Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday Morning Randomness 3/21

Here are all the random thoughts filling my mind this Monday Morning March 21.
-Thankful that Spring is pretty much here.  Loving this warmer weather.
-The windows are out of the Jeep!  I would like to take the top down but it needs to be washed first.  Too many birds have been around lately.
-I am wearing shorts today, which are way more comfortable than pants.
-I remember when I was working in my final weeks at my first job out of college, I had earned several rewards in being able to wear shorts.  It was awesome wearing shorts and t-shirts while everyone else was wearing ties.
-The past 72 hours have been extremely stressful, yet at the same time I have been given a peace by God.
-I have stayed up fairly late the past two nights just listening to music.  Something I haven't done in a while and enjoy very much.
-I am still traumatized by the fact that a squirrel got in our house on Friday.  Don't ask, just pray.
-This week is Spring Break for 99.9% of Tennessee I am sure.  My seminary is even on Spring Break, but in order to actually survive and graduate I must spend these days working ahead.
-I have never felt so overwhelmed in school as I do now.  
-Only 6 more school weeks (7 weeks including Spring Break) until FREEDOM!
-While seminary has not been my favorite thing in the world, I would not go to a different seminary for anything.
-I am excited by the fact that when I am done with school I will get to play video games again on the Wii.  In fact I am planning a video game binge at that moment.
-My wife is cool and I am thankful for who she is and that she is in my life.
-I finally got to play with an iPad 2 the other day.  I want one even more now.
-I am excited about the Micah Watson Band doing a concert for us on March 30th.
-I am excited about other things that will be going on later this year that I can't announce yet.
-I can't seem to get the words "It's Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday" out of my head.  
-Enjoying David Nasser's "A Call to Die" that we as a church are doing together.  This is the best study we have done as a church.  God spoke to me today about the fact that Satan tries to accuse us and knock us down.  As I suffer with self-esteem issues caused by many things but including to opposition in my life, I know that when I am in the will of God that it doesn't matter what Satan or anyone else says.  This quote also stood out to me:  "Satan doesn't give much merit to many of us because we aren't a threat to his purposes".

Thursday, March 17, 2011

YEC 2011

We took the students to the Youth Evangelism Conference this past weekend in Nashville, TN.  What an incredible weekend it was!  I will be honest that I was a little skeptical because I was not impressed with the first YEC, and am not even sure that next year's lineup is good either, but this year was great.  First of all Addison Road led worship and did an amazing job.  They led worship the way it should be at a conference.  Their focus was on Jesus and not at all on promoting themselves.  That's what I like in a worship band.  They came out and led worships songs that everyone knew leading us to the throne of Jesus.  The only songs of their own that they did was as everyone was leaving each day.  


The speakers were amazing as well.  Friday night's speaker was Afshin Ziafat, which I had never heard before.  Let me tell you though, his story is amazing.  I was also excited because Derwin Gray was speaking and he did a great job as I knew he would.  He did not let loose as much as in the past times I have heard him speak, but his message was great nonetheless.  God definitely spoke through him.  Each session Bean and Bailey opened up with some hilarious material.


After the second session we did some prayer walking around downtown Nashville.  This was really an eye opening experience to some of the students.  As we walked through the entertainment district it was filled with people hanging out around the bars, and every five feet was someone playing music on the streets.  It was a definite example of hopelessness as this is the life that these people are living for.  We had the opportunity to pray that God would open their eyes to see Him.  We then went to the Bicentennial Park to see that part of the area and snap a few pictures.  Then we wrapped things up by going to Rocketown and getting a glimpse of the ministry there and of course getting the best frappe in the world!









Thursday, March 10, 2011

Prayer Stations 3/9

This week we took time focusing on prayer by doing prayer stations.  This time the students we allowed to go the stations in any order as long as they went to each one.  This time they were required to be a little creative in some of their prayers.


Empty Me
We began together in the main room and everyone had a cup of water that represented themselves.  The water represented anything in them that was sinful, in the way of their relationship with God, and a distraction from God.  They spent time in prayer asking God to reveal what these might be in their life.  Whenever they were ready they were to come up front and pour the water out into a jug representing that they were emptying themselves of the things that are holding them back.  They then went back to their seat and thought about how the cup is now empty and how they need to be filled with God as they spend time with Him throughout the night.


Giving God Your All
In this room there was a table with a light shining on two pennies.  The students had a sheet of paper with the following:  Mark 12:41-44  And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums.  A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent.  Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owed, all she had to live on."
Take some time to look at the two small coins on the table.  These are not the exact equivalent of what the woman had, but very close in value.  Imagine that this is al you had.  Would you give it to God, or would you save it for yourself?
Now think for a moment about all aspects of your life and ask yourself if you are giving God your all.  Are you giving Him all of you?  This is beyond giving money.  Are you giving God the time He deserves?  Are you giving Him the effort He deserves?  If not, then spend time asking for forgiveness and committing yourself to give God your all from this moment on.


Vine and Branches
This room had a "vine" taped on the wall for the students to add to.
John 15:1-6  I am the vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.  "Every brand in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.  "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.  "Abide in Me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.  "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.  "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.
If you have been saved and are born-again then you are grafted into the true vine that is Jesus Christ.  This is exciting to have that type of connection with Jesus.  As a part of the vine of Jesus, there are qualities that if good will thrive and grow, but if it is a bad quality will be cut and pruned away.  Take a leave or leaves and write your name on one side.  Then turn the leaf over and write a good quality(s) in you that can be used to glorify God and that is thriving and growing.  When done tape your leaf somewhere on the vine.  Do not write "Nothing" as a quality on your leaf, because everyone has something that can be used to glorify God.  If you have trouble thinking of something then consider why, whether or not you are allowing yourself to adequately grow in the vine of Jesus.  You may write down as many qualities on your leaf or use as many leaves as you want.  However this is not a time to lift yourself up and make yourself look good, but to praise God for what He is doing in your life.


Graffiti Mural
In this room there was a sheet of paper taped on two walls.  One had written "What I'm Thankful For" and the other "What/Who I'm Praying For".
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
God was showing His creativity and craftsmanship when He created you.  Now is a chance for you to worship God and spend time in prayer with your creativity.  One mural is for you to put "What You Are Thankful For" and the other one "What/Who You Want to Pray For".  Spend some time on each mural by either drawing or writing out what you want on each.  If you want to write scripture, then feel free to do so.  Be as creative as you want as you express your thankfulness to God and your prayer concerns.  Do not talk and please be respectful of one another's creativity.


Play-Doh Idols
Exodus 20:20-24 Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin." So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was.  Then the Lord said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'You yourselves have seen that I have spoken to you from heaven.  'You shall not make other gods besides Me; gods of silver or gods of gold, you shall not make for yourselves.  'You shall make an altar of earth for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you.
What are some of the idols in your life- possessions, activities, attitudes and relationships that get in the way of your relationship with God?  What worries or challenges in your personal life, work, or ministry seem to loom bigger than your trust in God?  Use the Play-Doh to create a symbol of these items, and then smash this idol as a sign of your desire to move closer to God's center.  When you are finished go on to another room leaving this paper in your seat.  (source: http://www.rethinkingyouthministry.com)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Monday Morning Randomness 3/7

I did not blog at all last week but I am back today with some of my random thoughts in case anyone wants to know them.


-Just over 24 hours ago I hurt my back pretty bad.  How did I hurt it?  Pretty much by standing.  I don't have an awesome story of something like I hurt while wrestling a lion.  Wish I did though.
-I am too young to be having back problems!!!
-Any hopes I had of buying the iPad 2 this week are gone because of my chiropractor bill.
-So glad that baseball is back and hope that I will get to go to a Braves game this year.  Excited that Chipper is back and doing well so far in Spring Training.
-Ready to take the top off of the Jeep.
-I heard Jason Gray's "I Am New" on the radio this past week.  So excited to hear it and especially glad to hear a good song on the radio.  That can be a rarity sometimes.
-Live drums are better than electronic drums anytime, no matter the place or situation.
-I have cried quiet a bit in the past 48 hours, and none of it had to do with my back pain.
-I wish that EA Sports would get the rights to make Major League Baseball video games again.  Not that I get to play video games or anything but it would be nice that there was a good quality baseball game made again.
-8 more weeks until I graduate and am done with school FOREVER!
-These last 2 classes I am taking are going to be my hardest out of all of them and probably have the most busy work.  How did this happen to me?
-I am in a drawing through my seminary today to win an iPad.  If I win then I will sell it and buy and iPad 2.  
-If I win an iPad from my seminary then it will probably be the most exciting thing that has happened to me in regards to my education.
-I have been to the Dairy Barn (our local ice cream place) twice since it has opened.  I have been disappointed both times and believe that it is overrated.
-There are many others things that I would like to say today but I am pretty definite that I would get fussed at by somebody.
-Here is a random picture of my awesome nephew showing me his muscle