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Archive for January, 2012

Mentors

Greetings everyone! I was just reading something that caught my eye and wanted to relay it to everyone. I was reading a fellow blogger’s blog and he was writing about his mentor from his study time at Abilene Christian University. This friend was writing about the reasons why this man is his mentor.

You can read my friend’s blog at http://jordanhubboard.wordpress.com. Especially please read his blog on his mentor who means so much to him.

It all got me thinking about those in the Bible who inspired people in their own day and many of whom still inspire us to this very day. People like Moses, Elijah, Daniel, Gideon, Ezekiel, and others in the Old Testament. And people like each of the twelve disciples, Paul, Timothy, Titus, and of course Jesus, and others in the New Testament. These men meant a lot to the people they were around when they were alive. They still inspire me in my Christian life. And I bet they each inspire all of God’s people.

And we have people we know and love who are live today who love and mentor us. Each member of my family are special to me and have mentored me in my life. Each and every professor at Harding, and Sunset. Authors of whom I have read throughout the years. Christian song writers and singers. I’m sure we all have people like these in all of our lives.

Let’s give thanks to God for each of these people in our lives.

Comments, thoughts, questions, etc are always welcome.

God bless you all. Grace and Peace.

Zack

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Greetings everyone! So sorry for not so many posts this week. I’ll write more next week.

I finished reading You Lost Me by David Kinnaman yesterday. Really good read! Also a little disturbing at times. But I think that was the intent. And besides, if it gets us to change the things we can change about church, evangelism, and discipleship; then that’s a good thing.

The book is about Christian teens and twenty-somethings and why some are leaving the church, and rethinking faith. Basically the book highlights three different kinds of teens and twenty-somethings: nomads, prodigals, and exiles.

Nomads are those who wonder away from active involvement with the church. They typically think of themselves as Christians, but they disconnect from the church.

Prodigals completely disengage from Christianity. They stop active involvement in the church and step away from Christianity, and no longer call themselves Christians.

Exiles feel an intense struggle and pull to stay faithful to Jesus, the faith, and Christianity and still influence the world they feel Jesus has called them to be in. Exiles truly see themselves as missionaries in their vocations.

The church always seems to have ministries and resources for teenagers while they are in middle school and high school. But as they get ready to graduate from high school, thinking about what vocation they want to pursue, they feel the church doesn’t have any answers for them.

They are looking for answers for how they can remain faithful to Jesus and His church while pursuing their vocation in the real world. They want wisdom and guidance while they are in college and/or while pursuing their vocational ambitions.

And they feel like the church isn’t taking them seriously, or they’re just getting pat answers. And it’s driving them away.

It’s time for us as people of Jesus to give these young people what they need, to give them a place to serve in the church, and to give valuable advice their burning questions.

Check the book out at http://www.youlostmebook.com, http://www.barna.org, or http://www.davidkinnaman.com.

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

God bless. Grace and Peace.

Zack

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Greetings one and all! I figured I better get back to my blog series I’ve been working on.

I am now considering The Missional Church series closed now. We’ll continue with the others.

In Major Themes in the Minor Prophets, we’ll next look at Jonah. I have blogged about the book of Jonah in the past.  So what I’m about to say may or may not have been said before.

Jonah was a prophet. God comes to him and commands him to go to Nineveh and speak against them. Nineveh??!! Nineveh was the capital city of Assyria, the chief enemy of Israel. Jonah didn’t want to go there.

So he boards a ship going in the opposite direction. He got on a ship going to Tarshish to try to escape from Jehovah (as if that was ever possible).

As they were going, Jonah goes to the bottom of the ship and goes to sleep. In the mean time, Jehovah sends a serious storm. The other men sailing with Jonah begin calling on their deities to deliver them from this storm. They go and get Jonah to call upon his deity. Nothing is working.

So Jonah tells them he was running away from Jehovah God, the One whom made everything there is. He then tells them it’s his fault this storm came on them and advises them to throw him overboard. These guys are apparently good guys, they try to make it to land and spare him. But the harder they tried, the worse the storm got. So they do what Jonah said and gave him the heave-ho.

As soon as he hit the water, the storm was gone, the sea grew still, and this these guys grew very afraid.

In the meantime, Jonah is sinking in the sea and a big fish comes and swallows him up. While Jonah is in the belly of this fish he prays for deliverance. And God tells him, He’ll give him one more chance to go to Nineveh and preach against them. This time he obliges. The fish spits him up on the sea shore (he had been inside the fish three days).

So he goes to Nineveh and preaches that they better repent or in forty days the city will be destroyed.  And they did. This probably the greatest revival in history.

You’d think Jonah would be thrilled the city repented, right? Wrong! He wanted God to destroy the city, and he is upset that He didn’t, because Jonah hated Nineveh. He knew God was gracious and would forgive them if they repented. So he was angry at God.

At the end of Jonah, God tells Jonah this “Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, … Should I not be concerned about that great city?” (4:11).

The application should be obvious. Don’t try to run away from God. He does forgive those who repent. We should rejoice when people repent. Don’t hate anyone. Any place that God sees even one lost person, He calls a “great city”.

A question to myself and you. Am I running away from God?

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Any and all the above or anything else is always welcomed and encouraged.

God bless. Grace and Peace.

Zack

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Not What I Thought

Greetings everyone! I just watched an amazing video on the internet and wanted tell my readers about it.

Many in the youth ministry world know who Doug Fields is. He has been in ministry for a while. Most of his ministry experience is in family and youth ministry. I was just on his website (dougfields.com). Back in January he had a video that is also on a website called notwhatithought.com. This video is definitely a must see.

It is a video that calls the church to care for and minister to those who are wearied and broken down by the world. This video calls us to bring them to Jesus.

Please go see this video and let me know what you think of it.

God bless. Grace and Peace.

Zack

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Greetings everyone!

You probably know today is Martin Luther King Jr Day. Do you remember his “I have a dream” speech? It was a dream saying he hoped, prayed, and dreamed a day would come where there would be racial equality. He dreamed of a time when no one would be judged by the color of their skin, but by their character. That is a great dream!

My question for myself and for all of us is, how are we doing at accomplishing that dream of his.

I hope and pray I would never judge someone just because of a person’s skin color. I don’t want to be a kind of person who would do that. I suspect no one would.

So I repeat the question: how are we doing?

May God bless us all today. Grace and Peace.

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Zoe Group

Greetings one and all! I just saw something and wanted to share it with all of you.

I was just reading my friend Brandon Thomas’ blog (brandonscotthomas.blogspot.com or something like that) and he was talking about his worship ministry website Zoe Group. They are having a big sale on their ministry website. If your a Zoe fan check them out and get some CDs at a great discount. If you have facebook, find Zoe Group on there and “like” them. They are a fabulous group at singing and production. They do a fantastic job with worship renewal. They are awesome! Don’t take my word for it. Check them out and you’ll be amazed. You’ll thank me later.

God bless. Grace and Peace.

Zack

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Greetings one and all! I hope and pray everyone out there is having a good day and week.

Lately I’ve been reading You Lost Me by David Kinnaman. This is an excellent book, by the way. I hope to blog a review of the book after I finish reading the book in its entirety.

Right now I’m reading his chapter on younger Christians who feel a passionate about reaching out to the world in the name of Christ, but don’t feel like the church is equipping them or helping them minister to the lost in the world. It seems like Kinnaman is saying the church needs to be as Jesus said of the apostles in John’s Gospel: to be in but not of the world.

This definitely renews my passion for and desire to work (or volunteer) in a campus and outreach ministry setting. I hope, pray, and desire to see God’s people equipped to reach out to college students on local campuses, and to those in the community and to win them for Jesus. To see them grow in their faith and actively participate in the church to win more people to Jesus.

Jesus said all throughout the Gospels that He was sent to seek and save the lost. In Luke 15 Jesus told three stories with the same central theme: some thing was lost and then it was found. When whatever was lost was found, everyone rejoiced. When the lost are saved, God and all who are in heaven rejoice even more then we.

In the book of Jonah, when the people of Ninevah repented and Jonah was angry about it (how on earth could that be possible??) God told him there were thousands of people there who didn’t know their right hand from their left. Why should He not be concerned about that great city?

Why should we not be concerned about the lost all around us? I hope and pray all of God’s churches will equip their own people to get out into the world and bring the lost to Jesus.

Thank you for reading my thoughts today. Of course any and all thoughts, comments, questions, etc are always welcomed and encouraged.

God bless. Grace and Peace.

Zack

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