I received a call last night after The Rock. I'm never sure what's going to happen when I get these calls, from parents/guardians, immediately after The Rock. If it's a student they usually text, parents call. Imagine that.
The call was encouraging but also a reminder to be very clear when giving illustrations! Last night we began walking through what CLEAN means. Clean is our theme for this year and deals with the calling to be holy, pure as we live. The first step in CLEAN is to BE CLEAN. As we learned last night this is something we can't do ourselves. We only bring dirt to the situation....God brings the CLEANING. So our only responsibility is BEing CLEANed is to come to the Father.
In the beginning, at salvation, He cleans us and makes us as white as snow. We take on His righteousness and are forever His child. But then we know sin is still a struggle right? From time to time we fall into sin and there is a need to seek forgiveness, to BE CLEANed. That is what is going on in Psalm 51. David, a child of God, is in sin. His response is the only good response he could have; go to the Father.
The better explanation of the illustration occurred here. We know the need of reconciliation within marriages and relationships. A husband and wife do not always get along right? Right? We know that small issues and big issues creep in and it hinders the relationship. Now, in the midst of that argument, strife, friction the two people are still married right? But the relationship is a little hindered by these issues. What needs to happen is reconciliation. Things to be renewed, made right. This is a great illustration of our need to continually go to the Father to seek forgiveness when we've sinned. In a marriage both make mistakes so both need to apologize. In our relationship with God only one sins and seeks forgiveness, us.
The call from the parent/guardian was to inform me that their student, when asked to talk about what they learned that night, came away with this:
FYI - Suzanne and I are better than ever! I only throw about 4 plates and 2 glasses around each week.
I have attached the sermon notes for you to keep up with what we're going through each night at The Rock. I encourage you to read through them, learn with us. It's also a great way to know exactly what we're discussing! Ha.
Social Networking is a blessing and a curse. The blessings often are overshadowed by the curses.....the bad. I have, an and am active on, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. I love seeing the thoughts, updates, encouraging words, pictures and having conversations with people I typically couldn't have conversations with on normal basis. That's the good. But then there's always a potentially bad side. It breaks my heart to see many of the posts....particularly pictures that some of our students post. There are many good posts as well. But it seems the bad overshadows the good many times. I'll mention a questionable post to them and sometimes there's an explanation or two. "I didn't realize my butt was hanging out of my shorts." "I didn't know he was shooting a bird." "I didn't realize the rest of those lyrics were filled with sexual talk or cuss words." Some are innocent/honest and some are cover ups. Not my job to discern and heal the heart. It is my job to invest in the lives of students and help them know and follow Christ.
But I wanted to encourage you as parents to follow your students. I'm not going to follow them and report details. I don't like the idea of being a spy. My thinking is that if your student (child) has any of the social networking accounts you as a parent need to also have that account and you need to follow or friend them. This doesn't mean you have to "like" or comment on everything, that could/would be embarrassing. Even if their post or action embarrasses us we may need to respond in a bigger way. Teach them how to handle issues. But it does mean that at any time you see something that represents Christ, the Church, your family in a bad way....you pull the plug or at least deal with it.
I'm not convinced all of our parents are aware of what students are posting. In a year in which we're striving to teach what "CLEAN" is all about I see the great opportunity to "CLEAN" up our social networking. We'll talk about it at The Rock but I wanted to remind you that you may want to brush up on those Instagram skills.
Is this something you need help with?
Do we need a Social Networking Class?
Are you aware of measures you can take with your student and their phone?
Do you realize that by them having a device that connects to wifi they essentially have a gateway to anything in this world? Any information, picture, videos can be accessed. Yes....they can watch sermons but they could also watch porn.
SO....if you made it this far....is this a struggle? is this something you need help with?
Would a night together discussing and learning about this help you?
Let me know by responding and we'll work together to a God glorifying end.
MEET & GREET - this Sunday
This Sunday is our MEET & GREET. This is a time where you can meet some of the workers and find out what our student ministry is all about. It's also a time where you can sign up for our two big trips: REFUEL & Summer Camp.
If you place a $20 deposit for Summer Camp you get $15 off the regular price of $215. Unfortunately there is no discount for the Refuel trip but your deposit does help us plan accordingly. We will be located in the Cafe in the bottom foyer. Please come by and say hello this Sunday after our AM service.
*The Summer Camp discounts are given to all deposits placed in the month of September.
*Summer camp cost - $200 (September) $215 (October-May 17th) $230 (after May17th) *Refuel cost - $125
We officially kicked off our new year last night in sour fashion....if you happened to have gotten the sour blast snow cone! I went with Red Raspberry. Why is there a "p" in raspberry?
Last night's goal was really simple...briefly talk about where we're going this year for our teaching and what the word "CLEAN" actually means
The opposite of clean is dirty? The opposite of dirty is what God desires our life to look like. He tells us this in Leviticus and then Peter reminds us in his letter.
"Just as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct" 1 Peter 1:15
Another way to say "HOLY" is "CLEAN." So this year we're all about how we are CLEANED and how we are to live CLEAN.
Three simply statements: Be Clean, Live Clean, Bring Clean.
When you were young you remember coming in the house and just being flat out nasty. Many of us still enter the house this way don't we? But your mom...or wife....would tell you tog et back out and do what? CLEAN UP. It wasn't a fun chore. It took time, effort but it was something you could do. The worst thing I ever heard my mother say to me was "go take a shower." I really despised hearing those words and am reminded of that pain nearly every Saturday when it shower night in our home! Ok, we shower more often than just Saturdays.
The point is this. We know what it means to be clean. We are used to doing this ourselves but spiritually God is the only one who can make us clean. His grace, mercy and provision allow us to stand before Him holy, clean. The hard part is the next step. We're used to moms announcing dinner is ready and we know what's next....go wash your hands....clean up for supper! There is responsibility. Spiritually there is responsibility for us to LIVE CLEAN. God does the initial cleaning but then we are expected and equipped to LIVE in a way that is CLEAN. To be salt and light in order to honor God....that is our goal and calling.
So this year we dig deep into practical ways we can live......we'll dig into things we struggle with day to day. These things easily tear us down, make us dirty and often bring us to our lowest point. The call is to come clean, allow God to do what only He can do and then go and sin no more.....LIVE CLEAN. And then we simply BRING Clean to every situation we face, big or small. We see things that are wrong and we take Christ there.
I'm excited for our year together and also a little nervous as we press in on issues that are not very comfortable. God's word speaks to these....so join me in prayer as we face them.
I'll blame the start of football for my lack of posting last week! By the way...college football officially gets kicked off tonight! Right now you're either really excited or really depressed.
We finished our series HE>i last night by looking at 2 things that we must understand in order to live a life that says HE>i. Last week we looked at 2 other things that will help. I'll attached both sermons below for you to look through and be encouraged and challenged.
Basically the main point for the entire HE>i series is this:
We must stop looking to this world to give us what only Christ can bring.
It seems we are always struggling to find in Christ all we need. The call is to decrease, John 3:30. But isn't this hard? We look for meaning, purpose, identity, love and fulfillment from things of this world. Sure, they bring some joy and some love and all of the rest....but ultimately they leave us unsatisfied. They bring things but they don't ultimately bring what we need. Christ does.
In order to help us as we strive to live a HE>i life we must understand 4 things. There are more than 4 but for the sake of time and in order to teach through these in 2 weeks, we chose 4.
1. Understand we are meant to be spent for God and His glory.
2. Understand our greatest identity is found in Christ.
3. Understand that we must trust the truths of God's Word. TRUST & OBEY
4. Understand that who I choose to call friends have a huge impact on my life.
Like I said, there are more we could cover but these are foundational for students and even for adults. Feel free to see the details in the sermon notes which are attached.
Next week we kick off our new year and new theme and enjoy some sno-cones, snow cones, sno=kones, or snokones. I've heard grumblings over the spelling! For the record I got the spelling from the image I was using. Pick your battles...
MEET & GREET
September 11th we'll have our annual meet and greet in the Cafe and bottom lobby. This is a chance to say hello and give you an opportunity to ask questions, meet some folks and get a discount on our 2 retreats. By giving a $20 deposit you get a $10 discount on either trip price. Deposits must be made for both trips to get a discount for both trips. Hope to see you there!
Why a blog?
A great way for parents and ministry to connect and continue the conversation of what's going on at The Rock.