Michael J. Thom Father. Nerd. Race fan. Musician.

22Jun/08

The Never-Ending Adventures and Journeys of the Jesus Followers

I just started reading another book, this one by the guy who spoke at the NACCM Campus Ministers' Retreat a couple weeks ago, Don Everts.  It's called Jesus with Dirty Feet, and it's a look at Jesus that attempts to do away with all of the cliches, ideas, stigmas, mindsets, and perspectives that we seem to collectively have from our 21st-century viewpoint (well, 20th-century, actually... it was written in 1999).

To greatly paraphrase his very first chapter, the term Christian and Christianity has been greatly distorted and misunderstood in modern-day society.  So, for now on, whenever you hear the term Christianity, think the following:

The Never-Ending Adventures and Journeys of the Jesus Followers.

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4Jun/08

What Do You Think of Jesus Today?

Tonight was the first night of the NACCM's annual Campus Minister's Retreat at McCormick's Creek State Park in Spencer, Indiana.  The speaker (whose name is Don, but otherwise has not been fully introduced) explained that he would be speaking out of Hebrews this week, as God has been "messing him up" through Hebrews recently, so he thought he'd "mess us up" with Hebrews this week.  (Very funny guy, by the way... seems to be a terrific speaker.)  Don described how most people tend to focus on chapters 11-13, as they seem to be the most accessible of the book.  He also suggested that chapters 1-10 are largely all serving the same purpose - to basically shake up the "shrinking" Jewish converts (his audience) and shout to them, "Don't you know what Jesus has to offer you?!"  He likens the situation to a person who has a winning lottery ticket in their pocket, knows vaguely of this fact, but shrinks away from the idea of doing anything with it, perhaps even saying, "Eh, it was taking up too much space in my pockets anyway," as he throws it out.  The converted Jews were believers, they knew who Jesus was and what he offered them, but they were now ignoring it.  Don pointed to the first verse of chapter 2:

We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. - Hebrews 2:1 (NIV)

Basically: WAKE UP!  You know all the right things; I have nothing new to tell you.  Just pay attention to what you already know!

Additionally, Don challenged us with two questions with which he was challenged years ago by a mentor.  1: What do you think of Jesus these days/this week/today?  In the midst of everything that's going on, just what is your perspective on Him?  And more so, how you should redirect your focus so that you once again have a proper view of Jesus?  2: Can we ever think about Jesus too much?  This one hopefully has an obvious answer: No.

Some interesting thoughts.  I hope to blog more as the conference goes on.

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6Mar/08

Wisdom from Bible Study

This evening's Bible study was a good time, both spiritually fulfilling and just fun. Kristen made a comment at one point that I feel like quoting here. This comment is a bit out of its original context (which is, at this point, irrelevant), but I think it has an even deeper meaning than how it was originally intended.

Everything that happens makes us forget what He said.

This is actually quite profound. If you think through our daily lives, we get very busy and preoccupied with things that worry us, concern us, frustrate us, even excite us, and just otherwise take our time and concentration. It is often easy to forget about the Bible and the words of Jesus. However, if we just remember His words, our everyday lives can be changed.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. - Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

How true it is that "everything that happens makes us forget what He said."

On a side note, I also told my group tonight that "'sup," roughly translated from the original Hebrew, means "peace be with you." 🙂