Archive for August, 2013

We Need Leaders

Posted: August 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

The world needs leaders to stand up and drive our world, countries, states, counties, and cities.  Regardless of what the “no government” anarchist will say, people have always been in need of leaders.  I wonder why this is true?  We have democratic, communist, fascist or dictators, monarchies, and countries being ruled by their army.  Why?  Why would we see these people rise up to lead a nation regardless of what type of government their country has? There have been a need for leaders since the beginning.  God made everything in this vast universe.  He made giant planets and stars down to the individual cells of organisms on our lone planet Earth.  There is a cool page on the Top 10 Biggest Things in the Universe  which was written a little while ago.  Then you compare to the largest things in the universe to the tiniest parts of an atom and you see that God has the ability to create anything He wants, however He wants, to His specification.  When God made man He made man in His own image.  Part of man being in God’s image is that he is told to rule over the earth.  God is sovereign and in His image He made man sovereign.  Do you get it?

Sovereign defined is 1.  a monarch; a king, queen, or other supreme ruler or 2.  a person who has supreme power or authority.

So the Lord of all created man to rule with supreme power over the earth under God.  We were made to have this instinct.  If we read about titles of Jesus then we would see Messiah, King, Ruler, High Priest, Counselor,  or Christ.  These are a few descriptive titles to show that Jesus is even a leader.  In Philippians 2 it talks about Jesus as God whom steps down in humility only to be raised with His name higher than any other name.  So we can see that leadership is important and will continue to be.  If God is Supreme Leader on the grand scale then we are His image bearers on a smaller scale.  As believers we have to step up and lead over areas of creation and people as first designed before sin crept in.

Youth, I encourage you to take this to heart.  If you are a follower of a King that is ruling over your life then make it noticeable.  Let your actions show that you follow after a true and just Leader.  Take the chance to lead.  In our youth group I see your potential to lead worship, prayer, discussion, and other things so people may follow our Lord better.  What I don’t see is kids stepping up to take things under their belt.  I don’t see kids going out and taking over ministry as the Lord has given them the ability to do.  I don’t even see kids welcoming new people in by just saying hi.  We need leaders in the youth group which will take worshipping our Lord to a new level.  We need youth who know Christ to lead in a way that shows Christ to other people.  Take back our Sundays where you say meaningless things or nothing at all to promote the kingdom of God.  When we start Wednesday nights we will need people to step up and serve and lead others to Jesus throne.  There has to be leaders in this situation.  I, as your youth pastor, will walk with you down this road.  Take my hand and walk with me.  Realize that being a leader will have hard times, we will mess up, and there is grace to walk in on the other side of things.  Lets go together to our Lord.  Who will go with me?  Who will step up and be a leader?  Pray about it and then approach Justin or me about it.  Let’s do this!  Who will help lead our youth?

How Many Times?

Posted: August 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

Hey guys and gals!  I hope today was a great first day of school for you if you are in the youth group or starting college today.  How many times have you gone to youth camp, been a part of a disciple now, attended a great church service, or been in a place feeling  you needed to give your life to the Lord? I watched at camp as some of you would raise your hand telling the leaders you are unsure of your relationship with God or that you were not a believer at all.  This is a hard time to be in this position but I do have a perfect solution.  From what I understand a few of you have prayed to become a follower of Jesus multiple times and you have had many repeat actions.  So if that is true then what is going on?  You have to get to the bottom of it.  You have to battle because it is your soul that we are talking about.  This isn’t just a piece of candy or something that you can cave into.  Raise up your questions, your guilt, your confusion, and any doubts to God because He knows you better than you know yourself.  We must be at the feet of Jesus and give Him reigns because really He is the only one that can save you.  If this is a repeated thing  you have to war with yourself and pray God will show you that He is your supreme leader.  If you are no doubt in a state of confusion… watch this

For those of you who claim to be a follower of Jesus it is time to walk the walk.  Quit showing up to church because your parents bring you.  As a matter of fact stop acting like your parents relationship with the Lord is yours.  Regardless of parents, family, and friends we all are under the same predicament.  We either have placed our faith in Jesus as our Savior and gave up our rights to live as we want or we have continued in our paths to judgement and rebellion against God.  There is no alternate route.  Which path are you on?  Stop walking in your parents faith, take action on what you believe in, and I challenge you to be a leader in your church.  We specifically have prayed that we would have youth step up and be consistent leaders.  STOP living for yourself and help Justin and me in our plan to raise up leaders, faithful followers, and those who truly want to seek out the Lord.  We love all of you.

 

An Itsy Bitsy More

Posted: August 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

An itsy bitsy spider? Nah!  I am talking about the gospel.  I want to share so many things through my blog but it will take a while.  I believe that Matt Chandler does an excellent job peaking into most things that I will write about in here.  So watch the video and be glad that you did.  The video is good, truth, and may convict your heart.  With Matt Chandler’s sermon jam put together we can see there are alot of things to touch on… I will try to do that in the upcoming blogs.

 

Here we go!!!

Drinking Out of a Water Hose

Posted: August 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

Let’s face this together… things are not like they used to be.  We all can agree that since we were kids the world has changed.  I got to have a little of my parents generation growing up, along with mine, because parks still had pointy objects built on solid ground.  Kids would get their heads stuck climbing up into the spaceship with slides on it and people weren’t suing each other for it.  I remember having friends come over and we would ride our bikes around without fear of getting kidnapped and sent off to be in a sex ring.  We would camp out in our backyard with a tent and drink from the water hose.  By the time I hit 6th/7th grade things started changing dramatically.  All the sudden there was access to internet (via dial-up connection) and the first chat rooms opened up. I remember the hard drive for computers being sold at that time had like a hundredth of the space they do now and things had to grow rapidly.  Why?  Napster and other folks came along and made files downloadable and people started seeing potential in mp3 and digital things.  Then soon enough MySpace happened followed by Facebook.  This movement has not stopped.  Facebook plays a vital role in everybody’s life.  What is the first thing you do when you get married? Change your status on Facebook.  What is the first thing you do when pregnant?  You release the photo of your baby in the womb so people can congratulate you.  Statuses are left to draw attention or to gain something from other people.  Pretty soon the “social media” seemed to take over everything that seemed real.  What I have seen is that youth do not know how to get their life straight away from these things.  Their life evolves around being “friends” on the internet and drama will be had if you aren’t included in on something.  Why have we not seen this before?

Our youth have not realized everything through internet, tv, and smart phones are taking away their ability to live a real social life.  Because of lives lived through these means many teens have lost touch with what it’s like to live life to the fullest.  Many kids even 7 years old and up are sexting, sending partially/fully nude photos to others because they either feel so much pressure to do so or they were actually forced to do it.  We have let our kids be raised by the internet, computers, and networks for long enough now that they have missed the boat with knowing anything moral.  Since taking my job as youth pastor I have been looking at things to see how teens character are built.  Yesterday I spent almost an hour in a question forum from teens where they were asking about the different things but most were sexually oriented.  They were asking about how to cover up their mistakes and how can they get the images away from people who had them.  Preteens and teens were asking about pregnancy and what to do if they were pregnant.  We have to realize the past is the past and now we are in the present.  We have to take action.  Stop acting like your child is too good for this because stats from 2 years ago show almost all teen boys have viewed porn and well over half of teen girls have.  The numbers are getting worse!  This is not a secret anymore.  If we as leaders and parents do not fight for them and with them… it won’t get any better!  I know you still have your thoughts, “Not my kid… nooooo.”  I truly pray your kid isn’t indulging.  There are some great parents which may have kids who have not partaken in this.  Being the best parent ever still does not take away every temptation that comes up.   We lived life with the ability to be away unconnected but now kids are caught in a web of crazy things.  Pray with your kids.  Read scripture with your kids.  Pay attention to their habits of trying to be secluded or emotional roller coasters.  Pay attention to when kids/ teens avoid problems.   We cannot play as though these things do not happen.  What would it hurt to protect and teach your child against it anyways?  Maybe weird awkward moments at most? Would an awkward moment be better than anything else happening?  Read this article to be awakened to new things!  Finally, let me, as youth minister be realistic with your kids and get other trustworthy adults in their life.  Let us walk with them and everyone bring them up in the ways of the Lord.

Jesus did not stop sitting on His throne.  He is still  reigning and able to bring your kids to Him.  Will we be the voice that our King uses to bring the kids/teens to him?  Lets speak and hope that it is…

The Cost

Posted: August 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

Instead of typing out a blog today I wanted to post a really impressive video that I found on YouTube.  I think this video points out vital things that all Christians need to think about.  I also think that this video has great info for the unbeliever.  Recently one of my youth said, “I want to be saved.”  My reply, “Why do you want to be saved?”  “I did some bad things and I want to stop doing them.  I want to be a Christian because I won’t be tempted and it will be easier.”  I pray that the youth realize what a true authentic relationship with the Lord is because it is the only relationship you can have.  There is no riding on the fence. Here’s the video—

Before the Day Slips Away

Posted: August 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

This morning, as I was making some coffee to drink, I sat down to sing praises to the Lord.  I had already read about Jesus leaving so we could have the Holy Spirit and now I was basking in the good news that everyday I have the ability to walk with our God.  This isn’t something that should be taken lightly!

The song that I sang was :

Though in the morning it is hard to get up, this time is there for great reason.  My friend Matt asked me a few years ago how my walk with the Lord was going.  My reply was, “well I am struggling with my quiet time with the Lord.”  His reply was simple yet brutally honest, “Brad when are you going to stop trying to make time with the Lord and start living and walking with Him?”  I felt so stupid because I realized that I was doing my few moments with the Lord and wanting it to suffice for the rest of the day I would live without striving hard for Him.  This awakened me to the thought that Jesus devoted His entire life to give glory to God and was obedient to God unto death.  This is no small thing.  This wasn’t five minutes a day.  He left His place in the heavens to be born a virgin, live around 30-35 years devoted to God the Father, died on a cross (undeserving but obediently), and rose again.  What would it look like for us to follow in Jesus footsteps?  (Not literally die on a cross, there is no need to die unless He calls you to be a martyr)

So my question is if we have the Helper, why wouldn’t we want to start our day off and walk with our God the rest of the day?  Why wouldn’t we take pleasure in knowing that Jesus died for us, left so we could have the Holy Spirit so we can understand how to walk with God, and rely on Him the rest of the day?  This is just one way we can find ourselves seeing God in a way that we may never see Him.  So, Before the Day Slips Away… let’s meet, be filled and led by the Holy Spirit, and led to our Father by Him.  Lets feed on that for the rest of the day.   Let us walk freely because He has given us the ability to.

Believing in Truth

Posted: August 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

The choice to believe in truth or fiction always comes in some form or fashion.  With Joy jobless and no money the past few days has been a gut check.  In the past, times that have been similar to this, I would have faith and hope to make it most of the way through knowing the Lord would take care of us.  Most of the way doesn’t cut it!  I would cave in to fear of unknowing, start freaking out under pressure, start feeling sick because I would subject myself to long hours of worrying and anxiousness.  As a believer I would find myself trying to be over everything and falter in huge ways.  My life would start showing that I am about myself in this area more than being this person that trusts in the Lord for everything.

 

I read a devotional from John Piper recently that sums it up…

 

Let Jesus Argue with Your Soul About Being Anxious

 

We should be slow to treat Jesus as if he doesn’t know what he is doing. He is not naïve in the way he deals with our anxiety. In Matthew 6:25-34 he tells us three times not to be anxious (vv. 25, 31, 34) and gives us eight reasons not to be anxious.

Evidently he thinks this will help. So don’t call it simplistic. Call it grace. Believe him. Take every reason and preach it to your soul as true. Say,

“Soul, this is true. Jesus Christ says so. Trust him. He died for you. He loves you. He created you. He knows you. No one — no counselor, no pastor, no friend — knows as much about you as he does. Listen to him. Let these reasons sink in. Bank on them. Now, let’s get up and do what we need to do. Be gone anxiety.”

Here’s a summary of what he said:

1. Life is more than food and the body more than clothing (Matthew 6:25).

2. God feeds the birds and you are more valuable than they are (Matthew 6:26).

3. It’s pointless. It adds not one hour to your life (Matthew 6:27).

4. If God clothes ephemeral grass, he will clothe eternal you (Matthew 6:28-30).

5. Unbelievers are anxious about stuff. And you are not an unbeliever (Matthew 6:32a).

6. Your father knows that you need all these things you’re anxious about (Matthew 6:32b).

7. When you seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness, what you need is added to you (Matthew 6:33).

  1. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Tomorrow’s trouble stays there (Matthew 6:34).

 

So today I will rest in Him, work hard with what I have, pray for my youth, lead my wife, and choose to believe in truth.  I am going to let Jesus argue with my soul.  If Jesus created all then He can tell this soul of mine what to believe.