Apply What You Know

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On ESPN, there is a segment called “Did You Know?” It is a segment full of stats that you can either find interesting or you may think, “Why do they keep track of that?” Right now, we are going to have one of those segments.

Did you know… there are 1,189 chapters in the Bible? Did you know… the Bible is about 800,000 words long and if the average person reads 250-300 words per minute; it would take about 3,200 minutes or 54 hours to read the whole Bible. So… reading 15 hours per day = 4 days. Did you know… that if I heard a sermon from 1 chapter of the Bible per week, I would hear a sermon from each chapter of the Bible in 23 years?

Why am I giving you all these useless stats?

This past weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to go to CIY with about a dozen Jr. High students.  The speaker at the conference, Robert Watson, made an easy connection with our students and me. He said, “If you want to grow, apply what you know.”

I got to thinking about how much of the Bible I do know. Then I got to thinking about all the different messages I have heard and all the lessons I’ve learned along the way. I’m only 26, and feel like I have a pretty good understanding of what God tells us in His Word. Now obviously, we’re not likely to hear a sermon on Genesis 10, because we could care less that Cush was the father of a great warrior named Nimrod. So, we aren’t going to hear a sermon from every single chapter in the Bible.

With that being said, most sermons talk about the love of God. Sermons on the love of God are the most popular because that is probably one of the most important, if not the most important message in the Bible.

I say all of this because if we go back to, “If you want to grow, apply what you know.” Every one of us who has been in church maybe only two weeks could tell someone else about God’s love for us. We will get into these habits of just trying to better ourselves and understand every little thing about the Bible. What if we took a different direction of APPLYING what we have found in God’s scripture and going out and making disciples? The relationships all around us of people who don’t know God and reaching out to them is just as important as sitting here at church on a Sunday morning hearing a sermon.

Some of us have heard thousands of sermons, and I’m not saying that we need to stop having sermons on Sundays. I am saying to take what we know from all the sermons, all the lessons, all of the wisdom we have from reading scripture and take it out into the world.

“If you want to grow, APPLY what you know.”

 

God Bless,

Heath Clark

Youth & Family Minister     

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A hard RESET

Reset

Have you ever wanted a “reset” in life? I remember growing up I was a pretty avid gamer. The graphics on Pitfall were amazing! What I remember is that if you got in a jam on the game or maybe if the game froze up, there was a simple thing that you did. You just hit the reset button and you got a fresh start. Game on!

When it comes to life, we all wish we could hit that reset button. I know that in my ministry throughout the years I have let a lot of people down. I am sure that through the years I have hurt my family by not being there when I should have been. There are many days that my spiritual life has been pretty weak at best and I have rushed into my day without asking for God’s guidance. There are times when I have said something and the moment I said it I wished I had never spoken. It would be easier to put the toothpaste back in the tube, but the real truth is we can’t even put the toothpaste lid back on let alone back in the tube.

Life can be pretty messy and we end up hurting people along the way. I’ll never forget my first day on the job working at Bethel IGA. I was the new guy so I was told to fill the milk, which was the rookie job. I had to load the crates up on a two-wheeler and take them out about six to eight crates high. Everyone was scrambling around to get their work done so we could get out of there at 10 o’clock.  Of course, I was moving quickly too with that awkward first day on the job trying to impress everyone urgency. Did I mention that I was a rookie already? Did I mention that it was the first day on the job and that I was trying to really impress the boss?  Did I mention that you are supposed to hold the crates of milk as you pull back on the two-wheeler so the crates don’t fall over? Well, no one mentioned it to me on that day either so the next question is, do you know how much square footage about 20 gallons of busted milk will cover? Go home today and bust just one gallon on your kitchen floor to see. Needless to say it was in that moment I desperately needed a reset button. I cringed in that moment and felt pretty stupid. Also, by the way, my big brother worked there too and in that moment he did not have the gift of encouragement.

It’s one of those experiences I can laugh about today. In life however there are really messy hurts and brokenness that we don’t forget. There are moments when we let someone down and created a real mess for their lives. Even if you have done that, you may not be able to change what you did but can I tell you about the greatest reset button of ALL time? Jesus Christ on the cross said “IT is finished”, and with that for those who put their trust in him, RESET!!!

Psalm 103:11-12

“For His unfailing love toward those who fear Him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.”

RESET!!!

Revelation 21:5 (ESV)

“And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

RESET!!!

May we learn to live and trust in those words,  RESET!

Brian White

 

 

INCREASING ONE’S LEADERSHIP EFFECTIVINESS

Several years ago I purchased and read John Maxwell’s book, The Five Levels of Leadership. The essence of that book is worth sharing with anyone who desires to increase the quality of his/her leadership whether in the home, in the church, at work, or in the community. It is not the title of leadership that makes one an effective leader; it is the strength of relationships that enables one to lead effectively.

True leadership isn’t a matter of having been given a certain job or title. In fact, being chosen for a position is only the first of the five levels every effective leader achieves. To become more than “the boss” who people follow only because they are required to, you have to master the ability to invest in people and inspire them to move beyond status quo. A leader is one who takes others where they would not go on their own. If they would, they would not need a leader.

To grow further in your role, you must achieve results and build a team of others who produce. You need to help people to develop their skills to become leaders in their own right. And if you have the skill and dedication, you can reach the pinnacle of leadership – where experience will allow you to extend your influence beyond your immediate reach and time for the benefit of others.

The 5 Levels of Leadership are:

                  FIVE LEVELS OF LEADERSHIP

  1. Position – People follow because they have to.
  2. Permission – People follow because they want to.
  3. Production – People have respect and follow because of what you have done for the organization.
  4. People Development – People follow because of what you have done for them personally.
  5. Pinnacle – People follow because of who you are and what you represent.

 

It is character, authenticity, trustworthiness, passion for others, and absence of pride that fashions a person to become one who is respected and safe to follow anywhere.

 

Dean Hammond

What Steps Will You Take?

imagesHave you ever wondered about the feeling of being in outer space? As a child I’m sure a lot of us looked up at the sky at night and wondered what was going on up there with all the flashing stars, and the moon and the clouds, and trying comprehend it all. Or have you wondered about the feeling of Neil Armstrong when he took the first step on the moon, or John Glenn to be the first to orbit the whole earth. Imagine the preparation of math and science and not really having much of a trial run on missions for something that had never been done before. Imagine those men going farther away from home that any man had ever gone. And the chance of losing their lives for the sake of advancing the knowledge of what we know of the universe today.

Both of those men whether you knew it or not lived by Christian standards. Both of them were from Ohio and both of them knew what courage was. I want to share an encouraging story of Neil Armstrong that we can all learn from as we strive to know what it truly means to be disciples of Jesus Christ.

Neil Armstrong was taken on a tour of the old city of Jerusalem by Israeli archeologist Meir Ben-Dov. When they got to the Hulda Gate, which is at the top of the stairs leading to the Temple Mount, Armstrong asked Ben-Dov whether Jesus had stepped anywhere around there.

“These are the steps that lead to the temple,” Ben-Dov told him, “so He must have walked here many times.”

Armstrong then asked Ben-Dov if those were the original stairs and Ben-Dov confirmed that they were indeed.

“So Jesus stepped right here,” Armstrong asked. “That’s right,” answered Ben-Dov.

To which Armstrong, the devout Christian, replied, “I have to tell you, I am more excited stepping on these stones than when I was stepping on the moon.”

We can only imagine and wonder what it felt like for Neil to step on the moon, and the feeling he had of going where no one had ever gone before. Neil though was more excited about steps that were already taken.

What kind of incredible steps do you think God has for you? Some of us are just taking that step into our faith of telling others about God! I can attest to not being as bold as I should in my own life. It is my prayer to be so much more courageous and bold to share with others.

Neil Armstrong made history with his steps as, more importantly, did Jesus. You may not be as popular as these men, but your courage to spread the Gospel will be rewarded in heaven; for the work that you have done for God’s kingdom!

 

I leave you with this quote from Erwin McManus: “Would you be willing to give your life to save the world if no one ever knew your name? If anonymity was the price you would have to pay for significance, would it be too great a price? To live a life of courage is not a guarantee of prestige or adulation. It only matters if you live and die fulfilling the mission you were born for.”

 

Heath

 

 

Heath Clark          

Youth & Family Minister