Sunday, December 26, 2010

Youversion Live

I'm trying out something new for my Wednesday night bible study group. I'm putting out my notes through Youversion Live. I'm going to give this a try for a couple of weeks and see how it's received both by students and parents. You can find my group here.

If you don't know, Youversion is a Bible app for phones with a website that the app synch's with. They have about 40 different translations available, many of which you can download to your phone for use offline. In addition they have reading plans, note taking, and you can share notes or verses through Twitter or Facebook.

The "Live" part is a set of tools to make sermon notes available through the app. This includes the ability to take your own notes, send questions in, prayer requests, take polls and share the notes through social media sites.

I figured I would give this a go with the middle school group since they are so attached to their phones already it's hard to get them to pay attention to anything else. If it works for some of them, then I'll see about doing it for our Youth Pastor for his messages to the High School and College age youth.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Desiring God

How many of you believe in Jesus? That he was crucified, died, was buried and rose again?

Ok, you have at least as much faith as the demons of Hell.

How many of you consider yourself Christians?

Why? What makes you a Christian? How do you know you are one? Are you sure?

Are you truly a follower of Christ? Have you died to this world?

We know we are Christians by our fruit. (Galatians 5 22-23)

Have you honestly taken each one of these things and assessed whether you have it? To what extent? Are you satisfied with that? When you stand before God, and he asks you if you were kind how will you answer? Do you expect God to accept your answer and say "Well done my good servant"?

God calls us to be servants (Christian means follower of Christ, Christ came to serve, but we are often too proud, too stiff necked to serve others, we put ourselves above Christ), to serve others and to die to the flesh, to be "Not of this world."  This is very hard, we are in the World, so it is a constamt struggle not to be of this world. We must train ourself to think eternally, to think beyond our worldly finite existence.

But things get in our way, literally. Not only does the temporal fallen world surrounds us, but the things God gave us to help us live have replaced Him in our hearts. Tozer says in The Pursuit of God that things have grown down into our heart like roots, and we scream with pain to pull out the least rootlet.

Abstract, I know... let's make it concrete. The rich young ruler... Christ asked him to sell his things, give the money to the poor and follow Him. The price was too high, he could not give up his stuff in exchange for eternal salvation.

How would you react if God called you to walk away from home, friends, your stuff, and move half way around the world to be a missionary? #9/mt just give me the canned Sunday School answer... take a minute to think about it, giving up your friends, your TV, Xbox... going someplace where they don't know what a biscuit as you know it is, no fast food or maybe one franchise you recognize.

How does that make you feel? Scared, uneasy? If so then you are just like that Rich Young Ruler.

Do you want to serve Christ? Do you want to be able to answer these questions better? I hope so, I know I do.

So, how do we get there?

First of all, there is no magic answer. I can't do this for you, no one can. It's a process, life long and at times painful and frustrating.

It begins when you realize that salvation is the begining and not the end of the story. When you realize that you are a babe in Christ and living on milk.

Then you have to desire more, to mature, to learn to eat solid food. This is done by moving beyond simple answers. By asking hard questions of yourself like I did earlier. Measure yourself against the traits of the Spirit. Look deep in yourself, don't gloss over your faults, acknowledge them, own them, then seek God's help to resolve these shortcomings.

The only way to grow is by living and experiencing, by daring to step out on faith and fail. Then get back at it and fail some more. This is not easy, it hurts. It takes time and perseverance.

This is the only answer to sterile faith, and dead churchs. It begins with you, and me. We can support each other, we can pray for each other, but in the end we are ultimatley responsible only for ourself and our own actions.

So, for the next week be kind. Easy, right.

Location : 301-399 N Academy St, Greenville, SC 29601,

Location : 206 Ashley Ave, Greenville, SC 29609,

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Is there a God?

Tomorrow night I start teaching the middle school youth a 13 part study that is based on Christian Apologetics. I gave them an introduction last week by writing out common, non-christian, belifs on cards and asking each of them to act out that role while the others tried to witness to them. It seemed to work pretty good. It got them thinking about people they know at school that have similar beliefs and how they might be able to talk with them.

The study starts with the question, "Is there a God?" It very briefly covers 3 arguements for God's existance. The first is the Cosmological arguement. This states that the Big Bang had to have a cause, and the most reasonable cause is God. The next is the Teleological arguement. This is based on the complexity of the design of our world, how if the Earth had just a slightly different orbit we wouldn't exist, or the complexity of DNA randomly occuring. Last is the Anthropological arguement, which C.S. Lewis used so well in Mere Christianity. That we human know right from wrong, we have an inborn sense of what is fair and right, and there is no other reasonable reason for this than that it was put there by God.

I'm looking forward to teaching this. Even more, I'm looking forward to their questions and thoughts.

Location : 135 Buist Ave, Greenville, SC 29609,

Thursday, August 26, 2010


 Philosophy of Religion » Arguments for the Existence of God 

Starting a study with my middle schoolers that is based on Christian Apologetics. Last night I gave each of them a card with some typical non-christian beliefs (atheist, agnostic, new age...) and had them act out that role while the others in the group tried to witness to them. I gave them a few minutes with each to try on their own, then gave them a short example of where to start a discussion from a reasoning point of view.  I'm not entirely sure how well the point got across. However, it did show them how unprepared they are to defend their faith.

This was just an introduction to what will be at least a 13 week study that addresses the 13 Most Common Questions About God. I have been doing a lot of reading and studying to prepare for this class. It will be very interesting to see how these kids grow over the next few months. I know I have a much firmer grasp on the reasoning behind my faith.

Location : 135 Buist Ave, Greenville, SC 29609,

Friday, August 13, 2010

Back again

Where to begin... I continue to learn and grow in my faith. This has led me to taking on several tasks. A mission trip to VA last year and one to NOLA this year. Teaching adult sunday school for almost a year now, hard to believe. The latest has been taking on the middle school youth bible study on Wednesday nights with Karen assisting me.

Outside of reading my bible I've also read Dante's Devine Comedy, Crazy Love by Francis Chan(great book, highly recommend), and a good bit on Christian Apologetics.

Probably a good thing I've been doing all this reading, 11-14 year olds can ask some pretty tough questions. In order to both help clarify my thoughts and share my studies I decided it would be good to resume posting here.

All constructive comments are most welcome.

Location : 135 Buist Ave, Greenville, SC 29609,