Monthly Archives: January 2011

“Sun Stand Still”

“Sun Stand Still,” is about discovering what Steven Furtick calls, “AUDACIOUS FAITH.”  He defines audacity as, “regular people behaving with boldness or daring… especially with confident disregard for personal comfort {or} conventional thought.”

The book’s title is taken from Joshua chapter 10 where God tells Joshua that He has delivered the Amorites into his hands.  Joshua then marches his men all night and engages the Amorite army in faith.  Then God actually fights for them by throwing down huge hailstones, but as the sun was about to set, Joshua faced a huge decision.  The victory wasn’t complete and yet if the sun set, the rest of the Amorites would slip away.  So Joshua prayed one of the most audacious prayer ever spoken… He asked God to make the sun stand still and God literally made the sun stand still to give him a couple more hours of daylight!

This is NOT a PROSPERITY BOOK.  I can understand how some people Continue reading

“Loving Your Enemies”

Series on the Book of Romans
Bill Stegemueller, Medina United Methodist Church

Romans 12:14-21

Why Can’t All the Churches Get Along?

“…by this all men will know you are My disciples IF you have love toward one another.”  – John 13:35

Recently at a Men’s Group I attend there were quite a few men that expressed their frustration with the number of churches and denominations in the world.   The frustration was along the line, “Why can’t all the churches get along?”

I was reminded of a quote from Tony Campolo that really got me thinking about this matter:

“Christianity was born in Palestine, they took it to Greece and turned it into a philosophy, they took it to Rome and turned it into an institution, they took it to the America and turned it into a business enterprise, and they took it to England and turned it into a tourist attraction” – Tony Campolo

 

If we don’t want Christianity to turn into a tourist attraction we need to learn to get along and work together in what God has called us to do.

I am NOT against denominations, but I am against denominations that are more into themselves… than the Body of Christ.   I’ve seen it in almost every denomination where a person sees themselves as more of a “United Methodist,” or, “Southern Baptist,” or, “____________,” than a follower of Jesus Christ.

denomination

Denominations serve a purpose.  They give the Faith distinct flavors which can complement the Body of Christ … but too often we allow them to do the opposite.  We fight and squabble over our differences when what we agree on (The life changing power of Jesus Christ) can CHANGE THE WORLD.

John Wesley would often quote Rupertus Maldenius, “In Essentials… UNITY, in Nonessentials… LIBERTY, in all things… CHARITY.”  (Often falsely attributed to Augustine)

Too often we allow the nonessentials to divide and fragment the Body of Christ when we ought to be allowing the essential things (the things that the Bible speak clearly and loudly on) unite us.

“The Recipe for Love”

The Book of Roman Series
Medina United Methodist Church

Romans 12:9-16

LOVE

loveLove is a SLIPPERY word. It means different things to different people. In today’s society the concept of love tends to be a very selfish thing. In that it becomes all about us. That is not the kind of love that God has for us. His… is a very unselfish type of love. He doesn’t love us “if…” or “because…” He simply LOVES us unconditionally. You will find below some of the more useful quotations about this type of love. (Feel free to suggest more and I’ll edit them in later)

Here are some of my favorite write me downs about LOVE:

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“Recognizing and Using Your Spiritual Gifts”

The Book of Romans Series
Medina United Methodist Church

Romans 12:4–8 (NKJV)

“Walls: Why Everybody’s Stuck (and nobody has to be)”

Ryan Rush’s book, “WALLS: Why Everybody’s Stuck (and nobody has to be)” defines a wall as a unhealthy mindset that keeps you from living life the way God intends. He equates every negative and destructive thought as a BRICK that your building your wall. Our thoughts are extremely powerful. Proverbs 23 says, “As a man thinks… so he becomes,” and Rush is right when he teaches that a lot of us put ourselves in prisons of our making by our destructive mindsets. Rush gives many examples of walls (doubt, fear, shame, bitterness, anger, resentment, etc. ) that people face. What adds a lot of credibility to the book is how Rush’s honesty with the battles and struggles that he has faced and is currently facing with walls in his life.

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Christi’s FIRST Birthday!

Today my oldest child is 17 years old today. I can’t believe how time flies! It seems like yesterday we were parents for the first time. It seemed so unreal. I’ll never forget Annie’s eyes getting big and her saying, “Is it ours?” (It’s in the clip and it’s only a minute and half long.)


Nobody remembers when they were physically born into this world, but the good news is that it is possible to remember being spiritually BORN AGAIN. Jesus said, “Unless you become born again you can not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” (John 3:3)

Martin Luther once said, “Born Once – Die Twice… Born Twice – Die Once.” You say, “What in the world does that mean?” If your only born ONCE… that is physically, you’ll die not just once, but twice. Once PHYSICALLY and once SPIRITUALLY. That’s what theologians call the “second death,” in which a person becomes eternally separated from God. But here’s the good news… if your BORN TWICE… not just physically, but SPIRITUALLY, you’ll only have to die at most once, PHYSICALLY and you might not even have to die physically if Jesus comes back in our lifetime.

I think it’s important to celebrate our physical birth, but what about CELEBRATING YOUR SPIRITUAL BIRTH. I remember the night I became born again. I was attending Texas Tech University and I was walking across that huge campus late one night. The Lord had been working on me all that year. I had heard the gospel and to a certain extent I believed the it… but I had never really given myself over to the it. Till that night…

I remember kneeling at a bench where I gave what I understood about myself to what I understood about Christ and I’ve never been the same! I was what Paul called, “A NEW CREATION.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) I saw things completely different. It wasn’t that I was perfect. I still had my moments where I would stumble and fall into sin, but since I had a relationship with the Lord… I quickly wanted to ask for forgiveness and make things right with Him. My whole perspective on life changed as well. I no longer did the “right thing” because I “had to,” but now I genuinely wanted to do the right thing. My life became filled with meaning and purpose as well as direction.

“… there I gave what I understood about MYSELF to what I understood about Christ and I’ve never been the same.”

So yes…I’ll continue to celebrate physical birthdays (Happy Birthday, Christi!) but it’s far more significant to celebrate and remember your SECOND BIRTH.

 

Guidelines for 2011

HEALTH
1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants..
4. Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games
7. Read more books than you did in 2010 .
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

PERSONALITY
11. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

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“A Living Sacrifice”

Series on the Book of Romans
Medina United Methodist Church

Romans 12:1–3 (NKJV)