SGI National Conference – January 4-6, 2010

On January 4-6, 2010, hundreds of college students and young adults will gather in the metro Detroit area for the SGI National Conference under the theme: “God’s Armor: Put It On.” It is crucial for future leaders to understand what God’s Word says about Jesus, the gospel, the church, missions, and their lives. Student Global Impact is here to mobilize students to that end.

Join us as we focus on the Word through preaching; practical and academic workshops on missions issues; and fellowship with other young adults who love Jesus and his gospel.

Details here

If interested in attending, please contact Jim Peet. We will see if we can put a group together! Thanks

A Mother’s touch: Eight More Questions

JP: A followup to 8 Questions I’m going to ask. Also consider: Preparing for Marriage? Ask these questions ….

I’ve Got A Few Questions of my Own…

Excerpt:

  1. Do you know how to run a vacuum cleaner? Any experience at it? What about a dishwasher? I’m more concerned with your familiarity with and awareness of helping another than with pristine cleanliness. Do you know how to set your own ‘higher’ pursuits aside to help out another, even in the menial and domestic arenas of life?
  2. Do you know what a Hallmark card is, what its appropriate use is, and do you have any experience in this cultural expression of thoughtfulness? The specific means is not mandated in Scripture (go ahead & rent a billboard, if you prefer), but the principle of selfless consideration of another, thankfulness for another and sharing in another’s joy/celebration or sorrow/burden is a part of Biblical love.
  3. How well acquainted are you with the ‘off’ button of your video game system? (And I realize Wii is not the enemy; it could easily be computers or Nascar or….sports?) We all have our ‘down time’ relaxation and/or ‘escape’ activities. But, do you control them to maintain an appropriate balance or do they control you to reveal where your heart’s love is really focused?
  4. Do you give a gift to your mother on her birthday and Christmas? Have you learned the discipline of not just stating your love/affection/appreciation but demonstrating it? And giving forethought so that you can show it in a way that she enjoys, and not merely what was on the end rack of Target when you ran in 10 minutes before the store closed?
  5. Do you know how to say, “I’m sorry; I was wrong. Will you forgive me?” God calls everyone to confession and restitution in the face of personal wrong. Have you humbled yourself to develop this discipline in the form of actual spoken words and not expect everyone to just assume this. Or to let yourself try to ‘make up’ for it by increased ‘niceness’ or gifts following an incident. Sin is sin. God requires nothing short of admission, confession, apology and restitution.
  6. Do you sometimes (often) spend your time and/or money to make someone else happy? Money is money (be wise in its stewardship), but it is only money (invest it in selfless ways as a tool). Using it to brighten another’s day, bring a smile to her face, supply a need of a friend, anonymously bless a stranger’s life ….these are ‘cups of cold water’ given in Jesus’ name. I might be impressed with a tight budget and a deep bank account, but God’s pleasure at ‘Good Samaritan-like generosity and encouragement’ is of eternal benefit.
  7. Do you do ‘No” as well as you do “Yes”? How well do you know delayed (or denied) gratification? Have you cultivated and become friends with self-denial, understanding the greater good in this refusal of immediate desire? From wise budgeting, to parenting, to resisting temptation, to selfless lovemaking (that’s my daughter, you know), this quality will serve you well. Can you smile comfortably in the face of patience (‘wait’) and even denial (‘no’) as a friend?
  8. Do the words ‘thank you’ flow freely and frequently off your lips? Life is filled with undeserved, gracious gifts from others which are ultimately from our good God. We are entitled to none of them. Do you practice this form of simple courtesy that serves as a verbal reminder (both to yourself & the one giving the gift) showing you understand well and appreciate greatly the grace of God in all of this?

Church Body Life, Purpose, Missions, Planning and Prayer

Praying Planning Fellowship Missions

JP: Our study Wednesday night 11/4 will be from Romans 15.

My notes are available here.

America’s Smorgasbord Faith

smorgasbord

JP: Another look at the Newsweek article We Are All Hindus Now. Referenced earlier here. What’s a Smörgåsbord?

Are We Really Hindus? America’s Food-Court Faith

Excerpt:

While the religious foundation of our country is as it has always been, Christian, in the short span of a few decades, we have moved from a religion of confessional creeds to the spiritualization of personal needs, where the question is no longer, “Is it true?” but, “Does it work?”

This has led to a smorgasbord faith that, as Boston University’s Stephen Prothero writes, “is very much in the spirit of Hinduism.” Professor Prothero explains, “If going to yoga works, great—and if going to Catholic mass works, great. And if going to Catholic mass plus the yoga plus the Buddhist retreat works, that’s great, too.”

I suppose if attending mass, doing yoga, retreating with the Buddhists, and viewing some Internet porn works, that’d be great, as well. And if that doesn’t work, there’s always Prozac. With only our felt needs to guide us, who’s to argue?

Yet the restless quest to satisfy our personal needs can never fill our universal need: an abiding relationship with the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In contrast to the “food court” religion of cultural Hinduism, Christianity is a one-stop source of Truth—a Truth that addresses man’s real need, for a Savior and for a way to live that is in harmony with the way things really are.

Christian teachings on the weighty issues of origins, morality, human nature, and ultimate ends form a belief system that is comprehensive in scope, coherent in logic, and livable in practice. It is the only belief system imparting eternal significance to our existence, while enabling us to experience peace, joy, and security even when our felt-needs go unmet. That’s because Christianity is for others—it is what we do for others because of what God has done for us.

For that reason, Christians must not yield to the social taboo of vocalizing one’s faith out of deference to the religious sensibilities of others. If, indeed, Christianity offers the best answers for the mysteries of life, it would be insensitive, even uncaring, toward our neighbors to shrink back from speaking a word of truth into their lives.

Source: BreakPoint which is the worldview ministry of Prison Fellowship Ministries. Our mission is to seek the transformation of believers as they apply biblical thinking to all of life, enabling them to transform their communities through the grace and truth of Jesus Christ. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print.

On people who insist we are “simply anthropoid apes”

JP: Interesting read from Christianity today

When Atheists Believe

Excerpts:

Well-known [atheist] scholar Antony Flew was the first, saying he had to go “where the evidence [led].” Evolutionary theory, he concluded, has no reasonable explanation for the origin of life. When I met with Flew in Oxford, he told me that while he had not come to believe in the biblical God, he had concluded that atheism is not logically sustainable.

A. N. Wilson … noticed that the people who insist we are “simply anthropoid apes” cannot account for things as basic as language, love, and music. That, along with the “even stronger argument” of how the “Christian faith transforms individual lives,” convinced Wilson that “the religion of the incarnation … is simply true.”

Matthew Parris, another well-known British atheist, made the mistake of visiting Christian aid workers in Malawi, where he saw the power of the gospel transforming them and others. Concerned with what he saw, he wrote that it “confounds my ideological beliefs, stubbornly refuses to fit my worldview, and has embarrassed my growing belief that there is no God.” While Parris is unwilling to follow where his observations lead, he is obviously wrestling with how Christianity makes better sense of the world than other worldviews.

The Law of Liberty and Love

This week (10/28), we conclude our study of Romans 14.

My notes are available here.

Eight Questions I’m Going to Ask

JP: Jon Pratt asks

Eight Questions I’m Going to Ask the Young Man Who Wants to Marry My Daughter

Excerpts:

  1. Do you love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength?
  2. Are you committed to the local church?
  3. Do you know what love is?
  4. Do you know how to lead?
  5. Do you live out godly character?
  6. Are you in a position to financially support my daughter?
  7. Can you identify my daughter’s weaknesses and sin struggles?
  8. Are you ready to be a parent?