6.30.2009

Mark 6:1-13 (4)

Reading: Mark 6:1-13


I want to tell you a story.
About this time, Jesus became very famous.
Jesus healed many people and made a lot of people happy.
People loved him.

Then, Jesus decides to go back to his hometown.
He is going to meet his old friends.
There, at his hometown, Jesus started to teach many of his old friends.
They were amazed.
They were like:
"Why?
Where did he get all these?
Listen to his wisdom!
See all these miracles!”
They were so shocked.
These old friends were not yet ready to receive Jesus as someone special.

So, Jesus decides to leave his hometown, again.
Maybe Jesus was thinking:
“You know, maybe my old friends will eventually believe in me.
Maybe I just need to give them some times.”
So, before he leaves, Jesus heals a few people by touching them.

Jesus knew he was the Messiah, the Christ.
He was the King, and the One for them.
So, Jesus continued preaching following his dream and goal.

Then, Jesus thought:
“I have an idea.
I am going to give my power to my students, so that they can do what I do, after I am gone.”
So, Jesus gave his students the heavenly power.
Then he sent his students, two by two to preach, heal and make people well.
They are able because they trust in Jesus.
They are able because they admire Jesus.
They are able because they spend time with Jesus.

Well, it was like this.
Jesus has a huge goal and a beautiful dream.
His friends may not understand him.
But Jesus follows his dream.
Follow your dream.
Follow your peace.
Follow your joy.
Follow your Christ.
Then one day, your old friends would also believe in Jesus.

Let’s us pray.
Jesus, our hope you taught us that our life can be radically different.
So we trust in you.
We believe in you.
We ask you to give us the heavenly power so that we may serve your people. Amen.

6.29.2009

Offering prayer

Prayer 1:

Jesus, our hope, we offer our gifts, times and talents.
We pray that you may bless them and use them for your kingdom.
May you continually guide us to understand your gospel and to discover what you want of us.
In your name, we pray. Amen.

Prayer 2:

Jesus, our hope, we offer our gifts, times and talents.
May you bless them and use them for your peaceful kingdom.
Continually guide us to discover and understand the story of Jesus, your story. Amen.

Prayer 3:

Jesus, our hope, we offer our gifts, times and talents.
May you bless them and use them for a greater benefit of your people.
May you inspire us to understand of your gospel and enable us to discover effective ways to serve your children all over the world.

Prayer 4:

We offer our hearts.
We offer our minds.
We offer our lives to you alone, our God and our Savior.

Christian communities

I am going to add more Christian communities as I find them. I think you may visit these communities with your youth group and discuss your experiences.

Taizé
Bruderhof
Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary
L'Abri

6.28.2009

Call to Confession 2

Unison Prayer of Confession

Leader: Have pity, Lord, we have sinned against you.
All: Pardon, Lord, for all your People.
Leader: I confess my fault before you, and I will hide my guilt no longer.
All: Search and test me, Lord, try my heart and my desire.
Leader: In loving kindness answer, in your tenderness regard me.
All: Forget all my wrongs, and remember me in your love.

Silent Confession

Assurance of Pardon

Leader: Jesus, you are pardon and goodness, full of love for all who call you.
All: Jesus, you bring our soul out of prison, that we may bless your name,
Leader: See, God comes to our aid, together with all who support us.
All: Jesus, teach us to do your will, lead us by your Holy Spirit.
Leader: Almighty God, you have never forsaken the world when it abandoned you; from ancient times you made the promise of your victory shine before your people:
All: The joy of our hearts is in God!
Leader: Son of God, you became poor to make many rich; you humble yourself and took the form of a slave, lifting us up to share in your glory.
All: The joy of our hearts is in God!



(I think I modified from some Taizé book. I will write here the source when I find them. Thanks, Taizé. Wait for me.)

6.27.2009

Romans 8:18-30

Reading: Romans 8: 18 - 30

Jesus has done something very important in this universe.
Jesus gave us a greatest gift to us.
With this great gift, God is moving among us more freely.

God is even using our brokenness to bring divine glory.
That is what so amazing about our God.
God is even using your weakness to bring divine glory.
God is even using your humanity to being divine glory.

So, you don’t need to worry.
Trust in Jesus.
Move on having a conviction and a clear vision.
God always loves you.
God is always there for you.
We learn these as we study the story of Jesus.

God is even using our brokenness to bring divine glory.
This mysterious truth is hidden in the story of Jesus.
The glory of Jesus is that Jesus can produce something so special through our weakness and brokenness.
Thinking about this, we may understand about our new life in Jesus.

A student of Jesus, Paul understands this way.
So, Paul said:
“For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.” (Rom 8:19)
As you live in your new life, all creations celebrate with you.
They long to see the children of God.
When they see children of God on this earth, they rejoice.

When you become a true “you,” when you find your true goals and pursue, you feel wonderful.
And lions, elephants, butterflies, and puppies also rejoice with you.
All of creations rejoice because of you found you in Jesus.

Paul even said:
“The whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” (Rom 8:22)
Then creations feel glorious freedom seeing the children of God take actions in Christ.

How does God create the children of God?
God does that through good teachings and through the Holy Spirit.

Prophet Isaiah said:
“When the Spirit is poured on us from on high, the desert becomes a fertile field, and the fertile field seems like a forest.” (Isaiah 32: 15)

When we receive the Holy Spirit, we may move and have our being in Christ.
Then we may see the wilderness becomes fruitful.

As we become what God wants us to be, so we become God’s co-creators.
When we find our own purposes and goals, we may create new world.
When we are inspired by the Spirit of Christ, we may create a glorious future in Jesus.

The Spirit of Jesus is active today.
Allow the Spirit to move into your life.
Then we can live and move and have our being in Jesus. (Acts 17:28)

Welcome the Spirit move with you.
The Spirit respects dignity of all creation.
The Spirit makes you participate in bringing cosmic liberation.

Jesus who saves us is God who created all things. (Eph 3:9)
Jesus created us with good intelligences.
So, we learn of Jesus, and his knowledge, power and wisdom.

Paul even confessed:
“All things truly work together for good for those who love God, and for those who are called according to God's purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

"All things work together for good.”
You may think of your past and think that it may become a problem to your future.
God may turn that around to become a wonderful blessing to you.
God can use those as long as you love and follow your calling in life.


6.22.2009

Isaiah 30:15

A church of Christ is a mysterious gift in which we learn the ways of God.
There we learn to have a meaningful friendship and to recognize true friendship with the Spirit of Jesus.
How does it happen in the church?

Isaiah 30:15 said, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
It explains Jesus’ teachings. Jesus wants us to return and rest in quietness and trust.
As we wait on the timing of Jesus, we learn to live in harmony with the will of God.
Jesus is our holy strength.
In Jesus we move and have our meaningful being.
Jesus is with us in power of love.
Love and peaceful mind remain within us as we remain in the Spirit of Jesus.

As the Spirit of Jesus breathes into our lives, we are charged to serve the living God.
If we realize this through our experiences, we welcome boldly Christ.
We can always, turn to God and rest in quietness and trust as a little child.
This is the school of Jesus Christ.
In the school the Holy Spirit teaches the story of Jesus.

6.21.2009

God is compassionate

Jesus prays and meditates a lot.
Jesus thinks according to his character.
Jesus has a habitual thinking.
All those thoughts lead Jesus to realize and teach that God is compassionate.

6.20.2009

Jesus, the representer

"Jesus represents God and the human"



Jesus humbles himself to live among us.
Jesus is God but refuses to use certain power even though he is able.
Jesus has the authority to protect himself. Jesus didn’t use it, when his time has come.

Jesus is able to represent us, because he becomes just like one of us.
Jesus is our representative.
Jesus is chosen so perfectly.
It is an infallible choice.

Jesus is here to represent as a human who loves the Father.
Jesus represents us, when he loves his Father no matter what.
Jesus refuses to be independent. Jesus chooses to be obedient to his Father.

Jesus was representing all humans in the wilderness.
Jesus could have shown his power in the wilderness.
But Jesus only showed his love for his Father.
So he didn’t see any signs and miracles.
He showed his love for his Father by obeying every word of him.

Jesus is sinless and pure.
So, Jesus was able to invite us back to God.

God wanted to redeem us from sin.
Jesus was a right choice to represent God.
Jesus was able and willing to redeem us from sin.
Jesus opens a new door for us to experience the goodness of God again.
In Jesus we experience our salvation and strength that comes from God.
In Jesus we return to God and resting in God’s power.
So we are saved.
In Jesus we learn that even in quietness and in trust we experience true strength that comes from him.

6.16.2009

Seeking and waiting is a faith

There are times when you receive an answer from the Christ, in your own way. There is no spiritual leader who could guide you. It is you who seeks in darkness. But trust in Jesus, because the answer is coming.

6.13.2009

The Spirit and Chi?

And a martial art master told me that he believed that Chi, the source of his power, was the Holy Sprit of Christian.
Also, he said that Chi has practically stronger power than witchcraft and fortuneteller who does divination.
So, he does his unique exercise to receive more of this power.
That is, he lies down putting a book on the top of his face.
For me, it is very interesting that he know the power of waiting: Pentecost.

He claimed to heal and practice supernatural power.
For example, he pushed people down without in fact touching them.
He proudly showed me pictures of it.
Then, one time I was exposed to this power of Chi.
This mysterious healer wanted me to believe him so that he could heal my knees.
He didn’t charge me.
But did it really help me?
It seems didn’t work for me.

Once, he wanted to push me without touching.
(At that time I was a brand new Christian.)
Nothing happened.
He said it is because I don’t have any Chi (some sort of power) in me.

After this incident my Christian friend shared an interesting story.
Once he used the power of Chi, to push a nail on the wall.
Then he wanted to make an experiment.
And on that spot, he prayed against it in the name of Jesus and he tried it again but he couldn't do it.
His conclusion is Chi is not of the Holy Spirit.

Whether it was the Holy Spirit or not, it is hard to tell.
We need to have systemic research for it.
For example, we could choose two healers, one from chi master and another from Christian faith healer.
Or we could ask chi master to practice to the non-Christian and Christian and see how it differs.
As for me, Chi needs to show the nature of Holy Spirit: Inner Love of Trinity.
The Holy Spirit that manifests through Jesus is love.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus heals people.

Chi may be a human mental power.
I don’t really know how to think about this.
White magician also heals people by their power, which I guess it is not of the Holy Spirit.

The personhood of Chi is also unknown.
The power of Chi tended to stay with the masters who earn it.
But the miracle workers in the New Testament follow the lead of the Person, the Spirit.

The power of Spirit seems to come and move and even hide.
The Spirit may need to be distinguished from other spirits as far as the personhood of the Spirit is portrayed differently.
Or maybe it is the same spirit who created all and therefore protects all.
Still there is also possibility that the Holy Spirit manifests in the other unacknowledged way with some principle.

6.11.2009

John 4: 45-53

When Jesus arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him.
They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, for they also had been there.

Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine.
And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum.

When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.

Jesus told him:
“Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe.”

The royal official said:
“Sir, come down before my child dies.”

Jesus replied:
“Go. You son will live.”

The man took Jesus at his word and departed.

While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living.
When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him:
“Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.”

Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him:
“Your son will live.”
So he and his whole household believed.

Matthew 7:7

Jesus said: “Ask, you will receive. Search, you will find. Knock, the door will be opened for you.”

Jesus may ask us to explore this truth.
It helps us to put our hope in Jesus again.

It helps us to dream with God.
It helps us to ask God for the will of God to be fulfilled, even though out life.
We can talk to God about our hope and our longing.
We can ask.
We can search.
We can knock in faith.
God is asking us through Jesus, to knock some doors in faith.

Jesus is our mentor.
Jesus gives us the story of Jesus.
This story can guide us to live a different kind of life.

Jesus helps people to think with God one more time.
Even in a difficult situation, he asks us to put our hope in Jesus one more time.
This will connect us to the life of Jesus.
Then we will understand who Jesus is to us.




Note: The Power of Positive Thinking.

Peale read "In Tune with the Infinite" often. It explains how to live a life. I found it inspiring. You can read it for free at google book or In Tune with the Infinite (@Amoazon.com)

Norman Vincent Peale’s Top 10 Positive Pearls of Wisdom

6.10.2009

Jesus never gives us anything less than all his love

Jesus never gives us anything less than all his love

We are called to live a simple life.
God is love.
God never gives us anything less than all his love.
God is experienced as love.
God is shared as love.
Jesus comes to explain what that love is.

What does this love do?
Love tries to reconcile.
Love tries to allow God to work.
Love tries to embraces those are outcast.
Love welcomes those who nobody tries to welcome.
Loves tries to move to new location and create something.
This is an inner quality.
Love tries to form human solidarity with the poor.
In order to do that, love tries to join with the Spirit of Christ to transform the world.

Love tries to heal people’s heart.
Love tries to be born in a heart of person in Jesus.
Without Jesus you know have any power to love.
Without Jesus, you cannot dare to practice repentance and forgiveness.
Without Jesus, you cannot experience love while you repent and forgive.

Love asks you to forgive.
Love invites you to live generously.

Forgiving and blessing, we learn to live peacefully and fully blessed.
By blessing others we ourselves meet a peace-loving God.

So, Jesus guides people to learn how to love and choose “peace.”
Love is welcoming.

Love enjoys the joyful time with children.
Love welcomes young people and wants to pray with them and hear their story.
Love changes young people.
Love practice tolerance toward youth and children.
Love brings openness, peace, generosity and ecumenism.

By paying more attention to the virtue and character of Jesus, we learn to have power to accomplish love and justice in this world.
We learn to embrace kindness.
We learn to reform our society.

6.06.2009

Luke 22:42



2. RESIGNATION IN TRIAL.

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."

"Yet I want Your will to be done — not Mine!" — Luke 22:42.

Where was there ever resignation like this? The life of Jesus was one long martyrdom. From Bethlehem's manger to Calvary's cross, there was scarcely one break in the clouds; these gathered more darkly and ominously around Him — until they burst over His devoted head as He uttered His expiring cry! Yet throughout this pilgrimage of sorrow — no murmuring accent escaped His lips. The most suffering of all suffering lives — was one of uncomplaining submission.

"Yet I want Your will to be done — not Mine!" was the motto of this wondrous Being! When He came into the world He thus announced His advent, "Lo, I come, I delight to do Your will, O my God!" When He left it, we listen to the same prayer of blended agony and acquiescence, "O My Father, if it is possible — let this cup pass from Me! Yet I want Your will to be done — not Mine!"

Reader! is this mind also in you? Ah, what are your trials — compared to His! What are the ripples in your tide of woe — compared to the waves and billows which swept over Him! If He, the spotless Lamb of God, "murmured not," how can you murmur? His were the sufferings of a bosom never once darkened with the passing shadow of guilt or sin. Your severest sufferings are deserved — yes, infinitely less than you deserve! Are you tempted to indulge in hard suspicions, as to God's faithfulness and love, in appointing some peculiar trial? Ask yourself, Would Jesus have complained? Should I seek to pry into "the deep things of God," when He, in the spirit of a weaned child, was satisfied with the solution, "Even so, Father — for so it seems good in Your sight!"

"Even so, Father!" Afflicted one! "tossed with tempest, and not comforted," take that word on which Your adorable Redeemer pillowed His suffering head, "Father!" — and make it, as He did, the secret of your resignation. "My Father!" my covenant God! the God who spared not Jesus! It may well hush my every repining word.

The sick child will take the bitterest medicine from a father's hand. "This cup which You, O God, give me to drink — shall I not drink it? Be it mine to lie passive in the arms of Your chastening love, exulting in the assurance that all Your appointments, though sovereign, are never arbitrary — but that there is a gracious 'need be' in them all."

Drinking deep of His sweet spirit of submission, you will be able thus to meet, yes, even to welcome, your sorest cross, saying, "Yes, Lord, all is well, just because it is Your blessed will. Take me, use me, chasten me — as seems good in Your sight. My will is resolved into Yours. This trial is dark; I cannot see the 'why and the wherefore' of it — yet I want Your will to be done — not mine! My gourd is withered; I cannot see the reason of so speedy a dissolution of my beloved earthly shelter; my sense and sight ask in vain why these leaves of earthly refreshment have been doomed so soon to droop in sadness and sorrow. But it is enough. 'The Lord prepared the worm!' I want Your will to be done — not mine!"

Oh, how does the stricken soul honor God by thus being silent in the midst of dark and perplexing dealings, recognizing in these, part of the needed discipline and training — for a sorrowless, sinless, deathless world; regarding every trial as a link in the chain — which draws it to heaven, where the whitest robes will be found to be those here baptized with suffering, and bathed in tears!

"Arm yourselves likewise with the same mind."

6.04.2009

How to lead a worship service

Option 1
Call to Worship:
This is the day the LORD has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Join me with the call to worship.

Invitation to the confession of sin:
Let us confess our sins to the Lord that we may receive forgiveness and restoration. Let us pray.

Assurance of pardon:
If we confess our sins Christ is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So, let us be assured that our sins are forgiven.

Passing of the peace:
Now as God’s forgiven and freed people, let us greet one another with "the peace of the Lord."

Option 2

Call to Worship:
Let's give thanks to God, for God is good. And God's love endures forever.
Please join me with the call to worship.

Invitation to the confession of sin:
Let us confess our sins before God.

Assurance of pardon:
Christ is compassion. Christ forgives our sins and strengthens us in all goodness. By the power of the Holy Spirit Jesus keep us in eternal life. Now let us be assured that our sins are forgiven."

Passing of the peace:
Now as God’s forgiven people let us greet one another with "the peace of the Lord."

6.02.2009

How to read the story of Jesus together at Sunday school class

How to read the story of Jesus together at Sunday school class:

Scriptural suggestions:
John 3:1-8; 4:1-15; 6: 66-69; 10: 7-15; 12: 20-26; 13:1-15; 14:1-4; 15:9-12; 20: 1-10;20: 11-18; 21:15-19.

1) Choose a short portion of the Gospel from above.
2) Ask for three or four volunteers who like to read the text.
3) Have a silent time of prayer after each reading.

Example: let’s say we choose John 14: 1-4.
1) Read: John 14:1-4
Give a minute to think about the text.
Ask the group whether they have any question about the text.
Have a time of discussion.

2) Read again: John 14:1-4

3) Read again: John 14:1-4

4) Concluding prayer:
The leader pray a prayer based on your reflection on the text.

You may simply pray:
“In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

Note for leaders of the group:
Be sure to read the text and study it for awhile, before leading the group.
You will have many chances where you share your understanding with your group while discussing the text.
Repeat to them what you hear.
In this way, you validate their experience.
Highlight good thoughts or insights that are being shared.


Questions you may ask to explore their thinking process:
Do you have any question or comment on the text?
Is there any word or phrase jumping at you?
Is there some words and thoughts give you peace?
What is the character of Jesus that you notice in the passage?
What do you think about Jesus in this text?
What kind of thoughts do you have while reading this text?
What word or phrase explains well about who Jesus is?

Who is God in this text?
Does this text remind you of something?
Does this text make you think about something?
Is there any word that gives you hope?
You may have some word or phrase that speaks to you differently this time.
Is there any word and phrase “speaks” to you?
Feel free to ask a question, discuss and share about your impression and what you are inspired to share.
At this time, there is no right answer or wrong answer.

The leader is encouraged to share your understanding as well.

If this text makes you pray, try to pray the prayer to God.
Is there any word or sine that you feel you are emotionally connected?
Do you want to do something because of this text?