Less than 2 weeks….

Jul 26 2011

Looking forward to evangelizing in the UK.  I really don’t know how God will move this time.  I’m reminding myself to throw out my previous memories and allow God to work in new ways.  This actually came from SBR JH#3 – where the speaker Jason Chenowith reminded us to not live in previous memories, but to look to create new ones.

So for those that do read my blog, please pray for me that I don’t live in the past – but that I look to God to help me look to the future – and allow God to work in new ways.

Also pray that the students and leaders grow spiritually on the trip along with the people that they impact.

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cleaning the basement

May 12 2011

Last night I spent some more time cleaning the basement. Went through 8 portable file containers, whittled the contents of them down to one portable file container. Gave Haley a whole bunch of clothes to donate to Goodwill.

We were going to put price tags on the the garage sale items, but Haley opted to let me continue cleaning the basement.  Haley is tentatively planning a garage sale this weekend.  I’ll find out if it’s going to fly or not by tomorrow.

Tonight is the high school youth group (Underground).

My inlaws are coming into town this weekend (Friday night). Suggested to my mother in law that she check out the Lighhouse Opening. http://www.kenoshahistorycenter.org/events6.htm Even if she doesn’t get to go to the party on Friday night, she can always go see and do a tour of it on Saturday.

I’m gearing up to do a deacon retreat Friday night / Saturday morning.  We’re going to be talking about some changes that will be happening over the summer / fall for our church.  Looking forward to it!

Haley has a bunch of things for her parents to do this weekend. 

I’m also signing up for BT 5502 – 01 Biblical Theology of the New Testament at Moody.  This course runs from 05/24/2011 – 07/18/2011 and is an introduction to New Testament theology from the perspective of each author, the progress of his thought, his historical background, and culture. It includes a study of the three Synoptic Gospels, the book of Acts, the Pauline letters, the Johannine writings, and the General Letters. I will be learning how to trace themes within the biblical text.

There’s only three more weeks of regular middle school ministry left.  I’m going to miss the leaders that are leaving, but I’m looking forward to the new leaders that are coming in!

-brian

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worship vs. evangelism

May 10 2011

there are people that are gifted in worship.

there are people also gifted in evangelism.

i was thinking about worship and evangelism and how the two play a role in the church.

evangelism serves to bring people to a relationship with Jesus Christ. through Jesus Christ our relationship is restored with God the Father. as a result, we are then able to worship God as His children.

worship serves to glorify God the Father. however, people have no need of worshipping God until they realize the broken relationship, which necessitates evangelism.

what a day that will be when all of God’s people are brought home, being able to worship God forever! :)

-brian

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When all hope fades…

May 04 2011

Luke 23:48-49 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things. (NIV)

The death of Jesus stunned those left around the cross at the end. What were the crowd to do now? All hope had gone. There was no point staying there, so they went back into the city. But before leaving, they beat their breasts. Culturally, death was greeted with loud wailing which expressed the personal loss of the loved one. But ‘beating the breast’ was more than that; it was a public loud sign of hopelessness, dismay, remorse and repentance. They had failed Jesus and knew that regret was not enough.

Somehow the crowd had understood that the death of Jesus Christ was about them too. Those who had shouted, “Crucify Him!”, then heard the centurion pronounce Him ‘not guilty’ (Luke 23:47). So, when the crowd felt guilty, they were right. It was for their sins that the Lamb of God was slain. Isaiah 53:5 puts it like this, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

But if they had believed the words of Jesus and the numerous prophecies in the Old Testament, they would have been full of hope – looking forward to His resurrection. But that was the problem: they did not believe Him, and so they were hopeless. That is the real reason why so many feel hopeless today. They do not know that the love of Jesus is still burning towards them; that the power of Jesus is close at hand; and that the mercy and forgiveness of Jesus is free to all who ‘beat their breasts’ (despair of themselves) and put their trust in Him. There cannot be any hope in following even the wisest of dead leaders, because our future is always limited by how much we can achieve. However there is abundant hope in following the risen Jesus. His sacrifice for our sins is far greater than anything we can do, and also gives us access to His living love and power, now and for ever. If you know it, rejoice … and tell others … it is the best news in the world.

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is hell starting to freeze over?

Apr 24 2011

for those of you who know the continuing saga of my basement, i have actually started to take steps to cleaning my basement.

yeah.

seriously.

everything is now in a blue bin or cardboard box. the floor has been swept clean.

the next steps are to take one bin at a time, and decide what to do with the contents of the bin.

we’ve got a rummage sale planned for the spring. don’t know the date yet, but looking forward to selling a lot of things that are no longer needed.

so good to sit on the couch and rest my feet.

-brian

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reflections after a semester…

Apr 17 2011

I am thankful that my semester’s work is done. Well, almost. Have a posting to complete. I will say that my Romans class was one of the best classes I’ve taken in my life. It wasn’t that I learned a lot, but it is what God did to my life during this class. He drew me closer, and has given me assurances of my salvation. I still have a sin nature, but I am no longer controlled by my sin nature. I’m realizing more and more the importance of dying to my old self.

-brian

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the creation of man…

Apr 17 2011

Grudem correctly positions man as not necessary, but man is created to give glory to God (Ephesians 1:11-12). Our response to that should be that we “do all to the Glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). While the Fall caused God’s image in man to be distorted, it wasn’t completely lost. As we are redeemed in Christ we start a progressive recovery of being made fully in God’s image. And we look forward to Christ’s return, knowing we will have a complete restoration of God’s image in us (Grudem 444-445). A significant point that Grudem made is that Jesus became a man, reminds me that while the universe is big, the fact that Jesus became a man signifies the importance of human beings in God eyes (Grudem 450). A personal application is that I must check myself when meeting a person for the first time. I find myself making a snap judgment about a person when I meet them for the first time based on their physical appearance. I should remember that people who are radically different, older, weak, unattractive to the world are still made in God’s image. Every person regardless of race, those seriously ill, the mentally retarded and children yet unborn deserve the full protection and honor as human beings (Grudem 450). Recently a child with Down Syndrome has started attending the middle school ministry. This is the first time that I’ve experienced a mentally handicapped student in the middle school ministry and I find myself looking for ways to make sure that the activities that we do as a youth group, the teaching and small group can accommodate this child with special needs as well as effectively minister to the students at the same time. What an honor that God has given me an opportunity to teach other students the value of human life by showing respect and honor to the mentally handicapped child!

-brian

Grudem, Wayne A. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2000. Print.

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one of my favorite songs…

Mar 11 2011

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Snow Daze

Jan 19 2011

Met with Bob Long today during lunch to go over Snow Daze items. Looking forward to seeing what’s going to happen over the Snow Daze weekend (last weekend in January).

I’m praying for changed lives. Big or small.

-brian

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The Pitcher

Jan 12 2011

(Note, I am not the original author of this writing piece.  It came to me from the Newtown Presbyterian Church in PA.)

There was a potter who needed a pitcher for the milk she poured over her cereal every morning. So she measured the height of the shelves in her refrigerator and calculated the necessary dimensions for a half-gallon pitcher. She went to her studio, chose the clay she thought best and sat at her wheel. She made a shape pleasing to her eyes–after all it was her pitcher–she put on a handle shaped to her hand and added a pouring lip for that was the purpose of the pitcher. She brushed on her favorite color of glaze, fired it and was delighted with the results–she had created a beautiful pitcher.  She took it home, filled it with milk, put it in the refrigerator and went to bed. The next morning the potter poured a bowl of cereal, opened the refrigerator, and reached for her new pitcher.



The pitcher suddenly shouted, “Oh, no you don’t! Keep your hands off!”



The potter responded, “I was just going to pour some milk on my cereal.”



“No, you’re not!” replied the pitcher. “I worked hard to get this. I started out with no milk at all, but through hard work and careful stewardship, I am now full of milk. No one’s going to come along and pour out all that I’ve wanted so long to achieve! Anyway, I need all this milk; I’ve got a kid going to dairy school next year.”



“Hmmm,” pondered the potter. “I don’t think you understand the real story here. You see, I created you and I made you for the express purpose of filling you with milk so that I could pour it out each morning on my cereal. You were made to pour not to store!”



“A nice story, but I don’t get it,” said the pitcher. “But seeing that you are in need, I am a generous pitcher. I will give you two tablespoons of my milk. That should wet the cereal nicely. Everything in Moderation — that is what I think!”



The potter looked deeply into the heart of the pitcher, “You’re afraid,” she said, “If you allow me to pour out the milk you will find yourself empty, that you will then be poor, and that I will throw you out and find another pitcher. You don’t realize that if you allow me to empty you, I will have found you to be a priceless pitcher. Then I will continue to fill you to the top over and over and over again, and we will become partners in emptying and refilling you. Perhaps, if you are willing to be emptied more completely and more often, I will find many other bowls of cereal who are longing to be drowned in the love of your giving.”



“And what if I don’t believe you and want to play it safe and just keep the milk I’ve got?” The pitcher inquired.



“You are free to make that choice,” the potter said with a sad voice. “Then I will make another pitcher who is willing to be my partner. I will have to set you on the back of the refrigerator shelf. You can keep your milk. But after a time, your odor will keep everyone away, and you will have missed the greatest job for which all pitchers are created — the joy of being poured out!”


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