Thursday, December 4, 2014

Advent and Turmoil -Further Reflections on Ferguson and Eric Garner

"So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us. 
He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness." (John 1:14)

The last few weeks in our country have been difficult to say the least. The turmoil, suffering, and racial division has been heart wrenching. These moments have been a fresh reminder to me for why the advent of Christ was so necessary.

Our society teaches us to avoid suffering at all costs and to seek our own happiness even if it requires being indifferent to the pain of others. This is why Advent has been replaced by holiday parties and shopping. Don't get me wrong, I like cheesy Christmas songs and exchanging gifts as much as anyone. I am not a scrooge.

However, sometimes the holidays can cause us to forget the true essence of Advent. Advent reminds us that the gospel is very different than our cultural values. Advent is the season when we remember that Jesus put on flesh and dwelt among us. Christ being born in a manger reveals a God who does not avoid our suffering and messiness, but enters into it. Jesus knew suffering from the moment he entered the world. He was born into poverty as a refugee fleeing from genocide. He served others and healed wounds. He wept for us and with us. Eventually he was tortured and executed by the very people he came to save. Advent is not simply a sweet story about a baby born in a manger. Christ came to a world filled with darkness. He came as a light for the world. He came to show us that there is another way. We do not have to sin. We do not have to hate one another.

"I am the light of the world." Jesus (John 9:5)

So during this season of Advent, let us seek ways to be light in a dark world. Let us seek to be instruments of peace and healing. Yes, the world is still dark. Suffering, pain, and injustice are still very real. But the darkness will not win. Christ has come...and he will come again.

"...the darkness is disappearing and the true light is already shining." (1 John 2:8)

"The light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it." (John 1:5)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thoughts on Ferguson...



Watching the news last night left me sad. I am sad for Michael Brown's family. I am sad for good police officers who are given a black eye due to events and actions they have no control over. I am sad for the whole city of Ferguson. I feel sad for the continued divide our nation has about race. This division is amplified by my social media feeds. The majority of my white friends either rejoiced or remained silent when they heard the news of no indictment. The majority of my African American friends were disappointed and discouraged.

On the one hand, I have family and friends who are police officers that work hard every day to protect and serve their community. I am very thankful for their service. On the other hand, I have friends with black children who have legitimate concerns about their safety and the fairness of our legal system. Regardless of how you feel about this particular case, the statistics concerning the justice system and African Americans are staggering. In the U.S., African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites. White people by far use the most illegal drugs, but African Americans are ten times more likely to be sent to prison for drug offenses. Also, the mounting number of young black men who have been killed unarmed is disturbing.

Our son, who we adopted last year, is African American. Right now he is 11 months. He is a chubby, adorable baby that everyone loves. But one day he will become a young man and I fear how people may treat him. In fact, I will even have to talk to him about how people (including law enforcement) may treat him differently due to the color of his skin. I hate that I (and many other families) must have this conversation. Our country has come a long way when it comes to race, but cases like Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown reveal that we still have a long way to go.

We need to pray.
We need to listen and learn.
We need to work for healing and reconciliation.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Book Review--Reclaiming the Lost Soul of Youth Ministry: A Wesleyan Field Guide By Jeremy Steele

Before I review the book, I must confess two things: (1) Jeremy Steele is a friend of mine and (2) I’m a major Methodist nerd. Therefore, my review may be a bit biased. With that said, let me begin by saying that Jeremy has written a book I wish I had written. I recommend that every youth minister and pastor read through this material. Jeremy does a masterful job of weaving together Wesleyan theology and scripture with everyday insights for youth ministry. The book is full of great material and powerful quotes. Here are just a couple of examples:

“Prevenient grace changes our conversations. We are no longer introducing people to Jesus. We are no longer delivering to them something with which they have never been in contact. Instead, we are talking about the being who has been blessing, protecting, and wooing them for their entire life.”

“Sanctifying grace is not some magical motivational method to help you break bad habits and start good ones. It is not a new (old) way to justify legalism and judgmentalism. Sanctifying grace is a person captured by God.”

As someone who spent many years as a youth pastor, finding a youth ministry book written from a Wesleyan perspective is nearly impossible. This is why I’m so excited about this book being published. Jeremy Steele maps out a distinctively Wesleyan approach to youth ministry. He covers a variety of Wesleyan theology including prevenient grace, class meetings, and even the quadrilateral. He covers each topic in a very clear and concise way, and then gives the implications for ministry. I believe that is the strength of this book. Jeremy has a wide variety of knowledge, but he’s also an everyday youth minister. He has a good understanding of how Wesleyan theology can actually be applied to ministry with students.  In fact, the main point of the book is that what we believe about God should inform how we do ministry. Our theology should impact our praxis. “Reclaiming the Lost Soul of Youth Ministry” is practical theology at its best. John Wesley would be very proud!  

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Who's to Blame?

Have you ever blamed someone else for something you did? God's people have made a tradition of blaming others for our failures and shortcomings. This shouldn't surprise us because this practice started at the very beginning. In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve sin and then are confronted by God. What do they do? Blame someone else. Adam blames Eve and Eve blames the snake. We do the same thing.

We justify our road rage because the street is filled with "bad drivers." We excuse our impatience because the lines were too long or the service was too slow. We rationalize our jealousy and insecurity because it's obvious that we deserved the promotion and not the other person. 

Part of the issue here is that there is a hint of truth in each of these justifications. Enough truth to keep us from looking at our own selves. The real truth is that sin originates in you. Circumstances can certainly play a role, but the choice to sin is our own. The bad driver makes you angry, but the anger is already present in your own heart. The service may be slow and you may have deserved the promotion, but the impatience and pride is inside of you. 

Circumstances bring to surface what already dwells in our hearts. No one can provoke inside of you what does not originate there. Every human heart (including my own) needs sanctifying. We need God's grace to change us in deeper ways then we can imagine.

We really should thank God for the person (or circumstance) that exposes our sinful tendencies. That person reveals what's really in our heart and shows us areas where we still need to grow. Only by seeing our true selves and seeking God's grace can we begin to change. Blaming someone else may make us feel better, but it won't solve the real problem.   

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

We Stink...And God's Love is Amazing

This past week I preached on the book of Deuteronomy. While I was reading, I noticed that numerous times in Deuteronomy, Moses pauses to remind the Israelites how unworthy they are to be in a covenant relationship with God. He seems determined to show the people how undeserving they are of God's blessing and provision. It’s actually pretty funny. Here are just a couple of examples:

“The Lord did not choose you and lavish his love on you because you were larger or greater than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations! It was simply because the Lord loves you, and because he was keeping the oath he had sworn to your ancestors. That is why the Lord rescued you with such amazing power from your slavery under Pharaoh in Egypt." Deuteronomy 7:7-8

"The Lord your God is not giving you this good land because you are righteous, for you are not--you are a stubborn people." Deuteronomy 9:6

I love that. He’s reminding the Israelites: "You’re not that amazing. God didn't choose you because you were the biggest nation or the most wealthy. He does not love you because of your own righteousness. In fact, you’re a stubborn and rebellious people. God is not giving you the promised land because of your worthiness." And I’m sure the people were thinking at this point: “Ok, Moses, we get it, we stink. So why did God choose us.?” And Moses’ response is simple: “Because that’s who God is. God is good. God is love and he loves you.”

The same is true for us. We need this reminder because after you’ve been in the church for a while it’s really easy to become prideful and judgmental. However, the truth is, we have no reason to look down on others. We are not special because of our wealth or knowledge or own self-righteousness. We have not earned God’s love or favor. We do not deserve his goodness...we have it simply because this is who God is. Everything is a gift...it’s all grace. God loves us not because we have made ourselves worthy of it. He loves us because he is love. God's love for us is not based on our character. God's love for us is based on his character. This is good news! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Good News Of Holiness

"For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.
And his commandments are not burdensome."
1 John 5:3

In our culture words like law, obedience, and holiness have a negative connotation. Thus, we tend to see God's laws and commands as a heavy burden. We see holiness as an ideal that is unattainable.

However, scripture doesn't have this view. Jesus and the other apostles saw these words a bit differently. They believed obedience to God's commands was a good thing...a really good thing. Holiness is the amazing truth that God not only forgives our sin, but also gives us the power to overcome sin. This is good news!  This is the gospel! And if we really think about it, scripture is right.

Do we really believe that living with a divided heart is easier than living with a united heart fully devoted to Christ?

Wouldn't our relationships be better if we were free from things like pride, selfishness, and hate?

What would it be like to be content with what we have instead of desperate for what we don't?

Wouldn't it be great to be delivered from strongholds like lust and anger? What a relief it would be to be set free from all that plagues us.

God's Word was not given to us to burden us or to restrict us. God's Word is our path to freedom. Sin is not freedom, but rather the worst kind of slavery. God made us good. Sin messed it up. Holiness is the promise that he can make us good again. That is good news!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What is the Lord's Will for My Life?

As a pastor, one request I hear repeatedly from people is their desire to know God's will for their life. And by "God's will" they are usually wanting to know about a career to pursue, place to live, school to attend, and whom to marry. These are not bad questions and I certainly agree that we should pray and think about these matters. However, when I read about "God's will" in scripture I rarely see it used in this way. While the Bible doesn't tell every person on earth specifically what his or her life's calling will be, it does give us a lot of general direction:

"You are to serve the least of these." Yes.
"You are to care for the orphan and the widow." Yes.
"You are to deny yourself and follow Jesus." Yes.
"You are to love God with all your heart and love your neighbor. And your neighbor includes sinners, tax collectors, and even your enemies." Yes.
"You are to go and make disciples." Yes.
"You are to show mercy and walk humbly with God." Yes.
"You are to be holy because God is holy." Yes.

I wonder sometimes if we focused more on doing the revealed will of God, perhaps the specifics of our lives would fall into place. Don't get me wrong...God cares about the school you attend, but he cares more about your heart and the way you live.

"Show me the path where I should walk, O Lord; point out the right road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you." Psalm 25:4-5

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My Top 3 Commitments

About a week ago, I started serving at my new church First UMC Pace. This time of transition has been hectic, exciting, and fun. However, in the midst of the busyness I want to make sure I keep certain commitments during this time of transition. Here are my top 3...

1. I will move slowly. I will remember that God didn't move the Israelites into the Promise Land overnight, and he's not expecting me to change our church in one month. If there are some easy "wins" great, but it takes time to learn the people and understand the DNA of the church. I will not assume I know what is best, but I'll seek to learn about my new culture. I need to understand our past and current context before we vision for the future.

2. I will focus on priorities. Busy is not synonymous with effectiveness. Every time I'm doing something, I'm not doing something else. There is a cost to not keeping my priorities...even if I can't see it right away. I will pray and read scripture. I will not neglect my family. I will meet with people...a lot!

3. I will serve. This is my first time being a Senior Pastor. The title alone makes me sound older and more powerful. But power is not something I will use to manipulate others. Christ was powerful, but he used his power to serve. I hope to do the same. I will be intentional in trying to find ways to serve my staff, the congregation, my family, and the poor. I want my leadership to resemble the way of Jesus.

Without a doubt, this new appointment will have ups and downs, successes and failures, wins and losses. Some people will love me (at least my wife and kids but maybe others)...and some not so much. I'll have good days, but some days I'll fall flat on my face. I'm thankful for a Savior whose grace is sufficient in all things. He always works in ways that are beyond my abilities and above my highest expectations. He is always faithful.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

My Top 3 Youth Ministry Books

If you scroll down and look to the left side of this blog, you'll see a list of youth ministry books I love. I am a book nerd by nature and I especially enjoy reading about youth ministry. Thus, picking a top 3 was very painful, but here you go!

1. "Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry: A Personal and Practical Guide to Starting Right" -Doug Fields

If I could recommend one book for youth ministers, this would be it. It is incredibly practical and extremely well written. I've been in youth ministry for 12 years and I continue to re-read it. The chapters on discouragement and dealing with difficult people are especially helpful.



2. "Godbearing Life: The Art of Soul Tending for Youth Ministry" -Kenda Creasy Dean

This book made me fall in love with youth ministry again at a time when I was discouraged. The book challenges us to rethink our roles as youth ministers. The goal of student ministry is not to direct programs, but to pastor students. The goal is not big numbers, but sanctification.


3. "Sticky Faith: Practical Ideas to Nurture Long-Term Faith in Teenagers" -Kara Powell and Brad Griffin

This book provides an enormous amount of research, but also includes very practical ideas to help youth ministries. The authors present youth workers with a theological/philosophical framework and programming ideas that develop long-term faith in teenagers.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Marriage and Other Stuff


Today marks 8 years of marriage with my amazing and beautiful wife. It's been an amazing journey so far. Just thinking about what has taken place during our marriage makes me tired...


Over a decade working in student ministry: retreats, lock-ins (what were we thinking), small groups, mission trips, service projects, and eating way too much pizza.



Moving to Wilmore, Kentucky so that I could attend Asbury Theological Seminary.


Buying this guy… (roll tide!)


Going on some incredible trips including New York, Haiti, and the Holy Land!


Getting ordained in The United Methodist Church. (what were they thinking)




The birth of our first child…Kenzie Claire. She's the greatest little girl in the entire world in my bias opinion.


Going through the process of adoption...


Finalizing the adoption of our son…Caleb Kyrie. He's the greatest baby boy in the world by far.


Keeping up with these two crazy kids on a daily basis.



Like I said, it's been an amazing journey so far and I look forward to what God has in store for us in the future. 
(But one non-crazy year would be nice)


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Two Awesome Websites

A couple of weeks ago, I received the exciting news that one of my articles was posted on the Seedbed website. You can check that out here

But the real reason for this post is simply to make others aware of Seedbed and another site called Wesleyan Accent. Both sites provide resources, videos, and articles that are centered on Wesleyan theology. The material is produced by a wide variety of scholars, pastors, and youth ministers. I've really enjoyed both websites and hope you will too! Check them out!




Friday, April 18, 2014

Prayer for Holy Saturday

Merciful and everliving God, creator of heaven and earth,
the crucified body of your Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy day.
Grant that we may wait with him the dawing of the third day
and rise in newness of life, through Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen.
(Book of Common Prayer)

"Since then we have a great high priest
who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God,
let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
(Hebrews 4:14, 16)


Prayer for Good Friday

Almighty God,
Your Son Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross
so that he might draw the whole world to himself.
Grant that we, who glory in this death for our salvation,
may also glory in his call to take up our cross and follow him;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Book of Worship)

"If any want to become my followers,
let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
For those who want to save their life will lose it,
and those who lose their life for my sake and for the sake of the gospel, will save it."
Mark 8:34-35


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wherever You Call Me


Change is inevitable. Change is great. Change is hard. 

As an Ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church I am appointed to my ministry positions. Following the Acts 13 model, we believe in a "sent" ministry. Pastors are not hired or fired. We have a leadership base that sends pastors to different churches. The goal is to send pastors where their gifts and graces meet the ministry and missional needs of a local church. With that said, I found out recently I am being sent to First UMC Pace, Florida as their Senior Pastor. My family and I are very excited about this opportunity, but we will certainly miss our time here in Crestview.

I was sent to First UMC Crestview 5 years ago and it was a great fit. I have loved being at this church. They have spoiled my family in numerous ways. It's been an amazing journey with the youth ministry here. We started with ten kids on two pews in an old youth house. God brought together a special group of volunteers and teenagers and things began to grow. Soon the youth house was overflowing. Crowded room of teenagers + a sometimes working A/C unit = smelly youth house. It didn't matter. Kids kept inviting kids and we kept growing.



Eventually the church allowed us to use their main sanctuary for worship. You know you have an awesome church when they allow the teenagers to use their main sanctuary. I wasn't sure how the students would react to being in such a different atmosphere. Again, God's spirit moved and we didn't miss a beat. 





We spent over a year in the sanctuary, but plans were drawn to build a new facility. One third of this new building was dedicated to our youth. We moved into our new facilities in 2012.







I love our new building and I love that our youth group has grown. More importantly, however, I've loved seeing students fall in love with Jesus. I've loved seeing students grow in their faith. I've loved seeing them serve and help other people. I've loved seeing them pray together.

 


I've even loved the messy games. Never mind, I didn't love that. But I did love all the fun times and laughing until it hurts.


Like I said before, we are very excited about our new appointment. I cannot wait to get started at FIrst UMC Pace. Change is great. But change is hard because it also means saying goodbye to something else. Saying goodbye to these students and this church will be very difficult. They have been a second family for us. During this time of transition, the song "Oceans" by Hillsong United has been very encouraging. I especially love these lyrics:

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. 
Let me walk upon the waters wherever you would call me.
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander 
and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.

Change is inevitable. Change is great. Change is hard. Spirit lead us...



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Caleb's Big Weekend -Adoption Update

Last weekend was a big one for our son Caleb. On Friday, March 14th, his adoption was finalized by the state of Florida. Caleb is "officially" our son. Then on Sunday I baptized Caleb. Below is a letter we wrote for him and read at church. As always, thank you for your continued prayers and support. This adoption was made possible by so many people besides ourselves. We are overwhelmed with joy and gratitude.
Our family with the Judge

Dear Caleb Kyrie Dasinger,

We are so excited that today is your baptism. Getting to this point has been an adventure to say the least. Often times adoption is seen as something embarrassing or strange. We pray and hope your adoption story is one that you take pride in. We fully realize that a child being raised by their loving birth parents is plan A. We understand that we are plan B and yet what an amazing privlege that is. Our God is good. He can take all things and redeem them for good.

Your birth mom was not able to take care of you and she made a very courageous decision in giving you to us. We will be forever grateful for her decision. We want you to know that we have been praying for you and thinking about you even before you were born. We want you to know that we fought hard to have you in our family. You are worth every penny spent, every sleepless night, every mile travelled, every piece of paper filled out, every phone call, every obstacle, every hard day. Being your mommy and daddy is one of the greatest things God has ever called us to. Having you as our son is a blessing beyond words.

As your parents, we promise to love you and take care of you each and every day. We hope to be great examples of compassion and grace. Your sister Kenzie was just as excited to meet you as we were. She couldn’t wait to have a little brother. No family is perfect, but we pray that our family will show God’s incredible power and faithfulness. 

You will also have an amazing church family who will support you and pray for you as well. In fact, it is your church family that helped make this adoption possible. The church is not perfect, and being a pastor’s son will not always be easy. But hopefully you will see and meet people who really love Jesus and really love you. Today you become a part of God’s church family.

You will always be surrounded by people who love you, but unfortunately you will also grow up in a fallen world. We’re sorry that you may face mistreatment due solely to the color of your skin. We’re sorry people may think your family is odd or weird. We believe our family is amazing. We believe our family reflects God’s kingdom…a kingdom that includes every nation, race, and tribe. We’re sorry that you will grow up in a culture that teaches men to be chauvinistic, prideful, and angry. Our culture defines real men as cocky, arrogant, and egotistical. We hope and pray you will become a Godly man. We hope you are selfless, compassionate, and kind. We hope you are strong in the way you honor women and in the way you care for the least of these. We hope you’re strong in your beliefs and that you will live by faith. This is real strength.

We hope you find your identity in God’s love for you. And this brings us back to this special day. The baptismal covenant is God’s word to us, proclaiming our adoption into God’s family by God’s grace. Baptism is a symbol of God’s love for you. It’s a reminder that you are fearfully and wonderfully made in his image. Life is an up and down journey. It is filled with victories and defeats. Your baptism declares that nothing can change God’s love and commitment to you. You are his and he is yours. Follow him son.  

Love,


Mom, Dad, and Kenzie

The Beards of Ministry

As someone with facial hair, there is no doubt in my mind that beards bring wisdom to your ministry. Right now I'm a mix between the guru and the youth pastor. But one day I hope to graduate to the full orthodox! 



Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ash Wednesday and Lent: Clinging to Christ

Ash Wednesday is a special time in the life of the church because it forces us to confront our brokenness and sin. This can sound depressing…which is why more people celebrate Mardi Gras then Ash Wednesday. The ashes we receive on our forehead are a symbol of own mortality and sin. Ashes represented mourning and repentance in the Old Testament. They reminded people that death and sin are very real. They remind us of the truth found in Romans 3: “For all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard.” And Romans 6: “The wages of sin is death.” We are people who have messed up. We have gone our own way, pursued our own happiness, and in the process destroyed our own souls. We have separated ourselves from the very One who loves us and gives us life.


Hebrews 4 puts it this way: “For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are. Nothing in all creation can hide from him. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes. This is the God to whom we must explain all that we have done.” This is a scary verse. This verse and Ash Wednesday remind us that we have all been busted. We are all exposed. Nothing we have or haven’t done is known by God. We may hide it from others, but nothing is hidden from God. This is bad news. No wonder most people skip Lent and go straight to Easter. We don’t want to think about our own sin…we don’t want to think about our death. We don’t like ashes.



But here’s the good news. I want to finish with a promise. Here’s the second part of the verse from Hebrews: “This is why we have a great High Priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God. Let us cling to him and never stop trusting him. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it.”
 In most Ash Wednesday services we have Holy Communion right after receiving the ashes. Communion reminds us that death and sin do not have the last word. Communion reminds us that through Christ, our great High Priest, we have been given the gift of everlasting life. So may this Lenten season be a time of renewal…a time of change…a time of focus…and most of all a time of clinging…a season where we cling and trust our gracious Savior. 


Here is some info on Ash Wednesday and Lent...

Where does the concept of Lent come from?
 At Jesus' baptism the sky split open, the Spirit of God, which looked like a dove, descended and landed on Jesus, and a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, My Beloved, with whom I am pleased." Afterward, as told in Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus hiked into the wilderness where he spent forty days to fast and pray. While he was there, he was tempted by Satan and found the strength to resist sin.


What does Lent have to do with me?
 It's pretty easy to get caught up in the drama of work, school, relationships, and family. Our lives are filled with distractions that take us away from living a life with Christ. We try to fill the emptiness inside us with mindless TV, meaningless chatter, stimulants, alcohol or other things. We run from silence because we're afraid of being alone with God. So, like Jesus, we need to take some serious time to pray and figure out where God is in our lives, and where God is calling us to serve. We need to re-focus our lives to be more in line with God.

How do Christians celebrate Lent?
It's different in different traditions. But generally it's a time to return to Christ by cutting out all that distracts us. For some people that means giving up something like candy, TV, or soft drinks as a way to purify their bodies and lives. Others take something on and collect food for the needy, volunteer once a week to help children, or decide to be kind to someone they don't like. Whatever "stuff" is given up or taken on, the intent must be to draw us closer to Christ. Lent is a resolution to simplify our lives, and to return to the One who loves us -- Jesus.


So the real beginning of Lent is Ash Wednesday? 
Yes. Ash Wednesday, the day after Mardi Gras, usually begins with a service where we recognize our mortality, repent of our sins, and return to our Loving God. We recognize life as a precious gift from God, and re-turn our lives towards Jesus Christ. We may make resolutions and commit to change our lives over the next forty days so that we might be more like Christ. In an Ash Wednesday service, usually a minister or priest marks the sign of the cross on a person's forehead with ashes.


Why ashes? 
In Jewish and Christian history, ashes are a sign of mortality and repentance. Mortality, because when we die, our bodies eventually decompose and we become dust/ dirt/ash/whatever. Repentance:, because long ago, when people felt remorse for something they did, they would put ashes on their head and wear "sackcloth" to remind them that sin is pretty uncomfortable and leads to a sort of death of the spirit. This was their way of confessing their sins and asking for forgiveness.


Cool Things To Do for Lent: 

(1) Fast one day a week. (2) Start a prayer "rhythm." Say a prayer every time you brush your teeth, see a commercial, or check your e-mail. (3) Read a chapter in the Bible a day (Mark is a good book to start with). (4) Give up cokes or sweets. (5) Spend ten minutes a day in silence. (6) Begin every morning with prayer. (7) Journal every day. (8) Give up secular music and/or TV for certain days. (9) Write a thank you letter each week. (10) Say one nice thing to someone each day. (11) Pray for others on your way to work or school. (12) Commit to keeping the Sabbath. Attend church, rest, and pray. (13) Commit to volunteering at the church or with helping out around the house.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Confirmation



A sample of the videos we use

Confirmation is an opportunity for young people to affirm the faith into which they were baptized and, for those who were baptized as infants or small children, to renew the baptismal vows taken for them by their parents or guardians. Confirmation also makes young people aware of how God is and has been at work in their lives, even before they were old enough to realize it. And confirmation affirms a new commitment—a new covenant relationship—between a young person and Christ’s body, the church.

First UMC Crestview
8-Week Journey
Sundays (9:30am-10:30am)
6th-12th Grade

Class 101 Know Your Story
Is the Bible true and what’s it all about?
     - The story of Redemption
How can God be “three-in-one”?
     -  God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

Class 201 Confirm Your Faith
What does it mean to be “born again”?
     -  The Way of Salvation
Why Should I follow Jesus?
     -  The Way of Discipleship
Can I be a Christian without going to church?
     -  The Way of Community

Class 301 Live Your Commitment
What’s a Methodist?
     -  Grace and Holiness
Going Forth: Now What?
     -  Membership and Mission