Sunday, November 22, 2009

Some verses about Heaven

1. The Landscape of Heaven
-Rev. 21:2, 21:9-21 There will be a new Jerusalem
-Rev. 21:25 The gates of the new Jerusalem will never be shut
-Rev. 22:1 There will be a river with the water of life
-Rev. 22:2 There will be a tree of life with different fruits, and
healing leaves
-Lk. 21:33 God’s Word will be there
-Heb. 9:24 The OT forms are copies of heavenly things
-2 Cor. 12:2 It is unspeakable

2. Old things will pass away
-Rev. 21:1 The first heaven and earth will pass away
-Rev. 21:1 There will no longer be any sea
-Rev. 21:4 There will no longer be any death, mourning, crying,
or pain
-Rev. 21:4 The old order of things will pass away
-Rev. 21:5 God will make everything new!
-Rev. 21:22 There will no longer be any temple, because God
will dwell among us
-Rev. 21:23 There will no longer be any sun or moon, because
God will be our light
-Rev. 21:25 There will no longer be any night or fears
-Rev. 21:27 There will no longer be any impurity, shame, or
-Rev. 22:3 There will no longer be any curse
-Heb. 12:26-29 Shakable created things will be shaken away,
but we receive an unshakable kingdom
-Mt. 22:29-30 There will no longer be institutions like marriage
-Rm.8:20-22 The creation will be liberated from all corruption
-1 Cor. 13:8-12 Partial knowledge and dim seeing will be done
away with; we will fully know and be fully known

3. We will be with God
-Rev. 21:3 God will live with us
-1 Cor. 15:24-28 Everything will be subject to God
-Rev. 22:3 We will serve the enthroned God
-Rev. 22:4 We will see God
-Rev. 22:4 God’s name will be on our foreheads
-Rev. 3:21 We will sit with God
-2 Thess. 2:16 God will give us eternal comfort

4. We will be with others
-Rev. 21:24 The nations will live there – diversity
-Rev. 21:24 The kings will live there in splendor
-Rev. 22:5 We will reign in heaven
-Mt. 8:11 We will spend time with ancient heroes like Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob
-Isa. 60:18-22 Even the smallest and loneliest person will be
part of a mighty clan and nation in heaven
-1 Cor. 6:3 We will judge angels – interacting and settling
disputes or questions

5. We will be rewarded
-Rev. 22:12 We will be rewarded in heaven
-1 Pet. 1:4 Our inheritance in haven will never perish, spoil, or
-1 Pet. 1:7 Our faith result in praise, glory, and honor
-Mt. 18:1-4 The humble will be great in heaven
-Lk. 18:18 Sacrifices that we make in this life for God will be
paid back many-fold in heaven
-Jn. 6:27 Work we do for God endures into heaven

6. Our salvation will be realized and experienced
-Rev. 21:4 God will wipe away every tear
-Rev. 21:6 We will drink from the water of life and quench our
-Isa. 60:18-22 All of us will be righteous
-1 Pet. 1:5, 9 Our salvation will be revealed
-1 Cor. 15:35-58 We will have new bodies full of splendor and
-2 Cor. 5:1-4 We groan, naked, awaiting our heavenly clothes
-Rev. 2:17 We will be given hidden manna
-Rev. 2:17 God will give us a secret name written on a white
-Rev. 2:28 We will receive “the morning star”?
-Rev. 3:5 We will be clothed in white
-Rm. 8:23-25 We will realize and experience our adoption as
sons and daughters of God
-Rm. 8:23-25 Our bodies will be redeemed
-1 Cor. 13:8-12 We will know fully and be fully known
-Titus 2:13-14 We will be purified and redeemed from every evil
-1 Pet. 1:13 Grace will be revealed
-Rm. 5:21 Grace will reign, just as sin reigns now

7. Promises about Heaven
-JN 6:40 “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
If we put our faith in Christ, God will raise us up and give
us eternal life
-Jn. 10:26-28 Once we have a relationship with God, we will
never perish and nothing can snatch us out of God’s hand
-Titus 1:2 God promises eternal life from ages ago, and God
cannot lie

REV 22:6-7 “And he said to me, “ These words are faithful and true”; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place.
“And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.””

REV 22:17 “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.”

Saturday, November 21, 2009

death by suburb challenge group

Sphere Challenge Group ’09-‘10
Death by Suburb and the Media Monster: How to Keep Some Quiet in Our Loud Lives

1. Intro = “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9NLT). Our Lord never promises that anything will be easy. He promises only His presence and power, and that is always enough.” – Campbell, How to Really Parent Your Child
2. The Media Monster
3. The Empty Self
a. Inordinately Individualistic
b. Infantile
c. Narcissistic
d. Passive
e. Sensate(mediated by electronic images)
f. Has Lost the Art of Developing an Interior Life
g. Hurried and Busy
4. Casting out the Empty Self
a. Admit the Problem
b. Choose to be Different
c. Change Your Routine
d. Develop Patience and Endurance
e. Develop a Good Vocabulary
f. Set Some Study Goals
5. 5 Groups of Wise Virtues
a. Truth-seeking, Honesty, Wisdom
b. Faith and Hope
c. Humility, Open-mindedness, Self-criticality, Nondefensiveness
d. Ardor, Vigilance, Fortitude
e. Fidelity to God and dedication to His cause as one’s chief end
6. Death By Suburb
1. The Problem: Worldliness

a. Environmental Effect:
“The space around us – the physical organization of neighborhoods, roads, yards, houses, and apartments – sets up living patterns that condition our behavior.” –Kenneth Jackson “Crabgrass Frontier”
b. Envy/ Coveting (p.8-9)
c. Self-Love
d. Busy and Chaotic Life (p.168-169 – read)(p.197-198 – read)
e. “Immortality Symbols”
“An immortality symbol is not really about the thing. It’s not about baseball. It’s not really about my child. It’s about the glory that the thing bestows on me.” P.42
-what we call idolatry, identity
f. “Shirkers”
“Shirkers are religious folk who inadvertently disengage from the suffering of the world and who unwittingly collect to themselves every available religious experience.” P.100
“The flow of Shirker Religion is all one direction: toward me” p.112
g. Utilitarian “Transactional” Friendships
“Intimacy is the one thing in…church that everyone craves but few seem to have. You can’t use relationships as a means to position yourself in life and then also expect to experience in them the kind of friendship that sweetens life and takes the edge off its hard parts.” P.154
h. Utilitarian “Transactional” Relationship with God
-Quid Pro Quo

Discussion: How does our environment effect us negatively?

2. Some Spiritual Solutions: 8 spiritual practices to counteract our environmental toxins
a. #1 Inside Space

- Contemplating the Supernatural
- Prayer, Sabbath, and Solitude p.26,28,33
- Listening to God
“becoming still…And to stop the scheming inside my head.” P.32
- Gradual vs. Instant
“It’s not easy to sit and trust that in solitude God will speak to you – not as a magical voice but that He will let you know something gradually over the years (Nouwen)” p.32
b. #2 The Journey Through Self
- “This purification process…is not a journey into my own inwardness, it is a journey through myself, to emerge from the deepest level into the place He is, the point at which God and I meet.(Bloom)” p.44
- Jn. 3:30
- Recognizing and Combating Self-Love
“Self…the inner voice that suggests you live for yourself. The voice of self-love is even more powerful than the voice of the serpent. (Fenelon) p.49-50
“The biggest problem in any church I attend is my love of self.” P.140
“Is this continual resistance [to God] due to the fact that He has not given you what you want in a way that will flatter your ego? (Fenelon)” p.179-180
- Needing God
“the presence of Jesus would be found not in met needs but in unmet expectations and perceived need…the end of myself.” P.192
c. #3 Loving the Unlovely
- Counteracting Coveting
- Change the direction of our gaze
“Instead of riveting my gaze on the possessions of others economically above me, I do an about-face. I turn to face the person whom I perceive to have less than I…opening ourselves up to people in and with whom God seems to be most active.” P.72
“There must be something about beholding the Holy within that pushes you back to the street.” P.46
- “Mortality Symbols” p.48-50,p.190, 198-199
d. #4 Remembering Laughter / Having grace in difficult times
- “Remembering Laughter” story
- Making peace with our allotment of suffering (p.83)
- The difference between bitter old woman and happy old woman (p.90)
- Suffering = the enemy of self-love
“It’s good to learn early enough that suffering and God are not a contradiction but rather a unity, for the idea that God Himself is suffering is one that has always been one of the most convincing teachings of Christianity. I think God is nearer to suffering than happiness, and to find God in this way gives peace and rest and a strong and courageous heart (Bonhoeffer)” p.94-95
e. #5 Pursuing action/ Obedience
- Shirking vs. Obedience
f. #6 Staying put in Your Community“Only in relationships that permit no bailing out can certain forms of spiritual development occur. Marriage is one. Church is another.” P.140
“Just as surely as God desires to lead us to a knowledge of genuine Christian fellowship, so surely must we be overwhelmed by a great disillusionment with others, with Christians in general, and, if we’re fortunate with ourselves…only that fellowship which faces such disillusionment, with all it’s unhappy and ugly aspects, begins to be what it should be in God’s sight, begins to grasp in faith the promise that is given to it.” -Bonhoeffer
g. #7 Finding and Keeping Good Friends“there is always a little humility on the part of each toward the others; with all my friends, I feel lucky to be counted as one.(C.S.Lewis)” “[Friendship] heightens the joys of prosperity and mitigates the sorrows of adversity by dividing and sharing them.(Aelred)” p.162
“In friendship I can say I have felt the grace of God.” P.166
(Lk. 24:13-34)
h. #8 Pursuing Time“There is a realm of time where the goal is not to have but to be, not to own but to give, not to control but to share, not to subdue but to be in accord…spiritual life begins to decay when we fail to sense the grandeur of what is eternal in time (Heschel)” p.176
“Christian contemplation begins at the point where the meaning of the swiftly flowing surface of earthly events is broken to reveal their relation to heaven (Hans Urs von Balthasar)” p.190
3. His conclusion: Mending“Entropy is nowhere more at work than in one’s spiritual energy and good intentions…Mending must be an ongoing continual activity. Entrance into the deeper spiritual life is by way of obedience in the small things…mending one’s life, making small adjustments on a regular basis to avoid the speed and clutter of modern living.” P.184

martha mccallum challenge group teaching on parenting

Sphere Challenge Group ’09-‘10
A Christian Home - Martha McCallum

1.Evangelism Starts in the Home
a.When God is our first love, we have no problem loving others.
b.Be filled with the Spirit, so that when you talk to your family you have
spiritual power and authority.
a.Pray this to God: “God, let there be an end to my trying. I’m helpless before
You.” – Murray (Absolute Surrender)
b.Chambers said, “The right to ourselves is the only gift we have to give to
God.” Because everything else we have was given to us, and isn’t ours to give.
a.Our hospitality will bring a life of abundance
b.God keeps open house for the universe.
c.Kids are a part of the mission we have. Also, our children take part in our
calling because they are part of the family.
d.An open house takes a lot of time and patience.
a.View our whole lives as sold out to God – Don’t compartmentalize.
b.Don’t separate your home-life from the rest of the world; that makes children
more selfish. “Domestic transplants” vs. taking your kids out into the world
with you.
c.Don’t be afraid to hurt your kids feelings by having an event at your house.
d.Don’t make the kosmos the center of your life or the center of your child’s
life. Don’t be engrossed.
5.Education and Community
a.Education is an important value.
b.Enjoy being a part of your community
c.Instead of saying “no” to the watching world, balance it out with the love of
d.Be sure you show your children how enjoyable Christ is – He is more important
than worldly temporal things.
a.Share your Christian burdens and insights with your kids.
b.Share the woes of the spiritual battle, Satan’s attacks, etc..
c.Share feelings.
d.Allow kids to be a part of what you go through, Be open. It’s ok to show them
that we as parents can mis-read things and make mistakes.
7.Teach Stewardship
a.Be positive. Encourage your children.
b.Tell your kids how God has gifted them, and that those things come from God.
c.A stewardship is something used for God’s kingdom. Show children how they
might be used.
d.Show them a lofty vision. “God expects a lot out of you. What will you do with
all the gifts God has given you?”
e.Our attitude toward money should be godly; we shouldn’t love money or cling to
it/ worry about it all the time.
f.We should be generous and giving
g.Parents can become lustful for money and security and transfer that lust to
their children.
h.Don’t be afraid to challenge your kids
8.How to Handle Children’s Sins
a.Fighting, defiance, lazy, peer pressure, disobedience, whining, selfishness,
bad sportsmanship, rebellious, stubborn
b.Be honest with your kids. Maybe even say, “You got that from me.”
c.Be realistic. All are sinful and deserving of hell. But God loves and saves
us – and that’s why we give our lives to Him.
d.Paint a vision for how the defects they have could be used in a positive way.
e.Let them know that lying is futile. Your sins will find you out.
f.Give examples of how you changed through the years.
g.The biggest mistake to make here = ignoring sins, “protecting” them from other
kids and authorities, pretending.
h.Another mistake = nit-picking
i.Stick to moral issues, and be positive in discipline.
j.Wait, do not lose your temper. But if you do, apologize.
a.Train them to be godly and effective
b.Teach them about leadership, being unselfish, and outward-focused.
c.Show them that a life with God is the most exciting life there is.
d.Lead in good, not in evil.
e.Have good friends and pray together as prayer partners.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Starting a blog

So, today I am starting a new blog. A few friends suggested I try this. I am hoping to share some info on read books, papers, etc.. But I am pretty new to this - so it may take me a while before this blog becomes awesome...Much thanks for your patience.