Tuesday, January 31, 2006


What is your least favorite Chore to do?

Don't answer too quickly...really think about it (and the answer "i don't do chores" doesn't count)

GTKY 1-The First of 2006

What's In Your Ear? (Not wax...i'm talking about what you are listening to most of the time!)

What's in your CD player, on your Ipod, on your computer, etc?

Lookin' for Some Good Music???

Here are some great "new" Christian albums to check out and give a spin in your CD player or iPod:

David Crowder Band-Collision

Kutless-Strong Tower

Derek Webb-Mockingbird (www.derekwebb.com) -He Also has some pretty cool FREE podcasts linked to itunes on his web-site...just to get to know Derek a little bit better!

Sandra McCracken-The Builder & The Architect (http://www.igracemusic.com/sandrahymns)

Caedmons Call-In the Company Of Angels II (not out in stores yet, but their new single is on itunes)

Casting Crowns-Lifesong


Seventh Day Slumber-Once Upon a Shattered Life

Falling Up-Dawn Escapes

Demon Hunter-The Triptych

Our Friend Charlie Gielow has some of his new original stuff up on www.tagworld.com/cgmusic

Ryan's Top 10 Christian CD's EVER!!!

This is tough...because I know that I could get this completely wrong, but I think this is some music you absolutely HAVE to check out...especially if you think all Christian music stinks...

  • 10.Bebo Norman-TenThousand Days(Absolutely incredible...should probably get a higher spot than 10, and may on some other day...I have his song book and am trying to learn some of his stuff...check back with me in a couple of years to see if I've mastered antthying yet. Christie and I had our first dance at our wedding to "God of Second Chances", so it holds a special place in our hearts!)
  • 9.Dave Hunt-The Same Alley (I met Dave when I was in college and absolutely love his stuff. We sing some of it on Sunday's in corporate worship (It's by grace, bring Your Rain, Sustainer, etc.) Charlie kind of has a Dave Huntish sound.)
  • 8.Caedmon's Call-Guild I (I hear there are only about 1000 of these cd's out there and I'm fortunate enough to have 2...although I was a little dissapointed after years of trying to figure out the theological significance of "Open Letter" and then reading the explanation on Caedmonscall.net...o well...it's still an incredibly encouraging album...as most Caedmons CD's are!)
  • 7.Andrew Peterson-Carried Along (This isn't always my favorite style of music, but I saw He and Bebo YEARS ago with Caedmons in Charlottesville, VA and really enjoy his story telling style...plus my good friend Ryan McGann...momentum Conference speaker...walked up to him and handed him his cell phone and made Andrew talk to his Daniel...Momentum Conference worship leader...and Andrew took the phone and talked to this guy he had never met before...how often are you going to find guys as cool as that?!)
  • 6.Jars of Clay-Jars of Clay (I think one of you guys borrowed this from me and haven't given it back...i love it and would love to listen to it again if you can find it in your heart to give it back to me...please!) Since I haven't been able to listen to it in a while, their new Who We Are Instead is quickly taking over this spot!
  • 5.Third Day-Conspiracy #5 (This almost has to go to the Bus CD...but I think Conspiracy made more of a lasting impact on me...)
  • 4.Plankeye-Commonwealth (I could listen to this for hours, if not days...or weeks...or months even!!!)
  • 3.Derek Webb-She Must and Shall Go Free (Talk About HARSH...Don't listen to this if you are sensitive and cry when someone beats you with the Truth stick! Well, maybe you should listen to it anyway!)
  • 2.Mortal-Fathom (This is the CD...well, tape...that made me...as Andrew says..."hardcore")

And Ryan's #1 Must Have Christian CD...

  • 1.Five Iron Frenzy-Live: Proof that the Youth are Revolting (The only FIF concert I ever got to go to...absolutely amazing...hours of moshing and praising Jesus with the same people...and my name is in the liner notes!)

Now, It's Your turn..what are your favorite CD's of all time (preferably Christian, although I could comment on some old secular ones as well...enter REM-Document!)

Friday, January 27, 2006

What If They Say No?

Wednesday Night Recap
January 24, 2006
Modified from Lifeways Vital Truth

Check out this Video from Sermonspice.com...it's HILLARIOUS...it's just a small window prieview, but worth watching. It's the Evangelism Linebacker!!!

So, you're out avoiding the Evangelism Linebacker. You're making your best effort to be excited about your testimony, telling people at whatever opportunity you get. Stopping them in the hall at school, passing them a note in class, writing it in ketchup and tots on your lunch tray at school...

But there's a problem...

All you ever hear is, "No". (Or, "Shut up you stupid Christian! I don't need your God!")

So, after going home lying in your bed and crying in your pillow, you pick yourself up, go to your living room, lie down on the couch and cry in that pillow. Then you go get your bowl of cereal the next morning, and believe me, you don't need any milk because you've filled the bowl with tears.

It hurts to be rejected. It stinks. No one likes it. I don't like it, and that's why I have never been the witness I should be. But that's the problem. It's not about me being a good witness.

What is the definition for witnessing anyway? Here's a Biblical one: Sharing Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results up to God.

That's why hearing "No" when you tell people about Jesus shouldn't hurt our feelings, or scare us from fulfilling our calling. Your job is to be a witness. Tell the good news. You can't save anybody! God has to do that!

In 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, Paul describes himself as weak with words, trembling, and fearful, but he was an INCREDIBLY SUCCESSFUL witness! How!?!?!? Because he knew it wasn't about him, his craftiness, his speech, his beauty, or any of that. It was about speaking truth and then trusting the Holy Spirit to do the rest.

If people come to faith in Christ because they like the way you talk, or the way you dress, or the artful skills you have with ketchup and tots, their trusting YOU and YOUR SKILLS and not CHRIST!

When you witness, if you want to be successful, just tell the truth and let the Holy Spirit do the work. You can NEVER FAIL if you leave the results up to God!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

If You Love Me...

Sunday Night Recap
January 22, 2006
Matthew 22:34-40

When the Pharisees asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was, he took them back to Deuteronomy 6 saying, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind." So, tonight we asked the question, "how do I love the Lord with all my heart, soul, and mind?"

What are some specific things you can do that show you are loving the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind? Maybe we need to define those three areas first.

Heart: Sin starts in the heart, so in a sense that is where our actions start. If we are consistently living in sin, then the desire of our heart is consistently selfish. If we are consistently living for the Glory of God, then the desire of our heart is consistently bent toward dying to self. Our actions start in our heart...what we truly desire. That's why it is so important to hide God's word in our heart...it protects us from sin.

Soul: The soul is the foundation of our whole life. Without a soul that is given over to Christ, there is no life. The foundation of everything: your hopes, your dreams, your passions, your feelings, your emotions; will only be surrendered in full love to God if they are ruled by Christ. Christ must first have our innermost being, our soul, before He is Lord of our life...but then He is automatically Lord of our life after our soul is given to him, whether we like it or not.

Mind: So, being that Jesus is Lord of your life if he is savior of your soul, what are you putting into your life, what are you thinking on, what are you dwelling on that displeases the King? If we are to love the Lord God with ALL our mind, we must be aware of our responses, physically and mentally, to others, our habits and where they take us, our surroundings and how they influence us, and surrender it all to the desires of the King.

See, to love someone with ALL that we have, we can't have anything! We give up our rights to our desires and surrender our heart soul and mind to their desires. It's about living completely unselfishly, and that means we have to give up whatever "rights" this world tells us we have:

(You have the right to be an individual, to do what feels good, to be who you want to be, to date who you want to date, to wear what you want to wear, to watch and listen to what you want to watch and listen to, to treat your parents with respect when you feel like it but disrespect them the rest of the time, to cheat on your test because you didn't have time to study, to throw a beer at Ron Artest if you don't like the way he's playing basketball, to speed because "it's only speeding if you get caught", to skip church because your girlfriend/boyfriend isn't going to be there tonight, to act like one person around this group and a completely different person around this group, to refuse to take leadership because "it's someone else's turn", to not sing a song in church because you don't like it or the way the band is playing it, to treat church leadership without respect because you don't agree with their view, to believe that oral sex in the back of a car (or anywhere else for that matter) is not sex, to walk around with a frown on your face all day because you feel like it, to not stand up for truth because you don't want to hurt someone's feeling or be embarrased, to date as many people as possible because "how else are you going to know what you like in a guy/girl", to break the rules whenever you feel like it because "rules were made to be broken")

You don't have ANY of these rights...But here's a right you do have, in Christ:

You have the right to be called a son/daughter of the Living God!

So, stop trying to make Him think that you love Him, and start loving Him...with all that you are and all that you have!

Check out this Haptoon: http://www21.brinkster.com/Haptoon/032.htm

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Learning Scripture

Don't Forget...

2 Corinthians 4:1-2 are due NEXT WEDNESDAY

January 25!!!!

You guys can do it...Realize the benefits of hiding God's word in your heart!!!



I'm At a Loss for Words

Wednesday Night Recap
Modified from Vital Truth (Lifeway)
January 18, 2006

Last week we looked at the need to see people as Spiritually dead or Spiritually Alive. The challenge was to look at people with spiritual eyes and see if they give evidence of having a relationship with Christ. Continue to look at people through spiritual eyes this week and not just physical eyes.

But now, we need to know what to do with them when we see that they are spiritually dead. A lot of times, though, we are at a loss for words. So, let's rescue some truth from the trash can of confusion to give you words, not yours, but God's, that you can use when speaking to your friends about their spiritual deadness.

People Are Confused

The comments people make about faith, God, and slavation show that they are confused. Here are a few examples.
  1. "There is no God"
  2. "I'm not that bad of a person...compared to most people"
  3. "I've been in church all my life, gone on missions trips, and more retreats than I can count."
  4. "I believe that Jesus was a good man, a prophet and a teacher."
  5. "I believe in God...isn't that enough?"
  6. "I think there are many ways to heaven, people just need to find the one that's right for them."
  7. "Eternity? I don't need to worry about that right now. I've got plenty of time to get that straight later."

What would be your response if you were faced with this confusion? Where is the best response found? (Everybody together now..."The Bible") Yes, a "sunday school answer" is actually appropriate in this instance.

So, here is some scripture that can help you answer the confusion. Write them in the cover of your bible, and then have your bible with you so that you can Be Prepared to answer the confusion. (Your going to have to do a little work and look these up on your own...I'm not going to type them out here)

  1. Psalm 14:1; Romans 1:20
  2. Romans 3:23; Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:10-12; Ephesians 2:8-9; Proverbs 14:12
  3. Matthew 7:22-23; Ephesians 2:8-9; Proberbs 14:12
  4. John 14:6; 1 John 5:12; Romans 6:23; Acts 4:12
  5. James 2:19; John 14:6; 1 John 5:12;
  6. John 14:6; 1 John 5:12; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 6:23; Acts 4:12
  7. 2 Peter 3:10; Luke 12:40

Adding to the Confusion

Sometimes we add to the confusion by the words that we use when we are talking to people about our faith. Imagine being a foreigner, just learning english, and being required to read the following sentences:

  1. The bandage was wound around the wound.
  2. The farm was used to produce produce.
  3. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
  4. There is not time like the present to present the present.

How confusing is that? Many people that we will witness to are foreigners to the language of Christianity. The words we use can add to the confusion they are already living in. For example:

  1. Have you been washed in the blood? (possible response: If I had been I would have taken a shower by now!)
  2. Have you been born again? (Dude, that's sick! I'm not going there again!)
  3. I walked the aisle when I was 16 and got baptized. (The last time I walked an aisle was at the movie Rent and somebody baptized me with their Coke.)
  4. Have you been saved? (From what?)

We have to have a method of presenting the message of Christ that is relevant to our culture. The people around you have to understand what you are talking about. One of the best ways to do this is to make it personal, and that starts with your personal testimony.

My Testimony

You may think you have a really boring testimony. Just he fact that you have a testimony makes it exciting!!! If you don't think it's exciting, then you don't really understand what it means...You were dead!!! and now you're ALIVE!!! So, make it exciting (not in a James Frey Million Little Pieces embellishment way). It is how you found life. If you are excited about the rescuing you received at the cross of Christ, other people will be too!

Check out Acts 22:3-21 for an example of a testimony. This is the basic outline:

  • Paul Tells people who he is/was. He relates it to where they are in their life now.
  • Paul tells specifically what happened when he met christ; who was there, vivid description.
  • Paul tells what God is doing with him now...why his life has meaning...and why they need that meaning.

That's all there is to it...so get to it and start writing!!!

The challenge this week is for you to see a spiritually dead person and then share your personal testimony with them. You can do it! Use the Words of God if nothing else! You can never go wrong with that.

Don't forget to start memorizing 2 Corinthians 4:1-2!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

H2O 2005 Revisited

If you were not at H2O Sunday Night, then you missed out...

We have created a memories DVD from 2005 with pictures of most of our events set to music. The video is about 18 minutes long and includes pictures from Paintball, un-birtday, messy games, winterfest, Savannah Mission, and other things.

If you would like Ryan to make you a copy of the DVD, respond to this post or sign up at the house.

The cost for the DVD is $1 or you can bring a DVD-R by the house with your name on it!

You'll enjoy it for years!!!

Learning 2 Corinthians 4

If you were at Winterfest or at H2O Sunday night, you know that 2 Corinthians 4 is our theme for 2006. We will spend some time early this year walking through this chapter in 2 Corinthians and will refer to it regularly throughout the year.

Part of the challenge for 2006 is learning scripture. I say learning instead of memorizing because there is a difference. I believe that when you learn something, you internalize it and it changes your life. We want to learn scripture, and put it in our hearts for eternity, and not just in our heads for a little while.

So, we will start with learning, what else, 2 Corinthians 4. Here is a challenge schedule for our learning of 2 Corinthians 4. We will review on Wednesday nights and encourage each other to keep learning.

January 25-verses 1-2
February 8-verses 3-4
February 15-verses 5-6
February 22-verses 7-10
March 8-verses 11-12
March 15-verses 13-15
March 22-verses 16-18

Try to learn punctuation and references (verse numbers) too. This will help you in recalling the verses in a time of need. I will have tips for learning scripture on Wednesday night.

Don't tell me you can't do it, because you, and I, know almost every word to every song on every CD or i-pod file we have! If we can learn that, we can learn scripture!!!

Possible Future Scriptures We Will Be Learning Together:
Romans 8:28
Romans 10:9
Romans 6:23
Romans 3:23
Romans 12
Psalm 19
Proverbs 31 (Ladies)
Ephesians 5:25-33 (Guys)
Psalm 139

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Winterfest Pics

The Group

Chaos on Wheels


Jeremy Camp

Ice Skating From Midnight to 2:00 AM

Freestyle Skateboarder Tim Byrne

H2O Gets Up Close with
The AFters & KJ-52
Getting Ready to Ring in the
New Year!
Happy 2006-Let's Rock For Christ This Year!

Rockin' In The New Year @ Winterfest

Have you recovered from the New Year celebrations yet?

If you didn't go to Winterfest this year you missed out on the best one we've ever been to...just check out these testimonials (testimonials may not be actual quotes):

"It's the Best Winterfest I've ever been to." Ryan Russell

"I Must say, they did the best job they've ever done." Christie Russell

"It May have been my first Winterfest, but I was definitely the best Winterfest." Melanie Barden

"I had a blast...more of a blast than I've ever had at a Winterfest. And this was my FIRST one!" Ethan Clark

"Man, it was great. And I didn't even Go!" Anonymous

"If I ever get a chance to go to a Wintefest again, I probably won't go, because this one was so great that I'd hate to spoil the experience with an even better one. How silly would that be. I'll just revel in the joy I experienced at this year's Winterfest...it'll last me a lifetime!" Dennis Craft

"Superchick was the best part of the whole thing. What a great way to cap off a great weekend!" Kevin Turner

"And the girls were hot too!" Brian Whalen (He was promptly smacked and placed in time-out after saying this...church (and church trips for that matter) is not a place to pick up girls...or guys!!! (Everyone in unison now..."it's just a bonus!!!"-now you've all been smacked and placed in time-out!)

"Too Many Teenagers. And the music was too loud. The lights were too bright. I couldn't understand what the speakers were saying. The hotels blankets weren't thick enough. But besides that, it was AWESOME." Mike & Amanda Jancart

As you can see, if you didn't go, you missed out.

Check out the next post for pictures!

Peering into the Future...

Hey Guys and Gals...

Here's a bit of a long term plan for Wednesday Night Bible Studies, so you can Be Prepared!!!

Of course, all of this could change: on the spur of the moment, in the blink of an eye (aka the bat of an eylash), at a moment's notice, on the fly, in a split second, in one beat of a hummingbird's wings (now that's fast), in the time it takes Christie to drive up our driveway (almost faster than the hummingbird's wing thing), with the speed of a Bible Driller finding the book of Habbakuk, in the flash of an instant message, with the speed of Kevin's fingers flying across his cell phone sending a text message, with the flight of a paintball from marker to mask (usually my marker to Joshua's, or Pastor Bo's Mask), with the frequency of Skielow's truck breaking down, in the time it takes Lora to walk from her house to youth group...

You get the idea...I might change my mind: at the last moment, before you know it, without warning, just because I can, even if you don't want me to...

Anyway, at least on the days that you know what passages we are studying, as listed below, it may be beneficial for you to read it ahead of time...unless I change the plan, call an audible at the line of scrimmage if you will.

So, without any delay. Without taking up any more of your time. Without causing you to have to ready any more. Without allowing time for your teacher to catch you looking at a web site in computer class while she's trying to teach. Without hogging any more of your screen space. Here is the list.

January 4-Wednesday Night Worship at the Water's Edge WAM
January 11-Part I-How Can I Share Christ Without Looking Stupid-Why do I need to Witness?
January 18-Part II-How Can I Share Christ Without Looking Stupid-What Do I Say?
January 25-Part III-How Can I Share Christ Without Looking Stupid-What If They Say No?
February 2-Wednesday Night Worhsip at the Water's Edge WAM
February 9-Part IV-How Can I Share Chirst Without Looking Stupid-Won't I Just Turn People Off?
February 16-2 Corinthians 4:1-10
February 23-2 Corinthians 4:11-18
March 2-Wednesday Night Worship at the Water's Edge WAM
March 9-Guys and Girls Separate for a While...We'll be Studying Similar Things, Just in a Different Atmosphere
March 16-Guys & Gals
March 23-Guys & Gals
March 30-Guys & Gals
April 7-Wednesday Night Worship at the Water's Edge WAM
April 14-Guys & Gals
April 21-Guys & Gals
April 28-Gusy & Gals
May 4-Wednesday Night Worship at the Water's Edge WAM