Thursday, August 30, 2012

Football Predictions

College football is back and here are some of my predictions. What do you think?
 Let the trash talking begin!

ACC Champion--Florida State

Big East Champion--Rutgers

Big Ten Champion--Wisconsin

Big 12 Champion--Oklahoma

Pac 12 Champion--Oregon

SEC Champion--Alabama -yes, I'm a homer...leave me alone! :)

Heisman Finalists--Matt Barkley (USC), Denard Robinson (Michigan), Tyler Wilson (Arkansas), Landry Jones (Oklahoma),

Sleepers--Geno Smith (West Virginia), EJ Manuel (Florida State), Marcus Lattimore (South Carolina)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sticky Faith

Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids
Presented by First United Methodist Church Crestview
Reverend Brandon Dasinger (Associate Pastor and Student Minister)

When: This Sunday (2pm-3:30pm)
Cost: Nothing! ...and free child care is available.
Who: This seminar is for parents (and grandparents) of kids of all ages. No matter the age of your kids, it's never too early or too late to build sticky faith.
Why: As a student ministry our desire is to minister to students AND their families. We know it is not easy being a parent and we want to do everything we can to help.
Where: Crossroads Center (youth room)

Summary: Research shows that almost half of graduating high school seniors struggle deeply with their faith. Many drop out of church completely. However, the news is not all bad. Research also shows some things that we can do as parents to encourage our children's spiritual growth so that it will stick with them in adulthood. 

Please feel free to share this event with others. No registration required...just show up! 

Here is a video that gives some more info...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Kenzie...Healing...and Jesus

On Monday Kenzie had another EEG. The results came back completely normal! This may not seem like a big deal, but a year and half ago Kenzie's EEG was anything but normal. At 6 months old, Kenzie was having infantile spasms and her test results were not good. A year and a half later, Kenzie is no longer having seizures and her EEG looks great. She will remain on medicine for another year and if everything remains positive the doctor will take her off. However, Kenzie will always have the potential for seizures and she may have to stay on medicine for the rest of her life. We will wait/pray and see.

Nevertheless, the doctor considers her a miracle baby and so do we. We are very thankful (and amazed) at how well she is doing.

With that said, I realize for every family that receives a healing, there is another family who does not. Any time I hear someone celebrate the miracle of being cancer free…I think of those in the congregation who have lost loved ones due to cancer. Why are some healed and others not? There are faithful Christians who receive a miracle and some do not. Why? I will not pretend that I have the time or the smarts to answer that question fully.

However, one thing that may help is understanding the WHY of miracles. The point of miracles is not the miracles themselves. Our moments of healing are actually small previews into God’s future. In other words, the miracles of Jesus show what the future will be, what his complete kingdom will look like one day.

For instance, the raising of Lazarus from the dead reveals that one day all will be called from death to life, but of course Lazarus did die again. In the same way, Jesus multiplied bread and fed the hungry, a sign that one day stomachs will never be empty, but certainly there were other individuals who went hungry that night. You see every child cured will one day be an adult buried. We live in a world of death and disease. This is why healings are rare and unique. 

The miracles of Jesus are not the point of the text; they are not what is most important. What is most important is what these miraculous healings point to: they point to Jesus. They show us who he is. They reveal his compassion and kindness. They show us what his incarnation is all about. That we worship a Savior who has entered our world…who has entered our mess…who has entered our lives and made us whole. You see, our rare moments of healing give us a taste of God’s future reign. One day there will be no disease, or sickness, or sin, or death. One day God’s peace and God’s shalom will be complete. And all that is broken will be made whole. 

So if your family is rare and has experienced the miracle of healing, then rejoice and be thankful. However, if your family has experienced the norm of sickness and suffering, be assured that one day this too will pass. Be comforted by a Savior who is always with you and who has personally experienced the suffering and disappointment of this world.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Missing the Joy--Religious Chores

"Return the joy of your salvation to me!" -Psalm 51:12

Every now and then I need God to restore the joy of my salvation. When we first begin following Christ there is a sense of enthusiasm and passion. What we lack in knowledge at that point is made up for by our joyful spirit. We are astonished by the grace and mercy of God. We are amazed by the truth that God not only loves us, but wants to use us in his kingdom!

However, after a few years this joy can become dulled by the stress and temptation of the world. Suddenly church becomes a chore that we feel obligated to fulfill every now and then. We fall into the dangerous trap of self-pity. We begin to see service as something we have to get through as opposed to something we get to do. I have often fallen into this type of thinking: Only two more crazy weeks of summer and then I'll get a break. After I finish writing this sermon I can get some rest.

Ministry becomes a burden instead of something that is life-giving and sanctifying. We begin to believe that God owes us for all that we have done for him. We forget that our very lives-and our own ability to serve-is a gift of grace.

In these moments we must remember. We must remember the joy of our salvation. We must remember who Christ is and all he has done for us. We must repent of our self-pity and rejoice in the truth that God has both saved us and called us. Religion is a with Christ is a joy-full blessing.