Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The ABC's of Bible Class

A.   Attendance: No one can learn anything from Bible class if they are not there. Constant attendance will help reinforce the lessons being repeated each week. Attendance not only means being there every time but also on time. Not a minute of instruction time should be missed if you want the child to receive the full effect of Bible class. 
B.    Bible: No student is complete in Bible class without a Bible. From the moment a child can read they should have their own Bible that they can study from. Select a translation that they can understand, but don’t sacrifice readability for accuracy. A fancy cover may be please to the eye, but a Bible they can find scripture in and read from themselves in far better for them. A Bible left in the car or a home is the same as having no Bile at all.
C.   Concerned Parents: A Bible lesson is soon forgotten if not followed up on. Ask your child about what they learned in Bible class. Re-read the text from class to them the next week. When you child sees you interested in Bible class, it will help them become interested.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Will The Center Hold?

  At camp one summer,  a friend Peter Rice told us about his travels to the 101 Tower in Taipei, Taiwan.  It is currently the tallest building in the world. 
  After a trip up the fastest elevator in the world, Peter said he was most amazing feature of the tower was a massive golden ball that was suspended in the middle of the room.  He was curious to why they would go to all the effort to drag a 730 ton ball up 88 floors?
  After asking some of the guides, he was shown a brochure that said the reason for the giant ball is it serves as a mass damper. A mass damper some type of huge weight located in the center of building that helps control movement caused by wind or earthquakes. With out this structure, movement on or in the building could cause vibrations that could rip the building apart. The damper is a sable point that helps the building deal with the stresses placed on it. 
  For the Christian the mass damper in our lives should be the word of God. It should be a central stabilizing point in our lives that help us deal with the stresses placed on us. Those that try to survive the storms of life without God’s word will find themselves pulled apart. Bible study may take time and effort but it will help to keep us stable in an ever changing world.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Most Difficult Words

I must have been sick on the day they taught phonics in school. If I don’t recognize a word by sight, I can find some amazing ways to mispronounce it. The worst part is that even when I know I am speaking it incorrectly, my brain and my mouth won’t cooperate to do it right. I cringe when I know I have to use certain words in a lesson because no matter how much I practice, I’m not sure how it will come out.
            However, I know that those difficult words are not the hardest word for people to say. The hardest words to say are sometimes the most simple to pronounce. Phrases like, “I’m sorry” and “I was wrong” and “I have sinned”. The longest, hardest walk many ever will take is the steps down the aisle when they come forward.
            It would behoove us to remember this when people need to say those words. We need to do everything to support them and encourage them. We should never hinder someone’s need for repentance with our judgments or indifference. Jesus tells us in Luke 15:7 that “there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”  God’s desire is for man to see the error of his ways and come home. We need to make sure we don’t do anything that would hinder someone from making that journey.

Monday, December 19, 2011

“Good Old Days” Syndrome

  Do you think that baseball players can’t hit nearly as well as they did when you were younger? Do you know that schools were much tougher when you attended? Are you sure cars were made so much better “back in the day”?

  Well then you may suffer from “good old days” syndrome. “Good old days” syndrome is the tendency to look back on the past with nostalgia and forget about the reality of what went on.  It often happens when we look at a future task and dismiss it by saying things like, “We used to have a great…” or “If we only could do it like we did back then.” It makes the past perfect and therefore leaves the future to do other than disappoint. 

  So is “good old days” syndrome a bad thing? 
  Well Ecclesiastes 7:10 tells us: 
"Do not say, "Why is it that the former days were better than these?" For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this."
A wise person does not dwell on the mistakes or the success of the past but learns from them and moves on. He learns from the past but also adapts to the future. If we get stuck in the past, we never get improve. “Good old days” syndrome may make us sound like wisdom but it rarely gets us anywhere.

It Might Draw A Crowd...

  The city of Butte, Montana had a problem when the large strip mine in the area closed down in 1992. They were left a 500-acre, 900-foot-deep lake of stagnant water filled with a amalgamation of toxic metals and acidic mine waste known as the Berkley Pit. An overflow of the pit would be an immediate danger to the entire community. Elaborate steps have to be to be taken to scare away waterfowl with loudspeakers, firecrackers and a boat, since some geese that have touched down there for a drink were then had been found dead, their insides scoured with burns and sores. 
  So what could they do with a pit of toxic water? Simple, sell tickets! The city found out that people would pay to come in and see the mess. One a chamber official calls it the “biggest tourist draw in southwest Montana." They even have plans to increase the ticket prices because attendance has been so high.
    It goes to show that people can be drawn in to see anything. Sadly, many churches have fallen victim to this philosophy. False doctrines about worship and the authority of scriptures are attempting to be justified by the idea they will bring in people.
  It doesn’t matter if it does; you still have a dangerous problem.  Just because people will flock to see something doesn’t make it safe or good. Unscriptural worship is like a toxic waste that can eat away the children of God in worldly self seeking people. Just because it may draw a crowd does not make it right.