Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Preaching Again - and Again

"I am a bad youth pastor." This is one of my favorite and true quotes. I say it at least once a week - and often not in jest.

I say it today because I came into the summer just hoping to get through our Mission's Trip to Rosebud (I did a wedding right before the trip) and then begin to worry about the rest of the summer. I think some preaching dates got changed on me. Anyway. I am preaching this Sunday and next Sunday (and both weeks I am getting no sermon stuff done on Monday or Tuesday).

I was sitting at the table this morning trying to figure out what to preach on (often I will use a text I spent a lot of time in while on our Mission's Trip) and made a comment that I had just recently read a blog about a list someone had made of 10 passages he's never heard a sermon on. Benjamin piped up and said, "I've never heard anyone preach about David and Goliath at our church." I got excited about that and I'm in here studying right now.

If you have any insights, thoughts, helps, etc... on this story, let me know. I Samuel 17 has the narrative for us (though I'm going back to 15 in context).

Rosebud 2007 Summer Missions Trip

God is faithful. He does what no man could do, or even dream.

This was our 5th summer to go to Wood, South Dakota (just a few miles of the Rosebud Reservation). In the past we've stayed in a dorm in Mission, SD (which is on the Rez), but this year God provided for us to stay in the town of Wood (populations 73, the sign says). (The pic is old - I don't have the new ones ready).

We saw God's hand in so many ways. Travel went well (even with me pulling a major idiot move - forgetting to put the pin back in so the hitch would stay on - it came off in Swea City, IA just after some railroad tracks - but not a scratch on anything). There were some professions of faith. We made more inroads in adult relationships than ever before. We were able to take some older kids tubing - which kind of forced them to trust is more and just helped our relationships. God provided an incredible building to stay in and do Kids' Club in (the Native American Community Building in Wood - a gym, 2 bathrooms, nice kitchen, computer room, and utility room - all air conditioned!!!). Our students were touched by God in so many ways.

Probably the biggest highlight for me and something we've been dreaming of for years, David, a 14 year old young man from Wood (we've known since our first day there) is home with us now for a week. We're very excited to have him with us. Please pray for his week here. I was told the day before we left that the non-Native Americans in Wood have said for years that he is a very special young man and has the greatest potential of anyone they know in Wood. He is so polite and is great with my kids. He is smart and kind. I'm loving having him with us. Pray for his schooling next year - none of the options are great so far (gangs are becoming worse and more necessary all over the Rez).

Thanks for all the prayers so many of you prayed.

Ephesians 3:20-21 is true!!!

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

When did Jesus know He was God - and other musings???

I love to ask questions - in life and especially in Bible Study. I'm not bright enough to ask profound questions very often. I read a book by N. T. Wright about 7 years ago and he asked more profound questions in a few minutes than I have in my life. 2 Questions really stuck out to me (though they were hardly the focus of the book). When did Jesus realize He was God? When did Jesus realize He had to die on a cross?

I grew up thinking Jesus always knew that stuff - even in the manger (no crying He makes - yeah right) - I thought he sat there, looking up at His mom, and realized He had to die on the cross. I don't believe that is correct at all.

I don't have a great answer to either of those two questions. I do have a few thoughts from my devotions this morning.

In Luke 17:18-20 - John the Baptist's disciples ask Jesus a question from John - "Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?"

John and Jesus must have known about each other - and likely spent time together. Yet, John did not know Jesus was God. In my simply mind, this is evidence that makes it likely that Jesus did not know He was God for quite some time.

I really think that many of the questions Jesus asked in the Temple when He was 12 (Luke 2:39-52) had to do with questions regarding the Messiah - and the Messiah as a suffering servant, rather than the King who was going to overthrow the Romans and set up His Kingdom. I'm sure He asked many questions, but questions related to who the Messiah was were probably a focus.

I could be way off. I assume other, much smarter men, have pondered and even answered these kinds of questions.

What do you think about any of this?