Help me to have self control too.
And also those girls between 12-15.
Help me to not be obnoxious and snobbish too.
I’ve never been a person that feels like I “belong” to a group. I’ve had a few small groups of friends along the way, driven by the circumstances at the time (i.e. small group from high school, small group from college). But in reality, my friendships exist on a one-on-one basis. Six of them have stood the test of time. Even trying to bring some of this group together in a group setting doesn’t work very well. I find that I know them differently than they know each other and most know me in a slightly different way than the others do, as well. When topics of conversation have to be steered toward what is acceptable in front of the whole group…well…a lot of the most important things are “off the table”. More than long-standing friendships, I have random connections. A “ships passing in the night” type connection that typically arises based on an issue, a decision, a crisis. Someone’s relationship is falling apart, a major decision needs to be made, a long-standing dream is in question, or their past has come back for a visit. Sometimes people seek me out and sometimes I can see that they are struggling (whether they want me to or not) and I try to let them know that I’m here if they need someone to talk to or someone to listen to them. I’m not sure what makes me happier than to know that I have helped someone to feel less alone during an important time; that maybe I have made their world a bit better when it mattered the most. We may stay in touch or we may not, but the bond, I feel, lives on. I see this in the ways they think of me when life is good and calm again, and they want to tell me about it. They are in a new, happy relationship. They finally have the child they weren’t sure they’d ever have. I can also bring people together. I know people. I know where they will belong, even when I don’t also belong there. I watch the relationships develop and I feel good about helping people to connect to others they can relate to. Again, in my small way, trying to make the world a better place. So I guess this is where I accept that I am just “different” in my approach to the world. Being me means I won’t quite fit in anywhere. It feels a little lonely sometimes, but there’s no other option if I’m going to be true to myself and how I was programmed.
Sigh, so true.
Repost from Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Church.
How to Use A Lay Research Team
August 6, 2012 By Rick Warren
Any pastor — no matter how small his church — can have a research team.No matter what size your congregation, there are people there who like to read and research. They’ll be thrilled to help you, if you just give them a list of your sermon topics.I meet with my lay research team every few months, and I explain to them the direction I’m going to take with my sermons, including any sermon series that I’ll preach. I then tell them what to look for: quotes, illustrations, articles, statistics.There are two rules for the research team:First, whatever they give me, they won’t get back. In other words, give me a copy, because I don’t want to be responsible for returning an article or a book, etc. If I don’t use it, then I’ll file it for future use.
Second, I tell them to not get their feelings hurt if I don’t use what they’ve given me. I always get more material than I could possibly use, and I don’t want someone saying, “Gee, I did all this research, and he didn’t use it.” Their research may have helped me as I formed the sermon, but it never made it into the sermon. Or, I may use some of their research at another time.I set up one person as the liaison with the research team. That way, everyone can feed the information to one person, and then that person can give the results to me. It keeps me from getting 15 different messages from 15 different people.
And, finally, I request the information be sent through email. That way I can cut and paste it right into my sermon notes.
Post script: I wanna join a research team! Hahahahahaha
I am unable to express my burden for the people around me. i want to go to them and scream: 'Go, and look at the book of Joel!'. Now the thing is this, Joel can be a hard book to interpret, and yes, don't just read the book, research online on it as well, but Joel is by far one of the most relevant books in the old testament, for our time.
So just because I'm paranoid of being different, doesn't mean I cant ask this question, so i am going to ask it. Do you brush your teeth only when you are experiencing tooth decay? No, but every day, once in the morning and once at night, right?
Now this is the same thing with our attitude.
We must not come to God only when we have a problem. Now understand this, there is nothing wrong with that, but that cannot be the only reason that exist. But we should come to God everyday, to build a relationship with him.
So what is the relation between these two examples?
Now the thing here is this: We brush our teeth everyday, to prevent tooth decay.
Similarly, we must pray and seek God everyday in our quiet time, in his word, so that we can build up our faith in him! And when we have our faith built up in him, we are able to overcome the obstacles with our faith in our God who is mighty to save.
It is important that we build up our faith.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
To build up our faith, we must have our quiet time. A quiet time is a period of time where we use to solely seek after God.
When we are in our quiet time, one thing that we do is to pray. And more often than not, don't we always find ourselves lacking in an area, and that we start praying for our God to deliver us from the situation? The thing is that when we pray, we must not just state our problems, but that we confess that our God is bigger than our problems! There is really, nothing too great for a God who created the heavens and the earth!
I dont know about you, but for me, sometimes i pray and when I'm done, i go back and think to myself, i am so gonna die(in that area, context not meant to be taken literally)! NO! When you pray, confess and belief in the positive!
We must exercise our faith in God.
Yes, people may let you down, but God will never let you down. Now, certain times, due to our previous experience in a particular area, which have always been unsuccessful, we tend to instill upon ourselves that no matter how we pray, God may(MAY) deliver me(if he is kind that day) but most likely he can't even be bothered. No! That is the lack of faith! We must have faith, especially in an omnipotent God.
So how do we receive faith?
Now this is not just limited to a person- god relationship, but even person-person relationship. The more you know somebody, the more you understand somebody, the more comfortable you are with somebody, the more you will trust that person. Yes? That is why it is important that we must know God more. And not only that, we are to enter into a fellowship with God.
Now the word fellowship used in the bible was the greek word koinonia, which means the communion by intimate participation. And it is also only when we come into a fellowship with God, that we are able to receive fullness of joy. Now that when we are together in communion with the Lord, we are able to now, put our faith in God because why, because we know that the thoughts he has for us are thoughts of peace, and to give us a future and a hope, thoughts that are not of evil! And that greater is he who is in me, that he who is in the world! And that He is our strength and our refuge, and that he watches over us even more than the sparrows, whom(the sparrows) are seen and cared for by He Himself, how much more us! And how do we know this? When we read his word! Which is, the bible, and since the bible is jesus(for the word was God, and is God). Therefore reading the bible is equivalent to understanding God!
And now, it is only that when we come into a place of intimate communion, a secret place, our prayer closet, our altar that we built before with a heart of worship and sacrifice of praise, then can we know him more, then can we trust him more, and then and only then, can we truly walk in his ways, as his word directs our path.
Let me end off with an example.
In many countries, not really in my church though, the 40 days before easter is called the Lent. It is where we start to be holy and pure and we repent of our sins and do a reflection of our lives. To me, i think that is a great idea. But for me, especially starting today(I am going to ignore my past), I want to live a life that everyday, I commune with him, everyday, he wakes me up and reminds me of his goodness and mercy. Yes it is good to have the Lent, and all, but why not today, since you have read my sharing till this part, spend just a minute. If you can spent 10 waiting in line for a burger queue, spent just one, saying, Hey jesus pop, i love you. And share with him. And if you can, note that this is just an encouragement, every night before you sleep, just spent those 10 minutes you have before you brush your teeth, saying, hey God, and start telling him about your day. Then read the word. Just a chapter a day will do. Even if you dont feel like doing it, do it. It is like sometimes we say, Who cares, one day without that colgate wont hurt me, imma sleep now. But no, make it a habit to talk to God and read his word. In fact, spent a minute after reading the word just trying to ask God, God, what is it that i need to know? And as you slowly develop this habit, as God's word, and his promises, and his blessings, as He reminds you daily of them, then you will be able, to have, more faith, and then, your inner man will be built up, and then, you will be able to face those challenges, those areas of your life which you never thoyght you could. Just give him a week where you read his word and pray. And confess those promises God has for you. I ensure you, your life will never be the same.
This Jesus I have been talking about is able to change your life, he holds the key to eternal life, he is the prince of peace, and has overcomed the world. If you would believe in him wholeheartedly, and that this Jesus can save you, and that when you pray to him, and that when you read the bible, your whole life can change and take a 180 degree turn.
Ok, now pardon my lack of arrangement of points and all, but this post was pretty impromptu. I just wanted to share what I felt.
This is cricantrail, and i will see you again soon.