Archives for January 2019

Adam’s Devotional – January 31 – February 6, 2019

From Adam…

What catalyzes creativity and creates community?  What disarms hate and destroys prejudice? What mutes gossip and turns up joy? What inspires vulnerability and eclipses shame?  This may sound crazy, but the answer is real, true, genuine, and authentic play. Play does all that. That’s why play is one of our youth ministry’s core values. Play gives us permission to be who we are together without fear of judgment. The generative and permissive nature of play creates an intimate community where vulnerability meets acceptance, and we stumble into belonging together. When was the last time you really played?  Were you worried what you looked like? Where you afraid of what people would say? Were you judging those around you? No! You were lost in the moment of joy and content in the “newness” of play. Maybe that’s what God invites us into. Maybe God wants to be so close with us that we play together. Maybe God knocks on the door of your heart like a little child knocking on her neighbor’s door and says, you want to come and play with me? Who could God be calling you to play with like that? How can you say ye, to Christ’s invitation to a joyfully deep and delightfully intimate relationship with God? What would it look like you you said yes?  Maybe it looks like play? God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Adam’s Devotional – January 24-30, 2019

From Adam…

If someone was to look at your life for the past week, what would they say you value?  We reveal what we value, what matters to us, by the way we live. The youth ministry at FPC seeks to be a Christ centered community that values compassion, brokenness, grace, worship, mission, andplay. There is a flow to these values, maybe even a story line. We start with compassion because that’s the way God starts with us.  Compassion happens when we are truly “with” each other, and the One who is an expert at being with is the “with us” God, Emmanuel. Then we go to brokenness.  Spend enough time with anyone long enough, and you’ll eventually see that neither of you are perfect.  We are all broken; we bounce back and forth between arrogance and shame returning again and again to entitlement and ingratitude. It’s pretty easy to get stuck there, but then grace.  Grace won’t leave us alone. Grace says, “I love you anyway.”  Grace says, “You are my beloved, and I am yours.”  Grace says, “I am dying to love you, dying on a cross.” The romantic forgiveness of God’s grace woos us to worship. We say, “I love you too,” in worship.  And in worship, we encounter a God who says, “Love with me and love like me.”  So from worship, we go to mission.  We wake up to what God is up to in the world– God’s radical compassion and God’s pervasive and persistent grace in the midst of brokenness, and we join in. That’s what mission is.  It’s the joining in. It’s the place where God’s action and our action intersect.  Mission is the incarnation and result of God’s grace dancing with our gratitude. And finally, in the midst of it all, we play. We express our joy through playful, authentic, and vulnerable relationships. If someone were to look at your life, would they see these values?  If someone were to look at our church, would they recognize compassion, brokenness, grace, worship, mission, andplayGod’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Adam’s Devotional – January 17-23, 2019

From Adam…

This Sunday is Todd Jones’ last Sunday as the Pastor at First Pres. One quote he returns to again and again is from John Calvin.  Here’s how Todd says it, “Our wisdom, in so far as it ought to be deemed true and solid Wisdom, consists almost entirely of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves. Which comes first, who can say?” When we encounter God, we remember who God is and who we really are.  Think of it like this. Have you ever tried to plug something in when it’s really dark.  You feel around on the wall until you find the wall socket. With the other hand, you find the plug.  You twist and turn it until the prongs line up right. You try several times feeling with the tips of your fingers where the socket holes are, and you hope and pray you don’t get electrocuted.  But if someone turns on the light, even if just for a moment, it’s much easier. That’s kind of how worship is. When we authentically encounter God, we can see clearly who God is and who we are called to be. For second, a moment, or a season our soul is aligned and plugged into the source of light and life, and what really matters to God really matters with us.  That’s what worship is all about. In worship, we anticipate that genuine encounter with God that we might remember who God is and who we are–that we might be reminded what true and solid wisdom is. When’s the last time you did that? When’s the last time you offered yourself up to encounter God in worship? Are you feeling around in the dark to see who you really are?  God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Adam’s Devotional – January 10-16, 2019

From Adam…

Do you ever talk to yourself negatively in a way that you would never talk to anyone else? If we speak with anger, judgment and resentment to others, we can do a whole lot of damage and even destroy entire relationships. Is it crazy to think that when we speak to ourselves with that same kind of resentment, we cause similar damage? The good news is that God never speaks to us that way. God never speaks to us from a place of resentment.  Think about it. When Christ was on the cross, being killed by the Romans at the request of his own tribe, do you remember what he prayed? “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Even in the moment when Jesus had the greatest cause for judgment, resentment, and disappointment, he chooses grace. That’s why grace is one of the main values of our youth ministry and core to the DNA of our faith. How do you think God feels when we speak to ourselves with ruthless resentment and harsh judgement? Have you ever realized the only other person who hears the way we speak to ourselves is God. What do you think God says in response to our internal verbal abuse? Perhaps if we slow down enough, we can hear God say, I forgive you, for you do not know what it is you are saying. Would the way you speak to yourself change if you remembered God was a part of the conversation?  Would the way you think about yourself change if your received God’s relentless grace? God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.  

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