Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Trust and Obey

Sunday Night Recap
June 11, 2006
Genesis 22:1-19

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Paintball Pics

Pictures from Paintball June 3, 2006

Dylan James in the Tires

Jeffrey Caught One in the Face!

Michael in the Tires (see Ryan's Head poking out of that center tire stack?)

Returning the Flag on the Road

Guys team Wins in Blowout at Pizza & Putt

On Saturday, May 27, 3 teams walked onto the golf course at Adventure Landing with dreams of fame, fortune, and holding down the pizza they just ate at Pizza Inn.

Only one team, however, had what it took to emerge victorious.

The team of Chris Turner, Etan Clark, Jeffrey Hibbert, and Ryan Russell ran away with the victory after 18 holes of superb, mediocre, and outright horrific putting.

The ladies team of Caroline, Courtney, Hannah, and Christie came in second and the Whalen crew struggled in at a distant third place.

Brian avenged his team's loss on the putting carpets of Henderson with a stellar performace amidst the driving beats, flashing lights and scurrying enemies of lazer tag.

I must say, the most impressive part of the night, however, was Caroline's stellar performance on Dance Dance Revolution, laying waste to all competition. Jeffrey's pile of redemption tickets was also awe inspiring for all in attendance.

Another night, another slice (the chocolate chip pizza was incredible), another putt, and another memory (nightmare?) of years at Putt-Putt.

"Lookin' for Comfort in All the Wrong Places"

Wednesday Night Bible Study Recap
2 Corinthians 1:1-11
May 31, 2006

What do a Coca-Cola, an X-Box 360 controller, a banana split, a new skirt shirt and pair of shoes, a steak knife, a joker playing card, a beer mug, a one night stand, and a hand weight have in common?

Not sure?

Think pain and suffering.

Still not sure?

Think comfort in pain and suffering.

Now you're getting it! These are all things that people may turn to when experiencing some measure of pain or suffering in life.

Are all of these things bad in and of themselves? Some of them, yes, but most of them are fairly benign. They become dangerous when we trust our comfort and sanity to them instead of God.

I know, it stinks when our lives fall apart around us. It hurts when a guy doesn't like you or when you get a bad grade, or when your parents yell at you. It's no fun to deal with a best friend's death or a family member's disease.

So, how do you deal with trouble? How do you keep your head above water? How do you reconcile God being in control yet your life seeming so out of control?

2 Corinthians 1:1-11 sheds some light on the purpose of struggles in our lives. Guess what...it all comes back to Jesus (God has a funny way of pointing everything back to Jesus). How? Well, when we face struggles (like a broken arm just before the biggest game of the season) we have a choice to make. We can whine and whimper and drown our sorrows in the virtual world, or we can face the real world and accept the only true comfort that is out there, comfort from God through other believers. See, 2 Corinthians is clear that one of the reasons Christians face hard times in life is because, sooner or later, you will meet somebody who is going through the exact thing you went through. And the comfort that God gave you through his Son, Jesus, is the same comfort that you can give them.

That's the key. We can talk to someone all day long about their struggles, giving them advice, recommending remedies, but it's all purposeless if we don't make Jesus a part of it.

This is also one of the reasons that it is so important for us to be involved, CONSISTENTLY, in fellowship with other Christians. We can lean on each other and offer eternal comfort that this world cannot.

Finally, we must look at our situation eternally. What is God's purpose behind it. Maybe you don't know right now why you are suffering with what you are going through, and you may not know for another 25 years, but if you focus on eternity and God's ultimate direction for you life, the here and now won't seem so depressing.

Seek the comfort God wants to give. The only lasting comfort their is. Share you struggles with a Christian friend. Pray for your friends that God would comfort them. And, most importantly, always keep Jesus at the center of the equation.

Here are some truths from 2 Corinthians 1:1-11 that God may want you to apply to your life:

1.Only God can call people into ministry, so only go into it if he's called you! (v 1)
2. God is the Great Comforter. (v 2)
3. The church (that's us!), working together, can give comfort to anyone in any situation. (v 4-5)
4. If nothing else, the hope of Christ provides comfort. (v 5-6)
5. First hand experience of suffering adds to the "realness" of the comfort. (v 8-9) so seek out those who are suffering so you can comfort with the comfort God gave you!
6. God is faithful! (v 10)
7. Answered prayers are the evidence of the work of Jesus. (v 11) so let people know what's going on in your life, especially other Christians so that we can praise God together for what he is doing for you!