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the gods aren’t angry November 30, 2007

Posted by G in random stuff.
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dumb cell phone pic...Tuesday night Jackie & I trekked down to Sommerville to see Rob Bell live. He started out talking about cave people and how they came to see the different elements that keep them alive and how they created these gods that they needed to appease.  They were always trying to make them happy, always needing to give them more so that their made up gods would not become angry.  He then went into the story of Abraham and how when he was asked to sacrifice Isaac he didn’t ask questions because it was a cultural thing to sacrifice children… to give your ultimate offering.  He mentioned how people usually talk about the story as being about Abraham’s faith and if we look at the culture, the story is more about how God provides.  How He provides the offering because He wanted to bless Abraham, and when we give an offering to God… it’s for us to recognize what He has already done for us. Repentence is a way for us to remember what God has already done, He has already forgiven us. 

Through a lot of the evening I kept thinking that I already know this stuff… but enjoyed listening to what he had to say.  I loved the stories that he told.  I loved the heart that he told them from.  When he talked about any ritual that we do, if we do it from a heart of I need to do this to please God (or man)… it is in NO way a Christian ritual, but we need to do things from a heart of I am doing this because I love God and I want to bless Him because He has chosen to bless me.  In the end it was pretty much a 2-hour Nooma.  I am amazed at how much information he has in his brain… he gave a full explaination of man made gods with their names and why they were created, and why most of them are just contradictory and don’t make sense.  He cracked himself up a lot, which made me laugh.  And just like lots of noomas… in the end I was in tears.  One of the main points that I took away is that we need to be a living sacrifice… not just think that we should… we need to live a life blessing others because God has chosen to bless us.

May you come to know that the gods are not angry…

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.”
~Romans 12:1


After The Rain… January 10, 2007

Posted by G in mindless ramblings, random stuff.
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Namibian Rain

Monday night started a new phase of student ministry… we finished up our last small groups before Christmas and began our new groups at the start of the new year.  My last group was pretty much amazing.  We did a book study on CS Lewis’ Screwtape Letters.  This particular group was just opened up to the Senior High students and it was always full of awesome converstion with some random rabbit trails on different biblical topics and day to day life.  

This time around I decided that I wanted to do a group that watched and discussed Nooma videos.  Another couple is heading a group on “Blue Like Jazz” by Donald Miller… (as a side note… I would’ve LOVED to lead this discussion also… by the end of the book you feel like Donald Miller is your friend and it is one of my all time favorite reads)  and Mike has the final group, a “Theological Bible Study” that kids prefer not to attend…  We decided this time around not to specify one group is only for older kids and then see how that all pans out.  The time comes to choose groups… most people have heard of “Blue Like Jazz” and they decide that they want to check out that group, my group consisted of 4 Junior High boys, a Freshman girl… and 2 leaders.  Most definitely not how I would’ve “wanted it”.  Mike… well he joined in on the other group because no one chose his group. 

We watch the first of the series “Rain” (fyi… in case you care… my plan is to pick my favorites and most relevant to kid’s lives… I will not be going numerically.)  In this video Rob Bell  discusses how there is rain in our lives and God is always there to bring us through it, Bell compares it to a time in his life with his son… so, he relates this to our relationship with God as our Father.

Of course I prepared my questions and was ready to go… full well knowing that it’s not going to be as easy as I had “hoped” since it was now more focused on a Junior High level.  I began asking questions and relating things to my life, another leader shared in relation to his life.  The kids kind of had a “deer caught in the headlights” stare… but would answer… with random thoughts of what they considered rain in their lives, how they have cried out to God and what brought them to that point.  Through all the random rabbit trails and “Oh! I had this time once when I…” not at all relating to the topic…. the kids really were sharing what their idea of the topic was all about.  After a couple leaders got together to discuss how the evening went I said that “it’s not what I would’ve wanted for a Nooma group, but it was good…  the topics are more for older students and adults, but all in all it went well.”

Last night I saw the mother of one of the boys and she told me that he just kept talking and talking about the rain in his life and how he didn’t really have much rain, but lots of people have really bad rain and that he is blessed.  She said that he just wanted to keep telling her all about youth group on Monday night and did not want to go to sleep.

See… that’s what student ministry is all about…  it’s not about what you think you can do or how you think it should be done, but it’s what He does and how He uses me when I am not there!!

Yod – Hey – Vav – Hey December 28, 2006

Posted by G in from the heart, mindless ramblings.
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…just breathe… 

I am finding that I am feeling “stuck” at the point of needing and wanting to rid the “little sins”… so we like to pretend that there is a difference…  (not taking a complete stand on my health, inadequacy, selfishness, jealousy, deception… need I go on??  I can…) and it also blows my mind that we consider them lesser sins when they are mentioned over and over as deeds of darkness… sins that lead to death… and then I realize that I get “stuck” in the grace factor and the thinking that I can just deal with it all later… instead of going full force into obedience… so again, I find that I am going to forge ahead one step at a time and discover where He leads me… and if it’s really not such a big thing… why would He clearly put in on my heart time and time again??

So… I received the latest nooma for Christmas… it’s my new all time favorite… I don’t know how they are going to top this one… anyway… so part of it talks about when God spoke to Moses through the burning bush He stated that Moses should take off his sandals because the place where he is standing is Holy ground… then the thought comes in… did the place suddenly become Holy or is it that Moses was just made to understand that it is Holy…  I won’t go into the whole video so that you can see it fresh… (I may go more into it later, because the thoughts are swimming around in my mind)… but it goes pretty much on target to where my mind has been lately… that we are on Holy ground… we are created to glorify God in everything we do… we need to continue on the road of sanctification…  in full obedience… and I do thank God for His grace… because it’s a long and winding road… and I continue to think I am going down the right road when I suddenly realize that I am going in the wrong direction…  

“So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord” ~Romans 7:21-25 

I am reading “Messy Spirituality” by Mike Yaconelli… I LOVE the second part of the title “God’s Annoying Love for Imperfect People”… not that God’s love is annoying at all, but it is faithful and unstoppable…  There are a couple quotes that made me rethink why I may be sabotaging myself… 

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.”  ~Nelson Mandela

“No punishment anyone might inflict on them could possibly be worse than the punishment they inflict on themselves by conspiring in their own diminishment.” ~Parker Palmer