October 29, 2009

Midnight Worship

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sin no more

October 29, 2009

So we know were not supposed to do wrong things.  Everyone knows that.  As Christians, we know especially that were not supposed to sin.  Jesus said to the adulterous woman in John 8, “Go and sin no more.”  Hmm, yeah; not exactly advice that’s easy to follow though.

temptationIt also says in the bible, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  More good advice, but just as difficult to follow.  I sure don’t find it easy to focus on godly things 100% of the time.  There are so many things around us that can, and do, trip us up.

I think that’s why the bible gives us another tip.  When Jesus showed his disciples how to pray, He taught them to say, “Lead us not into temptation”. He’s saying that while trying not to sin will be hard, we can make it easier by avoiding situations where we might be tempted to sin.  And if we pray to Him like He showed us, He will help us steer clear of temptation!

So how can we “Go and sin no more” like Jesus commanded?  Well, it starts with praying for God’s help: that He will “lead us not into temptation” and that He will help you to think about the right, pure and holy things.  But there are other steps you can take as well. Say, whenever you hangout with a certain friend you find yourself talking badly about other people.  Try and bring some others along with you when you hang out to help you steer the conversation.  Say you have trouble because you’re tempted with your boyfriend or girlfriend.  Don’t just sit by yourselves in the house!  Take steps against that temptation by going out for walks or inviting other people to hang out with you guys.  Say a lot of your friends drink and party and you’re attracted to that as well.  Keep yourself from joining in by hanging out with those friends during the daytime or times when you know they won’t be doing those kinds of things.

Take whatever steps you need to strive to “sin no more”.  But above all pray.  Remember, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me”.

Kelly Kaufman

David is going on tour!

October 24, 2009

Hey guys! This Monday I will be going on tour with my school to a place called Rome. There I will go to the coliseum and fight Russell Crowe and BEAT HIM with my hands tied behind my back….. I wish lol.

ColiseumSo anyway I’m going to Italy and to get there I have to pack my bag (thanks mum), get on a bus the whole way to Dublin, then get on a flight on a cramped airplane and eat rubbish food that tastes like plastic on the way there. And this all sounds rubbish! I’m like, are you being serious? Unfortunately they are. But when I get to Rome I wont have cared what the flight was like, or the food, or anything like that because when I get there none of that matters.

And this can relate to our lives as Christians. Like if someone told you, you had to sit on a plane for 4 hours to get to Rome and the flight would be rough and bumpy and the food would be rubbish, u would live with it and get through it because you know what’s on the other side when you land.

Our Christian lives can be like that flight. It can be long…… and boring….. then rough…… and the food might be bad etc but in the end, when you die and you go to heaven, you’ll realize that that was such a small price to pay for what you will get in return from God, there will be no pain, no long boring flights, no rubber food, just wonders and wonders of love and everything that you will ever need. So guys stick with the fight and work through it, because in the end, the result is excellent.

What does it mean to be a wholehearted follower of Christ? The dictionary says that to be wholehearted is to be completely and sincerely devoted, determined and enthusiastic. The word that really struck me in that definition was enthusiastic. I have to wonder am I enthusiastic about following the Lord? I’m very devoted and very determined to live for the Lord, but I wonder if some of my earlier enthusiasm has been lost in the day to day living. Do I really put my whole heart, my whole energy, my whole person into serving the Lord or is it something that I do because I feel I should? The Psalmist asks in Psalm 51 for the Lord to “restore to me the joy of your salvation.” Some days I too feel the need for this joy to be restored. 

There are many days when I feel lots of things – I feel tired and exhausted, I feel worried and anxious, I feel that I’ll never get it all done – but I don’t always feel much joy. The Bible says that “the joy of the Lord is my strength.” So maybe the reason I don’t feel much joy is that I’m trying to do it all in my own strength. This means I’m only half heartedly following the Lord since I’m not completely relying on Him each day for help, strength, wisdom, and joy. 

Being a follower of Christ is an incredible journey. I want my journey to be filled with devotion, determination, and enthusiasm. I want to wake up each morning excited to be serving the Lord and His church. I want to have that “joy of God’s salvation” renewed each day in my life so that I live each day wholeheartedly pursuing God. It’s not easy to wholeheartedly trust, rely, and follow Christ. Yet, there’s a real joy that comes in serving God, and if I allow that joy to fill every part of my life it makes the journey so much easier and so much more fun!

Is it easy to be a wholehearted follower of Christ? No. Is it worth it? Yes. I wholeheartedly believe it!


jael-and-sisera1Recently in Seven and in other church activities I’ve been involved in I’ve heard some great testimonies from people.  They were travelling down the world’s path and they’d gotten themselves really deep into alcohol and drugs and then they finally properly saw God and asked for His help.

Sometimes I feel hesitant to tell my story because I feel like it’s not as interesting as those stories.  Like because I was never a drug addict, or never partying every night, my story could never affect anyone and I was a boring Christian.  But as I was taking a closer look at the bible today, all the people that came to mind just underlined the fact that I was SO wrong!

The bible definitely tells the stories of women with those miraculous testimonies: Mary Magdelene cried about her broken past at the feet of Jesus, Rahab left prostitution and saved the lives of 2 important Isrealites, the woman who met Jesus at the well had had 5 husbands and still received the living water from Jesus, the adulterous woman was saved by Jesus from being stoned by the Pharisees.  But it has a ton of other women VITAL to the bible who had pasts a lot more like mine!  Esther was just your average girl before she became queen and saved all of Israel.  Ruth just followed directions and obeyed her mother, and she is a direct ancestor of Jesus.  And Mary, Jesus own mother, was just an ordinary girl, called “favored by God”.

But my personal favourite is Jael.  She appears briefly in Judges 4.  At that time a military leader called Sisera had “ruthlessly oppressed the Isrealites for 20 years”.  God told the judge Deborah (another girl who belongs in this blog) that He would hand over Sisera’s army to Israel.  He did, but Sisera escaped on foot.  Jael invited Sisera into her tent.  She gave him refreshments like he asked and a blanket so he could rest.  Then, while he was sleeping, she crept up and drove a tent peg through his temple.  Jael was so hardcore that the tent peg went all the way through his head and into the ground!  Where I come from we would call that pretty savage!

So even one of my favourite women in the bible wasn’t a miraculous convert.  She was just a regular person, following and obeying God, and try to tell me her story isn’t interesting!  Just like God used Rahab and Mary Magdalene, Ruth and Jael, He can use me too!  All our stories are interesting, and God can use us all!

connie ‘OK’

October 22, 2009

ok okOk, so this is kind of random it has nothing to-do with proverbs but I just felt I should right about it. As most of you will know my uncle Sean died last November and for ages I was really angry with God, I was blaming God for what had happened and that anger was stopping my relationship with God grow but I slowly got over that anger. During the last prayer week, on the first night I felt my relationship with God stepped onto a whole new level, I just seemed to have a lot more faith and I felt I could really worship and on the third night it started out the same as the past two nights, I was standing praising God, then I started thinking about Sean and started to get really angry with God, after about 15 minutes, I realised this was the devil attacking me because I had stepped onto a new level with God, so I prayed about and my anger went away, I was still annoyed but I wasn’t angry with God anymore, so if you ever feel angry with God I’d say pray about let him know your angry, the way I see it is if your angry with your friend and you don’t do anything about it, things are just going to get worse between the two of you, it’s the same with God, he is your friend and your relationship wont grow if your angry with him and if you feel like the devil is trying to attack you just pray about it and try and block it out.


DO YOU KNOW HIM?

October 21, 2009

 

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

 

1543828993_c1c1667384This verse basically speaks for itself. It’s really just encouraging us young ones to not be discouraged by being young and thinking that we can’t do things that adults might be able to. But… what’s stopping us? Nothing. It’s just about getting out there and letting people know you’re a Christian. A saying I’ve heard before which I really like goes like this. “Witness to everybody you meet, and if it’s absolutely necessary….. Use words. 

Well hello engage youth! Hope ur all well, Ive just read through your previous bloggs and it sounds like u guys r doing really well. First off I just want to say that I miss being a part of your youth, ur a great bunch of characters!! 
cameleon_026So when i was reading through the bloggs Connie’s most recent one on proverbs 4 really stood out to me. I have recently been challenged about personal wholeness, which basically is just being the same in every area of your life, that means if ur enthusiastic about God in church then u shud be the same at school, work, at home and no matter what company u keep. Its so easy (and i find i do this) to sink into the back ground if someone says something negative about God or church while Im at work. 
So I want to challenge you (and me) to become a thermostat, not a themometer. To change the atmosphere you are in, not be changed by it.
Hope this challenges you as much as it has me! Love u guys! 
Rachel.

worship central

October 19, 2009

UK TOUR // BELFAST 

23OCT09
w centralHosted by Tim Hughes & Al Gordon, who are joined by Ben Cantelon & Nikki Fletcher, this is an evening celebration in the heart of Belfast for everyone involved in the worship life of the local church.
 
Worship Central is heading out on the road across the UK this Autumn, for a series of events in eight cities in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. With loads of space for extended times of worship, teaching and ministry, these evenings are for everyone involved in the worship life of the local church.