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For years in Youth Ministry I have prayed one prayer over and over, "Lord send us the students that no one else wants." On the surface there does not seem to be anything wrong with that prayer. Some would even say that it is a prayer that God would answer and be pleased with.
1:2 - Grace and peace come through knowing God
Over the last couple of months I have seemed to be listening to more podcast than ever. Not only more podcast but a wider variety of speakers from a lot of backgrounds. One thing that I have noticed is that I have not agreed with everything that has been said. Some I have just stopped and deleted and some I have just kept on listening to. So I began to start asking myself if I was wrong to keep listening? There was a part of me that thought if I did not agree with some of what they said that I should not listen to any of what they had to say. I was compromising. I wrestled with this for over a month.
Just wanted to share some random thoughts from different verses. If you want to connect the dots a little bit you can read through 1 Peter.
We live in a "cause" minded world. Everywhere you look there is always a cause to give to, volunteer for, or be a part of. Our hearts are captured and stirred by a good cause. We want to work and be a part of a good cause. When we attach ourselves to a cause then we are truly a part of something that is bigger than ourselves. Causes are a wonderful thing, but a lot of times in the Church today we want to make Christ a cause. We want to group Him in the same category with Toms Shoes or Charity Water. Do not misunderstand me. These charities are fantastic and do awesome things, but my Jesus did not come to earth, die on the cross, and defeat death to just be labeled as a cause.
Yesterday I went with some friends up to Anderson, SC to New Spring for their first Leadership Conference. Heard some amazing speakers, some of the top younger leaders in the church. Here are some thoughts and quotes that I took away from the day...
- If you are the only one in your church that can solve problems then you are the problem
- We want God on our side and He is trying to get us on His.
- People can know me and still go to Hell.
- If you are not willing to be uncomfortable then you will end up becoming unfaithful.
- Its hard to see God at 900 mph.
- If you want God to use you greatly then you must be wounded deeply.
- Everything can and will be used for God's glory and other's good.
- Jesus did not suffer so we would not have to suffer. He suffered so that when we suffered we could be more like Him.
- When you are not suffering you pursue your call, when you suffer you pursue Christ.
- Preach not from your wins, but from your loses.
- Religious people do not suffer, they cause others to suffer.
- Preachers who never repent create a toxic culture.
- Jesus did not die so we could come to church, but so we could be the church.
- Reach out to the broken and you will always have an audience.
- Church is more than a Christian prom.
- Do not major on the minors.
- Find the yes.
- The bolder we get with the truth the bigger the impact we can make.
- Are people talking more about props and programs or about Jesus?
- The mean time - you are not where you used to be and not quite where you are suppose to be.
- We live in a culture that is highlight oriented.
- Stay in the boat.
- Surround yourself with people that will help keep you in the boat.
- Leadership is all about risk.
- Delay does not mean denial.
- Do not try to do too much in the"mean time."
- When you have done all you can do - STAND.
- If you want to brag on something brag on knowing God.
- I want to see things I can not do on my own.
- If you put my life story in Scripture does it look mediocre - Scripture is the standard of our faith.
- When did culture start dictating what we believe?
- Do we believe in the same God of the Bible?
- Are we praying for boldness?
- Sometimes you need to barrow a friend's faith.
- God's past performance is the predictor of His future ability.
- You can imitate people's faith but never mimic their miracles.
- You do not need faith to finish, but to get started.
- If your faith is in your faith then your faith will fail you.
- There is nothing more powerful than a promise from God.
- The church was never intended for church people.
- Jesus liked people who was nothing like Him.
- Big church is nothing - growing church is everything.
- Its hard to hate people when you know their story.
- Acceptance paves the way of influence.
- Clear will alway defeat complexity.
- Partner, do not pioneer.
- Honor the important, do not protect it.
- Error on the side of grace
Spent some time in South GA this past weekend visiting my family. Love it down there, it is home gnats and all. Life seems to be a lot more simple there. No traffic, less hustle and bustle, and a lot of memories. While helping my Dad on Friday I had a thought. Nothing profound or life changing really. It is something that we all know.