Tonight was a local Youth Night at our church. We have them as an opportunity for our kids to do the service one Sunday Night a Month...lot's of drama and games, and special speakers. Tonight Lex Lugar came and preached. The worship service was awesome! There was enough music to qualify it as a "singing" in it's own right. Then there was the Drama and Lex's testimony. I think everybody had a great time and was inspired to reach out to God. The emphasis was quite evangelical, with an altar call by Lex.
The worship service: That's my hubby Larry, the handsome guy playing the guitar on the right. Of course, the service wasn't about him... but, I like the fact that he's there :)
Lex Lugar preaching tonight: He has an awesome testimony about God changing his life!
I didn't get any pictures of the sign-singing, but the Dramatic "Human Video" is pictured below.
They were acting out a Kutless song about struggles.
If you missed it, you really missed it. It's great to have such an active Youth Group, and awesome stuff going on! I think that a church that takes care of the Youth will thrive. I hope your Sunday was just as filled with worship, and your week is blessed!
In college Economics classes, we learned about the laws of supply and demand: when demand increases, supply dwindles, and prices rise. Conversely, when demand drops, supply stockpiles, and prices are dropped to encourage sales. This makes sense on the surface, not requiring much thought. But, things can get sticky when you start trying to balance all the factors of the economy, ask any president.
I think I've mentioned the following example before, though I couldn't find it in my blogs. But, we were placed on this simulation computer game near the end of Economics, where we were newly elected President of the USA and were given fictitious figures for our "economy." Our job was to balance the different factors; such as inflation, unemployment, interest rates, deficit, etc. and get elected for a second term. Of course, if you did poorly, you could be assassinated before your first term ended.
Our teacher gave us a target figure for each factor, which was incredibly difficult, and we struggled over a couple of class sessions trying to get just the right utopian conditions in our game. But, one factor or another continually seemed to allude our efforts. I decided the little incremental changes I kept making, edging closer to the goal weren't working and suddenly chose to move in just the opposite direction with one of the factors than what I had been doing. The contradictory action defied my logic and thinking. It was a harsh risk, taken because all my prior logic wasn't working. Strangely enough, it did the trick. I reached the targets.
I don't remember a lot of the things I learned in Economics, (except that people buy more lemonade when it's hot and sunny.) But, I certainly remembered the results of doing just the opposite of what wasn't working, even when it defied logic. Philippians 1:19 Paul spoke these words from jail. He was in bonds...in Christ. He was at odds with the world system around him, but at one with God. He was without resources, without income, without physical liberty, but with supplies of the Spirit of Jesus. He had everything that he needed. God provided what Paul needed through His body, the Church, and through His Spirit, the Holy Ghost. Phillipians 4:18-19
The world is often at odds with the Bible. Public and social expectations often contradict Spiritual and moral expectations. You won't often get a thumbs-up from a hands-down world. Jesus said, don't let your left hand know what your right hand's doing. Matthew 6:3 Of course, this was in a specific context and not to be generalized too extremely. Jesus was referring specifically to giving offerings quietly and generally, to doing things to get God's attention and not the attention or reward of the public.
Sometimes, people will look at your top-down model of decision making and exclaim that your method seems mad. They operate from a bottom-up model; everything you do seems to defy the curve. Simply put, you appear irrational. But, their method is not really working for them, now is it? By top-down, I imply that I see the standards and morals in the Bible as coming from God to man. While the world's model of decision making is based on mores that come from the heart of man and confuse personal demand with ethics. This is called situational ethics, or the idea that ethics change based on the situation in which you find yourself. This is often articulated as, "everything's relative you know!"
Well, yes It is all relative. It relate to your goals in life. Where are you going? What are you seeking? Whose demands are you trying to meet? If you know whose payroll you're on, then you know where the supply comes from. Don't expect the competition to contribute supplies to do your job.
I lift my eyes unto the hills.
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and Earth.
-Song excerpt from: Praise You in this Storm by Casting Crowns
Psalms 121:1-2 I will lift up my eyes unto the hills, from which comes my
help. My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
Judges 15:16 Samson was one of the most interesting characters in the Bible. He lived notably in a time before kings and prophets. He lived before television and radio. He lived before pornography and drugs. He lived before road rage and race riots. But, he lived in a day of prostitution and vigilante street justice. He lived through race battles and gang wars. He suffered a spiteful father-in-law and an ex-wife.
The story of Samson and his Heifer is quite comedic at times, but reads like a Soap Opera at others. Then, as today, some people just couldn't keep their mouth shut. There is no new thing under the sun. Though they didn't have water coolers at work in Samson's day, word sure got around town quick. This much is evident from the fact tthat all the neighbors knew "who's donkey was parked next door," when Samson spent the night with a "friend." Though that scene is not my point, you can read about it in Judges chapter sixteen. The weird thing is that Samson didn't seem to have enough work to keep him busy, and seemed to get into a lot of trouble with his jawbone.
Just one chapter before that we find Samson's wife filing for divorce and remarrying, without telling him about it first. Of course, Samson didn't take the news well, despite the fact that the Spirit was on him frequently. Most of us are human, after all, and have our own faults to worry about. He tied some foxes' tails together and set them on fire to run into the fields of his Philistine in-laws. This would be like burning your neighbor's cornfield.
Then, after they murdered his ex-wife and father-in-law for starting the whole mess, Samson slaughtered a pack of these guys. Revenge never seems to satisfy, and the Philistine army went looking for Samson, who had been hiding out.
Judges 15:14-16 And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted
against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords
that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands
loosed from off his hands. And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put
forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith. And Samson
said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw
of an ass have I slain a thousand men.
Samson definitely had a quick wit, (remember the "ploughing with my heifer" expression he used when his friends used his wife to get the riddle answer?) even if he let his emotions make his decisions. And, when he wasn't killing people he seemed to have a soft heart. But, Samson didn't have a monoply on hurting people. I've seen many churches brought down with the "jawbone of one ass." Let some donkey get bored and find some extra time on hand. Before you know it, that jawbone starts knocking until you can hear the teeth rattling. But, speaking of jawbones, let me close mine.