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Archive for November, 2011

Those Who Are With Us.

Greetings everyone! Today I found a bookmark I was given by Sunset International Bible Institute. It was given at a banquet shortly before graduation day. It was to remind us (and others who were there) to remember God is with us and is on our side.

It was a reminder of the lesson that was preached that night from 2 Kings 6:8-23.

This is the story of Elisha and his servant going off somewhere. The king of the Arameans found out where they were and sent his armies to capture them. When Elisha’s servant went out of the house where they stayed went outside, he saw all the army. His eyes must have been as big as a plate. He runs back and tells Elisha. But Elisha tells him not to worry, those who are on our side are more than those who are on theirs.

Then Elisha prays for his servant’s eyes to be opened. They are and he sees the army of the Lord God almighty surrounding the Aramean army. The lead angel blinds the whole Aramean army and Elisha leads them all to a secret place. Then Elisha and his servant set a feast before their enemies and win them over.

I love this story! As we stated before, this shows that God is on the side of those who serve Him. Also, the best way to defeat your enemy is make him your friend.

God’s richest blessings to all my family and friends! A special shout out to my Sunset classmates and teachers.

As always, any and all comments, thoughts, questions, etc are welcomed and encouraged.

God bless us all. Grace and Peace.

Zack

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Greetings everyone!

When I was a senior at Harding one of my ministry classes was called Intro to Christian Ministry. One of our class assignments was to craft our own philosophy of ministry. This was an assignment to help us clarify and define our role in ministry as we saw it. It was to help us pinpoint our duties, assignments, and our work.

In Luke 4, after Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, was tempted by the Devil in the wilderness, and before He began His ministry Jesus traveled back to Nazareth, and gave us His philosophy of ministry.

When Jesus arrived in Nazareth (His hometown) it was the Sabbath day. Someone gave Jesus the scriptural scrolls for Him to read. He opened it to Isaiah 61:1-2:

“The Spirit of Jehovah is on Me,

Because He has anointed Me

To preach good news to the poor

He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners

And recovery of sight for the blind,

To release the oppressed,

To proclaim the year of Jehovah’s favor”.

As Jesus finished reading, He told the people there that scripture was now fulfilled in their hearing. He would proceed to tell them of the Old Testament prophets Elijah and Elisha who did a mighty miracle for Jehovah in their days. But the miracle wasn’t for Jew, though there were many Jews who needed help. No, but they both helped a Gentile person.

This really hacked everyone off. But Jesus was making a major point. He was telling them (and us) that God loves all people and wants to save everyone. Not just those who are like us.

Jesus definitely fulfilled His ministry quite well. He helped Jews and Gentiles alike. He helped all who humbly came to Him.

We  should do likewise.

As always, any and all comments, further thoughts, questions, etc are always welcomed and encouraged.

God bless us all. Grace and Peace.

Zack

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Campus Ministry

Greetings everyone! I hope and pray everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving from Thursday through the weekend. I know I ate way too much turkey and other things.

I have subscribed to a campus ministry website called faithoncampus.com. The website’s author has been a campus minister for 14 or 15 years. His blog posts are always excellent, practicle, and thought-provoking.

His most recent post is about telling others why he’s in campus ministry. Since campus ministry is such a passion of mine, I thought I would share why I want to be in campus ministry.

Campus Ministry is a special mission field. The students who are enrolled in college are in a special period in their lives. There are several reasons for this. First of all, perhaps many of them are away from Mom and Dad for the first time in their lives. Mom and Dad aren’t going to be there to make sure they do their homework. They won’t be there to make sure they get up and get ready for school. They won’t be there to make sure they are eating right. They won’t be there to do their laundry. Most importantly, they won’t be there to make sure they are going to church or do anything church-related.  If any of that is going to get done, it gets done because the students have to learn to do it themselves.

Second, campus ministry is important to me, because the students are eager to learn, eager to grow, eager to lead, etc. I believe that if we can evangelize our college campuses and help them grow to be disciples of Jesus we can help them be missionaries in their chosen vocations. They can grow to be leaders and workers in the Lord’s church. And leaders in their communities as well.

And third, campus ministry is important to me because if we can evangelize the college campus it will help us evangelize the overall community as well.

I hope to do this on campus, because, first of all that’s where most of the college students are.

Second, it makes it easier to locate  and evangelize the campus community.

Third, not only do we have access to the students on campus but also to all the campus workers, the president, professors, and everyone.

Forth and final (and this is my favorite part of campus ministry), I love the opportunities in campus ministry for us to help some students find faith for the first time, to help others to own their faith, for all to grow in their faith.

In conclusion to all of this, campus ministry brings tremendous opportunities for evangelism and discipleship in many areas. God bless everyone and anyone involved in this awesome endeavor.

Further thoughts, comments, questions, etc are always welcomed and encouraged.

God bless us all. Grace and Peace.

Zack

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Happy Thanksgiving :)

Greetings everyone!

I wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving! I love this holiday. It helps remind all of us to give thanks. And not just to give thanks one day a year. But to do it everyday of our lives.

I hope and pray we eat lots of turkey with all the trimmings, greenbean casserol, sweet patatos, sweet patato pie/pumkin pie, and whatever else goes with the tradtional Thanksgiving day spread.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! May we all learn to have a thankful heart. God bless. Grace and Peace.

Zack

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Greetings one and all. I hope to get into a more regular schedule of blogging on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

In this next installment of Ministry Themes From The Minor Prophets we’ll look at Obadiah. In this book, Jehovah speaks against Edom and against the arrogant. Edom seemed to think they had the perfect living arrangement living in the cliffs. But God speaks against their pride. Verses 3-4 “The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks, and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself ‘Who can bring me down to the ground?’. Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from their I will bring you down, declares the LORD”.

God speaks against Edom and the way it treats people. The way they treat those they conquer. And they rejoice in their fall. These are the kinds of things God is not pleased with.

What kinds of things can we as Christ followers learn from Obadiah? Don’t have the kind of pride that displeases God. Don’t be arrogant. Don’t rejoice in the fall of the wicked. Anything else you see in this book?

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On another note, I saw today that a good friend of mine, Trey Morgan (see his blog at treymorgan.net) is going to Honduras. He will be going there to serve people food at a place called The Dump. There a lot of people there who literally eat food that is thrown away in this dump. So Trey and others from the church where he and his family serve in Childress, TX are going there to serve them. They are calling this ministry effort Honduras Hope. So please visit Trey’s blog  at treymorgan.net to read about it. Lets all be lifting them up in prayer.

As always, further thoughts, comments, questions, etc are always welcomed and encouraged.

God bless you all. Grace and Peace.

Zack

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Greetings everyone! This is the fourth part of this series Jesus On Campus. I wanted to look the stories of miracles in Mark’s gospel accounts and shape them into evangelism stories for campus ministry.

This next section takes us to Mark 6 starting in verse 30. Earlier in this chapter Jesus sent out His twelve disciples to preach the word and do physical and spiritual healings as well.

In verse 30 and following, His disciples return to their Master and reported to Him about how it went. Jesus had intended to take them across the lake to get some rest after an exhausting day. Once they get there, a huge crowd was waiting there for them. Jesus had compassion for them and helped them in any way He could.

The disciples must have been at their wits end. They had wanted some rest and they must have been frustrated at the current situation. They all wanted Jesus to send them away to get something to eat, because it was a remote place and getting late. But Jesus urged them to give them food to eat. This statement must have made their jaws drop. It would have taken the majority of a year to provide enough money to buy enough food to feed the crowd that was there.

But a little boy was found who brought his lunch. He gave it to Jesus, who used that to provide a meal for thousands of people. These people must have thought if He could provide a meal from a simple lunch, He could make an army suitable to bring down the Roman army. But Jesus withdrew to a secluded place to pray and refocus Himself for His mission.

What does this mean for a campus ministry context? Rest is essential. God uses anything to bring Himself glory.

God bless us all. Grace and Peace.

Zack

PS. Comments welcomed. Have a great Friday 🙂

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Greetings everyone! This is another installment of Jesus On Campus. I’ve been going through the gospel of Mark and discussing the miracle stories there in light of campus ministry.

This next installment takes us to Mark 5. This story picks up right where chapter 4 left off after Jesus calms a storm while He and His disciples were sailing across the Sea of Galilee. They are all probably soaked from the rain. When they arrive on shore, they probably wanted to get some wood to start a fire, and get some rest. Those thoughts and aspirations quickly dissipated when they see something out of the corner of their eyes. They turn to see a bleeding crazy man running at them. When he arrives, he drops to his knees in front of Jesus and shouts at the top of his voice “What do You want with me, Jesus, Son of the most high God? Swear to God that You won’t torture me!”. Jesus had already called the demons to come out.

Jesus asks him his name, and he replies his name is Legion, because there were many demons inside of this man. Off in the distance they saw a herd of pigs. The demons begged Jesus to send them into the pigs, and He told them to go. They all enter the pigs and they dash down the hill and die in the sea.

The herdsmen rush into the town and declared to them what had happened. They all knew about this man. They all come out to see him. They see him and Jesus. The man is now healed, clothed, and his right mind. This scares them stiff and they beg Jesus to go away from them.

As He goes, the man who is now healed comes and begs to go with Him. Jesus tells the man to go home and declare to them what God had done for him.

The man who was oppressed by the demons must have been so lonely and scared. Is there anyone on your college campus or in your neighborhood who is lonely and scared? Are there things Jesus can do for them to heal them? I hope and pray we can all bring Jesus into the lives of those who hurt and need Him.

Any thoughts, comments, questions, etc? Any and all thoughts, comments, and questions are welcomed and encouraged. God bless you all. Grace and Peace.

Zack

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