Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Freshen' Up

Bible Study Recap-Sunday, December 11

What's wrong with stale food? Why don't we like to eat it? Because it has not flavor? Because the quality just isn't there? Because it doesn't excite our taste buds?

Just a food can be come stale if neglected, our prayer life can become stale if neglected. Here are 5 ways to freshen' up that prayer life of yours.

1) Prayer Closet
Have a designated spot to pray. Fill that spot with reminders of who and what to pray for (i.e. pictures of missionaries, a map of the world, pics of friends, a journal, prayer request cards)

2) Live in an Attitude of Prayer
This is the whole "pray without ceasing" thing. We have to remember how important prayer is. It's as important to our spiritual "lungs" as oxygen is to our physical lungs. We can't go through life in prayerlessness. Look for those quiet, and sometimes not so quiet moments to pray, even short prayers, for the needs around you.

3) Prayer Walk
This is an example of living in an attitude of prayer. Pray for your friends as you pass their lockers. Pray for specific individuals in the nursing home as you drive by. Pray when you hear an ambulance or fire truck drive by. Pray as you walk around the mall for the people who are focusing all the time on material goods. Pray everywhere you go.

4) Journal
Keep track of your prayers. Write them down. It will help you recognize what God is doing in your life.

5) Change up Your Prayer Posture
How many of you pray the same way all the time (sitting in a chair, laying in your bed before you go to sleep, etc.)? Have you ever heard the Holy Spirit exhorting you to kneel or even lie prostrate (face down on the floor) before your King, Jesus Christ? Try It!

God wants us to live in prayerfullness...it is our means of communication with Him and will draw us closer and closer to His heart. Don't go through life prayerlessly.

If your prayer life is stale (and you know if it is...you don't pray, you pray mostly for yourself and "things", you never "hear" a response...) begin afresh TODAY! God wants to have vibrant conversation with us. Would you go through a whole day walking with, sitting next to, and living with your best friend and never speak to them? God is with us every moment...we need to be talking to Him continually!

Revival starts with prayer, and your schools need revival...so start praying!!!

More Turkey Bowl Pics

The Jericho Jammers Think they Have it Made!

The Bucks are Feelin' It after taking a 24 Point Lead!

Ryan encourages the Bucks to keep strong (and to remember the rules of the game)

Andrew Takes a Shot from Todd

The Whole Crowd...Great Game Guys!!! It Was a Blast!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Turkey Bowl II

The Battle for the 2nd Armagedon Cup ended in a blowout on November 20, 2005. The Bucks handled the Jerico Jammers 55-20 by shutting down their high octane offense.

The first half of Turkey Bowl II saw defense rule the day as Brian Bowers of the Jammers intercepted and ran back a Bucks' Ryan Russell pass for a touchdown. Despite this defensive effort, the Bucks still succeeded in scoring two touchdowns to take a 12-6 lead into halftime. This halftime score gave rise to the thought that the entire chase for the Armagedon Cup would be a defensive struggle. This belief was quickly found wanting as the Bucks stormed out of the locker room to increase their lead to 37-6.

The Bucks' Jessica Bowen (the MVP of the game) dealt the crushing blow to the Jammers early in the second half with two scores in two plays. She first caught a short touchdown pass from Russell and then promptly turned around, intercepted a pass for the Jammer's Dennis Craft, and returned it 15 yards for another score.

The Jammer's attempted a hurry up offense which nothced them their first offensive touchdown of the game, but it was too little, too late. With a touchdown reception by Brian Chapman and Jonathan Billings, along with a touchdown run from Andrew Carson, the Bucks continued to pour on the pressure culminating in an end of game 40 yard interception return for a touchdown by Cord Green, one of his 3 interceptions on the day.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

GTKY Vol. 11 (The Christmas Editions)

What is Your Favorite Gift you've ever GIVEN to someone else at Christmas?

GTKY Vol. 10 (The Christmas Editions)

What is Your favorite gift you've ever received at Christmas?

GTKY Vol. 9 (The Christmas Editions)

Who are you asking to come to the Christmas Party with You?

GTKY Vol. 8 (The Christmas Editions)

What do you want for Christmas?

Respond in a comment to this post to let everyone know!!! Don't forget to put your name in the little box!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The End

Wednesday, November 9
James 5:7-20

This is it. The end of the James study. If you missed Wednesday night then you missed the culmination of 4 months of study.

The book of James is full of practical advice for the Christian life. So, after studying James, we should have a pretty good idea of how Christians are supposed to live, now we just need to do it. So how can we do it? In James 5:7-20 we find 8 practical ways to "live the life" of a believer.

How to Successfully Live the Christian Life

1) Have Patience-Wait Actively for the Lord. (v7-8)

2) Don't fight among yourselves. Christians fighting with Christians does not help anyone successfully live the Christian life. (v9)

3) Study and be encouraged by the example of the saints that have gone before...in the Bible and in Church history up to today.

4) Live above blame. Live in such a way that you can ALWAYS be trusted (v12)

5) Faithful prayer and praise...for and with those around you. (v13-15, 17-18)

6) Confess your sins to each other. (Accountability #1) (v 16)

7) Don't let each other off the hook for sin. (Accountability #2) (v19)

8) Consistently Witness. (v20)

So now, let's go out and do it...don't just try...do!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Holey Gucci!

Wednesday Night Recap
James 5:1-6

Truths from James 5:1-6

Truth 1: Rich does not make happy (v1)
Truth 2: God is not pleased with wasted riches. (v2-3)
Truth 3: Money and clothes will only last for a limited time. (v3)
Truth 4: Our wastefulness of spiritual riches could result in someone's spiritual death.

Don't waste what God has given you. Use your talents, riches, and other resources for eternal purposes!

Why Should I Care About You?

Sunday Night Recap
October 24, 2005

The Christian community is failing to do its most basic jobs. What can we do, as Christians, to change this? We can recognize what the Bible calls us to do with and for each other and then start looking for ways to do it!

Here are 4 Responsibilities of the Christian Community:

Responsibility 1: Comfort
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 reminds us that God comforts us in our times of trial so that we can turn right around and comfort somebody else. There are many hurting Christians...let's start comforting them with the truth of God's word instead of the wisdom of this world.

Responsibility 2: Strength
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 tells us that 2 or 3 are better than one. It makes the work easier, provides better protection, and provides strength in the times that this world is trying to break you. That is why it is so important to surround yourselves with Christian friends. It is very easy to break one pencil, but very difficult to break 3 that are placed together. That's what Slomon means when he says that "a cord of 3 strands is not easily broken." If you are surrounding yourself with unbelievers, and trusting their strength, it's like trusting 2 noodles to protect a pencil from getting broken.

Responsibility 3: Accountability
Galatians 6:1 encourages us to recognize sin in the Christians around us and then gently seek to restore their relationship with God. It's like setting a broken bone...it hurts like heck to do it, but the result is healing and usefulness of the broken limb. If you never go through the pain to set the broken bone, the limb will continue to hurt for much longer and will not be useful again. If we refuse to take our responsibility to restore the Christians around, even if it hurts, we are robbing them of the opportunity to be useful for the Kingdom of God in the future.

Responsibility 4: Encouragement
Many people are depressed everyday...even Christians...and that should not be. We must work to lift up and encourage the people around us with the hope, peace and love that comes for the Truth found in the Bible. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

So, let's start doing it...Today!!! Look for those opportunities God is placing in your life to comfort, provide strenght, hold accountable and encourage the Christians around you, and don't be afraid to ask for the same thing from those same Christians for your life!

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Wenesday Night Bible Study Recap
James 4:11-17

Imagine the scene:

A Minature Golf Course, 1998, a place where high schoolers go to work after a long day for school. Here we have two such high schoolers engaging in a conversation about a fellow employee...
(names and events have been changed to protect the guilty)

Vick: Another day, another dollar.
Christalena: Yeah, I can't stand this place. But at least I get to work with you.
Vick: Oh Yeah! There are some people I can't stand to work with here.
Christalena: I had to work with Bryan yesterday. What a day! All he ever does is stand around and talk about other people and how bad they are at their job!
Vick: I know! he enver helps any customers unless he is told to by Harry.
Christalena: Yeah, and Harry the Bossman thinks Bryan is the greatest employee he's ever had. he didn't even get mad when Bryan yelled at the owner.
Customer: Excuse me. I'd like to get some game tokens please.
Vick: (Ignoring the customer) You can always be sure that Bryan will stand at the least busiest counter so he has to help the least number of people.
Christalena: I know! I probably helped, like, 200 people yesterday, and he maybe helped 10. And even then he didn't get to them very quickly. They had to wait FOREVER!
Customer: (Becoming irritated and knocking on the counter) Excuse me. Can I get some help over here?
Vick: He Christalena. Do you think we could get Bryan fired?
Christalena: Maybe. I was thinking about complaining to Harry about him, but the Bossman likes him so much!
Customer: He people! I don't have all day!
Vick: Can't you see we're having a conversation here! Everybody always thinks they deserve immediate service!
Harry: Vick. Christalena. What are you guys doing? There is a customer over there and ya'll are just standing here talking! If you don't get to work, you're time here is going to be ver short! Don't assume you'll have this job as long as you want it!
Christalena: But Harry, Bryan does this all the time. He never helps customers! you never get mad at him!
Harry: You don't worry about Bryan. Let me take care of him. You just do your job. You'ren not the boss here, I am! Now GET TO WORK!

Do you see the irony in this scene? Here are two employees judging and speaking against a fellow employee for actions that they are presently commiting themselves. The boss comes in and reminds them of their present responsibility, which they know they are supposed to be doing, and reminds them that he is the only one who has the authority over the employees. He also warns them that their time could be very short at that job, so they should get to it or they may lose the only job they have.

In James 4:11-17 we see a similar picture played out in relation to the Christian life. Christians are often so busy pointing out other people's issues, and trying to play judge, that they forget about their own daily responsibilities for the Kingdom of God. We also often plan, in our arrogance, our life ahead as if we had a gaurantee that we would live to that point.

James reminds us that God is the only judge and lawgiver and that he has the power to save or destroy us. In light of eternity our life is very short, like a mist rising from a boiling pot of water, or hanging around after a shower.

We do have a responsibility to point out sin to fellow Christians, but not in a condemning way of passing judgement. The purpose is to encourage each other to get off the fence and move deeper into our relationship with Christ, trusting His plans for our life and not our own plans.

James closes out this discussion with one, very clear truth.
v17-"To you who knows what you are supposed to do, and yet do not do it, to you it is sin."

We know the life we are supposed to live. We know what parts of our life are straddling the fence between surrender to God and friendship to the world. We must surrender those areas of sin in our life to God for any hope of joy, peace, and direction in life.

Remember, if we submit to God, then we can resist the Devil and he will flee from us.

Selected Truths from James 4:11-17

Truth 1: Only God can judge a man's character. (v 11-12)

Truth 2: God is able to save or destroy you. (v 12)

Truth 3: We don't know what our life will be like tomorrow. (v 13-14)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Knocked off the Fence

Wednesday Night Recap
James 4:1-10

Have you ever tried to climb a fence? Have you ever gotten your shirt or shoe string stuck on the fence as you tried to climb over? What was your attitude when that happened? Did you decide to just sit on the fence and wait it out, or did you do whatever it took to get yourself untangled so that you could get over that fence?

So many Christians are content to get stuck on the fence between who they used to be and who God wants them to be. Be careful, because God may come along and knock you off the fence, not in gentleness, but with pain.

James talks about this phenomenon in James 4:1-10. He starts with a discussion of conflict and wars. What is the conflict, and what causes it? The conflict is the everyday battle we face between doing what we should do and doing what we do. This battle can lead to sin.

Here is a definition for Sin: Placing your desires for you above God's desires for you.

When we commit this sin (selfishness, pride, idol worship), we are straddling a very dangerous line. When someone claims to be a Christian, yet lives their life in such a way that defies all that being a "new creation" is supposed to mean, you are at the same time trying to be friends with the world and God. This is called straddling the fence in the Christian life. You are living a lukewarm life, neither hot or cold.

What does God have to say about fence straddlers and lukewarm Christians who walk the line between worldly living and Biblical living?

"You adultresses, do you not know that friendship with the would is hostility towards God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself and enemy of God." James 4:4

If you are living your life on the fence, God considers you His enemy? Why? Because you are doing His Kindom absolutely NO GOOD! If you call yourself a Christian, yet date someone that everyone knows doesn't live up to Christian virtues, it cheapens your claim to Christianity. If you call yourself a follower of God, yet live in a way that follows after all the desires and toys of the world, your loyalties are seen as cheap. Christians that sit on the fence detest God and should detest other Christians.

Don't live a life of Cheap Christianity. Get on God's side of the fence and seek to move as deeply and far away from the fence, into Biblical living, as you can. Don't be one who hangs out next to he fence ready to jump over at a moments notice.

Here are some truths to grab hold of in Jame 4:1-10:

Truth 1: Trying to fulfill our desires on our own terms leads to sin. (v 1-2)
Truth 2: God wants us to ask and trust Him to fulfill our desires. (v 2)
Truth 3: Go dis not obligated to fulfill selfish requests. (v 3)
Truth 4: Friendship with the world is like cheating on God. (v 4)
Truth 5: God is jealous for us because He created us for a purpose. (v 5)
Truth 6: We must submit to God before we can resist the Devil. (v 7)
Truth 7: God desires to be close to his creation. (v 8)
Turth 8: Repentance and humility bring hope of encouragement. (v 9-10)

The Challenge: Questions to Consider

Which side of the fence are you on? Are you on the fence? What "gunk" is on your hands that is dirtying the pure tasks that God has placed in your life? What selfish ambition, anger, pride, jealousy, etc. needs to be cleansed from your life so that you can be lifted up by the Lord? What circumstances are in your life now that require you to submit to God so that you don't sin in your response to those circumstances? Whare is your hope? In Jesus? In yourself? In others?

Keep digging into truth for motivation and direction. Be willing to humble yourself before God and let Him lift you up!

GTKY Vol. 7

What is your least favorite chore to do around the house?

GTKY Vol. 6

What is the Best Book you have Ever Read,
What are you Reading Right Now?

GTKY Vol. 5

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Sunday Night Recap
Ephesians 2:1-10

Ahh...ze zelf-portrait. Ze challenge of every artiste to accurately depict oneself in clay, stone, paints, or lead.

How much can a painting, sculpture, or drawing really show us though? It can show us what someone looked like, but can it really show us who that person was?

What about you? Who are you and what are you? What would your deeper self-portrait look like?

When examining our lives, our self-portrait needs to go beyond the surface of what we look like. We need to examine what other people think about us, what we enjoy, what we dislike, what we're good at and where we fail, our fears, hopes and dreams. Then, once we have a good idea of who and what we are, we need to measure our self-portrait against the masterpiece portrait that God has drawn of us.

Think about this question...Who and what does God want you to be? Actually think about it for a minute...then go on.

The answer to this question should not just be, "a fireman" or "a good Christian". It may include, "more caring, sympathetic, hard working, trusting, less fearful, and diligent." Why do you think specific characteristics came to your mind when you were thinking about who and what God wants you to be? Because those are the things He wants to work on in you...to make you into the masterpiece he's already drawn!

"And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.


being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.

For we are His MASTERPIECE, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

Ephesians 2:1-10

The starting peice of your masterpiece is Jesus Christ. If you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you will never live up to what God wants you to be. Realize your desperation without Him, ask Him to fix the sin in your life, and allow His masterpiece life to fill you up!

If you do have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, then God expects you to be different from the world. That's why, at the beginning of the Ephesians passage He says "you formerly walked" in sin, BUT GOD saved you from that!!!!!!

So, here comes the hard part. What are you doing that is messing up that masterpiece that God has of you. What pieces are missing that God is calling you to allow Him to change in your life today?

One cool thing about masterpieces...like the Mona Lisa, EVERYONE wants to see it! Allow God to work His masterpiece in your life, and have a worldwide impact for His kingdom!

Friday, October 7, 2005

GTKY Vol. 4

What is your most favoritist toy EVER!!!

(something you had as a kid, or even have now...)

GTKY Vol. 3

What is the furthest you have ever been away from Virginia?

(Name of place...not just a distance! And you don't have to have lived there...just been there)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Duelilng Wisdoms

Wednesday Night Recap
James 3:13-18

Back in the Old West, if there was a dispute it was solved at high noon, right in the center of town, where everyone could see. A duel! Today we often tend to sweep our disagreements under the rug so as not to be politically insinsitive or hurt someone's feelings.

There is a duel that needs to take place in each of our lives every day. It is a duel between wisdoms.

James 3:13-18 speaks to this duel. There are two types of wisdom in this world: Worldly and Godly. These two wisdoms have distinct characteristics, as James describes.

Characteristics of Wisdom # 1:
Earthly & Unspiritual
Full of Disorder
Characteristics of Wisdom #2:
Peace Loving
Full of Mercy
Full of Good Works
Unwavering and Steadfast
Without Hypocrisy
Wisdom #1 is described in James 3:14-16 and Wisdom #2 is described in James 3:13, 17. Which of these wisdoms do you think is Worldly and which one do you think is Godly? I believe it is pretty clear that Wisdom #2 is Godly wisdom because it celebrates the Fruit of the Spirit.
Here is the foundation of the difference.
Worldly Wisdom is concerned with self while Godly Wisdom is concerned with others. Worldly Wisdom is concerned with "self-help" while Godly Wisdom is concerned with "Spirit-Help".
If you look around this week you will see Worldly Wisdom everywhere. Oprah, Dr. Phil, horoscopes/astrology, psychics, television, music. It is all pointing us toward the mantra "do what it takes to make yourself happy, regardless of what it means for others around you." Godly Wisdom, on the other hand, is concerned with purity. Purity is a flawless direction, and that is where Godly Wisdom will lead you...in a flawless direction.
If you are seeking council, or someone comes to you seeking wisdom, turn to the source of God's flawless direction, the Bible, for your wisdom.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

GTKY Vol. 2

What is the most number of pieces of pizza you have eaten at one time? (Estimates are OK!)

Post your comment and check out what others have said! (Or click on GTKY Vol. 2 Link to the Right to go straight to the comments!)

GTKY Vol. 1

What is Your Favorite Ice Cream Flavor?

Check the Comments to See How Others have Responded!

Getting to Know You

Welcome to the GTKY's (Gitkeys)

Check out the questions (I'll try to post a couple a week, so keep coming back!!!) and send your response via the "Comment" button. Make sure to include your name in the comment so we can Get To Know You better!

H2O Encourages Meadowview

Students from H2O delivered over 30 handmade encouragement cards to Meadoview Terrace Nursing Home on Sunday night, September 25. The cards included scripture meant to encourage the residents and give them hope and peace in a time that can be so despairing. The residents were very appreciative, and the students enjoyed the opportunity to interact with them.

While the ministry was hard for some of us, the experience was a blessing for all. Thank you, students, for your willingness to make the cards and deliver them.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Happy Un-Birthday Everybody!!!

19 students from Water’s Edge H2O Student Ministries enjoyed an un-birthday party at Palace Point in Roxboro, NC on Saturday, September 17. The day was filled with bowling, skating, video games and gifts.

On the bowling scene, many pins were spared the horror of a 15 pound bowling ball hurtling towards them. This is because most of the balls flew harmlessly by in what we like to call the “gutter”. I think I actually saw a couple of the pins laughing at us and yawning in sheer boredom from the lack of action they were getting! The average score for the day was probably somewhere around 40 (and that may be generous!) The high score of the day went to Kevin Turner with a 106 (thanks for ruining the curve Kevin!)

Skating was much more successful as Heather Barden defeated a floor full of munchkins in “Four Corners” and received a nice frozen treat. Also, thankfully, the falls on the skating floor produced no broken bones, just a few bruised egos. We may need to invite someone in to give lessons on how to use those toe brake thingys on the skates…I sure never learned how to use them. I was always just glad there was a wall, or a large man, nearby.

Caroline Craft stole the show in the video game arcade by hitting the jackpoton Cyclone and winning over 3000 tickets. She bought lost of junk with her tickets. This came in a redemptive form shortly after an embarrassing display of dancing skill on DDR 2. (Is it still Raining Men?)

Everyone enjoyed giving and receiving gifts to their “secret pal”. Thank you everyone for putting so much thought into your gifts! Hope you enjoyed the cupcakes and barnyard theme!

Remember: Your birthday proves you have been given life. In the same way, your spiritual birthday is eveidence of eternal life through Jesus Christ!

Happy Un-Birthday everybody! Here’s one to grow on! *pinch*

A Maze of Words

Wednesday Night Recap-September 21, 2005

James 3:6-12

How quickly can you complete this maze?

Now, put yourself inside the maze, not above it. (This may take some deep abstract spatial thought. If you aren’t an abstract thinker, then place your hand in the air now and someone will be by shortly to help you.) Do you think completing the maze would be harder if you couldn’t see the whole thing? I would probably take many more wrong turns if I could not see the path to the goal.

What if you could follow someone who had been through the maze before? Would this make getting through the maze easier? What if you had someone looking at the maze from above and telling you which way to go? Would you trust that he would not lead you astray?

So often in life we blindly trust the people around us to lead us where we are supposed to go. The problem is that many times those people are leading us where they want us to go. How can we be sure that the direction that a leader is giving us will not lead us astray or to a dead end? How do we know that our teachers are telling us truth for our benefit and not half-truths or outright lies out of their ignorance or for their benefit?

The following questions can be answered in a simple way. God’s Word is Truth! We must compare what we are being taught to the Truth that is revealed in God’s Word. This is the crux of the 4 WARNINGS discussed in Crushing Cans & Cutting Boots (see below).

James now brings these warnings down to a personal level in verses 6-12. You may be saying, “But I’m not a teacher, so these verses don’t apply to me.” Oh, but they do!

The Truths
Here are Three Truths we can learn from James 3:6-12:

Truth 1: We influence ourselves and others through out tongue. (v 6)
The tongue is an influence over our entire being and also sets on fire the course of our life. The course of our life, in turn, affects the course of other people’s lives, whether intentionally or not.

Truth 2: Our tongue may be small, but it is a powerful tool of Satan. (v 7-8)
The tongue is described as a restless evil that is full of deadly poison. What sort of deadly poison is your tongue filled with? Gossip? Slander? Anger? Hate? Disrespect? Unbiblical beliefs?

Truth 3: Our tongue reveals sin in our life. (v 9-12)
This is where the rubber really meets the road. Do you want to know the direction of your life, whether it is honoring God or not? Listen to your words. Listen to your thoughts (the tongue of your mind). Our tongue reveals the bitterness of sin that is in our lives. That same deadly poison in v 8 is the sin that is revealed through our words and thoughts. (I say thoughts because you can cuss someone out by never opening your mouth. They may not know you are cussing at them, but your Spirit sure does!)

The Challenge

So, where does this leave us? Beaten up, convicted, and discouraged over the sin that is so easily revealed to the people around us? NO!!! It leaves us with the hope that there is someone ready to take all that bitterness and poison away, giving us the sweetness of His Truth! Jesus Christ is the cure! While we may not be able to tame the tongue, He can!

As you see your words and thoughts drift away from God, check yourself, because your life is drifting away too. Anchor yourself in the TRUTH, His Word, so that you will continually speak and think on those things that are true, honorable, right, pure, and lovely. (Phil 4:8)

Ask God right now to reveal these things to you:
o Who He wants you to have an influence over.
o People who have an ungodly influence over you.
o People that you are having an ungodly influence over.
o Sin in your life…and the tools and courage to deal with it through Jesus Christ!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Crushing Cans & Cutting Boots

Wednesday Night Recap-September 14, 2005

James 3:1-5

Ahh, informercials. You know, there is nothing better on a boring night than to flip through all the channels and watch a good infomercial. My two favorite are the Silver Bullet and that vacuum sealer thingy. I always love it when the Ronco man leads the crowd in saying, "Set It and Forget It!" It just gives me chills thinking about it.

How about a few of these ideas for inventions that would definitely sell on a late night infomercial.

The Inflatable Valet: Running late and unable to find a parking spot. Head on in to the office and let the Inflatable Valet do all the work.

The Remote Control Holster: Tired of scrounging around for that lost remote control? Do you refuse to change the channel the old fashioned way? Get the Remote Control Holster. It clips on your belt right next to your cell phone. Now your remote control is only a quick draw away.

Chameleo-Flage: It's chameleon DNA mixed with paint. Cover your body in it and instantly blend in to your surroundings. Works on automobiles too.

Tired of traffic jams, buy the new Zanac 5000...a flying car!

Bully-Killer: Get rid of those pesky bullies once and for all. (Does not actually kill the bully, only renders them helpless in a pile of tears!) Available in aerosol and liquid forms.

BaDing!: It's an instant meal. Anything you like. Just put the packet in the BaDing, press the desired meal button, and "BaDing", instant gratification!

Some of these ideas may seem a little far fetched, but some, at least the remote control holster, would work.

Have you ever been influenced by an infomercial? Why? The people on those commercials are usually so excited, so good at communicating, so skillful at making a product that may not be worthwhile look like a necessity. And everything only costs $19.95!!! It's so easy to get sucked in to what they are selling. But, what if their product doesn't deliver? The sellers on infomercials have an expected level of responsibility to be honest, fully disclosing, and fair. They have this expectation on them because they are in a position of influence that affects other people's lives!

So, what about us? Are we in positions of influence over other people's lives? Who is in a position of influence over us?

James 3:1-5 speaks to one of those positions of influence: teachers. Now, don't check out just beacuse you are not a teacher. These 5 verses hold VERY IMPORTANT lessons for you too. Let's look at 3 Truths and 4 Applications from this passage.

James 3:1-2-"Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that we shall incur a stricter judgement. For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well."

Truth 1: Teachers are held to a higher standard. (v 1)

Why are teachers held to a higher standard? For the same reason advertisers are. They have a direct influence over other people's lives, and a more regular influence over other people's lives. Teacher's words are very influential. They can teach, but they can also mold. People who are great teachers become great leaders. Because of this, teachers must be held to a higher standard, by God and man.

Truth 2: Teachers are not perfect in what they say. (v 2)

Here is why this passage is important for everyone, and not just teachers. Teachers are not perfect. We all have to realize that so that we do not follow blindly and so be led down the wrong path. Always take the words of your teachers, including me, and compare them to the TRUTH, God's Word.

Think about Hitler. Was he an imposing man? No! But he was a great speaker! He was a brilliant mind and led millions down a path that destroyed lives and attempted to destroy whole nations.

What about David Koresh. Hundreds followed his supposed Biblical teachings and ended up dying a horrible death at the hands of their leader.

Even Osama and Sadam. These are religious men who have based their lives on the twisted teaching of scripture (and I am NOT referring to the Koran as Scripture, but it does twist the true Scripture, the Bible). As a result, thousands have died and entered eternity separated from God!

It is important that we examine the teachings of our leaders and hold them up to the light of the TRUTH!

"Now, if we put the bits into the horses' mouths so that they may obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Behold, the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder, wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. Behold, how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!" James 3:3-5

Truth 3: Great teachers have great influence on great followings.

Even one man or woman can lead great crowds away from the Truth. We must be vigil
ent in keeping watch and holding our teachers acountable for what they teach.

Application: WARNING!

1. WARNING: Being a teacher of God's Word is a high calling that is not for everybody!
2. WARNING: Teachers will be held to a higher standard by God and man!
3. WARNING: Teachers have great influence and may lead you astray!
4. WARNING: Teachers of the Word who are not called by God will not survive!
Teaching the Word is something that is a calling from God. All of us have a calling placed on our lives by God. What is yours? Pray about that right now. Ask God to show you who he wants you to have influence over for His Truth now and in the future. How does He want you to impact this world for Christ.
What a great honor it is, and a great responsibility, to be in the service of the King!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

H2O Has Logoed (...is that a word) Up!

Hey H2O!

Check out the New Logo!

You'll be seeing this thing all around...letterhead, fliers, blogs, announcement slides, t-shirts, so get used to it!

Jeremiah 7:23: "But this is what I commanded them saying, 'Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way whcih I command you, that it may be well with you.'"

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Perfect Body-Part I

Wednesday Night Recap-August 24, 2005
James 2:14-24

You are sitting down working on a puzzle. It has seriously taken you weeks to get close to finishing. You look up and realize that you only have 2 more empty spots for pieces. Excitement races through your fingertips. You look down in horror, realizing that you only have one piece left!


You search frantically nearby for the missing piece. You won't be satisfied until that puzzle is finished. Its nowhere near. You look under the chairs, the sofa, the tv...nothing! You're desperate and start tearing apart the couch cusions, determined to find this missing piece. You even search the litter box (ehk...but that's how important it is to you to find this missing piece!).

In James 2:14-24, James informs us of a piece of the puzzle of our lives that is VERY important. Sadly, it is a piece that many people in the body of Christ, the church, are missing. This peace is...good works.

Now, don't get the wrong idea. James isn't saying that good works save you (we'll talk about that next Wednesday night-The Perfect Body Part II-so BE THERE). What James is saying is that if the world is going to care about the faith we always talk about (and believe me we do A LOT of talking) they have to see that faith in action.

From man's perspective, the thing that is missing in the life of the church is works. The music is nice, the testimonies are nice, the Bible studies are nice. But, what about when you walk out that door and go on about your life. Is that "going on" something that will show the people around you that your faith in Jesus is a faith worth having?

Truths from James 2:14-24

Truth 1: A faith that doens't put any action behind its words is useless (v 15-16, 20)

Truth 2: The works of the body of Christ (the church...that's us!!!) show the world that there is a faith worth having.

This is the idea of the perfect body. A puzzle with a missing piece does not create a perfect picture. In the same way the body of Christ (the church...again, that's us!!!) is not perfect usless it is DOING SOMETHING in a practical everyday way to impact the world, and encourage other believers to impact the world, for CHRIST!!!

The Challenge
The challenge for you is to do something about it this school year.

Remember man's perspective...you talk of your faith, but I don't see any works to prove you have it...so your faith is dead to me without any works.

What are WE...what are YOU going to do THIS SCHOOL YEAR to prove to others that your faith in Jesus Christ alone is a faith worth having?

A Few Ideas
Here are a few ideas we talked about on Wednesday night:
  • Carry Your Bible to School
  • Walk Away from Ungodly Conversation
  • Ask People to Stop Cursing Around You
  • Help a Struggling Classmate with Homework/Studying
  • Help Out with Local Soup Kitchens, Clean Up, Elderly, etc.
  • Pass out Tracts
  • Help Someone Find a Lost Pet (basically, taking time to help when you can in any way!)
  • Share Your Lunch
  • Take Your Friends Lunch Trash to the Trash Can for them
  • Give away some of your Christian Music to Friends who Need a more positive listening experience

These are a very few ways that we can start putting in that missing piece. Think of some more. Live out your faith daily, in every small way. Then, when people ask you why you do it, share that faith...share Jesus...it will be more effective that way!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Congrats Team Athan Mae

Congratulations to Team Athan Mae (TAM) for their stunning come from behind victory in the H2O End of Summer Bash on August 21.

Through great team leadership, TAM overcame a large defecit halfway through the event to obliterate the competition. For their teamwork and willingness to get absolutely nastified, each team member won a $3 gift certificate to I'll Be Dipped. Enjoy the ice cream guys, as if you didn't get enough during Messy Sundae.

The winning team: Dennis Craft, Andrew Carson, Jeffery Scureman, Lora Booth, and Serena Barden.

Also, a "Nice Try" goes out to the other three teams: Re-elect Staples Sherrif, Sharkagators, and 3 Guys & 2 Girls.

It has to be noted that ketchup, mustard, ice cream, cool whip, eggs, and sweaty teenagers is not a pleasant mix on the olfactories. Anyone standing within 100 yards of the playing field Sunday night probably ran home with one hand over their mouth saying, "what is that awful smell?!?"

Hope you all enjoyed the games, the food, the slip n' slide, and the yellow jacket swarm!


Saturday, August 20, 2005

It's New...It's So 21st Century!

Hey Guys!!!

Welcome to the new blog for H2O Student Ministries! No, we don't have tivo, plasma hdtv, or ipods yet, but we do have a blog...so we're getting closer to the 21st Century!

Check this out every week for Announcements, Events, Pics from Events, News, Bible Study Outlines, Music Suggestions, Random Jabbering, thoughts on the Best Topping for a Hot Dog, updates on my Desperate Search for a New Friend, who's Winning and Whining in the Fantasy Football League (Me, Christie, Todd, Tracy, or Dennis) or whatever else I feel like posting!

Post your comments or questions on the Word, school, music, world events or whatever so that we can all respond.

Get the word out...Ryanerd has started a new blog for H2O!