Thursday, February 26, 2009

ifaith message

I had a request to post my message from last Saturday at my first ever preaching thing. I'm putting the outline, but without specifics in some of the stories because I was able to be honest with the audience when I did it, but could possibly make the people in the stories feel a little awkward if they were to read... so keep that in mind. The theme of the Disciple Now was iFaith, and keep in mind that this would probably make a lot more sense when I went to deliver it then when it's just sitting here in outline form.. I will say though, I only looked at my notes one time when I was doing it, and that was simply to read scripture... so I was very happy with how engaging I was able to stay.

Nate's Message:

Bottom Line: True faith changes the way we live.

If we are who we say we are as Christians, then shouldn’t our faith be the most important thing in our lives?

Intro: Story of me at the basketball game against Northeast. Someone asked me to be nice to the players, I asked this person not to talk to me the rest of the time.

Link: In that moment I put my love of basketball above my relationship with this person, even though SHE was more important to me than basketball. In this moment my focus was taken off of what I really cared about, and set on something of less importance. It’s not even that basketball is a bad thing, but it still distracted me from something I care about even more.

Tension: Think about that situation in terms of your relationship with God. A lot of you would probably say that you BELIEVE in the Bible, and Jesus, and God, and the whole thing, but how many times do we let other things become more important to us than our faith?

Talk about when the iPod first came out, I was actually on a church trip on the way to Gatlinburg. Two girls on the bus had one, and everyone was so fascinated by it that they were the most popular people on the bus.

The iPod was such an amazing gadget, and the people who had the iPod were so proud, that everyone on the bus knew about it and wanted to listen to it. Shouldn’t the “iFaith” be the same way? As Christians, if we have this amazing faith, then shouldn’t that be THE most important thing in our lives?

When the Luci and Layne got the iPod, it changed their reputation on the bus… Shouldn’t the iFaith change our reputation as Christians?

Shouldn’t our faith change the way we live our lives?

Story of Samson: Emphasizing the fact that he constantly allowed other things to become more important than his faith.

Judges 16:20.

The Lord had left him. Samson continually let his faith become less important than his love of everything else. Even though Samson had been chosen by God, and even though he believed in God and the Bible and the whole deal, you never would have known it by looking at his life, because his faith wasn’t his most important thing.

Story of a friend and her conversation with a non-believer.
The non-believer told the friend that he doesn’t want anything to do with Christianity because of what he sees from Christians. As the friend and I talked about this, we came to the conclusion that he was probably right. As we thought about the Christians we know, we realized you really can’t tell a difference between the Christians and the non-Christians.

Think about your Christian friends for a minute…
My Christian friends gossip more than my non-Christian friends. Sometimes they complain more. They do more sexually. They are harder to talk to.

Finish Story of Samson

Judges 16: 28-31

I was in Panama City for a camp… Eph 4:1

Eph 4:1- Live a life worthy of the calling you have received, because true faith changes the way we live.

Story of a friend's house… If I had gone into that room there’s no telling what could have happened.

Urge them to live a life that reflects their faith. What would happen if we started to put our faith above popularity, sex, school, sports, and money. The world doesn’t need more funny middle school guys, more flirtatious pretty girls, or better athletes; the world needs people who are willing to put Jesus above everything else.

Bottom Line: True faith changes the way we live.

If we are who we say we are as Christians, then shouldn’t our faith be the most important thing in our lives?

Friday, February 20, 2009

rossview advances to the region

Tonight Rossview beat Northwest in the first round of the district tournament. We've been struggling as of late, losing 6 of our last 7, but tonight all of that was erased. By winning tonight we qualified for the regional tournament next weekend. Tomorrow we'll be playing Northeast in the District Semi-Final game in Springfield. We've played Northeast close twice, and tomorrow I think we can come away with a win.

I'm not going to be able to be at the game tomorrow because I have my first ever preaching gig at a church in Kentucky. It's only the second game I'll have missed this year, but I'm missing it for something I love even more than basketball.

Tonight after the game I was able to be in the locker room with the team, and let me just say that was probably one of the coolest experiences ever! I've been in the locker room after a lot of games, but I've never seen the team as fired up and happy as they were tonight. Those guys are some of the goofiest people on the planet, and I absolutely love all of them! Regardless of what happens the rest of the season, those guys have made a huge impact on the way I view life. Their ability to laugh and enjoy moments is so incredible, and I'm so glad I accepted the offer last year to be the Student Assistant Coach.

Thanks to Coach Jackson, Coach Blake, Coach Williams, and Coach Hudson for letting me hang out with the team and be apart of the best program in Clarksville! I love Rossview basketball probably a little more than I should, and I'm so thankful for the opportunity to get to hang out with the team!

Go Rossivew tomorrow! I'll be praying for you and will get the church in Kentucky to pray as well! Haha... if we win, I get to keep this marble basketball piggy bank in Coach Jackson's office... haha I've been waiting a while for this chance!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

tribute to a good friend, ethan smith

Today Ethan qualified for the state wrestling tournament. This has been one of his goals since he was a freshman, and today it became a reality. Right before his final match started, I had one of the weirdest sensations I've ever felt. It was like all of a sudden all of the experiences I've shared with Ethan were running through my brain. I know that sounds like a very stereotypical thing to say, but it seriously happened. I remembered being a sophomore and driving down to Sycamore to watch him in the regional tournament then, and thought about all that's happened in both of our lives since then. We've had so many conversations about so many different things, and I felt like I relived them all in a span of about 3 seconds today.

He ended the match by actually breaking the other guy's ankle.. that's not exactly how I imagined him qualifying for the state tournament, haha but it makes for a cool story. Today Ethan accomplished a goal he's had for a long time, and he deserves it. He works harder than anyone I know, and I'm very proud of him.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

dog poop

My dog has recently formed a habit of pooping in the house. Some how I step in it literally every time! It's probably one of the most irritating things about my life. The grossest part about it all though, is that the way I realize that I've stepped in it is by the smell that is following me around. My first reaction is to smell my armpit... haha, that strikes me as very ironic somehow.

The good news is I think I've learned something from it all. A year ago my dog was just as potty-trained as the next dog. She would stand by the door when she wanted to go out, bark a few times, occasionally jump up and down. Oddly enough she hasn't barked in about a year either, and I think it's interesting that the bark is so closely tied to the poop. Anyway it's crazy how fast habits can be broken! We slacked up on the discipline for her pooping in the house just a few times, and now suddenly it's become a NEW habit, and one that stinks... (pun.. lame..)

One of my dogs passions is pooping, because she has to do that to survive. When just a little discipline is added to her passion- she forms habits. If I could just add a little discipline to my life I could probably bench press a lot more than I can now... and probably be a lot more productive in all areas of my life.

Discipline makes a lot more sense to me now.

Also as a side note- discipline is the same word as disciple, just with an -ine at the end instead of an -e. Anyway...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

reflections with the fray

I got the Fray's new album today, and I like it, but it's not really the direction I wanted them to go. I wanted them to be a little bit harder than they were in their first album, but the easy listening is still good for reflection.

I was accepted into Moody Bible Institute last week. I've wanted to go to Moody ever since I was a freshman, so being accepted was kind of the fulfillment of a goal, and that feels really good. Now that I'm accepted though, it feels really weird to know that high school really is coming to an end.

I can remember being a freshman looking at the seniors, knowing that one day I'd be in their position. I ran for Freshman Class President the first few weeks of school. That's the only election I've ever lost, and it really through me for a loop. This is one of the only times I've ever verbalized this, but losing that election really caused me to lose a lot of self confidence, and in some ways I still haven't completely recovered.

I lived a lot of my high school life looking at the future. I was constantly looking for something that I could be respected for. It seemed like everybody had something. Whether it was sports, clubs, friends, girl friends, whatever; I felt like I didn't have any of that. Those feelings have caused me to make a lot of stupid decisions. I've pursued girls for selfish reasons. I've been rejected by girls I'd pursued for unselfish reasons. I've put down friends to build myself up. I've never tried out for sports for fear of failure.

Now it's kind of weird to look at those feelings. Most people would probably never know that I struggled with who I was for the majority of high school. All of those feelings have taught me a lot, though. I've learned a lot about life through my fears. Never pursue a girl for selfish reasons because in the end it will only hurt her and you. But just because you pursue a girl for unselfish reasons doesn't mean it will work out either, and the reality of that hurts most... especially when you know you had pure intentions.

More than anything I've learned that I have to accept who God made me to be, and not care about what a friend, girl, adult, pastor, musician, or anyone else thinks. If I'm not confident in who I am then I'll never be the man God wants me to be, and that is my ultimate desire. The Fray's new CD has in a way made me a little depressed, because I've been thinking about the life I've always known coming to an end, but thinking about all of that has ultimately made me realize that all the insecurities I have and will struggle with are taken care of by my God, and it amazes me to think that God can use me even with all of my insecurities.