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Updates Yeah!

Though I haven’t been posting consistently, many of us have been gathering regularly like we began. Some have found that they need to be elsewhere on Sunday evenings and others have found that they need to be with us. Either way, God has worked in strange ways in every attendee, past, present or future.

We’ve  started to get into some more deep studying of scripture. For example: Tonight we read Romans 8 and then went through and talked about everything that stuck out to us, anything that bothered or confused us, and how it all adds to the character of God. Studying this way has led me to many more Biblical accurate conclusions in the recent months. Instead of believing I understand everything in the Bible, taking a more humble and curious approach has allowed me to breach the boundaries I previously placed upon myself.

It’s been good. It’s been fun. And it’s been real fun. There’s only six weeks left of school till we seniors graduate – I wonder what God’s final plans are for us at Coronado.

Aha! I’ve also been discovering how amazing parkour can be. It’s fun, communal, and non-competitive. I’m currently wearing these new parkour shoes I got called Onitsuka Tigers that have awesome grip and are helping me train. You should look into parkour!

Time Will Tell

Nearly out of time.

With the Super Bowl once again spoiling serious plans to meet, this is the third Sunday we’ll go without Bible study. It’s a bit sad. With lots of trips out of town, prior engagements, and now the most-watched sporting event ever, we’ve had a rough time getting together. Partially  because of other priorities, but also because of lack of coordination. Thursday morning Bible study is consistent, let by an adult who can host every week, but Sunday evenings are more of a voluntary thing.

I am starting to feel it’s imperative that we gather, the urgency. My high school career is about to end, along with many of my fellow believers. Plus, I’ve met several people in the last week who have recently dedicated their lives to the pursuit of God and would love to be a part of a community at school.

I still feel it that God isn’t gonna leave this year without something incredible, but I’m starting to realize that He wouldn’t need me or anyone I know. It could be something just totally unrelated to the efforts of myself and my fellow believers. Only time will tell – and there’s not a whole lot left.

Pharisee vs Tax Collector

Tonight we had the largest number of people present at one time than normal. Twelve. All of them are involved and frequent studiers but it has been a while since all of us were able to make it together. Six of us started the evening at Rosas and were met later by six more once we reached my house. We worshiped a bit and then discussed the fatal issue of pride and how it’s really easy as a Christian to look down upon others in pride.

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable:  “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” ~ Luke 18:9-14

Back in my apologetic days I constantly and passionately looked down on atheists, evolutionists, and democrats (yeah I was a hater). I was quick to judge and slow to forgive, so tonight’s topic really hit home for me. Yet somehow I was able to find truth in the places I tried so hard to attack. I was once the Pharisee, but now I am the tax collector. Well – at least I try to be.

Thursday Mornings and Reddit

I’m not sure why I’ve never written about our Thursday morning Bible studies… Papa McNelly has been hosting them ever since the third week of school. I haven’t totally associated it with our sort of Gospel community but I now realize that even though Thursday morning and Sunday evening started independently, they are both part of the same movement. Thus, I will write about them from now on!

Pigs in a blanket. Yum. Instead of an in depth study of scripture provided by Papa McNelly, two brothers simply led worship for nearly forty minutes. It was wonderfully refreshing! Even for so early in the morning everyone’s voices were raised and hearts were in sync with the Spirit’s. We read several psalms about the greatness and magnitude of God between songs, saturating the time with even more sustenance. Nobody left the same.

On a lighter note, I made a rage comic yesterday about the disturbing mixture of Christianity and politics and posted it on the Christian Reddit. It got first page =] Note: I have nothing against Bachmann – she just says things that don’t always make sense.

Christmas Party! (Week 14)

So this evening instead of partaking in the normal Bible study agenda we just had a simple Christmas party. Food, games, candy canes, and laughter filled the evening. Though we never got into scripture (kinda wish we would have) we were able to build community and enjoy fellowship together.

Amazingly, I was never in any of the pictures!! Crazy…

On a random note: I found these awesome posters made for books of the Bible. Check them out!

Wisdom, Action, Revival (Week 13)

Hi there! It’s been a while! For three weeks I haven’t posted on here despite two meetings. I apologize.

Tonight was incredible. The nine of us worshiped for a bit and dived head first into scripture. I taught on Matthew 7:21-23 and Luke 14:25-35 (Look them up! They’re incredibly convicting!). We discussed the verses and how there are many Christians who don’t live like Jesus did. They probably think that they are on their way to Heaven, but they’re also probably that will call “Lord, Lord” and not be saved.

The passage in Luke was extremely convicting as well – read it! We discussed how our Gospel community was only a half-built tower: we definitely laid the foundation but we had a lot of height to cover, unanimously agreeing that Sunday nights cannot be the end to our journey. We all know that the mission is not to have a successful Bible study every week, but to spread the glory and love of God.

These two pictures were shown to me once and it completely ruined my perception of Christianity:

The booming church: the staple of American Christianity. This is what many people believe God came for: church!

The starving. How can the first picture make sense when looking at this one? Jesus came to serve, no to establish wealthy churches.

We were all so convicted and amazed at the differences between Jesus’ Christianity and America’s Christianity. The two pictures next to each other just didn’t make any sense, only prayer did.

We prayed intensely for eight minutes about wisdom, action, and revival and came up with a couple ideas we could begin initiating to encourage one another and further progress the tower of our group. A lunch period devoted to prayer, random conversations about Jesus at school, and possibly an assembly aimed at sharing the Gospel through promoting causes were all proposed and discussed. Good things are coming – we can all feel it!

It’s really nice to know that these eight people are willing to do some crazy things to share the good news. It’s wonderful having people on the same page! I can’t wait for our gatherings before Christmas break and for the second semester as we go hardcore all the way.

Good night and God bless.

Sharing the Gospel (Week 10)

This week’s gathering was somewhat smaller than normal (7 people) but it was also more intimate. After some snacks we gathered around and worshiped a tad. We then discussed how great God is and how despite all His glory we rarely share the Gospel with people. We are nice, welcoming, and claim to be Christian, but we don’t actually tell people the story and purpose of Jesus – especially while we’re at school.

We all concluded that this week we are going to talk about Jesus to somebody at our school that wasn’t in our immediate circles. We are gonna share the Gospel to some random person, even if it means bringing it up randomly, because we have to get the good news out. With everything God’s done, how could we not?

We worshiped much more and prayed intensely for Coronado. This week’s gonna be good!

Selling Newspapers (Week 8)

Tonight as a group we wanted to branch out and do something different. Felix (find out about him here and here) has been a sort of an inspiration to our Gospel community the last week, unknowingly teaching us about service and humility, so we thought we would have Bible study with him and help him sell newspapers.

What an adventure!

We danced, we sang, we begged, we fell on the ground and pretended to die – all in the name of Jesus! Felix was so grateful: “Oh man you guys! Man Jesus is good.” He’d never had twenty teens running around all four corners of the intersection pressuring defenseless drivers to purchase his newspapers before, and he was very excited about it! Over and over again he would thank God and Jesus out loud. It was great.

Felix... or Santa?

I was a tad worried that all our efforts hadn’t really been that fruitful as people started to leave for their homes before we had read any scripture or worshiped, but those fears were soon put to rest when only a couple of us remained. Felix kept telling us how amazed he was at how God was working in his life.

He knew he was gonna tithe some since God had been so good to him but he wasn’t exactly sure how much was good. After a little consideration he finally said:

Ahh! It’s only money. I’ll just give what I need to give. I don’t need to worry about that 10% stuff.

What a blessing serving Felix was tonight. I’m positive our presence not only encouraged Felix, but made an impact on the thousands of people that drove by, and softened all the hearts of those who helped out. God is good.

Felix (Week 7)

Bible study was pretty good. The burgers were good, the worship was good, the lesson was good, and the fellowship was good. It was a little awkward, however. Grace graced us with a lesson on God’s use of our weaknesses and how he has a plan even when we only see chaos. It was good, but what came afterward was great.

A few friends and I somehow met up with each other and went to see this man who sells newspapers every Sunday named Felix. Rachel has been visiting with him every week for a while now, and the evidence of her impact on him is enormous! He finds so much joy and hope in her consistency and faith!

This is real Christianity

Anyways, there were about six of us all sitting there chatting with him. He told us about how a man had bought him out of newspapers (41 I think), which allowed Felix to break the corner record of newspapers sold by reaching 100 papers! He told us a little about his life and his church background – turns out he grew up in the same church that three of the guys with us currently attend!

I’m not really sure what God is trying to tell me by allowing Bible study to be a little dry tonight but by allowing our talk with Felix to be so real. Could it be that our Gospel community’s purpose reaches past the walls of our high school? I’m sure we’ll all find out soon! Whatever it is God has planned – it’s gonna be big!

Courageous (Week 6)

So instead of meeting like we have at a person’s house and studying there we all decided to go see the movie Courageous instead. If you haven’t heard, it’s a great movie. Whereas most Christian movies have horrible acting, low budgets, and silly dialogue, this one was made very well.

Though I would have preferred to read scripture and worship at someone’s house, this wasn’t a bad choice. The movie was touching to all of us, covering a wide array of issues and struggles. It was good.