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    Connections - Entries from March 2014

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    ThuThursdayMarMarch27th2014 Growing in Gatlinburg
    byHeather Glenn Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment

    Last weekend the Salt and Light students traveled to Gatlinburg, TN, for our annual spring break trip. I have been blessed to make this last trip, a third in my time at Purdue, and, being a senior, it may be my last. But there was something about this Spring Break trip that was different about the previous two years. 

    Amanda clocked 13.5 hours in the hot tub—more hours than she slept. Lance and Cole were goaded into wearing clip-on earrings at Claire’s. Abraham bit his toe. Kaylee took her first selfie—with me! And Kelsey, the quiet, shy one, instigated a prank. 

    But while I have had fun like this in years past, I have yet to experience the closeness to God through TAWG (Time Alone With God) and the intimacy of fellowship like I have on this last trip. Each morning, about two hours were allotted for personal devotions time. As one person on the trip who has experienced more of a desert in my devotional time with God, those four days were an oasis, a beautiful breath of fresh, spring air in the midst of the hard, spiritual winter I’ve had. What’s more, the beauty of my time alone with God multiplied as I shared my joy with others on the trip, and they shared their time in the Word with me. And every evening, a clump of friends huddled on the couch or in the stairwell to talk about all the different things we loved about Jesus. 

    Encouraging, uplifting conversations about God happened everywhere, broken up only by the silly laughter we shared in our games and jokes and pranks. I feel endeared ever more to these people and have come out of the trip with a renewed love and vigor for God’s Word. My New Year’s Resolution was that I would grow in intimacy with the Lord, so that by the end of a year, I would feel closer to Him than I have ever felt in my life. God has used this break from school, this time in His Word, these moments with His children, to draw me ever nearer. And I am so grateful.

     
    ThuThursdayMarMarch20th2014 For His Renown
    byDrew Humphrey Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment

    When you think of a stereotypical teenager, what comes to your mind? Lazy? Rebellious? Apathetic?

    It's often easy for us to project this sort of negative image upon teenagers, and perhaps not all of it is unjustified. But I was blessed this past weekend to be in the company of a few hundred high school students who would completely defy that sort of description. These were teenagers who were hungry to learn from the Bible, grow in their understanding of the gospel, share their faith with others, and bring glory to God through their life and witness.

    The "Renown" student conference in Louisville, KY, is an annual event hosted by Boyce College to help equip students in the faith, and this year I was part of a group of six guys from Kossuth who traveled down for the weekend to be in attendance. Over the course of four main sessions and one breakout session, we were challenged to think more deeply about the Christian faith (and wrestle some pretty significant objections to it). We were led to explore the reasons behind our beliefs and think about how those reasons might be communicated to others. In the process, I think we punched a pretty big hole in the stereotypical view of teenagers as being indifferent and apathetic.

    Now, don't get me wrong, this wasn't a convention of super solemn, Bible-quoting robots; they were real kids (after all, there was pizza, loud music, goofiness, and some future spouse scouting going on). But they were real kids who understood the importance of being rooted in the gospel at a young age. It was an encouragement to be with them.

    Please continue to pray for the teenagers in our church. They're in a pivotal stage of life, and the pressures are intense. But if this last weekend is any indication, I'm optimistic that God is doing great things to mature these young people and prepare them for a lifetime of kingdom influence.

    WedWednesdayMarMarch12th2014 New Member Spotlight (3/12/2014)
    byMark Ridge Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment

    The Membership Ministry Team would like to welcome new member Tessa Hedges. She was voted in as a full member at the March Family Gathering.

    Tessa is the daughter of KSBC member Cheryl Hedges and has been attending KSBC since May 2013 after graduating from Cedarville University, where she earned her degree in Mechanical Engineering. Tessa recently trained with Avant Ministries, a church planting organization, and is working toward being a full time missionary with Avant at Echo Ranch Bible Camp near Juneau, Alaska. Tessa is also a regular attender in the Abound Connection Group and Berger Care Group.

    Please introduce yourself as you see Tessa and welcome her to the KSBC family. 

    ThuThursdayMarMarch6th2014 Book Recommendation: Risky Gospel
    byDrew Humphrey Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment

    Here are two concepts that often do not seem to mix well in our understanding of the Christian life: rest and risk. If you have rest, there would seemingly be no need for risk. And if you pursue risk, it would appear to be for lack of rest.

    It’s the team ahead by 30 points in the fourth quarter that can afford to have its starting players on the bench. The team who is tied with eight seconds to go in double-overtime doesn’t have that luxury. To put it in Christian terms: If Jesus has done everything for the salvation of sinners (rest), it would seem as though we can kick back and relax (no risk). But if we’re supposed to endanger our lives for the sake of the gospel (risk), then it must because God wants us to prove something by our devotion (no rest).

    But rest and risk are not incompatible. In fact, as Owen Strachan points out in his book Risky Gospel, it’s our rest in Christ that motivates us to risk for Christ: “The gospel message of Jesus’ saving work offers us the power to risk everything for him, and gain everything in him.” We are called to lay it all on the line, not because we have something to prove. It’s precisely the opposite! We’re called to lay it all on the line, because everything has already been proven for us! Our ultimate gain in Christ is already secure.

    This is the soul-stirring message that pervades the pages of Strachan’s book. Although he is calling us to step in faith toward a life of uncertainty and sacrifice, he does so on the basis of our firmly established identity. We are new creatures. We are more than conquerors in Christ. We can be bold, because there is ultimately nothing to lose.

    In fact, this is the irony of the entire thing. After sounding forth the call to live risky lives in the contexts of our families, our jobs, our churches, and our communities, Strachan ultimately observes that the risk God calls us to is really the safest thing in the universe:

    We come, then, to this eye-opening conclusion: following Jesus by seeking to invest the gospel he has given us in this world is not a risk. All the force of Trinitarian power is behind us. Serving Christ in whatever calling he gives you is the surest work you can undertake in the world, because the kingdom of God will win and the gates of hell will not overcome it… When we come to faith, we gain everything. We get God.

    So if your Christian walk needs a pep talk—and not the kind of thing that will wear off two hours from now—grab this book and let it catapult you into a life of bold sacrifice. You won’t find guilt. You won’t find empty promises. You’ll just encounter a fresh awareness of the magnificent opportunities that open up to you when your identity and your future are already secure.

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