Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

On My Mind #25: why I dove in a trash can last Friday night.

Why would I dive in a trash can? I promise it’s not just a catchy title. I did it. In front of about 350 people, mostly teenagers. So why?

Let me back up. About five years ago, a bunch of youth workers in the Akron area started a conference called Breakout. The website for the conference is here: www.breakoutconference.com

Despite being out of youth ministry for the last two conferences, I have still had a desire to be around the conference. Last year I ran video and media. This year I was asked to speak at one of the main sessions.

The theme of the conference this year was “Uncommon”. It was based on Romans 12:2 “be transformed by the renewing of the mind.” When our minds are renewed by God, we start to think differently, and do uncommon things.

I was sharing about some of my own difficult phases in life, and talked about how at times it felt impossible that the situations would ever change. And in developing the idea that it feels impossible at times, we worship a God who doesn’t know that word. Great things are possible when God is worshiped.

But sometimes we need to take those old filthy lies and … you guessed it, put them in the trash. The lie that life change is impossible belongs in the trash. It belongs there, along with all the other nasty, filthy, leftover, unwanted, pukey type things we put in the trash. And so to illustrate my point that having a changed mind, changed life, and changed outlook aren’t impossible . . .

I dove in a trash can. Hands and head first. I ended up on the floor and bent the rubber trash can up pretty good, but I was okay. And praise God He moved in the hearts and lives of some of the teens at the conference. Want an example? Okay, here’s one:

After I spoke there was a concert. During the concert one young man came up to me and said “I was really challenged by your talk.” I asked him why. “I was raped,” he replied from his couldn’t be more than 14 year old frame. “With God’s help you can move past it – it’s not impossible,” I told him.

“I know. I started to. Tonight.”

Awesome.

Monday Links and Bullets 3.26.12

Another week gone by. Another Monday has come. Here are some good links to check out this week, followed below by some of my own bullet thoughts.

Good article on the position of atheists.

15 reasons to stay in church

I wish there was more stories like this.

Is this necessary in prison?

Leading adult children back to Christ

For parents of teens: empower them!

Great article about Tebow.

Bible contradiction? No!

Great thoughts about getting justice.

BULLET THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK

–Got a chance to hang out with my wife on my day off. Not often she’s home on a Monday. Very enjoyable to spend some time out and about.

–Ohio State to the Final Four ey? Go Bucks!

–Enjoyed hearing sincere testimonies in church yesterday.

–These next couple weeks are definitely going to be busy ones. No doubt I’m excited about it, and excited for what God is doing!

–How are you planning to focus spiritually for the upcoming celebration of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Parents, how will you lead your family during this special time?

–It finally feels like March. Hooray!

–Never underestimate the power of Ibuprofen to help with respiratory bugs. Anti-inflammatories have been a decent help to me with minor breathing troubles.

–This summer is definitely FULL!

–What an amazing time at Breakout 2012. The theme and challenges were excellent. How anyone could walk away from that conference indifferent to Christ is truly beyond me.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday Link Highlight 3.23.12 – should I divorce if miserable?

No question on which link drew the most interest this week.

miserable/

Have a read of the article. Since my Wednesday post was on a similar topic, only a couple comments:

1. No matter the situation , please don’t make rash decisions based on emotions.

It can be said for the auto dealer, the sales presentation , and marriage. People end marriages because they didn’t feel happy. How subjective! The Bible gives little wiggle room on divorce. This should give us hope that God will provide grace and strength to see it through and that resurrected marriages can come about in ways we may not understand in the heat of emotion.

2. Remember the covenant.

Jesus made a covenant based on His blood. It puts up with a lot from us humans. Marriage is intended to reflect that covenant. We honor Christ more through perseverance than through trying to attain fleeting emotions.

Have a great Friday everyone!

On My Mind #24: One good reason to stay in a difficult marriage

There are a lot of people, even Christians, who find it acceptable to leave a marriage for less than Biblical reasons. I’d like to counter with a reason to stay: Jesus.

If you talk to most married folks, they will tell you their marriage has hit some bumps along the way. Some of those bumps can be quite large. But they’ll often tell you stories of how God brought them through it.

One of the most intense stories I ever heard involved a couple where the man ran off with another woman for years, the wife knew it, yet they never divorced. She prayed God would bring him back or kill him. In time, the man came back.

THIS IS ONLY BECAUSE OF JESUS.

See Jesus didn’t get to be happy. He didn’t get everything He wanted. Instead to show real love He died. And He died for people who treat Him very poorly at times. And so when there is misery in a marriage, the best way to honor Jesus is to stick with it. This is largely the advice of I Corinthians 7 and the best way to reflect the sacrifice Christ made for us.

The one reason to stay when your marriage is less than happy (and work to make it better!)? Jesus. Doing so honors Him and all He did for us.u

Monday Links and Bullets 3.19.12

Third Monday of March already.  Here we go.

WEEKLY LINKS

LINK OF THE WEEK

This is from the Catholic perspective, but really applies in a broad sense to Christians.  Fantastic piece about the world we’re living in.  A lot of people think it’s unreal.

CHRISTIAN FAITH

When I am God (very challenging article).

Should someone get a divorce if they’re miserable?

Christians and MMA.  What do you think?

How to receive criticism.

Another good piece to help think about Kony 2012.

–Excellent wisdom here for brothers and sisters of all ages.

MISCELLANEOUS

How Google+ ruined the company.

BULLET THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK

  • I had breakfast with three other guys this morning.  One had to counsel someone whose wife was having an affair with a pastor.  One was going to visit the son of a congregation member – in jail.  The other was going to a 3rd grade class – to tell them one of their classmates died this weekend.  Sort of puts having a 19 month old blonde cutie smile at you all morning in perspective.
  • What a fantastic day of worship yesterday.
  • Praying so hard today for friends and situations.  I’m carrying a heavy burden in a number of different areas.  Wow I just feel heavy today with burden for others.
  • I am excited to get caught up on some reading today.  I need to get in gear and do some reading for the class I’m enrolled in!
  • Two of my final four (Baylor, Kansas) are still alive!  Not looking too good, but hey if Baylor can pull it off I’m going to be in good shape.
  • Go and make disciples.
  • I am praying the Holy Spirit will be real to me more and more in my life.
  • Pray today for someone who’s lost someone recently.  Then call or text them and encourage them to hang in there!
  • Excited for a speaking opportunity this weekend in front of a great group of teenagers.

Have a great Monday everyone!