1. We remember best when concrete examples of what God has done are brought to mind. To me that is memorizing stories of what God has done from the Bible, along with what he has done in our own lives, and sharing it with others to be passed down through the generations. Through D groups, small groups, bible studies, worship is a way I remember. Another way which would be good I think is journaling, even though I never have started that, I feel it would be a great way to look back and to see where God has been working in our lives.
2. When we hit rock bottom the cross is huge, when we Accept the cross is huge. As we grow and get more involved with ministries, it can become about our works in a way that we take our focus off of the cross. Another way is that when feel life is going pretty smooth and going our way, humility can slip away from us we take our focus off of the cross. When we dwell on the cross and remember how awesome God is, we are more apt we are to accept God’s grace in everything we do. Therefore the cross stays huge and our main focus.
3. I am needy and require an enormous amounts of grace every day from a large cross because I fail every day. I let pride interfere, I let selfishness creep back in, I let jealousy, enviousness, hurt, unforgiveness, judgmental, sin, fear, doubt, envy, and the list goes on. The only cure for these problems is the cross, and for me it takes an awful big cross, every day.
4. If we just dwell on “our story” which is mostly emotional from the stand point of when we accepted Christ into our lives, the emotions will fade somewhat to the point of doubting our faith or decision. When we dig into God’s word on our own and with others through group studies and worship we can get a handle on who God is, and that emotion becomes a reality. A reality of head knowledge and heart knowledge, it takes both to fully see the cross for what it is. Personally, making a commitment to doing MDI has helped me with my personal relationship, getting into Gods word, understanding where we came from, and what my purpose is in Gods kingdom.
5. Honesty and openness are essential for a teacher. The teacher is responsible for those students, and to gain any kind of respect from those students they should know where the teacher stands and understands. A teacher can only effectively teach what they deeply understand and have grasped from experience. A teacher is like a window to those he is relating to. The curtain needs to stay open to let the Son through, and we have to use a little Windex to keep it clean. Well, maybe a lot of Windex.
6. Anointed teaching is to be fully dependent on the indwelling and empowering of the Holy Spirit. We need to seek out and rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit in every aspect of teaching and learning. Before each small group I try to get alone and ask for forgiveness, and ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit with everything I say. I also ask for the Holy Spirit to fill everyone present to help understand and feel closer to God. I have said things in prayer and group and afterwards know that it could have only come out of my mouth because of the Holy Spirits help.
7. I liked Wiloit’s comment about us “becoming a channel for God’s empowering presence-living as a pipe and not a bucket.” We are not here to take what God has given and keep it for ourselves. We look to Jesus as a role model for how we are to respond/care for others. It’s about what we do with the change in our heart. We take to heart the holiness of God. Teach with love. Love God and love one another. We practice discernment, keep relational commitments, live a life of compassion for the poor and eliminate prejudice, live a life of integrity, use our money wisely, and to handle conflicts well and forgiveness. Having a desire to serve others with an attitude of glorifying God as our main focus, keeping our eyes on that huge cross.
8. I feel the Crossing does great with meaningful worship. The worship songs help get my heart in tune with God’s spirit, a message that is backed up with scripture, and in a way that applies to today. Minimal distractions that help keep our focus on what is being taught, taking communion together, and an invitation to accept Christ with a chance to lay burdens or to just give God thanks at the steps.
Compassionate service through world missions, an awesome kids ministry, small groups, prison ministry, CR, supporting local ministries, food pantry, thrift stores, and responding to other communities need for planting churches.
I think of the old song which goes, “And they know we are Christians by our love.” I feel we do bear witness of the joy and hope that Jesus can bring into our lives without downplaying that we are still in a sinful world, but God can use that to bring us into a closer relationship with him. We are not perfect, but the effort is there by our actions.
Again, we are not perfect, and never will be, but the effort is there to raise up disciples through D groups, small groups, and MDI. It’s a challenge in such a busy life we live. Are there enough teachers to go around? That is a challenge.
9. I never considered how God forgives us, I just thought he just did it. I am struggling with what Wilhoit said about “God cannot forget our sins” a little. Psalm 103:12 says “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” I understand that for us that in order for us to truly forgive, we must set aside any thoughts of punishing that person in the future. In the passage above God removes them, but every commentary I read says that it means forgets. Would like your thoughts.
Forgiving is something we must do in order to move on, accepting forgiveness is something we must do to move on. I like the statement that Satan cannot accuse us before God, and he will not listen to him. It’s unnatural to forgive, and that’s the tough part of it. It is possible to forgive with God’s help. Also you may forgive a person for what they have done to you, but you also need to forgive that person for how they made you feel. I believe the second part is just as important as the first. Both forgiving and receiving forgiveness starts with taking the focus off of ourselves.
10. The goal for me is to daily focus on the big cross, accept God’s grace every day, and rely on the Holy Spirit for empowerment. I feel everything falls into place when I do that, and it is the only way to be truly a part of the New Testament community. Worshiping, studying, praying together, taking communion, serving, and doing life is belonging together in our Father’s house here until we are in our Father’s home.
1. Reproducible process brother. You hit the nail on the head!
2. Yes. Another good hammering. I have (too many times) thought "I did that" and didn't give the credit to Him. Great point.
3. Upper story/Lower story!! Luke 9:23 ANOTHER GREAT POINT. I see a pattern here...
4. That's what I love about being able to help Alan for this course. When I did MDI I grew so much personally that when I graduated I was like "what now." God answered in an awesome way!!!!
5. Lots of Windex. Ha!! I smell what you're cooking though. Another thing that teachers never can grow old of is learning themselves. Nicely put!
6. That's an amazing routine before group. You just ministered to me.
7. Slow to anger and QUICK to love. I've been praying that A LOT. You're rocking this post. Love it.
8. As soon as I saw "awesome kids ministry" you had me. :-) Love you!
9. That whole phrase "forgive and forget" is poo. We as humans absolutely can not forget. Look at it this way - I have 3 kids 7 and under. If someone ever was babysitting and mistreated them in some way shape or form I would like to think I could extend God's grace. You think I would ever let them babysit again? Nope. No way humanly possible I would ever forget something that was done wrong to one of my kids. The nice thing about God (and Jerry addressed this Thursday/Sunday) is that HE CAN. He is a God of miracles and He can do that. Thanks be to Jesus standing in front of us COVERING our sin so that God does not see it.
10. You've got this figured out brother. Keep up the good work and keep growing closer to Jesus. You the man. Love you Kim!!!!!
I do think we have an awesome kids ministry, not just trying to shine up that bald head of yours. pouring into those kids is so important for the future of God's kingdom. We need to duplicate that in the adult ministry. When running tech I see so many people who I call the "slip in and slip out dudes". Don't have an answer for what to do, but just feel awful that they miss such great worship in the music and at the end. On the other hand I did the same thing until God got a hold of my heart.
All we can do is plant the seed and let God do the work. One thing that has worked well always is to in some way shape or form make those people feel valued. I try my best to get around to all the early childhood rooms and speak with all the leaders every service at least 2-3 times.
You hit on something that many do not do but those who do it (most of our forefathers, leaders and past influenctial people) gain much: journaling. Initialing it is the writing down but then as you stated, it is the referring back at a latter date that is so rich and rewarding. I admit I tried it some years back but it got too time consuming so I thought it not worth the time. Terrible thought. We, including me, are so production and doing focused that we miss the wealth in this process. Our view of time adds negative thoughts to it too. Busyness to us is prodictive--NO--focus and mediation on HIM is productive (Psalm 1). Oh, for a period of time when things were not so fast and demanding.
In #9 I think Wilhoit is saying God does not forgive our sins "a little" but HE rather forgives them totally and without any trace of them--forgives them greatly or the opposite of a little. Our sins have been placed on Jesus, so our sins were remembered when HE paid for them on the cross. You hit the key, taking focus off ourselves.
Very nice job of deep thinking . . .
Taking time for testimony, reflection and remembrance is to take time to with God. I do this by designating uninterrupted time for pray. This were I have conversation with God. We discuss what I have done wrong. What my plan is. Then God tells me his again.
When I dwell on the difference between God and myself, I can see how I look to him last. I bury the cross with stuff in order to fill a gap to get from one side to the other. What should have happened was that I should have gone to God first instead of waiting and trying to do it on my own.
Being transparent allows you to show who you are and what you have done in your live. Being transparent helps when you are working with someone and you put it all out there for them. People see that and they may be become more transparent themselves.
6. Explain what "anointing teaching" is from pages 128-131. Why is this our major focus?
Anointing teaching is being powered by the Holy Spirit. This is a major focus, because if a person is being led by the Holy Spirit we want to encourage them so they too can share the word of God.
It is not all about me, Graced-based responding, Empathy, Evangelism.
Meaningful worship at our church is demonstrated by our singing and awesome worship band, we pray together, and we break bread together every Sunday.
Compassionate service happens every week at our church our team is awesome. It does not matter who gives God’s word to us you feel the power the Lord has given them to teach us.
Public witness can be seen all over from our church. While out and about around town one can see the crossing shirts everywhere. Then there is the public outreach JTB in which I have done the last two years.
Disciple making can be seen every week when people step into the water and give their lives to God.
Forgiving is not forgetting this is so true I can forgive someone for something but I will not forget for the reason of not making that mistake again. That leads into forgiving and not excusing, if I can forgive and forget does not mean I am excusing what had happened but that I have put into God’s hands. Forgiving and healing is the hardest part I can forgive or be forgiven but the healing from that takes a long time because there was a trust there and when that is broken it maybe one of the hardest things to get back especially in marriages.
The goal is to have a relationship with Jesus and living out the two demands he has given us. How do I intend to reach these goals I do not know every day is different set of circumstances. I do not know the future so it can be hard to answer the question. What I can do is take every day that the lord God gives to me and make the most of it however he sees fit.
Uninterrupted time with God is huge. That is great that you do that. So many times we get caught up in circumstances and uninterrupted time becomes difficult. Nice answer! "Grace based responding." I really like that. That is awesome. I love seeing the Crossing t's everywhere as well!!!!
As far as forgetting sin please see my response to Kim in his #9. Thank you for understanding.
In regards to your last paragraph tell me more. How do you do that? Keep it up Patrick. You're on to something!!!!!
It is not about me, it's about what God can do through us. Forgiving others for what they done and how they made us feel is the best way for us to get out of his way so he can mold us with his hands.
God extends his grace every day in every situation, all we have to do is accept it. Sounds easy huh, we just have to get out of his way.
Patrick, in #1 setting aside a special time on a routine basis is MAJOR as otherwise it slips by. Also, telling God what you have done wrong is so big too as you are agreeing with HIM and this is where he wants our hearts and behavior. Something not so easy.
In #6 anointing teaching is something we usually consider as Pentecostal but it is biblical. Being led by the Holy Spirit is something we shy away from sometime as it sets emotion and physical activity up in our minds as essential. That is NOT true. Just recently I was teaching a group at Mt. Sterling and frankly I had a plan for the 1.5 hours but it was loose and rather open. I had done my homework, thought through ideas and questions. Also, prayed. then I started the lesson and it took on a wonderful flavor of its own: men were giving insights, examples were provided, Scriptures came to mind with me and men, etc. Walking away after class, I just had to thank God for the things HE had done. I really could never had planned it any better. That is the HS working.
Very nice and thorough job my friend! Your last paragraph in #10 says it all. Exciting adventure when we rely on HIM.
1.What does it mean to “take time for testimony,reflection and remembrance” as Without discusses Hebrew education on page 105? How do you do this?
This means we need to take time to remember God, who He is and what He has done for us. We are forgetful creatures that become consumed with our lives. We become inwardly focused with ourselves, our families, the things we have going on and that is all we are focused on. When we have that moment and stop and look outside of ourselves we can then see God and remember his love and Grace. Matthew 16:24-26 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. As Christians we must stop having an inward focus. We must deny ourselves daily and remember God and who he is and what he has done for us. Realizing everyday is a new day given to us by God. That his mercies are made new everyday. That he is in control and wants to be in relationship with you everyday. Everyday I have to get off of the throne of my life. I submit myself to him every morning in prayer. I acknowledge Who he is and what he has done for me and out of that love I commit to serve him everyday. It doesn't take long for things to try to steal my focus many times a day but it is a constant effort to be Christ focused. I try to be Christ aware all the time in every situation. Colossians 1:16 “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” I want to see things through this scripture.
2.When you notice and dwell on the difference between God and you, what happens to how the cross looks?
My first thought is God is righteous, holy and divine and i am not. This makes the cross and the grace it provides a necessity. He in me is the only righteous thing about me. 2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. He is what makes us righteous. We cannot do it so the need for the cross is a must. Their is no other way. John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Jesus was God’s way to save me. That is personal to me. The only way I can have salvation is to accept Jesus and his sacrifice. I can do nothing to earn it or pay for it I can only accept it. Trying to earn it actually says God i know you made a way for me but thats not good enough so I'm gonna try to earn or pay for some of it myself. We must realize we are not God and just because we might be made in his image we fall short of His glory. I Need him everyday. I can't, He can. Through His son he makes me righteous, holy, pure and redeemed.
3. Give examples of how you are needy and requires enormous amounts of grace from a large cross?
I believe self for me is the one thing thing that affects many areas of my life and in turn i need enormous amounts of grace for all areas of my life. I have been in the world and of the world for most of my life. I know the things I have done and the people I have hurt. This is a large list covering 30 years. I cant even remember some peoples names nor do i even know where they might be or could be. I need Gods Grace in this. I was so focused on myself that i used people. I lied and stole from people. I hurt people and i do not have the opportunity to apologize and make it right. I don't think I could ever make it right anyway. I pray for God to intercede in the lives of those i have hurt or damaged. I know what it is to be forgiven much because i have been.
Romans 8:1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. This i have to remember cause the world tries to make me feel guilt and condemnation. I am Forgiven and I will love harder today than I did yesterday. I know the Spirit has interceded on my behalf. Coming to the end of myself and realizing I have nothing to offer and that I Cant fix it makes me face a reality of the need for God and his grace. My life requires enormous amounts of Grace!
4.On Pg. 117 Wilhoit says, An important moment in spiritual formation comes when we link “my story” with the “our story” of the church universal…” Explain explain this and share how this works with you?
John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. We all have a story and apart from Christ it is very much my story. But in Christ it becomes our story. It is a part of the church that can be used to help people heal and grow. your story becomes less about you and more about the body. When it is our story it is owned by Christ and his body of believers see the victory and what was once a hurtful thing called your past can now give people hope of victory. You can shine the light of Christ for all to see the transformation in your life. My story became something more, something bigger when it became part of our story. It can still be painful but to be able to give ownership of that to Christ to use in other peoples lives is the power of our testimony.
5.How come a teachers spiritual maturity is not a private matter but should be transparent?
Spiritual maturity should not be a private matter because it affects the students. A teacher must learn truth and experience transformation by the spirit dwelling in them through prayer. Students should always be able to see the teachers spiritual walk and the teachers openness to the Holy Spirit and its anointing. There is no spiritual maturity outside of the spirit of God’s grace, so the more effect we see the spirit have on the teacher the more we know his teaching true. Spiritual maturity is a lifelong journey and teachers can only teach what they deeply understand and have grasped from expierience. A teacher being led by the spirit shows us they are on the right path by letting the spirit lead them and we can hold them more qualified and trustworthy because of this.
6.Explain what anointing teaching is from pages 128-131. Why is this our major focus?
Anointed teaching is the indwelling and empowering of the Holy Spirit. The anointing of the Holy spirit is receiving the grace of God and letting it flow through us. It all starts with the Holy Spirit dwelling in the inside of us and the empowerment that comes through him. This is our major focus because we need to be submitted to him and doing his will. Apart from Him we can do nothing. His Holy Spirit is the power of saying what he needs us to say or preaching what needs to be preached. God wants to work in us and through us and we have to pursue Him and His will and just get out of His way. 1 John 2:27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him. We must remain in Him.
7.What key elements are needed to support Responding within our lives?
Through the brokenness in my life I was drawn to respond. I had nothing, no answers, nothing. That is where i found the grace of God. I think knowing that apart from him i would be right back at that point of having and being nothing encourages me to respond to him in all things. i know where i would be without him and that encourages me to tell people my story. it all started with responding to God. Now i am grounded in the word of God and it is the seed that is taking root and growing up into my life and the fruit from that has been amazing. It is all about him and what he has done in me and through me. It is all him and i give him all the credit and glory. I believe being in relationship with Christ, study of the word, prayer and application are key to supporting response that happens in our lives.
8.Explain how your church demonstrates the four attributes discussion page 180?
I believe we try hard at having meaningful worship. we are very intentional about protecting that time and preserving its integrity. The atmosphere is provided to be intimate so people can feel comfortable in their worship.Worship songs are intentionally selected to go along with the message to help the flow of the service. Above everything it is Christ centered worship. We celebrate Him and praise Him. We do communion weekly so people can have some intimate time with their savior while remembering His sacrifice.
We offer many various ministries to help people. Our Food pantry is a ministry to compassionately care for others spiritually and physically. We offer small groups that allows our people to create community and care for one another in this environment as well. Believers need to be encouraged by other believers
Everything points to Jesus. We approach this from the standpoints of how can we lead people to Jesus better and more effectively. We love and in reflecting that love people see him and what church is about. It is about Him. He is the reason we worship and celebrate the way we do. He is the reason we are here. we Publicly witness through the message, Praying with people, doing life together. We are witness by the way we live because what we do matters.
The intentionality that goes in discipleship is amazing. the constant push of how do we effectively make disciples. What does that look like? It is doing life together. Not just church but life. Being the church. small groups is a great way to lead to discipleship but we really have a low percentage of people plugged into Groups. We constantly are trying to make the steps of leading and discipling smaller so its not so intimidating to people.
9. Forgiveness is key to our maturity in Christ. On pages 199-203 share key components of this for you. Especially reflect on Insights for Forgiveness on page201-202.
Being forgiven makes me forgiving. Because God has forgiven me and paid the penalty for my sin i would have no viable reason to be unforgiving. Realizing the insane amount of love that God has for me through what he did to save me helps me to forgiving and understanding. It helps me to empathize with people. It does not mean we forget or let the wrong become justified. Jesus is where forgiveness was realized. People in the OT sacrificed to pay for their forgiveness but true forgiveness is not purchased it is offered and received. It is free and costs nothing. How could i not extend grace where grace has been extended to me? how could i not extend forgiveness where forgiveness was extended to me.
Matthew 18:21-35 21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[b] was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. 28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. 29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ 30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened. 32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. 35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
10.Review the last paragraph Without states on page 202 stating “Finally, it is the answering of Jesus’ invitation….we belong together in our fathers house.”Explain this goal and how you intend to be involved in reaching it?
Through our relationship with Christ and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Through God’s grace we will grow in learning to be more like Jesus Christ. When we Give ourselves to God he can work in us and through us. We Grow and mature into the head which is Christ. We begin to change and behave Christlike. We live Better and we care better and we love better. His spirit leads us and Guides us and through fellowship we care for and protect one another. We train and strengthen together while hold one another accountable to the Word. our Job is to love as many people as we can into the arms of Jesus. Through this disciples can be made and grow will take place. Jesus’ invitation is for everyone so it doesn't matter who they are, how much money they have or don't have, how they look or even smell if they have been placed before you your job is to love them. We all belong in our fathers house.