One of the things we learned from our Spiritual Life Survey (results here) is the importance of embedding God’s Word everywhere we can. Sue approached me with a project a while back for posters that would have the books of the Bible on them to hang in the classrooms at First Trinity. We also wanted a matching bookmark to accompany them. Here’s what we came up with:
We went with white text on black to improve readability from a distance, but I also liked the contrast of mostly black/white with a splash of color on each. Both the plan and the water convey life, which connects nicely with God’s Word being our primary source of life. The green and blue colors are also reminiscent of our logo, which has a leaf-like shape with green on top and blue on the bottom.
We’re currently in the bidding process to get the posters and bookmarks made and hope to have them available by Spring, assuming the cost is right.
You might know that I’m … less than full-haired. You might also know that one of my favorite wacky stories in the Bible is about Elisha getting mocked by some youth who were calling him a bald head. The whole story can be found in 2 Kings 2.
While reading Kem Meyer’s blog, I found a link to Jim LePage, who has been working on graphics for books of the Bible for the past year+. There are some really cool designs in there, but one in particular stood out:
After looking through Jim’s designs, I was led to his Tumblr account where he’s been collecting some other Biblical artwork he’s come across. That led to Todd Goehner’s Biblical Advice Posters. Lo and behold, what did I find?
Be sure to browse through the collections. There are some pretty cool graphics in there.
We’re wrapping up a series in Sunday School this week titled TXT. It’s a look at God’s Word—historical notes, background, characteristics and how to study it. This week focuses on studying it. One of the key verses is Psalm 119:11:
11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
As I think about ways to communicate what this means to students beyond the standard “You need to memorize God’s Word”, it struck me that this is similar to studying for a test and learning something.
It seems that more often than not, students (and us adults too) like to cram for a test. Get all the knowledge in our head, get through the test, then wipe the slate clean for more information. Our teachers always told us that studying a little bit each day and learning the material would take us much further.
Many of us are eager to turn to God’s Word in a crisis. It’s much like cramming for that test. We need a shot to get us through the tough time, then we push it out of our minds. Now, there’s certainly nothing wrong with turning to God’s Word in a crisis, but what if we spent time regularly studying it? Internalizing it? Hiding it in our hearts? How much better off would we be?
What do you think? A fair analogy to make?
Today at Sunday School, we started our new series on Encountering God. The series focuses on spiritual disciplines, part of an annual emphasis on the topic of habits for spiritual growth. This year we are spending one week on each of the following:
- Time in God’s Word
Mark Driscoll has a great post that summarizes this discipline. In an effort to make the study more “hands on” this year, we’ve issued a challenge to the kids to spend 30 days with Jesus. There are 30 days between today and Easter, not counting Sundays. So each day, students will be reading a story about Jesus. You can follow along if you’d like. (This chart [and others] comes from Zondervan; our version just adds the dates we’re reading it.)
Each Sunday, we’ll check in with the youth to see how its going and what they’re learning. You may also be interested in a series I wrote a while back about reading the Bible.
In our most overwhelming majority to date, Christmas should start on Thanksgiving day, getting 88% of the votes. This week’s question:
EDIT: In an odd occurance of events, the majority of this post inexplicably disappeared from the blog several hours after posting. It’s back now.
I knew my name was in the Bible, but I never really thought much beyond the fact that it was there. I’m almost positive I must have looked it up in the past, but I stumbled across it again the other day and was struck by the context:
Acts 17:1-8 (ESV)
1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ." 4 And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. 5 But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. 6 And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, "These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, 7 and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus." 8 And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things.
- Jason lived in Thessalonica. I’ve always liked that church the best, mostly because of the name. It’s fun to say. Thessalonica.
- He hung out with people who “turned the world upside down”. Not bad!
- Jason apparently was proclaiming Jesus as King as he gets wrapped up in this controversy.
Kind of cool.
I think part of discipling youth is teaching them how to use their gifts at church in meaningful ways. We’ve had youth acolytes forever, but there’s so much more out there. Here are some of the exciting things youth are doing (or will be doing soon!) at First Trinity:
- Jon W., Abby, Anna and Joe regularly provide the tech services at our 7 p.m. Saturday worship service. Joe is also helping on Sundays.
- Jon W. is one of the prayer partners at Sunday worship.
- Jon B., Annie, and Jake M. all play/sing in worship bands on a regular basis.
- Megan and Laura have played/sung in the past.
- 19 youth have signed up to work with our new youth band that is starting up. Many of those were complete surprises to me.
- 2 youth each Sunday from the 7th-8th grade Sunday School class will be helping to teach younger kids (Kindergarten and under-2’s). 20 in all have signed up so far.
- Anna and Kelsey (plus Samuel, who isn’t a youth yet but will be one day) are on my PIT crew.
Additionally, we want students to be in the Word on a regular basis. Some fun things going on there:
- 6 youth have signed up to be in rooted this year so far.
- Sue’s small group at Cornerstone has committed to interacting with each other about the One Minute Bible for Students on a daily basis through text messages and instant message. Loved hearing how she is connecting with her students!
- A parent recently liked the One Minute Bible their student received so much that she asked to get a copy for herself. They were working through it together at home, which turned her on to the resource.
- We have a lab-based Sunday School series coming up in the winter that helps students learn how to be in the Word, pray, give and worship.
It’s exciting to see what God is doing in the midst of our young people. What a joy!