   Review:  Worth a look. (3 Stars)
  4. Time Magazine. Obviously, this is not a Christian resource. However, I have found it to be very enlightening. Also, the articles in it often hold more weight in conversations with unbelievers and as lesson illustrations. The statistics page is always a favorite of mine, and I have kept many over the years. While it does not provide a Biblical worldview, it allows the reader to interact with a non-Christian view of the world, and find where the Gospel is needed and how God can be brought into the conversation.  Review:  Worth a look. (3 Stars)
  5. Alumni Magazines. What is this doing here? You may be surprised at the quality of articles you find here. Why? Because these are often articles written by faculty and established alumni. Here’s the kicker…it’s free if you are an alum! Great articles at no charge! So take advantage at the knowledge and information you can gain from your former profs, and you won’t even be graded later!  Review:  Recommended. (4 Stars)

Hope this helps. Feel free to send me some of your favorites in the comments below.

Tagged , , , , , ,

The 7 D’s of How to Survive Vacation with Young Kids

  1. Dependence.  Like anything in your life, it is important to start with prayer. So, as you leave your driveway, have a time of prayer – before the DVD player begins, headphones go in, and snoring happens. Along with prayer, it may be a good time to go over some ground rules and behavioral expectations.
  2. Dramamine.  Almost as important as prayer – Dramamine. Check with your doctor first, but if possible, give your kids Dramamine to help with car sickness, sleep, and also limits bathroom trips. I call this the vacation trifecta!
  3. Diapers.  You may say, “but my kids are out of diapers”. I don’t care. If someone has to go the bathroom and is not at an age where they can hold it for a reasonable amount of time…inform them diapers are available. Hey, if it gets us another 100 miles without a stop, I’d put on a diaper (No, this has not happened…yet).
  4. Drop New Beats. One of the best traditions of a long trip is Daddy’s Vacation Mix. On the mix are new praise songs, soundtrack songs from their favorite movies (the year of Frozen was especially painful), and fun songs as well. It always is a surprise and must not be started until we are officially driving on vacation.
  5. Drive. Drive. Drive.  As Dorie would say in Finding Nemo, “Just keep driving, just keep driving”. With every stop, you are adding at least a half an hour to your trip. And time your stops well, by doing gas and food in one stop. The more you drive, the less you will have to drive later. A mantra you will thank yourself later.
  6. Dad & Mom. If possible, bring the grandparents. No, it’s not just for an extra set of eyes at the pool and beach (although that is a wonderful thing). But the kids love the memories they will build with their grandparents too and will treasure those special times.
  7. Don’t Expect Rest. I used to bring several books on vacation. Not anymore. I bring magazines now. I might get a page or two at a time. Laying out…not gonna happen. I’m not complaining. I’m in the “Dad, come swim with us” phase of my life. And I absolutely love it.

 

Vacation Beach(Credit for photo:  http://karimephotography.com/)

What are some tips you have for a great vacation trip? Driving many hours in the car with young kids is not an easy adventure, but these are some tips for a sane trip, fun vacation, and a refreshing time away.  What are some ways you build memories and make it special?  Feel free to comment.

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , , ,