So I have been finding when I have a lot of free time, I waste it...
But when I do not have much free time, I am very effective and productive. I use my time well, when I have to balance it and have deadlines.
But I am a loser procrastinator when I have too much time.
When I have more structure in my life it forces me to focus on the true priorities instead of on all the bazillion possible ways I could waste my time that are in the end useless and unimportant.
For example: what does this say? that is a waste of time!!!!!!!!! (but fun lol)
It is a sad reality but true. The main institution of Western American civilization is the University. But Universities are no longer teaching truth and theology. Becuase Universities have lost sight of truth, so has our nation. "False ideas are the greatest obstacle to the reception of the Gospel."
Christian faith in America is wide but not deep. Hollow men, empty shelves that do not know what they believe. Christians used to be able to argue basic fundamental arguments for their faith but today American Christians are very shallow and lost the understandings of philosophy and theology.
R.C. Sproul has called this the most anti-intellectual period in the history of the of the church!
That sucks! Let us not continue to be this way. Our generation is not as cultivated in the realms of philosophy, intellect, history, theology as our previous forefathers! Let us make serious change!
Most of these websites send me email subscriptions (so I don't access their web page directly very often but I do read the articles in the emails) sometimes I click on a link in the email that leads me to their site.
http://www.preaching.com/ - Culture Connection Updates
http://homeword.com/- Daily Devotions
www.tjosm.com - The Journal of Student Ministries Updates
http://www.SimplyYouthMinistry.com - Simply Youth Newsletter and Podcast reminders
The Boundless Show- Boundless Webzine
Plugged In - Focus on the Family's Culture Connection
Youth Walk - Walk through the Bible Ministry for Youth leaders, weekly devotionals
Youth Ministry / Group Magazine - Youth Ministry.com Newsletters
CPYU.org - CPYU Newsletter: Youth Culture, articles
http://www.cyfm.net/- Center for Youth and Family Ministry Newsletters
from Unchristian by David Kinnaman:
"No one goes to heaven because of what they do or do not do. Every human
sins, and we all deserve Hell for that. But Jesus freely offers everyone his
...homosexual behavior is sin, but it is no different than if I sleep with someone
other than my wife or even momentarily have a sexual fantasy. God created
sexuality, it is good, but it can expressed in wrong ways. Every one of us, gay
or straight or whatever, expresses sexuality in wrong ways. It all comes down
to what you do with Jesus." (pg. 108)
I just finished chapter 5 of Unchristian called "antihomsexual."
It was another hard chapter and humbling chapter to read.
I really had not put too much time or thought into the what the culture, as a whole, thinks about Christians relating to the topic of homosexuality.
A. been wrong, too conservative, and mean
B. left people with the wrong idea of what we believe about homosexuality
C. left people with the wrong idea of how we should treat homosexuals
D. hurt people
E. wrong priorities
What we really believe is that homosexuality is a sin, yes, but it is no worse than any other sin.
And Jesus still loves and has mercy on homosexuals, just as he has had mercy on us and forgiven us of our sins.
Bad perception due to real problems within Christianity:
Christians have displayed a special and bad image for the sin of homosexuality. It is "the big one." And Christians have irrationally fought harder against the issue of homosexuality than any other sin/issue.
We have come across as arrogant, uncompassionate, self-righteous, inconsistent, and uncaring to homosexuals. Our method has been ineffective, stupid and dumb. We have repelled young outsiders from church because of this issue. When this happens, it is apparent that we have lost sight of what is really important! Jesus Christ as their answer and salvation!
Stop fighting the sin and show the love, grace, mercy and compassion that Christ would!
Think about it. Homosexuality is a sin, but it is only a sin! You also sin!
We are all sinners. God's gift of grace is what is important! Regardless of our sin, God still loves us.
Don't avoid relationships with people because of their lifestyle. Make relational connections with homosexuals. Stop preaching at them and going to political war with them. Treat them as HUMANS, treat them as friends. It is sad I have to say this! Respect. Love. Grace. Show them Jesus. Build on real relationships.
Parchment and Pen -Michael Patton ounder and president of Reclaiming the Mind Ministries along with others.
Youth Culture Watch - Jim Liebelt's blog as a part of Jim Burn's HomeWord Ministry.
Boundless - A part of Focus on the Family: made by and for college and young-adult / career-aged people
College Ministry Thoughts - Journal of Student Ministries, along with Simply Youth (for College Aged Ministry), along with others with college-ministry experience.
Blogs I check, every once in a while or whenever they FINALLY post:
Off The Record - Paul Matson, a good friend blogs about good stuff relating to PR, HR, Marketing, social media and trends.
Greg Stier - President of Dare 2 Share Ministries.
Learning my Lines... - Walt Mueller, President of CPYU.org. Youth Culture expert.
evangelism coach - Practical Personal and Church Evangelism Training
We are all sinners in our own pleasures and vices. We are all born with the sin nature. But not, exactly born in the sense that the world claims, to be homosexual.
I am not anti-homosexual. I love and try to treat all people the same no matter what sins they fall for. God knows what sins I am bound by when I do not obey the Holy Spirit and resist temptation to sin. I was taught to love the person and hate the sin. This is a good moral to follow.
Some great stuff in this episode really got my thinking and this post may not make any sense at all:
The episode had a lot of topics that is covered and this is only some of them.
In many ways what Luther did, really saved Western Civilization.
Luther’s deal was giving priesthood to all believers, not just the rules: popes, bishops, princes, emperors, etc.
Luther influenced change. No longer should people hold one law for rulers and one law for civilians. Luther did not directly say or fight for democracy itself, but think about it.
What Luther said implies equality of all men.
It implies popular will. It implies that every person should have own right by God to choose integrity of own person and own people representatively.
Look at democracy and a government where voting is involved. Every individual has the right to popular will, to represent their own country and the integrity of that country.
Similarly, what Luther was saying is that every individual was created in image of God by God, every individual should have the right to conscience, to interpret the Scriptures on their own and come upon their own conclusions. Every individual person has these rights, not just the bishops, princes, emperor, and popes!
Remember prior to this reformation, only a prince (and other religious leaders-popes) could enforce the laws of God.
The Apologetics radio show made a good point: Immoral law is not a real law. Enforcing law for own appetite is actually against the law. Luther was fighting for this. (Augustine said these things before Luther.)
Here are the final words of Luther’s famous response to the emperor at
" Your Imperial Majesty and Your Lordships demand a simple answer. Here it is, plain and unvarnished. Unless I am convicted [convinced] of error by the testimony of Scripture or (since I put no trust in the unsupported authority of Pope or councils, since it is plain that they have often erred and often contradicted themselves) by manifest reasoning, I stand convicted [convinced] by the Scriptures to which I have appealed, and my conscience is taken captive by God's word, I cannot and will not recant anything, for to act against our conscience is neither safe for us, nor open to us. On this I take my stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen."
These are common ideas in Protestant lands, like
A key factor to American Protestantism is the theology of essentials. Essentials must be the same no matter what church you belong to. These are things like: Jesus being the Messiah who conquered sin by dying on the cross, the Gospel Message. Then there are the non-essentials. For instance, whether you belief in baptism or not – having the belief of baptism is not what gets you into Heaven. In
Again these issues go back to Augustine! His ideas of “essential unity” and “non-essential charity.” This is why we have denominations: if we have disagreements about non-essentials, then you can start a new denomination! Without being forced to believe one thing or another.
Luther was arguing for the right to have arguments over non-essentials. But more importantly he was arguing an essential theological doctrine, indulgences. You can't force me to recant things that are against my conscience. (indulgences.) he challenged them to look to Scripture and see if they can challenge anything that he took a stand for. And he was also taking a stand for the right for others to read Scripture.
A few hundred years later, a nation would be birth on the same ideas: You can't force me to recant things that go against our conscience. Freedom of conscience comes from freedom of belief, comes from right of individual to think what he wants to think, comes from freedom of speech, and comes from freedom of assembly. It is a cycle!
Naturally it is a government system for sinful man to live in community and get along with other sinful Christians and non-Christians alike. The separation of powers flows from Biblical anthropology.
Think about it:
man is sinful/wicked
man gets power
man will do wicked/sinful things with power
Democracy helps to decentralize power. One could argue this is a consequent of reformation.
In the past, we have seen in absolute monarchy a lot of wicked kings and rulers. You might find maybe one good king, but they are all mostly wicked.
Then the podcast sifted to another topic that is somewhat related that I really liked also:
Law and Gospel distinction and the importance of both:
It is impossible for us (sinful man) to live up to the law fully. The Law is an oppressor. The Gospel comes and says, yes, but Jesus has taken on your responsibility of law. The Gospel is a liberator by Christ's righteousness. The Gospel offers everything that the law demands. Christ did everything according to that law in our behalf.
Sermons need both the law and the Gospel. Law will say you ought to, you ought to, you ought to, but it hurts us to hear only law, because we can't fulfill that! We need also to hear the Gospel message! Hearing the Gospel alone will not work either because then all of the prescriptions of how you are suppose to live due to law are missing and they are still necessary.
It has been argued that “The Law has nothing to do with us today because it has been fulfilled through Christ.”
It is true that we have freedom from law because it has been fulfill and the guilt of the law is now relieved. But saying that the there is no use for law anymore is not correct, or Biblical.
We live by grace. But the measure of sanctification is the law. Remember that Jesus kept the law. You know the two Greatest COMMANDMENTS (law) from Jesus was: Love God and love neighbor. This is law in summation of the Old Testament laws and 10 commandments.
Use of law today:
1. convict us of sin
2. order civics - points us to Christ, to know Christ
3. teach us how to live - in accordance of nature of Christ as a Christian
Love is a law. We have a Law of love.
This is not the Gospel! Christ died for sin that is the Gospel. Love is the law.
Love is a pursuit because you love the Beloved, and the best way to love is the following the law of the Beloved
Another neat point from the podcast is that Predestination and a lot of the ideas of John Calvin were not original. Much of his stuff came from Augustine.
Can you imagine the power of an effective godly family?
Picture mom and dad sharing the Word of God with the kids after the dinner meal around the dinner table everyday.
Good Biblical training and teaching starts at home not the youth minister's office or youth room at the church.
My job as a youth minister is not just about helping and leading students to Christ, but when possible, I help parents train their students. I give parents resource to help them. I spend time with the old guys too.
Parents sometimes rely on youth ministry too much. Just dropping off the kids and then leave. It is sad, but it is where our culture is at today. I pray that parents stay for church too.
I pray that youth ministry could rely on parents, not the other way around. I pray for godly parenting. Here are some great parenting links:
It is a good book, so far very humbling to read but it is raising my awareness and passion about problems with the modern American church.
On particular topic that I want to blog about relating to the book is the term hypocrite.
Hypocrite is taken from an old Greek word that refers to wearing a mask. It is the idea of putting on an "act" or a "show." The real person is behind the mask.
Hypocrisy occurs basically when you profess (or say that you believe) something that you do not really believe ( because your actions speak against what you say.) The reason it gets confusing is because it really is not hypocrisy when a pastor preaches against a sin with which he is personally struggling against.
It is not the belief that goes wrong (it is good to hold the belief against sin for instance) what goes wrong is the man, the person holding the belief. When he sins he goes against his belief, and becomes a hypocrite.
A hypocrite is two-faced. Says on thing and does another thing. Has double standards. In today's world, actions speak louder than words.
The book goes on to say that the majority of the secular world view Christians as hypocrites. And that also they are "used" to hypocrites. The fact that the church of Christians is a church of hypocrites is no big deal to them. They see no difference between us Christians and the rest of the world...this is a huge image problem. They do not even care about our beliefs in holiness and living a Christian lifestyle, because they do not see it in our lives. They see us as hypocrites.
Encouraging this image problem is the church itself:
We have 2 main groups in the church today. These two groups are taking almost two different extremes.
First we have the older Christians who believe that lifestyle is extremely important. We should be living pure and holy lives that match up to Scripture.
Then we have the younger Christians who do not keep lifestyle as such a high priority.
Then the two groups collide, outsiders of the church see hypocrisy. The older Christians are teaching rules and regulations while the younger Christians are not keep or even trying to keep these rules.
What we should learn is balance.
First to the older Christians, return to grace. Return to mercy. return to realistic image of man. We are all sinners. Outsiders do not want to be a part of a church of rules and regulations. Focus on relationships, building trust and fellowship. Return to worship.
Perfection is not the answer. That is not what Christianity is about. If it is perfection you are seeking then you are reducing Christianity down to a list of moral benchmarks and judgementalism. This sucks because no one is ever going to be sinless, no one is perfect. This only scares outsiders away. Our faith is a relationship not rules! Stop presenting ourselves this way. Present Jesus! The forgiver of sins.
To the younger Christians, remember the commandments of the Lord. Think about the image you are portraying with your life to outsiders. We are sinful man, but we do not have to be slaves to sin. We return to Christ. We return to purity. It is God's grace not rules and regulations.
This is disobedience and inauthentic. People view us a fake when we live just like everyone else, when they do not see the difference between us and the world. We need to live in accordance to Scripture, live the difference. Live in but not of the world.
As a whole, we need to return to accountability and transparency. We are struggling between being fake and being superficial. Is that the Christianity we want. This is Unchristian. This is bad. But this is where we stand. This is what outsiders of the church are seeing.
We need to return to authenticity and restoration. Instead of fighting a culture war, let's transform by restoring people. Let's fight poverty, crime, and addiction. Not the people. Let's take real action.
Being completely honest and realistic we see that we are never going to not be hypocritical. Think about it we are sinners. We have a sin nature. The big picture is that we are sinners saved by grace. We are trying not to sin, but we will. And the difference to outsiders is that we are authentic. We are imperfect but we are full of grace and forgiveness. We admit our sin and show people where our source of restoration comes from, God.
We need to out of our high thrones or high pews. We need to let God humble us a bit. We need to see the outsiders. They are outside of our churches on the streets just a few feet away. But we are too good for them. How sad is that!?! The church has lost a lot of respect due to our arrogance and pride. Our inabilities to reach out to those on the street who really need you!
It has been months since it was released! This problem I have is that I only post once a day sometimes two, although I have several ideas for content I save for later dates and continue to post only once a day. Maybe I should post more often! But I like having content and ideas and I like having one post everyday so that readers are never over-whelmed but they are also never without content for more than 24 hours, except on weekends.
I had no reservations about the ideas and principles that the document was talking about. I agreed with just about everything the authors said. It was a well-written document and I found nothing to argue about.
The deal with James Dobson surprised me. At first I wanted to say, "give me a break." But Dobson has every right to say and do what he wishes. It is hard to incorporate a document that is going to have everyone in agreement. Dobson does bring up an interesting point, that no other African Americans are or were involved with the document. But instead of being offended he could have been more revolutionary and been the first of many otter African Americans to sign the document.
To briefly summarize what the document was about:
The Evangelical Manifesto is a document signed by many of the leaders of the Christian Evangelical movement and apologists declaring of who Evangelicals are and what they stand for.
Recently the secular media and America as a whole has lost sight of what exactly it means to be an Evangelical. There has been some confusion and misrepresentation of Evangelical Christianity. The document lays out ground works of what it truly means to be Evangelical. It runs through the history of Evangelicalism and then confronts contemporary issues that the church needs to deal with and is currently facing.
"For those who are Evangelicals, the deepest purpose of the Manifesto is a serious call to reform—an urgent challenge to reaffirm Evangelical identity, to reform Evangelical behavior, to reposition Evangelicals in public life, and so rededicate ourselves to the high calling of being Evangelical followers of Jesus Christ. "
As I previously mentioned, I completely agree with everything on this document. I signed the document and have been imaging how I can help. Some Christian groups have pushed politics too far. I hope to see Christians living out Jesus, and not living out politics.
Yeah, we all wish we were perfect. Although it is impossible.
We try to make everything right. If only everyone was happy and everything in my life were in order. There would be no problems and everyone would be happy. ...yeah. That is a dream.
why we are not perfect
Sin. We are born into a sinful world as a sinful man. No one is exempt. Except for this one guy...
How Jesus was perfect
Jesus was perfect because he never sinned. You ask, "but he was born unto man, therefore a 'sinner'...right?" No. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit born of a virgin. He was not born of man, but of God. Was he a fully man? Yes. Fully God? Yes.
Although Jesus was fully God; he was also fully man and faced human temptation.
This is Mind-blowing!
In other words He lived perfect life but as a man he had to rely on God's help and dependence to live perfect. He wasn't just perfect because he was God but because he always let the Spirit control His life. But also because he was God. All human beings will inevitably fail at attempting to always be controlled by the Spirit.
What it means to be a Christian and pursuing perfection
Sanctification - process of us becoming more like Jesus Christ. Our life is a process. We are seeking completion, perfection, dependence on God. Our goal is to be more like Jesus. We will not achieve perfection on this earth because of our sin nature but in Heaven we want to hear God say "you have done well and and faithful servant."
Challenge to be perfect
mat 5:48, we can't do it without His help
**Disclaimer- not sure that I agree completely with this image about "morphing" and all but the idea that letting the Holy Spirit work through us.