Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Study on Galatians

Hi everyone! Apologies for an absence in updates; maybe that would be a good New Years resolution! As a brief update on the Shift; we've had amazing attendance and community surrounding the Shift for the past several months! So exciting to see young people coming together to learn about Christ and seek Christian fellowship with one another. New people are finding there way to the Shift weekly, and we are so stoked for what's ahead!

We are starting this new year with a study on Galatians! We are so excited to see God move through this series! Last week's discussion centered around chapter one, with the main theme being deception. The Galatians had fallen away from the truth, and were being deceived and distracted from the gospel that Paul had previously brought to them. Looking into the Galatians situation, we sought out the best ways to recognize and deal with deception in our lives. Great discussion followed!

Galatians 1:6-9

"6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed."

Join us, as we look into Paul's letter to Galatia over the next several weeks. I am so stoked for what God has in store for us through this series!

Also: MESS (Meet Eat Spirit Seek) will be next Friday, the 27Th, at Sean and Dani Brink's house. 7PM, dinner, worship and Jesus

And, FLE (Financial Learning Experience) featuring Joe Sangl, Monday Jan 23rd at Element Church. This event is free and awesome. We will be going because its awesome, and invite you to as well.

God Bless! ~Sam

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Two-Gather; Building Relationships

We need people in our lives...people who know us, love us, and remind us of who we really are. The last two weeks we have looked at what it takes to build stronger relationships with others, and what having the right people in our lives can mean for us. Great discussion was generated around this topic, centered around how we can all improve our relationships. We looked at the stories of Jonathan and his armor bearer in 1 Samuel 14, and several other verses (listed below).

We left with a huge challenge. I know for myself that I always picture my relationships being better than they are now at some point in the future. What can I, we, you do right now to strengthen your relationships with others? To gain someone who is with you heart and soul?

Some of you may have heard of the well known Christian author Erwin McManus. He wrote The Barbarian Way and some other great books. Here is a quote from him on relationships.

"If you neglect the importance of building healthy relationships, you will find yourself alone in the midst of crisis. When you invest in others, they will leverage even your failures to be the material for your future success."

Ask God to put the right people in your life. Ask Him for strength and guidance, and tell Him what's keeping you from having those stronger relationships in your life. Here are some verses to read.

1 Corinthians 2:11, 2 Corinthians 4:2, James 5:16, Proverbs 27:6, Ephesians 4:16, Proverbs 18:24, Matthew 18:20, Ecclesiastes 4:8-12, Romans 12:4-5

Monday, September 12, 2011

Prayer Walking

There is such a need for Jesus on campus, and this week starting yesterday the 11th, we have started meeting at 6 to target prayer towards the campus. We're walking around and through the campus each evening praying for anything and everything related to the college and its students. This is God's campus and God' children, and we can't offer up enough prayers for that. There were five of us yesterday that circled campus praying, and the shift will be meeting every night at 6P in the parking lot until next Sunday the 18th. Would love to see yall out there! Peace in Christ


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Weird Wednesday

We had 9 at Shift this past Wednesday as we began a new discussion topic WEIRD. That's being Weird in a God way!

In what ways would you call yourself weird? Talking about being weird for God, we discovered it's hard and that His way is not the common path taken by most people. Matthew 7:13-14 says, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

We discussed what is normal as defined by today's world, and how normal can't really work out for us. Exploring the causes of thinking normal, we uncovered that it is much to do with the environment we put ourselves in, and brought forth those areas where we need to stop thinking the normal way, and start thinking the weird way; for God! Romans 12:2 says, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

What you think determines what you become. We have become so many things other than what we are called by Christ as a result of our thinking. 1 Peter 2:11-12 says, "Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us."

We must commit to God that we will strive to pursue Christ in every area of life so that we focus solely on Him. Such a hard thing to do! How do we break this habit of thinking the normal way? If you think about this, it really shouldn't be that hard to be weird for God. Think of all the times in our days when we conform to the standards of the world! This is frequent and often for me. When I look back on even just the past couple days, I realize all the opportunities I passed up to be weird for Christ!

Pray for us to break the mold of normal thinking this week. Ask Him to reveal how you can be weird for Him, and to have the courage to be it! Great Shift as always! Hope to see you all out there next week as we continue to explore being WEIRD for God!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wednesday Recap, Initiating Restoration

Hey Everyone. We had a great group at theshift last night! Around 12 or so, and went to Sonic after. Sonic is our new summer spot for hanging out afterwards btw. We are in the third week of Getting Past Your Past, and this week was incredible! Discussion about apologizing to those who we've hurt, and how to initiate restoration in those relationships was the topic.

How do you respond to those who hurt you? Some shut people down, some turn away, others ignore, others confront. There are so many ways to react. I used to pride myself on being non-confrontational. Turns out that isn't the best way to go about dealing with hurt. We made the distinction between being a peacekeeper and a peacemaker.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." Matthew 5:9

Peacekeepers avoid what needs to be said or done. Many times this will lead to further hurt and distance.

"So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift." Matthew 5:23-24

God here is calling us to be peacemakers. He tells us to go and be reconciled. Note the priorities here. When else has God ever said, stop worship and go do something? Reconciliation with your brothers and sisters takes priority even over worship!

What else did we figure out about apologizing to those who we've hurt? Its so easy to be the victim, but how hard is it to admit and own up to being the offender? Here is where pride comes into play.

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom." Proverbs 11:2

One of God's biggest desires is for us to be peacemakers. We need to be at peace with each other, and it's hard to do that when you let pride get in the way. We have to learn to love the relationship or person, more than we love being right.

This week, focus on confessing the things you've done to hurt others. Ask Him to help you apologize with integrity. We have to really mean it. I think another key thing will be actually asking for forgiveness. When you say "Will you forgive me?" that is humbleness at its best. Commit to God that you will be a peacemaker and not a peacekeeper.