The phrase “AS IF!” is used when there’s seemingly no chance of something happening. Can the NSW Blues win the Rugby League State of Origin in 2014? AS IF! Will the popular girl say yes to the school formal with the nerdy guy? AS IF! Is Jesus relevant to teenagers in the 21st Century? AS IF!
But maybe we sometimes use “AS IF!” too quickly.
Although something might seem to have zero chance of happening… WHAT IF?
What if QLD lost some key players and NSW finally got it together to break the Maroons winning streak? It might seem unlikely but it will happen one day!
What if the popular girl can actually see past the nerdiness and has shared interests with the boy? Maybe it’s because nerdy guys will make lots of money, but it seems to be that popular girls do often go for the nerd.
But what about Jesus? Is he actually relevant to our world today?
Maybe you’ve heard about Jesus. You might know some specific bible concepts and parts of Jesus’ story. Maybe you’re from a religious family that went to church at Christmas and Easter.
But does Jesus really matter to your everyday life? AS IF! He is from ancient history and has nothing to offer me in this modern, digital world, where I can find solutions to all my problems on Google!
But WHAT IF? What if Jesus is real? What if this stuff is true? What if Jesus can change my life for eternity?
Welcome to a bumper issue of #SNIPPETY! A variety of links to check out including: a prayer for our growing children; a Free Book from Matt Chandler; how to plan for a productive day tomorrow; and if you don’t speak Italia, a soccer goal scored from 70 metres!
The article on Wheaton students protesting Rossaria Butterfield is interesting. Basically students at Wheaton – an evangelical college in Illinois – protested a guest speaker who had turned from a lesbian lifestyle when she started following Jesus. Denny Burk points out the generational shift taking place with young people connected to evangelical churches being influenced by culture in their understanding of homosexuality being a valid story for Christians. I think Christians need to be equipped to lovingly hold firm to what the Bible teaches on sex and relationships.
See below for the snippets:
Zac Young was tragically killed by a shark in November 2013. The following is an inspiring testimony of Jesus’ work in his life recorded 3 months before the attack. Of course he had no idea this was going to happen, but in it you will hear of a young man able to confidently face death because of his hope in Jesus.
Have you ever been in a social setting where you have stuck out like a sore thumb? Perhaps you have felt like every eye in the room is on you for turning up under-dressed for the occasion. Some people enjoy the spotlight and crave attention. But for most of us most of the time, we’d rather not stand out but simply be normal like everyone else.
The call of Christianity is to standout. To be different. Not by wearing the wrong clothes to a function, but by displaying godly character traits. The sermon below considered what should motivate a Christian to pursue holy living.
DAVE MIERS SERMON ON 1 PETER 1:13-2:3 (right click to download etc)
Here is the outline:
Sharing your testimony is a powerful way of communicating the good news of Jesus. The following are 4 ‘MY JESUS’ STORY’ videos we shot for our recent SOULIES SUMMERCAMP. You can read about why we call them MY JESUS’ STORY here. It’s always encouraging hearing different people share their story and then see lots of others connect with what they’ve shared.
Who gambles the most? (see the info graphic)
Australians gamble (and lose) more than anyone else on a per-person basis, according to H2 Gambling Capital (H2GC), a British consultancy. The biggest chunk of this is spent on video poker machines…
This statue reminds me that Jesus came down into the pressurized abyss of our lives, that he moved towards the deepest, darkest, neediest places. I don’t know the unique make up of your story, sin, and mess, but whatever is down there know that Jesus’ passion is to deal with your abyss. He came to know you and love you in the deep dark sea of your struggle.
Without these fellowships I would take drugs. Because, even now, the condition persists. Drugs and alcohol are not my problem, reality is my problem, drugs and alcohol are my solution.
Either way, you don’t know as much as you think you know. Therefore to preach long sermons will tend to take your sermon into the land of the ‘hobby-horse’. When we’re drawing on a limited pool of knowledge (whether exegetical or practical), we tend to default into speaking about the things that we feel most familiar with and passionate about. Now that’s all fine and good for us, but it may have nothing to do with the text or with the people you’re preaching to! That’s called a ‘hobby-horse’.
Let’s be friends so we can talk about this stuff.
Movies, entertainment, celebrity culture, video games, digital media and social networks are often used to escape from reality. The goal of this 4-part series is to consider how to escape to the reality that comes in knowing Jesus.
Part 2 of #EscapeToReality
PANEM ET CIRCENSES
That’s Latin. I’m not pretending to know Latin, but I do know Wikipedia. And according to wiki Panem et circenses is a phrase that means ‘Bread and Circuses’.
It comes from Juvenal, a Roman satirist and poet writing around A.D. 100.
“Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses” (Juvenal)
Juvenal is lamenting the decline of what Roman citizens found valuable. People were no longer concerned about politics and civil service and doing good things. The Empire was in decline as citizens would willingly forego their rights as citizens. All they cared about were bread and circuses.
The free wheat and the impressive entertainment distracted them from reality. They were happy enough, even though they were more or less were living as slaves!
THE HUNGER GAMES
What’s the name of the nation in Suzanne Collins’ best selling trilogy The Hunger Games? Panem. Yep, derived from Panem et circenses.
Hunger Games is all about Bread and Circuses.
Big win for the Seattle Seahawks in the 2014 NFL Super Bowl! In this video the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson, Russell Okung, Chris Maragos, Clint Gresham, and coach Rocky Seto talk about life, football, and what is even better than a Super Bowl Ring:
Wow! This is a must watch video for kids and parents alike! Looking for a reasons to skip out on school? Maybe this video will help you to rethink your decision. Probably one of the most important videos on Youtube this year… EDIT: Parental Warning M15+
Jonathan Edwards had a list of 70 Resolutions. My attention span hasn’t ever allowed me to actually read them all, but from what I can tell they are rock solid. In 2014 I have a list of FOURTEEN HASHTAGS. My hope is that these #HashtagResolutions will give me some focus in different areas throughout 2014.
This is PART 3 of 4 summarising my #HashtagResolutions.
January 2014 is almost over so I figured it was time to finish this series. However, by this stage most of you have forgotten about your New Years Resolutions! If I had a 15th Hashtag Resolution, it would be #DontForgetYourResolutions. To achieve that goal, I have printed out my original 14 hashtags on an A4 sheet of people and placed it in the middle of my desk underneath the clear plastic desk cover thingy. It means I see them every day.
The next 3 hashtags are all about living for Jesus.
If you receive an SMS or email from me, you’d regularly see this as my way of signing off. It’s my way of reminding you of the good news of Jesus, but it’s also to remind me. In the history of Israel throughout the Old Testament, God’s people repeatedly forgot the God who had made them, loved them and rescued them. Unfortunately a failure to continue trusting in Jesus has continued to happen this side of the New Testament. I’ve written before of the danger of assuming the gospel in Christian culture and therefore the need to remain in Christ. I need to keep trusting in Jesus and what to keep that at the forefront of my resolutions. Perhaps you haven’t even trusted in Jesus before? Thanks for being willing to read this far! If you’re interested, here is a short message about the reason why we need to trust in Jesus.
You’ve got to risk it to get the biscuit in life! I’m resolved to take risks for the kingdom in 2014 as a follower of Jesus and minister of the gospel. What might that look like? Only God knows. But as well as the big decisions of life, it’s also the little risks I want to take each day to live for Jesus, represent Jesus and make his name known. I don’t want to waste my life! I’ve resolved this before, I will resolve it again! One of the things that urges me to keep taking risks for the kingdom is seeing my persecuted brothers and sisters standing firm in the midst of hostility.
Trusting Jesus and living for Jesus should lead to loving like Jesus. I want to love my wife and children like Jesus loves them. I want to love my church family like Jesus loves them. And I want to love this world like Jesus loves the world. This includes those who are spiritually poor and also those who are physically poor. As I read passages such as 1 John 3:16-18 I am convinced that LOVE IS NOT OPTIONAL.
What ways are you resolving to live for Jesus in 2014?
Feel free to share any of your goals in the comments.