What did Jesus look like?

I have truly enjoyed the last three weeks! I am excited to announce that Daisy Pierce won the coveted fuzzy donut/cupcake journal after completing several of the challenges over the last three weeks! Congratulations Daisy!

This past Sunday we had a time of Q & A. Some of the fun questions we got to discuss and look to the Bible for answers were: Did the burning bush have flowers? What did Jesus look like? Why do friendships drift apart?

I also learned that there were several students whose favorite book of the Bible is Revelation. It’s one of my favorites too! We got to have a great discussion about some aspects of end times and what maranatha means.

I hope you’ll join me in continuing to pray for the people we know that don’t know The Lord and that you’ll invite those people to join you at church!

It’s Up To You…

Thank you guys for letting me spend three weeks with you talking about quiet time and developing a relationship with the Lord. If there is anything you learned, I hope it was this:  God wants to spend time with you, but it’s up to you. 

Our lives get busy. We have our family, friends, school, sports, band, video games, and the list goes on and on. I urge you to carve out a little time each day to spend with God, get to know Him, talk to Him, and listen to Him. The Bible is where you start. It’s our foundation. 

Remember, there are 1,140 minutes in a day. Start by carving out 5 or 10 minutes to read your Bible and think about what you read. You don’t have to read a chapter or an entire book all at once. You can read a verse and spend the time dissecting it like we did this Sunday. Not every day will be a “wow” moment, but over time, I promise you will have more than a few. God does speak to us. We just have to take the time to be with Him, talk to Him, and listen. 

Though our three weeks are over, I want to remind you of my invitation. Feel free to chat with me and ask me questions. You see me almost every Sunday. I am here for you. 

Paul

God Wants You!

Greetings!

We had another great Sunday session of Strength and Beauty!  After a week of studying Proverbs, we shared our thoughts. It was amazing what Proverbs has to say about taming the tongue and disciplining the words that come out of our mouth. We could all pay attention to that.

We also talked about quiet time. Some of you struggled carving out 5-10 minutes a day for God. But we all had time to play video games, sleep 8 hours, and hang with our friends. Well, our friend The Lord Almighty wants time with us too. Let that sink in – The Lord Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, Master of all the Universe, the reason for our very existence, wants to spend time with each of us. James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you”.  Now that’s a promise!

There are 1,140 minutes in a day. If we take the time to give Him ten minutes, that still leaves us with 1,130 minutes to do what we want. Sounds like a pretty generous God to me. So let’s find the discipline and desire to spend just ten minutes a day with God this week.  Put down the video game controller.   Put down the TV remote. Wake up a few minutes earlier.  Tell your parents you want to spend 10 minutes with God every day, reading the Bible, and reflecting and talking to Him. I’m sure they will support you.

So this week, read Proverbs chapters 18-24. One chapter for each day. So on February 19, you will read Proverbs 19. On February 20, read Proverbs 20 and so on.  Again, write down or highlight your favorite verse each day.  Also, mark down on a sheet of paper how many minutes you spent with God each day, how many minutes you spent playing video games, how many minutes you spent on TV.  We will share next Sunday. Remember, you make time for what you want. Let’s commit to wanting time with God.

Paul

Did you say SOAP?

It was so encouraging to hear how the students prayed for the individuals their wristbands represented this past week.

I got to share about the S.O.A.P. study method (S.O.A.P. stands for: scripture, observation, application, and prayer) and, back by popular demand, the students had time to find a place around campus to have their quiet time for the day and to give the S.O.A.P. method a try.

After spending time reading, praying, and practicing the S.O.A.P. method of studying, we came back together to share about what we learned. This sparked some great discussion and I loved hearing what the students discovered as they read their Bibles.

The two challenges for this week are: 1. Continue to pray daily for someone to either come to know The Lord or for someone who you will invite to church and 2. Practice the S.O.A.P. study method every day this week.

Next week is Q&A!! I look forward to diving into the Word to answer the questions the students bring! See you Sunday!

 

Get In There!

I enjoyed our time together this past Sunday getting to know you all and hearing your stories.  I also enjoyed sharing my story with you. Now you know I am just an Ordinary Joe, just like you!  The beauty of God’s love is the fact that He not only loves us Ordinary Joe’s, but He wants us to have a relationship with Him and the best way to start that relationship is to spend time with Him.

If you can remember, I used the analogy:  you spend lots of time with your friends, so if you want a relationship with God, you need to spend time with Him.

So how do we get started?  It’s easy.  You open up that Bible.  His 66 book love letter to us is in there and that’s how we get to know Him, and His son Jesus.  So this week, I asked you to read one chapter of Proverbs a day, corresponding with the day of the month.  So if today is February 14, you will read Proverbs 14.  I also asked you to work through Proverbs 12 -17 this week and write down the one verse from each chapter that spoke to you or clicked with you.

I am looking forward to hearing your favorite verses this Sunday.  Then, we are going to explore how we can talk to God.  It’s going to be a great day!

By Paul Willingham

 

Words Matter

I had a blast getting to spend time with the students this past Sunday. I asked the question: “If you could meet any Bible character besides Jesus, who would you meet and why?”. Some of the answers were: Joseph because he rose from the bottom to the top and Jonah because I’d like to know what it would be like to be swallowed by a large fish.

We also talked in depth about the power of our words and how to be intentional about speaking life-giving words even when someone hurts us.

We ended the day with two challenges. The first is to wear a wristband as a reminder to pray for someone daily who either doesn’t know the Lord or who you will invite to church. The second is to do an act of anonymous servanthood and come prepared to share about it next week!

I can’t wait to hear the ways in which the students have anonymously blessed someone this week and the God stories that come from their intentional time of prayer.

 

Some Things are a Mystery

These three weeks went by very quickly! The main topic of discussion this past Sunday for our Bible Q&A was about the Garden of Eden. We looked at Genesis 2:8-14 to give us a clue as to where the garden was located. We see the names of four rivers and located two of those rivers on a map. However, we talked about how we can’t really know the exact location of Eden due to the flood and all the topographical changes that would have taken place during that time. We know there are mysteries here on Earth and we talked about how fun it will be to get to heaven and have the ability to ask God all the questions that have been on our mind.

We also talked about satan and his presence here on earth. We talked about the difference between being possessed by satan and being oppressed by satan. We know that darkness can not overcome light, so as Christians, we know that satan can not possess us because we have the Holy Spirit within. However, we can be oppressed by satan. He wants nothing more than to steal, to kill, and to destroy and he will do that in any way possible. We talked about this being a reason why it is so important to spend time daily with God because it is in those times that our relationship with God is strengthened and we are more able to withstand the temptations that are thrown our way.

I enjoyed spending my Sunday mornings with you ladies these past three weeks and I look forward to being able to do it again. Starting this Sunday, you will get the pleasure of meeting with Karlye Louritt for the next three weeks. I know you will enjoy learning from her!

Belief That Saves

We had several good questions this week during Q&A. The one that stuck out the most was the question,  “What must we do to be saved?”.  We looked at the idea that simply believing in God is not the same type of belief that the Bible talks about. The Bible talks refers to a trusting, loving, relationship with Jesus as our Lord and Savior, not just simply believing that He exists.

I enjoyed spending time with everyone the last three weeks and can’t wait to hear about what y’all learn from Paul! 

Delighting in Jesus

It was great to see everyone again this week.

We talked about God’s will for our lives and looked at Psalm 37:4 and Romans 12:1. We compared it to a loving parent who delights in sacrificing for their child. We don’t often equate suffering for Jesus with delighting in Him, but we willingly sacrifice our resources for the people and things we delight in.

I challenged all the students to find a way to delight in their time with the Lord rather than treating it like it’s a chore. I can’t wait to hear about how this impacts everyone’s time with the Lord this Sunday. 

Chatting With Purpose

Hey ladies! Thank you for spending your Sunday morning with me! If you missed it and are reading this to catch up, we missed you and we hope you will be able to join us this Sunday for the Q&A session!

During first service we all took time to read Philemon which lead to a great discussion that covered a multitude of topics such as slavery, forgiveness, salvation, and ancient laws. We were able to put into practice what a quiet time should look like: prayer, reading, reflecting, discussing, and application.

During second service, we took turns talking about what we are currently reading in our quiet times. We read from Genesis and talked about God’s wonderful creation, Ephesians and God’s great love for us and the beautiful picture of marriage, and Romans and the importance of faith. I loved hearing about what you are all learning as you read and spend time with God. 

This coming Sunday, come ready to ask questions that have been on your mind. We will turn to The Bible to find our answers! Daisy asked a question last Sunday that we will talk about this Sunday…Where is the Garden of Eden located? You don’t want to miss it! 

Have a great week!

Kelsey

P.S. Don’t forget to keep up with the challenges: 1) pray for your impossibles, 2) listen to Christian music when you can control what is being played, and 3) spend time with God every day!