Posts Tagged ‘religious’

Self Convo: Going to Church

So I was thinking, since I’m saved, do I really have to go to church?

Why wouldn’t you?

Well, I don’t think I need to go every week!

But isn’t going to church something you’re supposed to do since you’re a Christian?

I mean it doesn’t really say that, plus sometimes it’s the same thing over & over again.

True, but going to church is where you get up lifted.

Not really, they’re just always telling me not to do wrong & what I’m doing wrong!

Ouch, seems pretty negative. 

Tell me about it, it’s like saying, “DON’T TOUCH THAT BUTTON!”  I just want to touch it more!

Then maybe you should go because of the great people there.

Have you ever been to church?

On occasion.

Then you haven’t been to mine, the people there are stupid.

What do you mean?

Mean, arrogant, stuck up, hypocritical, crazy, hopeless, no fun, brainless, faithless, passionless, apathetic, lethargic, no vision, negative people.

Wow, sounds like you’re being pretty negative there.

I guess they rubbed off on me.

Didn’t Jesus say He loves His church?

Yeah, but does He really love it the way it is?  I mean it’s pretty ugly!

Whoa, now I know Jesus said the church is like his bride…so you just called Jesus’ wife ugly!

Never looked at it that way.  Lord, I apologize.

Well how about I just join of one of those TV churches?

Bu who will you call when you have marriage problems.

Dr. Phil of course!

No, seriously, not going to church is like a student who doesn’t go to school, or a soldier who won’t join the army, a citizen who doesn’t pay taxes or vote (got a lot of those in America)

Ok I get it.

It’s like a salesman with no customers, a captain without a ship, an author with no readers…(Pretty much like this blog L)

Another thing I don’t like is how guilty the church makes me feel…& then I get to pay for my guilt every time they pass that gold shiny offering plate.

Not going is like a tuba player without an orchestra, a football player without a team, a bee without a hive, a banker without money, a doctor without parents.

Are you done yet?!

Yeah I ran out.

It’s about time.

Well, how will the church get any better if you just sit here complaining about it?

What do you mean?

Think about it!  If everyone sat & complained, then the church would stay the same & never change & get better. 

I’m not just complaining, I’m not going & then when it gets better I’ll go!

My point exactly…it’s never going to get better unless you make it better.  The people make the church what it is.

Good thinking, I like that idea, I’ll go just to change everything!!

Hold up sparky!

What is it now?

There are actually some sincere people there as well, & you don’t need to change everything.

Why not?

The church doesn’t need a new program or idea, I’m sure there are plenty of ideas.

Then how will the church change?

Being consistent.

Huh?

I know it’s foreign to a lot of Christians.  But just doing what you say you’ll do.

I’ll try my best, but what if I mess up?

Too late, you already messed up because you’re running late for church!

Oh ok, gotta go…good talk!

Married to My Covenant

I was talking with a good friend yesterday & we were discussing how our humanity is. It’s very frustrating the constant battling & barrage of temptations that our flesh struggles with.  During our conversation an old thought starting coming to me that dealt with the life of David & his famous affair with Bathsheeba. 

If you remember the story of how he saw her showering on the roof top while he was away from battle.  He was at the wrong place, at the wrong time.  STORY OF MY LIFE!  It seems I’m that type of person & stupid stuff happens to me. 

While e sees her, he falls for her….big problem.  SHE’S MARRIED.  So long story short, he has her husband sent to battle & killed. 

Well, they end up together.  Funny thing though was he kept flirting around with Bathsheeba.  And Bathsheeba’s name meant ‘covenant’.  He kept flirting with his covenant.  He would never marry the covenant. 

So Bathsheeba gets knocked up & they have a son.  But his son is going to die.  So David prays, cries, fasts & does everything Sunday school taces us to do.  But guess what?  None of it worked!  Talk about frustrating.  But isn’t that like us?  We screw up & then run back to God.  Then we act surprised when He doesn’t answer us.  And then our excuse is that we’re waiting on the Lord when in actuality God is waiting for us to get our act together.

David’s son dies.  And it’s then that he comes to this amazing revelation.  I’ve now got to bury the past & marry the present (Bathsheeba/Covenant)

When David buried the past (his dead son & sin) & married the present (his covenant) that is when Solomon was born.  And Solomon was the wisest & riches man in history & ever will be.  Even richer than ole Billy boy himself!

MEANING THIS:  “When you bury your past & marry the present; your covenant…that’s when wisdom & riches will be birthed into your life.”

Stop flirting with your calling & anointing.  And this temptation & battling with our weaknesses SUCKS!  For real it’s frustrating & tiring.  But guess what?  The greater the kingdom responsibility, the greater the struggle. 

I heard T.F. Tenney once say, “With every new level comes a new devil.”  It’s so true.  If you want a powerful ministry & anointing, then expect a great struggle.  And if you’re being fought so hard, that means the devil knows your potential to greatness.  He knows his time is short & that you’re going to hurt his kingdom.  The gates of hell shall not prevail. 

Keep or head up.  Look unto Jesus the author & finisher of our faith! Bury the past of all your mistakes.  God is faithful & just to forgive.

Trying my best to keep up the good fight of faith,

Josh

ReFUEL Meeting with Pastor Phil – June 15th, 2009

Last night we had our monthly volunteers meeting with everyone on our leadership team with ReFUEL.  Pastor Phil was our special guest speaker & facilitated our meeting.  I believe we were challenged in such a way that you don’t really hear a lot of Sr. Pastors do.  I appreciate our pastor taking time out of his busy schedule to come talk to our staff.  He really drew some lines down in the sand.  So with that being said, I wish we taped our meeting last night, but we didn’t.  So I’m giving you all my notes publically.  Those leaders who couldn’t make it, I’m asking you to read this & take it to heart.

Here’s the Notes:

There are Special Places on Campus:  (Our Example is the Tabernacle Plan)

1. Educational Spaces

2. Recreational Spaces (which can interchange sometimes with educational places.  Like you can teach in a gym or large room.)

3. Social Spaces (A gym isn’t a social place.  You just stand around & not much to do.  You play there or can set up a speech to learn there. But social is a cafe, coffee shop, lounge, etc…)

4. Sanctified Spaces (Spaces that are set apart)

  • The question becomes…can you unsanctify something? 
  • You can selfishly take something back from God…
  • But it’s the people who decide what the building is used for.  Example is…you can’t unsanctify the Bible.  But you can unsanctiy the use of the Bible.  My actions make it set apart or not.  (CLOSE IT & ITS POWERLESS)

I John 2:15-17 – “Don’t love the world’s ways.  Don’t love the world’s goods.  Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father.  Wanting your own way.  Wanting everything for yourself.  Wanting to appear important.”

  • Selfishness
  • Greed
  • Pride

“Practically, everything that going on in the world has nothing to do with the Father.  It just isolates you from Him.”

  • Isolate is different from Insulate.  (Insulate is like a Styrofoam cup.  When you hold it, you’re not effecting the contents of the cup.  A paper cup isn’t a good insulator.)
  • But Paul used the term isolate meaning cut off.
  • Can’t feel God anymore?  What are your influences? 

“The world & all it’s wanting…but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.”

The 2 M’s of Youth Ministry

  1. Model – You’re an example.  A role, speech, ethics, moral, manners model.  People do what people see. 
  • Whatever you do in minimum, others will do in excess.
  • You takes your cues from people you model.
  • No matter what you do – you can only fake it for so long.  If you can take it off & put it on, then it’s not too thick.  Your character will reveal itself. 
  • You can fake spirituality & worship…but you can’t fake real love, compassion, mercy, faith, etc…
  • Not what is said but what you do that becomes the most telling.”

        2.  Moré(s)– (Pronounced More-ay)  Latin term for societal norms, customs, virtues & values.

  • Society determines the norms.  (They’re different)
  • Our culture is trying to tell us what is normal. 
  • There are words that change their meanings.
  • If you want to change the culture – change the language.

EXAMPLE:  Murder is now called abortion.  Kill the old is now called euthanasia or mercy killings.  Gay use to mean happy, now means alternative lifestyle.

Moré’s derive themselves from established practices rather than its written laws.

  • Meaning:  Something is done for so long that it becomes the norm. 
  • Perfect example is gay marriage, or people just living together. 
  • We have become desensitized.

Becareful what you say & do…words are powerful.  They’re your authority & power.

  • The question becomes…how far do you move the customs & values to be relevant? 
  • Is saying a cuss word, playing a secular song, etc…is that worth the fight at the end of the day? 
  • KIDS WILL DO WHAT THEY SEE & DO IT IN MAXIMUM.

This word Moré:

  • The English word “morality” comes from moré.
  • The Greek equivalent is ‘ethos’.
  • Ethos means ‘ethics’ in English.

So how do we deal with tough issues?

  • Sexuality (homosexuality)
  • Music (You can’t demonize notes – its the words)
  • Music should reflect Jesus – people ask what about beats? 
  • The answer is what does it do to the morés I’m trying to live?  The beat isn’t bad…you still know the lyrics to that song though.
  • Meantality – why do you think what you think?  What you are at that moment is your mentality
  • Methods– THe message is always constant.  Make sure the methods don’t go too far from the morés. 
  • “The methods determine the morés & what is acceptable.”

II Corinthians 6:17 – “Come out & be separate…touch not the unclean thing.”

  • Don’t be impressed or seduced by the world. 
  • You’re struggling with being tempted by the world?  THEN STOP LOOKING AT IT!

HERE IS A GREAT QUOTE FROM OUR SR. PASTOR:

“I’d rather God accept us than us gain the approval of the world we live in.”

  • Are we trying to buy these kids or win them to Christ?
  • Are we trying to confuse them or make them like Christ?
  • Your opinions better line up with the word of God!

Teach purity, teach truth, search scripture…because we get our morés, customs, values & virtues from the HOLY Bible.

Running Away with the Gates

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Well everyone from ReFUEL, I just wanted to say hey & hope you’re all having a great day!  Just wanted to let you know our new podcast will be up later in the day.  We had a special guest with us this week.  It was Eugene Scott, so be sure to check it out! 

A thought occurred to me of just exactly how much destiny is over the head of my generation! 

Think about this just for a second…

God gave a prophecy to Abraham, & we are part of that same family…

Genesis 22:17 – “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;”

Samson fulfilled this prophecy when he carried away the gates of the city where the Philistines were.  The gates of the city was where politics were debated, Proverbs said that a virtuous woman would make her husbands name known in the gates of the city.  The gates were the protection of the city. 

So if you possessed the gates of a city, you pretty much possessed that city!  You could have access to that city & take it over…

I have never walked down the street & had a gate jump up & smack me in the face!  The only reason you have a gate is to keep things out & protect the things that you possess…

There is the same prophecy that was spoken again in the New Testament to be fulfilled…

Matthew 16:18 – “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

MEANING:  There is a strong message of destiny echoing through time directly to me!  HELL CAN’T KEEP ME OUT!  And HELL CAN’T PROTECT WHAT IS POSSESSES! 

I make a strong statement when I say this, “I REFUSE TO ALLOW ANYONE TO USE THE EXCUSE THAT THEY ARE A LOST CAUSE!”  – Don’t make me pray about something…IN JESUS NAME, I’m coming for you!

I’m going to take the gates of my city, TEMPE IS MINE!!!!

So I challenge you to be God’s answer to hell’s challenge…Start taking the gates down…