Archives for March 2017

Adam’s Devotional – March 30- April 5, 2017

From Adam

This past week 30 high school students and a great group of adult leaders went to Waco, Texas on our spring break mission experience.  We spent the whole week reading through the gospel of Mark.  We were all surprised by Jesus.  Many of us weren’t anticipating his quick wit, his blunt honesty, and his sometimes harsh challenge.  Most of us expected to read about a quiet and wise teacher who said some pretty cool and philosophical statements about love.  Throughout Mark’s gospel, people who encounter Jesus are confused, unsettled, and even angry.  People are amazed by Jesus in Mark, and they respond to that amazement by following him or kicking him out.  When is the last time you allowed yourself to be surprised by Jesus? When was the last time you were amazed enough to be offended and or inspired? If we’re not careful, we turn Jesus Christ into a person who agrees with everything we think and do instead of being the God-with-us who transforms everything we think and do.  Either we transform Jesus to look like us, or the Holy Spirit transforms us to look like Jesus. What’s something you can do this week to open yourself up to being transformed?  What can you do to allow yourself to be surprised, amazed, and even challenged by God?  Maybe you could read Mark.  God’s up to something . . . Be a part of it.

Spring Break Mission Trip – Waco, TX 2017

This year, students traveled Waco for a spring break full of mission work, fellowship, and worship.  The group stayed at World Hunger Relief Farm and partnered withMission Waco.  Throughout the week, the group had opportunities to work on the farm, on home sites, and even lead a devotional for a group who was staying at a homeless and transitional housing ministry, My Brother’s Keeper.  During their devotional time, students read the entire book of Mark and learned that “our faith is personal, but it is not individual,” through daily check-ins with their accountability groups.  Check out the pictures below to see more of what the group joined in what God was up to in Waco!

Adam’s Devo- March 23-29, 2017

From Adam

The first time I picked up a lacrosse stick was two weeks ago.  I still can’t catch or cradle the ball.  Maybe it has something to do with never playing the game.  If you never get on the field, you’ll never get any better. That’s why we’re going through the HABITS of godliness acronym.  These habits are great ways to get on the field of our faith.  Hang time with God, Accountability, Bible memorization, Involvement in the church, Tithing, and Sabbath. Let’s talk about Sabbath.  I have to be honest, Sabbath is my favorite.  Not because it’s a day off.  A day off is something you take.  Sabbath is something you receive.  A day off is something you’ve earned because you get your work done.  Sabbath is a gift of rest from God that comes even if you haven’t finished your work. The very first Sabbath happens all the way back in Genesis 2.  It is actually humanity’s first day on the job. At the end of chapter 1, we read a job description of what it means to be human. On the sabbath, our first full day, when we have done nothing to deserve it, . . . God says rest.  It’s a gift.  It’s grace.  Our first full day we receive God’s grace.  Sabbath shows us God’s grace precedes and permeates our very existence.  Receiving the sabbath once every seven days is one of the 10 commandments. How do you do receiving the gift of sabbath?  Do you feel like you can’t rest unless everything is done?  What’s one thing you could do this week to rest in God’s gracious gift of life?  Go on a hike?  Turn off your cell phone, sit on the porch, and read a psalm with a cup of tea?  My favorite way to receive the sabbath is on my bicycle.  It’s not something you deserve; it’s something you’re given.  Receive it!  God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Adam’s Devotional- March 16-22, 2017

From Adam…

I’ve recently been introduced to 8 ball pool on my phone.  It’s a game you play via text.  I’ve been playing a lot of middle and high school students, and the more I play, the better I get. Typically the more you play anything the better you get at it.  That’s why we’re going through the HABITS of godliness acronym.  Hang time with God, Accountability, Bible memorization, Involvement in the church, Tithing, and Sabbath. These six practices are ways to play better in our faith.  Let’s talk about tithing. Traditionally, tithing is giving 10% of your earnings.  I met with someone recently who told me that he was already giving 10% but he wanted to give more.  When I suggested 11% he looked shocked and then . . . he did it.  Now he regularly tithes 11% of his monthly earnings.  Let’s be honest, 10% is a lot.  It’s the difference between hitting that next financial goal or missing it. I confess, 10% stings a little bit.  I find myself saying, but that’s my hard earned money.  Tithing reminds us that it’s actually not ours.  Tithing reminds us that it’s God’s in the first place.  And there are few things that inspire gratitude so much as generosity does.  You also don’t just have to tithe with your money.  You can tithe with your time, your talent, as well as your treasure.  Tithing is how we courageously and boldly join in the generosity of God.   If 10% feels like too much start small and increase it.  Here’s the deal.  God does not just want 10% of ourselves.  God wants 100% of ourselves.  Giving a tithe reminds us that we are called offer 100% of ourselves to the God who has offered us 100% of the divine life to us.  God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Adam’s Devotional- March 9-15, 2017

From Adam

I’m terrible at darts, but I’m amazing at Star Wars Trivia.  Why?  Because I have wasted (invested) thousands of hours of Star Wars focused time, and I have never once practiced darts. It’s hard to get great at anything unless you practice.  That’s why we’re going through the HABITS of godliness acronym.  Hang time with God, Accountability, Bible Memorization, Involvement in the Church, Tithing, and Sabbath. Let’s talk about Involvement in the Church.  In my opinion, the church has two primary practices: Worship and Mission.  The church is called to go about worship and mission with a spirit of Compassion. Worship is not a place where we go to get spiritually fed (although that is a nice bonus); it’s an invitation to offer ourselves to and anticipate encountering God. Mission is not community service and volunteering (although it’s good to do those things); it’s an invitation to join in what God is already doing in the world.  Compassion is not feeling sad when bad things happen to other people (although empathy is a good thing); it’s an invitation to allow your heart to break for the pain and burst for the joy in the gift of this life. Todd Jones often quotes St. Irenaeus, “the glory of God is a human being fully alive.”  Involvement in the Church through worship, mission, and compassion lead us in the direction of increasingly becoming fully alive. How are you responding to those three invitations?  What is God stirring in you when it comes to involvement in the church?  God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Adam’s Devotional- March 2-8, 2017

From Adam

It’s hard to get great at anything unless you practice.  That’s why we’re going through the HABITS of godliness acronym.  Hang time with God, Accountability, Bible memorization, Involvement in the church, Tithing, and Sabbath. Let’s talk about Bible memorization. What are the things you have memorized?  The ABCs and 123s, the pledge of allegiance, the lyrics to your favorite songs . . . any scripture?  Memorizing is kind of like eating.  If all you did was just look at food, you’d die of hunger.  If all you do is just look at scripture and never really meditate on it and think about, you might become spiritually emaciated. So here’s the challenge.  Memorize one verse this week.  It can be as short or as long as you want.  Ask someone who loves you and who loves God what their favorite Bible verse is and consider memorizing that.  Here’s one of my favorite verses 1st Thessalonians 5: 9-10. When we look at something long enough, we start to see things we never noticed before.  That’s what happens when you memorize scripture.  Take the shortest verse in the Bible– John 11:35– “Jesus wept.”  At first glance it’s just the shortest verse. Second glance Jesus is crying. Third glance, Jesus Christ, God incarnate knows what it’s like to weep.  Fourth, God is not beyond weeping with us. You could go on and on, but you will never know what’s under the surface if you never dig through memorization. Sandra Randleman said something the other day that has stuck with me.  “When the heart breaks, the words that are placed upon it fall in.” This week, place something on your heart that you hope falls in. God’s up to something.  Be a part of it.
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