Thursday, November 30, 2006

Checking IN

Natives were getting restless so I thought I'd drop a post on here. It's hard to believe it's almost three weeks since the last time I posted anything. It doesn't seem like that long. There was plenty of stuff that was blogworthy by the ever so stringent editorial standards I've set for myself. For instance I've discovered that Target occasionally sells almost perfect Braeburn apples and I've learned that it really is "occasionally." I've had a very frustrating period at work wherein I discovered my computer was not working. At one point it appeared that whatever was affecting my computer had jumped to my phone but I learned that was merely a new person being trained at the help desk. It was a relief. I had started to worry if my car was going to be next. I had a great trip home for Thanksgiving and got to see a wonderfully beautiful and sick baby girl. I still had fun holding her and I'm glad she's on the mend. I got to see a fun penguin movie with great people and got to eat lots of country ham and eggs. There was turkey too, and mom's scalloped oysters. Daddy and I got to watch 6 football games in one weekend. I got to sing in a choir for the first time this year. I got to listen to John Piper's book Desiring God, for the second time this year. I had some fun with friends, heard a few good sermons and youth messages, and participated in some good Bible studies. Except for the computer junk it was a good month. I'm looking forward to the next one.

Quote of the day:
"God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him." John Piper

Verse of the day:
"One thing I ask of the Lord,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple." Psalm 27:4 (NIV)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Noah's Tuesday

This previous Tuesday night Noah, one of the high school students, taught our junior high group. He spoke on God as the Rock, focusing on God's unchangable character, that He can be our refuge in time of trouble, and on Jesus' parable in Mt. 7:24 and following that the one who hears his words and does them will be like a wise man building his house on a rock. It was a good message. Noah also spoke to the group over the summer during our Old Testament character series. I think he spoke about David, but I'm not sure. I've known Noah and his family almost since the first week I came to the church. His dad led our drama ministry back when I started. Both Noah and his older brother were in my small group in 3-D when they were in middle school. Now his brother's heavily involved with Campus Crusade for Christ at Illinois St. and Noah's a senior. For those who've seen my Mazatlan pictures from a couple of years ago, Noah was David in our David and Goliath skit. We walked around the city quoting O Brother Where Art Thou together while we served the poor and shared the gospel. He's also a karate star. He teaches karate to kids and a couple of months or so ago he competed at the Pan Am games down in South America. Both Noah and his brother passed through some major struggles with their faith and both have come out stronger for it. They've got a lot of living to do but they can testify to God's steadfastness and unchangeable character. One of the things I love about junior high ministry is watching kids go on to grow and mature in faith and seeing the people them become. I'm proud to know Noah.

Verse of the Day:

"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
forever." Psalm 23 (ESV)
This is one of Noah's favorite passages.

Quote of the day:
"Do not seek the treasure." Pete
"We thought you was a toad." Delmar
Pete looks puzzled
" toad." Delmar
"Do not seek the treasure! It's a bushwhack!" Pete
O Brother, Where Art Thou

Thursday, November 09, 2006

TRUSTing and Verse of the Day

2nd John's sermon this Sunday was on trusting God in the midst of fear and was based in Isaiah 37:1-20. The context of this passage is Sennacherib's siege of Jerusalem. Hezekiah, King of Judah, has been leading a revival turning his people back to the worship of God in the temple. Somehow he has angered Sennacherib, King of Assyria, and the Assyrians have invaded Judah and besieged Hezekiah. You can read the story in 2 Kings 18-19, 2 Chronicles 32, and Isaiah 36-37. It's also believed by some that Psalm 76 was written in response to these events. John began the sermon by talking about different fears we face in life and then set the context of the passage. The body of the sermon was based on the acronym T.R.U.S.T.

Turn to God: Hezekiah, having previously failed to solve the Assyrian problem on his own, now goes into the temple and lays his problems before God. When we face difficulty where do we turn first? That shows who we're trusting. We should begin with God.

Recognize our need: Hezekiah dresses in the garb of repentance and sends his officials to the prophet Isaiah to seek his prayers then he describes his helpless and desperation to the Lord. We need to be able to admit our helplessness to God and others.

Understand God is in control: (I prefer, Understand who God is) In verse 16 Hezekiah acknowledges three crucial things about God. 1. He is the Lord of Hosts therefore He is a God of power. 2. He is the God of Israel enthroned above the Cherubim. This is a reference to the Ark of the Covenant in the temple which was the symbol of God's presence with His people, therefore He is a God who is near and who has chosen to be in relationship to this people and they are His. 3. He is the creator God over the kingdoms of the Earth, therefore no earthly problem, even the great King of Assyria, is too great for Him. It's good for us to remain in God's word so that we remember who He is.

Speak the truth to God: Hezekiah lays Sennacherib's letter before God and speaks his fears. Here John connected Philippians 4:6-7 and the great exchange we can make by giving God our fears and receiving His peace.

Trust God's character: In v.20 Hezekiah appeals to God's glory and reputation. What might we do if we truly trusted God to be who He says He is and sought His glory in and with our lives?

Verse of the Day:
"O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, who is enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth." Isaiah 37:16 (ESV)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Quick Update, Verse, A Couple of Quotes

It's been a fun couple of weeks. Since I've last blogged I've worked, read a lot of fairly useless stuff on the internet, attended a panel discussion with some students and library staff on technology and library use, participated in a Fall Fun Fest at church as parking/security team leader, attended a great halloween party as a suburban nazgul, heard a couple of good sermons at church from Matt, who's having a new baby for Sam and Ben to be big brothers to, and 2nd John, had a good Lifegroup discussion of 1 John 2:15-27, gotten a new roommate to go along with Steve for a while, served the youth, prayed for college students, heard three great lectures (or one sermon and two lectures) by Quentin Schultze at Trinity, worked some more, didn't take the new roommate to Ohio, studied more of 1 John, saw, liked, and pondered the movie "The Prestige," watched a painful Bears loss and two fantastic Colts wins, played a game of disc golf, and blogged once.

There might be more details on some of those things at some point. Last Monday a friend who's been in and out of trouble with the law and who's trying to walk with God was sharing about some of the problems he'd been having where he was staying. Steve and I offered to let him come live with us while he tries to get back on his feet. He had been told a while ago by some relatives in Ohio that he could come stay with them if he could get down there. Steve and I talked it over and thought it would be fun to go on a roadtrip so we offered to drive him to Ohio. Unfortunately we found out that his aunt there had a full house and no longer had a place for him. So he's still staying with us until he can make his next step. He'd like to get out of this area to get away from some bad relationships and try to make a clean break with his past but he doesn't know what to do. Hopefully we can encourage him and help him.

Verse of the day:
"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-- the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions--is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever." 1 John 2:15-17 (ESV)

Quotes of the Day:
1st the serious
"Let us flee the world. For what have we got in common with it? Let us run and pursue until we have laid hold of something that is permanent and doesn't pass away, for all things perish and pass away like a dream, and nothing is lasting or certain among the things which are seen." Symeon the New Theologian (10th c. abbot in Constantinople)

2nd the humorous
"Mosquitos, the silent killer. You could be dead and not even know it. Mosquitos." 2nd John in Sunday's sermon
"WHAT AN AWESOME BLOCK! THERE'S A BIRD!" EM (not me). You probably had to be there for this one to be funny. He shouted it during a kickoff return in the Bears game yesterday. There were a lot of pigeons on and around the field.