Tag Archives: God’s Word

What is Your Life?

Take a look at James 4:14.  What a profound question in the heart of that verse…”What is Your Life?”.  James decides to answer the question with a reference to the brevity of life.  But the question got me thinking.  At the end of my life as my life flashes before my eyes, how will I answer that question?  Even in my 30’s, reviewing the slide show of my life in my mind brings numerous emotions to the surface such as joy, excitement, wonder, curiosity, fear, grief, triumph, sadness, bewilderment (junior high days), pride, thankfulness…you get the idea.

But as I keep going back to that daunting question, “What is Your Life?”, it is not easy finding a defining moment or answer for that question.  That is, until you take a deeper, more spiritual look at your life.  What determines a successful life is not necessarily the moments you had on earth, but what was done for eternity.  The little girl I sat with on the steps of a Backyard Bible Club and led to the Savior, the moments of reading God’s Word to my kids, or the acts for others that were purely motivated to simply share the love of Jesus…these are the moments that determine my life.

I encourage you to take a look at this video, and through the tears that will probably form in your eyes, think about your life in rewind.  When your eyes close in this life, will they open to an eternity in paradise?  The only way to know for sure is to ask God to forgive your sins, and put your eternal destiny in God’s hands, and trust Him with your life.  For more information go here, or watch this video, listen to my sermon from yesterday, or comment below.

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12 Things Good Preachers Do Well

12 Things Good Preachers Do well

  1. Be aware of cultural and philosophical challenges to the gospel
  2. Inspire a passion for the glory of God
  3. Let the Bible speak with simplicity and freshness
  4. Be a Word-and-Spirit Preacher
  5. Use humor and story to connect and engage, and dismantle barriers
  6. Create interest; apply well
  7. Preach with spiritual formation in mind
  8. Make much of Jesus Christ
  9. Preach with urgency and evangelistic zeal
  10. Persuade people by passionate argument from the Bible
  11. Teach with directness, challenge and relevance
  12. Preach all of the Bible to all of God’s people

preach-543x360So if this was a checklist, how many of these things do you do well? What do you need to work on? If you’re like me, you have some things to work on. May God bless you as you pursue to improve your ministry to others!

(Credit:  Conclusion of Excellence in Preaching by Simon Vibert)

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3 Ways to Stay In Touch (with youth culture), Part 2

Last week, you read 3 tips on how to stay in touch with teenage or youth culture.  I gave you a few ideas on where to get the information, but how do you get the word out?  Print out a page handout of the onlineslangdictionary.com and hand it out each Sunday?  That may be a start.  Here are some better tips on how to communicate or make that information available on a regular basis.

  1. Parent Meetings – Every parent meeting I have (I wish I had more, feel free to tell me how you are able to have them on regular basis), I include a time of updating the parents through a youth culture update.   Try to make it interesting, do a PowerPoint, have a quiz with a prize, show a short clip, etc.
  2. Youth Culture Updates – Except during holiday weeks and maybe a break in the summer, I try to have a youth culture update as a part of my weekly email.  It is something to draw them to the email each week and gives parent some equipping and knowledge that they may desire.  (Information typically comes from www.cpyu.org newsletters)
  3. Parent Seminars – Pray for me, I’m attempting my first at my new church.  In the past, these have been well attended and prove to be worth your time.  Parents want to know what is going on in their student’s lives.  So feed them with knowledge, and equip them with God’s Word in applying that knowledge in parenting.
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4 tips to get your students reading the Bible

Ok, let’s say I want to talk to my grandma in Florida, to ask for advice about something.  So I just start shouting out loud, “Hi Grandma.  How’s your back feeling?  Hey got a question for you.  How did you deal with your kids when they were young?”  If you saw me screaming these things, knowing my grandma was in Florida, you probably would refer me to a good doctor or counselor, or run the other way until you couldn’t hear the crazy man screaming anymore.

Sound crazy?  Well, let me ask you this.  What is the primary way we gain advice, we learn, we can hear the Word of God.  Sunday school answer:  Moses.  Incorrect, try another Sunday school answer:  THE BIBLE!  Did you know as many as 67% of teens do not read their Bible?  Now that’s crazy.  The most significant way God chooses to communicate with us, and our young people choose to ignore it.  That is as crazy as trying to talk to grandma in Florida by screaming as loud as you can in Ohio!  It’s mad crazy!

So how can we get them from crazy to reading?  Here are 4 ways that come to mind:

  1. Gideons Know What’s Up – I’m curious if this percentage would go down if we got Bibles in their hands.  Gideon International is able to put a Bible in every hotel in the country, but there are teens in your student ministry that don’t have one.  A travesty!  Go here or here, type in Bible and have fun.  BUY them a Bible.  There is no better use for your youth budget than to use it on purchasing a Bible for someone who does not own one.  Make it a nice one too, I just bought 2 purple and 2 pink Bibles today…those boys are gonna love them!
  2. Um, It’s Pretty Important – When was the last time you taught on the importance of the Bible.  How bout sharing a story of the pilgrims on the Mayflower, and how one of the few things they brought over to the New World was a Bible!  They risked sickness, their lives, their family…but they wouldn’t risk losing their Bible.  It’s time our students understand the importance of the Bible…the history of those that risked their lives to get it in print.  It is taken WAY for granted now.
  3. Rewards are Good – Everybody loves gifts, presents…rewards, right?  Well, your students need to know what rewards come from reading the Bible.  Rewards like a closer relationship with the Creator God, guidance in their daily decisions, a clear picture of the Will of God for their life, a description of the gospel story…and much more!
  4. Better Than a Cell Phone – This is how God communicated to you!  I want to scream this so people in Florida can hear me!  Seriously, this is the primary God has chosen to reveal Himself to us, and there are so many that choose to ignore it.  No more!

The B-I-B-L-E, yes that’s the book for me, I stand alone on the Word of God, the B-I-B-L-E…..BIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!  What about you, how do you encourage your teens to get in the Word? 

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