Category: Bible


I have been wanting to keep updating my blog audience of my progress with my getting back into shape.  Since I completed my goal of losing 100lbs I didn’t want to keep blogging about my journey to 100.  So I have been giving it some thought lately and I’ve decided to blog once a week, or every other week, about living healthy both spiritually and physically.  I will still be giving updates on weight-loss but I am also planning on sharing Scriptural thoughts on living healthy spiritually.  I have no idea what it’s going to look like yet – but this is a new series for 2010 and I’m sure it will develop through the year as I go.

My goal for fitness this year is to drop another 60lbs from where I’m at then re-evaluate how I feel/ where I’m at and go from there.  Spiritually I am planning on doing the B90X program a few times this year.  I would like to do it through at lest twice.  I’m really looking forward to that actually.

So here’s where I’m at physically:

Last update: 298
This week: 290

Total: 111 (since January 17 2009)

I feel really good about the 8 pound drop.  My last update was about 3 weeks ago.  The week of New Years Eve I went back to my parents and ate…and ate…I did ok but man I ate a ton.  This past week I’ve been sick with the flu and an abscessed tooth so I’ve just mainly had soups all week.  I love soup but I am really looking forward to moving away from soup this next week.

So here we go on a new year long series of living healthy: spiritually and physically.

I have been giving this post some thought over the past couple of days.  Then a friend of mine on Twitter, Brian Ford, made this comment:

“Are you using the gospel to reach students or money and big events to draw them in? #THECause

His thought gave me something to think about as it relates to this post.  It is a great question.  For years I have subscribed to the mindset that you HAVE to have video games and technology to draw students in.  I live by this motto and did student ministry by this motto.  Largely because I was in a ministry where I had inherited all of the latest gaming systems and a ton of other stuff along with a healthy ministry budget of $20-$25k for the student ministry.  I was indeed blessed to have been a part of that ministry for 6 years.

I’m now in a different church where we don’t have the latest video game systems to draw kids in.  We don’t have a large budget (it is decent) to spend lots of money on events and programming to draw students in either.  So it has made me re-think how I go about doing student ministry.  The question I have struggled with over this past year is, “How can we draw students in without spending a ton of money and without the latest gaming systems?”

Here’s what I have learned.

  • games/ technology: Don’t get me wrong.  I love video games and technology.  Over the past year I have stepped away from using games as a primary focus to student ministry.  We still use videos and motion backgrounds to our songs.  I found I was putting too much focus on games in the past and not enough energy and focus on using God’s Word.  That’s a hard statement to make.  If games are your main way of bringing students in your ministry may became stagnant and stale over time ultimately losing kids – maybe not through numbers but losing them through not grounding them in God’s Word.  Honestly I am praying for Bethel to build a ministry center someday – and I do envision a pool table or two and maybe a video game system.  Not as the hook to keep kids.  We will always use the Gospel to keep them coming.  I do think games/ technology can be a help at CREATING an atmosphere but they CANNOT replace God’s Word.  In fact they MUST not.
  • atmosphere is key: Creating a contagious atmosphere is a must – but it CAN be done without video games and pool tables. My advice to anyone who may be a new youth pastor is this: Build you ministry strong upon the foundation of God’s Word – make that the focus.  Maybe then slowly work some games in or a pool table or two.  If your ministry ever gets to focusing on games and technology more than God’s Word then remove them fast!  Nothing can replace the transforming power of God’s Word.
  • deep and wide: I can’t say enough about the deep and wide strategy from dare 2 share.  We are using the deep and wide philosophy and we’ve seen huge changes.  Instead of games/ gimmicks we are using the Gospel to attract students.  Sure we have live worship and a decent youth room – but we don’t have any gaming systems.  Just good old fashioned proclaiming God’s Word through going deep with doctrine and challenging our students to go wide by sharing the Gospel and inviting their friends – and their friends are coming!
  • be different: Be the ministry in town that focuses on transformation of lives rather than the high score on Halo: ODST.  Be different – be the ministry God has called you to be.  While technology can be helpful it is not the catalyst for life change – God’s Word is.  So many times we try to “enhance” the Gospel with other things (video games. cool lights.  pool tables.  etc.) The thing is that when we do that we often change the Gospel to fit our mold and think it is somehow better with the coolest trend.  The Gospel is never cooler with the latest trend or gimmick.  The Gospel is always the Gospel in it’s purest form – God’s Word.

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Major boost of energy today.  B90X has got nothing on me – I’m owning this thing left and right.

b90x: day 1

Today was the first day of b90x for me.  I absolutely loved it.  Read from Genesis 1:1 – Genesis 16:16 today.  It only took me about 45 minutes to complete it.  Last night at BSM I challenged our students to do it with me.  We’ve now got about 6 students who have committed to doing this along with me.  I even convinced our staff to do it.  Now I’ve got some guys through Twitter and Facebook who are doing it as well.  After talking with Jay I think once we complete it (should be around January 20) we are going to challenge Bethel to do it and do it along with them.   It’s never too late to start.

The whole Bible in 90 days.

Here’s the chart. If you’re doing it let me know.

b90x

b90x

I have been hearing a little bit about b90x through some friends on twitter lately.  So being one who is curious I Google’d b90x to see just what it was.  What I found was that it’s  a reading plan to read the ENTIRE Bible in 90 days.  Yeah.  90. Days.

Steven Furtick of Elevation Church came up with the idea back in August and challenged his staff to do it with him.  Since then a lot of people have been doing this apparently.  So I’m always up for a good challenge.  I’m in.  I will be challenging our staff to do this with me this afternoon in our staff meeting.  Tomorrow night I’m challenging our students to read it through with me as well.

What about you?  Are you up for it?

3 Hour Repentance

Sometimes you read through the Scriptures and something obscure jumps out at you. You know the kind of thing that you pass by a few times without noticing then one day “BAM!” it’s staring you straight in the face….almost like God intentionally set you up for that moment. I had one of those earlier this week. I was reading through Nehemiah again. I love the book of Nehemiah and always get more out of of. I love Nehemiah’s endurance and bravery at asking King Artaxerxe’s if he can go back to rebuild the wall in Jerusalem. It just blows my mind. I mean Nehemiah was the cup bearer. He was an important man to the king. Without the cup bearer the king would die.

The interesting thing for me was in Chapter 9:3,

They remained standing in place for three hours while the Book of the Law of the Lord their God was read aloud to them. Then for three more hours they confessed their sins and worshiped the Lord their God.

Did you catch that? The stood in place for a total of 6 hours. 6 hours. This amazes me. They had just seen God do something miraculous in rebuilding the wall and they worshiped Him by listening to someone read God’s Word audibly, repented of their sins, and sang songs…for 6 hours straight. My first thought was, “Man I bet someone’s roast burnt in the oven!” That’s one long church service right? But the thing is this…are we that devoted? When we see God do something do we praise him for it? Does it cause us to fall into repentance becuase he is holy and we are not? Do we break out in songs of praise to him? Or do we stop for a few minutes or maybe an hour a week and say, “God that was awesome” then go on with our lives like we were before?

What will it take for you to become more devoted to the Christ you say you love?

I am starting a new subject on my blog about the authenticity of the Bible.  I have found some great videos by Josh McDowell and I will be posting them for you to watch on here.  These are really great videos where he talks about the authenticity of the Bible.  Great stuff that we should all know.  Here is Part 1.