April 27th, 2010 by Dan Nichols
In his book Crazy Love, Pastor Francis Chan claims, “When we love God because we feel we should love Him, instead of genuinely loving out of our true selves, we have forgotten who God really is.” He goes on to say, “In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him.”
I find myself falling short of this charge from Pastor Chan – over and over again. Loving God is not something we chase after only out of obligation. We love God because He first loved us – yes, but that is not the only reason we love God. We should love God with mind, soul, body, spirit, heart, will, emotion, intellect… you name it. All of it – dedicated to loving God. Completely.
April 14th, 2010 by Catie Prinzing
7:53 AM, and hitting the snooze had not been a dream. Dr. Lackey’s New Testament class waits for no man, so I try to appear presentable in seven minutes or less – it will be a new record for me. Since showers are definitely postponable: brush teeth, make ponytail, grab books, and fly down the dorm steps. The clock peals its eighth toll as I slip into my seat in the back of the packed classroom. Exam day. And I am less than prepared. Could a day begin more poorly?
Early classes, among a myriad of other responsibilities, can be grueling to the schedule of the modern college student, and sometimes I feel like I just can’t handle it all. It’s true that college life (and life in general) has its share of hardships, but God has a way of balancing them with other blessings.
I started looking for these blessings, and I was astounded by what I discovered. Like that anonymous $1,000 donation to my school bill, that friend that has been a huge encouragement, or that class that is teaching me something about God I cannot ignore. See, I can handle my routine, no matter how severe, because I have strength from the Lord. Obviously He is working, and I’m just not paying attention.
I could focus on how hard life can be for me, but then I remember: I have peace with God, and that is what matters most. Psalm 29:11.
April 14th, 2010 by Karissa Craft
Making crafts is an easy thing, but even in foreign countries?
Yes, crafts are easy, even in a foreign country. I have had the privilege of being on four missions trips throughout my high school years. One thing I noticed was the fact that making a craft was the easiest way to connect to children and adults in Haiti and Mexico. Crafts opened doors that could not have been opened through the language barrier we experienced.
One of the most effective ways to share the salvation message was through making salvation braclets. Salvation braclets consist of colored beads and can be made to fit infants, children, teenagers, and adults. Along with their adjustability to different sizes, they also explained the message we longed to get across. Each color has a specific meaning: purple- grace, black- sin, blue- water baptism, red- blood of Christ, clear- forgiveness, green- eternal life, and gold- Heaven’s streets. As we instructed them on the order of the colors, we also shared the Gospel message to them.
We also use those braclets here in the states. When people ask me where I got my braclet, I tell them I made it. Then I go right into the meanings of the colors and why I wear it.
Don’t think this can only be done in foreign countries, because your backyard needs to be reached too!
April 12th, 2010 by Jamie Knowles
I was really inspired a week or so ago. The President for W.A.R. (Women At Risk International) spoke to the student body, and I was amazed by what I heard. I decided to get involved.
Women At Risk is collecting banquet dresses to send overseas to give to the women over there. Therefore, I am going to collect as many banquet dresses as I can by August 20, 2010.
My goal is 50 banquet dresses and I have 3 already.
I am so excited about this. This is the first time since I have come to BBC where I felt like I needed to do something to help a ministry. I want to get involved in this ministry, and I hope you do to. This ministry is trying to save women who are being trafficked all over the world for money and sex. This Christian program is looking for people to help fight the crime of trafficking by getting involved.
If you wish to help, look on facebook for the group I will be starting to get the word out about the ministry. The group is called Dresses For War. I have no clue what picture I will have, but just look for my name. There you will find ways that you can help me reach my goal and more information on W.A.R. itself.
April 12th, 2010 by Karissa Craft
I would say death is one of the hardest things anyone will have to go through.
“Why does God let bad things happen in the world?” This is one of the most frequently asked questions when death is involved. According to explorefaith.com, one of the most important things we need to remember is “God allows ‘bad’ things to happen; God does not cause them to happen.”
When I think of “bad things,” I think death. When death occurs I start questioning, as most of us do. We do not trust God or believe that He is the one who gave us life and allowed someone we love to die. So we start believing what Satan tells us; we start believing the lies.
How do we correct this problem? One thing I realized is the problem will not go away unless you want it to go away. This is hard for most of us to do after losing a loved one. Its hard for us to remember that God’s timing is always right, and we need to accept that.
When we have accepted the fact that we have a problem, then we need to seek God, seek His comfort. We may find His comfort in other people, or we may find it sitting alone in a room. I know I’ve found it both ways.
When we have found God’s comfort, we need to start learning to move on in God’s direction. I believe guidance is harder to find. We need to read the Bible and seek God’s will in our prayers and daily lives.
After we have accomplished these three things, we should be on our way to serving Christ with the memory of those we love.
April 7th, 2010 by Dan Nichols
Most of us who grew up in church heard many sermons on Revelation 3:15-16 where God tells the church of Laodicea, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth!”
What most of us didn’t grow up hearing in many sermons is verse 17 where God continues to tell the Laodiceans, “You say, ‘I am rich; I have aquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” This well-known lukewarm warning passage is not specifically addressing the casual nature of teens or the tension of not “being on fire for God.”
This passage is about MATERIALISM.
Our American materialism penetrates our hearts and presuppositions more than we could ever imagine or care to discover. In light of the true context for this familiar passage of the Bible, we need to examine just how far materialism penetrates our hearts and just how deeply we trust in possessions rather than God. A lukewarm spiritual life is one characterized by a love of money and possessions. A lukewarm spiritual life is not characterized by ownership of many possessions – but instead a love for them that trumps our devotion and relationship with God.
April 7th, 2010 by Karissa Craft
I had the awesome opportunity to go on a trip to the Appalachian Mountains for Spring Break. I assumed it was just going to be one of those hiking trips that wouldn’t really change me or challenge me at all. I was wrong!
I learned something I already knew. I’ve known about the passage in Luke that talks about taking up your cross and denying yourself. I never really studied it or applied it at all until now. This passage has become more to me then just taking up your cross and denying yourself, its become a way of life (Luke 9:18-27).
In reality we all need to study what this passage is saying. We need to understand that no matter what is going on in life we need to deny ourselves and acknowledge what God wants for us that day, that moment. I realized on this trip I am very selfish, like a lot of us are, and I need to remember every day that I need to deny those selfish feelings and think of others. Another thing I realized was I like to be in control and know what’s going to happen. A lot of us do. Again we need to remember that God has it all planned out. We need to leave it to him and stop worrying about it.