From the monthly archives: April 2016

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'April 2016'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

Prayer, Peace and a Pile of Laundry


 


It started with a basket of laundry. My 7-year-old daughter had been given the arduous task (in her mind) of folding a basket of towels. I was working nearby when I glanced over at my girl. Mid-fold, she had dropped her head and silent tears were coursing down her cheeks.

This sweet girl of mine is known for her spontaneous tear displays. Their size, velocity and volume rival any Hollywood actress. She sometimes grabs a bowl to catch them so she can make tear soup (I'm not joking). She possesses a tender heart and a dramatic spirit. Although we are not hardened to her tears, we aren’t usually overly concerned, either.

However, at this moment I sensed something deeper in her heart than a dislike of chores. I knelt beside her and pulled her into my arms. When I asked why she was crying, she sobbed as the words poured out.

“I miss Abby! I miss her so much. I haven't seen her forever. I want her to be safe. I wish things could go back to the way they used to be. I want her to be okay. Mom, I want her to be safe!”

Abby Schreiber — one of my daughter’s favorite people in the world. She has grown up with Abby. Abby has loved on her since we brought her home. Abby was one of the first names she learned outside of our family.

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You’re Starving, and Not Just for Dinner


 


Summitview’s theme and focus this year is summarized in a single word: “Feast.”

But what does that mean to us practically? Is it merely a nice, mental construct to temper our propensity to neglect the spiritual disciplines or to help alleviate our guilt by assigning a label to our renewed good intentions? No. We are taking the word as an imperative verb, not a noun. We are calling people to a year-long, intentional, heightened indulgence upon those things that will richly nourish and fortify our souls.

Why? Because there is a need. The American rat race has taken its toll. And because God freely invites us to such an abundant table. The Bible is filled with sensory imagery meant to entice us to the feast-like relationship that God intends for us to enjoy in this life, and to whet our appetites for more.

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Pot and Recreation: An Assessment of Legalized Marijuana in Colorado


 


Today is April 20 — or 420 Day, if you prefer. In Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, April 20 is sort of like a holiday. These states have all legalized the sale and consumption of marijuana for recreational use for adults 21 years or older. The legal right to “burn one down” is being celebrated with special vigor today. As Dave Matthews would say, “Something smells good.”

And there’s a lot of that something.

In November 2012, Colorado voters embraced Amendment 64, which legalized recreational marijuana and also allowed for licensed marijuana retail stores, cultivation operations and edibles manufacturing. (Medical marijuana has been legal in Colorado since 2000.) Retail stores opened for business in 2014. After just two years, Colorado’s legal marijuana industry is worth $1 billion. In 2014, marijuana retailers sold roughly $700 million of pot; in 2015, that figure soared to $996 million. (It is not surprising that cannabis is gaining credibility as a legitimate cash crop in Colorado.)

Tax revenues have predictably followed suit. The 2014 total was $76 million, and 2015’s tax revenues jumped by 56 percent to $135 million. Of the three marijuana taxes, the largest — a 15 percent excise tax — is earmarked for school construction projects. Little wonder, then, that there is a bill currently circulating around the Colorado legislature that would force Colorado schools to administer medical marijuana to students with “prescriptions” for marijuana treatments.

The normalization and legalization of marijuana may be perfectly fine to some reading this. Or it may be one more indicator that our society is going to pot. (Sorry, I had to. I feel bad about it, just so you know.) For Christians, the normalization of weed has raised serious questions about morality, cultural engagement and lifestyle choices.

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In Praise of Tim Carr and the Joy of Children's Ministry


 

As Tim Carr transitions out of leading Catalyst, it’s encouraging to reflect the good that’s happening in in our children’s ministry — and how influential Mr. Carr has been over the last five years.



I used to think Mr. Swan from church was God, because he was always up there singing. I would think to myself, “Man, I love that guy!” But I now know that he isn't really God. (Anonymous Summitview 6-year-old)

Isn’t it fun to see a growing depth of theological understanding in young children? It’s always to be celebrated when a young person refrains from deifying the worship leader.

In all seriousness, though, it is a joy to watch light bulbs turn on in the brains of young children as they get to know God. In fact, the apostle John said that he had no greater joy than to hear that his children were walking in the truth (3 John 4). He was speaking of adults to whom he had become a spiritual father, but his point was that there was amazing delight in seeing people come to a greater knowledge of God. Perhaps there's no place in the church that allows for greater opportunity to experience that kind of joy than in children's ministry. Each week, we get to see genuine faith being formed in little, eternal souls.

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Thinking Holistically about Pornography


 


A Loveland High School janitor was arrested last week after authorities found child pornography on his computer.

The Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 in February, and approximately 10,000 women are trafficked at the Super Bowl every year.

Approximately 25 percent of women who attend college are victims of rape or attempted rape.

What do all of these horrifying truths about our culture have in common?

Pornography.

The ugliest part of the past 70 years of cultural upheaval has been the denigration, exploitation and objectification of women through the use of pornography. First, it was only accessible in publications such as Playboy but is now streaming online via every device you can think of.

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