Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rated R

We just finished our 5 part series at Radiate (our Wednesday night student ministry)

(Thanks to friends from DC Metro for the graphic!)
We established that Relationships are very important to God and He is very interested in a friendship with us and cares deeply about how we relate to those around us (1 John 4:11)...He actually wants us to have GOOD relationships! (go figure!)

1st we talked about MAKING friends and how you need to ACCEPT others (Romans 15:7) can do that because "God doesn't matter if other people reject you!" So go out there and accept other people, even if they're different then you! On the 2nd week we talked about MAINTAINING Relationships and how one of the biggest reasons people lose relationships is because of selfishness, so the solution is to be SELFLESS, you can do this by choosing to SERVE others (Philippians 2:3-5)!

The 3rd week we talked about MENDING Relationships. What can you do to mend a relationship that has been hurt? We talked about the common problem is that we never address the issue and instead we end the friendship and tell everyone else about it. A starting place for Mending relationships is to FORGIVE the other person (we can forgive because Christ forgave us!)...and if you are the one that did something wrong, go seek THEIR forgiveness by apologizing sincerely. Once you have Forgiven you are more able to go to the other person and talk out the problem instead of telling everyone else about it (Ephesians 4:25-32). Our 4th week was perfectly timed to coincide with Valentines day :-) and we talked about finding a Matching Relationship. The truth is that God has an awesome plan for your life and he cares deeply about who you end up with (Jeremiah 29:11-13). That is the 2nd most important decision you will make in your life!!! I think He'll make sure you know when it's the right time and right person! The key here is to TRUST that in fact He does have a good plan for you and that His ways are better then yours (Proverbs 3:5-6)! When looking for that "Matchless Match" you want to make sure you stay aligned with God's standards (some of which would be purity and unity in belief, values, and direction).
  • We got to watch the CLASSIC clip from Fiddler on the Roof, "Matchmaker"
  • The Skit Guys helped us remember not to lower our standards with their hilarious video called "Need Harmony"
Finally, tonight we talked about Maturing Relationships...By continuing to practice the principles from before with those in our lives (Accepting, Serving, Forgiving, and Trusting God) and then BUILDING OTHERS UP. We took some time along to look at these verses and what they say about Growing Up in our relationships to others (you can click on the link to read the verses for yourself)

James 4:11-12Don't speak evil. James 5:9 – Don't grumble against each other. 1 Peter 1:22 – Show sincere love and love each other deeply from the heart. 1 Peter 3:8 – Be of like mind, sympathize with one another. Be humble. Tenderhearted. Love like family. 1 Peter 4:9-10 Be hospitable (food and housing). Use gifts we have to serve others. 1 Peter 5:5 Serve others. Submit to elders. James 5:16 Confess to each other. Pray for each other. 1 Thessalonians 3:12 Love others abundantly. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Encourage and build each other up. Hebrews 10:24 Help motivate others to love and good works. Hebrews 10:25 Meet together and encourage others to come. 1 John 3:11, 3:23, 4:7, 4:11-12 Love one another! 2 John 1:5-6 Love one another! Galatians 5:13 Use your freedom to serve others. Galatians 5:26 Don't be conceited, provoking, or jealous. Galatians 6:2 Help others with their life's burdens. Philippians 2:3-4 DON'T be selfish or try to impress others. DO: humbly think of others and their needs. Romans 12:10 Make it a point to honor each other. Romans 12:15 Be sympathetic with what others are going through! Romans 12:16 Don't be proud: accept others, even if they're different! Romans 13:8 Don't be in debt to your friends! Show them love instead! Romans 14:13 Don't condemn others! Watch how you walk so you don't cause them to fall! Romans 14:19 Aim for harmony! Try to build each other up! Romans 15:5 Ask God for help in living in harmony with each other! Romans 15:7 Accept each other as Christ accepts you! Ephesians 4:2-3 Be humble, gentle, patient. Make EVERY effort to remain united through peace! Ephesians 5:21 Submit to one another. Colossians 3:9-10 Don't lie! Become like Christ! Colossians 3:12-13 Be merciful, kind, forgiving, patient, gentle, and humble. Colossians 3:15-16 Live in peace. Be thankful. Teach and counsel each other with God's wisdom!

Thank You ALL for a great series and for the ways you help make Wednesday and Sundays possible!

I'm looking forward to learning more with y'all as we take this year to GROW in wisdom, stature and in favor with God and all people (Luke 2:52)!

Monday, February 9, 2009

New Baby = Shifts

As you may already know, it's hard to get some sleep when there's a newborn in the house. I find myself looking up and realizing the day is already gone! I guess that's how the infant stage is: trying to keep up with all that's going on. Which kind of reminds me that it's that way at anything you start or launch, you spend that first stage filled with joy and adrenaline that carries you through the long days and nights involved in launching a new stage of life, work, or ministry.

In order to remain sane a few natural shifts emerged. So far I've taken every first part of the night, like 9 or 10 until 1:30 or 3...hopefully sooner tonight, I'm exhausted! Then if Abigail woke up Bonnie Jean would watch her for the rest of the night. And during the day Jerry and the rest of us would watch her as needed.

Night Shift

Day Shift

Guy Shift

(Playing Wii Mario Kart AND keeping Abby asleep at the same time! We sure can multi-task!)

It's such a joy to have Abby in our lives!!! We've waited so long for this...even for the late nights! :-) The Lord Hears! Even as God miraculously brought us this child in answer to prayer and in alignment with His desires, I believe that God is about to "birth" other areas of ministry that have been several years in preparation for this time of our lives which will lead to more shifts in the way we live life! The Lord Hears.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

First Family Portrait!

Happy Parents!

"What are YOU lookin' at?!"

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Well, it's been a long several days...longer for Sarah then for me though...but it's been an AWESOME day! Today at 2:53 PM Sarah and I became parents of a beautiful little girl that weighed in at 8 lbs and 13 oz. named Abigail Hope. We've just met her and already she has brought joy and a fulfillment of hope to our lives. Thank you God! Words can't express the gratitude in my heart!

Sarah did amazing during the whole thing (she's my hero!) putting up with 72 hours of regular contractions and no sleep and finally having to go through a C-Section to get the baby out (she was looking up instead of down so she would never have made it out!) and now we have a precious baby girl that God has given to us. The Bible says that He who promised is faithful and He will do what He promises! There's an awesome story behind that, but you'll have to wait to hear it later on here and on Sarah's blog...speaking of which, you can also go there to see some pictures of Abigail Hope Snyder and more: