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December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:49 pm
Please share at least one devotional on the readings that are provided for that week - this week will consist of Chapter 4 from Radical. And Leadership Axioms chapter 22 and 33.

1. Pray. Ask God to reveal Himself onto you through Scripture. Ask God to give you an appetite for his Word (Just like how we always pray before we eat - you are essentially praying before you eat spiritually
2. Read maybe 2-3 times
3. Interpret the passage, see what verses, terms, and key phrases stick out to you.
4. See how you can apply the passage - knowledge is amazing, and to know God is essentially our focus. Even better if you can find ways to apply it.
5. Share your prayer requests. Seriously. Everyone is able to read what you flesh out and we are a Church that will pray on your behalf - also an opportunity for you to pray for others as well.
-You can always share praise songs that has spoken to you as well, maybe throughout your devotional/quiet time.
6. Pray to end off your devo, trust God that He is working through this initiative.

Suggested Passage is Luke 18:1-8
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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:49 pm
Leadership Axioms Chapter 22: Never Say Someone’s No For Them

Summary: Hybel tells a story where they were looking for a person to fill in a leadership role. One of the other leaders said that they knew the perfect person for the position but there would be no chance they would come and join the team because of some valid reason. Hybels explains how we always ask God for the perfect person to fill in the position but when we do find them, they are already deeply involved with their own journey. Therefore, we “take them off the wish list” and we settle for less. However, Hybels tells us that some of their best leaders were the ones that were a long shot and that he didn’t expect for them to say yes. He put it the best when he says, nothing is ever lost by leaving room for the surprising and supernatural emergence of a yes.

Application: When I was reading this, I thought a lot about own leadership team.
Personally, when I was called to a leadership role, i didn’t feel ready, and I think that a lot of people can relate. However, God doesn’t always call on the people who are the most qualified because it's not the people who make the impact. It’s through God’s power and work that creates change. Sometimes, there are things that you don’t you are remotely qualified for, and you may end up always feeling like that. However, we have to understand that Jesus is the vine and we are his branches. As we read in Radical chapter 3, it's not through our own works but through God’s power that we can do anything.

Prayer Requests:
Please pray for me as I have been working a lot more.
My family relationships aren’t the best so please for that
Please pray for the winter retreat as it is coming up pretty fast

Song of the Day:
“There is hope in the promise of the cross
You gave everything to save the world You love
And this hope is an anchor for my soul
Our God will stand
Unshakeable”

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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:07 am
Today i read Leadership Axioms chapter 22. This chapter speaks about how a lot of the times we settle on the leaders we choose because the people we believe are best for the job probably wont take them. However the chapter talks about some people who pray to God about it and accept these positions even though it makes almost no sense for them to take it. I thought this reminded me a lot about how we chose the leaders for this year's retreat. We asked many people and for some we thought they would say no or probably could not come, but they ended up saying yes and it is a true blessing to serve along these willing and hard working leaders.

Prayer Request:
- Its finals week, and I really need the A so just prayers that i could focus on studying and try to finish strong
- Gotta start writing my nursing applications and getting recommendation letters that hopefully God will just lead me through this process of what my next few years will be like
- Retreat is coming up, just prayer for the students and leaders that we ll stay strong in our faith
- Busy month for all of us, just hoping that everyone will stay strong as school comes to an end for winter break and for all the events that we have planned
- Just having some issues of my own, that God really teaches me to do the right thing
- Work, I get so tired of these kids and my patience is growing thinner, just to be more patient and understanding of the kids I work with
- Family, that i can be abetter son and just be a better example to my brothers
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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:27 am
Luke 18:1-18

This parable that we went through during yesterday's devo really has a meaning in which we are able to approach God with anything, and if this unrighteous judge were to accept the woman's cry for help - wouldn't God, our heavenly father who is righteous, be all the more willing to help?

Before reflecting on this passage, I asked myself, "What can I pray for?" And more importantly it led me to think, "Who can I pray for?"
-We ought to pray because prayer works. Not for the sake of receiving the benefits of prayer as well, but also to realize that this is the way in which God has opted for us to use as a means of communicating with Him.
-I also realized that when asking myself, "Who can I pray for?", I was hinted at the fact that I should pray for myself... strange, right?

I also reflected on my current circumstances, thinking,
-There's nothing really that I lack, I have enough to eat and a place to sleep and I also have a community that I feel that God has blessed and is continuously blessing.
-For the future, I don't see anything big that I'm planning up for and I'm not really worried by the future.
-Though it may sound really cliche, but at this particular moment I don't really see myself lacking anything and I feel as if life is at its best right now.

Yet, I'm really scared that I might fall complacent to the comfortable life that I have now... Also, being a pastor now for three complete months I feel like I can fall into a pattern of doing spiritual things and go through Scripture because of my role and my position.
-I didn't really find myself looking into the Bible much apart from preparing sermons and doing schoolwork. So much theology is learned at school and I feel like I'm preparing spiritual food at church through the ingredients found in the Bible, but I feel like I'm not being fed very well spiritually.

Even though I might not lack anything physically or financially, I feel like things are great on the outside but on the inside, I'm slowly deteriorating and falling in love with my current life.

This parable was told by Jesus in order to encourage Jesus' disciples to not 'give up'. I feel as if for me, giving up contextually right now means to give up striving to be spiritually healthy. Giving up means to be comfortable. Giving up means to only look at the bible and spiritually engage at church, rather than in my room during the day or if I'm ever up late at night.
-I desperately need and am trying to seek out relationship with God. Not because I'm supposed to because I'm a pastor, but because I should and that I can.
-I want to seek out not just the benefits of praying consistently but I want to seek out prayer for the sake of my relationship with God. On a more serious level, there's nothing to lose (at least in terms of salvation) if I don't pray constantly and consistently. But what I am losing out on is a proper relationship with God. I think when we look at cost, we see the appearance of a negative. But I think when we're not constantly in prayer, we're seeing the positive withheld from us - a proper and intimate relationship with God.

Please pray for me not so that I become a better pastor but I become a better Christian. Obviously there are things that I'm required to do as a 'pastor' but I want to go beyond my 'position ' or 'role' but to actively pursue God as a child of Him, not just for the sake of my responsibilities.
-I found in my prayer journal that alot of my prayers consisted of asking God to touch the hearts of CCYG throughout sermons/bible study. It hurts me to see that I'm not praying much for my own relationship with God. -On a more simple level, how could I dare recommend/encourage you guys to pray and really explain the benefits behind it while not doing so myself?
-Please pray for my prayer life, for it to be consistent and for it to be intimate.
-Also I feel as if God revealed alot about my hypocrisy today... It needs to change, not so that I can share how great praying actually is, but it needs to change so that I can flourish in my relationship with God.


I listened to this cover done by a close friend in Toronto... amazing stuff if you guys wanna look at what he does...
-I need God to reveal to me how much I need Him LOL. seriously tho...

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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:08 pm
Chapter 4 of Radical is starting to reveal how 'radical' our Christian faith should be.
The Great Why of God: God's Global Purpose from the Beginning Till Today
-We see greater conflict with the American Dream and the Gospel, that the Gospel reveals to us God's mission and that we were redeemed to declare His glory.

In Baptism/Confirmation class we discussed that the 'chief end of man' (purpose of mankind) was to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.
-God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him, and the more we are preoccupied with His glory, He receives all the more honour and praise - which He is infinitely deserving of.
-The book discusses that we are called to enjoy his grace and extend his glory
-Pg. 67 even goes further to bring about Ezekiel 36 where God mentioned that He would save the Israelites solely for His own name's sake

A question that this brings up is, "Is God narcissistic? Why is He so caught up about His reputation and what people think about Him?"
-I think that this is a reasonable question to bring up, considering how important it seems to attribute everything to God
-But when we understand narcissism, we understand it to be an inflation of someone's status (concerning their looks, achievements, etc.)

But when we address God, we have to realize that He is the ultimate good, infinitely benevolent, and eternally holy. He is greater than our imaginations than possibly conceive of. And objectively speaking, when someone is this great, they ought to deserve everything. Therefore there is no inflation, there is no exaggeration.

David Platt continues to share that the Jesus did not solely die for our sake. He didn't die because the Gospel is about us. The Gospel is about God, and it is His Gospel in which we are saved through - it is good news to us, but it belongs to Him.
-Upon giving examples of the American Dream, Platt brings up the concern that we have to make it our goal to share the Gospel.
-And God receives glory when this is achieved, not through the result of someone becoming converted - rather that His name is proclaimed among the nations/world
-We assign the obligations of Christianity to a few while keeping the privileges of Christianity for us all (Pg.73), Platt isn't addressing that we ought to work for our salvation, but it's quite strange to think that the Gospel is all about us, our well-being, our benefits, our privileges, etc.

Through a few testimonies, we see this as a task that's nearly impossible, to radically live a life for God. But a common theme in each of them was the fact that it was through an outpouring of one's understanding of God's glory and the majesty of His name that inspired so many to share their faith and to make radical differences in their lives. What else am I going to do with my retirement? I just want to tell as many people about the Gospel as I can. This is the mentality that we should all strive for.

Upon reflecting on this, we aren't called to live a life of going on missions, but we are called to live life missionally. We go on 'missions' to achieve God's 'mission' and His mission is so that His name could be exalted amongst all people groups and nations. John Piper is most quoted for this and he says, "Missions exist because worship doesn't." This is true, we are called to go on missions because people don't see the worth and value of Christ. People don't know who God is.

John 13:34-35, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

A common quote of today says, "Share the Gospel, if necessary, use words"
-I don't think this quote is appropriate because using words is absolutely necessary when sharing the Gospel.
Here's what Romans 10:14-15 says, "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?

But the love that we have for one another distinguishes us from the world. I feel like the way we treat each other is so important that it can actually lead to opportunities in which the Gospel can be shared.

Please pray that I can continue to be faithful in loving EVERYONE around me. Not just limited to church or classmates, but to express love to all those around me and for opportunities to share the Gospel to be placed in my life so that I can take the initative in sharing it.
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December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:30 pm
Leadership Axioms Ch. 33

Between the two chapters I believe I can use this chapter more to help me become a better leader. This chapter mainly talks about how we tend to sugarcoat everything for the sake of other’s feelings or to be safe. Hybels even says his team has trouble speaking the truth or just speaking what’s on their mind to everyone. I think we have this problem during our meetings in the morning. It’s weird though because when we are outside the room we share our thoughts to others. I realized I don’t feel comfortable talking about the problems in our youth group that I see or just talking in general during the meeting. What Hybels is trying to say is that we shouldn’t be scared to just say what we want to and try to beat around the bush throughout the whole meeting. I need to learn from this, because how am I going to become a better leader if I can’t speak what’s on my mind. I shouldn’t be afraid that we upset others while telling the facts about our youth group. I don’t need to sugarcoat everything, because then how would I be helping the youth group grow and improve. Before, I used to think I needed to speak with PJ in private over the things I see in this youth group, but now I know that’s not going to help a lot. If I want to become a better leader, I need to be able to communicate to others my true feelings toward something.

Prayer requests:
-I’ve been losing focus on the priorities of my life. I keep thinking about my future and set my faith aside for a long time. I have this mindset where I’m like, “Oh, I can work on my faith later since I’ll have more time in the future, but I need worry and think about college and grades right now since I don’t have time for that later.” I used to think it was fine, but now it’s been affecting my devos, my faith, and my personality. Please pray I stop setting my faith aside and waiting till the future to establish a intimate relationship with God.
-Also, pray that I stop getting so annoyed by all the little things Jayden has been doing lately and try to understand him more haha.


Songggggg 😁
Lord, I need you by Matt Maher
Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You're the One that guides my heart
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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:46 pm
Leadership Axioms Chapter 33: Just Say It!

Summary: In this chapter, Hybels talks about the importance of communication among the leaders. He believes that when people work for the church, that people expect a certain level of politeness that dilutes the point they are trying to make. They try to not offend anyone and so they beat around the bush  . This makes it very confusing and mushy. Therefore, as good leaders, we need to nip this in the bud and stop this. He tells us that when this happens, we need to say, “Time is valuable and we all have lots to do today. It’s obvious you have something on your mind, so I’d like to give you total freedom right no to come out and just say it. We are all big boys and girls who actually enjoy candor, but we can’t make any progress on your proposal until you make it clear. So once again… Just say it!” Great leaders know how to communicate and get their message across without coming off rude.

Application: I think that Pastor James does a great job creating the environment that Hybel wants. However, I think that when we read this, we should be pushed to talk to out about our thought. I believe that communication is so key to leadership. When we are able to talk freely without limitations and not feel like we have to beat around the bush, then we can get somewhere. This way we, as Hybels said, don’t waste time. Great leaders know how to take criticism for what it is and not take it personally. We should aspire to all be upfront but kind.

Prayer Requests:
Please pray for me as I did apply for a second job and I feel like the next couple of months will be very hard for me
Please pray for me as Chapter 3 of Radical really hit me hard. I didn’t realize how independent I was from God and how much I relied on myself when I should have been dependent on God.
Please pray for Winter Retreat. I believe that it will be a big and important shift for our church in culture and spirituality.

Song of the Day:
“You're the living God
You're my saving grace
You will reign forever
You are ancient of days

You are alpha, omega
Beginning and end
You're my savior, messiah,
Redeemer and friend”

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Axioms 22 & Luke 18:18-30

on Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:20 pm
For this devo, I decided to include both the axiom devo and a passage from Luke (crazy right). Most of the info comes from axioms, but a small part is going to come from Luke. In this chapter for axioms, Bill talks about his church and the role of service. I think Bill's situation is pretty different from our situation. In my opinion, if any of us are asked to serve, we would be willing (my opinion, could be different), but with WIllow, it seems like being asked to serve is a huge risk. Besides that, Bill notices that his church never asks the best person to serve because that person may already be serving in some other area. Therefore, everyone goes for the second best option. In our church, like no offense but I think we only have one option whether be good or bad, because we want that person to serve. Yet, Bill tells us that even going for the second best people who are available still comes with a huge risk. Asking people to serve takes guts, and when they say yes, Bill describes it as a very glad feeling. I kind of imagined this with our church too and asking people to serve on Praise Team and Leadership Team.
Bill then tells us of a story when Willow's ministry department had a huge transformation with some people leaving. Bill had the perfect person to put in this position. He described him as super faithful and willing. The only problem however was that the guy had made a business pulling in 200k a year, while the church position paid less than that. Still Bill went to ask him. He later got a call saying how this is a stupid decision, but that he was willing to give up his business part time for God, and to serve the ministry, which made huge impacts for the church. I connected this with the rich man in Luke 18. Jesus tell's him that yes, he has kept Moses's laws, and therefore should be able to go into heaven. But Jesus then tells him that if he wants to enter the kingdom of heaven, he has to give up his wealth. The rich man rejected this, and Jesus tells us how hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. This is just like that guy Bill asked. He (guy) told Bill that it was a stupid, dumb decision he was making, but yet he still decided to give up parts of his wealth so he can serve God. It doesn't hurt to ask people to serve, and based off of this, we have to have the heart to serve. This means that we have to be willing to give up whatever we have in order to serve for God.

Prayer Requests
- Just help me be patient with others, try not to lash out
- Always school life and just keeping my faith alive
- Get my priorities straight: I recently talked with one of the trainers at the gym, and he told me to get my priorities so I can get a better life. My priority is God first, but it doesn't feel like that. I want God to help me with that so I can make him my number 1 on my list

Songs
My Future Decided - I recently made a Christian playlist on my spotify, and this song came up and I forgot how blessing this song is and how uplifting it is.
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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:41 pm
Leadership Axioms
Chapter 22: Never Say Someone's No For Them
In this chapter, Hybel recounts the process of filling staff roles at Willow. He shares with us how he found the commonality between leaders to look for the "one" for the job, however, more often or not are they available or have to take a loss in the process. And because of this, as he says, we " take them off our wish list and settle for those who are available. He points out how sometimes all it takes is asking that person and trusting that God brings you the right person. It reminds me of the quote, "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take." The question needs to be asked in order for there to be an answer. This reminds me of when I joined first the leadership team at my old church. I was really nervous about if I was fit for praise team and whether or not I was in the right state with God to be leading and serving. My pastor told me the fact that you are putting in such concern tells me that you at least have somewhat of a right heart/mindset. Try your hardest and let God do the rest because in the end its the power of God that makes the difference, not your ability.
Prayer Requests:
That I can finish off this semester well (LOL senioritis is killing me)
I'm off to a great start in terms of staying faithful and seeking His Word. I ask that I may persevere throughout the year so that it might be a lifetime goal and daily habit.
As I serve on worship team starting this week, that he may use my talents and bless the congregation.
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Leadership Axioms Chapter 33

on Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:47 pm
Just Say It!
Leadership Axioms Chapter 33

In this chapter, Bill Hybels describes the importance of good communication among leaders. He talks about how many leaders are insecure about themselves and as a result are afraid to speak up since they think they will say something wrong. Or the leaders think that they are unable to influence the people around them and that only the pastor or the main leader can do so, so they don't contribute anything meaningful. However Hybels is condemning this mindset because if people are just trying their best not to say something "wrong", the entire conversation becomes mushy and vague. No one will get a good point across if they are just trying to seem like a nice person who doesn't say any controversial statements. Instead, we need to learn to say things that come from our hearts, and say only things that we truly believe in, even if it might means that we have to offend some people or criticize certain actions. Towards the end of the chapter, Hybels talks about how if during a meeting no one is contributing, he literally stops the meeting and then forces everyone in the room to just say what's on their minds. This seemed crazy at first, but I agree with this approach because it makes it more comfortable for everyone to share.
I think this chapter is very very applicable to our leadership/worship team. I feel like right now everyone, including me, is too afraid to speak out either because they feel inferior to PJ/Daniel or because they don't want to seem like a mean person. In most of our meetings, it is just PJ talking and us just nodding our heads in agreement. Although this is the easy way to do things, nothing will get accomplished if we just stay silent, not really caring about how to improve ourselves and the youth group. I honestly believe that if the meetings continue to operate the way they do, it is better if we just decide to show up at 10, get an extra hour of sleep, and be more energized at worship team practices/leadership team meetings. The purpose of these morning meetings is to pitch in what's on our minds and analyze the state of the youth group, but if no one communicates what's on their hearts we are accomplishing nothing for this youth group. We really need to change the way we operate our meetings so that it can be more comfortable for people to share their ideas.

Prayer Requests:
-I literally haven't played on worship team on Sunday's for the past month because I didn't finish my devotionals, so pray that God can change my heart so that I can be more passionate about doing devotionals
-pray that I can learn to despise my sinful actions
-I still don't know what God wants me to do in the future, so pray that soon enough he will show me his plan for me

Song:
Prince of Peace - Hillsong United



Bridge:
Your love surrounds me
When my thoughts wage war
When night screams terror
There Your voice will roar
Come death or shadow
God I know Your light will meet me there

When fear comes knocking
There You'll be my guard
When day breeds trouble
There You'll hold my heart
Come storm or battle
God I know Your peace will meet me there

For anyone who is struggling or is fearing something in their lives, please listen to this song, especially the bridge. Extremely encouraging and uplifting.
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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:54 am
Today I learned leaderships axioms chapter 33, it speaks about how sometimes we are afraid to say something because it may affect other peoples feelings so we try to circle around the point by cushioning it with nicer words. I think as someone who has served before this happens way too often. A lot of times we waste a lot of time trying to understand what these people are trying to say when they try to curve the truth and I have seen myself do this many times. No one likes being criticized but as leaders we should know that these other leaders love us and they want the best of us, so when we get criticized instead of getting mad, we should learn from these words to help one to become a better leader.

Prayer Request:
- Final is tomorrow, last day of school, hope I can finish strong
- Gotta start writing my nursing applications and getting recommendation letters that hopefully God will just lead me through this process of what my next few years will be like
- Retreat is coming up, just prayer for the students and leaders that we ll stay strong in our faith, if problems arise we can learn from them and really seek for God's help
- Just having some issues of my own, that God really teaches me to do the right thing
- Work, I get so tired of these kids and my patience is growing thinner, just to be more patient and understanding of the kids I work with, going to be super tired tomorrow especially after going to work right after my exams
- Family, that i can be a better son and just be a better example to my brothers
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Devotional

on Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:09 pm
Romans 10:9-11

This passage relays to a lot of what people say about themselves. It says people whoever say that Jesus is there Lord is safe and always will be. That is great because I feel like a lot of us feel the same way of that passage whenever they feel anything from the Lord. The passage is, "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” People who proclaim that their Lord is their Lord will be safe and have no shame at all, however, I feel like a lot of times, we struggle with that alone because many of us do not live out our own Christian lifestyle to the fullest. I for one am a victim of this as a lot of time as I don't always live it out because I feel like it's something that is so hard to do. With everything and everyone around you, I feel like this is something that can only be accomplished with God's strength, love, and grace inside of you. Whether something happens, you fall right to the arms of the Lord and he will provide for you. However, a lot of the time we aren't patient enough for him. We want that reassurance right away and we fall towards worldly things and it hurts us more than we are growing with him. We run away from him instead of going into his own open arms. That is something I feel like I need to work on especially during this time.

Prayer Request
Guidance - to be ready for things to come in my way and to always rely on God and know that he is always looking after me.
Patience - I feel like for me I like to get things over with, while not praying about it or not thinking it through with the fullest potential.

I have another devo that I forgot to post last night. Smile
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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:33 pm
12/5/18
Leadership Axioms 33

A lot of the chapters we've read from Leadership Axioms were ones that clearly called out a lot of how we as a leadership team operated. While reading this specific chapter, I thought a lot about a talk that the praise team had after the Friday praise night. A lot of us were lacking in preparation in terms of not only spiritual readiness, but the readiness to work together as a team. I thought this passage connected directly to the discussion that came after. Daniel was extremely direct with his points, and I think it portrayed his points a lot more effectively than if he had sugar coated them and stepped around the main idea. Bill Hybels calls this sort of behavior out and says to directly say it instead of sermonizing, editing, or hiding anything that you've been meaning to say. Something that I thought was interesting and could be good for us to incorporate within the leadership meetings in general is how he stops the meeting completely if he feels that something is amiss. I think that a lot of what we hold back is because of fear of speaking out and fear of being judged, so it should begin with us to accept everyone's ideas so they may speak more freely.

Prayer Requests:
- To be slow to anger and deal with situations with a clear mind
- Show more thanks to those who are there for me all the time and treat others in a beneficial way all the time
- To be more conscious of everything God has given and to be thankful in everything that I have received
- My physical and mental health, as I've been losing a lot of sleep lately
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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:15 pm
Luke 12:13-21
Parable of the Rich Fool

In this parable, there is a very wealthy man who owns a humongous farm. He is materially blessed by God. Every year he yields an abundance of harvest, to the point where he has no place to store his crops. Because he has no place to put his extra crops, he ends up replacing existing barns and builds bigger barns there. Although this seemed to benefit him at first, God ended up condemning him severely because of how he put so much of his attention into hoarding and accumulating wealth. This parable was very rebuking to me because sometimes when I think about my future all I care about his how much wealth I will end up getting. I like to define success by the amount of money I make and how comfortable my life is. As a result I end up putting too much focus on school and academics because I worry about not being successful in life. However according to God and according to this parable, this is the wrong mentality to have. Instead of pursing wealth God is calling us to pursue his kingdom. In order to do so we can't rely on ourselves to be successful in life, but we need to constantly rely on God to do great things for us. This is something that I really need to work on because I always think that I am in control of my own destiny, but in reality it is God that already has a set plan for me, and that I have to follow his path.

Prayer Requests:
-that wealth won't be the thing I pursue, but that I can instead pursue God's plan for me
-that I can be more respectful when I criticize other people

Song:
So Will I - Hillsong Worship
And as You speak
A hundred billion failures disappear
Where You lost Your life so I could find it here
If You left the grave behind You so will I
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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:15 pm
Proverbs 30
I want to apologize for my lack of activity on these devotionals to God, most importantly, but also to the other CCYG leaders. I pray that God would influence me to have a greater motivation to share my reflections on His Word and pray for my fellow brothers and sisters without using any excuses to justify my incompetence. The chapter I reflected on today is one of the concluding chapters of proverbs which is unique in that it contains the sayings of a man named Agur. This passage begins with this man proclaiming certain truths such as that "Every word of God is flawless" and that "he is a shield to those who take refuge in him". Preceding this, Agur pointed out his own shortcomings by saying how he was less of a man and more of a brute, and that he did not possess wisdom or knowledge. I myself could relate with him in that I didn't believe I am somebody of great wisdom or understanding. However, despite these weaknesses Agur was able to proclaim the two key concepts mentioned before. The first talks about the perfection of God's Word, suggesting that each one of His words has great power. Despite our lack of understanding, we are able to realize the strength of our Creator's words and rely fully on them. The second point is that God serves as a shield to those who take refuge in Him. This further expands on the idea that in our weakness God is unconditionally great, and so we are able to depend on Him. This verse also reveals to us that through this reliance on Him, God will protect us against the attacks of evil or sin. These truths that were shown to me through this chapter motivated me to rely fully on Him in spite of my lack of wisdom or understanding.

Prayer Requests:
- To reorient my priorities to God in all that I do
- To more effectively balance my time and efforts with God and with the world (not just leaving God to the side)
- The safety of my dad as he travels on a business trip

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Axioms 33

on Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:26 pm
This chapter of Axioms talk about how as a team we need to be open to one another. Hybels starts the chapter off with an example of a pastor preaching, and the audience being confused about it. How I see it, Bill says that the people are confused because they have some other idea of what the pastor may be preaching in their mind. To face this, a good leader should just ask in a positive way what they were thinking about the sermon that made them confused instead of trying to go through it all over again. By doing this though, Bill says it can create a comfortable and safe environment. I think this was shown very easily at our youth group since alot of us are pretty active during Friday Nights since it is an active Bible study. Then Bill says that this same type of thought process should be applied to our teams. If there is something happening where it trips people up, or it just makes the team feel uncomfortable, we as a team should be able to say what is making us uncomfortable so we can find a way to solve that solution rather than just ignoring it and trying to let it move on. I think that this is a problem we have with our teams in the youth group. In my opinion, I think we have to be able to reach a point where if we see something bad happening in any of us, we have to confront it instead of letting it pass through. If we don't confront it, it can never be solved, and who knows if its solved it can greatly benefit the team. I think that we really should adopt this into our team so we can prevent situations like this that happened in the past and present. If we just come out and say whats on our minds about the team, we can be greatly benefited from it and end up with higher spirits for God.

Prayer Requests
- Try and stay focused on school and church, get my priorities straight
- That we as a leadership can just act nicer towards each other and just set a good example for the next generations. Just be cautious of what we say
- Pray that I can be more and more grateful. Today has been pretty rough, and I'm just really grateful and happy that there are people in the team that actually care for my well being. It was really a touching moment for me, and I just want God to help me be more and more grateful for these people.

Song
Death Was Arrested (This version cause this version is insane lol)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwgWbIOt0ko
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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:52 am
Chapter 22 Leadership Axioms;
-I think this chapter addresses very well that people and emerging leaders are more than what means the eye. Especially because we want to go ahead and make devos a much more integral component of our spirituality, it provides us an earthly way of measuring spirituality and potential for leadership. Qualifications are what we want to seek out for, but we have to recognize that we will never be qualified enough in the first place. But, there are steps in initiative that people take in order that they can be empowered by God. And once we start differentiating certain leaders from the rest, we begin to underestimate the ones that didn't meet the criteria from our own potential leadership measurements.

Everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt and standards must be kept high so that we don't set ourselves below than what we're actually expected to offer God. Moving forward, our current generation of leaders will grow out of our youth group (simply because of age) and there will be a time in which we will start recruiting to fill into the shoes that are made at the present moment. I pray that as we press on, we don't evaluate someone's qualifications by our own means but to give every opportunity available to them, empowering them in any way that we can.

Chapter 33;
-We begin to see a principle from Hybels that expresses and honours an open safe space for people to open up. I think when attributing this to our youth group, because we're in such a small room with so many people, I think it becomes easy to hide within the shadows and to just listen in. Besides, isn't that the safe way of operating things? When we call something out, we're placing ourselves in a position of vulnerability - where eventually someone can call out what we just called out. Playing it safe has its benefits, but I think when we create a space and time in which people can be honest (without sugercoating), we can flourish and address certain issues and navigate through them accordingly.

I was really convicted by both of these chapters, and I felt like I need to create a better dynamic in which people can be more open, especially in our meetings. As we're trying to shift gears within our youth group's culture, it seems like I just forgot and neglected the culture of our leadership... we need to embody a team in which people can be open to others calling things out and offering a space where ideas can be bounced off of each other, with genuine pushback.

Please pray that God can make me a wiser leader. There are so many things in which I don't know, nor do I know how to carry them out. But I want to rely and be absolutely dependent on the Holy Spirit, from whom all things are possible.
Love you guys haha <3 feels so weird to just be at school the entire week...
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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:20 am
Leadership Axioms
Chapter 33: Just say it!
As I was reading this, my initial reaction was actually "wait really"? Hybels had to dedicate a whole chapter to the tiptoeing and sugar coating that occurs within leadership even, at times, beyond the youth group. This to me was bewildering because I assumed that by their age, everybody had matured enough to be able to both be straightforward with another individual or a group and be able to take criticism or harsh truths. And with this comes the necessary owning up to the mistakes and planning out how to change this. I believe that these capabilities promote efficiency and honesty, both important qualities to strive as a team. This can be carried over and applied to our very own praise/leadership team. People need to be more vocal about their thoughts instead of worrying about whether or not they are being sensitive enough. Having this understanding throughout the team saves time and emotional hurt.
Prayer requests:
That God would use me to impact different people in different areas in my life.
I can become less hypocritical and a lead by example type of leader.
To watch what I say and do, even when I'm just joking around.
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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:17 am
Matthew 2 - Called In Faith

Trusting in something you can’t see, touch, or barely hear is something really hard to do for anyone. I feel like a lot people struggle to trust in God because other than the Bible there is no solid evidence he’s real. How society portrays the gospel is all by facts, if there is no solid evidence that means there is no God. But as christians follower of Christ we believe in God even through all these doubts and uncertainties that are upon us. We believe because we’re called to faith to teach the blind and lost what the Love of God is. Even as Christians a lot of us struggle with having a stable faith in God. I definitely struggle in believing that God has a set path for me especially when things are not going my way. Especially when I think the path I set out for myself is better than the path God as set for me. I’ve tested God but no matter what he will always win, a hundred out of a hundred times he will. The struggle you’re facing might be rough now but the big picture God has painted out is definitely great than you could have ever imagine. Matthew 2:13-15 says “Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” In the moment when Joseph is told to leave it probably didn’t make any sense to him but he trusted in what God has said and listened. Then Matthew 2:19-22 shares “But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead.”  And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee.” Through the faith Joseph had he saved his family and started a new and better life for them. For us to grow with God we need to have the faith in ourselves first before we try to teach other about him.

Prayer Requests

- To have faith in God even when I think my way will be better

Song of the Day

- Scandal of Grace (I’d be Lost
By Hillsong United
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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:44 am
Matthew 20
There were two parts that stuck out to me: the one with the workers and the denarius and the one with the two blind men. Even though I’ve heard of these stories multiple time, I learn something new each time. The first one was about how a landowner kept hiring workers at different times, but offered them one denarius for their work. At the end there were those who worked more and those who worked less, yet all of them received the same pay. The first workers complained about this. The landowner answered by pointing out how they agreed to work for one denarius in the beginning. Verse 16 says, “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” The landowner is God, and we are the workers. Some of us may become followers of Christ before others, but they shouldn’t expect to get more benefits since they were first. We are all going after the same goal and that is that one denarius. God promised us with eternal life in heaven with Him, that’s our denarius. Some people may spend their whole life working on their faith and keeping a relationship with him, and others might have a revelation right before they die. I used to think that was unfair. Why did I have to spend my whole life struggling with faith? I need to realize that God promised His people all the same things. In this I should be happy instead, because He is a fair God. The other part was about two blind men who kept yelling so that Jesus would hear them and heal them. Even though the people tried quieting them down, they were persistent. I think I need to be more persistent when it comes to my faith. I need to want Jesus in my life. I keep thinking he’s going to follow after me, but really I need to follow after him. I believe these two stories can help my faith and motivate me to work on my faith and my relationship with God.


Prayer requests
-stop worrying about the American dream and focus on God(college, grades, ACT, etc)
-help me to be more patient and loving to my friends: be a blessing to those that annoy me
-forgive those who have hurt me in the past, and to not hold grudges against them


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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:31 am
Psalm 37 1-15

As people we are surrounded by evil every day. We may think evil thoughts and even act upon those thoughts. No matter how big they are, it is still a wrong action. In Psalm 37 1-15, it says like how grass withers and how green plant eventually die off, so will those wrong and the evil in your lives. Verse 4 says that if we take delight in the Lord he will give us whatever our heart desires. I feel like in these situations the words are misinterpreted. There is more to it than simply just delighting in him. Also you dont just get whatever you want just like that. But now it adds on, commit to the lord, be still before him, refrain form anger. Through these you are able to grow even more through out your daily life. It also constantly says "do not fret", or worry. It reassures us that in time all the wicked and evil will soon die off. By worrying, it prevents you from growing further. This passage guides us to a healthier relationship with the Lord. It helps me clarify that by worrying more doubt can form and it reassures us that eventually all evils will be destroyed.

Prayer Requests:
-Health of my family
-I will be able to improve myself as a person
-For me to be someone people can look up to
-For me to be a leader for others
-to stay strong and have persistence

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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:40 am
Today I finally got myself back on track after dealing with school and read John chapters 13-15 and I just found how amazingly it fit into something that recently happened in my life. John chapter 15:18-19 says, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." I just recently had kind of an argument with someone that is not a christian but someone I love and the person said that there will be no way that she can see herself ever being christian and it really bothered me because I really love and care for this person. I really struggled with this because it finally helped me understand what it meant when the world hated me because I am of God and not the world. Just the differences in what we wanted of this world really clashed and did show the differences in beliefs and the things that we both wanted. And as much as this was hard I think it kind of woke me up where I should not only focus on my faith but also try to share the word to the people around me and as someone who wants to become a nurse and go out on the missions field, how can I save people I have never met before when I can't do the same to the people that are closest to me. Something that pastor Peter told me was that his best friend committed suicide and something that haunts him to this day was the fact that his best friend was a non-believer and that he could have done more to prevent him from that tragedy. Going off of this my prayer request is for this person that I could share the word to her and just be strong in faith to never give up on the people I care about

Prayer Requests:
- Retreat is actually so close, its exciting yet a little scary, hopefully everything will work out and we will seek God in times of trouble
- Just to thank God for helping me on my final, i did really well on it
- For my group mates Ethan and Ashley that whatever struggles that they are going through that God will be with them and I can be here to be a brother who can help in times of trouble and need
- Nursing School applications are most likely going to be turned in before retreat, so just pray that God will lead me to the way he wants me to go
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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:58 am
12/8/18
Romans 14 - The Weak and the Strong

This chapter struck me as something that we as a youth group and as a leadership specifically could work on a lot, myself especially. This chapter talks about how we should not judge those whose faith is different from ours, and we should not condemn those who have weaker faith than us. The chapter begins by saying, "Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters" followed by "The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them". I thought that this was really applicable to us as leaders. Currently, we're working to feed ourselves and build up our own faith in order to help others with their faith. However, in doing this, we must not elevate ourselves to a position where we are looking down upon the ones we are serving. We should not judge those around us, and we should be supportive of those who we are assisting. We are not above them in any way. We all stand before God's just judgement in the end.
Another portion of this chapter I found applicable and important was verse 13. It says, "Therefore let us stop passing judgement on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister". This kind of reiterates the point I was trying to make earlier. We should not be judging the ones around us, but we should be trying to lift them up in their faith. We should not be hindering their relationship with God in any way because that would not be something that 1, a leader would do and 2 and more importantly, a Christian would do. I personally need to work on this, as I think that I do say a lot and portray myself in a very judgmental and aggressive way. I think this chapter was a good call out for me as an individual and me as a leader.

Prayer Requests:
- To be strong in my faith and not be judgmental of others
- To be more aware of how I treat others
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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:38 am
Matthew 3 - To solve a problem we first need to identity what the problem is


One thing our youth group really struggles with is the way we approach each other and the words we use too talk to each other. The mean things we say has become to numb and normal it just goes through one ear and out the other. I think is really sad that the way we interact with each other is mainly with negative comments instead of encouraging ones. But this isn’t just one person’s fault, we’re all at the blame for how our youth group culture has been shaped. Even if you’re not the one saying bad things or was here when it started, why haven’t you done something to put a stop to it? This youth group isn’t just ones person’s family its our family and we’re all responsible for letting this toxic culture manifest into what it is today. It easy to point fingers and blame others but does that really help or is it really beneficial to call someone out? To change this kind of culture we as a leadership need to setup and be the ones who not only lead by our words but with our actions too. Being given a role as a leader is a huge opportunity because you have some much influence on how the group will change and grow. But with great power comes with great responsibility because if you’re not carful you can negatively harm the group than helping it grow. Like is Matthew 3:10 “Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” We need to cut the bad fruit to help grow the ones that are healthy and our bad fruit at CCYG is our roasting culture and being okay with it. As leaders we need to sacrifice some of our comforts and desires to help better the youth group. Yes, giving up your comforts and the things you want to do at CCYG is hard but its not pointless. If that means you don’t say your mean joke about someone but give them encouragement instead, or sitting next to someone who always sits by themselves instead of your usually group. Those little interaction might not mean much to you but to the other person it means the world. I know this because I was one the people who received encouragement and love from youth group leader/members and because of that I’m here serving with you guys. Serving is never easy and we will always fail but God calls people who are willing to keep fighting for his glory and love.

Prayer Requests

- My Heath
I’ve started rehab for my achilles again and its been pretty hard both mentally and physically. To be honest there’s a part of me that thinks my ankle will never be healed also I don’t think my body and mind can go through the pain all over again. If you can guys can pray for me to build confidence in myself to not give up.

- Prayer Life
To make more time to prayer to God not only when I’m struggling but even when I’m doing well. To build my prayer relationship with God not as a call and answer but as a conversation.

Song of the Day

- Scandal of Grace (I’d be lost)
Hillsong United
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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:51 pm
Proverbs 31
This concluding chapter of Proverbs features an epilogue describing the characteristics and criteria for a virtuous woman. Verse 30 says, "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised". This section is specifically referring to this woman in the context of a wife, and these qualities that are described are those that a wife of righteous character will possess. In this verse we can conclude that by considering all of these criterion for a "good wife", the most crucial trait is that this person fears the Lord. As it mentions in the verse, both charm and beauty are features that cause men to be attracted to a woman. However, this individual's value is not based on how outwardly attractive she is, what she does, or how she's viewed, but whether she centers herself around God; and this is the key quality that this chapter calls for people to look for in choosing a wife. However, this message shouldn't just apply to choosing a virtuous wife, but also with choosing a husband, friend, teacher, and any other person that plays a significant role in one's life. The main takeaway is that true beauty comes from inside, with an individual's character. Also, within a person's character, the trait that should be valued above all else is that their life is centered in the Lord and they fear Him. All of the secondary qualities or actions which constitute one who is "virtuous" will flows out of their personal relationship with God. This all comes back to one theme: to seek the Lord. After reading this book of Proverbs, this is the core lesson I learned.

Prayer Requests:
- For me to have a willing heart whenever spending time with Him and to help combat my laziness.
- To view school with a God-centered perspective
- For my family to be one that truly exemplifies God's good character and centers Him above all else

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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:08 pm
Axioms 22

This chapter is explaining no matter what the situation is you should never make the decision for someone else other than yourself. He states an example of when you are trying to hire someone for a high role many people don’t just pick anyone one in their ministry they carefully elect someone. And out of the ones they do select they must pick the most qualified ones and out of those hey have to choose which one will the most willing and very best one out of them. So hey choose, they choose and then then person says no so then they go back down to the other choices and choose the next very best person. And it goes on until the find the “best one”. We go down a level of judgement each time someone that is until the supposedly “best” person denies the offer. Then they finally find one, they might not have all the achievements the first few choices had, but their good, enough. The point he was trying to make was that this is a huge problem in society today and in some to most churches. We should work together as a ministry to not find the most fit people, but to find the people who are dedicated to that church and to God. We shouldn’t judge people based on how successful or popular they are. And sometimes even if they are successful people we may be surprised on what they are willing to sacrifice for the better of the church. It never ever hurts to stop and ask anyone around you to help you and your community to come and serve God.

Prayer Requests:
To pray for those in spiritual struggle and for other members of our church to stay healthy and have good amounts of sleep. Also, to stay in faith with God and one another.

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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:40 pm
Axioms 33

It starts off with how many Christians, when trying to state something or ask a question we tend to ask in such formal politeness we cover up the actual meaning of our words. We say it indirectly and people get confused, other will say “Can you repeat that” so we do. Except this time it is more complicated then what we first said. Using different words and phrases making them even more confusing. It then says in the chapter that leaders of the group should not even let this start. It is their job to stop this person from trying to start confusion and say that time should not be wasted. Say what you have to say in the most simple form, just say it. Don’t try to make it complicated, don’t even try to hide the actual reason behind the confusing question. We should not feel like we will be judged for asking a question and never should we be nervous. If this happens often don’t ever feel obligated to have to sugarcoat the question just say it. We can save so much time if we just ask the question with no form of cover. This chapter tells that don’t just go about your life thinking you have to be scared of trying to ask a question. The communication we have in our ministry should not be the awkward one where we will have to ask a contorted question that is something that we really did not want to say.

Prayer Request:
To have all negative and awkward tension to be erased from our church. For everyone to work hard to make everyone feel included.

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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:47 pm
12/08/2018 Mark 4:18:20

Scripture: Jesus Heals a Man with a Demon
18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. 19 And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.

Theme: Share our Testimonies of what God has done in our lives.

Summary and Goal:
In this chapter of Mark, Legion begs Jesus to take out the unclean spirits out of him. He then sends(give them permission) the unclean spirits to enter the herd of pigs. After the unclean spirits left, Legion wanted to follow Jesus, but Jesus told him to go back to his home town, Decapolis, in order to proclaim how much Jesus has done in his life. In the same way, Jesus has worked in our lives and have changed us through his mercy and love. This chapter reminded me of people giving testimonies during service. I think it is important to share our testimonies even if we are shy or don't want to. It helps to show people how great the Lord's love is for us. We tell this stories to show how he lifted us from our struggles and how he has changed us by the power of the Cross. Through sharing these testimonies, people marvel and want to know who Jesus is. Also, sharing your testimony is a blessing and way to be blessed and way to be a blessing to others. With this in mind, let us share our testimonies with a geniune heart and not reluctantly share. Jesus tells the man to go to his home to share what God has done in his life. In the same way, let us try to share our testimonies to our friends and then share the Gospel to them.

Prayer Requests:
Prayer that I will be more faithful to God because of all the worldly distractions around me.
Prayer that I will do my devotionals everyday rather than doing all of them in one day, so I may become more personal with God and to love him more.
Prayer that I would do better in my studies that I will study for the reason to glorify God.
Prayer for my wellbeing.

Song Recommendation:
No Longer Slaves by Bethel Music

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Devotional

on Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:22 pm
Matthew 7:21-23

In Matthew 7, it talks about where people are always saying Lord, Lord, will not enter the kingdom of heaven. People who are always going out and saying these things do not always going to enter the kingdom of heaven. In Romans that I posted earlier, I talked about how if you believe you are safe. However, people are always going to proclaim that if you proclaim that you are a christian. People can fake it till the very end, but people are going to come into reality sooner or later. If people are going to always say these things, then they are just wasting their own time. If these people are going to church to not learn anything, then they are not only wasting their own time, but people around them as well. As they are older than most at a church, people may look up to him and they may become hypocritical about that. People who are luke warm about everything will always be spit out by the Lord. They are going to have the hardest time because they are not committed nor are they committed.
People whom are going through the act of always thinking about these things. They are always going to be going around and say that they are Christian while they are not in reality. On many different occasions, people will look at them and think that they are going to be strong in faith, however, God knows deep down inside on how they feel. Reality will hit these people soon before they go on to face the Lord.

Prayer Request
Guidance - To know how God wants me to do these things around me.
Retreat - The Leaders will be prepping and constantly prepping for it for the kids.
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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:43 pm
Luke 15:11-32
Parable of the Prodigal Son

This parable draws many similarities with the parable of the lost sheep (Shepard leaves the 99 sheep to find the lost one). In this parable, a father as two sons. The younger of the two sons requests his father to give him some inheritance, so he receives a part of his inheritance and then leaves his home to live his own life. However, the son ends up using the money in foolish ways. The bible doesn't clearly state what he spent it on, but it can be inferred that he used it on prostitutes, drinks, and other extravagant things. Because he is not wise with his money he ends up broke, and ends up starving to death. Because the son can no longer handle his suffering, he decides to go back to his father and repent for his wrongdoings. After he returns home, he says to his father, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son." At these words, the father hugs him and kisses him in complete joy. He then brings the son an elegant robe, a ring, a pair of sandals, and prepares him a huge feast with fattened calf - pretty much anything you can ask for. While they are celebrating, the older son is outside of the house, jealous at how much reward the younger son was getting even though the older son worked hard for his father everyday. The older son confronts his father about this and the father responds by saying "You are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found."
I think there are two main points that can be taken from this parable. The first is that God is very much pleased when we repent to him. In the parable, even though the younger son left his father to pursue worldly pleasures, the father welcomed him with open arms when he returned. The reason he was welcomed back was because he verbally apologized to his father and admitted his sins. No matter how much we mess up in life, if we have the courage to admit our faults to God he will always give us second chances. On the other hand, the older son was not treated the same way the younger one was because he didn't recognize the importance of repenting. To him, the only thing that mattered were external actions. This is the mentality the Pharisees had, and the reason Jesus looked down upon Pharisees was because they only cared about what they did physically. However God cares more about what's on our hearts and our faithfulness to him.
Another point to take away from this parable is that without God we can't be satisfied. We can only be satisfied with the presence of God. In the parable, right after the younger son left his father, he started to suffer. Even though he had a ton of money and wealth on him, those only lasted him a short amount of time. But when he went back to his father, he was immediately satisfied. The very thing that the son needed was food since he was starving, and so the father gave him exactly what he needed - a huge feast. In the same way, when he turn away from God and try to live on our own, our happiness will only be temporary. Eventually we will end up suffering as much as the son did if we don't depend on God and instead depend on ourselves. However once we repent and fix our eyes on God again, he will help bring us out of our suffering and satisfy us immediately.

Prayer Requests:
-that I can learn to live a repentant lifestyle
-that God can make me realize how much He is needed in every aspect of my life
-with only one semester left on worship team, pray that I can go all out when I serve

Song:
Empires - Hillsong United



Chorus:
This is love
Bending skies to heal the broken
This is love
Bleeding life into the grave
Hear the sound
As our hearts cry out forever
Singing hallelujah
Breathing in a brand new world

If I was there while Jesus was being crucified on the cross, this is the song I would be singing endlessly. Just talks about what happened on the day Jesus died and how it changed our lives. I love the line "Breathing in a brand new world" because through Jesus God created a world that can't even be compared to what it was like before Jesus came.
Another line I really like that isn't a part of the ones listed above is "Sinners called out as Saints" because even though we deserve to be dead in our sins, God still gives us the opportunity to become as holy as saints.
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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:05 pm
Chapter 22: Never Say Someone's No For Them
This chapter of axioms provides a message about the selection of people in leadership roles. It describes a situation in which leaders of a church are searching for a person to serve in a leadership position. But upon finding somebody with great qualifications, these leaders immediately assume that this person wouldn't agree to serve, and proceed to search for a less qualified individual with a more likely chance to accept the offer. Whether this be out of the will to preserve their pride or fear of rejection, this chapter calls these people to take that chance by sending the offer to any overqualified candidate for the leadership role so that there is at least a chance of them deciding to accept the position. The way I interpreted this chapter was that in the broader scheme of things, God hand picks the people who will contribute to His church, and in no way is this the responsibility of us to make that decision. For this reason, coming to the conclusion that somebody will reject an offer to serve based on the assumption that they would feel "too good" for the position is a flawed way of viewing the situation. Instead, if there is an individual with great potential to do good as a leader, there should be no hesitation or trouble in simply sending the offer. Although there may be many rejections, we are to trust that God has a plan and he will provide the people that best satisfy the duties that the position requires. In short, instead of making baseless assumptions it is important to rely on and leave everything to God.

Prayer Requests:
- For me to fully rely on God and not to be anxious about my life but to trust that He will be working through anything that happens.
- To be consistently walking alongside God throughout the week rather than exclusively around the weekends

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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:43 pm
I read Radical chapter 4 today and this has probably been the most powerful chapter to me so far. It talks about how God used many miracles back in the old days like Moses splitting the sea and the three who were saved from the furnace and how these works all glorified who God was around the world. He gifted all of these people to be able to glorify his name around the world. In the middle of the passage it talks about the present day christians where so many people are hesitant to go out on missions and of the authors experience of one of the churches where the pastor literally is threatening people so that he does not have to go on missions himself but to still contribute in some way and I found that as an excuse not to go on missions. And as much as that makes me judge him as someone who is so unwilling to do God's work, it really puts a reflection on my life. My dream is to get a good job, get married, start a family in the suburbs and maybe once I get old I might as well go on missions or just go when I have time. What I want for my dreams and future is exactly what is pictured as the modern day christian in America. And as much as I read this chapter I know deep inside that is what I want for myself, that I find myself so terrified and unwilling to go to a third world country and glorify his name there and that is why it is mentioned in the end of the chapter, that we were gifted and blessed with just such a comfortable and spoiling life that I may one day use these to glorify his name to people who did not have the same opportunities as me. So my prayer request is that although I do find myself wanting an easy life, that maybe one day I will have a willing heart, one that will just be able to sacrifice these worldly riches to really love him and glorify him in whatever way he has planned for me.

Prayer requests:
- For all the suckers who still have finals, that God will give them strength and that they may all finish strong
- My group mates Ethan and Ashley that they will stay strong in their devos and in their christian life
- Retreats literally in like two weeks, I don't know why but I do feel very unprepared but through this I can grow and that God can use me to really be a blessing to the students
- My small group for retreat
- Nursing applications
- Family has been having bible studies and it has been truly blessing, just thankful for god for that

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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:06 am
12/08/2018 Mark 5:33-34

Scripture: Jesus Heals a Woman
Mark 5:33-3433 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

Theme
Jesus will work in us if we have great faith in him

Summary and Goal:
A woman with a discharge of blood for twelve years had been looking for a way to heal her injuries. However, in the world, she couldn't find anything even though she spent all she had to find a way. However, on the way to one of the rulers of a synagogue, she sees Jesus. She had heard about the miracles that Jesus had performed. She put her faith in Jesus and she believed that if she touch the garments of Jesus, she would be healed. With this faith, she was healed by the power of God. Jesus says "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace , and be healed of your disease." (Mark 5:34). The faith that the woman had shows us that we can be healed by God if we put our trust in him. I think this is kind of analogous in our lives. By putting our faith in Jesus, he will work in us and will save us from our struggles. I believe that if we put our faith in Jesus that God will work in us and that he will help us to become blessing to others around us. I pray that I will be more faithful to Jesus and that all the glory go to lord for he is my strength.

Prayer Requests;
Prayer that I will be more faithful to God.

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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:03 am
Nahum 1 2-7

When I read this passage for the first time o was amazed at what it was saying. It straight up says in the beginning that the Lord is a "jealous and avenging God" and it keeps going along those lines for the next few verses. When I truly think of it we should fear God. He is such a powerful being. But then goes on saying that he is slow to anger. We can never be a perfect Christian. But we can try our best to follow the lord and to never give up.on him. He will punish the guilty and forgive the repentance form people. Although we think that is a such loving and powerful God, we should also keep in mind that he is ruthless as well, that we cant just do whatever we want because we will face the concequences one day or another. This passage really opens up my eyes and makes me think deeply about my actions. You can just put a mask on in front of other people and act so fake, but in reality God knows it all and you will be punished. If you are not making a true effort to change yourself you will not go to heaven. Keeping
This in mind I live my life for the eyes of him not for any other. Like in Ecclesiastes life is meaningless it's only temporary and a way to only fill short pleasures there is a whole other life ahead of us. We have to think of others and our own future.

Prayer request:
Well-being of my family

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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:21 am
Psalm 3

Everytime I read this chapter I helps me remind my self of what God is to me. When I feel down, pressured, and doubt God lifts me back up, sheild me and loves me. That he will destroy me enemies to get me closer to him. He will break me apart to rebuild me in to a better version of myself. Its say that when one calls out to the lord, no matter what he will answer from the holiest mountains. I know that he will always respond to my prayers. I want to be used by him, and his people to be blessed. This chapter gives me hope to help give hope to others.

Prayer requests.
- I will be able to help others grow
- i will always be there for my family all the way no matter how tired I may be
- I can be the best friend, daughter, or helper I can
- be a better version of myself

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Devotional

on Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:15 am
Proverbs 3:7-8
This passage is something that I tend to always struggle with. It’s something always that is and should be on our hearts as well. “Do not be wise in your own eyes;fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” By not using our eyes, and really relying on God as our own visual aspect, we tend to just go to him and think of him. With us not focusing on him, it hinders our walk and view of him. We go towards worldly pleasures to give us that pleasure that God can always provide but we fail to have that visual of him on many occasions. Even through this, He is always having open arms for us but we always run away from him and go towards over things around us that give us that pleasure.
Through all this, I think that God is always looking out for me. I know that He is giving me love and compassion. I know he is constantly working inside of me and is giving me his love and compassion continuously. Through everything, I know that He is always going to guide me in a path He wants me to go through because He wants the best for me.
Prayer Request
- Love and compassion throughout everything I do.
- Not to be stubborn even through hard acts.
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1 John 4:7-21

on Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:20 am
Ok, so my devo didn't save so I'm sorry if this isn't as descriptive lol. Anyway, in this passage John talks about God's love and how our love correlates to ours. In the first chunk, John tells us to love each other because our ability to love comes from God. John also states that everyone who can love has been born of God, meaning that if we don't love, which is impossible, we are not born from God. John is indirectly telling us that everyone, whether they like it or not, has come from God, because it is physically impossible to love. Then John says that God has demonstrated his love to us by sending down his son to die for our sins.John describes this as true love, and that we should ought to love one another as God loved us by sending his son to die for our sins. John is essentially telling us that we have to have a love just as great as God's. If we ought to love one another, we should love in a way that we would be willing to give ourselves up for that person or thing. John also says that if we love, we can see God in his form. I think John was trying to say with this that because God loved us, if we demonstrate that same love we can see God's presence through us. Then John also says that with loving, that is how we know that we can live in him and he lives in us. God has essentially given us the spirit, and with the spirit we have the ability to love one another. Onto the next chunk, John says that God is love, and since we live with love in our life, we also live with God in our life. With this love, we can drive out our fears, just like how Jesus would use his love for us, and we need to not feel fear if we want to be able to love. The John finally says that we love because God loved us, and if we ever hate a brother or a sister, we cannot see God. Yet if we show love among our peers, we can be able to love and see God in our lives.

Prayer Requests
- Chruch, School, that everything wouldn't be stressful
- I really hope that everyone was able to do their devos. I pray that with our devos we can walk a more spiritual path in life.
- Pray for my friends around me that they would just have a smooth and steady coming week.
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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:25 am
Axioms 33 - Just Say It!

In this chapter, it is explained by Hybels just how much people hold back from saying things because they are scared or don’t feel comfortable. This, however, should not be the case. We as leaders should encourage people to speak their minds and to not be afraid. That is how we become the best leaders. We need to create an environment where people feel comfortable with each other and don’t mind sharing thoughts and opinions. I found this chapter very relatable because I know for a fact that at one time or another everyone, including myself has felt too shy to speak up. In order to help others feel safe, we must start with ourselves as leaders. During the meetings on Sunday mornings, I still sometimes feel too shy to add to conversations. Not necessarily because I am not comfortable with everyone but because I worry too much about how people will react to my comments. It is not about anything bad anyone is doing, it is just my personal opinion. I am working on it and it is slowly improving. In making a community so bonded, we offer people the opportunity to share any comments or concerns and give them the room and time to talk comfortably and not have to worry about how to phrase it in the right way in hopes of not offending others. People still may not feel comfortable sharing even after letting them know it is ok and welcomed, so we as leaders should also initiate comments and call out the elephant in the room if seen and sensed. We can influence them in being people who feel good after sharing.

Prayer topics:
- to be more focused in school
- for my relationship with God to grow and become more bonded
- for me to have less anger towards my siblings
- to express gratitude towards my parents at all times even when I may be unhappy with them (remind me of what they have sacrificed for me) because all their actions are for my sake


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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:36 am
Leadership Axioms Chapter 22: Never Say Someone’s No For Them

Summary: Bill Hybel talks about one of his experiences of looking for people in order to fill a leadership role. He talks about the tendencies people have where they look for the perfect person but they don't ask that person as they feel like they will say no. Hybels talks about that people are already on their journey and will probably say no, but the best leaders are the ones where they take the shot and ask the person about taking the position rather than taking them off their list. Nothing is lost by asking a person and receiving another leader for the church.

Application:
When I read this, I remember PJ asking me to join leadership team. I really wasn't in the right mind at the time and thought how can I join such a team when I'm spiritually struggling. However, I said yes. It was because of God's power and grace that I am able to serve. I think God doesn't always call on the people who are righteous, but the people who are struggling. He calls us and works in us to help us to grow and cut away the bad branches. He also uses us to be blessing in our youth group and community. God is the reason why people serve as it can be seen with the business owner who decided to give up his business to serve for God.

Prayer Requests:
Prayer that I will serve God with all my heart, soul, and strength.
Prayer that God will work in me so I may be a blessing to others.
Prayer that I will love everyone more.
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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:37 am
Axioms 22 - Never Say Someone’s No For Them

Hybels explains the negative outcomes of saying no for others. When we put words into other people’s mouths, we may not only be taking an opportunity away from ourselves, but also be taking a potential opportunity from them. They may need certain offers, yet we never bother to ask just because we think we know what they will say. You never know what someone is thinking, so we should not assume anything. Give them the chance to answer for themselves and if they say no, then that is that. At least you had the chance to ask them instead of deciding for them and never actually knowing what their response would have been. Hybels mentions that he went for a long shot when he asked great leaders/influencers to help out at Willow and that he was surprised when they accepted. He said that if he had said no for them, he would basically have been missing out on a great chance of increasing the faith in the community. To summarize, we should never give answers for others and let them decide themselves.

Prayer topics:
- same as the previous ones Smile tyvm!

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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:52 am
Leadership Axioms Chapter 33: Just Say It!

Summary: Hybel talks about the experiences he had during ministry meetings. He talks about how team members make it unclear on what they are trying to say because it is a hard thing to share. However, Hybel says to just say it because it saves time. As a great leader, he wants his team members to be straight forward so they can go on and encounter with the thoughts and situations of the members. By doing this, he saves time and gets the ideas from the members straight out.

Application: When I read this, I thought about all the times when I had something to share, but I didn't because I thought about how it would affect others. However, after thinking about it and reading this chapter, this only makes me run away from the problem even though it is growing larger and larger. I think Bill Hybel's idea is a great one to use in any situation like school, church, and e.t.c . By sharing our thoughts straight-forwardly, it will save time and help us to look at problems and attack the problem. I think we shouldn't be afraid of each other, but rely on one another, and keep one another accountable if we see a problem that is lurking in the youth group.

Prayer Requests:
Prayer that I will not fall asleep tomorrow during the sermon.
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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:06 am
Radical
Chapter 4: The Great Why of God
In this chapter, Platt touches on a plethora of topics, but yet again goes about his overarching claim: the Christian spin we put on the American Dream isn't sufficient enough for what we are called to do. God, time and time again, pours out his grace on us for the sake of his glory -- so that salvation would be made known among all people. So comprehensively, we can't simply take the blessings and enjoy in them without considering the purpose. It's funny how we pick and choose which parts of the Bible and of Christianity we believe and ignore, apply and ignore. Many of us aim to stay in the US and build towards a comfortable life when the Bible clearly tells us that we need to have a heart for the world, that we owe the world Christ and need to make God's glory known. For me, since I was young, coming from humble roots, my goal was to become live a comfortable life, with a six-figure job, a beautiful family preferably in the safety of the suburbs, and being actively involved in the church. So, I made a plan to go to a prestigious university and become something like a nurse practitioner or a dentist. However, this year, I started to question less of what I wanted my next 10 years to look like and wonder what God wanted it to look like. I still am very unsure as to what my path is, but my mindset has shifted. I am open to what God has in store for me and have stopped dreaming and subtly making my own plans. This is caused a lot of anxiety within me and a lot of internal turmoil but praise God that more and more I am able to come to terms with my real purpose. To go to the ends of the earth to glorify God. However, something I have realized is that in this world to appeal to a majority, you need influence and power, so I feel my goal can be the same, but for the purpose of being able to make a greater difference and having a bigger impact for God.
Prayer requests:
I pray that God would give me clarity on what my path should be like
I pray that God would help me further realize that secular success is fleeting and in the end meaningless
I pray that God would give me lots of opportunities and the courage to spread his Word throughout the world.
I pray that each and every day I would love God more and more.
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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:30 am
Matthew 4 - Temptations

Serving as a youth group teacher for the past two years I think one of the hardest sins I’ve struggle with was the sin of temptation. As a teacher it was hard to balance out my desires of fun over doing what is best for the youth group. It was hard especially when I first started serving because I just graduated from youth group so stepping up to make decisions that were best for the youth group over what they want. It was also hard to not hang out with the kids because I had to finish the church work I needed to do. When times got hard it was definitely hard for me to not yell at the kids but show love and grace instead. All theses temptations grew heavy on my heart to the point where it was really unhealthy for me. But one important part of being a leader is to be able to sacrifice some of your own desires for the greater good. I think this is one of the hardest parts about being a leader to give up your wants for people who usually don’t really deserve it. These temptations are caused by satan trying to make us fall away from God but in these moments we need to stay strong and faithful. Matthew 4:1-11 has a great example of this “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,“‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.” Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.” In moments in doubt and temptations we need to rely on God and trust in his path and course for us.

Prayer Requests

- In times of doubt I will rely on God

Song of the Day

- Lord I Need You
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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:35 am
Leadership Axioms Chp. 22 Never Say Someone’s No for Them

In this chapter, Bill Hybels gives examples of the times he thought about the outcome, but turned out differently in the action of asking someone to serve. He basically says not to judge or say no upfront without even asking them. They might think differently. I think that I can agree well with this. I was living a comfortable life, going to church twice a week (Friday and Sunday) until Daniel asked me to serve. Before serving, I was one of those people who did not care for Church, especially serving. I thought it was a waste of time. Due to this past, I was very hesitant about the decision, but I decided to give it a try. I did not know that being part of a leadership role was this time worthy. I do not regret the decision because I know that God has a fantastic future planned ahead of me.

Prayer Topics:
Please pray about my grades. I was not getting on top of my work and hangouts were always first for me these few weeks. Just pray that I wil be more passionate about my priorities.
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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:05 am
Proverbs 3:1-12

I found this chapter from just flipping through the Bible today. The first words caught my eyes. The first words were, “My son, do not forget my teachings, but keep my commands in your hearts.” This verse made me think about my past. Do I really follow God’s commands? Do I follow his teachings? Do I even understand his teachings? Do I even know the teachings? To all these questions, my answers were no. I am ashamed about this fact, but this also encouraged me to learn and breach more deeply into the word of God. Then the Bible continues on with “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” I think this verse is pretty self-explanatory. If you love and have faith regularly, you will receive good things from God and humans. I think my favorite part in this passage is on verse 11 and 12; “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebukes, because the Lord disciplines those who he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” When unfortunate events happen, I would usually turn to God and resent him for it. I would ask, “Why me?” Why does it have to be me? For that moment, I would doubt myself to think that God does really exist. Then time would pass and I would forget about it and start all over again. From now, instead of getting mad, I think I would think about the discipline that God is teaching me.

Prayer Topic:

I have been going through a hard time with people. I have been getting on people's nerve and I have been changing my ways of approaching and hanging out with friends. Just pray for me that I will become a better person and will not cause more conflicts
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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:41 am
12/8/18
Romans 15

Romans 15 is kind of split into 2 sections. The first continues to talk about how the strong should support the weak and the second portion are Paul's letters to the Gentiles.
The first section I think is more applicable, as it talks about having faith and endurance to support each other and ourselves. It says, "May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind towards each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ". If we don't have the same attitude of mind towards each other, then there will constantly be clashes that occur and we will be unable to glorify God. Furthermore, it calls us to be accepting. It says, "Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God". These two points continue on the point of chapter 14 of not judging and helping those with weaker faith. The fact that there are multiple chapters in a row that address the idea of judgement shows how important it is not to do so and how important it is to truly praising God.
The second portion consists of 2 letters that Paul writes to the Gentiles. I think the reason they were included was to show Paul's heart behind him going to Rome and preaching to the Gentiles who lives there. Paul says, "It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else's foundation. Rather, as it is written: 'Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.'". The fact that Paul was willing to go out and start the new foundation of faith in places where Jesus was not even heard of shows his commitment to faith. He was willing to leave everything behind for God's calling and was also able to do these works joyfully. This is important to recognize and apply, as there are many times where I serve with a negative heart. Like Paul, it is important to serve and be willing to drop everything to do the work of God.

Prayer Requests:
- To serve with a better heart and mentality
- To stop being so judgmental
- To trust God through the pain and trials always
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Re: December 2nd to 8th (Suggested Passage: Luke 18:1-8)

on Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:51 am
Radical Chapter 4: The Great Why of God

Summary: As we all know, Radical’s chapters are pretty long and they go into to a lot of depth but here is the gist of the chapter. God created us, and he blesses us with miracles so that he can spread his word. We are his vessels and tools to spread around the world, and it is our duty to go out there and evangelize. Hybels says, “Every saved person this side of heaven owes the gospel to every lost person this side of hell “ (pg 74). What this quote is trying to say is that we can’t control people’s lives, but what we at least owe them is the good news of Jesus Christ. Then Hybels goes into what our lives should look like as a Christian in 2018. We should be asking ourselves, “What am I going to do with what God has given me? How am I going to use my influence, my leadership, and my resources in the world around?” (pg 81) Hybels shares stories of people forgoing the “American Dream” to pursue spreading God’s word in the professions they are passionate about.

Application: I thought this chapter was very important because I have always wondered what it looks like to pursue your passion while also being Christian. I felt like my ambitions and Christianity we the complete opposites. Like most people, I want to be successful, live very comfortably, and be able to provide a good future for my kids. However, God calls us to drop everything and carry our cross daily. How can we do this while we are putting 80-hour-weeks to the company that we just started, or working up the ladder? I believe this is something that I will find myself questioning a lot but as Hybels tells us, we are blessed and put into the place that we are in right now so that we can evaluate to others. I think that the saying “Blessed people, bless people” rings so true in Chapter 4. So what does this all mean? God is not stopping you from pursuing your passions. You should devote yourself to your passion, but there is a way to glorify him through your passion and profession. If you are confused, read the stories Hybels shares at the end of the chapter.

Prayer Requests:
I feel like I push myself really hard and right now, I’m okay. I’m not comfortable, but I’m okay. As I start my second job, I know it's going to be to the hardest challenge I have yet to face so I pray that I will be 100% dependent on God and not by my own works.
Please pray for the winter retreat as it is right around the corner and we are finishing up some last minute touches to make this one a successful one.
Please pray for me to have a more loving heart. I might not be mean to people, but that doesn’t mean I love them, and I believe that I should be loving all my brothers and sisters.

Song of the Day:
“I feel the rains of your love
Feel the winds of your spirit
Now the heart beat of Heaven
Led us here

Let it rain
Let it rain
Open the floodgates of Heaven

'Cause we wanna see you
Show us your glory
We wanna know you, oh Lord”

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