Eyes

Today a freshmen provided an unending trail of chatter as they walked with an RA (Resident Assistant).  I never noticed the RA speak though I can imagine there was a faint social cue or "hmm, hmmm" that I didn't catch. Maybe it was the RA's freshmen year.  Maybe it was the solar eclipse (which a few of us CSFer's are going too!). Something was causing their eyes to glaze over.  And we've all been there, our eyes can be telling. What they stare at, when they do double takes, expressions, concentration, crying.

Psalm 25:15 "My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare." 

Eyes always on the Lord - come on?  Really? For me sometimes my eyes are on church, the bible, and prayer.  But if it's for a lesson, a meeting, a wedding, a funeral, or just content, then my eyes are on the look out for content, not Jesus.  And that's not a good feeling nor what we want.  Imagine if I just looked to my wife strictly for content, information, practical advice and never actually had my eyes on her.  She might suggest she's seen that before, but don't you believe it!  But I don't want that for her or my faith, that's just lame and watered down.  I want to remember there's something powerful, beautiful, and purposeful about having our eyes set on Jesus.

We are just a glance away from melting away struggles and opening up massive possibilities this very moment.  If every Christian had eyes on Jesus every day, even just for a moment, hearts, communities, marriages, foster children, churches, work places, and possibilities would explode around churches all over the world. We are new creations, we just need eyes for it. It starts with you. 

Read through a gospel. But first set aside all the nursery rhymes, chalk boards, crafts, and stuff of the past. Let your imagination picture the scenes like you do when you read a novel.  Set your eyes on *that* Jesus.  Because it's a wild ride, he is crazy, the good kind of crazy.  In deeds, actions, words, and character.

Set your eyes on something powerful from the author and creator of life every day - Put a slick app on your favorite device.  These guys thought it so important they hired top notch engineers and visionaries and created this FREE app which makes it super easy to just sign up for a reading plan or see a verse every day.  There are other apps as well that just send a verse every day.  Do it!
https://www.youversion.com/

 

When automatic sinks don't turn on...

Waiting for an interstate exit with a bathroom, waiting for the water to turn on in one of those automatic motion sensing faucets that isn't working right...waiting can be irritating...

Waiting is good. 

I'm just going to leave that sit there while you roll eyes, wrestle with it, and demand more explanation than I can give.  But God says waiting is good.  Probably socially and mentally too, but spiritually there's something about waiting, and waiting on God, that is good.  

Healthy waiting has expectancy - expecting God to show you or lead you while actively pursuing Him. Big growth comes from that kind of waiting. 

I'd like to caution us. Healthy waiting does not mean a suspension of activity and vibrant communion with Jesus and people. 

That's when we move and wait to find a church community or healthy Christians to be around but it never actually happens.

It's when churches say "We haven't had any senior high youth in the past few years".  And then wait until the little ones grow up...those little ones who will probably drift into the abyss of dysfunctional families, busy after school schedules, and little meaningful church connection....which means no youth group in the future either.

Waiting is when we don't like where we are right now and 'wait for God' - do nothing while we wait for circumstances to force, excite, or encourage us to actively pursue Him again.

That is a suspension of activity kind of waiting. Waiting can be an excuse not to actively pursue Him. I'm fairly certain God is calling all except the most medically challenged to something at this very moment. We wait - expectantly praying and pursuing Him for something, but continue to serve, pray, read, be with other Christians, and support ministry and the work God is doing around us.

Let's pray we will be ready to step out of that when it happens to us

If you're currently waiting - actively pursue Him in the church, community, work, home situations where He has put you - while expectantly pursing and asking Him about what you're waiting for.

Moving closer to community...

CSF is moving college gathering time from Sunday nights to Wednesdays at 8pm. 

"I haven't been home much this semester, maybe 5 weekends." -freshmen at the Rec Center. A church we're connected to has a WVU student who goes home every weekend.  Another church put me in touch with a freshmen that goes home every weekend. A news article was quoting stats that said West Virginia residents rank in the top 5 for things like "Most often talk to family."  "Most likely to talk to a neighbor."  "Most likely to help a neighbor in a given year." That's something to be proud of folks!  But wait, so students are more connected to home which pulls them away from weekends at college making it harder for them to connect to faith when they're already busy with majors, groups, student organizations, sports, and more.  In the past year or two that's affected CSF more than in the past.  

There's local constraints to weekends as well, family come to visit, PRT and buses don't run, and WVU's new schedule reduces availability. Holiday weekends are tough and Thanksgiving and Spring Breaks mean almost 3 weeks of not gathering. That's not conducive to community building.  And students have noticed and talked about it the past two years.

But more importantly - CSF leaders are talking about "How do we create an environment conducive to WVU students connecting with each other and faith?" A common gathering time is one small ingredient to a much more important question we look forward to doing the best we can with!  And leaders are creating a safe, welcoming, home style space with revised service elements as well to further our mission.  We're looking forward to it!

So we are moving gathering time to Wednesdays but more importantly we're moving closer to community and investing and equipping our team to lead, serve, and move closer to Christ as well!

Kind of like watching South Park...

Two signs in Morgantown during Move-In weekend 2016:

We aren't called to be moral managers, that doesn't lead to loving God and loving others  (it works the other way around).  Buuuuuut, this is like experiencing a Soutpark episode, "Ah - an illustration of free speech in this country, but...what...did...they....just say?!?"

We aren't called to be moral managers, that doesn't lead to loving God and loving others  (it works the other way around).  Buuuuuut, this is like experiencing a Soutpark episode, "Ah - an illustration of free speech in this country, but...what...did...they....just say?!?"

Not very edgy, not pushing boundaries, but sustainable (except free food..sort of), scalable, and for all people for all time.