March 19, 2011

So I just spent 3 days with a group of Jr. High through High School students at a retreat where I got the privilege of being the guest speaker. We had a "Fear Factor" each session in which 2 kids had to eat something that was pretty much disgusting. Most of the items were fine by themselves, but if you blend them in a blender... you get "disgusting".

I couldn't help but think of this month's challenge that you all are participating in. It's not easy... in fact, some people think they can't do what you are doing. It's as if they have a fear of trying. I challenged these kids to step up and join you guys for the month... and many of them have... so you may see some new names on the blog. At any rate, know that your commitment is having an impact nearly 1000 miles away!

One of the students talked to me about a car accident she was in. It was pretty gnarly. She said they had to bring her back to life. She's got quite a story but she is really trying to live for God now. Pretty inspiring. Another young guy decided to try to do the fast, but let me know it was pretty tough and made it only through a few hours or so... and that's OK. He's a great kid with a lot of potential. I can't wait to see how God uses him. But each of the students I interacted with, seemed drawn to want to grow in their relationship with God, and each of them could probably attest that there are things they watch or listen to that, in God's eyes, are pretty disgusting.

On the last day, I challenged them to read Galatians 5:16-24... in that passage, Paul talks about what our lives would look like if we lived for ourselves. And then He contrasts what that would look like if we allowed the Holy Spirit to lead our lives instead.

Take a look at that passage... Galatians 5:16-24... if you need to, read it in a version called "The Message"... and then take some time to listen to God's voice. How much of the media in your life, falls under "selfish"... and how much of it falls under "Spirit-filled"?

See you all soon! Can't wait to be home... and not sick anymore!

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March 17, 2011

Halfway... Big whoop!

So what. You're halfway. Halfway to what? Sure you've done something that very few could even imagine doing. Sure there are shows your missing in order to spend more time with God. It's not that big of a deal... Well... Actually it is, now that I think of it. I mean how crazy do you have to be to give up your music, TV shows, video games, and even Facebook for a month? Who does that?

Only a person who really wants to get to know God better... So how is that going? You know... The getting to know God thing? I hope you have been spending more time praying, reading your Bible, and communicating with your family. I hope you have taken this fast as more than just a fund raiser. You have made a huge commitment. And you are to be commended for making it over 15 days... But are you growing closer to God?

Need some help? Take a look at Psalm 119. In it, David talks about what a big deal God's Word is. And it is a big deal. Read it and take a verse that catches your attention and memorize that verse. Post it on the website when you have it motorized.

And good job! I'm proud of you. And I'm prying for you.

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March 16, 2011

"I'm Pregnant"

Those can be the happiest words... Or the scariest words you ever hear or say. I just got to talk to a couple who just had their first baby a week ago. He's got the longest toes I've ever seen. It's like he has toenkles (toes the reach his ankles, like cankles). But this got me to thinking...

Read 1 John 3 & 4

John talks about that if you have determined that you are a Christ-follower, then it should be obvious that you are abiding in Christ. It's not a "sometimes" thing... It's a constant thing. Like being pregnant... You are either pregnant, or you're not... There's no "kind-of".

The same should be said about us. We are either abiding in Christ... Or we aren't. There's no "kind-of". I hope that you are taking advantage of this time you have to grow and leaner what it means to abide in Christ... Because it shouldn't stop when the fast is over... Pregnancy is not a 30 day process (for humans)... Neither should your pursuit of time with God.

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Location:Walsh, CO

March 11, 2011

You're missing it!

That's probably something you might hear when you are on the fast. You're missing American Idol. You're missing The Office. You're missing this movie... or that album... so how does that make you feel?

Most of us do not like to feel like we are missing out on something. We feel like we don't fit in or that we are not going to be accepted if we don't know what people are talking about. We hear how funny something is or how good it is and we wonder what we are missing. It's not fun being left out. It's not a good feeling to be the outcast.

But look around you. How many people do you walk by at school or even at youth group who don't feel like they fit in or feel like an outcast. What is it that keeps us from making others feel like they are loved... that they are important? Most of us have grown up at church, heard the Bible stories, prayed, at maybe even been baptized. But why don't we have a heart for those who are hurting and lost? Why is it so hard to stop and say, "Hi... my name is ________. What's yours?"

Maybe we use the excuse that we don't know what to stay. Maybe we don't want to make them feel wierd. Maybe we have an excuse for everything. But maybe it's time that we put our faith into practice. What would it look like if we actually looked for 1 person to build a relationship with and introduce them to Jesus.

So today, pray that God would make it obvious who He wants you say "Hi" to. Pray that God would help you know what to say. Pray that God would use your "faith in action" to make Him more known to someone who needs to know Him.

Look at John 3:16 today and find a way to live out showing that "God, so loved the world."

March 9, 2011

Veggie Tales.

Do you know what Veggie Tales is? If not, you should have some friends over and watch a marathon of Veggie Tales movies. Basically, it's these veggies that tell stories from the Bible in creative ways. Now that may seem cheesier than Mega-shark vs. Crocosaurus, but it's actually pretty good.

What is it about creativity that inspires us? These videos are so creative, they cause you to remember key Biblical truths that we need to remind ourselves of daily.

So today, here's a zany challenge. Take a look at your favorite Bible story. Maybe it's a common one. Maybe it's tucked away in Haggai. But take your favorite story from the Bible. Write down what the main moral of the story is. Then, create a story for kids. You could just draw it. Maybe make one picture of the story. Maybe write it all out. Once your done, make a copy of it and give it to me at youth group. I would love to see it or read it. I promise I won't embarrass you, I just want to be inspired by you and see your creativity. Use your imagination for God. You never know... You might become the next amazing "Veggie Tale-r-er"...

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March 8, 2011


Ok. Now I've totally confused you haven't I. Yesterday was about how the media is destroying our relationship with God and others. It's not that all media is bad... but it has an affect, regardless of the message. Today, let's think about what we are really doing by just doing whatever feels good, sounds good, or we like to do... especially when it comes to music, books, magazines, entertainment, movies, TV... whatever.


Read Matthew 10:37-39... replace the words "father', "mother", "son", "daughter" with whatever your favorite media choices are... your favorite TV show... favorite band... favorite type of movie... favorite book or writer... favorite video game

What do you do with this verse? Are you telling me that you would listen to, read, watch, or play whatever it is you like rather than grow closer to God? No wonder so many people can't find God (unless you have some lame lyric in a song about finding Him on a corner smoking... thank you "Frey" for that bit of herasy).

So today is about you making a choice. Jesus makes it clear. If you love anything else more than Him, you are going to lose out on what's most important to Him and what you really desire the most. Think of it this way... if you denied yourself in your relationship with your friends, do you think your friends would like you more? Sure they may take advantage of you... but that's you have to give up something to get something. Do you think your relationship with God would grow more if you gave up your favorite music band that has nothing to do with God, in order to grow in your realtionship with God? Jesus says it will... it's a promise... and He always comes through on His promises.

So today... write down what you hold higher than your relationship with God. I'll make it easy. What do you miss most this month so far? What if you could never watch, listen to, read, or participate in anymore... is your relationship with God worth giving it up?

March 7, 2011

You are killing yourself.

Your first week is over. I'm sure you are wondering what your missing. For some, boredom. For others, connection. Think back on your last week... Did your homework get done? Did you connect more with your family? Did you spend some time with your friends? Did you have to find things to do? Did you finally get your room cleaned?

The truth is that, while we may try to separate the messages of the media into our minds, the time we spend watching, listening, playing, or reading could be better spent connecting with friends, family, and more importantly, God.

You are slowing killing yourself.

You are choosing to spend time doing something that is killing your creativity... You are killing your relationships (don't lie to yourself thinking that your Xbox live or WOW or Facebook friend list is about authentic relationships)... You are killing your future... You are killing your relationship with God.

You are killing the real YOU.

Sure the messages in the music, games, movies, TV shows, books, magazines, and on the social Internet tend to be anti-godly... But just the fact that we find it difficult to think about God, read His Word, pray, or even talk about how the Gospel is changing us should scare us... But it doesn't. It's like we are slowly poisoning ourself into a spiritual and relational coma... It would be better if we were hermits void of any contact with anyone or anything... Because at least we would have God. But that would be crazy...

Read 2 Corinthians 5:13... Are you crazy or just a killer?

Btw... In no way am I discussing suicide in this post. But I do believe the unless we recognize how the media is affecting us, we will continue to destroy ourselves without realizing why our friendships and relationship with God is falling apart. We are doing this to ourselves... It is like spiritual and social suicide.

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March 6, 2011

Animals are strange. I'm sitting watching my dog bop its nose on a stuffed squirrel, making it squeak. She's trying to figure out how to get that squeak out of it... At least that's the human quality I've given my dog... The quality that she can reason and actually decide to squeak the toy and rip out it's guts.

Maybe you have a cat... It's not really a pet as much as it is something you feed and clean up after. They won't play with you like a dog... Unless a string is attached to you. But they usually wonder around the neighborhood "looking for it's friends"... At least that's the human characteristic we've given it.

The reality is that there are some things our animals do out of it's nature. Unlike humans, animals do not have the ability to reason. They don't debate with themselves whether they should do something or not. They just do whatever they do.

But you and I are not created that way. God has given us the ability to reason. The ability to process information and make a decision is a God-given ability. And yet we all too often ignore this ability and we just "do" whatever we do. The problem with that is that we are denying God if we don't reason... If we don't process... If we don't think. It's like we say, "Thank you, God but I would rather do something that will ruin what you have designed me for and "just do it".

But what would happen if you made a choice? What if you decided to choose to get to know Jesus? What if you chose to avoid something ruining your relationship with Him? The time you spend watching, listening, or reading things that are not godly are, in fact, ruining your relationship with Him. And the sooner you realize that, the sooner you have the opportunity to make a choice. This month isn't about making a 1 month commitment. It's about a lifestyle commitment. It's a choice. What you do this month will determine what you think of your relationship with God.

Take a look at 1 John 3... in regards to you media choices, which ones need to disposed of for good? Which ones are hurting your relationship with Him?

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March 5, 2011

5 days in. Time to fill your mind with something else besides anti-godly thoughts.

Take time to read Psalm 139

As you read it, what do you notice about God and His perspective of you?

How amazing is it that the God of the universe... Sent His Son to die for you... Rose Him from the dead... All so that you and I don't have to spend eternity apart from Him? And He knew us and formed everything about us before we were born.

Take a walk and think about that today. And thank God for forming you the way you are...

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March 4, 2011

Do you have a symbol?

No... not a "logo"... a symbol... something that reminds you of something... like a special necklace or wristband or something... do you have a symbol?

God told the Israelites to make symbols to remember Him and what He's done
Read Numbers 15:37-40

God wants us to remember who He is and who we are.

So today... let's make a symbol... but first, write down some answers to these questions:
  • What do you know about God?
  • What has God saved you from?
  • What is something that reminds you of God?
Ok... now... it's time for the symbol... find something that you can put around your wrist or you can wear... maybe it's a rubberband... maybe it's a watch... maybe it's something you own... maybe it's something you make.

Now, once you have that item, do something a little wierd... take that item in your hand and pray to God, committing that item to God, committing that this item would remind you of who God is and what God is saving you from.

Show your item to me on Sunday... I can't wait!

March 3, 2011

What saturates your mind, fills your heart
What fills your heart, leads your life

What saturates your mind, fills your heart
What fills your heart, leads your life

What saturates your mind, fills your heart
What fills your heart, leads your life

There is something that happens when you repeat something over and over. What happens?.... right, you remember it. And eventually, you just begin to believe it.

The media lives by this principle. They die to it, daily. They know, the more they can get you to think about whatever it is they have, the more you will invest your time, mind, beliefs, and ultimately money into.

You are a trained monkey. Sorry... but it's true. You buy music that is crap-filled. You watch movies full of crap. You read books loaded with crap. You fill your mind with crap. Remember the story of the kid who wanted to go to a movie that had only a little "bad-stuff" in it? His dad said he could go as long as he ate a brownie. As the boy took a bite, the father proceeded to tell him that it had a little crap in it. Yes... that grossed the boy out. He was eating dog poop brownies. And while there was only a little bit in it, as he took bite after bite, he only realized there was poop in it after he had been told what was in it.

So how much poop do you eat? Maybe you think it's only a little crap... ok... but what does God think of that "little crap"?

Read Ephesians 5:3-12

In this passage, Paul says, "Don't even let there be a hint of sexual immorality..." and he goes on to describe other pieces of "crap" that we should not have in our lives.

So... today... here's the hard-core issue... what are you going to do with this verse?

Post something on your journal entry for the week about what you are going to do with that verse. How is it going to impact you?

March 2, 2011

Day 2... Was day 1 hard? Did you forget about your commitment? Did you slip up? Were you tempted to give in? I think that one of the biggest things you will learn over the next month is that you have to find outlets to your temptations. We all deal with temptations... but sometimes it just seems easier to give in.

Today, I want you to think about what you are tempted with the most. No... not media... but what is your biggest temptation? What do you do that you wish you would stop doing? What have you asked God time and time again to take away? Ok, once you have that temptation narrowed down, let's think about it a minute:
  • Why is that temptation so..... tempting?
  • Why can't you seem to stop giving in to it?
  • Where does Jesus' death, resurrection, and command for us to obey Him come into the temptation?
  • When have you overcome that temptation?
For many of us, temptation is defeating. Humbling. Embarrassing. Overwhelming. When we give in, we feel guilty and even dirty. We feel like God is going to get us back... and while it's true that God is not happy with our decision to sin, and yes... He may allow us to deal with the reprocussions of our sin... but God loves us. I believe that what we focus way too much on the wrong thing. Let me explain:

When you were tempted to give in to the media... what were you thinking about? Media, right? You were thinking about wanting to listen to some music. You were thinking about the TV show you're missing. You may have been just reacting to a normal thing you do...

But when you focused on something else, you forgot about the media... at least for a little while. You see, what you focus on, you want... so the more you focus on something you can't get, the more you want it.

Take a look at 1 Cor. 10:13... Read it. Think about it. 
  • What is the verse saying?
  • How does this apply to this month?
  • What could you do to remind yourself of what this verse is saying?
Whenever you are tempted, remember this verse. God is going to use your temptation to make your relationship stronger... have you ever thought about that? Paul says that God works everything together for good... does he even mean temptation? Hmmm....

Memorize that verse today... and repeat it every morning 3 times over the next week. And then, when you are tempted... focus on this verse. Then see how the Holy Spirit, through God's Word, helps you overcome temptation.

March 1, 2011

So today is day 1 of your fast. This week will be one of the toughest weeks. So let's start with something simple that you can do when you are trying to figure out what to do with your spare time.

Start today with making a list of ways that you are not like Jesus. What parts of who you are is not like Christ? Maybe you get angry easily. Maybe your mind thinks about things that aren't Christ-like. Maybe you have a lust issue. Maybe you don't show respect to your parents Maybe you talk about people when they aren't around. Make a list of 3-5 ways that you are not like Christ.

So now, pick one area you want to work on this month and write it down on the back of a note-card. Let's start with praying that God would help you with this area of your life. Take some time to write out your prayer.

Now, go get your Bible. Open it to Philippians chapter 2. Read through the entire chapter. What verse or verses stick out to you? Post on the blog what verse(s) you have picked and write what that verse speaks to you about this month.

Finally, write the verse(s) out on a note card and put it somewhere where you will see it every day. On the back of that card, you should have written down the area you are going to work on this month. You will come back to this card again this month so keep it handy.

End your time listening to a Christian song that has got your attention or maybe just spend some time praying for the other Media-fasters.

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