Some tough to swallow but wholly intriguing words from Sally Morgenthaler, author of several books - most prominently Worship Evangelism.
"Jerusalem! Jerusalem! ... How often I've ached to embrace your children, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings..." - Matthew 23:37, The Message
Tonight I was wrapping up Grayson in his swaddle blanket, getting ready to put him to bed. As he looked up at me I was overwhelmed by the desire to know what was going on in that little mind. I'm desperate for him to start talking - not because I want him to say "dada!" or so I can brag to everyone that he already speaks at a two-year-old level - but because I have a deep desire to communicate with him.
I want to know what he's thinking about. What he likes, what he doesn't like. I want to know what he has questions about, and I want to answer those questions (if I can). I want to know what he thinks is fun and funny (me, I hope!). I want to just talk with him about what he's thinking about at any given time because I have a deep longing to KNOW him.
Of course I can't help but make the connection between these new feelings I'm experiencing as a father and how they mirror on an infinitely small scale the feelings our Abba (Hebrew for Father, or more appropriately "daddy") must have for us.
I think God longs to know us, to communicate with us, to relate with us in the same way I long to do all of these things with Grayson. I'm AMAZED at how being a Father has helped me to realize not just more about God my Father but more about my role as His child.
So as I wait not-so-patiently for those first words and the inevitable flood of communication with my own son, I remember that I also have a Father who is waiting with infinite love and patience for His son to speak with Him.
Here I am, Abba.
- Tim B.
I liked the YM Daily article over at youthministry.com today on dealing with critics. Here's a quick overview of some of the insights Doug Fields and Matt McGill point out about those who dish out criticism:
- Critics usually aren't serving.
- Critics are unaware of their intent.
- Critics have been gathering ammunition and need to shoot someone.
- Critics are struggling with shame, guilt, and sin.
Check out the whole article at http://us1.campaign-archive.com/?u=71e6b0d8edbf781322013b57d&id=09f983131a&e=[UNIQID].
- Tim B.
Here's a summary of Matthew 7:13-27, from our RADICAL Bible Study.
I know - my art skills defy description. :)
- Tim B.
I heard this on the radio today for the first time. It literally brought tears to my eyes - and I do NOT cry often!Husbands, fathers, MEN - this is for us.
I just realized I never posted this video of the original song I wrote for FBC's Vacation Bible School this year. I love writing and leading worship for kids, and this year was a blast! Also, below is video of the theme song I wrote for last year's VBS, "Boomerang".
Which one is your favorite?
Here's a great video we showed in Youth Bible Study a couple of weeks ago to lead in to the question "is obedience to God really worth it?" What a great testimony of what it means to walk the path of Jesus in the midst of great trial and suffering.
Last night's message - part 3 in our series on Obedience - was called "Blind Faith". We studied the call of Abram in Genesis 12:1-5, and learned three things about what it means to have blind faith and how it relates to true obedience to God.
#1 - Having blind faith means obeying even when it doesn't make sense. Abram's call to leave his land, his family, and his father's house (inheritance, legacy, etc.) didn't make a whole lot of sense, yet he did it anyway. In the same way, we're called to obey God even when it goes against our human logic.
#2 - Having blind faith means obeying even when we don't have all the details. If you read Gen. 12:1-5 closely it says that God told Abram to go to a place He would reveal to him. In other words, Abram didn't know exactly where he was going at first! God just said get up and go, and I'll show you the way while you are on the way. For us, we can't always see the big picture, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't obey God (that's why it's called faith!).
#3 - Having blind faith means obeying even when we are afraid. Later in Genesis (15:1) God encourages Abram to "not be afraid". Abram must have been terrified to leave his entire life - his security, support, family, etc. - behind. But God reassured him that He would be his shield and his reward would be "very great". That promise still stands for us today - when we follow God He will be our shield and our reward will be very great!
I encourage you - have blind faith. Follow God even when it doesn't make sense, when you don't have all the details, and when you are afraid! Surrendering to God's will never leads to regret, but instead you will discover a whole new life and way of living that far exceeds anything you can possibly imagine!
We continued our series on Obedience last night with a message called "The Benefits" which, surprisingly enough, centered on the benefits of following God.
Check out John 14:23, then recap with the outline below.
The Big Question: What are the benefits of obedience?
#1 - When you obey you experience the love of God.
"My Father will love him..."
#2 - When you obey you experience fellowship with God.
"We will come to him and make Our home with him..."
#3 - When you obey you express your relationship with God.
"If anyone loves me, he will..."
When you begin to understand the benefits of following the path of obedience to God, it makes choosing obedience so much easier!