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The Next Time You teach

Try the following next time you are getting ready to teach.

Start early.
It takes great communicators several weeks to prepare an effective message. Those who regularly stand in front of crowds with something to say have been thinking about, meditating on, studying, and examining their content for days. It is part of them and it flows like something they know, they believe, and are passionate about.

Don’t wing it.
You may get by with it a few times, but if you really think you can deliver a diet of half-baked talks that you really don’t know or maybe even don’t believe, then . . . well . . . I think you are most likely mistaken. One could even argue that people who wing it :: trust in themselves, don’t truly value their position, and aren’t honoring the audience. This is harsh, but it is borderline disrespect to stand in front of them and make it up as you go. You can do so much better than that.

Get help.
Get help as you prepare your next talk. Teams make things great. Inventions with impact are created by groups of people. Ideas that move a generation rarely flow out of individuals. The same is true for a great talk. Get together with a few people you have chemistry with and build the talk together. Get input, do research, brainstorm, create, craft, and form the message. It’s fun. You’ll grow. The group will feel empowered. Your audience will love it.

Hope this helps … sb

With this Day!

As this day begins …

… let us remember that the world we are living in is a spiritual place. We are living in the middle of forces of good and evil. We must put on the armor of God … Eph 6

… Our God has already won the war and a river of life is on the way … Eden will be restored and all sorrow will be wiped off and out of our lives! Let us rejoice and be glad! Our Lord reigns! Rev 22

… God has an enemy named satan and he is running all over the planet with one goal in his eyes … death. “The thief comes to kill!” That enemy has a plan for you and me. Jn 10:10

… God will finish the work He has started and He knows all things … Phil 1 and Psalm 139

… Jesus is coming back soon just as He promised! Rev 22:7

I’ll be praying today and eagerly waiting to see what this day brings us all … may we share the love of Jesus with everyone we meet. Our time here on earth is short!

sb

sahre

Thoughts about Evangelism

When I was in Seminary I would spend Tuesday nights walking through the streets of downtown Fort Worth, Texas sharing my faith with almost anyone I ran into. The stories were crazy and the people we met were almost always open to the Gospel and the things we had to say. I don’t remember being laughed at, spit on or made fun of for doing it either. Most of the time I found an openness to the love of Jesus. People were willing to listen and encouraged by the awesome news about Jesus!

Today … I don’t make a habit of going somewhere every Tuesday night, but I do share my faith as I feel the Lord leading me to do so. I teach students regularly about Jesus and I pray for God to open doors for me to share His love with the people I run into. Just like the days back in school, the people I meet are open and willing to listen and are usually encouraged by what Holy Spirit leads me to share.

My approach these days is to simply tell the person God leads across my path that I’m someone who prays and to ask them if there is anything they would like me to pray about for them. Most all of the time the person gets really excited and eagerly shares a prayer request or two with me before I leave — I have only had one person simply say no — After praying, I try and trace back my steps so I can run into them again and ask God to open the door for the discussion to go deeper.

BTW Some of my favorite moments have been with workers at Subway and 7 Eleven. 🙂

But is this enough? Has evangelism turned into a laid back approach of prayer and living a public Christian life in hope that someone will ask me why I’m different? Should I be actively looking for opportunities to share my faith with the people I meet? Is God asking me to do more and be more aggressive? Are all Christians called to evangelize?

I’m convicted about this subject. Frankly, I have let selfishness, a busy life and spiritual apathy have way too much control over me. I have not made this a priority and that bothers me. Praying for these people is awesome, but I need to push through and tell them the great news about Jesus!

This is the call from God to all Christians — the Bible teaches that we are all given the responsibility to tell people about Jesus!

Matthew 28: 16-20 

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

I love Jesus and the world needs Him more than ever! He changed my life, gave me a reason to live and I want the world to know who He is … I’m praying specifically for the Lord to open a door for me to share my faith today!

Am I really supposed to share my faith? Of course I am!

Let’s share our faith with someone soon! The living water of Jesus is ready for someone you and I know today.

sb

 

I found three other articles about this subject that I think you’ll enjoy! See the linkable titles below!

Must every Christian share the Gospel? by Chad Barnes

Strategic Evangelism: 3 Effective Outreach Opportunities by Ed Stetzer

5 Reasons Why Christians Struggle to Evangelize By Greg Stier

brought you by ymnow.com

#stumin

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His Temple

His temple 

I have a place of refuge in God, and He is faithful to listen and answer me. I have learned that His Spirit also has a place to reside within me. This is fascinating, and I want to honor Him as He makes my body a temple. This isn’t a weird temple, but a place for God to make His presence full! If I welcome the Spirit to be alive in my life, then I allow God to work and move in wonderful ways. If I don’t treat my body as a temple, then I can easily forget that God is powerful enough to use me. I want to honor my body as a temple, so that I may also listen and answer Him!

 

LISTEN

You belong in me, and I belong in you. I have made you a beautiful place of rest for my glory to shine through. I shine light from your soul, and I radiate from your smile. Remember that when my children look at you, they see a reflection of me. I am not a temporary resident in you, but I have made you a home for my Spirit to dwell in. I ask that you welcome Him with gratitude, and be most attentive to what He may be telling you. While my Spirit dwells in you, you are being glorified with me as my precious temple.

 

READ

1 Corinthians 3:16 ESV: “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”

 

1 Corinthians 6:19 ESV: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

 

REFLECT

Reflect on the purpose of a temple.

Do you allow the Holy Spirit to dwell in you as a temple?

How can you honor your body?

Will you trust that God is with you?

 

Who are you in Jesus? His temple 

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Aftermycamp.com

We launched a little website last week designed to help students after they get home from Youth Camp. Our goal was simple, provide a tool students can use to get to know Jesus after they finish camp.

The site has been live for 7 days and we’ve had 229 users and the average user spends a little over 3 minutes on the site! We even had our first international user today! Someone in Romania!

I’m posting about it here so that those of you who pray will add it to your prayer list … I’m also hoping to see it spread and that some of you will share the website with your friends.

The site is free and available to anyone. Our current topic is Identity in Christ! … We’re working hard to help people know who they are in Jesus … Chosen, Loved, Accepted, Child of God and many other labels. There will eventually be 21 devotionals on the site!

Praise the Lord for letting us be a part of something that points people to Jesus and can spread to the whole world! Glory to God!!!!!!

If you want to help pass it along to others or use it for yourself the web address is www.aftermycamp.com.

I haven’t been this excited about something like this in a long time! Thanks for reading about it!

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Child of God

Child of God 

I have a Father who loves me more than anyone ever has. He loved me from the beginning, and he has adopted me in my previously wayward state. A loving Father is not ashamed of my mistakes, but graciously forgiving. He loves watching me learn and grow, because it is evidence that He is teaching me. I can’t be more thankful that He watches me closely, and He takes such good care of me. He instructs me with His word, and He listens to me in my prayers. He allows me to know His other children, too! I have the blessing of living life with other sons and daughters of God. I hope I always try to love them with the same love He shows to me.

LISTEN

My child, I delight in you! I have been waiting for you to understand that I have adopted you as my child. You are mine because I love you, and my love is unconditional. The circumstance, situation, and outcome will never change my love. Life is going to challenge you, but don’t forget who your Father is. My child, I created this world, and there is nothing greater or stronger than your Father. I am your refuge, and you can come to me for safety. I adopted you because you had faith in me; please trust that I will work everything in your favor.

READ

Ephesians 1:3-6 ESV: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”

Galatians 3:25-26 ESV: “But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.”

 

1 John 3:10 ESV: “By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.”


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REFLECT

Reflect on the unconditional love of a Father.

Do you trust that your Father is for your good?

How can you remember that your situation does not change the Father’s love?

READ

5 Good Articles … enjoy!

What Happens when Parents and Kids see Youth Group as Simply an Elective?

How to Help Parents Avoid Raising Self-Absorbed Kids

7 reasons We Don’t Make Disciples

5 Ways to Work Smarter not Harder

Eyes of the Beholder

 

 

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5 More Unexpected Ways to Work Smarter, Not Harder

1. Limit your to-do list

2. Measure your results, not your time

3. Build “getting ready to work” routines

4. Track what you’re wasting time on

5. Build habits to help you stop working

We found these 5 steps to be incredibly helpful to those of us in student ministry!

Thank you  for your great resource!

CLICK HERE :: READ the whole story 

 

This link proudly brought to you by your friends at ymnow.com

 

 

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All About Leadership

“ No habit has any real hold on you other than the hold you have on it. ”

Gardner Hunting

 

__________________________________________________________________________________

“You can’t climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure.”

Zig Ziglar

 

 

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“The job is what you do when you are told what to do. The job is showing up at the factory, following instructions, meeting spec, and being managed.

Someone can always do your job a little better or faster or cheaper than you can.

The job might be difficult, it might require skill, but it’s a job.

Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. Your art is the act of taking personal responsibility, challenging the status quo, and changing people.

I call the process of doing your art ‘the work.’ It’s possible to have a job and do the work, too. In fact, that’s how you become a linchpin.

The job is not the work.”

Seth Godin

Read More

The World is Waiting. Your Turn …

Seth Godin often ends his posts with this little phrase, “The World is Waiting. Your Turn …

I absolutely love it. Your turn. It’s your turn. Not someone else’s, not your Pastor’s, not your mom’s or big brother’s. It’s your turn. The world is waiting and the lives of teenagers are in the balance.

Let’s partner this year and see the something awesome happen in the lives of the people you meet and the students God leads across your path each day.

I can’t wait … gotta go, it’s my turn!

Scott

🙂 more

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Be Inspired!

I personally love to be creative, to think outside the box and see things in a whole new way … these 75 images are amazing and do just that! Take a few and be inspired … Here are just a few to wet your appetite.

Enjoy these 4 and then tala a look at all 75 by clicking on the link below.

sb

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waterspouts-over-the-adriatic-sea

street-art-hair

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Click HERE and SEE ALL 75!

 

This link proudly brought to you by your friends at ymnow.com 🙂

10 Great Quotes

“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” —
Jonathan Edwards

 

“But to mean it when I say that I want my life to count for His glory is to drive a stake through the heart of self – a painful and determined dying to me that must be a part of every day I live.” Louie Giglio

 

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
Nelson Mandela 

When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.
Billy Graham 

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” 
― Henry Ford

 

“The best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or to spend time denouncing it, but to lay a straight stick alongside it” 
― D.L. Moody

 

“Because God has made us for Himself, our hearts are restless until they rest in Him.” 
― Augustine of Hippo

 

“The irony is that while God doesn’t need us but still wants us, we desperately need God but don’t really want Him most of the time.” 
― Francis Chan

 

“Anything under God’s control is never out of control.” 
― Charles R. Swindoll

 

“I want neither a terrorist spirituality that keeps me in a perpetual state of fright about being in right relationship with my heavenly Father nor a sappy spirituality that portrays God as such a benign teddy bear that there is no aberrant behavior or desire of mine that he will not condone. I want a relationship with the Abba of Jesus, who is infinitely compassionate with my brokenness and at the same time an awesome, incomprehensible, and unwieldy Mystery. ” 
― Brennan Manning

 

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May this be the attitude of my heart today!

“To those I may have wronged, I ask forgiveness.

To those I may have helped, I wish I did more.

To those I have neglected to help, I ask for understanding.

To those who helped me, I sincerely thank you so much!”

I read this quote today on Facebook from Danny Dawdy and Social Justice Solutions and it described my heart so well. I pray that the people I meet over the next 10 days of this year will know that this is the way I feel. 

Your friend and partner in ministry!

Scott

 

 

 

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Eyes of the Beholder

by Logan McElroy

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

False.  It isn’t.  Can we please throw this out the window?  When you first hear this, it sounds like a good thing.  Meaning beauty is subjective.  To one person beauty may be different than it is to another. But is it really?  Do we truly believe that?  Sure doesn’t seem like it.

Last night, Victoria’s Secret put on a fashion show for the entire world to see (Insert a Victoria and her secret [or lack thereof] joke here).   And twitter blew up.  The Internet probably did too.  I didn’t see it.  And not to say I turned my back or refused to watch, I simply had plans.  Honestly, if I had been home and been without plans, I probably would have tuned in at least for a little bit.  What bothered me the most though, were just all the comments and thoughts on twitter.

READ MORE

 

link provided your friends at ymnow.com 🙂

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Jon Foreman

“Nietzsche said “without music, life would be a mistake. And, though I’ve made plenty of mistakes in music and in life, I think I agree with him. Music has given me a language that words cannot. In many ways, my life lessons have been music lessons: the song has taught me how to live and life has taught me how to sing. I want you to join me in my music lessons. I want to convince you that the your song is important.” Jon Foreman

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Atheist ‘Megachurches’ Crop Up Around The World

LOS ANGELES — LOS ANGELES (AP) — It looked like a typical Sunday morning at any mega-church. Hundreds packed in for more than an hour of rousing music, an inspirational sermon, a reading and some quiet reflection. The only thing missing was God.

Dozens of gatherings dubbed “atheist mega-churches” by supporters and detractors are springing up around the U.S. after finding success in Great Britain earlier this year. The movement fueled by social media and spearheaded by two prominent British comedians is no joke.

On Sunday, the inaugural Sunday Assembly in Los Angeles attracted more than 400 attendees, all bound by their belief in non-belief. Similar gatherings in San Diego, Nashville, New York and other U.S. cities have drawn hundreds of atheists seeking the camaraderie of a congregation without religion or ritual.

The founders, British duo Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans, are currently on a tongue-in-cheek “40 Dates, 40 Nights” tour around the U.S. and Australia to drum up donations and help launch dozens of Sunday Assemblies. They hope to raise more than $800,000 that will help atheists launch their pop-up congregations around the world.

They don’t bash believers but want to find a new way to meet likeminded people, engage in the community and make their presence more visible in a landscape dominated by faith.

Jones got the first inkling for the idea while leaving a Christmas carol concert six years ago.

“There was so much about it that I loved, but it’s a shame because at the heart of it, it’s something I don’t believe in,” Jones said. “If you think about church, there’s very little that’s bad. It’s singing awesome songs, hearing interesting talks, thinking about improving yourself and helping other people — and doing that in a community with wonderful relationships. What part of that is not to like?”

The movement dovetails with new studies showing an increasing number of Americans are drifting from any religious affiliation.

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released a study last year that found 20 percent of Americans say they have no religious affiliation, an increase from 15 percent in the last five years. Pew researchers stressed, however, that the category also encompassed majorities of people who said they believed in God but had no ties with organized religion and people who consider themselves “spiritual” but not “religious.”

Sunday Assembly — whose motto is Live Better, Help Often, Wonder More — taps into that universe of people who left their faith but now miss the community church provided, said Phil Zuckerman, a professor of secular studies at Pitzer College in Claremont.

It also plays into a feeling among some atheists that they should make themselves more visible. For example, last December, an atheist in Santa Monica created an uproar — and triggered a lawsuit — when he set up a godless display amid Christian nativity scenes that were part of a beloved, decades-old tradition.

“In the U.S., there’s a little bit of a feeling that if you’re not religious, you’re not patriotic. I think a lot of secular people say, ‘Hey, wait a minute. We are charitable, we are good people, we’re good parents and we are just as good citizens as you and we’re going to start a church to prove it,” said Zuckerman. “It’s still a minority, but there’s enough of them now.”

That impulse, however, has raised the ire of those who have spent years pushing back against the idea that atheism itself is a religion.

“The idea that you’re building an entire organization based on what you don’t believe, to me, sounds like an offense against sensibility,” said Michael Luciano, a self-described atheist who was raised Roman Catholic but left when he became disillusioned.

“There’s something not OK with appropriating all of this religious language, imagery and ritual for atheism.”

That sentiment didn’t seem to detract from the excitement Sunday at the inaugural meeting in Los Angeles.

Hundreds of atheists and atheist-curious packed into a Hollywood auditorium for a boisterous service filled with live music, moments of reflection and an “inspirational talk, ” and some stand-up comedy by Jones, the movement’s co-founder.

During the service, attendees stomped their feet, clapped their hands and cheered as Jones and Evans led the group through rousing renditions of “Lean on Me,” ”Here Comes the Sun” and other hits that took the place of gospel songs. Congregants dissolved into laughter at a get-to-know-you game that involved clapping and slapping the hands of the person next to them and applauded as members of the audience spoke about community service projects they had started in LA.

At the end, volunteers passed cardboard boxes for donations as attendees mingled over coffee and pastries and children played on the floor.

For atheist Elijah Senn, the morning was perfect.

“I think the image that we have put forward in a lot of ways has been a scary, mean, we want to tear down the walls, we want to do destructive things kind of image is what a lot of people have of us,” he said. “I’m really excited to be able to come together and show that it’s not about destruction. It’s about making things and making things better.”

 

By GILLIAN FLACCUS 11/10/13 04:46 PM ET EST AP

Link provided by your friends at ymnow.com 🙂

 

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Why Switchfoot won’t sing Christian songs

Lead singer Jon Foreman was asked if Switchfoot is a “Christian” band.His response is worth pondering.

“To be honest, this question grieves me because I feel that it represents a much bigger issue than simply a couple SF tunes. In true Socratic form, let me ask you a few questions: Does Lewis or Tolkien mention Christ in any of their fictional series? Are Bach’s sonata’s Christian? What is more Christ-like, feeding the poor, making furniture, cleaning bathrooms, or painting a sunset? There is a schism between the sacred and the secular in all of our modern minds.

The view that a pastor is more ‘Christian’ than a girls volleyball coach is flawed and heretical. The stance that a worship leader is more spiritual than a janitor is condescending and flawed. These different callings and purposes further demonstrate God’s sovereignty.

Many songs are worthy of being written. Switchfoot will write some, Keith Green, Bach, and perhaps yourself have written others. Some of these songs are about redemption, others about the sunrise, others about nothing in particular: written for the simple joy of music.

READ THE FULL article here …

 

Link provided by your friends at ymnow.com 🙂

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Waves of Mercy

I’m amazed again today at the life Jesus lived on earth, how he responded to people, the way he felt about money, and His amazing transforming power.

Mark 5 paints this incredible picture.

There was a man locked in a graveyard. Tormented day and night. Rejected by society. Alone. Hurting.

Then Jesus rolled in like an all consuming wave.

Jesus confronts the man’s torment and brings him life.

Before Jesus, the man was literally walking among the dead and without hope. He spent his days looking beyond the walls of his torment and without a doubt, wanting a better life.

After Jesus, we see this same man sitting down (a place of rest), dressed (earthly needs more than taken care of), and in his right mind (at peace with himself and his creator).

Truth like this jumps off the page to me because so many of us are just like the man before he met Jesus. We may not be walking in graves like what we picture with tombs and head stones, but our graveyard is still a place filled with spiritually dead people. Dead people in need of Jesus.

Our solution is to run to Jesus and fall at his feet just like our friend in Mark chapter 5.

I believe, and can speak from experience, that the freedom we all seek is only found in Jesus.

And there’s one more thing … Jesus made a massive statement about earthly possessions by casting demons into a herd of pigs and sending them off to their death.

These pigs represented many things, but maybe the greatest was their monetary value to the people who owned them.

I believe Jesus wanted them to know that He is the true source of life and peace … I believe he wants us to know the same thing today.

Jesus is all and has all we need for life today … We don’t need more stuff on earth to find our peace and our healing … What we need is to rest at his feet and let his consuming wave of mercy roll over us like only it can.

———————

Thank you Jesus for Scripture! For in it we find life that is truly life!

 

__________________

Have an awesome day!

Scott

AMA’s Imagine Dragons – Radioactive

Taking a great song and adding a new drum twist to it … what a great way to change it up! Good example for the event producers, creative directors and Sunday school teachers! What? Sunday School teachers? Yep … change it up people! Catch someone off guard the next time they gather to learn something in your student ministry!

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#aftertheconference

The conference was amazing and at times it was like drinking from a firehose. One great speaker after another … incredible moments alone with God stacked up like a tower … conversations with likeminded friends that you never want to forget.

The pages of your notebook are full.

So, what do you do with all these notes, this new information, these experiences?

How do you transfer this treasure into the lives of parents, the team you lead, and the students you’ll see at your next gathering?

It’s going to take effort and strategy to move to a new place and transform to a new level in your ministry. So let me give you a few pointers.

 

1. Summarize your notes ::

There’s no doubt that you probably took some notes, scribbled down a new thought, and most likely tried hard to take what your ears were processing and put it down on paper.

Information like this is rare and way too valuable to let slip away … so here’s how you can keep that from happening.

First … Take two hours, gather all your notes and put them in one place. Create categories … draw … paint your notes … take a picture of your notes. Do whatever you have do to save them in a way so they can keep on speaking.

A couple creative ideas would be to take your notes app on your iPad and digitize everything. The act of entering this information in a new place will cause this incredible data to not only be stored on your computer, but it will drive the concepts a little deeper in your brain.

You could also take the time to send yourself a series of daily emails containing your notes over the next seven days. Take a few minutes and schedule the emails so they land at a particular time each day. Don’t write them daily … write them all at one time and schedule them to deliver periodically.

The notes you took can and should be a spring for you to drink from for years to come.

 

2. Build a working list of pieces of the conference you want to hold onto.

Here’s a short bullet point list of simple things you can use to get started.

  • What resource ministries do you think can help you?
  • Write a short paper on what made the conference a great conference.
  • What creative things did you see that are easily transferable to your ministry?
  • What relationships would you like to build?
  • What books do you want to add to to your reading list?
  • What website do you need to bookmark?

 

3. Share what you’re learning with someone who couldn’t attend.

There’s nothing more exciting than sharing your conference experience with a friend. Schedule a lunch or a meeting long enough for you to unpack what you learned with them. Help them see what you see. Let them ask questions. Brainstorm.

Maybe something will surface that could ignite a movement in your city!

 

Finally, conferences have shaped lives and generated motion that has truly impacted entire generations …

Here’s to hoping it can happen again with you!

Scott

Personal God

Thinking about the greatness of a personal God today!

A God who holds us. A God who surrounds us with purity, hope, justice and peace.

A God who is full of all that is right and perfect. A God who knows all … is all .. controls all.

A loving Father.

A God who is so far above yet right in the middle of everything we face.

A God who sits on high and LONGS — to be good to us!

I’m challenged today in this ridiculously busy time of life to find the time to meditate on this awesome, personal God — who — cares — for — me … and loves the people I will cross paths with today!

Rest in His greatness!

sb

old news but interesting for now!

Check this out as you get ready for the weekend!

See the video here!

#THREE

Do these three things before you do your next talk!

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Start early.
It takes great communicators several weeks to prepare an effective message. Those who regularly stand in front of crowds with something to say have been thinking about, meditating on, studying, and examining their content for days. It is part of them and it flows like something they know, they believe, and are passionate about.

Don’t wing it.
You may get by with it a few times, but if you really think you can deliver a diet of half-baked talks that you really don’t know or maybe even don’t believe, then . . . well . . . I think you are most likely mistaken. One could even argue that people who wing it :: trust in themselves, don’t truly value their position, and aren’t honoring the audience. This is harsh, but it is borderline disrespect to stand in front of them and make it up as you go. You can do so much better than that.

Get help.
Get help as you prepare your next talk. Teams make things great. Inventions with impact are created by groups of people. Ideas that move a generation rarely flow out of individuals. The same is true for a great talk. Get together with a few people you have chemistry with and build the talk together. Get input, do research, brainstorm, create, craft, and form the message. It’s fun. You’ll grow. The group will feel empowered. Your audience will love it.

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Volunteer Training at its finest!

Check out our friends over at www.volunteeru.com.

They’ve got everything you need to see incredible, revolutionary, and world changing ideas for you and your volunteers!

GOSPEL-FUELED COURAGE

What motivated the early church to press on under threat of rejection, persecution, and death? It’s the same thing we need to overcome our fear of sharing the gospel with our neighbors—gospel courage.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE 🙂

Never Say this to Your Daughter

Our good friend Andy Blanks has some awesome advice to parents of girls!

Read it here!

Faithful to the End, an Interview with Eugene Peterson

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Eugene Peterson is one of the best known theologians of our time. Most famous for penning The Message, a contemporary rendering of the Bible, he is also author of many popular books such as A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. With the release of his memoir, The Pastor, Peterson has begun reflecting on life and the ways in which Jesus-followers can respond to God’s call. Here, we discuss his unlikely call to ministry, the work of a pastor and what, if anything, he wishes he could change about The Message. SEE MORE HERE

Gasp by Tony Nolan

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GASP! You will spend forever somewhere: How to make sure it’s heaven

Tragically, most of our loved ones are going to hell. GASP! is a book that can help change their eternity. Hundreds of thousands have experience salvation through the content of this book. Get GASP! and give it to your loved ones so you can enjoy forever together. Learn More

Catalyst 2013

“When you lead authentically, with an inner confidence birthed by your Creator, when you are willing to be true and vulnerable before God and others, you become a leader without pretense. A leader worth following. You can only know where you are headed, when you know where you’ve come from.” Catalyst Leader

Be a part of changing the world! ENJOY HERE

 

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John 3

There was a man of the Pharisee sect, Nicodemus, a prominent leader among the Jews. Late one night he visited Jesus and said, “Rabbi, we all know you’re a teacher straight from God. No one could do all the God-pointing, God-revealing acts you do if God weren’t in on it.”

Jesus said, “You’re absolutely right. Take it from me: Unless a person is born from above, it’s not possible to see what I’m pointing to—to God’s kingdom.”

“How can anyone,” said Nicodemus, “be born who has already been born and grown up? You can’t re-enter your mother’s womb and be born again. What are you saying with this ‘born-from-above’ talk?”

Jesus said, “You’re not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation—the ‘wind-hovering-over-the-water’ creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life—it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. When you look at a baby, it’s just that: a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can’t see and touch—the Spirit—and becomes a living spirit.

“So don’t be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be ‘born from above’—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s headed next. That’s the way it is with everyone ‘born from above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God.”

Nicodemus asked, “What do you mean by this? How does this happen?”

Jesus said, “You’re a respected teacher of Israel and you don’t know these basics? Listen carefully. I’m speaking sober truth to you. I speak only of what I know by experience; I give witness only to what I have seen with my own eyes. There is nothing secondhand here, no hearsay. Yet instead of facing the evidence and accepting it, you procrastinate with questions. If I tell you things that are plain as the hand before your face and you don’t believe me, what use is there in telling you of things you can’t see, the things of God?

“No one has ever gone up into the presence of God except the One who came down from that Presence, the Son of Man. In the same way that Moses lifted the serpent in the desert so people could have something to see and then believe, it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up—and everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life.

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

“This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.”