Friday, February 29, 2008

Is Your Life Right Side Up?

Well, we are getting ready to leave for Acquire The Fire in just a few hours. I am very excited about this trip. If you are reading this during February 29th or March 1st, 2008, please pray for our hearts to be stirred up to change our world. Or I guess that would be a fine prayer to pray anytime!

I feel so strongly that this current generation of young people could rise up and reclaim our communities, our country, and our world for the cause of God's Kingdom. But we must have our hearts stirred and we must believe that another world is possible in order for that to happen.

Someone sent me a link to this video yesterday.

I think it so captures why it is so hard for us to see real change in our lives, our families, our churches, our communities. We believe Jesus can save us from our sins, but do we believe that Jesus can change our world? I believe Jesus wants to work in and through our lives to turn the world "right side up" as our ministry's subtitle says. Do you believe that is possible?


† Amber † said...

So. I pretty much hope that you all have a good time at ATF, and really get inspired and whatnot.
I'm sure it's an amazing experience.

But as far as making a difference in the world, I highly disagree. And perhaps I'm just in a bad mood, or too frustrated to think otherwise right now, but here's my reasoning...

Too many bad people, outnumber the good. Too many people are too critical of God, and a better way to even consider listening to our views. I just don't think we have the power to change them.

Okay, so your next answer to that is probably "Well, Amber, we can't change them, only God can change them."

God's not going to waltz into their lives and give them all revelations on His own. We as christians have to believe in Him, and put our Faith into Him to make the change. We're the ones who have to step out and be the example.

And I see that as more of the fault...not necessarily that there are too many bad, but that the good aren't good enough. Make sense?

Those people who do know Jesus, are still hurting confused people. And I really think it's almost more frustrated to be a christian...than not to.

Because when you're a KNOW there's hope's just convincing yourself that you need it.

When you're not a christian, you're free to wallow in self-pity, and assume the world is out to get you and there's nothing you can do.

And the fact that even we as christians can't help but be self-centered, and sometimes greedy, just like the rest of the world, makes it seem impossible that we could set aside our own goals of achievement to try to reach the point of fully relying on God, so that he can use us.

One thing that was explained to me, was that God doesn't exactly have a plan in which He absolutly needs one person. He has an ultimate goal in mind, and if we're willing to step up and help, he's got a place to use us.

It's kinda like this:
A painter has a picture in his mind. Of a landscape. Now he can paint this picture with the black and white paint he has, but if some blue, green, and yellow paints are willing to step up and be used, then he'll use them to make the painting even better.

I don't know...that's just the way I see it.

It just seems like there aren't enough blue, green and yellow paints willing to be worked into the picture.

Nathan said...

When I consider the selfishness that the way of our world exalts, it is a challenge to me to deny my selfish desires and to try to do the things that I know are pleasing to God. By denying myself, and placing God before everything else, I believe that this is how God works through us to be a witness of him to people who don't know him. It is counter-cultural to our society and we mark ourselves as set apart for God. Not indulging ourselves, but helping others. Not focusing on me, but focusing on other people who hurt just as badly as I do.

You are right that we all share the same hurts and pains, some more than others, the 'human condition.' I find myself constantly being challenged to put my own needs aside and to try to empathize with the needs of others. By God's grace I believe in him and have my salvation through the sacrifice of his son, the anointed one. How challenging it is to me to behave and believe in the ways that the scriptures indicate, so that our daily lives point people to the truth of God, and not to our own naturally destructive tendencies.

I cannot fathom the ways of God but I trust that he wants a relationship with every person, and that each of us will have an opportunity to accept or reject this at some point in our lives. I am starting to finally realize that my relationship with him can be used to influence the value that others around me place on their relationship with God as well. When I am a hypocrite and do not do what I know is right, or even say is right, then perhaps I am contributing to their rejection of him. But if my attitudes and actions show that I really believe and act on the things I say about my relationship with God then perhaps he becomes a little bit more real to them... Your comments have really got me thinking now.

Mark, I'm praying for you and everyone with you this weekend.

Brittany said...

ATF was amazing and thanks to everyone who prayed for the group!

On the topic of the video:

In my opinion, there is much hope for many to come to salvation. And when you lose hope and faith in God, what else is there? Everyone needs to hope for something.

ATF/a falling out with my friend this past month has caused me to evaluate my life. I have made some drastic changes in the way I treat, look at, and judge others, and am very excited for the future, even if life gets me down sometimes.

I have realized now that i am not using what God has given me to the fullest.

There are many good people in the world. And I feel that there is alot of good. True, the media/people/world may tell you that things are dismal, but rather than focus on the bad, I have realized how much more important it is to not focus on just the bad things; but to focus on how you can make a difference in the bad world.

This whole revival thing that everyone is talking about needs to happen. And yes, we need to step out and tell people, no matter how uncomfortable it may be.

Sorry if I offend anyone, but i am sick and tired of people in this small town not speaking out for fear of what people will say about them. Just because you have lived here your whole life and built up this persona or image of yourself, doesn't mean you have to stay that way, or keep in your emotions. While we are still young, i think us teens need to make something happen early in our lives to better the world and people around us.

I really enjoyed this video, and all the messages at ATF. Our youth group is awesome and has me really excited for the future.

Why not want to make a difference in the world? We can. If we don't dream, and just lay down and die, who is going to save America, or even the world for that matter? We can't just lay down and not fight.

Nobody will ever be good enough, or perfect, but that doesn't mean we stop striving. The good aren't good enough, this is true of anyone, even the pastors or adults. But why not try to be good? Maybe, even if anybody does something wrong, some good will come of it.

This falling out with my friend, was a blessing in the end.

Or, an abused teen may grow up to go on world missions to make better other peoples lives.

So even if the situation in the world is dire, there are many good things that can come from our bad situations or behaviors.

This is why i see much more good in the world than bad.