Feels Like A Lifetime

4 10 2007

I’ve been so busy lately with living life that I haven’te had time to write about it. Basically, the shortened version of it is that I am still living in Tyler (as well as doing ministry here), and I will be here for the forseeable future. I feel like God isn’t through with me here, and He continues to give me vision and direction for the collegiate minstry of Friendly Baptist. That excites me and tells me that I’m where I need to be.

We launched Celebrate Recovery for our college students in hopes of seeing them overcome some of the pain and hurt in their lives. It’s been what I would consider a success so far. The idea is that once they finish going through the material, they might feel the need and have the desire to reach their classmates with the message of hope and healing that God offers. We’re looking forward to possibly moving the CR to campus sometime early next semester. I would love to see our students reach the campus of TJC with that simple message.

I’m so proud of our freshmen this year. They are so open to new ideas and are consistantly inviting their friends to be a part of what’s going on here. They are silently being an awesome example to the older students.

Last week @ theGathering (where we are doing Celebrate Recovery now) we discussed the idea that we are powerless to control the circumstances that occur in our lives, but we do have control over how we react to the circumstances in our lives. One of the small group questions was as follows: “How is worry the opposite of worship?” That question is short but incredibly profound. When we worship God, we are magnifying Him. We are agreeing with Him that He is big, powerful, and awesome. When we worry about a problem or circumstance in our lives, we are deciding that the problem/circumstance is big, powerful, and awesome. Worry magnifies the problem/circumstance. Worship magnifies God. Worship is the opposite of worry. When we worry we tell God that He is too small, weak, and defeated by the situation. That thought makes me ask this question of myself, “Which message do I normally communicate to God?”

Almost There!

9 05 2007

It’s Wednesday morning, and graduation is on Saturday. I’m really trying to not get excited about it yet, but that is really hard to do. I’m taking Thursday afternoon off so I can get some stuff ready for the weekend. I’m spending the whole weekend with my parents, and going to The Village on Sunday morning for Mother’s Day. That is such a weird weekend to have graduation on, but I definitely don’t want to postpone it a week!

Last night we did “On-Location.” That’s what we call it when we don’t have worship through music or Bible study, instead we go to either UTT or TJC and meet a need of some kind for the students living on campus. We try to do it once a month so that we’re not just hoarding ourselves up in a room all the time doing our Christian thing and not showing our mission field that we care about them. Last night we passed out scantrons since it’s finals week. There was a pretty good response! We got permission to go in 3 dorms (West, Lewis, and Claridge), and we handed some out to students that we passed on the sidewalks while walking to and from the van. We had cookies with us to give out as well. We won’t be able to do it again until the Fall, but I hope that we’ve started something that the school will want us to continue.

I heard a question asked that has haunted me, and I’m going to post it on here and then I guess I’m through for now. Here it is: Do I simply agree with Biblical truth, or does that agreement morph into complete obedience? 

Trial and Error

28 03 2007

trialanderror.jpgI’m not good at the trial and error game. I think that has to do with the fact that I’m not really a patient person. Although it seems for the most part that I end up waiting a while for the things that I want. Maybe I should work on the patience thing a little. You know what they say though, if you ask for patience you may end up like Job. I’ve never really understood that though because yeah, life sucked for him for quite a while, but in the end he was tremendously blessed. Anyway, I’m getting off subject now.

The reason that I’m writing is to say that God really dealt with me last night as I was laying in bed. I began to wonder if there was something that I could do to better reach the college campuses here in uttyler-logo.jpgTyler. I think there is. Maybe it’s time for me to be open to the trial and error of college ministry. If something works then continue it, but if it doesn’t then stop it. We’re going to start taking one Tuesday a month for the rest of the semester, which will actually only be two opportunities left this semester, tjc-logo.gifand go to the dorms and simply serve. I taught last night on Matthew 5:1-3 and in small groups we’ll talk more tonight about that. I realized last night that this will be a lot of talk about something, and that is a good thing. I am leading my students to have an awareness that we should be poor in spirit, but I need to lead my students in the action also. It’s easy to lead in conversation about what we should be doing, but it is hard to lead in action.

My goal in this is to provide a forum for students to be lead in the action of kingdom work as they are being taught about kingdom work. Not only will this be an opportunity for students to do kingdom work, but it will be a great way to minister to the community that we are in. Who knows, God may even open doors for us to share the message of hope found in Christ with someone whom He has prepared in advance for us.

I think this has the potential to really become something that the students look forward to each month. That’s my prayer at least.

Baptism: Is it really a profession of faith?

26 03 2007

I’ve been teaching through the gospel of Matthew and a few weeks ago I reached chapter 3. If you were to ask most any good Baptist what baptism is, they would respond with “it is a public profession of faith.” However, would they be right? Where did we get that idea of baptism? When did baptism simply become something that represents our past? The majority of Baptists out there would say that baptism is an outward showing of what Christ has done internally. Meaning, it is something we are doing in the present to reflect what Christ has done in our past. The reason we think that way is because we are taught to think that, and we don’t take time to critically examine one of the most important texts when it comes to baptism.

I began studying Matthew chapter 3 with one major question in mind. That question was, “If baptism represents the remission of sin, why did Jesus have to be baptized?” I labored with that question for a while, and then I began to question if my assumption that baptism represents the remission of sins is correct. I went back to Matthew 3 and tried to study the text without the prior assumption that baptism is a reflection of the remission of sin and found that the major theme of the entire chapter is submission. Quickly the pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place. Jesus didn’t come to the earth to do what He wanted, He came to do the will of the Father. In other words, Jesus came to submit to the will of the Father.

I started to wonder if baptism, instead of reflecting remission, reflects submission. If baptism reflects submission instead of remission then it makes complete sense as to why Jesus needed to be baptized. Assume with me for a minute that baptism indeed reflects submission. Jesus then was baptized to show the community around Him that His total purpose in life was to submit to the Fahter’s will. What a powerful picture that is. In Acts we see that people were baptized because of the remission of sin. I understand that to mean that without prior remission of sin you can not by your own power begin to submit to the reign of Christ. However, the text does not mean that the purpose of baptism is to reflect the remission of sin. If baptism indeed does represent submission, instead of baptsim reflecting our past, it represents our future. Specifically, that we are set apart for submissive service to King Jesus.

Been A While!

25 03 2007

Wow!! It feels so nice to be back on the blog. My computer was working one day, and it didn’t the next. Come to find out it was a problem with the motherboard. I had to send it to Virginia for it to get fixed, and I am sure glad to have it back. It really makes a difference in your life when you get used to having a notebook.

Well a lot has changed since the last time I blogged. I have been so busy with different things. I moved out of my apartment complex and I am now living in my travel trailer. I’m living on my own now and I’m enjoying it. School is going ok this semester. I’m really busy and I’ve been behind all semester because I have senioritis really bad! Only a little over a month left so that makes me really happy!

Prestige is going well so far. We’re still going strong with our Tuesday night worship service and with small groups. Right now we’re in Matthew. I’m teaching through it. This week will be our seventh week in Matthew and we’re about to start the Sermon on the Mount. I’ve learned a whole lot so far in the four chapters we’ve covered and God has really been dealing with me on some issues in my life.

Something that I have been dealing with when it comes to theology is the Kingdom of God. I’m taking a class called Current Issues in Evangelism: Evangelism and the Kingdom of God by Dr. Streett. He has challenged me so much to question everything that I have staked a claim on as far as theology and I appreciate that very much. I’m kind of starting to work some of that stuff out but it will just take some time. A book that I would suggest that you read if you are considering beginning to study the kingdom would be “The Logic of Evangelism” by William Abraham.Well, I guess that’s enough for a start back. Keep checking back for more posts. Hopefully my next post will come tomorrow.


25 12 2006

Well, I haven’t blogged in a while. Mostly it’s because I’ve been so busy. If you’re on staff at a church you probably know why it’s been so busy. Between Christmas parties and other things of the like, it gets really busy and tiring. When I’m at the house, the last thing I want to do is to sit down and type on the computer. The start to the new year is going to be just as crazy. As soon as Sunday School is over this coming Sunday, we’re loading up to drive to New Orleans to go serve meals to the people that are rebuilding the city. We’ll be there till the 7th of January. I’m going to take Systematic Theology II as a J-term from January 12-19th, and then on 19th I’ll drive to The Woodlands to do a D-Now for a friends church down there. Then on the 23rd of January we’re starting “Prestige” which is a college worship service. Needless to say, January is going to be a really busy month.
I’m really excited about “Prestige.” “Prestige” was birthed out of a desire to glorify God through worship. While reading John Piper’s book “Let The Nations Be Glad”, I saw that he emphasized that out of an understanding of God’s supreme glory that we serve Him properly. I took the five purposes of the church and laid them over our college ministry and gave our ministry grades in each category. I noticed that in the area of worship that we were lacking. My prayer is that “Prestige” will be a tool that God uses to give the college students in Tyler an opportunity to corporately worship.
The name “Prestige” came from the desire for God’s glory. We want God to be the only One to have prestige in our lives. Because this service will be an opportunity for college students to glorify God through worship, we thought that the name of the service should reflect that attitude.
It won’t only be a worship service through music. We’ll also be worshiping God through studying His word. We’re going to start out by studying Nehemiah. We’re attempting to rebuild a ministry. Nehemiah was called to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. We’re going to study and see that Nehemiah built the wall for the purpose of glorifying God. That’s what we’re going to learn to do with our college ministry. We want to build our college ministry not for the prestige of Friendly Baptist Church, but for the prestige of Jesus Christ.
I’m going to be posting what I learn from Nehemiah on the blog. A buddy of mine encouraged me to do that, so that’s what I’m gonna do.