College Daze

 

Did you know that today is the Collegiate Day of Prayer? Up till a couple weeks ago, I did not. Then I read about it and realized, this is probably one of the greatest battlefronts for souls that there is across this nation and many parts of the world. In fact, I became a born again Christian when I was a freshman in college, so why would I not want to pray for others to do the same? What was helpful or harmful to your faith when you were this age?

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.   I Timothy 4:12

There are indications that the faith of some students declines as they go through college, which might be from a variety of reasons. When you first stepped out from under your parents roof, you had many more freedoms, choices, and consequence than you were aware of previously. Is it any wonder that anyone with a weak faith to begin with would be misled by any number of temptations? What were you most concerned with when you were this age? It probably hasn’t changed all that much.

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.  Proverbs 2:6

Even if you have no direct affiliation with a college right now, you may ask, ‘what can I do?’ Well, here are a few ways you can be involved, even if indirectly.

Pray for the college nearest to you. Whether it is within 3 miles, or 50 miles from you, there is usually a small liberal arts or community college within a short drive from most places in the US. Do a prayer walk through campus and find what ministries may be active on their campus. Find out how you might be able to get involved, or simply pray for them regularly. If you know students on campus, invite them to your church and encourage them when you see them.

Pray for college students you know. Whether family, or friends, you already have a connection with them, so show them you care by visiting with them and being a role model and a voice of truth in their life, even if a small one. If you know anyone in the same 18-25 year old age range not attending college, pray for them as well, as many practices and ideals are formed in these years that will last a lifetime. If you have any interaction at all, be an encouragement to them in their faith walk.

Pray for the college you or your family members attended. Alumni may have more influence promoting campus ministry activities than someone without any ties to the college. Along these lines, also pray for the athletes and other students from your favorite collegiate sports team. These student athletes often face more challenges and trials than your ‘average’ college student, and may need your prayers even more than your cheering voice on gameday.

Pray for the campus ministries and local churches that have contact with students there. The primary purpose of ministries like Intervarsity and Campus Crusade for Christ (now CRU), is to spread the truth of the gospel and win souls on college campuses around the world. Support them through prayer and financially when you are able.

 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:12-13

Our actions and attitudes toward college students is an indicator of the amount of love in our hearts. Especially if we have no children or direct contact with a local college, we may not think twice about what is happening on that campus. Please pray regularly for the hearts and minds of the young adults being formed there that will affect generations to come.

Strength and Courage in Christ,
Clark

Developed or Discovered?

I work with leaders from the age 13-60.  Many of them want positions of authority.  Some have had a lot of leadership experience and some none at all.  The most successful leaders are not the ones that are fighting for position but those who are quick to learn and ask a lot of questions.  They are concerned with being developed.

I am 30 years old this year.  I am reviewing my 20’s and I see a them.  There were times when I tried to prove myself so I would be discovered as a great leader.  Those times were always full of conflict and insecurity.  Then there were times when I was all about being developed, not striving or proving anything.  I recognized my need for growth huge in this time.  I found mentors and leaders who could help me.  I did what they said whether it made sense or not.  I grew a ton! Also, leadership opportunity came my way. 

Jesus was God’s son and Jesus was about 30 when He started his ministry.  Why not 18 after all he is God in flesh.  Joseph was 30 when He was promoted 2nd in command of Egypt, before that he was a slave in Potiphar’s house and a prisoner in a political prison. David was about 30 when He was finally given the role of King of Israel.  All of them had been given a dream years before that. God waited until they were developed before they were given position. 

Can you imaging being Jesus at 25.  You know who you are and the mission you have been called to and you have to wait.  From age 12 – 30 we have one verse.

Luke 2:52 Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.

Weird thought isn’t it. Jesus had to grow in wisdom and favor with God.  Jesus needed developed.  Even at 30 he is saying my time hasn’t come.  Can you imagine Mary?  She has a virgin birth, and I am sure everyone believes the engaged pregnant woman saying she has not had sex.  She wants her son discovered for who He is. 

Joseph has a vision of greatness. He tell his family who you would hope supports his dreams, and he gets sold into slavery by his brothers.  If Joseph is to one day lead an Egyptian amy being in the caption of the guards house, in charge of everything in the house.  Maybe God is up to something.  If farmer boy is going to be 2nd in command of the greatest nation on earth, learning politics in a political prison doesn’t seem that far out.  As a prisoner, Joseph is put in charge of the prison. Slavery and a prisoner would not his first choice, but he was developed into who God wanted him to be. 

You might feel stuck in obscurity and that you have not been discovered yet in the dream that God has for you, but God has a tendency to test his people in the place of obscurity to see if they will be humble and be developed or just whine about their circumstances.  God has GREAT THING planned for you life, but He wants you focused on being developed so He can trust you being discovered.  Who is further in the journey that you need to have mentor you?  What job do you have you need to do your very best in?

Go be Vital!

Recklessly obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Why Church?

I’ll admit it: I’ve been burned by church. I grew up with my dad serving in a church, and thusly got to see the underbelly of the beast. I heard about the fighting, the politics, and the heartache and started thinking: why do I need this? I love God, have accepted Christ as my Savior, do a number of good things, and read the Bible, so why get up early in the morning to go to church? In fact, I started thinking I would be better off in my faith without the church, because I often saw church as bringing my faith down, rather then building it up. My experience is not overly unique. Many people I meet believe in God, but have been so burned by experiences in the local church that they have nothing to do with it. This is the case in the community I serve: 85% of the population believes in God, but only around 35% are active in a church. This all begs the question: why church?

Acts 2:42-47 lays out in detail how the first church functioned, and when I read that passage it becomes clear to me how important being part of a church community is. Here are four big answers to the “why church?” question from Acts 2:

  1. To learn and grow {v.42}: We participate in a Christian community so that we can learn from the wisdom of others. We grow not only from hearing sermons on Sunday mornings, but from watching the example of others, being mentored, hearing testimonies, and being held accountable.
  2. To make each other better {v.44}: Church needs to be a place where we make one another better. We pray for each other, offer encouragement, are there in difficult times, and help break sinful habits. A church thrives when everyone in it takes this responsibility seriously.
  3. To improve the world around us {v.45}: There is so much need in our community, state, nation, and world. While we can {and should} take actions to address these needs individually, we make the biggest impact when we serve together.
  4. To celebrate God {v.45-47}: So much about church seems to revolve around music. We pick what church we are going to attend because of it, and much of our in fighting stems from it. We need to move beyond music preferences, realizing that what is central to church is God’s people coming together to celebrate God for all He does for us. We need to look at worship as a time we give to God, not as a time for us to be receiving.

Many of us whine because we’ve either neither found these things in a church, or because our church does not seem to do them well. I want to say this to all of us {myself included}: instead of whining about our church, lets start making these things happen ourselves. Start seeing church as a place to grow, make others better, improve your world, and truly celebrate God.


Heart

 

Jeremiah 17:10 New International Version (NIV)

10 “I the Lord search the heart
    and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
    according to what their deeds deserve.”

 

The Bible mentions the human heart almost 300 times. In essence, it is saying that the heart is that spiritual part of us where our emotions and desire dwell.

A man with heart has this core value that was given to him from God. It is the man who is inside. I like hanging out with men who have heart. They see good in other people no matter where a man comes from. A man with heart can see what a person can be. A man with heart sees the beauty in life itself. The coffee time opportunities that I have with men help me see the heart. A man with heart brings a smile to waiters or waitresses that serve them the coffee. A man with heart has a willingness to help a person who is with age. They open doors for others. They talk to people and help lift their spirits.

It is interesting to me as you read Jeremiah 17:10, that the Lord searches and examines a man’s heart. This means he is looking inside. What core value of heart is in that man?

Last month we memorized Jeremiah 17:9, ‘The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?’

As men, it is easy to fall into deceit and wickedness. Our heart has a bent to go there. From generation to generation, the Father has been dealing with man’s heart. How is the condition of your heart? Does it need a jolt to get it pumping again?

I have found that keeping my heart with right motives is all about the closeness I have with the Father. How much time do I spend with him, and am I in his written Word?

I like David’s response when he is at the lowest part of his life when he writes Psalm 51:10, ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God’. Maybe that is you today? The Father created you, and he can restore and clean your heart.

Vital Men have heart and a heart for the True God. He has a heart for his wife. He has a heart for his family. He has a heart for people. He has a heart for Jesus’ Church. That is who we are. We are chasing the Father’s Heart.

Strength and Courage

Mike

 

 

Vital Ministries News

Clearance

1 Corinthians 5:7 New International Version (NIV)

Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

 

This time of year everything is on clearance. We have out with old man winter and on to spring. The warmer weather we are having sure might make us think that spring is around the corner, but we have had some of the most incredible snow storms in March and the first part of April.

Clearance prices entice us to think that we can use an item. Stores are convincing us to buy something. They are trying to get rid of something to bring in something new.

In this portion of scripture, Paul is telling us that yeast is a picture of sin. It is small, but it is very powerful. Sin, like yeast in breads, puffs up and spreads. This is great imagery of what sin does to us. Let’s put our sins on clearance. Out with the old and put on the new self. That will be a good buy.

May 2, 2016 Schmidt Brothers – Food – Fellowship – A Night for Men

 

It is official!! We have both guest speakers for our May 2, 2016 event. Marty Schmidt and Andrew Schmidt will be speaking. We will also have the Now Serving 7 band for a night of worship. 

Where: Vermeer Pavilion

Doors Open @ 5:30

Strength and Courage

Mike

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

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