November 28, 2009

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Short n Sweet

November 27, 2009

Hi there! Long time no see! Short and sweet! Well it’s really hard sometimes to stay away from temptation and sometimes always seems to be a problem. But what can we do to get tempting things out of our minds. One thing is just pray that whatever it is tempting you that it goes away and will go forever. Another thing would be to maybe just sit back and look to the cross and remember what Jesus did for us all. LOVE Y’ALL  xo  COlM

Devil-Free

November 26, 2009

 

The other day we were hanging out with the kids at Oak Grove Primary School with our Extreme Team After-Hours program.  We were talking about the armor of God, and in particular the breast plate of righteousness. Oisin Shiels, who is what we in the Extreme Team like to call “A for Awesome”, said this: “it creates like a devil-free zone”.  I thought it was brilliant!  That’s exactly what it does!

Ephesians 6 talks about the armor of God.  I really like the metaphor used there of armor.   It protects us from Satan’s “flaming arrows”.  But what is the armor, really?  Righteousness, truth, faith, and salvation are some of the things mentioned that help protect us.  A few of these are virtues we need cultivate ourselves: things we need to work on like our faith and righteousness.  We can guard our hearts from harm by being righteous: hence the breastplate of righteousness.  When words are thrown at us that were not sure of, we can fend off any doubt by leaning on our faith: our shield of faith.  But when it comes to salvation and the sword of the spirit, we can’t improve on them at all.  Those are 100% God things: they can’t be worked on, can’t be done by ourselves in the slightest.  Once we have the helmet of salvation, the devil cant have any access to our minds.  But we can’t build our own helmet of salvation.  Jesus died because our sinful selves couldn’t have gotten to heaven any other way.  So in order to protect our minds from the devil, we have to yield to God’s power through salvation!

So I guess im trying to say that the armor of God goes both ways.  God will use his might to protect us, and we should work hard at these virtues to protect ourselves as well.  Ultimately, the armor of God is really important!  Like Oisin said, it creates a “Devil-free zone” or a “force field” around us to keep us safe.  So now were warriors, armed and ready face the world with the Spirit of God, our devil-free zone defending us as we share the Good News!

“…Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.”  1 Samuel 16:7ff

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10

 

We all know not to look down on or judge people.  Ethnicity, gender, the way a person looks: there is a ton of ways a person can be looked down upon.

One can see a huge problem related to this going on right now in Derry.  Obviously there is been a ton of judgement in Northern Ireland based on religion.  But I think it s important to notice as well that not all of that is based on a Protestant/Catholic conflict.  I feel like there are issues as well between the churches who wouldn’t be as involved with those denominations.  I believe competition and judgement can be seen in the relations between these churches: attitudes that can only be detrimental to the fulfilment of their God-given purpose.

God loves everyone.  Building a church isn’t like a competitive team sport; there shouldn’t be any rivalry with other churches.  It shouldn’t be about loyalty, winning, having more members, or doing better services.  Focus shouldn’t even be on saving more souls! We should be concerned with glorifying God, and fulfilling the purpose He has for our church!  Competing with or putting down others doesn’t improve our ministry.  Keeping our eyes focused on God and the things He wants us to do will make our ministry all it can be.

I keep coming back to how God refers to us as the body of believers.  It says in 1 Corinthians 12:13 “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”  We are all for one and one for all, connected in that we have been saved by the blood of Jesus.  It doesn’t matter if we go to Cornerstone or some other church.  As long as we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died and rose again, and as long as we’ve given our lives to serve Him, then we’re in this together!

So there shouldn’t be any competition, shouldn’t be any discord, and shouldn’t be any dislike.   Were all on the same team working towards the same goal! 

            “ Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace…” Colossians 3:15

Blog from Naomi

November 20, 2009

 

Today I am going to talk about Fear and Strength. When something happens to you and you keep it into your self because you are scared what your parents are going to do to you or if you tell your friends and they might not understand.
Isaiah 41:10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you, Do not dismayed, for I am your god, I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
Remember this verse and that God will be with you where ever you are. He will strengthen you through your situation., Look up to God and ask him to help you through your situation . He will do that.

lately i’ve been thinking…..
what would this world be like if we actually praised god in everything we do? not just when something good happens or when we receive a “blessing” but with everything. what if we considered work as a form of prayer? instead of thinking that today you were going to go to work what if you thought about how your work affects gods people. it does. if we are all gods children then we are all brothers and sisters. what if we really acted that way….? that homeless person isnt begging for change. its a brother, who is lost in this world and needs help from another brother or sister.
what if we treated everyday as if we were in prayer? what if me giving money to cancer was a form of giving money to god? what if me praying for someone that i see needs it. changes their life..? even if its just a small prayer?
what if me writing this and you reading this is a form of prayer? what if right now we are together in unison?
what if instead of giving your money to a multi billion pound company that produces ciggerettes that kill millions every year you gave someone food who couldnt afford it, or a jacket for someone who doesnt have one.
this world is lost.
it needs our help.what this world doesnt need is more ego’s and people that think they are above everyone else. what if we finally realized that we came from royalty. therefore we are all royal. treat each other as you would treat god himself. like royalty.
instead of waking up and dreading going to work or school think about that one person, just one. that you can help just by caring about them enough to listen for a second.
the only way this is going to change is if we start now….
don’t let yourself get hung up on trivial things like the world around you. we have one chance. and what we do today stays long after we are gone.
think about that

The Journal

November 16, 2009

Socrates once wrote ‘An unreflected life is not worth living’.  Throughout the centuries many Christians have used notebooks, diaries and journals as a way of reflecting on their personal and corporate walk with God  Many people would go as far as to say that reflective writing or ‘journalling’ actually helps them grow in their relationship with God.  Unlike a diary, a journal is not something that focuses on events and incidents, it’s for reflection, mulling, questioning and pondering.  It’s a flexible form – each journal will be totally unique to its writer.  A journal is something that can use at any time to write in, daily, weekly, monthly – whenever.  It’s up to you!
YouthStoreHow to get started?  The best way to get started is to start, jump in and realize that there is no right or wrong way to keep a journal. Remember that these are your thoughts and this is your life.  Its up to you to find the approach and style that works best for you and go with it, enjoy it and just do it.  Its something that can be a very pleasurable activity.
What to include –  Here are some suggestions of what to cover in a journal:

  • meditation on the Bible –  what is God is saying to you and what are you going to do about it
  • reflection on your life – what are you enjoying about your life/what are you struggling with in your life
  • reflection on your mood, attitude, feelings, health, dreams
  • changes happening in your life
  • how and where have you experienced God
  • you can write whatever else you feel is appropriate for you and your journal

 

GO AND WRITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

November 6, 2009

marktedder-a6

what is worship to you?

November 5, 2009

 worship cartoon           If you’ve worked with the kids around church at all, you’ll know: we teach kids from and early age that it’s really important to worship God.  It’s hard to know what that really means though.  Defining worship isn’t too easy without being really vague, like “loving God”.

            Easton’s Bible Dictionary defines worship as “homage rendered to God which it would be sinful (idolatry) to render to any created being”.  Right.  Well, I don’t like that definition much either, mostly because it’s so wordy and hard to understand.  Homage would be like respect; so, respecting God in a way you shouldn’t respect others?  I suppose that’s a valid interpretation of worship, but it doesn’t really apply well to my life, you know?

            On Friday morning Tim asked me what I felt worship meant to me.  At first I got really nervous like I was going to give him the wrong answer!  But the question really made me think hard.  What IS worship to me?  How do I respect God, or show Him I love Him?  Or is worship really just “to attend religious services” like one dictionary said?

            I discovered that a big way I worship God is through everyday stuff I do.  For example, I feel I am worshipping God when I am washing the dishes.  It gives me time to quiet down my mind, to pray, and to listen to what God wants to say to me. 

            Another huge way I worship God is through serving others, especially when that means doing jobs I do NOT like.  If I can actually get over my pride and do them, God is glorified through my humbled attitude.  I try to focus on praising God and talking to him while I am doing the undesirable task.  And because I am sacrificing my time and effort for someone else, I am loving God by following his commands to serve others.

            So find a way to quiet your mind and talk to God.  When you have to do something you’d rather not, glorify God by humbling yourself and love God by loving and serving others.  Most of all, find your own special way to worship God!

worship

November 4, 2009

Luke 7:36-50 tells the story of Jesus and how to the shock and horror of everyone he was surrounded by, allowed himself to be anointed with perfume by a sinful woman. Worship20Title20Slide The story of Jesus’ feet anointed with tears and perfume by a sinful woman is a love story, pure and simple, it cuts right through to the heart of worship.  
Most of us if we are honest associate worship with music, but the reality is that it is so much more than that.  Worship is a lifestyle, its a way of life that is in direct response to Gods amazing grace,  it’s somehow grasping the extent of his love, his grace, his mercy and letting it overflow in everything we do as we live, love and learn.  
I recently posted the question worship is?  to my facebook account and got the following responses………………. letting God know you love him…wanting God more than anything else……..a great way to connect with god and let him work in and through you……..everything we do……..”worship” is kissing God’s Face…. (one of the translations from the original)…………….declaring His worth in everything I say and do…….realising we’re the moon and He’s the sun; reflect Him in all we do!
In everything we do and in everything we say we have an opportunity to worship God and that is exactly what the sinful woman in this passage of scripture was doing. Luke 7:38 says “and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them”  in that moment she modeled to us the art of true worship, she gave Jesus everything she had, her heart, her body, her actions, her possessions.  She surrendered herself to the king of glory as she sat at the feet of Jesus.  She worshipped! Lets take this one step further.  She ignored the status quo, she paid no attention to the religious traditions of her time and disregarded everyone and everything else that was going on around her.  She went out on a limb and was not afraid of being or appearing vulnerable as she wept at the feet of Jesus. She worshipped! She positioned herself to receive the healing,restoring, loving power of God an in a moment restores the order of all things. God is Lord. God is Saviour. God is King.  She knew it and everything she did in that moment or moments reflected it. She worshipped!

Tim Shiels