Friday Night Date Night (4/24/2015)

pacman-2 It’s Friday readers! You know what that means! It’s DATE NIGHT!

Just like last Friday, today I will be featuring a randomly selected date idea from 52 Uncommon Dates: A Couple’s Adventure Guide For Praying, Playing, and Staying Together by Randy Southern.

Arcade Date

Jesus encourages us to bring childlike perspective to our walk with Him. Children are trusting, humble, dependent, and able to be shaped and molded. Being childlike occasionally will help our spiritual. emotional, and relational health.

1) Try and find an old-school arcade that has games from your youth.This will allow you to re-connect with your younger self. That is what this date is all about.

2) Help each other understand why those games meant something to you. Maybe share some stories about going to an arcade when you were younger.

3) Play games as a team or even against each other. Make sure both of you gets equal time playing.

AVOID BEING OVER COMPETITIVE! HAVE FUN AND DON’T TAKE IT TOO SERIOUSLY!

Before your date ends, involve a discussion about your faith.

Deeper Connection

What does it mean to have childlike faith?

What are some of the things that happen to people’s faith as they get older that Jesus wants us to avoid?

How can we encourage each other to maintain a childlike faith?

Check out the following scripture that talk about childlike perspective.

Psalm 8:2

Matthew 19:14

Mark 10:13-16

Well I hope you enjoy your date night!

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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You Don’t Know Me..

Good evening everyone! I hope all of you are doing well tonight. I thought I would come on here and write a little bit.

So.. Have you ever had someone judge you without them really knowing who you are? I know I have. I think it happens to the majority of us everyday with out us even knowing about it.

On the other hand, thoughts about the way someone looks, their lifestyle, their driving, etc.. go through our minds on a constant basis. I am not speaking for everyone here, but really some people don’t even realize they do it. I am not innocent on this, even I do it.

Jesus calls us not to though. We aren’t supposed to judge someone at all. It isn’t our place to do so. We may recognize what they are doing/not doing as a sin, but that is all we can do. Judging is a #1 no-no with God.

Matthew 7:1 (American Standard)

Judge not, that ye be not judged.

The question I leave for you this evening is this..

Do you judge others? If so, why? How do you plan to change that?

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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A Real Relationship (part 2)

Afternoon readers. Today we are going to continue Chapter 5 of Francis Chan’s Forgotten God. As mentioned in a part 1, this post is going to cover two obstacles that may be stopping you from having real intimacy with God.

Comfort (Maybe Your Life Is Too Safe)

The first obstacle Mr. Chan presents is comfort. The Bible says that the Spirit comes through in times where we would normally be afraid (Luke 12:11-12). Jesus refers the Spirit as the “Helper” or “Comforter.” Mr Chan asks a great question here.

Why would we need to experience the Comforter if our lives are already comfortable?

The Bible says that it is those who put their lives at risk and suffer for the gospel (Phil. 1:29) who will most often experience His being “with you always, even to the end of age” (Matt. 28:20 NASB).

Are you being too comfortable?

Volume (Maybe Your Life is Too Loud)

I like the question that Mr. Chan asks at the beginning of this section.

When was the last time you had an uninterrupted conversation with anyone? No phones, text messages, or to-do lists running through your mind?

Some of us would have to think for a while to come up with that answer. Our lives are becoming so fast paced and full of continual multitasking, it is hard to focus on one thing or one person. This constant going and going and going probably has affected your prayer life, I know it has affected mine.

Jesus didn’t get to experience the technology we have today, but he did have tons of people pursuing Him at once. At any given part of the day, people were looking for Jesus. He had the priority of His relationship with His Father, and found ways to escape. He took the time to focus and be quiet (Mark 1:35). He was willing to remove Himself from people’s reach in order to pray and commune with God the Father.

Mr.Chan says something so true here.

Our lack of intimacy often is due to our refusal to unplug and shut off communication from all others so we can be alone with him.

Francis challenges us at the end of this chapter to read John 14-16. He tells us to get in a space free from distraction and soak in the words we read. He says to notice particularly how Christ desires that His disciples have peace and how He comforts His disciples with the truth that they are not left alone. Part of His answer to how we are to have peace and be comforted is through the provision of the Holy Spirit, the other Counselor, who He promised would come one He left.

So right now, take the time to read John 14-16. Afterward, come back for today’s questions.

—–

  1. Does your personal baggage keep you from enjoying intimacy with God?
  2. Do you ever want to distance yourself from Him because you feel so much shame over your sin?
  3. What obstacles do you have in your life keeping you from Him?

Until next time readers, God Bless!


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Theology of the Holy Spirit 101 (part 1)

Good afternoon class! Are you ready for today’s lesson? Just kidding everyone. I thought with a title like “Theology of the Holy Spirit 101“, I would just throw that in there.Well I hope you have been enjoying the study of Francis Chan’s Forgotten God. It has really opened my eyes to a lot of things. I want to point out to you that I am not an educated man in the ways of the Bible. The following post is strictly what I am taking from the Bible and Mr. Chan’s book.

Today’s post is going to cover Chapter 3 of Forgotten God. In this chapter, Mr. Chan helps us understand the Holy Spirit by looking at who He is and what He does.

I like the way Mr. Chan says the following statement.

“The Bible says we cannot fully understand God, and I am certainly not the exception to that rule. There are things about God that are mysterious and secret, things we will never know about Him. But there also are things revealed, and those belong to us (Deut. 29:29)”.

Along with what I mentioned before, Mr. Chan also helps us see some of the things that have been revealed about the Holy Spirit.

Several times in the Bible, we see the Holy Spirit enter people and change their lives. Below are a few examples. By clicking on their name, you can read more about them.

  • Stephen, the first martyr
  • Peter was changed and became a courageous man
  • Saul turned from killing Christians to Paul (one of the most famous Christian leaders)

Now that we have seen some examples on the changes the Holy Spirit can do in people’s lives, let’s focus on who the Spirit is and what He does in our lives.

The Spirit is several different things.

The Holy Spirit is a Person.

I like how Mr. Chan describes the Holy Spirit here. He is not an indistinct “power” or “thing.” Many people refer to the Spirit s an “it,” as if the Spirit is a thing or force that we can control or use. John 14:17 (The Message) states:

This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you!

The Spirit has a personal relationship with not only believers, but also with the Father and the Son. He works together with them (Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14)

The Holy Spirit is God.

Again, Mr. Chan does a brilliant job describing the Holy Spirit. He is not a lessor or different kind of Being than God the Father or God the Son. The Spirit is God. When we forget about the Spirit, we really are forgetting about God.

The Holy Spirit is Eternal and Holy.

I really love what Mr. Chan says in this section. The Spirit is not just a flighty, whimsical spirit who comes and goes like the wind. He is an eternal being. The Spirit is also holy. Obviously, we commonly call Him the “Holy Spirit,” and this is reinforced throughout the New Testament (Romans 1:4 and 5:5)

The Holy Spirit has His own mind, and He prays for us.

Romans 8:27: “He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

One word here… AWESOME!

Well readers, this has turned into a long post. Stay tuned for part 2 where we will continue with Chapter 3.

Right now I want to leave you with some questions to think about.

  1. What is the Holy Spirit doing in your life currently?
  2. Do you trust the path that the Holy Spirit is taking you on?

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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What Are You Afraid Of?

” Snakes… Why did it have to be Snakes?” — Indiana Jones from Raiders of the Lost Ark.  I myself, as you probably, guessed, am afraid of snakes. This is called Ophidiophobia.

Even though a discussion over fear and phobias would be pretty interesting, this post for today with discuss Chapter 2 of Francis Chan’s Forgotten God.

For Francis Chan, his biggest fear is the fear of rejection. Many of us have the fear of what other people think of us; I know I do. I am learning though to let the Holy Spirit guide me, and to release that fear.

A lot of us may share another fear as well. The fear I am talking about is the fear of God failing us. When you pray and pray and pray, and nothing happens. As Mr. Chan states, the fear of God failing us leads us to “cover for God.” This means we ask for less, expect less, and are satisfied with less because we are afraid to ask for or expect more. But the Bible says something different.

Matthew 7:7 (NIV)

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

God promised to give us His Spirit if we ask for it. We have to repent and be baptized. It really is up to us to believe Him and act upon that promise.

Well friends, there is a flip side to the fear of God failing us. Francis Chan describes this fear as the fear of the “follow through/show up” God. What if God does show up and asks us to go somewhere or do something that is out of your comfort zone? Mr. Chan believes that more people have this fear than the fear of having God ignore them.

What I highlighted out of this chapter:

  • p. 46 Though this fear is natural, it’s not right. We are called to pattern our lives after the Way described in the Bible. We are not called to fear what following the Way of Jesus may require of us, but that doesn’t mean those fears won’t crop up. A life of following Christ requires relinquishing those fears when they do come. It means refusing to let your fears of what others think, your fears of rejection, keep you from pursuing the truth about the Holy Spirit and whatever else God is reaching you and calling you to.
  • p. 47 Open u our mind and our life to the leading of the Spirit, regardless of what others may think or assume about you.
  • p. 49 Ultimately, you need to stake your faith in God alone, not in the gifts (good as they may be) that He gives.
  • p. 50 The truth is that the Spirit of the living God is guaranteed to ask ou to go somewhere or do something you wouldn’t normally want or choose to do. The Spirit will lead you to the way of the cross, as He led Jesus to the cross, and that is definitely not a safe or pretty or comfortable place to be. The Holy Spirit of God will mold you into the person you were made to be.
  • p. 56 We need the Spirit in order to live faithfully. Be we also need one another as we work out our faith.

Let me leave you with these closing questions:

  1. What are you afraid of? What fear is keeping you from connecting with the Holy Spirit and becoming closer to God?
  2. Do you care about what people think when they see you, or do you actually want to serve and please God in everything? Are you afraid of getting “too much” of the Holy Spirit and what that might mean for your life? Are you honestly open to being led by Him?

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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Blaming Fate When Things Go Wrong (part 1)

Good afternoon readers. I apologize for the late posting. I had a late night last night. For some reason I couldn’t sleep. I felt God speaking to me about stages in my life that weren’t the greatest in the world. This kind of tied into what I am reading about Job. This post is going to be broken up into two parts because Job 4 and Job 5 are tied together.

PART 1

As I read through Job 4, I felt like God was speaking to me about depression. Here Job is down and out, wanting to give up, and his friend Eliphaz wants to help him out of it. Eliphaz basically tell Job that he has a lot to live for, and that everything will be ok. Job has helped people out that wanted to quit, and so Eliphaz wants to do the same thing. At the end of Job 4 it states this:

Job 4:21 (The Message) :

Don’t Blame Fate When Things Go Wrong

I found a passage on YouVersion and wanted to share it with you.

‘I’m reaching the end of my tether’- Do you ever feel like this? What are we to do when, like Job, we find ourselves sinking into a state of deep depression? Remember Jesus. Remember His suffering – ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?’(Matthew 27:46). He suffered for us. He suffers with us. In our suffering, we need Jesus. We need His love. Some may say, ‘You’ve only yourself to blame’. They will tell us, ‘Pull yourself together’. What good will this do – without the love of Jesus? Without His love, things will only get worse. Jesus knows how we feel. He’s been there. He went to the Cross – for us. Behind His suffering, we see His love. He has ‘suffered’. He has been ‘tempted’. He feels our pain. He comes to us with ‘mercy and grace’. He is our ‘Help in time of need’(Hebrews 2:18; 4:15-16).

This passage spoke a lot to me. Depression is a real thing. I agree with this passage in that the best way out of it is to remember what Jesus was put through. He suffered and will suffer along side us.

God I pray today that people suffering from depression, no matter the reason why, listen to you  and your teachings Lord. Depression is something that we need your help with. Your hand is the ultimate healer. May Your power and presence comfort them and the people around them.

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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What’s The Point of Life?

Reading through Job 2, I came along the question, What’s The Point of Life? In this section of the book of Job, Satan takes away Job’s health. Does Job end up cursing God? NO. Even after his wife tells him to, Job still keeps his integrity, and stays true to God. His friends come to see him and see how bad Job looks. They sit there for several days and even try to put themselves in Job’s situation. Still Job is obedient to God.

So, What’s The Point of Life? Many men have tried to answer this question. A lot have answered with things of this world, but I believe it is much bigger than that.

The point of this life according to the world:

Plato: Plato believed that the meaning of life was to attain the highest form of   knowledge

Cynic Philosophers: They believed the meaning of life was to live a life of  virtue that agrees with nature.

The point of this life according to Christ is to:

Matthew 22:37-39 (TNIV)

37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment.39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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