Archive for May, 2012

Summer Time!

Summer time is right around the corner (even though it has felt like summer for weeks now!) which brings changes in many of our lives.  Kids are out of school, vacations are planned, and many of our schedules are different.  As I think this morning about my own summer schedule, 5 things came to mind that I think we should all do this summer.

1) Spend more time with our family and friends.  Summer is perhaps the best time of the year to spend extended time with family and friends.  Let’s make it a priority!  Have your family over for a cook out.  Go on a weekend vacation.  Call up a relative you haven’t talked to in a while.  Unfortunately with our fast paced culture, we can sometimes neglect those we are closest to.  Let’s not do that this summer!

2) Embrace the change of pace.  Summer is just a different bird.  Let’s embrace the fact that our schedules are going to be different.  If we think that things are going to be just like the school year, we can set ourselves up for frustration.

3) Read.  Remember that book you have been meaning to read for months?  Make it a point to read it this summer.  Go a week without TV and make it happen.  You get bonus points if you read while doing #4.

4) Spend time outdoors.  Summer provides great opportunities for us to enjoy God’s creation.  Let’s not waste it on our couches!  Visit a metro park, take a walk around your neighborhood, or simply sit on your porch and talk to your neighbors.  Enjoy the fresh air and be reminded of God’s incredible creation.

5) Focus on discipleship opportunities.  Just because it is summer doesn’t mean that we get to turn our faith off.  Summer schedules make it more difficult to get large groups of people together for programs, so a focus on individual or small group discipleship opportunities is more ideal.  Have a student over for dinner.  Ask a friend to help with a gardening project.  Let’s find ways to spend meaningful times with people who God may be wanting us to minister to.

Blessings,

Josh

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5-27-12 Mark 8:1-13

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What will you do . . .

When trouble hits?

When someone suddenly dies?

When you get the bad news?

When it seems like you have no options?

When you find out someone’s hurt you?

When for a season of your life that goes on for months and nothing seems like it is going right?

When depression is setting in, or it’s made residence in you?

When your faith is weak?

Notice I didn’t put if . . . I put WHEN.

Very simply for this Friday: when the real trials hit, will your faith be enough?  Or will something besides Jesus take the place of the one who lived and died so we can understand what suffering is all about?  Put your trust in, and cast your cares on, Jesus.  It’s not a cheap saying or a cheesy Christian tag line.  He WILL pull you through if you let Him.

Have a great Friday everyone.

 

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Kenmore High School’s Baccalaureate Service

The Kenmore Ministerial Association partners with Kenmore High School to put on their Baccalaureate Service each year for the graduating seniors.  I am told that Kenmore is possibly the only high school in Akron that still has a religious Baccalaureate Service.  Through this connection, several churches from Kenmore have the opportunity to pray, share our faith, challenge the students, and actually hand out Bibles to any students that would like one.

This is an incredible opportunity, and I was humbled to have been able to give the message this year.  As I prayed and thought through what to say, I landed on two simple challenges.  Here is what they were.

1) What do you believe?  I talked about how other people know us by the actions they observe.  But, our actions are determined by our thoughts, and our thoughts are determined by our beliefs.  A lot of people believe in a lot of things right now.  People believe that life could get better for them, but they don’t cast their belief on anything specific. Here is what I told the graduating Seniors:

I believe that God is real, loving, and powerful

I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God

I believe the Holy Spirit is alive and active in the world today

I believe the Holy Bible is the written word of God

I believe that God can take any situation in life and use it for good

I believe God has a plan for my life and for your life

Not only do I “believe”, but I have cast all my belief on God and trust that He will determine and cause my future to happen.  It will not happen by chance.  Do we place our belief in God when we face transitions in our lives?

2) Don’t let the difficulties in the road of life change who you are.  Each and every one of us are a child of God.  Often times when things get difficult, people give up hope, doubt who they are, and try to avoid any path that will bring further difficulties.  I challenged the students to consider that God may have them in difficult situations in order to prepare them for their future.  Just because we believe in God does not mean that everything gets easy.  We need his grace and discipline to make it through difficult times in life.

I hope you are challenged and encouraged.  Please pray that the connection between Kenmore High School and the KMA will continue to be strong, which will allow students to hear the truth of the Gospel, and receive the written word of God for years to come.

Blessings,

Josh

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5-20-12 Mark 7:24-37

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Three Reasons Youth Ministry Is Important

Good morning.  It’s Friday.  Oh glorious Friday.  I hope you have a good couple days planned for your weekend.

Before that gets here, I wanted to write about youth ministry.  It’s been almost two full years since I left full time youth ministry to become a senior pastor.  So for today’s comments, here are three reasons youth ministry is important.

1. It sows seeds into lots of lives.

There is no better model to sow seeds of love, gospel and truth into the lives of lots of unreached teenagers than youth ministry activities.  Many of the teens we work with do not have the blessing of a Christian family sharing the truth with them (obviously a Christian family is the best way and most Biblical way), but there is no doubt that lots of teens around the world are introduced to the Gospel through youth activities.

2. There is NO better time. 

Statistics tell us that the chance of someone becoming a Christian decreases dramatically following age of 21.  Dramatically.  Do you think youth ministry is important now?

3. It can help combat peer pressure.

If you’ve not talked to a teen going through public school, I urge you to do so.  I believe peer pressure today is as great as it’s ever been.  There are influences which add to peer pressure that make it stronger than it was before social media and rampant use of technology.  The need for teens to anchor themselves in their identity in Christ has never been greater.

This Sunday is youth Sunday at Goss Memorial.  Our evening will begin with a FREE dinner at 5:00 p.m.  At 6:00 our youth will give us an idea of what a typical meeting is like and what God has been doing through our church’s youth ministries this school year.  PLEASE make plans to come and support not only our youth director, but the teens in our church’s youth ministry as well.   It would be a huge encouragement.

In Christ,

Pastor Kevin

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Youth Sunday Night

Today I thought that I would use my Wednesday Blog opportunity for a shameless plug.  I hope you will consider attending our Youth Sunday Night this Sunday!

Come any time after 5:00 for a FREE Thank You dinner for Project Shine!

Then at 6:00, stay for a youth led, youth focused evening service.  Find out what a youth group night is like!

Here is the flyer for the evening:  Youth Sunday Night Flyer

Blessings,

Josh

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