OnlyGrace

Do Hard Things July 28, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — beyondtheoutside @ 8:10 PM

So, this conference was AMAZING. If you didn’t, you should regret that. Following are some notes and stuff I took from the conference. 

They’re just small little notes I took…*Some stuff you may not understand unless you were there or have read the book…

 

SESSION 1-Alex.

*Teen years and NOT a bunch of years to fool around and have fun-rather, they are a launching pad for the rest of your life.

*What has changed in the last 100 years that has made us teens go from where we were to where we are?People’s expectations of teens have gone WAY down.

*Adolescence-To grow up (dictionary)
Adolescence-Foolish yeas that hold us back from what God has planned for us (Our culture)

*After child labor laws were abolished, the kids were removed from work and kids had to go to school through HS. It changed the role of teens from workers/consumers to just  consumers. Standards and expectations were lowered.

*Not only are there low expectaions set for us teens, but we then lower ourselves to meet those.                   -This really really really hit me.

*”The ceiling is where the floor should be”-regarding expectations, or lack thereof for teens. 

*1 Corinthians 14:20

*We are expected to be proficient in things of the world-like shows, movies, music, sex, styles, etc. Other things like studying the word of God, speaking the gospel to others and spending time daily with the Lord are not expected. 

*Not only does the Bible say not to be looked down upon because of our age, it says we are to be EXAMPLES for people.

*1 tim 4:12

*Who’s expectations am I living by?

*We think we are getting away with something by the way we live, but really we are robbing ourselves of so much. 

*There is really only a rope around our right leg-but chains around our mind (If you were there, you get this)

*It’s only going to take ONE step and the twine will break (again…had to be there)

*George, David & Clara didn’t start out big (president, red cross founder), they did HARD things to get to where they were.

*You can become what you want if you strive for that

SESSION 2-Brett

*Brett used to Hate taking showers-but now it’s second nature-what has changed? If we continually do something-everyday, we will start doing it by habit.

*The big challenges I’m facing are no more difficult than other things I’ve faced in my life. It’s like a 4 yr old holding 10 lbs and a 18 yr old holding 150. It IS heavier, but they’re bigger too. It’s the same idea.

*What the difference between how I handled things as a kid and how I handle things now?

*We like what comes easily to us but stepping out of our comfort zone is where the real victories happen.

*Why are babies forced to talk, but teens are not able to break the communication barrier between them and their parents? Because one is expected, one is not

*It sickens me personally to know that I live in a culture that expects more of babies than me. 

*Have I REALLY reached my limits?

*Am I just @ a point where all my peers are no longer expected to do anything more-so I just follow along?

*Imagine the what the Lord can do with my life if I just stop living with these chains around my mind!!!

*Am I REALLY being all that God wants me to be?

*Am I like the third servant in the Bible story that just keeps his talents and does nothing to mulitply them?

*God doesn’t call us to do everything-but he DOES call us to do SOMETHING. He expects us to bring him glory and to do hard things

*A DO HARD THINGS mentality would like like this (7 things):
1)Fighting sin in your life-trampling it.

This would mean actively, intentionally fighting sin. 

2)Battling discouragement and complacency

-Discouragement: Being dishearted about who I am. Its not a matter of something out of our control. We can do this-but it’s HARD.

-Complacency:Feeling smug about who I am and what I’ve done. When things come easy and you get comfortable. You ask “why push myself?” God’s standard is for you to be holy like him and to work to our best ability-constant growth. It’s like that so we can have no excuses. It is NOT a matter of arriving-but constantly growing. There are always harder things. 

-Weight illustration-I need to get weights that are hard for ME. Maybe only doing 3 pushups is a workout for me-but I need to do three because that’s what will work me. 

-What’s hard for me could be easy for others and what’s easy for me could be hard for others-its different for everyone. 

3)Doing more than is required

-DON’T JUST MAKE IT. The Vikings-they rode themselves into battle. This says they were strong! DO HARD THINGS-It WILL pay off. If I do what other neglect, I will become strong. I have to ride myself to battle-then I will have the strength to fight in the battles and win. I have to grow muscles-mental, spiritual and physical. If I fail in doing hard things, it is not because I CAN’T-it’s because I haven’t prepared.

-Rebelling against low expectations for God’s glory!!!!

4)Getting over our fear of failures

-Anything worth doing is worth failing at at first. Failure is never wasted if we learned to go to God because of that. 

-IT’S OKAY TO FAIL AT HARD THINGS.

-All effort produces muscle

5)Doing Hard Things looks different for everyone. 

-Do what is hard for ME. 

-Ask the Lord what is HARD for me and what HARD things I can do to bring him glory.

-Hard things-Looks different for men and women. Some for men only. Some for only women. 

-ASK an older woman what some things are that are hard for women. Answer I got: Submission to male authority, modesty.

-We are each gifted differently so bring glory to God in whatever way I can!

6) Doing Hard Things often means doing SMALL things.

-Often, small stuff is the hardest because it is NOT usually being expected

-Small things take character

-Take on small battles-they will build muscle

-Embrace my oar (Vikings…) so I can yield my sword later.

-Small things prepare us for God to use us for bigger things.

-Bigger CAN mean heavier, but it can mean holding something small for longer.

7)Doing hard things is you best life

-This does NOT mean easiest.

-“The Christian ideal has not been found lacking it has been found difficult”

SESSION 4-GREG HARRIS

*It’s the nature of the tree that determines the fruit

*Luke 6:43

*Ezekial 36:25-27

*Jeremiah 13

*Matthew 12:33

**To be a good tree, our heart mus change

*EVery command of God is to protect us and for our benefit

*If you believe God is good, his will seems good to us also

*John 3

*Heart=wanter-I want what I want and I cant change what I want-simply because I dont WANT to.

*You can go through the motions without your heart being in it

*My nature defines my desires

*Wolf-Meat

*Lamb-grass 

*They are bound by nature. They have choices of meat/grass-but bound by nature. Likewise, we are bound by our nature

*Only God can change what I REALLY want 

*1 John 3:10-Not insulting-discribing

*You can tell what you’re practicing

*If you believe, you will practice

*Apple tree/crab apple? Lamb/wolf?

*2 Tim 3:1

*Matthew 24:12

SESSION 5: ALEX, GREG, BRETT HARRIS

*2 Tim 2:22

*Work together and you can carry more

*Working together is good for encouragement

*Ecc 4:12

*Proverbs 24:17

*Proverbs 15:33

*We need to surround ourselves with those old than ourselves also

*Eph 6:1-3

*Books, Mag, TV, Radio, websites and etc are also our companions

*Evaluate my technological companions 

*If we want to walk with the wise, we need to choose our companions.

::::7 HARD THINGS TO DO IN THE NEXT MONTH::::
 1)Have a hero

-Human shaped hero

-Many heros, but one special, #1 hero

2)Read

-“Those who never read will never be read. Those who never quote will never be quoted”-C. Spurgeon

3)Take advantage of the Rebellution

-Website

-Book

-Blog

-Discussion forms

4)Find secret Rebelutionaries

-Be an obvious rebellutionary so that other will follow and ‘show themselves’

5)Seek out godly and wise people in my life

-ASK-What do you wish you knew at my age

-ASK to people who know you really well-what choices would you be making my life that I’m not making?

6)Know that God’s the biggest comforter

-Live and belong to God

-Do hard things to the glory of God

-Get to know God

7)CHANGE SOMETHING

-Changing something in your life requires changing something in your life!!!!

-Dont change something emotionally-change something structurally.

-Swimming in filth (culture)-Resolving to tread water forevermore. That is impossible. Changing something would look like going to the shallow end or getting out of the water. 

-Find a goal I can meet

-Rearrange my life. When rearranging-sometimes there isn’t room for all the stuff-so may have to go.

-Do something so that even if my mind changes, my actions wont.

 

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So, those are my notes. It’s kinda just little things I jotted down. I have LOTS of application and I’m still taking this all in!!!  I am trying to apply the things because some things I can apply immediately and I’m trying to do that. The conference was amazing and I hope I can better glorify the Lord now!

 

SHINE! July 22, 2008

Filed under: God showed/taught me/ect — beyondtheoutside @ 10:39 PM

I’ve been doing Beachmont these past two days…and will be for the next two weeks. The kids are CRAZY! I love them all though. Good times, good times. 

On the way to camp this morning, I was listening to this song…It’s called Shine by the Newsboys. It’s an older song, but a good one. I dont think I’ve ever REALLY listened to this song. I usually just sing along without thinking about the words. This time though, I thought about it.. Skim over the lyrics. At least look @ the chorus.

Dull as dirt
you can’t assert
the kinda light that might persuade
a strict dictator to retire
fire the army,
teach the poor origami
the truth is in
the proof is when you hear your heart start asking
What’s my motivation?
And try as you may
there isn’t a way
to explain the kinda change
that would make an eskimo renounce fur
that would make a vegetarian barbeque hamster
unless you can trace this about-face to a certain sign

shine
make em wonder whatcha got
make em wish that they were not
on the outside looking bored
shine
let it shine before all men
let em see good works and then
let em glorify the lord

Out of the shaker and onto the plate
it isn’t karma it sure ain’t fate
that would make a deadhead sell his van
that would make a schizophrenic turn in his crayons
Oprah freaks
and science seeks
a rationale that shall excuse this strange behavior
when you let it shine
you will inspire the kind of entire turnaround
that would make a bouncer take ballet
even bouncers who arent happy
but out of the glare
with nowhere to turn
you ain’t gonna learn it on “What’s my Line?”

Shine
make em wonder whatcha got
make em wish that they were not
on the outside looking bored
shine
let it shine before all men
let em see good works and then
let em glorify the lord
 

I like that line: Shine, make them wonder what you got. That is something I’ve been working on recently with this one situation. Speaking the gospel without words. Sharing where I am but how I still feel peace and joy in the crap of my life. The person is wondering why I facing the same things she is, but why I’m not responding the way. She’s asking questions. It’s cool to see how the Lord can use us to further His kingdom by doing the smallest things. I’ve been just telling Him and crying out that I am His, USE me, do what would best glorify HIM and dont let me do anything that goes against that. I want to be used by Him for Him and His gloryo anyway, that song really encouraged me today. =) I want to SHINE for HIM and I want them to wonder- “what is different?” and I want to be able to say, bodly, that JESUS is the difference!!! It says in Deuteronomy 31:6 (OT, Janet!):
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. 
That’s what my prayer is..being strong and courageous for Him and knowing that I can do that because His is the one who goes with me and He wont leave me!!! Anyway, that’s what I’ve been thinking about today at camp. 
It was a good thing to keep in mind @ camp too actually. It’s a Christian camp, but there still aren’t too many opportunities to plainly share the gospel with the children besides devotions in the AM. So just trying to SHINE in the small, everyday things I do at camp is a good thing to try to do….It is hard though and I know I’m not being the best example I could be…but I’m trying and by God’s grace hopefully I can portray Christ through my actions and attitudes!
 

Commissioned ’08. July 18, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — beyondtheoutside @ 11:09 AM

So, Commissioned was just AMAZING. 
After Pastor Greg gave his little message about how to use the “How good are you?” tract, Pastor Matt gave us two questions to talk about over lunch with people. 
The first: What are you most nervous/scared about in relation to Commissioned? 
The second: What are you hoping to see God accomplish these next few days?

He asked us to sit with people we might not usually sit with to get to know them. There were only 15 of us and I knew most people, but thought I’d sit with some people I wasn’t so close with. I went over to the right table and sat down. Jeremy, Paul, Aaron, Mike, Phil and I were there. It was a little weird first, so I finally asked one of the questions. No one answered. Again, awkward. I figured I’d answer it. I said that my answer to the first question was that I was scared about going out to the Inner Harbor and sharing the Gospel with the tracks. Now, I’m a pretty outgoing and friendly person, so it wasn’t the talking to people that bothered me. I was just really scared someone was going to ask me a question and I wasn’t going to know the answer. That was really scaring me. Someone agreed with me then others began to share. Some said they were scared of rejection, others said that they wouldn’t know what to say, etc.
The second question was asking about what we were expecting God to do for us there. So then I asked my table that question. I can’t really remember too much of what people said, truthfully. *If you were @ my table and you remember what you said, comment with what your answer was. I said that personally, I had two things. The first was that I would just get like the-um, that I would learn how to share the gospel in that way. I’ve shared the gospel with people, but never like this. Now, this prayer/expectation had sorta already been met because Pastor Greg just taught us how to use the tract. So I was excited about that. The second thing was just that I would have an increase passion for the lost. After taking the Heaven/Hell/Eternity class @ church recently, my passion had grown. I wanted it to grow more through this experience. 
I just wanted to share with you guys how those things were answered and stuff. 
Well, first off, with the thing I shared about being nervous about someone asking a question I didn’t know the answer to. I was never asked a question like that. The whole time I was talking to people, I wasn’t even nervous about that. God just gave me an intense peace about that. Plus, I was on a tag-team with Dan Bilmanis so I wasn’t so nervous that if a question was asked that I didn’t know the answer to, I figured Dan probably would know what to say. 
I learned, like I said before, from Pastor Greg, how to share the gospel in a cold turkey setting. So that prayer-answered. 
My passion for the lost is SO much bigger! I didn’t even know I could have a passion for the lost like I have now! After being rejected and seeing people so stuck in their sinful ways, I realized how much our country is in desperate news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Some people were open to hear what we had to say about the gospel and that also grew my passion-there are people out there ready to come to Christ and they just dont know the good news! That’s terrible! So that prayer-DEFINITELY answered!
But God didn’t stop there. God is so much bigger than I tend to think. I was underestimating the Power of Jesus Christ’s message!! 
When we went to the Perry Hall fair, many people signed up for VBS! We’d been praying for that and the Lord graciously granted us that! Going to VBS everyday now is a joy because I’m seeing people from the fair and parks that signed up for VBS! I pray, and ask that you would also, that VBS is really getting the Gospel message out to these children and their parents. I pray that the parents would love the church and want to come visit on Sundays! I know the Lord is powerful and can do that-So I pray He will!
God also just brought our team SO close. I mean, if you weren’t there, you cannot understand. But listen, people I didn’t even talk to or know more than like name and stuff-We are like best friends! I have like 13 new best friends! All of the people on the team are passionate for Christ and seeing His message proclaimed across the earth. I was so encourage by how close we all got. I mean, the night I went home I was missing people I didn’t even talk to before! We are all super tight and have like 5,000 inside jokes. *Mmmm, SCRUFFY?* *Did you change your mind yet?* Anyway, it was a blast! I didn’t expect to have that much fun, but it was awesome. The Lord also changed my heart there because, truthfully, when I heard there were only going to be 15 people-including adults and Pastor Matt, I was discouraged. But that was wrong! I was, again, underestimating the Lord. He wanted 15 people on the team for a reason! He worked SOOO powerfully through just the mere 15 of us sinners.
I was also just really encouraged by doing Commissioned. Watching how the two 13 year old boys just preached the gospel, let us girls eat first, opened doors, took tents from me because it was heavy, and stepped up in their leadership-it made me want to cry. I was so incredibly encouraged by that. Seeing one of the other quieter guys just sharing Christ’s message to people openly humbled me. Seeing how the Lord brought us girls together as really close friends, it just amazed me. I think the Lord wanted to remind me that He is mighty and he just renewed my awe of Him and what He does. So team, well the few of you that have Facebooks, thank you! I was so blessed to be on a team with you and I am thanking the Lord that He allowed each of you to come to Commissioned and become one of the Commissioned family. 
So, that is, in part, Commissioned. There are many stories I could tell and testimonies I could share, but I’ll stop there. God worked in all of our lives and through each one of us retched sinners. PRAISE GOD. 
-Mag.