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New Year’s Resolutions?

CrossfitHave you ever made a New Year’s resolution? No more 2nd deserts, I am going to exercise 3 times a week, I will have a Quiet Time everyday, etc… All good things. How often do you keep them? If you do, what helped you keep them? I think it boils down to motivation. How badly do you want it? For years I have said, and for brief periods of time been consistent, that I want to exercise regularly. It’s good for your health, you feel better when you do, etc… but have not been consistent. Well 5 weeks ago my doctor told me in no uncertain terms that I have fatty liver disease. I have had it for awhile. Too much fat in my system. Not enough exercise. So either I let this destroy my liver over time or I get busy and eat healthier and exercise. So that day I stopped by a local gym a friend runs and said sign me up. That was 5 weeks ago. I have  faithfully been there 3 times a week. I am motivated.

What about my spiritual life? I have grown lazy there as well. I read a passage from a book I am reading for our upcoming Men’s retreat that was pretty convicting. In this book the author quotes J. C. Ryle discussing the importance of private devotions (reading your Bible regularly and praying). “Here are the roots of true Christianity… Wrong here, a man is wrong all the way through. Here is the whole reason why many professing Christians never seem to get on; they are careless and slovenly about their private prayers. They read their Bibles but little and with very little heartiness of spirit. They give themselves no time for self-inquiry and quiet thought about the state of their souls.” Ouch… the truth hurts. So in the gym I work out with people (accountability) and we encourage each other. Well I have decided to head over to the gym of a consistent devotional life. Anyone care to join me? (comment on this post, let’s be accountable together and encourage one another)

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” Psalms 42:1-2 NIV

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

I Love Students!

Fall Retreat 2013-72I love students! I gotta admit I love my job. Not all aspects of my job, I don’t like the paperwork end of things, but I love the students. Working with them, talking with them, playing with them, and just being their friend. Students are wonderful people who are going through tremendous changes and considering many things that will impact their lives now and in the future: What do I major in? Who do I date? What do I do once I graduate? What kind of lifestyle am I going to adopt? What do I think about spiritual things? How am I going to relate to my family? The list goes on.

I see my role as one of being a friend, counselor, spiritual guide, and mentor. My favorite part of ministry is sitting down with a student and talking about their life, their struggles, the things of God, how to make an impact with their life, and who they are interested in. :) As a Christian I can offer them a listening ear and words of wisdom and encouragement and point them to God.

Colossians 2:2–3 “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” NIV

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Christian Challenge

FesitfallAnother school year is here and we are out in force meeting students and inviting them to come and join us in Christian Challenge. Probably a student’s greatest need, when they first get to school, is for friends. We want to help them find good friends who will inspire them in their faith and be their extended family while away from home.

We covet your prayers and believe these next few weeks will be the most important ones some of these students will ever make in their lives. “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Col 2:2-3 NIV

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Alpha Children Ministry

Abraham and LydiaIn 1986 I traveled with a group of Christians to Bangalore, India, to share Christ’s love and the way of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. During that trip I met Abraham and his wife Lydia and began a friendship with them that has spanned these many years. Three years after that mission trip, Abraham came to the USA and asked me to help him begin a ministry to orphans and poor children. Both Abraham and Lydia’s parents died when they were young and they had to live in children’s homes while growing up. They know first hand what it is like to grow up without their parents and desire to help children who are in similar circumstances. Thus they began the remarkable ministry known as Alpha Children Ministry.

This coming week Abraham and Lydia will be visiting here in Michigan and sharing about their ministry back in India. Saturday, May 4th at 7:00pm we will be having a dessert fellowship and presentation time at Crossroads Community Baptist Church at 2580 Packard Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48104. I hope you can join us and hear their incredible story.

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” James 1:27 NIV

To learn more about this ministry go to: www.alphacm.org 

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Worship

DSCN0093“What then is worship? The term comes to us in our modern speech from the Anglo-Saxon, “weorthscipe,” which later developed into, “worship,” meaning “to attribute worth to an object.” Worship is the “worth-ship” of the one you worship.” (How To Worship Jesus Christ by Joseph Carroll). To worship God then is to attribute worth to him. How do you attribute worth to something or someone? You become devoted, focus your attention, spend time and money, make sacrifices, and show reverence to it or them. What do you worship?

Isaiah 6:1-4 “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.” NIV

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Freedom – Getting Free

Drawing from the twelve steps, the Bible, and personal experience; here is the process I recomend for gaining freedom from addiction:

1. Get honest. If you think about it confession is really just agreeing with God. He knows everything you have done or thought so your telling Him about your struggles and sin is really just you agreeing with what He already knows. It is also important to tell someone else. Hidden sin takes on a power of its own. Revealing sin deflates it and it loses its power over you.

2. Realize you are no longer under the power of sin, but free in Christ. Romans 6:1-14 “Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.” NIV

3. Begin to grapple with the core issues that contribute to the stress and pain in your life and the resulting baggage you are carrying with you.

4. Pray and seek God’s help.

5. Meditate on the truth, of who you are in Christ, as found in God’s Word.

6. Seek out others to help and mentor you along this journey.

This week take some time and examine your life. Do you have some type of addiction and do you need to get honest and begin to do what is needed to get free?

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Freedom – Understanding Addiction

Addiction Cycle

The first step in gaining freedom is to understand some of the dynamics of addiction. The addiction cycle describes the reoccurring process that takes place as we struggle with our addictions. It begins with stress. Stress is caused by a variety of things that we encounter in life and can come from past or present experiences and circumstances. Some examples of stressors are: the expectations of others, fear of rejection, lack of sleep, school, anger, relationships and a fear of failure. There are many stressors out there, but this short list is to give you a feel for what they look like.

“Acting out” are the behaviors we do in trying to relieve our stress in inappropriate, destructive ways. As Christians this is what we call sin. Its where we look to other things or people, rather than God, to find life. One recovering alcoholic once said that anything you look to for life becomes your god. Once again some of the ways of acting out could be an indulgence or over indulgence in Facebook, chocolate, TV, pornography, food, drugs, gambling, self-stimulation, fantasizing about a romantic relationship, sports, etc…

After acting out there is usually immediate guilt and remorse, due to the fact that we know what is sin and we feel badly about sinning. This leads to shame and depression where we move from feeling badly about the act to feeling badly about ourselves. We feel like failures and slide into depression. As a way to rebalance and climb out of our depression we tend to make recommitments, “I will never do that again,” or, “I’ll get help this time.” These recommitments drive us to want to perform better. Having to perform is always stressful and we find ourselves back accumulating stress, which drives us to acting out, and the cycle begins anew.

This week do a self-assessment on yourself and identify your addictions. Write down your thoughts in a journal and express your discoveries to God in prayer. Come back next week to find out how to break out of the addiction cycle.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

 
 
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