Friday, 16 March 2012

Some tips for reading your Bible...

Ok Vibers,

Thanks for clicking on this link... a few of you have got new Youth Bibles & are now wondering; "where do you start with this?" Others haven't read your Bible in a while & are just looking for a kick start. Here's a few pointers to get you going. I can provide more thoughts/answer questions if you like or just ask a Vibe leader for some help.

1) If you want to get to know God better (who He is, what He says, what He does), the Bible is always the best place to start as that's the main way that God decided to let us know about Him & Jesus' rescue plan.

2) Our world is quite noisy & we're easily distracted, so best to set aside some time when you turn off mobiles/computers & get some space in your house, so that you can tune into God's voice speaking to you through the Bible (even Jesus needed space to connect with God!!!)

3) You might find it helpful to start with a short, honest prayer. For example, "God, I'm not really sure if you exist or how to read this Bible; so if you're real, please help me." or "Lord, help me to think about you during this time."

4) Some people begin with the first book "Genesis", but if you're new to this my advice is to use "the Word 4U 2Day" notes we give out at The Vibe or start reading through one of the stories about Jesus (the one written by "Mark" is a good one to start with).

5) Don't try to read too much in one go; unless it's going really well. As you read ask, "what's going on in this story?" "what are you doing God?" "what do you want to teach me God about who you are or what you want me to do?"

6) It's often helpful to keep a wee notebook beside you. Write down your favourite verses that stand out (or highlight them in your Bible)... write down a prayer (just be honest)... draw a picture or write a song if that helps you... take a note of questions (and ask a leader about them).

7) Go to a church service or join a youth group (like RED!!!) where you can ask questions & get more help from others in how to understand the Bible.

Try to relax. When you give time to seeking God & getting to know Him - He is always pleased!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Spring is in the air...

I planted these with my 2 year old son last November and promised him that if we looked after them, showed them some love & watered them a little - a flower would appear.

Three months later there was no sign & I was starting to panic. Had I planted them correctly? Had I missed a vital ingredient? Would our son lose faith in his dad if no bloom would come out?

So it was with great relief that we discovered two daffodils this week (Jacob's is of course the bigger one).

It got my brain mulling over how often we are powerless to make things happen. We planted it, we watered it, we sang to it, but ultimately we had no control over whether it would grow or not.

In Christian leadership & church ministry it is similar. We are to love others, living out our faith with actions & words to those around us, but we cannot make anyone change or respond to God by our own efforts. As Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 3:5-7,

"Apollos & I are merely servants who helped you to have faith. It was the Lord who made it all happen. I planted the seeds, Apollos watered them, but God made them sprout & grow. What matters isn't those who planted or watered, but God who made the plants grow."

So if you're involved in leadership or ministry this weekend, do the job you've been given with passion & determination, and trust God to bring new life & growth in the proper season.