Mason’s Jamaica Testimony

We have a guest writer on the blog today!  Mason Hillmar shares his thoughts concerning what he experienced on our mission trip to Jamaica.  Enjoy and be edified!

I came away from Jamaica with a whole different understanding of my life. I had never been outside of the country until this trip, and It was such a blessing for the first place for me to go to be Jamaica. I didn’t experience culture shock because I knew what I was in for, but what I failed to consider was how the people living in this different culture would be so immensely happy. Until we were there, I didn’t consider that this was the only way they would know how to live. I saw them not being sad in their own poverty, but more making the most of everything that they could. It really encouraged me and gave me perspective on things. In America, if we were in the situation they were in, we would not have been as resourceful as they are. It made me aware of how wasteful we are and how we can change to really appreciate the things we have. …continue reading

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The Resurrection of Jesus Christ: Historical Truth or Heightened Tale?

Did Jesus Christ really rise from the dead?

If the answer is no, then Christianity is proven to be false. As the Apostle Paul puts it, if Jesus did not rise from the dead, then Christians are to be pitied more than any other, as our faith is useless, futile, without foundation, worthless.

However, if the answer is yes, then there is good reason to believe in the truthfulness of Christianity. The question then becomes, how do we know whether Jesus really did rise from the dead?

…continue reading

New Testament Reading Challenge

Instead of going through the entire Bible in a year, I’ve challenged our youth to read through the New Testament in half a year.  That amounts to roughly 2 chapters a day, 5 days a week, for 6 months.

I love that there are no assigned readings on weekends which allows us to catch up on our readings if need be.  Another appeal to this plan is that without a passage to read on Sunday, we can spend some time meditating on the pastor’s sermon.

Also, the readings have been broken up in such a way so as to keep the writings of each respective author together.  So, for instance, after reading Luke, we’ll dive into Acts.  After reading John’s gospel, we’ll delve into his letters and then Revelation.  I’m hoping this will familiarize us with the styles, tendencies, and the unique flavors of each respective author.  The one exception to these groupings are Paul’s letters, which, for the most part have been kept together but not entirely. …continue reading

Orange Phase

It’s just a phase.

This is something parents say to themselves when their kids do something, well, not so great, and continue to do that said thing, over and over again.

i can’t tell you how many times i’ve thought, hoped, prayed, that this was true of my kids! “Oh, good Lord (read Laaawwwwdddd!), let this be a phase!”

And wouldn’t you know that often times kids will grow out of that phase just to get themselves into another one.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could identify these phases that kids go through?  What if we could determine the most pressing needs of our kids as they go through these phases? …continue reading

Follow Me – Week 4: God’s Will For Your Life

What is God’s will for my life?

If you are in middle school or high school, this may not be a question that you’ve asked.  But, as you continue to walk with Jesus and as you encounter new seasons in your life, this is a question that you may revisit many times over.

As you get older, you’ll probably wonder what God has in mind for you with respect to dating, marriage, college, work, kids, etc.  And as you come to make these decisions there’s a good chance you’ll ask, What does God want me to do?

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God the Law-Giver: The Passover Lamb

This lesson was first given on Sunday, October 30th, 2016, to the middle schoolers and was continued on November 6th.

Taken from The Gospel Project/Winter 2016/Unit 1/Session 3

The Main Point: “Even in His righteous judgment, God offers salvation through the sacrifice of a substitute.”

Scripture Passages: Exodus 11:4-8; 12:1-13, 29-32

Context: In session 2, we saw a demonstration of God’s glory as He comforted His people and confronted those who opposed Him.  We looked at 9 of the plagues that God brought upon Pharaoh and the false gods of Egypt.

In this session, we looked at the 10th plague and the Passover. …continue reading

Follow Me – Week 1: The Call

The Call to Follow

Follow Me.  This is the call of Jesus – to follow Him.  We see this calling first to Peter and his brother Andrew in Matthew 4:

17 From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near!”

18 As He was walking along the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the sea, since they were fishermen. 19 “Follow Me,” He told them, “and I will make you fish for people!” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.

These disciples left their lives as they knew it to follow Jesus.

In bridging the gap between the days of Peter and Andrew to us, David Platt questions our understanding of the call of Jesus on us: “Two thousand years later, I wonder how far we have wandered from this path.  Somewhere along the way, amid varying cultural tides and popular church trends, it seems that we have minimized Jesus’ summons to total abandonment.”1 …continue reading

Middle School Bible Study Curriculum Fall 2016

The curriculum we are currently using for our Sunday morning middle school Bible study is Lifeway’s The Gospel Project for Students.

In their own words,

The Gospel Project® is a chronological, Christ-centered Bible study for…Students…that examines how all Scripture gives testimony to Jesus Christ. Over the course of three years, participants will journey from Genesis to Revelation and discover how God’s plan of redemption unfolds throughout Scripture and still today, compelling them to join the mission of God.

Unpacking what they mean by “chronological” and “Christ-centered” might be helpful for us get a better grasp of what The Gospel Project is trying to accomplish. …continue reading