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

Monday Challenge 6.30.14 – Hurting Your Pastor, Summer Intentionality, Worship Distractions

Last Monday of June. Four very good articles. Check ’em out, and be challenged!

Link of the Week

Thought provoking article here: A man who claims to love a man.

Question: Did the article have more to say than you thought it would?

The Christian Faith

1. Here are 7 ways to hurt your pastor.

Question: Ever do any of these without knowing it?

2. Do you ever get distracted in worship? Maybe those things can help you worship more deeply.

Question: Did you ever think of those distractions like this? What was most helpful?

Summer

Are you planning to be intentional about summer? Here’s a great article on the topic.

Question: What will you do to be intentional this summer?

Friday Feature 6.27.14 – Thoughts About Believers and Racy Shows

The most clicked article from Monday’s post this week deals with believers in Jesus and their choices in television. Should we watch things that we know will have racy scenes? Here’s the article:

12 Questions to Ask Before You Watch ‘Game of Thrones’

Please tike time to read this very worthwhile article.

After you’ve done that, here are a few thoughts:

1. Start With the Cross.

I love how the article points right to Jesus. Where else would we go to make a decision about how to live? Seriously, if the things we are engaging in re-crucify Christ, then what’s the point? Do we make decisions on what we can be forgiven for, or what the cross can empower us to stop?

2. What Satisfies You?

Another great question the article asked was why holy things are not enough to satisfy us? (Phil. 4:8-9). I really have a hard time watching intense movies, and I say that not as some snobbish position against those who do watch that stuff.  The honest question is really about what satisfies our mind.

Are we willing to spend significant amounts of time meditating on God’s Word?  If we do, perhaps these types of shows and movies just aren’t necessary.

3. My Question #1: Is This About Christian Freedom?

Is this a matter of Christian freedom. Discussions about music and movies usually end up in the realm of Christian freedom – so is watching this type of stuff something Christians should do?

Remember in watching this type of stuff, the burden will always fall to stronger Christians to help ensure the weak don’t stumble.

4. My Question #2: How Much Does the Believer Need to Be “In Touch” With Culture?

Do we really think that watching shows like this helps us maintain an effective witness? I struggle with Paul meaning that we should watch this type of thing in order to reach those who do. Paul became like others in order to reach them. I don’t think he meant engaging in potentially sinful things to do that.

And, I haven’t met too many people who’ve increased their success in evangelism by tuning in to this kind of entertainment.

Think. If you watch racy, raunchy things to be entertained, why?

Act. I think a good action point is having some good discussions and making sure you’re making adjustments in entertainment choices because God is working in your heart. The WRONG reason to act is because you read it in an article and you want to stop doing something to impress someone.

Why Project Shine 2014 Was Life-Altering

Maybe you think “life-altering” is too big of a phrase. Maybe you think it’s a ploy to get more readers for this post.

Believe it or not, I did consider the title. Project Shine 2014 altered my life. “How?” you may ask? Great question. That why I’m writing the post.

Beyond the fun and excitement and fulfillment of serving God and meeting new people, here are three things I can put my finger on that really changed things for me.

1. Prayer.

When God’s people come together and pray, He listens. Prayer has been a huge theme of my life over the past two months and seeing God answer the prayers of His people is a tremendous thrill.

To be clear: God answers individual prayer, but I can honestly say that I have NEVER failed to see God do God sized things when part of a concerted ministry effort coupled with intensely focused prayer.

2. Teamwork.

On the leadership side of an organization you see much more than the average participant. I learned a lot about teamwork this year and it changed me. Shine boards in the past have had amazing teamwork, but the necessity of team relying on each other seemed more real this year.

Honestly for me part of the issue is control. Leaders weaken organizations by valuing control too much. Seeing people grow and learn in their roles is something I am valuing more and more and this week really jolted that side of me. I hope to experience much more growth in this area in the future.

3. Faith.

My faith simply increased during Shine this year! Faith is living NOT by sight. So, when you don’t know what’s going to happen, your FAITH is key. As with any Project Shine year, there were many unknowns going into the week.

For me the inward struggle relaxed a bit as God helped my faith increase. Seeing clouds dodge our site and all sites all day Thursday was one of the most incredible things I’ve seen in a long time. It really helped to remind me that I need to trust in God when I can’t see.

I love ministry. I love when God changes people. I love when God changes me!

Tuesday Rambling 6.24.14 – Ten Bullet Points on Prayer

Here’s a rambling list of 10 bullets about prayer.

  • Prayer helps us see God’s will (NOT our will)
  • Prayer puts us in our position, WAY below God.
  • Prayer is always answered. (Yes, no, maybe, and wait are types of answers.)
  • We should pray frequently and often and never give up.
  • Prayer is NOT something we should do in a formula that prayer gets us things.
  • Prayer should be simple (for daily bread).
  • Prayer is ultimately about God (Hallowed be your name).
  • Prayer is to God through Jesus who mediates.
  • Prayer helps us increase our faith.
  • There is NO circumstance where we SHOULDN’T pray.

Monday Challenge 6.23.14 – Should you pray?, Christians and Racy Shows, Umpire Ministry

Monday.  Time to be challenged!

Link of the Week

Should Christians watch shows with blatant nudity?

Question: How distracted are you when trying to “think about what is pure”?

The Christian Faith via Desiring God

Two more articles from Desiring God. Yes, they’ve been tearing it up this week.

1. Should we pray for revival?

Question: Is your prayer a mask for disobedience?

2. Do you know how to be a good neighbor?

Question: What is your comfort level around non-Christians?

Sports and Ministry – to Umpires!

Here’s a great article about a ministry to umpires. Glad ESPN shared this!

Question: Is there a niche you could think of where ministry needs to happen?

Marriage

The marriage debate is not over. Maybe it’s just gearing up.

Question: Is this kind of perspective hard to see?