Waterskiing & Sack Races

What are some things you can’t do by yourself? You can’t water-ski, dance the samba, throw a party, kiss, seesaw, win a sack race, get engaged, hug, or learn to drive on our own. By yourself. If any one of us tried, that’d just be weird. We don’t have to think about it. Doing these things alone would just be silly – if not impossible.
There are lots of things you can’t do on your own. Getting closer to God is one of them.
If you tried to seesaw by yourself in a park, any nearby children would be pulled away by mothers who are whispering, "Come on, dear, let’s go home. Don’t make eye contact. Yes, that’s a very nice man. Let’s go." But if you didn’t spend a lot of time with other Christians, what would people think of you? They’d probably just think you were just shy, that you’re introverted, or that it’s just your personality.
We seem to think that, while hosting a party alone is silly, it’s perfectly OK to go about your spiritual journey alone. Ya know what I think of that? I think that’s silly.
Notice I said "we seem to think". Think about that for a moment here. If you take a look at humanity’s past, you can clearly see thinking isn’t something we do well.
We "think" that our walk with God should just be you and God. This actually seems right, at first glance – shouldn’t you be concentrated on God? You should! At the same time, don’t throw fellowship out the door!
Failing to spend time with Christians does not mean it’s your personality. It does not mean you’re shy. Failing to spend time with Christians is like having a strong wall around you, yet there’s one spot where the enemy can squeeze through without being seen.
We can’t make excuses. We can’t say "we don’t have the time". Because, honestly – who doesn’t have time for people? Who doesn’t have time for life? If you don’t have time for life, you have no life at all.
We’ve been talking a lot about wisdom. Well, IMHOP (in my humble opinion), doesn’t it seem wise to finish that wall? Close up that empty space in your wall and in your life. Fill it with people who will build you up and encourage you to invest in a closer relationship with Jesus.
So you think faith should just be between you and God? Well, what does God have to say about that? "Do not give up fellowship with one another, as some have fallen in the habit of doing." Well, OK, God, but… "Serve one another in love." (Galatians 5:13)
God wants you to have an intimate relationship with Him, but He also designed you to enjoy the company of other Christians! Did you catch that? You were designed to enjoy God and His people!
So next time you think of going alone, invite a friend over to do a Bible study with popcorn, or ask your parents what a certain Bible passage means.


Coming Together

I think effort is amazing. I think it's amazing when people invest their time and energy to create something beautiful, something worth sharing. I think it's even more amazing when they give it away -- no obligations, no payments. They do it simply because they enjoy it, because they want to serve.

This is the feeling I got last night, when the 3-days of The Butler Did It play was concluded. My eyeliner mustache is wiped off, my tuxedo costume discarded, and I will never ever talk like a guy again. Well, you never know....

I got this sense of elation last night as we all bowed before the audience. I had an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment, as well as pride that I got to work with such amazing people. We recieved no profit from the play, yet we poured out several weeks of our lives to make people laugh.

When people come together with an idea, great things happen. Today at church, my pastor showed us a cool video.

There are some things we just can't do a alone. You can't water-ski, get engaged, see-saw, or have a party by yourself. Almost everything is better with company.

I don't have time to elaborate on this today, but these are just some ponderings to get you thinking.


In Love with You

I just want to fall in love with You again
Into Your arms in sweet surrender
I want my old life to end
I want to fall in love with You again

I want to fall in love with You again
Hear Your voice ring loud and clear
Live without a single fear
I’m in love with You, so draw me near

I want to fall in love with You again
Feel the rush of Your holy wind
Be broken and made brand new
All to fall in love with you

I want to fall in love with You again
No doubts, no cares, just You and me
Working things out and changing my life
When I’m with you I feel so alive

I’m in love with You
Jesus I’m in love with you
Make me brand new
I’m in love with You
Jesus I’m in love with You

I’m in love with You


An Actor's Life for Me

Wow, I am really, really, really nervous. The play is next week and I've only had -- what? -- 2 weeks of rehearsal? My lines, cues, blocking...oh woe is me, that I have so much more to work on!
So, to fill you in -- I am playing a guy. Whose rich and debonair (like Gaston from Beauty and the Beast). Who dies. Who is ressurected...somewhat. Who almost kills someone. Who almost dies again. Who is just pure awesomeness. Yep, that's me. I get to wear a tuxedo and everything. I even get an eyeliner mustache!
My cast family is great. They are such talented teens and so nice -- and hilarious! -- at the same time. If any of you are reading, I love you all thiiiiiiiiiis much!
If you could pray that I won't fail these wonderful people and make my director cry, that'd be great.
Just thought I'd fill you in on the biggest issue in my life right now.
Yo ho, yo ho, an actor's life for me!!

Your Sister in Christ,


Wisdom: So Yesterday?

What is wisdom good for anyway? I don’t know about you, but whenever I think of wisdom, I think of a weird balding guy who beats a stick on the ground while uttering "huma huma" (like that old guy on "Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom"). Our culture doesn’t really value wisdom, does it? Today, we are encouraged to live to please ourselves. We are told that we don’t need wisdom, guidance, or God. We are taught that everything is under our control, even though we know it isn’t.
The world wasn’t always this way. In Jesus’ time (and before…and after), kings appointed "wise men" to, well, share their wisdom and help the king make good decisions regarding his people. The kings, however, often had the same attitude we do when it comes to advice. "That sounds great. Sure. I’ll think about that. That’s some really good advice right there." But really, we totally forgot all that was said because we were too busy checking out his weird teeth. Or we completely rebel: "Whatever. I’m a king, remember? I don’t need your advice!"
The truth is: we often throw away the good advice people give us. This gets serious when we throw away God’s advice. The people who wrote the book of Proverbs were, let’s face it, a lot wiser than you and me, because their hand was directed by God. They wrote what God is desperately trying to tell you. So…are you listening?
"By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." (Proverbs 24:3-4) Obviously, God wants you to know just how valuable wisdom is – it’s a "rare and beautiful treasure"!
"A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength." (Proverbs 24:5) Who doesn’t want great power and strength? A mean, c’mon, guys! Who doesn’t want to be in charge of something, to be strong, successful, powerful, influential?
"…You need guidance, and for victory many advisers." (Proverbs 24:6) [We’ll take a closer look at this verse later.] Do you feel like God is bringing on the "duh" factor here? "Don’t you get it, My child? Don’t you see?" He can even assume the parental role here. "Son, how many times do I have to tell you?" God isn’t saying, "Wisdom is cool. It’s nice to have." Nope. God is clearly telling us: "You NEED wisdom! You NEED My guidance! We both know that you can’t make it on your own. You need ME!"
Wisdom isn’t "so yesterday". It wasn’t a passing trend. It’s not a fad. No, wisdom is here to stay. Everyone wants to make the best decisions for themselves, but some people have trouble accepting that God can and WANTS to guide you. When you’re bombarded by messaging saying "I got the power!", remember that your power comes through God. He won’t leave you, He’s a heck of a lot smarter than you, and He knows what’s coming next before you can even get a glimpse of it. Here comes God-Dad again: "Time to wise up, son!"


Wise Up!

We asked ourselves: Do I "Got Wisdom?" We talked about how bragging or even being the smartest person in your class does not make you wise. We even broke out the dreaded dictionary to get a hint at what wisdom is. Now we’re going to go even deeper on the subject.
I know wisdom may not seem all that cool to you. I mean, advice? It’s hard to listen to, and it’s even harder to follow. But there are lots of questions in your head right now. How can you get along with someone who doesn’t like you? What’s the best way to make friends? The book of Proverbs is filled with wisdom – or advice – about life, relationships, faith, love, family, and more. You’ve seen all those books on advice for young people. Cool. But when that advice is "God-breathed and is useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking, and training in righteousness", that wisdom is the stuff you really want.

"Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach." (Proverbs 22:17)

Did you get that? Not only are we supposed to pay attention and listen to wisdom; we’re also supposed to apply it! That means that whatever wisdom God brings your way, God commands you to use it in your everyday life!
That means that you need to live and breathe God’s words of wisdom for you in order to make the right choices. Need. Command. God wants to make it clear to you that He isn’t asking you to read His Word; He is ordering you to.

So, why do we need God’s wisdom? What will you gain if you read the Bible for advice?
You will understand what is right and just. (Proverbs 2:9)
You will gain wisdom and be protected by it. (Proverbs 2:10-11)
You will be saved from the ways of the wicked. (Proverbs 2:12)

I’m really excited about this, and I hope you are, too! We’re going to be digging deeper into wisdom in the next posts. We will "pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise" and we’ll apply our hearts to what God is telling us! (Proverbs 22:17)