MONTHLY ARCHIVES: September 2010
As a father if 2 little girls, one of which is going through a stage that tries our patience as parents, this was a book that offered great words of wisdom when raising our kidos. Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel is a book worth reading. Although I wouldn’t limit my reading seeking parenting advice to this one book, I was glad I read it. I’ve heard that lots of folks enjoy the Video Study, although I’ve never looked at it. In the end, if it’s time for another book, then check out the links above. Enjoy!
Read James 2:5-7 and be challenged by verse 5.
According to these verses, what is the relationship between poverty and faith?
Do you think having a higher income decreases a person’s faith? Why or why not?
How does being poor or wealthy affect an individual’s faith?
Do you think people tend to trust God more when He gives them things? Why or why not?
What about you?
When we hear the word poor, we automatically think of money, but there are other ways to be poor—and many people in this world are spiritually poor. In this high-tech world, it’s hard to imagine there are still millions of people who have few or no opportunities to hear God’s Word or worship Him.
If someone hasn’t had a chance to ever hear about Jesus, we shouldn’t turn our backs and simply say, “It’s not my problem.” It is easy to find excuses to avoid sharing with others, but if we don’t, who will? Sometimes, that means going to another country. But perhaps more often, it’s as simple as walking across the street and helping a neighbor or sitting with one of the loners at lunch. It might be as easy as inviting a friend to come to camp with you this summer. If you’re a believer, reaching out to those who need Jesus is your problem.
Attention Ridgecrest Nation! The Nibblenook is getting rid of the overstocked ice cream left over from summer. No tickets required for this one folks! Gallon upon gallons of free ice cream will be slowly melting in this unseasonably perfect weather. Do you want to enjoy your favorite flavor served up by the kind-hearted volunteers you have come to love? All you have to do is be here in the next five minutes and bring your appetite. That is where Ron, Phil, and Sharon will be. Imagine the joy of enjoying a cone with that all-star cast. Will you be there?
YOU’RE WALKING DOWN THE HALL AT SCHOOL between classes and pass by two students laughing and speaking to each other in a language you don’t understand. What is the first thing that goes through your mind? Do you quickly assume they’re talking about you? Do you become angry? Do you smile and treat them with respect?
Read Deuteronomy 32:1-4 and check out the word picture of God in verse 4.
What words are used to describe God?
What does this say about God’s character?
What does it mean to say God is without prejudice?
What does that tell you about God’s view of prejudice in our lives?
What is your view of prejudice? Does it need to change? If so, how?
Do the words used to describe God’s character also describe your life? Explain. What needs to change so your attitude lines up with God’s?
In these verses, Moses was describing the character of God. He calls God “The Rock” and said His work is perfect, that God is just, righteous, and true. He even said that God is without prejudice. The point is that prejudice isn’t a part of God’s character. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a part of yours.
We live in a world that says racism and prejudice are wrong. And that’s true, they are. But you know why they are: because God is without prejudice. God loves all people, and the salvation He offers is for every last one of us. It’s easy to be uncomfortable or even dislike someone because he or she isn’t like you, but that’s not the kind of people believers are called to be. Our God loves all people and doesn’t judge us based on skin color, language, age, or disability. He just loves. Ask Him to help you see others with His eyes today. Then, let His point of view change yours.
Here is a preview of the off-season contests. We will be uploading a new video at the beginning of every month with an assignment, then you have two weeks to complete the assignment and send your pictures or videos to firstname.lastname@example.org. The off-season crew will then go through your submissions and choose the winners. There is no limit to the number of times you can submit in a month so send as many pictures or videos as you want. Make them funny and creative because the best ones will be put up on the blog! And remember, the winners each month get something from the PRIZE BOX! That can be anything from a free canteen or store to Camp clothes and stickers to gift certificates. So get the creative juices flowing everybody, there’s good stuff coming!
IT’S NOT JUST about you. When was the last time you said those words? Maybe it was to a friend, a character in a movie, or to yourself. Think about that situation. What prompted you to remind yourself (or someone else) that it wasn’t just about them?
Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-7. What stands out to you about verse 4?
According to these verses, why might times of trial not just be about you?
How can your trials and hard times help other people?
How have you seen this truth play out in your life or someone else’s life?
During your trials, do you look for ways to use them to help others?
Is it selfish to keep what you have learned from trials to yourself? Explain.
Are you willing to suffer so others will not have to? Why or why not?
If the goal of the Christian life is to become more like Christ (which it is), then we must also face trials. Jesus did. He endured various trials, temptations, and hard times, even the cross. Yet, it was for the benefit of others. Because of His willingness to endure those trials, we have salvation and forgiveness. We also have the assurance that because Jesus was here and faced tough times, He knows how we feel. He understands us.
A key point of Paul’s words in today’s passage is that the trials we face aren’t necessarily just about us. Instead, the things we learn can help us reach out to others and minister to them—all because of what we’ve learned during the tough times.
THINK ABOUT A TIME when you were wrong about someone. You thought that girl was shallow and stuck-up. Maybe you thought that guy was very mean because he kept getting you out in four-square. Whoever it was, at some later point you discovered that your assumption was wrong. That the idea you had about that person wasn’t actually built on truth.
Have you ever realized you’ve done the same thing to God? That you’ve chosen to believe things about Him or His character that in time proved to be false?
Read James 1:16-18 and contemplate verse 17.
Why do you think James wrote, “Don’t be deceived”?
What does verse 17 tell you about God’s character?
When have you doubted this truth about God? Why?
Why is it important to understand that all good things come from God?
What does it mean that there is no variation in God?
Does God provide us what we want or what He wills? Explain.
What do these verses teach you about God’s character?
James’ point is clear: God is good. It is His very nature, and God does not change. He has been good, is good, and will always be good. There is no variation or change in His goodness. Therefore, anything that is good begins with God and comes from God.
We also have to remember that life can hurt. And in the middle of that hurting, it’s easy to get some ideas about God that aren’t quite right, like the idea that He likes watching us suffer through life’s trials. The point is that trials aren’t necessarily good, but they can be used for good by a good God.
It’s that time of year again. Camp is over and empty, you’re back in school, sports are starting, the weather is getting cooler. It’s quite an adjustment right after camp ends to see it empty. I’d much rather have you all here to make camp…well, camp! Here’s a couple things to look forward to as you are reminiscing about the summer.
If you haven’t signed up for next summer, consider doing so quickly. Spots are filling up fast!