Monday, April 14, 2008

Solitary Place

Yesterday in youth we talked about prayer, and Joanna spoke on the importance of being alone with God. We had stations set up with different ways of spending alone time with God, and for 45 mins 35 youth and adults were in silence.

All of this was based off of the verse Mark 1:35 "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed."

I know for me, being in a solitary place with God is a bit scary. It is not that I think that God is going to smite me or anything like that because I know God is love. It is more because i know that God knows me, Inside out. He knows my heart and where I have succeeded and struggle, and to spend solitary time with Him means I have to be real. It means I have to be honest. I have to be truthful. I have to be me, with all the baggage that brings.

I think that I our lives right now, we have gotten to a point where we feel like "me" isn't good enough. Because of this, we take on different hats that make us act like those around us at the time. The problem with doing this is that we never real act like... well.... us.

So my challenge to myself, and anyone else is to take time, go to a solitary place, and be yourself with God. I believe that this is why Jesus was able to be as loving and bold as he was because he knew who he was. He was loved and created by God to love and save the world.

So go, find out who you really are by sitting down with your creator...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


There are things that happen in life that we can only ask why? There are situations and horrible events that leave us with this one question; times in our lives where we feel there are no words but why?

This weeks events were such a time as this. With a fire that takes both parents of two daughters, there are simply no words, but why?

Sometimes in a time like this you hear things like "everything happens for a reason." I believe this to be a terrible answer, and I also don't even believe it to be true. I don't think that God makes things like this happen. I don't believe that God, who is referred to in the Bible as "Love", would hurt His creation which He loves. I do believe that God can take any situation, no matter how terrible and have good come out of it, but I don't think that everything happens for a reason.

Another common attempt is to say that whoever was involved in the event was being punished for a bad life. THIS IS JUST WRONG! The fact that some people feel when you become a Christian that life becomes worldly great is just well...wrong! Now I do believe that when we become a Christian and invite Christ into our hearts that we are given a PEACE and HOPE.

PEACE that we are never alone, and that even though things suck sometimes, God is with us, loving us, always. HOPE that in the end, God does have control, and that He sees a much bigger picture then we will ever know. HOPE that this life, here on earth, is not the end; HOPE that we will meet again...

Each of us, at one time or another, have been through something that to us seemed like our world was over. Each of us have gotten to a point where all we could say was why? Each of us may still be holding on to that moment and have never let it go. May you do that now... May you share your story, and find that you are not only not alone because God is with you, but you are not alone because we each can relate and either are there, were there, or will be there.

Please use this as a safe place to share your "Why" moment(s). Just click add comment and add your story, if you want you can leave your first name (no last names please)


So go ahead, add your story and be a part of a community of healing...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Heaven on Earth...

Our verse this week is Matthew 6:10
"Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven."

I picked this verse to begin our new series on PRAYER, and since this is the part of the Lord's Prayer, and when Jesus was teaching on how to pray, I thought this would be a good place to start.... well God wanted to teach me more...

This past Sunday Night at church we hosted a Neighborhood Fellowship, this included our congregations, our Hispanic congregation, and the folks from the run down hotel across the parking lot. I must say that I was really excited about this concept because I feel like churches don't usually do a good job of reaching out to others, but this was a great example of us being willing to do it!

Well, we had planned for the youth to set up everything at 5pm while the rest were bringing food and setting up the buffet. So around 4pm, the Hispanic church was finished with their service and were playing soccer as they do in the gym, and it was so much fun for our youth and congregation to see part of their culture.
After a while we set up for the meal and the Hispanic congregation went on through the line, and then right after that the people from across the parking lot came and then our youth went through the line while others from our congregation helped clean and serve!

As time went on, the separate groups came to be one. It was no longer three groups, but one. One group of people brought together by Christ's love being shared! Our youth did a great job of meeting the kids and adults they did not know and playing with the kids, and after about an hour and a half, it was clear that no one wanted to leave. In fact there were even a few families that stayed until we had almost cleaned everything up and were just standing around!

Everyone was grateful, including the hosts! God was with us! It was as if God's kingdom had come, and his will done, on earth as it was in Heaven!
Even for this one night, which we are already planning to do many more times, Heaven on Earth was shared by all!

Monday, February 11, 2008


This coming week, we are preparing for a "Doubt Night." This is going to be a time where the youth volunteers and I will become an adult panel and address several questions that our youth have been asking on cards and putting in the doubt box.

Here are a few questions that have mad thier way int the box:
Which religion is right? Is it ok to have friends that are not Christian? Are you ever really forgiven?

I am so excited about this! Not because I have all the answers, because I don't, but because I want them to understand that it is, not just ok, but I believe nessecary to question "Why do I believe this?" about everything. This is not to make them give up on faith, but to strengthen it.

A couple of weeks ago in Sunday School, we were discussing the question: "When does faith become yours?" or essentially when does the faith that you have grown up with, when do you take it as your own?

What was great is that they worked themselves to the answer that at the point that they no longer just accept what people say as true and right, but they start questioning if it is true and seeking others and God for answers. They felt that at this point your faith starts to become thier own.

What was also interesting was that several felt that faith can never fully become your own because faith MUST be a communal thing. They felt some things must be a group issue or group belief.

I am still questioning this myself, but I think that I believe this to be true.

It is questions, in my opion, that help us truely understand our beliefs and why we believe them. I have much more to talk about with this, but I will save it for another day...

Another one of Ed's deep thoughts...

Click here to read one of Ed's postings

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Follow me...

Luke 9:23:Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

The only way to follow someone is to know where they have been and where they are going...
Maybe some of the ways for us to know this about Christ is through prayer, scripture, experiences, and stories from other people.

Who are you following?


Luke 9:23:Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.


This is not a weekly one hour thing. This is not a when I get around to it thing. This is not even a most of the time thing. It is a DAILY thing. Being a Christian is not about being in a nice building and sit happy in our pews, it is about loving God with everything we've got and loving our neighbors as ourselves. Mark 12:30-31

What are you doing Daily? What cross are you picking up daily?