New Year ~ New Blog

I’m in the process of moving my blog to micahfoster.net. Make sure you sign up for the new RSS or Email subscriptions for this new year. After this notice (post) I’m not going to post on this site any longer, only the new one. See you on the flip side.

 

Chris: Student Impact

some economic perspective.

We think our economy is bad but…

This morning as I was reading I came across a story about famine in Israel.

2 Kings 6:26-29
As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried to him, “Help me, my lord the king!” The king replied, “If the LORD does not help you, where can I get help for you
From the threshing floor? From the winepress?” Then he asked her, “What’s the matter?” She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him today, and
tomorrow we’ll eat my son.’ So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him,’ but she had hidden him.”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anyone who has resorted to eating their son. We are just choosing to sacrifice eating out or maybe, if it’s really bad for you, you’ve lost your job and your home. But you haven’t eaten your son or your neighbor’s son.

Luke 12:22-34

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Hopefully this helps us gain some real perspective and know the hope of God’s promises.

My Story: Koop

You should have been there. Koop told his story to the camera. A nice little story. An incomplete story. He walked away and 20 minutes later he came back into the studio and said, “Can I do that again?” Then he was raw, he was real and he retold his story without censoring himself. Watch it here:

(if the video doesn’t work, click this link)

Want to tell your story? Email us.

Suppose you have a teenage son…

Just read this.

Read this excerpt from “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”

“Suppose you have a teenage son and your normal conversation is something like, ‘Clean your room. Button your shirt. Turn down the radio. Go get a haircut. And don’t forget to take out the garbage!’ Over a period of time, the withdrawals (from your emotional bank account) far exceed the deposits.

Now suppose this son is in the process of making some important decisions that will affect the rest of his life. But the trust level is so low and the communication process so closed, mechanical, and unsatisfying that he simply will not be open to your counsel. You may have the wisdom and the knowledge to help him, but because your account is so overdrawn, he will end up making his decisions from a short-range emotional perspective, which may well result in many negative long-range consequences.

You need a balance to communicate on these tender issues.”

(pg 189)

We know it’s true…yet how many of us ignore these facts? Sometimes we forget and we take the short, easy, yet not effective route.

It’s obvious isn’t it? We need to build a relationship strong enough to bear the weight of truth.

Monkey Boy.

A Fictional, Yet Plausible Story

A man walks into a church looking for something he hasn’t had his entire life. He’s not real sure what it is exactly, but he’s been trying to find “it” for two years now. Life is crappy. His marriage died. His kids are living in Rhode Island with his ex-wife and his parents both died in a car accident 1 year ago. He’s broken. And now he’s gone against everything he was raised to believe and decided to take a chance on this guy named Jesus. Not sure what the expect, he avoids eye contact and sits in the back of the church theater. He feels he’s successfully avoided anybody who might talk to him. He just wants to observe and he’s more interested in how genuine the people are, than the service itself.

Two seats away a woman sits. She smells a hint of alcohol, which is something that she hasn’t smelled since she quit drinking 5 years ago. It’s been a long, tough road, but with the help and support of an AA group, her family and small group at church, she’s been sober for 5 years. She sends a glance his way and realizes that this man must have already been drinking this morning. “It’s only 9:45am and he’s already drinking…wow,” she thought to herself. Under the guise of going into the lobby to use the restroom she leaves the theater and goes into another door so that she doesn’t have to sit next to or smell the man’s stench.

The man sat alone. The music was enjoyable, the people seemed to believe what they sang and the sermon hit the nail right on the head. The Pastor said, “If you feel like the whole world has turned against you, then you’re in the best place to meet God.” It did feel like the whole world had turned against him, or at least his own little world had and he knew it couldn’t be a coincidence that the Pastor seemed to be speaking directly to him. In fact he was a little taken aback by the fact that the Pastor seemed to know him and his circumstances before they ever met.

Across the room, the woman sat quietly during the sermon and listened. Thinking, “I remember when it felt like my world turned against me” and “I’m so glad Jesus took the time to pursue me through my disobedience.” But she also felt her mind starting to wander and wonder. “I feel like this is the same sermon I heard 6 1/2 year’s ago when I started my journey toward sobriety. I wonder when he (the Pastor) is going to start teaching me something with depth.”

The service ended and the man had already decided he’d take another step. He would go talk to someone, anyone, the first person who looked like they could be talked to.

The two made their way down out of the theater and from across the way, the man spotted her. She didn’t see him coming, but he noticed she had been sitting next to him as the service started. At least she was a somewhat familiar face and she looked nice enough.

He tapped her on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me.”

She turned and saw the man. “Uh, yeah?” she responded. “I couldn’t help but notice that you were sitting next to me and I just wondered…” she interrupted him, “Well, not to be rude, but I moved because you smell like you came straight from a bar.” He was shocked and when she saw the look on his face, she was shocked as well. She thought, “I thought he was wondering why I moved seats.”

He turned. He walked out. He got in his car. And he vowed to never enter the building again, at least not while he still had all his problems.

————-

The moral of the story:

“It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.” – Acts 15:19

When someone enters the environment we’ve created for them to connect with Jesus Christ and they feel judged. They feel like they can’t begin a relationship with Jesus until they’re clean. Until they’ve removed every sin from their life. Let me ask you one question, “Is your judgement causing it to be difficult for the people walking in our doors to turn to God?”

Everyone needs compassion. A love that’s never-failing. Let mercy fall on me. Everyone needs forgiveness. The Kindness of a Savior. The hope of nations. My Savior, He can move the mountains. My God is mighty to save. He is mighty to save. Forever, author of Salvation. He rose and conquered the grave. Jesus conquered the grave.

There’s a difference between Accountability and Judgement.

Accountability can only happen between two parties who have agreed to a standard and agreed to help each other attempt to achieve that standard.
Judgement happens when one party has declared a standard for others and attempts to hold that person captive to that standard.

It is not our job to point out the sin in others. It’s our job to usher them into an environment where they can experience love, acceptance and the profound grace of Jesus Christ. Once that relationship begins, they will be convicted in God’s timing and moved to life-change by the power of the Holy Spirit. But that’s not our job. So, I’ll ask it again…

“Is your judgement causing it to be difficult for the people walking in our doors to turn to God?”

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