My Favorite Verse

My favorite verse titleWe are starting a new series this Wednesday called, “My Favorite Verse.” While we may not all have a favorite verse, we all have many favorite things. Here’s what I need from you:

Submit a 10-15 second video saying one of your favorite things from the list. Feel free to be as creative as you want and to submit more than one. Choose from the list below.

Due by midnight tomorrow night! That’s Tuesday, April 28. Video should be shot from your iPhone and submitted via text message to Patrick @ 270.293.2462.

  • Favorite team
  • Favorite drink
  • Favorite candy bar
  • Favorite sport
  • Favorite instrument to play
  • Favorite song
  • Favorite activity
  • Favorite book
  • Favorite movie
  • Favorite food
  • Favorite (your choice)

I’ll be compiling all of these videos to make one big video to show on Wednesday night. Those who participate will be entered into a drawing to win a prize pack worth over $50! An award will also be given out to the most creative. Each video increases your chance to win! I must receive a minimum of 15 videos from the group for the contest to be on. Get together with friends and submit a group video. Each person in the video will be entered to win!

Get those videos coming!

Stay Connect via Text message

“Remind” is a web-based app that teachers use to communicate via text to students and parents. We’ve created multiple groups that you sign up for by simply sending a text message to the number (270) 505-4294. See chart for the group lists. Everyone should sign-up for at least 3 groups.

Groups text this message to (270) 505-4294
Lone Oak FBC Student Ministry @lofbc1
High School Students @resonate1
Middle School Students @amplify1
Parents of High School Students @hsparent1
Parents of Middle School Students @msparent1
Lone Oak FBC Parents @lofbcp
Lone Oak FBC Students @lofbcs

You can unsubscribe anytime by simply texting “unsubscribe” to the same number.

We can’t wait to see what God does through the students at Lone Oak FBC!

Wanting God’s Best for Your Teenager

Abby and I are first time parents with two incredible boys.  They are now approaching 3 years old.  We are just like most Christian parents in that we want to express God’s love to our children as early and as often as possible.  We read the Story Book Bible to them at bedtime.  We pray before meals.  We take them to Sunday school.  We are doing our best at figuring this out as we go. Not perfectly, but intentionally.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Matthew 7:7-11

We all love to give gifts to our children and the knowledge of Christ is the greatest gift of all.  The idea that God loves my children more than me and wants to give better gifts than I do, blows my mind.  The love for your child is an incredible thing.  And think, God loves them more.

So what is our role in spiritual discipleship for our kids?

The full scope of that question cannot be answered within a single post, blog, or even a single book.  Ultimately, I think it starts with being intentional.  Not perfectly, but intentionally. Intentionally sharing the Gospel with your children.  Intentionally reading and pointing them to God’s Word. Intentionally praying with them. Intentionally taking them to church.  Intentionally talking to them about their relationship with God. And intentionally being a living example of the Grace we have received.

Orange is a ministry philosophy that focuses on ministering to the family as a whole.  In student and children’s ministry, that means spending as much if not more attention on parents.  This is not a new philosophy, but Orange has done a very good job of packaging, communicating the essentials of this philosophy, and providing resources.  Below I have highlighted a post from Orange Leaders that I think helps at attacking the question of our role in spiritual discipleship for our kids.

They’ve given seven steps for use to pass on to parents about how to desire God’s best for the inhabitants of their homes.

1. Establish who’s the king of the castle!

2. Parents set the example; it starts with you!

3. Your home should be a place of learning God things!

4. Keep your marriage strong.

5. Be willing to parent each of your children differently.

6. Have fun as a family.

7. Make church, small group, youth group, and serving a priority.

For more on each of these check out the full article below.

Wanting God’s Best for Your Children

©2012 Jim Wideman Ministries Inc

Wanting God’s Best for Your Children

Psalm 112:1-8 (NIV) tells us: “Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, 
who finds great delight in his commands. His children will be mighty in the land; 
the generation of the upright will be blessed. . . . Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. 
He will have no fear of bad news; 
 his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. 
His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.”

This is hard to walk out as a parent, let alone lead other parents to walk this out for their families. The world can be a cruel place, it can be an unsure place. This is our time but they are hard and troubling times for the church.

A large percentage of Americans believe it will get worse before it gets better. When you look at what’s happening in the news, on TV and even in the church it’s pretty scary out there but it’s times like these that makes us ask the big question: Do you really believe and practice what you teach and preach? As for me, I BELIEVE THE BIBLE!


The Heart Speaks

The Heart Speaks

Last night we continued our series in the book of James.  We looked at James chapter 3.  As you dive into James 3 it would be easy to assess that the key idea from the text is to control your tongue or rather your speech. And I think that would be an accurate assessment although incomplete. As we dig a little deeper we see that while James 3 is mostly talking about the tongue, James is most concerned with the heart.

Chapter 3 starts with a clear and sobering message showing us the power of our words and how much they matter.

James 3 mp1They have the power to:

  • Discredit
  • Direct
  • To be Destructive
  • To be Deceptive

james 3 overflow

James transitions in verse 10 as he references the inconsistency of how we often use our tongue. “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.” James ultimate point that he makes as he uses illustrations about fruit is that it is the heart that speaks, not the tongue. “Can a fig tree produce olives?”

james 3 mp2

Later in chapter 3, James gives us a list of what wise speech should look like.

james 3 wise speech

The challenge is to test your tongue to see if your heart speaks these wise characteristics or if it speaks something else.

james 3 mp3 While your tongue took the test, it is your heart that is on trial.

We left students with the difficult question of, “Did my heart pass the test?”  Our speech can give us an indication as to where are heart really lives.  If your answer is no, the next question is why?

Did you heart fail because it is still dead to God and a slave to sin. If so you only need to put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation and new life. In Christ you are alive to God and a slave to righteousness not sin. The Holy Spirit will empower you to live out God’s call on your life and to use your tongue wisely.

See the Gospel message here: The Gospel.

james 3 question

The Gospel Everyday

Often in the student ministry we talk about the need for the Gospel to be more than just the starting point in our relationship with Christ.  As J.D. Greear points out in his book, Gospel – Recovering the Power that made Christianity Revolutionary, the Gospel is not just the diving board into Christianity, it is also the pool itself.  We do not move beyond the Gospel, but deeper into it.

Below is an article written by Tullian Tchividjian about this exact same point.  It is my prayer that the students of Lone Oak FBC would learn this and grow in this understanding of the what the Gospel truly means for  believers.

The Gospel Everyday

By: Tullian Tchividjian

Ionce assumed the gospel was simply what non-Christians must believe in order to be saved, while afterward we advance to deeper theological waters. But I’ve come to realize that ” the gospel isn’t the first step in a stairway of truths, but more like the hub in a wheel of truth.” In other words, once God rescues sinners, his plan isn’t to steer them beyond the gospel, but to move them more deeply into it. All good theology, in fact, is an exposition of the gospel.

In his letter to the Christians of Colossae, the apostle Paul portrays the gospel as the instrument of all continued growth and spiritual progress, even after a believer’s conversion.

“All over the world,” he writes, “this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth” (Col. 1:6). He means that the gospel is not only growing wider in the world but it’s also growing deeper in Christians.



Four Moments I’m Preparing Students to Face

There are moments in everyone’s life where they are pushed to stand for what they believe in or are put to the test through adversity. Four moments in particular are:

1. The semester with the persuasive, atheist philosophy professor.
2. The day their best friend dies in a car accident.
3. The year when they don’t feel God’s presence at all.
4. The day when their fiancée breaks off the engagement, even after they have remained abstinent.

In this article the author tackles each of these moments and how we should be preparing our students to face them or if you are a students, how you should be preparing.

Four Moments I’m Preparing Students to Face

By Cameron Cole

Ministry to children and youth for both parents and church workers focuses on cultivating followers of Christ with sustainable faith. Basically, we want the faith of our young people to stick when they leave our homes and churches to live as independent adults.

As I listen to and observe the faith journeys of former students and young adults, I often see pivotal moments along the way that constitute “make or break” tests of their faith. Discipling my students, I am preparing them for these four moments.

1. The semester with the persuasive, atheist philosophy professor.

Whether in college or in a coffee shop, every young Christian will meet people who do not believe in the truth of Christianity and can argue persuasively against it. Particularly in college, students will encounter professors with an ax to grind against Christianity and with a desire to use their classroom as a platform against the religion. Many times, students without a deep theological base have their faith wrecked by slick arguments.

I want my students to ask hard questions and to have experience logically arguing for their belief in the veracity of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. So we dedicate much time in our youth ministry to working on apologetics. In particular, we focus on the validity of the Bible as God’s Word, the historical facts surrounding the resurrection, and the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies in the life of Christ. I have found Tim Keller’s video series The Reason for God to be an indispensible tool for giving students both exposure to and practice in engaging arguments against Christianity.

2. The day their best friend dies in a car accident.

Deep suffering is the biggest challenge to the faith of young people. They have heard that God is good and that he loves them. They have been told that God has a wonderful plan for their life. Then they get a phone call that their best friend died in a car accident or that doctors have diagnosed their mom with terminal brain cancer. Their experience of suffering seemingly contradicts the claims of God’s goodness. They understandably ask, “If God loves me, why is he allowing this to happen?”

A vital aspect of youth ministry involves preparing young people to suffer. They have to know that they undoubtedly will suffer in this life. Furthermore, they need the tools to interpret tragedy through the scriptural lens that will enable them to walk away from trauma with steadfast confidence in God’s character. Broadly speaking, I spend much time teaching about the origins of suffering, God’s purposes in suffering, and God’s willingness to suffer in Jesus Christ.

3. The year when they don’t feel God’s presence at all.

The nature of faith is that some people enjoy euphoric experiences of God’s presence in their life, while others never feel anything all that unusual. Too often, Christian leaders who have been blessed with powerful spiritual encounters with God lead others to expect that all believers should or will have the same experience. In reality, many faithful Christian people never “feel” God or hear from him in these ways. They rest in God’s Word but have never enjoyed such overwhelming, supernatural encounters with their Creator.

Too often, I have seen students walk away from Christianity because they have never “felt” God. They believe that if the religion is true, then they will feel something to validate that it’s real. I have heard college students and young adults develop serious doubts because they have suffered a dry season where they do not experience God’s presence at all.

As a result, in our ministry we try to monitor the expectations students have of the Christian life. We acknowledge that some people have a more emotional faith with real spiritual experiences, while others have a more cerebral faith without mystical moments. We do not want kids to think that getting a “Christian high” validates whether or not God is real.

We do not want kids to think that getting a ‘Christian high’ validates whether or not God is real.

4. The day when their fiancée breaks off the engagement, even after they have remained abstinent. 

I have been surprised, even amazed at the number of Christian young people who lose their faith after a serious disappointment. Things do not go the way they expected in everything from relationships and jobs to fraternities and graduate school admission. In turn, young people often respond with a sense of outrage that God did not grant them their wishes. In these cases a tone of entitlement frequently emerges, as if God owes them. They feel that they have lived the right way—paid their dues in other words—and, consequently, God should give them what they want.

If students grow up under a law-driven faith, where they either implicitly or explicitly learn that they win God’s favor through obedience, then they cannot help but believe that God should reward them for their faithfulness. When life does not meet expectations, they feel as if God has betrayed them. Their theology suggests, “I’ve fulfilled my end of the bargain, God. Now it’s your turn. I didn’t sleep with my girlfriend; therefore, my heart should not be broken.”

Consequently, it is critically important to constantly reinforce the fullness of the gospel. The full gospel says that we are sinners who have earned nothing but God’s wrath. God does not owe us anything. Jesus has fulfilled both our end and his end of the deal in his life, death, and resurrection. Everything we have in life comes through God’s grace.

The gospel reminds students that God is not obligated to grant them their wishes, but he is always for them, even in their season of disappointment.

Link to the Original Article