Saturday, December 30, 2006
See ya around!
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Well, Christmas is over. But Christmas itself is not what I want to talk about today.
Desert Challenge is. Desert Challenge is the youth conference that is held here every year. Kids from all over the gulf come. Let me tell you - God works miracles there. I know because he worked one in me. It Challenged me. It challenged all of us who were there. It gave us One Passion - God. Through many different bands, talks, and new friends it encouraged and challenged all 250+ of us there.
Another thing is just that I could see the fire burning in everyone... The passion for Jesus. Especially in the Kuwaitis... Up there in the band, playing this morning, they were setting an example, worshipping God and totally being unashamed. What a great example for us all.
Well, I think that, until I figure out a way to post sound things on here, then I'll give you my notes from my Tracks, LABs, and Main Sessions.
Kyle - Kuwait
Four Communication Hints:
1. Right Person
2. Right Message
3. Right Time
4. Right Way
Why should we reach? Micah 6:8; 2 Kings 7 (read up on the background in 2 Kings 6).
The Two best days of your life: The day you're born, and the day you find out WHY you're born.
Unbelief can stop you from reaching out. Believe and dream big.
Why don't you tell? You'll regret it later. Don't procrastinate sharing the gospel! Tell them!
Four-fifths of the world's population are unsaved. Unsaved people would go around the world - in a closely knit, single file line, 5-10-20-30-40 TIMES!!! That should be reason enough to wake up and share the good news. Every person makes a difference. Every waterfall begins with one drop of water. That should be reason enough. Jesus and God reached out to us. Make yourself available to God - he doesn't care about ABILITY. He wants AVAILABILITY.
What's in your hand?
Can't stand up now, won't stand up for Jesus later. Jesus loves you, and He died for you. Are you willing to die for Him? We have the cure for sin, why don't we give it to them?
KEEP- Don't back down!!!
John - Dubai
What does it mean to walk humbly with the Lord? Am I willing to count the cost and then pay it out in my own life? No maybes. Yes or no. But it's not an option for a Christian: a command.
2 Timothy 1
Would you call yourself a Christian?
When your faith falls down, you're backin' down.
1. We need the conviction to ALWAYS stand without shame. God hasn't given us a spirit of fear. When we have fear, we're trusting in ourselves.
2. Don't be ashamed to spread the gospel. you were not created to turn calendar pages - to do nothing and die! There are no good excuses! Jesus saved us. So why are we ashamed? Stand without shame.
SUFFER for the Lord without shame. Have the same attitude whether the Lord gives or takes away. Go the extra mile. Above and Beyond the Call of Duty.
You're a CHRISTIAN! Not a COWARD!
He's not a once-a-week God. It's time to draw the line in the sand, to pick up your cross and follow Him.
"Shoulder your cross and follow Me."
God can make a difference through one person.
Neil - Abu Dhabi
Mark 14:51 - This man is Mark, who wrote this gospel. His legacy.
What do you want your legacy to be? How do you want to be remembered? How would you feel to be left behind?
God can use people who have nothing but a willing heart. Don't say you don't have anything.
God can't NOT use you.
Where would Jesus be, and where does he want me to be to use my gifts, skills, and abilities?
Even the helpless can be used.
God can use you no matter what you have to offer. Believe in God, not you!
LAB 1 Notes
Uncovering YOUR story.
"To share my faith with you, I must first uncover MY story. It's the story of who I am and why I really need Jesus. Why? Because I can't suggest that you need Jesus without showing you that I do.
Jesus starts our stories. In your heart, you need Jesus.
The people we're evangelizing to don't need all the gory details. They need to know we're sinners, our conversion, and how we've changed. But don't make it a procedure! It's a conversation. Give your friend a real reason to believe. Tell them about what's going on in your life first. Be real. Show them you need Jesus, too.
We don't have it all together.
To share my faith with YOU, I need discover your story. Why? Because I can't expose you do Jesus' love without giving it to you myself. Truly listening is an act of love. And I can't suggest that Jesus is your answer unless I first know your questions.
First thing to do is trust. Let them trust you.You start it.
Use statement questions - they get better answers. Instead of "How was your day?" Say "Tell me about your day."
God fills us with love, we overflow with love and share it with others. If we can't love, we don't have love.
Five Laws of Listening:
1. Somebody has to go first - Help your friend feel safe. Make an opening to connect. Don't go to fast.
2. Don't compete for airtime- listen more than you talk.
3. Some of the best questions have no question marks. Make requests without marks. Short questions, short answers.
4. Say it again - tell your friend what you think you heard so she can correct your perceptions.
5. Ask tough questions gently- be prepared to answer what you ask. Your friend has to see it as good news.
Understand what's going on in your friend's life. Let them see where God is working in you.
To share my faith with you, I must unfold God's story. Why? Because I can't lead you to faith in Jesus without introducing you to Jesus himself.
Three Parts to Unfolding God's story:
1. Tie Points
2. Gentle Tugs
3. Picking Fruit
Share the three stories
Take your friend to Youth Group.
Read the Bible together.
1. Jesus showed up for us.
2. Jesus died for us.
3. Jesus rose for us.
They don't have to know much about Jesus to accept him.
How well do we know God's story?
We have to be patient- and we're not selling something. Don't push them. Projects end, conversations and friendships don't.
Track 1: Defending Your Faith
Before you defend....
1. No substitute for knowing Jesus
2. Know the scripture well.
3. No need to worry.
4. No need to win the argument
5. Know the gospel, know your personal story.
*People with Jesus revealed in themselves.
*Who cares who you've studied under? KNOW THE BIBLE!!! Ephesians 6:16-17
God will give us the words to say - He promises. It's okay to say you don't know. As long as you get back to them. Let unanswered questions point you to Jesus.
*1 Peter 3:15
Goal is not to win the argument. It's more important to win the heart.
*1 Thessalonians 5
Be able to explain a summary of the Bible - overall concept.
Repent Believe Receive - God Man Christ response
Think how to tell your story. It's important you know how.
Pattern for respeonding for questions:
1. Understand where the questions come from. Understand so you can answer better - context means everything.
2. Affirm what's a good question. Credibility goes up when you say WHY it's a good question.
3. Work to reveal Jesus as you answer the question.
1. History of God. He is infinite, eternal, eternally existant. Never created, never dies. John 1; Genesis 1:1. Not a created being, that would make someone greater than Him was around.
2. Why did God create us? God created us to bring glory to Himself.
3. Why are there different versions of the Bible? Apocrapha... Versions came about because of different lagnage changes. What it teaches is more important than how it says it. Protestants believe the Apocrapha was historical, but not hte Word of God. Lost translations? No. Translated all from original manuscripts. There are some paraphrased versions. Book of Morman: "Another Christian denomination." Different beliefs, Jesus is not God, Jesus travelled to North America and that's the Book of Morman.
4. Who decided what went in the Bible? Different Churches put it together and it happened over time.
5. We are monotheistic, one essense, but three persons. We pray to all three at once, not one at a time. Bible, corrupted? Where is the uncorrupted version, then? "Gospel of Barnabus?" Written 600 years later than the Bible, and that's the earliest copy. It's in Italian. and from the 16th century. New Testament is from the first and second centuries. It promotes Islam. Jesus denies he's the Messiah. God=Allah? No. In Islam, God wouldn't mingle with us, and other than in the Qur'an he's unknowable. We believe we can know Him. What about the gods of other religions? "Representations of god." Mis-conceptions of God. Devil has no stories. Mohammed didn't believe it at first, but his wife convinced him the vision was real, and he wrote it down. Satan was masquerading as an angel of light. Mohammed was just a prophet, comparing him to Jesus.
"Mentoring" (Disciple-Making) that Goes the Distance
What is a mentor?
It's more secular than a disciple. Discipler isn't a once a week thing - it's all the time. Discipler-makers are also disciples. Be a Christian by making other Christians. God sohoudl see utter sinfulness in us. Where are you leading the people you're mentoring?
1 Thessalonians 2:8 - Recipe. Love, delight, sharing, Gospel, and lives.
You need to have the desire, not only the knowledge.
Godliness without love is impossible. Our concept of love should not be the same as the world's. God's love is a commitment. Heart of love keeps you from pride. Don't build pride. The goal isn't to get the person to your level. Be so commited you'd drag them.
How do we know God is calling us? Scripture. Whatever contradicts the Bible is false. Simple obedience.
Delight: Recognize this is your attitude - Don't Get Sidetracked!
Are you willing to commit to this? To do what God has called us to do in our lives? Just encourage them, they'll do the rest. God did all this already!
Deliver the message to the rest of the world.
It requires time and commitment, not just a procedure. Pray for people to mentor.
Our laziness, procrastination, and distractions are the only things keeping us from doing it.
Commit yourself even over long distances.
The satisfaction is worth it.
Discernment through our troubles - be honest.
Privacy for the other person: pray for wisdom, then without names get help.
Sometimes the most loving thing to do is somethign you wouldn't want to do. Let them become dear to you.
TO US - you're not alone.
Be a mentor means having a mentor.
Make sure you have an outlet.
Understanding the Bible for All its Worth
Faith- believing in something we don't see.
Don't just know Jesus. Obey Him, too.
The Bible is not just a history book, a good to know book, a guide to live, or an entertainment. The Bible is JESUS! It's a love lettter from God.
If we don't know the commands, how can we believe? Don't just follow your conscience. Don't be a Robin Hood.
Life is about you touching somebody's life. Satan tries to destroy that plan.
AMBITION - VISION. Ambition is about you. It isn't in the Bible. Vision is.
Love - Satan Messed with it. Now it means sex.
Plant the word in your heart. Read it daily. We've met Jesus.
Are you ready for the somebody God's prepared for you? Prepare yourself for him by walking with God.
Read your Bible with a good attitude and willing heart.
The Bible can prevent bad things happening during the day.
Careful what you ask for from God. He will test you.
Jesus and my faith is not a part of my life. It's MY LIFE.
How to read the Bible:
*Remember, it's for you; not your friends. Make sure your heart is ready.
1. Who is speaking?
2. Who is/are the audience?
3. Situation during that time?
Get the context! In the prodigal son, the older brother is the main Character because Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees!
Four Important things to look For:
1. What does the word tell me today?
2. Is there a personal sin the Word is showing me?
3. Is there a commadn I should follow/obey?
4. Is there a promise I can hang onto?
There are 3 types of people:
1. One who fools
2. One who is fooled.
3. One who fools himself.
God has a plan for you - read about it.
Jesus is waiting for you every morning. He wants to speak to you every day.
That is only a whisper of my Desert Challenge experience... So many people for God... So many people praising him and reaching out. So many not ashamed of their faith.
Praise the Lord.
God bless you!
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Just a whisper of the past,
A memory barely there.
What once I enjoyed,
Now gone forever.
Crying out for my return.
No turning back.
I’ve made my choice.
Making me think twice.
There’s nothing left for me.
I know it cries,
I know it beckons,
I know I’m gone.
I won’t return.
Even though it was something really hard for me to do, I felt like it was what God is telling me to do. And after all, we are supposed to do hard things. It was a hard decision for me to make. But the dance school kept getting worse and worse and I became more and more bored every class; just going through the movements and not feeling it.
*sigh* Well, now it's finished. I'd still really like your prayers, this will be something I'm probably going to need a bunch of time to heal from this, but I think the sooner I go on the sooner I'll heal.
What else is going on?
*We're adjusting to having a puppy in our house, for one thing. He's so cute... It's so hard to tell him no. Discipline. Good parenting practice for someday, eh?
*Hockey... I've been playing hockey with the younger boys (10-12) in the compound. It's been great. They're really nice to me and let me play with them, especially when I'm so horrible. Today after ballet I played with them before coming in and taking my shower. Then while we waited to leave for the H's, Shaen (Sean) and I were playing around with the puck when the teenagers hanging around started shouting something about an accident. Shaen and I climbed to the top of the play ground to look out... It was scary. The driver's side of the car was crinkled like paper. We went back down to play more hockey, then heard an ambulance coming and scrambled back up, only to find we couldn't see anything. So we went out by the front gate of the compound. We watched as they prepared the stretcher and everything... All that time, even when Shaen and I were talking, I kept thinking "And it could have been any of us." God is good.
* Caroling... Tonight we went over to the H's to Christmas Carol around their compound. It was lots of fun, even though afterwards I ate too many sweets. Sarah and I poured over their Wildly Foxtrot book, which I ended up borrowing.
Until next time,
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
As we enter our third day of having Eeyore (his name for now!) as a part of the Fox family, I thought I'd share with my readers how much we as a family and individuals have learned from Eeyore.
We wanted to get a puppy so we could watch it grow up and bond with it. So we did get a puppy. He's three months old, and not trained. Therefore, we get to train it. Training Eeyore has really tested our patience and controlling our temper. He will often pee on the newspaper we have set out for him just in case without telling us he has to go so we can take him outside.
Perseverance. That's the second thing. In a way, it is tied to patience. We have to be patient for him learning, and have to keep up with what we're trying to train him to do. So many times already have I wanted to give up and stop, but then I think about what a good dog he'll be someday if we train him properly.
Controlling our temper. That's got to be the hardest one of all. We take Eeyore outside, he wants to play and won't come in. It takes all I have not to start yelling at him and pulling him inside. He can be such a naughty puppy. Yesterday he started chewing stuff, too. He tried gnawing on the Iliad, even!
As much as Eeyore is teaching us, we still have a lot to teach him. I'm thankful God wanted us to get a dog, though. I never would have thought a three-month old puppy could teach our family so much.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
I feel that God's closing the door to me taking actual classes. But he's opening another for fencing.
The guitar teacher gets continually worse; I have less and less motivation to practice every day... Right now I'm printing a passel of sheet music to play on my own. I'm sorta at that level; though, where I almost know everything there is to know and lessons don't really help anymore. Whatever the guy gives me I can normally take home and play once then come back and do it for him perfectly.
I know that I would learn so much better and so much more on my own than in classes, strange as it may sound.
Saturday, December 9, 2006
Saturday, December 2, 2006
Yesterday on our way to Volleyball at the C's after Church it started raining, gently at first, but by the time we got there, it was sprinkling. That part was wonderful, but there was wind blowing everywhere around us, into our eyes, etc... When we finished playing it had stopped raining, but the clouds were still a "menacing threat" in the skies. Inside, Hannah, Stephen, Isaac, and I were (trying) to play Blink (very fun game, but Stephen wasn't really playing and was interfering), when it began to rain again, this time harder for a few minutes.
Today, I sat down at the computer to print some Christmas piano sheet music off of the computer and my mom comes in and says that it's pouring rain outside. Nate claims water is an inch deep in the back yard. Wow, what a day for National Day, huh?