… the thoughts from a life in the Son-shine State

Posts tagged ‘christianity’

Approval

Today, don’t live for the approval of others. Live for the approval of One—your Heavenly Father.

Common practice does not always mean right practice.

Need instruction? Open the Bible. His Word will guide you in living a life that honors God.

Whether it’s in what to eat, how to dress, what to say (or not say), relationships, raising children, entertainment… It’s there.

Don’t believe me? Google it.

2013 Resolution

I’ve decided to make a single resolution for 2013.

I resolve to be open to the work of the Holy Spirit in my life, that I may demonstrate more consistently the Fruit of the Spirit.

No, this is not some hyper-spiritual, Christianese, “Jesus Juke” remark.

This is genuine.

I’ve come to this conclusion:

  • All the things I have ever resolved to do in the past I have utterly failed to accomplish fairly quickly,
  • I can’t do anything in my own strength that will have an eternal impact, and
  • Any worthy resolutions can only truly be accomplished if God changes me.

Why don’t I exercise? I’m lazy.
Why do I eat too much? I lack self control.
Why do I not read as much as I should/could? Again, laziness.
Why don’t I spend more time getting to really know the people around me? I’m not as kind, good, and loving as I should be.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
(Galatians 5:22, 23 NLT)

Most of us don’t have the impact we could on this world because we are too self-focused.

I want this to see this changed in my life, and only God can do that.

As a result, my wife and I prayed for God to plan our New Years Day.

We kicked off the New Year with a great day helping some good friends get some much needed work done. They decided to thank us with lunch at McGuire’s Irish Pub (unnecessary, but I didn’t argue).

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
(John 15:13 NLT)

Life is found in giving your life away!

I’m glad that Brooke and I were able to start the year off right—serving.

With true surrender to the Holy Spirit, we will experience a change in our lives we never thought possible… and that’s usually because we often think too highly of ourselves.

Believing for change!

Steve

  • How about you? Have you ever failed to fulfill any resolutions?
  • How about any successes?

P.S. Please ignore any commercials that may appear below. :)

Book Review: Viral

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Ah. Finally finished this amazing book!

Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival was my first introduction to Dr. Leonard Sweet, and man was a I blown away!

In this book, Sweet works on breaking down two main topics and explains their impact on culture, relationships and communication; and then relates that information to how it has affected the spread of the Gospel. The first topic is that of the two generations we see in USAmerica—”Gutenberger” and “Googler”— and weaves the comparison of these generations through each main category of the second topic—the “TGIF culture.”

Sweet goes through a great effort early in the book to help the reader understand the difference between the “Gutenbergers” and “Googlers.” This greatly solidifies the significance of the message, as it enables you to put his argument into proper context, how social networking is poised to ignite revival. If you don’t grasp the generational differences from the beginning, then it would be difficult to follow the rest of the book, as it leans heavily on understanding the differences. He then builds on this foundation with a great teaching on the significance of the “TGIF culture”—Twitter, Google, iPhone, Facebook.

I have the privilege of approaching this book from a unique position—I have my degree in Youth Ministry and have been a Youth Pastor at 2 churches, am currently starting a new church, and also work full time as the Social Media Manager for an international non-profit organization. So to see the significance and importance of Sweets proposal is an understatement. I live what he is teaching here on a daily basis beyond being an early adopter of Facebook, Twitter, and the iPhone.

This book is highly recommended!

Since I began reading this book, every person I have come in contact with that works with youth in any fashion, as well as anyone involved in church ministry, has heard me rant about how important it is for them to read this book. To date, I believe it is one of the most well-written books on the subject of the cultural significance of social networking and it’s affect on the Gospel.

So, are you a Gutenburger or a Googler? Are you a catalyst for sparking revival, or have you become irrelevant to this evolving culture? Get your copy today and find out!

Don’t be confused

with knowing God, and simply knowing about God.

Many people know the Bible.

Many people know about God.

Fewer people actually know God.

You may have a degree in theology, but that does not mean that you actually know the one that created you.

Knowledge does not equal relationship.

If you find that you are one of these types of people, knowing about God but not really knowing God, I would encourage you to pray divine revelation of the cross.

Reflection

The same freedom that allows us to have an opinion, to worship God openly, and to vote for the candidate that we like is the same freedom that allows others to have a different opinion, dislike our worship, and vote for the other candidate.

The morality of the nation is simply a reflection of the hearts of its people.

Rather than tearing our nation down, may we consider praying for it instead.

Onward

Steve

(This is a redo. I posted this earlier, but it disappeared. I’m using the WordPress iOS app, and it mysteriously deleted the post.)

Thoughts on Haiti, Part 2: They Don’t Care.

The first orphanage we visited was awesome. There was a strong sense of the presence of God there.

Here we were, well-fed, well-paid pastors being blessed by children that were abandoned, most by the death of their families in the earthquake.

All they wanted was affection.

I asked a few of the boys if we could play soccer. They lit up and ran outside.

While I was playing soccer within the walls of the orphanage, there was this momentary freedom from the cares of the world. Even more, it was a relief from the concerns of our American Christianity.

These children don’t care about the color of the carpet in the church building, or the color of the paint on the walls, or which side of the platform the piano is on, or whether or not we sing out of the red hymn book.

All they care about is food, water, acceptance, love, and hope. They are learning to follow Christ; and have seen His miraculous works, felt His overwhelming love, and have a sense of hope that we could not begin to comprehend.

We were told that those children would never be adopted.

Can we change that?
Or, would bringing them here to the States ruin the beauty of the simplicity of their love for Jesus?

To be continued…

To read from the first post of the series, Click Here »

Book Review: Answers Book For Teens, Vol. 1

Answers Book For Teens

I really like the new Answers Book For Teens. As someone that has done youth ministry for over six years, this is a book that I would like to have had back when I started. The Answers in Genesis team has done an awesome job answering some of the toughest questions about very relevant, hot topics with today’s teens.

    They give sound, biblical truths for the answers to these topics, which include:

  • Creation vs Evolution
  • Science and Presuppositions
  • Believing the Bible to be True
  • Atheism
  • Sin, Hell, and Punishment
  • Noah’s Flood
  • Sex and Homosexuality
  • Racism
  • And more…

Though this book is written for teens, I would recommend this to anyone. It’s design is edgy and visually stimulating, and it is written in a way that is simple to understand using common, everyday language. It’s an easy read that strengthens your faith, and helps equip you to defend the Bible and to give an answer for the hope that in you.

This book was provided at no charge for the purpose of review by New Leaf Publishing Group and Master Books.

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