From the monthly archives: September 2014

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'September 2014'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

Farewell, Captain: Derek Jeter and the Restoration of All Things

 


Derek Jeter is not the Messiah. I don’t think that. In fact, as a Twin fan, at times, I’ve been fully convinced that Jeter has masqueraded as an angel of light. So last night’s drama was no transfiguration of a unique baseball god.

Actually, it was the kind of moment that makes the Yankees the Yankees. After Jeter’s walk off single, Michael Kay (YES play-by-play announcer) said it best: “Did you have any doubt?” From Gehrig’s “luckiest man in the world" speech to Don Larsen’s perfect World Series game to the 2001 World Series, high drama is woven into the mystique (love it or hate it) of the Pinstripes.

But I cannot help myself, even as a Twins fan. I feel something profound and maybe eternal every time I watch Jeter’s hit. I have spent the morning thanking God for it and how it has freshly stirred me to hope.

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Relationships and Their Role in Campus Ministry

 

This post originally appeared September 4 in the Partnership blog on Reachingcampus.org. It has been modified slightly to fit this space.


The majority of campus ministry leaders at Colorado State University agree that there is oftentimes a bit of competition amongst Christian student groups. Upon digging deeper into the topic, we’ve discovered that the root of this competition often grows from a lack of relationship with one another as campus group leaders.

Over the past few years, we’ve attempted to combat this tendency and our efforts have resulted in a recent surge of growth in our interactions, meetings and prayer times together as leaders. And this fall, for the first time, CSU ministry leaders united at an overnight retreat, a retreat that was all about relationship!

The highlight of our time together was, hands down, the wisdom shared by a campus ministry director/local church pastor, Johnny Square, who spoke to us about his personal experience with unity amongst pastors. About 16 years ago, Johnny and a group of pastors joined together to create the Fort Collins Church Network (FCCN). FCCN has become what I would consider one of the greatest things about Fort Collins, as it has led to flourishing relationships and unity amongst the pastors of the churches in the area.


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Digital Interval for the Week of September 21: "Offended but Not Ashamed"

 

The gospel is offensive, and that offensiveness can tempt us to be ashamed of it. But the good news of Jesus' accomplished work is powerful to save us and to change us, because nothing inside of our selves is capable of saving or changing. This is what makes the gospel offensive; this is what rebuts our pull-myself-up-by-my-bootstraps mentality. And this message is drastically different than the one espoused in the self-help aisles in Barnes & Noble.



To watch or listen to the entire sermon, click here.

 

Yet I Am Not Alone: Finding the Cure for Our Epidemic Loneliness

 

Loneliness. Like a shipwreck survivor dying of thirst in the middle of the ocean, so multitudes are dying of epidemic loneliness in the middle of a sea of people. There’s water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink. I’ve been there, and it’s not fun.

The fall not only caused separation from God, but isolation from one another. It can happen in a marriage, church small group, even an accountability group. And it can happen to people at any age. Suddenly you find yourself with numerous relationships but all are half-an-inch deep. 

Sometimes our loneliness is a result of our own choices, and sometimes it’s not. Perhaps it is due to the hectic pace of our culture, the eroded trust within communities, a lack of perceived value, undeveloped relational skills, personal insecurities or the complacency of our own hearts. Whatever the cause, God’s earnest intent for rich, meaningful friendships has become a luxury rather than a staple, a rarity rather than the norm. Many Christians simply learn to accept the status quo, settling for quantity over quality, or they compensate by filling their lives with endless hobbies, causes and activities. 

Ask yourself this question: “Is there at least one person in my life who truly knows the depths of my heart and with whom I have complete, mutual trust?” Perhaps you’ve forgotten that to know and be known is one of the most essential needs of every human soul. Conversely, to not be known by someone is one of the saddest, most tragic conditions imaginable. It should not be an acceptable, ongoing condition.

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The Boycott Diaries: On the Allure of Football's Story

 

Dear Diary,

As you may know, I am boycotting the NFL.

This was not an easy decision to make. But as the story has developed, I am becoming more comfortable with this decision.

That doesn’t mean that it’s been easy to bury my head in the non-NFL sand. It was harder than I thought it would be to keep my mind off the games this past Sunday. I lost count of how many times I almost checked the SportsCenter app on my phone. My wife and I ate lunch at her mom’s house that day, and of course she has DirecTV (we’ve been TV-programming-free since LOST went off the air). There’s a universal rule that if it’s Sunday, men have to watch TV. So, instead of watching the afternoon NFL games — instead of watching the Cowboys win, of all things — I watched a little bit of Rory McIlroy giving away the lead at the Tour Championship. It was thrilling stuff.

By late afternoon I realized how much watching the NFL meant to me and how weird it was to be purposefully excluding myself from it. 

That night, I played an indoor soccer game with some neighbors and folks from our small group. (Yes, I play soccer and am currently boycotting the NFL. Sue me.) My neighbor is a Chiefs fan, so he had plenty of venting to do. I heard other tidbits about some of the other games, and then the fiancee of one of our players heard that I was boycotting the league, so that conversation lasted a good five minutes.

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