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Real Christianity???

What does it take to be a real Christian? One that is genuine in a hypocritical world? Thoughts anyone….

I am asking because I want to know what (after salvation) sets us apart. It seems like many Christians are confused or conficted about what it is we are supposed to be and do?  How can we be real to those within and those outside the church. I have a few thing I will blog about and I am looking for feedback.

  • Honest about our struggles and… a willingness to share them, as we seek to carry the struggles of those around us.
  • To be a community where we are known accepted and cared for.
  • We are consistently growing in our faith, dedicating time to knowing about God and knowing God personally through the Bible and prayer.
  • By having our faith dictate the way we live. We should not compartmentalize our faith, allowing it freedom at church, and yet tucking it away at work or among those who may be “offended”. Furthermore how can we claim Christianity and hold beliefs clearly contrary to Biblical teaching?
  • Outreach. If we are not sharing what we claim we believe, I question our belief.
  • Loving others as God does. This doesnt mean we will please everyon, but we never trade love for truth or truth for love.

Honest. Genuine. Real. Its what I want to be. I dont want this to turn into a to do list but a better way of living for God.

I would love your feedback!

Staying in the Word

bible-11If any of you like me at times have trouble sticking to a plan to stay in the word, here is some help. Just link to these great Bible reading plan and find one that fits your personality, strenghts or weakness as the case may be. Some may be duplicated, but I hope that you find something.

Link

http://www.navpress.com/dj/content.aspx?id=138

PDF

http://www.emmausroadonline.org/pdf%20documents/Bible%20Reading%20Plans%20and%20Family%20Ideas.pdf

Manga Messiah

     Hey have you guys seen this? Manga (pronounced “mahn-ga”) Messiah (put ou by Tyndale publishing) hails from Japan and is a relatively new art form here is the United States. Although, it has been around for a real long time in Japan, but has really gotten popular over the last few years hre in the U.S.

      There has been original Japanese series and even modern “Americanized” versions such as the original 3 episodes of Star Wars- sweet. Some others are titles called “Astro Boy, Apple Seed, Robothech” and many others.

     There is something new now, The Manga Bible from Genesis to Revelation and part of that is The Magna Messiah. It is about $12 bucks (check out Amazon.com or another retailer) and is full color, tries to caputre all four Gospels and it reads from front to back.

     If you have had a hard time getting into the Bible, this might be a frist step, NOT a substitution, but a frist step toward getting to know the Bible and ultimately God better.

I wish…

As believers of “The Way” Christians are called to live for Christ. I love students, and here is a short list to consider as we all live out our faith for GOD.

 

I WISH…

  • That students would see their school as their mission field.
  • That students could navigate around their Bible easily, due to all the time they spent in it.
  • That the lives of our students consistently reflected God living inside them.
  • That kids refused to let the world determine who they are.
  • That each kid would spend unhurried and uninterrupted time daily with God.
  • Every student had a Godly adult or parent that was involved in youth ministry.
  • That each kid would aspire to be a leader and serve in their Student Ministry.
  • That we would pray as naturally as we breathed.
  • That every kid was plugged into a church where they felt loved and accepted.
  • That kids would go to God’s word the Bible for answers to life’s questions.
  • For students to use the gifts that God gave them for the purposes God intended.
  • That students could discuss theology.
  • That each kid knew that as believers, we aren’t here to follow rules, but to follow Christ.
  • That students would bring their Bibles as more than a show piece at church.
  • hat each student understood that because of God there is absolute truth and that it can be known.
  • That each kid was not afraid to step out, be seen and speak up for Christ.
  • That we remember that (fair or not) people’s opinion’s of God are shaped by believers.
  • That kids were the same person in and out of church.
  • That students would hide God’s word in their hearts.
  • That each kid had 5 or 6 other Godly adults investing into their lives.
  • hat each student would feel the burden for their lost friends.
  • That students would live in their Bible, highlighting, writing in the margins, marking it up and making notes.
  • That being part of Christ’s church was the best thing around.
  • That kids would be a great spiritual influence on their parents.
  • That parents would be a great spiritual influence on thier kids.
  • For students to be spiritual leaders in their schools, homes, circle of friends.
  • That students Bibles would never need dusting, just replacing.
  • That those same students would also go on to lead in their college, their job and family.
  • That students would be able to defend and share their faith with those they come in contact with.
  • That students would realize that they are responsible for their lives and faith in Christ.
  • That kids and adults would be honest about their difficulties and needs in their lives.
  • For each kid to know that God is always ready to hear from them any time of the night or day.
  • That our students would not graduate from their faith after they graduate from their High School.
  • That kids saw sin as sin and not as simply mistakes. Sin is an affront to God, not an oopsie.
  • That more parents would support Student Ministry in their local area.
  • That church was perceived as a loving place, not a judgmental place.
  • That each student would never be content with where they are currently in Christ.
  • That our Student Ministry was known for what we stand for and not what we stand against.
  • That students would not let the world dictate to them what they should look like.

 

 

 

 

 

Conversations with God

What questions would you ask God if he was sitting across from you at Taco Bell? What questions would you ask about life, faith, religion, the end times, the beginning or our world, or anything in between?

What keeps you from believing in Him? What obstacles seem to get in the way of a deeper faith? We all have questions that we would ask if we could, let’s ask them here, deep questions like…

So Jesus are you going to eat that last Chalupa?

Well maybe a little bit deeper, but God is always waiting to hear from us. You will never have a deep and lasting relationship with anyone if you dont talk ans listen, so ask God the hard questions, tell him about your life and make sure you take time to listen!

The Message of Offense

Christ is offensive! The message of Christianity is offensive. Not everyone will accept Christ, so why do some churches, some Christians stay as far away as possible from not offending a non believer. I am all for being relevant and making the atmosphere inviting, but we should never pull a bait and switch. A bait is switch is tell them one thing, then when they are here give them something else. Neither should we sugar coat the truth with those we are trying to reach.

I want all Christian churches to grow, here in America as well as world wide, but at what cost. Some churches are small, because they need to learn how to best grow. Others are grown due to a watered down Christianity.

If we are going to reach those who are “lost”, we have to give them full disclosure about Christianity. Jesus said that we need to “count the cost” before we choose to follow him. We owe it to everyone we share our faith with to tell them Christianity is difficult and often a struggle, but it is worth the effort. Yes the true message of the cross will offend some, but can we really afford to compromise the message? Do we have the right to get people in the doors? Better that churches are healthy than “big”.

Saved from What

We have a lot of Christian lingo. Salvation. Born Again. Redeemed. New Birth. Regeneration. We say things when speaking of salvation and we know what we are talking about, the problem is that the ones we are talking to may have a very different idea in their mind about what we said. I have failed to clearly make this distinction painfully obvious in the past and I hope to better in the future. I am going to drive this spike in the ground to be sure. What is it? Keep reading. I believe that when we fail to, as Jesus said, help those who are seeking “Count the Cost” (see Luke chapter 14) we are setting them up to fail. We have failed them.

So, saved from what, well many times speaking of salvation we bring up Hell and rightly so, not as a scare tactic, but as a reality! Jesus spoke alot about hell. A place of never ending pain and torment. Eternal suffering, is it getting warm in here? Who would want to go to a place like that? No one, so it only helps our case to say that accepting Christ will keep us out of Hell. All true, but that is not what we are saved from. Not going to hell is just a much appreciated bonus so to speak. So what are we saved from them? We are saved from sin, not simply hell. To often people are saved from Hell and not from Sin, and we have to help them to see the difference. To be saved from Hell and not from Sin is not Christianity at all, it is a deceptive lie. Check out this quote,…

“And that is why so many are fatally deceived,for their are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of Fire who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness” A. W. Pink

So what does that mean in a nut shell? There are many people who accept Christ to be saved from hell, yet have not intention from changing their lifestyle, the sin in their life. Yes Jesus save me from hell, but don’t cramp my style. That is not salvation! I am all for talking about hell, Jesus did and often, but what he saved us from is our sin nature, he saves us from ourselves.

Please don’t separate your life and your faith. You can have a box labeld “God” and a box labeled “My Life” in another. If your faith doesn’t drastically change who you are and what you do, you need to do some digging to find out if your were saved from Hell or from Sin.

Iron Man

The Mighty Iron Man

The Mighty Iron Man

Spiderman! He is my all time favorite, but a close second is Tony Stark aka Iron Man, the appeal for me goes to another of my childhood favorites of the one and only Boba Fett, although Iron Man predates Starwars. I just love the armor!

 

 

Iron Man has gone through many “versions” but has always had the presence to inspire dread in the hearts of “evil doers”. His incredible armor is something any kid or military would take in heart beat. Although he is a hero, he is much like Batman in that his ability is not in that he was bitten by a radioactive spider or born with a genetic mutation, but out of suffering, hardship he becomes something more than he ever would have had he lived his normal self indulgent billionaire lifestyle.

It reminds me of another hero I have, although he is not as dramatic and he can’t fly, he has had far more influence than Iron Man could ever have. Tony Stark could learn much from this Hero of the faith, I am talking about none other than the Apostle Paul.

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Dating Outside the Faith

Attraction, it is a natural and often spontaneous thing that we cannot always adequately Attraction, quantify or understand. When we see someone who is “good looking”, we often first try to detemine what it is that has drawn us to that person. Maybe it is their personality, their smile, their attitude, their kindness, physical features, or special something that has caught our eye.
All this is natural, it is the way God wired us, but what happens when the one who has caught our eye and maybe our heart is not a beleiver in Christ? Is it okay to date outside the faith? I mean it is not like you are planning to get married in a week, you are just getting to know the person, right? Well maybe, but maybe there is more. Chime in and let me know what you think. How do you see it? How do you believe God would see it and what do you base that on?
Keep the Faith and Give it Away!

Kenn

Bigger or Better?

Guys we need to pray for the health of our church. It is easy to want to say that we need to be bigger! I want every chruch in America, our church and our Student Minstry to be bigger, but we need to be better then we will get bigger. So please be in prayer for the church generally and our chruch!

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