Friday, October 29, 2010


So recently I have heard the quote "God doesn't call the equipped he equips the called" which is a valid statement, thrown around a lot. However, I feel that this leaves an opportunity to not change. We sit and we say "oh God will equip me as I'm called" but we stay in our sin, believing that as he calls us, we will move past the sin.  At least that's how I feel.

This isn't how it works though.  We have to be in a place where we can hear God's call in the first place.  Being there means we have to be seeking after Him.  Seeking after Him means we have to be removing sin, digging into Scripture, praying, ect.

If we just sit here, waiting to be equipped, God will use someone else.  God wants us, to want Him.  I think that that's the hardest thing for me to grasp right now.  God has amazing things, that he will equip us for, but we have to want Him to do that.  If we don't want Him to do amazing things through us, then he won't.  He will leave us in the dust, using people who are willing to do amazing things for Him.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Real Learning

Throughout our lives we hear this term cramming.  You know putting things together at the last minute to try to pull off a successful project or exam score.  When in the long run the benefits of actually learning the material is the better idea.  This is especially true when it comes to prerequisite courses.

I think this happens to us when it comes to church as well.  We spend each Sunday sitting in our seats, hearing the message, but do we apply it?  We spend all this time, "hearing" the message, but when it comes to applying it to our lives its missing.  In order for us to be true Christians we must be applying what we are learning to our lives.

Searching for God

We are often times more focused on being taught about God than being taught by God!

This statement was sent to me by my dad earlier this week.  I don't know if I agree fully with it though.

Sure we go to church and learn about God, typically not focusing on what God is teaching us.  However I feel that the thought is beyond that.  Within our generation it seems that we are searching for information about God and then trying to figure out how it "fits" into our life.

This seems to be the generations reaction to religion and its lack of authenticity, sometimes even lack of theology.  As they search for who God is, they miss the need to be taught by God.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Spiritual Gifts

Some of you have heard this before, everyone has individual spiritual gifts and we are called to use them in unique ways tonight we will look at what spiritual gifts are and then talk about how to apply these gifts to our lives.
We will look at 1 Corinthians 12 to gain a better understanding of what spiritual gifts are.
1Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. 2You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b]11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

1. Wisdom 2. Knowledge 3. Healing 4. Prophecy 5. Discernment 6. Miracles 7. Faith 8. Speaking in Tongues 9. Interpretation of Tongues

Understanding which spiritual gift you relate to the best, as well as understanding how the others work, is integral to your relationship with Christ as well as your position within the body of believers.   Very much like how you understand how to communicate with others, understanding these will allow you to assess how to further reach God’s Kingdom as a whole.

12The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
14Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.16And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" 22On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,23and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues[d]? Do all interpret? 31But eagerly desire[e] the greater gifts.
     And now I will show you the most excellent way.

In the passage from Corinthians it mentions the use of tongues and interpretation of tongues.  In our general theology (as Baptists) we see tongues as different languages.  This meaning that a person speaks in their own language (such as english) and someone is able to understand in another language.  The day of Pentecost at the beginning of Acts is where this is referenced.

As we can see in the passage of scripture read above, everyone has a part in the body of Christ.  As we assess the topic of spiritual gifts the passage in Corinthians you may have heard the gifts mentioned differently than you have before and so now we will look at Romans 12 where they have also been mentioned.

3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his[b]faith. 7If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

1. Prophecy 2. Ministry 3. Teaching 4. Exhortation 5. Giving 6. Leading 7. Mercy

You may be able after hearing these two different passages on spiritual gifts be able to understand where you fit amongst these.  You may also be more lost than ever.  There are several quizzes online built to help you understand what your spiritual gift may be.

As you gain a better knowledge of spiritual gifts, try discussing which gift fits well where, and how group members have seen gifts used effectively before.

 There are several places within the BCM even that you can connect and use your spiritual gifts, these areas include: Evangalism, OutReach, Missions (both International and Local), Noonday, FUEL, Discipleship, DNOW, Intramurals, Church Relations.  As Followers of Christ we are called to be a part of a community of believers. So please don't hesitate to get connected to people in a ministry that uses your spiritual gifts.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Supporting Causes.

So there is a phenom with my generation.  This is the "Causes" phenom.  Supporting different non profits, organizations help people such as social justice,  poverty, ect.  Doing these things make a difference.  This is exciting stuff.

There is a sad part of this however.  The church was meant to do these things.  However, they didn't.  The church did this for a while, but for some reason in recent times they have dropped the ball.  Granted there are pockets that still do, Mission Arlington and The Simple Way to name a few.

Recently I took part in supporting as well.  I purchased a pair of Toms.  But that's not special right?  I think not as well.  The Toms I purchased support bloodwater mission as well.  This is the only reason why I purchased the Toms, because it is supporting another cause, like a double whammy.

I have also recently decided to start sponsoring a compassion child.  This is going to be an exciting journey, however I will write more about that next week..

Which means, to be continued...

Why I write

So I have noticed a change in the way I write.  Not particularly like how I write, but more of in who I target my writing at.  This is an interesting transition.  I began writing in order to try to reach other people.  I felt that I had a message to be shared with the world.  Big dreams, right?  People actually followed too, which was a very interesting phenomenon for me.  At this point I decided to "go big." I created this blog.  It was cool I posted the same things both places pretty much, it was swell.

Then I had to blog for a grade.  This is where things got tricky.  Instead of having the time and thought to put into blogging, I was required to...Now trigger writers block...however this was easy to overcome.  Once you figure out how to blog on command it's actually quite fun.

Something changed though as I began to blog on command...I no longer wrote for others, I wrote to sort my thoughts out.  Writing to sort thoughts out isn't necessarily the funnest thing to read it would appear.  However if you are writing about relevant topics, then people still might read.  But I have noticed that people don't read as much.   Hopefully I will be able to get back to writing for people and thus increase readership.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thoughts on Joining a church

As college students, you are becoming young adults and encouraged to branch out outside of your family and "be on your own" so to speak. This includes finding a church. 

Several things factor into finding a church, including what is the ideal church like and what should I look for in a church.

A great way to look at the church is through the Acts 2 model in verses 42-47. This seems somewhat extreme however, if you pull what comes from it other than "they met everyday" you can see things that should be evident in what kind of church you should join.

A side bar to this, if you are involved in a church you should be a member of that church, meaning if you spend the majority of your time at a church here in town, and are allowing yourself to be used by God at that church, you should be a member there and be tithing ect.

Other examples of churches in NT scripture come from Revelations 2-3.

As you look at these things, weighing what it is that needs to be evident in the church you should join consider these things.

It's not about the music. 
It's about the Holy Spirit, granted we enjoy worshipping to modern music, but if the Holy Spirit is evident in a church that uses hymns, and the other factors line up, then don't allow this to hold you back from joining that church.

Join where your gifts are being used. 
If you just show up on Sundays and Wednesdays and have no affect on the church other than your number, then you may need to question why you are there. Part of being an active member of a church is being involved there. If you know what your spiritual gifts are then that would mean using them in effective ways. If you don't know what those are, come back next week, that's what we will be talking about.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Seven Canons and how they relate to Christianity

I'm writing this for extra credit for class.  I'm going to take the seven canons of journalism and see how we should apply them to our lives as Christians.  I believe this will not only be thought provoking but also a new perspective on how the seven cannons and our Christian walks.

1. Responsibility-Must Consider Public Welfare

This is by far one of the more important canons as it relates to our Christian life.  We are called as Christians to be responsible.  God placed us here to take care of the land and animals, though not our main calling (that being worshipping Him) one of our secondary purposes in our lives is to be stewards of the earth.

We are also called to watch out for the public.  In James it speaks of taking care of the widowed and orphaned.  The church and Christians are supposed to be about watching out for everyone.  We are called to reach everyone, and I would say that this canon right here pretty much fills out that purpose.

2. Freedom of Press-First Amendment Rights should be guarded as vital and unquestionable

For Christians in America I feel we miss this canon some.  There are several things that have happened within the past five years or so that have limited things that were allowed before in relation to religion that have been taken away now, because Christians have not guarded their First Amendment Rights like they could have.

Some would argue that separation of church and state should be present and that is why these things have happened.  Granted this may take part in it, however Christians could at least have stood for the freedoms that they had, however they pretty much just let them slip away, with just small cries against it.

3. Independence-from sources, politics, and advertisers

Politics particularly fit into the Christian side of this.  According to research done for the Fermi project by Barna Group, outsiders (nonChristians) believe that Christians are too political.  I personal believe that politics should stay outside of the church.  I believe that Christians should vote for who God wants them to, but I don't believe they should push their agenda on other people, especially outsiders, seeing as it is a turning point in their focusing on Christ.

4. Sincerity, Truthfulness, and Accuracy-should be the foundation of journalism

I believe this should be the foundation of Christianity as well.  If we are not sincere in what we do then outsiders won't want anything to do with what it is that we believe.  If we are not truthful about what we do then we just feed the "hypocrite" connotation that was also strongly reinforced through the work done by the Fermi Project.  If we are not accurate in what we believe then outsiders will have a hard time believing us as well.  Lee Strobel points out that if Christians had been accurate in what they believed that he would have probably believed a whole lot sooner than he had.

5. Impartiality-News should be free of bias and opinion

I feel sometimes Christians are too impartial. This brings back my assertion in canon number two about loss of freedoms.  If we lived more partial lives that pointed toward Christ then we wouldn't have to worry about many of the other things mentioned below the canon's.  If we stepped up and cared about our beliefs, but weren't insane about it, we would affect the world in a mighty way.

6. Fair Play-Opposing views should be solicited and correct mistakes

Though I feel that we are too impartial, I also feel that we miss fair play a lot.  I think we are impartial with culture but don't enact fair play with other religions.  We see only what we believe and won't entertain the thought of other religions.  This would also point to the main reason why Christians did so poorly on the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey. Simply because Christians won't take the time to learn about other religions and how to effectively relate to them.  If you learn to relate, then people begin to appreciate.

7. Decency-Avoid dirty details

I believe sometimes we try to sugar coat faith.  This canon I believe we should be the opposite of.  I believe that we should throw all the details in we can about faith.  The more a person is able to know the details about their beliefs the better they will be able to communicate it to other people.  This is how others will be able to be effectively reached for the Kingdom.

These seven canons can relate to Christianity.  They are specific to Journalism but can be used for so much more.  I think that looking at them this way not only spices them up, but they also put a new perspective on how we need to be as believers.

Friday, October 15, 2010

You can't write that

So in case you haven't gathered I blog for class, typically I blog about things that are on my mind, however occasionally there are things I am required to blog about.  This post is in response to the topic of "Is Corporations censoring a person or snubbing them a violation of their freedom of speech?"

I would like to look at this from a writers standpoint.  We have spent most of our time in class talking about it in relation to broadcast (radio and television) and so I would like to look on the print side of things.

As journalistic writers we are encouraged to write without bias.  So typically if someone writes a news story without bias, it won't need to be censored because it is written the way that it should be.  However when people write books they can be censored.

This can be looked at from two difference angles.

Corporations refusing to print a writers book without it being edited; as well as, Corporations refusing to sell someones book.

Though the latter is not as prevalent today, there were several books that the U.S. government banned or censored that it was illegal to own in America.  There are though books that are still censored in some places (mainly libraries) in America.  This would be the second form of censorship I was talking about.  Here is an "up to date" list.

The first one is even more prevalent.  Where editors for publishing groups tell writers that they will not be published if they don't change what they have written.  This form of censorship I feel is more of a violation than the one mentioned above.  The one above means that the books have made it past publishing.  This second one, lays out a line saying it will not be published unless it is edited.  This I feel is definitely a violation of peoples freedom of speech.  Especially when the person is not paid by the publishing company, but instead are looking for someone to publish them.  I don't feel that someone should be denied printing of a book, simply because the editor or publishing company does not want it to be printed.  Attached is an interesting article about the matter.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


So occasionally I will remark to someone "I have no friends" to which they will reply, "but I'm your friend."

The thing though is, I have many acquaintances, I have many of friends, however close, deep friendships I lack.  This is what I mean when I say "I have no friends"  This is one of those times when a word has more than one meaning.

There are two things that I believe have brought me to the point that I'm at.  Both of which I will present and then discuss some.

Being busy.  I'm constantly on go.  Most people would say that being busy would cause you to lose friends.  However when you only have a few close friends in the first place I don't believe you can lose friends or not be able to gain friends because of being too busy.  You just have to be willing to work with your friends in your schedule.  I say this with confidence because just recently I have begun having new people in my life and I believe that we are becoming friends and everything is working out even though I am extremely busy.  Which means any people I have been friends with before, have moved on either for their own reasons or because they no longer wish to try in our friendship.

The second thing would be because I'm in ministry.  This is another thing that I believe is a myth.  However everyone I know says that when you are in ministry you have few friends.  They say that people don't want to be your friend because they view you as better than them, or more nicely put, not on the same level as you.  They feel that you are no longer to relate. I believe these are things that aren't true because we are all overall considered to be ministers.

Which brings me to question whether it might just be me that's the problem

Monday, October 11, 2010

Conference Time!

So I missed Catalyst this year...What a bummer.  However I was at a different leadership conference of sorts this weekend.  I was at SWACUHO.  A conference designated for Resident Assistants from Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

We go to conferences to learn things.  I'm sure that if I had gone to Catalyst I would have learned some pretty phenomenal things.  I know I learned some pretty great things pertaining to my job by attending SWACUHO..

However, with many conferences we attend, listen, and then forget.  To this I say, what's the point?  Granted I will forget things about the conference that I just attended.  But, I do have ideas for pretty much every door dec I'm going to have to do from now until December, written down, and ready to be made, which is pretty great.

So why then would we attend a conference and then forget everything we learned?

I think it has something to do with the culture we live in today.  When we feel like we can access the knowledge that we learned at a conference at any time, online, we are less likely to remember it.

But there are also things that require real life application.  I believe we are unwilling to apply these new ideas because we don't want to have to work any harder than we already do.  We live in a culture that is all about what makes you comfortable which spells failure for new ideas typically.

We want to change but then when we get to the point to where change needs to happen, we decide to do something that is "more fun" instead of changing.

I believe we need to change our mindset in order to gain ultimate knowledge from a conference.  I will try to expound on this thought later this week.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dead and Gone

So I really should put down my ideas on what I want to post.  I can't for the  life of me remember what it was that I was going to write about tonight.  So here I am thinking and pondering on what it is that I had in mind to blog about and I really don't know what direction to go in.

I believe I will tie some of what we were taught last night at London into some other thoughts that I have and see what happens from there.

So everyone has a past.  If they didn't have a past then they wouldn't have a way of getting here today.  Our past effects how we are today, however those experiences can also have no bearing on what we do in our future.

Sometimes I feel like we ponder too much of the past when we should be looking forward into our futures. Now granted Christ warns against us planning ahead for our lives.  However we do have to have some form of consensus vision of what he wants for us.  If we are lacking a vision then we are lacking direction as well.

Our past can have to different impacts on us, it can empower or enslave.

Our past can empower us to change the future.  Empowering can help us see where it is that we need to head in our lives, and realize our need to enact change into situations.  If we have a positive and flourishing past, or even a negative past that we learn from, then we will feel empowered to make a difference and a change in our future.

Our past can enslave us to our current lifestyles.  We may feel that we are caught in a rut.  Like we can't move and are stuck in the same process repeating ourselves.  Being slaves to our past is a constant let down, if we don't overcome our past then we will not be able to move on in our lives.

To no longer be a slave to our past we must realize that our past is our past.  We can't change it, but what we can do is change our future.

To move on, we must see as Christians, that God's grace supersedes everything in our past.  This means we no longer need to worry about our past.  It has been forgiven, and no longer affects our lives.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Study, Study, Study

So I just finished studying pretty hard for a test that I had today.  A test actually for the class that I'm writing this blog for.

As I studied and studied and then studied some more.  I thought, as college students, as Christians in general, what if we studied the Word like we studied for a test?

Are we prepared to ace basic questions about our faith? If we studied the Word the way that we study for our classes I believe we would be.  Linked in this post is a recent study released by pew forum.  According to the study Christians are lacking in basic knowledge not only of their beliefs but of the other major religious beliefs as well.

If we started learning and understanding what it is that we as well as opposing religions believe we would first be more rounded individuals but we will also be drawing ourselves closer to God.  We would be building our knowledge base of our beliefs.

So the question is, are you ready for the largest test of your life?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


So I'm not rich by any means. I mean I am a college student.  But within the past year I have noticed and even documented how I have succumbed to the American culture.  This culture of pleasing self.

As I began to notice this I began to take preventative manners.  I pledged in March to not purchase any new shoes for myself until I had no more shoes to wear.  Before that I decided that due to the amount of cloths that I wear I would no longer purchase any article of clothing that caught my attention, unless it was less than $10.

I'm sure I've probably saved some money doing this.  But that's not the point.  There are several other points.  Saving money is just a byproduct of these actions.  First off as God's children we are called to be stewards, and following up with that we are called to care for those in need.  So as I considered these things, and I have been considering them a while, (I wrote something along these lines back in my freshman year as well) I realized that this is a really positive thing to do.

I'm not saying this to blow myself up, because there are still things where I am living the American lifestyle in, for example, disc golf.  As I have grown into the sport I have spent money on it an so forth.  It's really grown on me, but at a monetary price that I am slightly ashamed of.

Today I was approached about attending a conference.  Also Catalyst is this week.  I am also actually attending a separate conference this weekend (which I get to attend free). But I was considering how much that conference would cost.  As I considered this I realized that really I should probably spend that money on something more productive, then going and experiencing a ton of great worship, and hearing speakers that I have already heard before.

This mindset, is a transformation for me.  I believe it could be a transformation for many people.  As you can tell I'm still working on it.  However, I think that if Christians today could grasp this simple point, that we would see a radical difference within the church and within outsiders perceptions of us.

Friday, October 1, 2010

What's the point of this if you don't let it change you?

So I talked a little about change in the last post. So I believe that I'm going to take this concept deeper today. So the title, a quote from a recent film "To Save a Life." Has really provoked thought for me recently. 

I take this thought and apply it to each thing that I do.  What is the point of my involvement in each different group if I don't let it change me?  What is the point of my involvement if I am not a catalyst of change as well?

We must be constantly learning.  This is one form of change.  As we learn from our experiences, as we learn for our classes, we should be changing.  We should be applying this to our lives.  Because once again, what is the point if we don't let this change us?  It's all a waste of time essentially.

Each thing that I am involved in changes me in a way, as well as I should be enacting change within that system as well.

So with classes, I input what I have learned, as well as learn myself.  My input helps others learn and thus change, as well as I change as I learn.

At church, I am changed with each week of practical ministry experience, as well as my influence helps to change the students life.

At BCM I grow each week as I lead our freshlife ministry as well as help direct the overall direction of the BCM, and thus enact my influences in those to areas as well, affecting all who attend.

As a reslife employee I encounter situations everyday, and this grows my interpersonal communications skills and I in turn am able to help assist students in their college experience, enacting change in their lives as well.

On the debate team I am able to grow in my presenting and problem solving skills, as well as present effective topics in order to persuade others to my views.

If you are unable to see where you are being changed or where you are being a catalyst of change then something is missing.  When we come to the point that we are able to realize where we are the catalysts of change, then we will be an even more effective catalyst of change.  This will deepen our power of influence and allow for more leadership opportunities among other things.