Bible 7 & Bible 8: 10th Journal Post

It is not Christmas yet, but I still think it is always a good idea to think about the existence of Jesus.  So, this link is to a tune by the band Cloverton. The song is written as a twist to Jeff Buckley/Leonard Cohen’s song “Hallelujah”.  While Leonard and Jeff’s versions are themed differently, they still contain some interesting biblical references.  In fact, you can click on this link is you want to here the original version.

Here are the lyrics to the Cloverton version:

I’ve heard about this baby boy
Who’s come to earth to bring us joy
And I just want to sing this song to you
It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
With every breath I’m singing Hallelujah
Hallelujah

A couple came to Bethlehem
Expecting child, they searched the inn
To find a place for You were coming soon
There was no room for them to stay
So in a manger filled with hay
God’s only Son was born, oh Hallelujah
Hallelujah

The shepherds left their flocks by night
To see this baby wrapped in light
A host of angels led them all to You
It was just as the angels said
You’ll find Him in a manger bed
Immanuel and Savior, Hallelujah
Hallelujah

A star shown bright up in the east
To Bethlehem, the wisemen three
Came many miles and journeyed long for You
And to the place at which You were
Their frankincense and gold and myrrh
They gave to You and cried out Hallelujah
Hallelujah

I know You came to rescue me
This baby boy would grow to be
A man and one day die for me and you
My sins would drive the nails in You
That rugged cross was my cross, too
Still every breath You drew was Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Prompt:

Why do you feel the world is different because of the birth of Jesus?  What lyrics in this song stuck out to you?  Was there anything you disagreed with about the song?  If you listened to the “original version”, do you think the changes to the Cloverton version were good changes?  Do you feel like the song was a “good” song?  When you found out the song was a Christian version, what was your first thought?  How can you make something uniquely Christian while still keeping the thing at a high quality?  In your life, is it hard for you to be a Christ-like person outside church and Ezell-Harding?

In case you had trouble with the link, here is the URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pQVRyPGTEc

Bible 7 & Bible 8: 9th Journal Post

I am a fan of giving you tons of information (some of which I disagree with).  John Piper is one of the most popular preachers in Christianity right now.  This linked sermon is an example of his beliefs.  I do not agree with everything he has to say, but I still think his thoughts on the Gospel are important to listen.  So, HEADS UP:  1) The sermon’s audio version is linked on this website.  2) The text of the sermon is also on this webpage.  3) The sermon is about 35 minutes long.

So, take your time and process the sermon.

Prompt

What stuck out to you in the sermon?  Do you agree with John Piper?  Do you disagree?  What thoughts did you have while listening to this sermon?  

If you had problem with the link, this is the official URL: http://www.desiringgod.org/sermons/in-sync-with-the-gospel

Bible 7 & Bible 8: 8th Journal Post

Most of you have figured out that I am a fan of music.  So, I listened to this linked song for about 4 months now.  And, it has gotten stuck deep in my head.  I love the message of the song.  I also struggle with the message of this song.  It is hard for me to fully believe, even though I want it to be true.  The band is Rend Collective, and the song is “My Lighthouse”.  It is an anthem for the fact that God will lead us in the midst of troubled times.

Here are the Lyrics:

“My Lighthouse”

In my wrestling and in my doubts
In my failures You won’t walk out
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea

In the silence, You won’t let go
In my questions, Your truth will hold
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea

My Lighthouse, my lighthouse
Shining in the darkness, I will follow You
My Lighthouse, my Lighthouse
I will trust the promise,
You will carry me safe to shore (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore

I won’t fear what tomorrow brings
With each morning I’ll rise and sing
My God’s love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea

Fire before us, You’re the brightest
You will lead us through the storms

Prompt
What line(s) stuck out to you in the lyrics of this song?  What do you think the artists were trying to communicate in the message of the song?  Do you agree with the message of the song?  How have you experienced God bringing peace in the midst of a stressful time in your life?  What are other things you turn to when you are stressed out other than God?  When you turn to other things than God, what has happened?  Have you ever experienced a time when you felt unprotected or undirected by God?  How did that experience make you feel?

Just in case the link did not work, here is the full URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPtIv2lnkTY

Bible 7 & Bible 8: 7th Journal Entry

I have a confession: I really like Sermon Jams.  Sermon Jams are the artistic presentations of the words of a sermon.  You have already seen one by Judah Smith about Barabbas.

Today, I want you to watch this linked video.  This one is by Franics Chan.

Prompt:

What are your thoughts on this video?  Do you agree with the speaker?  Do you disagree with the speaker?  What makes you agree or disagree with the words and message of the speaker?  If you were to give a similar message, what would you change about this sermon?

If you have trouble with the link, this is the actual URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-pLRM0rgjE

Bible 7 & Bible 8: 6th Journal Post

“What We Talk About When We Talk About God” (Chp. 5)

By: Rob Bell

Gospel is the shocking, provocative, revolutionary, subversive, counterintuitive good news that in your moments of greatest

despair,

failure,

sin,

weakness,

losing,

failing,

frustration,

inability,

helplessness,

wandering,

and falling short,

God meets you there-

right there-

right exactly there-

in that place, and announces,

I am on your side.

Gospel insists that God doesn’t wait for us to get ourselves polished, shined, proper, and without blemish. God comes to us and meets us and blesses us while we are still in the middle of the mess we created.

Gospel isn’t us getting it together so that we can have God’s favor; gospel is us finding God exactly in the moment of our greatest not-togetherness.

Gospel is grace, and grace is a gift. You don’t earn a gift; you simply receive it. You don’t make it happen; you wake up to what has already happened.

Gospel isn’t doing enough good to be worthy; it’s your eyes being opened to your unworthiness and to Jesus’s insistence that that was never the way it worked in the first place.

Being a good person, then, naturally flows not from trying to get on God’s good side but from your realization that God has been on your side the whole time.

Gospel calls you to a major change in thinking, a giant shift in understanding, a massive leap in how you see yourself, otherwise, you’re stuck in the same old points program, trying to earn what is already yours.

 

Prompt:

What do you think about when you think about the “good news”?  What makes the news good?  When you think about the good news, do you feel the need to share that news with other people?  If so, why do you feel that need?  If not, why do you think you do not feel the need to share it?  What, about Jesus’ story, do you feel is “good news”?  Is there any bad news mixed into the story, or is it all good news?  If you wanted to sit someone down to tell him or her about the good news, what would you say?

Bible 7 & Bible 8: 5th Journal Entry

Full Disclosure:  This post is not as much about what we have talked about in class than the other posts.  In honesty, I just want you guys to listen to a song that has spoken to me recently.  So, this is 100% selfish, but I think you will like it.

Life can get overwhelming.  We have new things thrown at us all the time.  We have new lessons to learn, new relationships to build, and new skills to master.  We have old things that have gone away.  Relationships end or change, lessons are forgotten or replaced, and skills are transformed or adapted.  All of this is complicated and frightening.  My life has been crazy (as many of yours have also), and this song has provided some comforting truth about God’s control is crazy situations.  I want you to see if you can connect with any part of this song.

Here is the link to the song:  “It Is Well” by Bethel Music.  Also, I have included the lyrics to the song below:

Verse 1
Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard

Chorus
Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well
Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well with me

Verse 2
Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can’t see
And this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

Bridge
So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name

It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul

Prompt:

What one phrase stuck out to you when listening to this song?  When you think about the lyrics of this song, what situations are you going through to which this song speaks directly?  Do you feel like you are surrounded by new things right now?  Do you feel like you are surrounded by old/lost things right now?  Is one thing (new or lost) harder to handle than the other?  Or, are they both equally difficult?  What do you think God would say when He speaks into your specific situation?  How does that Word of God cause you to think, act, or grieve differently?

If you are having trouble with the link, here is the full link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNqo4Un2uZI

Bible 7 & Bible 8: 4th Journal Entry

Watch this video by clicking on the highlighted link.

The video is about communication.  It is about how difficult communication can be, and it includes some “deadly sins” of communication.  It also includes some helpful tips on good and healthy communication.

The Bible is an act of communication.  It is the way in which God and former God-followers communicate with our lives.  The authors of the Bible wrote the books thousands of years ago, and we are reading their words.  We are trying to interpret what they meant about the words they said.  We try to interpret those words into what the words could mean in our culture.

Prompt

Use the questions below to shape your journal entry.

Do you find it easy to read the Bible?  Or, is the Bible difficult to understand?  What is your favorite verse(s) in the Bible?  What does the verse(s) mean to you?  Look at the language of the verse(s).  Are the words in the verse(s) simple or complex?  When we think about communication, do you feel that your conversation with God is a one-way communication or is your communication a back-and-forth talk?  Do you find it difficult to listen to God?  If you do communicate with God, what do you think are His most common messages to you?  When you pray what kinds of things do you ask for most often?

If you had trouble with the video link, here is the full link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIho2S0ZahI