radically proclaiming to teens who proclaim radically issue 2 january 2012
Editor-in-Chief Celeste Harlow
Design Editor Cole Johnson
Chief Advisor/Webmaster Charlie Kimball
Laura Gibson, Allie Beck
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photo & artwork credits: Shawna Robertson-cover, pages 2 & 12; Chara Melody (flickr)-page 5; Max Barros-page 6; Cole Johnson-pages 8, 9, 10, 13(adventures & summer) & 17; Abbey Eagan-page 13 (wedding); Allyse Wainman-page 13 (mission trips); Leah Sands-page 13 (comic strip); Jeremy Lavender-page 18 Our Heavenly Dwelling-For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands,
contents from the editor 2
a word from doulos editor-in-chief, Celeste Harlow
Christa Ebert, LBBC Interim Program Director, continues “Daniel and the....”, a series offering insight into the book of Daniel.
The Meat 4
Alex Schmidt challenges teens on what it really means to be new creations in Christ
sometimes life gets busy. Leah Sands shows us how God wants to help us out.
christians in culture 5 a new attitude towards serving Laura Gibson helps us to change our 7 attitudes when it comes to serving others.
Brenda Hall, LBBC Intern, talks about the party lifestyle & good alternatives for Christian teens
I feel busy, oh so busy new years resolutions 8
live action mafia
a few options for ways to grow closer in your in your walk with God over the next year.
a fun game to play with a group of friends that involves murder, mystery, and, of course, the mafia.
Allie Beck encourages us to live joyfully in this new year.
Susie Bowen talks about letting God change us into new creations.
an enjoyable comedy break from the seriousness of everyday life.
Schmiessy Science Zach Schmiess brings you some insight on how
password safety 11
what are you looking forward to this upcoming year?
2012 top ten
take a look at what is going on around the world, this month: we look at China & find out a little bit about Chinese culture
Cole Johnson has some new tunes to listen to about being made new in Christ
science & the Bible can actually get along
January Calendar 18
learn how to keep your life on the internet secure with this article by Charlie Kimball
all things new
catch up on all the happenings and days to celebrate this month
contributors Celeste Harlow is a triple major at Bethel University. She spends her days staring at the clouds, daydreaming, and getting herself in awkward situations. Celeste enjoys volunteering, eating more Ben & Jerry’s ice cream than she should, and spending time with Jesus.
Christa Ebert loves stories, hiking through the mountains, and a good cup of coffee. For the current chapter in life she is working as the Program Director at Lake Beauty Bible Camp.
Brenda Hall is a program intern at Lake Beauty. She loves nature, the great outdoors, & creating adventures for campers to experience them. She loves excitement, secrets, laughing, games and being around people. She enjoys hanging out at Community Covenant youth group in Upsala, MN, and fully enjoys the fun and learning that is going on there.
You’ll find Alex Schmidt at the University of Minnesota studying for a master’s degree in Civil Engineering. You may have seen him at LBBC as a Counselor or Serf Camp leader. He enjoys: Proverbs 1:7, snowboarding, hunting, boating, hiking, soccer, tennis, volleyball, orange, pirating, making breakfast, eating breakfast, and understanding. Allie Beck just moved from Kansas to the great land of Minnesota where she lives in a tiny corner of St. Paul and spends her time sipping coffee, reading books, crocheting blankets, and shopping for tacky t-shirts and home decorations.
Zachary Schmiess enjoys reading books, playing cards, riding horses, and climbing trees. He is currently a junior majoring in mechanical engineering at North Dakota State University.
Laura Gibson is a 7-12 Language Arts teacher who lives in Marshall, MN. She enjoys doing puzzles, baking brownies, and wearing sweatpants.
This is Susie Bowen. She grew up in small town, Wisconsin, with two brothers and one sister. She likes playing guitar and going on nature adventures! Getting to know people and traveling are two of her favorite things.
Leah Sands is a graphic design/art major at Bethel University in St. Paul. She enjoys making art, reading (mainly le Bible), rocking out, thrifting, climbing trees, going on adventures and just plain discovering something new. She also loves chocolate, cats, scarves, and you.
Cole Johnson is a recent graduate of Northwestern College, where he studied Graphic Design. He currently spends his time doing freelance design work, including this magazine. In his free time, he enjoys snowboarding, cooking, reading, and listening to music.
eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked.
from the editor 2012 is upon us. As we enter into the new year, it is fairly common to reflect on the past and look forward to the future. January is the perfect time to decide who we want to be and how we can make that happen. This is the time of year we choose resolutions, start diets, and make promises. We recognize our mistakes and shortcomings and long to be something more, something new. This makes perfect sense--it is a part of our nature. We know, whether deep down or fully consciously, that we are all sinners, we screw up, and we fail. We also tend to have an intrinsic desire to be better, to be good. Unfortunately, this is pretty much impossible for humanity. We are bad; sin entered the world and is in each of us. Paul says in Romans 7:18 “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” (NIV) This would leave us in a rather sticky situation if Christ hadn’t redeemed us. In verse 25 of that same chapter, Paul goes on to give praise for the grace given to us, even as sinners: “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.” There it is again--doulos. Slave to God. When we were stuck in our sinful nature, we were slaves to sin. But-we have been delivered. We have been made new. This month, we are going to be focusing on this. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” Throughout this issue of doulos, we decided to embrace the new year mentality and challenge you to understand what it is to be a new creation. I want to challenge you, too, to think about this as you look at the new year. Will you live as a new creation in 2012? Will you be a slave to sin this year, or be a bondslave of Christ-the one who delivers you and through whom you have been made new? In Him,
2 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be
THE WORD Christa Ebert Last month, as we began our journey through the book of Daniel, we read about Daniel’s experience in being captured and brought to a new country-all at the age of about sixteen.
Most of you by now have had the opportunity to learn a new language in school (and if you haven’t, your opportunity is rising fast to meet you!). When you are learning a new language, an important part of remembering or even caring about learning the language is learning about the culture. Daniel was in the same boat as you! Daniel had to learn about a whole new culture: language, customs, holidays, pastimes, religious worship-all so he could better understand the people that he now lived and worked for. Where we pick up with chapter two in Daniel, Daniel has now been in Babylon for three years in King Nebuchadnezzar’s service and what evolves is…well, read it! Do you find anything unfair about Nebuchadnezzar’s demand? Does anything stand out to you about Daniel’s response? And why is this whole dream about a statue important anyway, right? It happened thousands of years ago!
Culturally, everyone believed in a god in Biblical times-there were no atheists. And life was lived by and for the god of each nation. The questions of suffering, pain, evil in the world, and life just being unfair were answered by a cycle of the gods being angry and needing to be appeased. Nebuchadnezzar was desperate to know the meaning of his dream. So desperate that he would kill all of his wise men, counselors, and magicians if they could not tell him the meaning of his dream. Death seems a bit extreme doesn’t it? But what about those who suffer in pain? What about those who get away with doing evil? What about all the prayers we pray for healing that are not answered? Maybe for some the question is why they are always picked last, picked on, not popular? Or why don’t they feel like they belong or are accepted-and why isn’t God coming through! So we start to doubt-maybe God really isn’t good. Maybe God doesn’t really love me. Maybe God isn’t really who He said he wasmaybe. We become desperate for answers; desperate for anyone to give us a reason or explanation for all our questions that start with “why” in our lives.
Daniel’s response to Nebuchadnezzar: Daniel asked for time to seek answers from his God-Yahweh! Daniel knew and believed that God was the revealor of mysteries. A dream about a statue seems odd and unimportant. But the dream revealed many things that are still important to us today. The simple fact that Daniel was able to reveal the dream to the king meant that Daniel’s God, Yahweh, was the God and there was no other like Him. However, more importantly, the dream revealed the future, and the sovereignty (or all-knowing and ultimate control) of God. God can be trusted to answer the “why” questions. God is in control! God places kings on thrones and removes them. God is in control over all nations-not just the Hebrew nation-but all nations. And God is the revealor of mysteries! Do you believe God is the revealor of mysteries? Do you believe that God hears you when you pray? Do you trust God with the “why” questions of your life?
3 swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always of good courage.
The Meat Alex Schmidt What it means for us to be new creations Three, two, one…Happy New Year! Before that, you may remember a familiar scene of fireworks exploding as everyone gets their drink ready for the toast and finds “that special someone” (if even just for the night). The blaring T.V. and a hundred conversations all tend to blend into background noise. But I find myself drifting away like I’m outside of the scene, almost as if watching the blur of commotion from an audience, even though I’m in the midst of it. Time slows as I start to gaze off and ponder what my life has been in the past year. I often find this moment to be a very somber. This time of reflection proves to show my failures and what I wish I could have done differently. Maybe you don’t have that same scene play out, but all of us tend to reflect on our lives around the turn of the New Year. I believe that this reflection brings about a determination to change, thus we get the New Year’s resolution. After we have reflected on our shortcomings, we come up with plans and promises to fix our faults. But the funny thing is- everyone knows it doesn’t work. New Year’s resolutions fail. My favorite band growing up, Five Iron Frenzy, puts it this way: “It’s New Years Eve and I’m full of empty promises I half pretend to keep this time, just like last year.” Bono from U2 recognizes that “nothing changes on New Year’s Day.” Death Cab for
Cutie sees it the same way: “So this is the New Year; and I don’t feel any different.” It’s like we all expect something to change in us, just because it is a new year. Let me just make this clear. A new year will do NOTHING to change you.
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” So Jesus is saying that to see the kingdom of God, you must be born again, and to be born again, you must believe in the Son of God.
This is more than just a New Year’s problem, it’s a worldwide epidemic and everyone has it. We are all looking for this change inside. You can find temporary solutions everywhere: popularity, cool new cloths, smart phones, sports, movies, drugs (including alcohol), and sex (or close to it) outside marriage. None of it will bring the change we need, and none of it will fulfill the longing in our hearts for joy, purpose, and meaning.
What does it mean to be born again? Ezekiel 36:26 talks about a heart transplant. God takes out your heart of stone, and gives you a heart of flesh. The heart is the core of who we are. A heart of stone is dead, spiritually. It does not react to touch and it can’t grow or change. But a heart of flesh is alive. It reacts and grows and changes. And that is being born again: going from a cold heart towards God to a heart that cares about what God thinks, reacts to his Word and grows to be like Christ. God is no longer an enemy to you, someone you avoid, but becomes treasured and loved above everything else.
So we all have this longing for change, but our attempts to change usually fail, including New Year’s resolutions. So what is the real solution? It’s something that is not often talked about but is everywhere in scripture. Jesus calls it being born again. In John 3 Jesus says to Nicodemus, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” That’s a big deal. This chapter of the Bible blew my world apart when I was a sophomore in college. I was just like Nicodemus, “What? Born again? That’s crazy. How?” Jesus explains that he is talking spiritually, and then tells him the gospel including the famous John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,
(Read all of John 3 for more)
Let’s put this all together. Everyone wants to change, to be better. That’s why we make New Year’s resolutions. But what change are we really looking for? To get better grades? Or lose weight? Or be that stud with the girls (or flirty chick with the boys)? Or is the root of the problem really something deeper and spiritual? For some of us, we don’t know that God has the answers for our longings (better than our own answers), and that it takes a new heart to change. For others, we have to come back to the Lord and let Him impress to change us, not what we want but Thy will be done.
So what is the real solution? It’s something that is not often talked about, but is everywhere in scripture. Jesus calls it being born again. 4 We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage,
christians in culture Brenda Hall
FRIDAY NIGHT PARTIES In movies, they always seem to happen in one of two ways; either the parents of the richest kids are out of town and the whole school is invited, or, a student has a small get-together but somehow the host ends up with a house full of people. The end of these two scenarios is always the same: lots of drinking, damaging of goods, overwhelming drama, and throwing up. In real life, not all parties look the same, but harm still comes from them. Why do these social gatherings attract so many people? It’s a chance for a diverse group of people to get together, drink a beverage that makes them crazy, and ultimately do as they please. When we follow Christ, we see that getting caught up in the party scene does not bring honor to God. After all, most of what happens at parties involves indulging in the sinful nature. (Galatians 5:13 clearly states not to do that, but to serve each other in love.) So we know we shouldn’t be partying - I’m sure you have heard that before. You might feel left out, alone on Friday nights missing out on what seems like the amazing fun everyone else is enjoying. If you wallow in this too long, you will likely give in to temptation. But the solution is simple.
When we follow Christ, we see that getting caught up in the party scene does not bring honor to God. Create fun outside of the party scene. I call these events “get-togethers”: time to be social and have fun but leave out any activities that would not honor Christ. Have friends over to your house (with your parents’ approval and supervision). If that’s not possible, go out to events in your community (see list). If you think your parents are uncool and don’t want your friends to be around them, ask your youth group leaders if they want to host your get-togethers. Hosting get-togethers is a great opportunity to reach friends who haven’t accepted Christ! Whatever fun you decide on, remember: We are to live in this world but not of it.
Get-together event ideas: • Get a camera, make ridiculous movies, and post them on YouTube • Go ice skating • Plan a murder mystery dinner (you can ﬁnd these great games to use for this at thrift stores in the game sections. They are usually intended to have about 8 people play.) •Play live action maﬁa (see page 9) • Play outside games together like: kick the can, capture the ﬂag, sardines, hide-n-seek, ghost in the graveyard, etc •Go on a night hike • Have a costume gathering •Play football with a steak instead of a ball •Collage pictures • Have a smoothie night •Plan a board game night (Quelf is a great game to start with) •Go to a camp (I hear Lake Beauty is really nice...)
5 and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.
I feel busy, oh so busy Leah Sands
“Oh, I’m sorry, I’m way too busy.” We do not state this with negativity or embarrassment, but rather with a firm, factual sense that life is naturally filled with busyness. In American culture, we see busyness as success. Adding responsibilities adds value to our lives - after all, we busybodies are further up the human spectrum than those that are just wasting their lives in front of the T.V.
You might say, “What?? Are you crazy??” Well, I certainly did not think so. All of my jobs were awesome and all of my classes were great. Why would I get rid of anything I enjoyed? But these two areas of life consumed my priorities. It stressed me out to hang out with friends and enjoy their company because I was constantly thinking about all I was not accomplishing.
Colleges and scholarship committees praise statements like: “I’m actively involved in my church, choir, soccer, tennis; I do PSEO at our community college and work two different jobs. Not to mention I volunteer at the local homeless shelter and food shelf.” I remember having to wrack my brain for lists of volunteer work and school activities to add to a scholarship application. People expect you to be involved because your level of involvement defines your success as a person.
Thankfully, though, one weekend my priorities were changed for me. I hung out with friends all weekend and did no homework. Through this weekend, God showed me that sometimes friends and life take precedence over schoolwork and grades. Sometimes we just need to chill and take a breather so we can actually enjoy life and the work that we are doing.
In high school, I was actually not that busy. I wasn’t in any sports, music, or after school clubs. I didn’t get my first job until my senior year. Most of my time was spent on schoolwork, church activities, art, friends, and family. I wish I could say my life stayed that chillbut it didn’t. Entering college brought a whole new mindset: “Be involved. That will make the most of your college experience-you only get to do this once, so live it up!” Instead of orienting myself to think of school as merely a learning tool, I began to think of school as a means to getting a job. This isn’t wrong completely because you do go to college to equip yourself for your future, but it got to the point where I took every job opportunity because they would look good on a résumé. This all accumulated to the fall of 2011. As a college junior, I was a full-time student with 16 credits and I worked four jobs.
We need both work and rest. We work for the Sabbath. We work to rest in the wholeness of God and to rely fully on Him. God gave us a calling, a vocation to fulfill, but as finite humans we need rest and reliance on our Creator; the two ideas work together. So here’s a question: are you involved in too much making you unable to rest in the presence of God? And here’s a challenge: even though you may enjoy everything you’re involved in, take a serious look at your life and the fruits of your work. Is God glorified? Or are you glorifying yourself through your beast of a résumé or volunteer list? It’s challenging to let go of your activities. Trust me, I know. Actually, trust God. He’s your provider. He’s your sustainer. Give your life to Him. Let Him do as He wants. Give God the room to do what He wants.
6 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
a new attitude towards serving
As I opened my laptop to write this article, a dad from my church called to ask if I could babysit, as he put it, “a bunch of crazy kids.” I had been looking forward to a cozy Saturday night at home, hanging out with roommates, listening to Christmas music, and drinking hot chocolate. Although running around my church’s nursery with a group of screaming kids is not my favorite thing to do on a weekend, I knew I had the time and ability to babysit. Being a servant is sometimes hard, and it is even harder to have a servant’s attitude. God has been showing me recently that even if I am doing something good, such as babysitting for a Bible study, if my heart is grumbling about it, I’m not honoring God with my actions. Serving because it will make someone like you more, or so that you can feel better about yourself, is not really serving. At times, serving can be inconvenient and uncomfortable, and your actions may not even be acknowledged, but the purpose of serving is to glorify God, not yourself.
Philippians 2:3-8 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!”
I’m not saying that it is possible to take part in every service opportunity you see. Sometimes the healthy thing to do is say “no” to chances to serve – over commitment will drain you and make it even harder to have a servant’s attitude – but other times, you just have to get off your butt and put others before yourself. God has created us to live in community, and we each need to step up and do our part to love and serve the people God has put into our lives. I encourage you to find one person today who you can serve – even if it is not someone you particularly like. Examine your heart as you interact with them – do you truly have the attitude of a servant?
Wow – that is quite a challenge! Jesus was the ultimate example of a servant – He was God, and could have strutted around with His chest puffed out, demanding that others serve Him, but instead He knelt on the dusty ground to wash His disciple’s dirty, smelly feet … because He wanted to serve them.
7 The Ministry of Reconciliation-Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.
new years resolutions Brenda Hall Nothing says change like New Years Resolutions .
There are so many different things you can vow to change; some stay with us for the entire 12 months, others we will drop in just a few weeks. No matter how long you commit to change, here is a guide to making good resolutions that can help you form a deeper relationship with our Lord. We have laid out different ideas for resolutions and ways to complete them. Choose options that fit your personality and God’s desire for you.
Reading God’s Word
Option 1 Read the Bible in a Year. If that is something you have never done and are interested, check out Bible Study Tools for a plan. If you are trying this but dread the option, DON’T DO IT! You will just become bitter towards the Bible and find it an awful task, instead of being a joyful experience getting to know God’s word. Option 2 Take the full year to read through one book of the Bible (I recommend John or Romans). This can be different each day; some weeks I read the same paragraph or chapter over and over again; sometimes I meditate on just a single verse. The book you pick may end up being read multiple times in that year, but the Lord will keep showing you new things through it.
Praying Specifically for Others
Option 1 Pray for the entire world. Head to Operation World’s website for a guide to prayer for every nation. You can also buy their book which can be a guide as you pray. Option 2 Pray specifically for one country. Take time to find out all of their needs and take a year to intentionally pray for that group. This month Doulos is praying for China-join us! Option 3 Pray for a specific person that you know. Tell them that you are praying for them and ask them frequently how you can be specifically praying for them.
Option 1 Find a specific person (someone older than yourself & steady in their own walk with Christ) to meet with regularly this year to guide you in your walk with the Lord and also with situations that you encounter in everyday life. Ask your youth pastor or another leader in your church if they might know of someone who would be interested in mentoring if you’re not sure where or how to find one. Option 2 Create a small group with a couple friends to intentionally study the Bible and pray together. Be sure to set a specific time and place to meet so it actually happens. Having at least one person who is a bit older than you to walk alongside the group is also beneficial.
Option 1 Set one day a week to serve; be creative in how you do this. Serve your church with programs like children’s church, Awana, choir, or become a leader in your youth group. Serve your community by babysitting for free for a low-income family or helping out with after-school programs. Serve your peers by intentionally being friends with those who struggle to fit in. Option 2 Commit to seasonal serving-come up with a plan to serve others differently depending on the time of year. This could include shoveling snow for an elderly community member in the winter, participating in a community garden in the spring, volunteering at Vacation Bible School in the summer, and raking for your neighbors in the fall.
I hope this guide gives you some good ideas on how to be disciplined in growing in your relationship with the Lord. It takes 60 days to form a new habit, which means January and February will be the hardest to commit to your resolutions. Stick with it! God will bless your efforts as you seek Him deliberately throughout this year.
8 We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward
live action mafia The Setting: A pitch-dark indoor area that contains multiple rooms with minimal tripping obstacles. Number of players: 8-95 Objectives: If you are a Mafia, you are trying to kill off the townspeople, if you’re one of the Townspeople, it is your job to try and find all of the mafia before they get you. Set- up: Each player needs to know their role. To do this, create a square of paper for each player, writing on them the different roles, Townspeople & Mafia. (There should be one mafia for every four townspeople.) Have each player randomly and secretly select a piece of paper assigning their role. This information is not to be shared.
Start Game: All players start in a circle. A player is picked to be the Spokesman. He informs all people to close their eyes, then instructs the Mafia to open theirs. This is the only time in the game that Mafia will be able to identify other members. The Spokesman has the Mafia close their eyes again, then has all players open their eyes. The game officially starts as soon as the lights go off. Game in Action: The Mafia players’ goal is to kill off all of the Townspeople. They do this by taking their finger and “slicing” (running their finger across) a person’s throat. The “dead” must die a silent death and drop to the ground right where they are at. Any person who runs into a dead body must yell, “Dead Body!”; the lights are immediately turned on & all players gather around the dead body. A trial is conducted to determine who the killer was. The trial consists of people stating who was where, why they believe someone is guilty, and each trial must end with one person selected as the guilty party and they are “executed.” Dead bodies may not inform players of what their role was until the game is officially over. After the trial, the lights are turned off and players resume the game.
Dead bodies: Once you are dead, you are unable to speak during the remainder of the game. All dead bodies gather together in the cemetery after each trial (the cemetery location can be designated anywhere in the playing area). End of Game: Once all of either the Mafia or Townspeople are killed, the game is over. If the last mafia is caught, he/she informs the other players at end of their trial that he/ she was the last alive and the townspeople have won. The Mafia will be the only ones alive if they win, and the victory will be obvious.
Note: Each dead body needs a trial; if there are multiple dead bodies found when lights go on, the players travel together to each one conducting a trial for each victim. Also, the Mafia may not yell “dead body” upon encountering any of their victims.
9 appearance and not about what is in the heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.
joy Allie Beck Last January I was driving home from a weekend trip to Chicago and listening to a radio show that caught my attention. The hosts were talking about their “words of the year” and they were encouraging listeners to call in and tell them about their words, too. I wanted to know what a “word of the year” was, so I stayed tuned and found out that these hosts had been encouraging listeners to take time to pray and ask God what word He might have for them in the coming year. It might be a word or two that God was placing on their hearts and the idea was to focus on that word for one year. Pray on it. Meditate on it. Find scripture on it. Let that word become a theme for your life for one year. And see what you learn. How you grow. How God might lead you. Strengthen you. Change you. Well, I love words. And I loved this idea of picking one to use as a theme for my year. I was barely into my road trip so I decided to use the nine hours before me to pray and talk to God about what lessons He wanted me to learn in 2011. I was going through a huge year of transition, having just moved back home after graduation from college and then working at camp for the first time for a summer, and I thought this would be a great way to help me process those experiences. As I prayed about my hopes for the new year, and what plans God had for me, the word that kept coming back to me was live. So live has been my word for 2011. And I have learned so much in the past year through this time of focused prayer centered on this one word. I have always been someone who struggles with change, who is uncomfortable in new experiences, and who is always ready for the next thing to start. What I know now is that I must take time to live in the present and actually experience the opportunities that are happening around me, instead of planning for the next one. It does me no good to worry about what is coming next, especially when God reminds me, “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Jeremiah 29:11 (The Message)
I live even more freely knowing that God has all of the circumstances of my life under control. No matter how much I plan and arrange and decide what I think is best, ultimately God is in charge and that means I get to live a carefree life in the care of our great God. Because He always has our best interests at heart. Paul says it so well in Colossians when he writes, “My counsel for you is simple and straight forward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master, now live in him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now…start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.” Colossians 2: 6-7 In recent months God has been teaching me a lot about the person that He has created me to be. And the running theme in all that I have learned is that the love of God brings joy. In my life I have struggled often with anger and frustration, stress and doubt. But God is showing me a new way to live and has replaced old habits with joy. And joy abundantly! As in Isaiah 9:2 which says, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. For those who lived in a land of deep shadows – light! Sunbursts of light! You repopulated the nation, you expanded its joy. Oh, they’re so glad in your presence! Festival joy! The joy of a great celebration.” Joy is my word for 2012. I want to choose to be joyful every morning when I wake up. We are to delight in the love of the Father, just as He delights in loving us. My challenge for you is to consider choosing a word to meditate on this coming year. Allow God to teach and shape you through times of focused prayer. Talk to God about your hopes for this year. Let God show you more about His great hopes for you.
10 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died;
passwordCharlie safety Kimball The internet. Such a wonderful tool. Entertainment. Relaxation.
On the internet we can stream videos, download music, and play games people would never have imagined 10 years ago. We can keep in touch with family, friends, and colleagues the world over through tools like Facebook and Twitter. Never before have we as individuals had such easy access to so much information. We can go to online encyclopedias, newspapers, and educational journals from all over the world. And we can do it all on a device that fits in our pocket. Let me help you do so a little bit more safely. A lot of you don’t need to worry about this yet, but starting with good habits makes it easier for later. A few things that I often do on the internet are banking, Facebook, email, posting on forums, building websites, and playing games. One thing they all have in common is that I have to log in to use them. So my first bit of advice is to not use the same passwords for any of them. If someone figures out your password for one, they have it for everything. When I created these accounts, a common theme through all of them was to put in an email address that the site creators could contact in case I ever forgot my password. So, in addition to not having the same password as any other account you have, that email address should also have a very secure password, because if anyone figures out that password, they can get everything else. How do you pick a secure password? A lot of people think a secure password means that it is hard to remember, but that isn’t the case. For starters, you will not very often see a person sitting at a computer guessing passwords. You will see a computer guessing 1000 different things every second. So let’s start by making it hard for a computer to figure out. Something as simple as four (or more) common words will work. Something like “deskraftwindylakeautumn” would work well for me, because I get a silly picture of a big desk on a small raft on a very windy lake in the fall. The longer it is, the longer it takes a computer to figure it out, and do you think another person is going to be able to guess that? and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
all things new Susie Bowen The heartache of a broken friendship. The sting of a loved one passing away. The disappointment of failing yet another time. Perhaps you can put a face to these words, an example from your own life. Pains and regrets are something we’ve learned to live with in today’s society. Prescriptions have been given to subdue the pain. It’s called instant gratification. Drugs, sex, and alcohol are among the most common of these. Maybe you’re at a point where you’re okay with these guilty pleasures. The distractions are just enough to push away the sting for a little while longer. You’ll deal with the regret later. Or… Maybe not. But, maaaybe you’re at a place where sleeping with your boyfriend just isn’t cutting it any more. There’s got to be something more. Perhaps you’ve already guessed the solution. Jesus Christ. Of course. This is a Christian magazine, after all. You’ve heard it a thousand times, at least. “Run to Jesus and all your problems will be fixed.”
at breathing under water. You can try all you want to grow gills, but you’ll just end up drowning yourself in the process.
in your heart until you beg his forgiveness again. And even then, there’s no reprieve. Repentance is not about guilt.
God doesn’t expect us to be perfect before we can have community with Him. In fact, He’d rather us admit that we’re not. Why else would Jesus hang out with the sinners? (Matthew 9:9-13) Because they weren’t trying to be something they weren’t. They had no expectations to live up to so they could humbly accept the gift of salvation and grace without mistaking it for something they did on their own. Even if you did come to the point of realizing that you can’t earn His love or acceptance, you’ve still got your past looming over your head. “Jesus can forgive me. But there’s no way He can use me.” I would like to challenge you, then, with this scripture: “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of this world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things- and the things that are not- to nullify the things that
It’s about seeing your potential in God and understanding that there are things keeping you from it. It is the desire to remove those things from your life so you can run towards God and the plans He has for you. It is the act of turning one’s self around. But we are not worthy because of anything we could ever do. We are worthy and sacred because of the blood of Christ. God does not look at us and see what we could be. He sees who we are because of the cross. The cross made it so once we ask forgiveness, we are completely and wholly forgiven. It’s as if the sin never happened. Clean slate. No more blemishes. You will always have the memories of what you were before you were forgiven. But it is your choice to dwell on that and keep yourself in a place of guilt- or take that and use it to God’s advantage- learning your lessons
God can use you arguably more in your places of weakness than He can in your places of strength. But it turns out, all these nights you’ve spent filling the “Jesus shaped” hole in your heart with other things has begun to take its toll on your self-worth. You can’t come to Jesus yet because you’re not at the “right place.” You have to get your life together a little more before you can superficially confess your sins to a stale God. Well, I’d like to let you in on a little secret… You’re not gonna get there. It sounds harsh to say and it may even be a little hard to swallow. But let me follow up with an explanation to put things into perspective. To say that you want to prove your goodness to a perfect and sinless God is like trying to prove to a fish how good you are
are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God-that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.” (1 Corinthians 1:27-30) God can use you arguably more in your places of weakness than He can in your places of strength. It’s because when we are weak, we must lean on God for His strength. And when what we do is completely because of the power of the Lord, He can get all the Glory. Allowing God to use you means allowing God to heal you. The first step towards healing is repentance. Maybe you don’t know what this word means. Or maybe it scares you to death. You get this picture of a wrath-filled god waiting to smite you at any given moment until you plead with him and tell him you’re sorry. Then, guilt is laden
and leading others through them. As a new creation, it is not your duty to feel guilty about past regrets. In fact, this state of mind will only cause you to be more susceptible to falling into those temptations again. Guilt will cause you to feel lowly, therefore, you will convince yourself that you are not worthy of a life free of sin. By dying on the cross, Jesus chose to take the guilt and shame from each and every one of us, who choose to accept this gift, and mold us into a beautiful new creation. No more guilt. No more shame. Just a glorious picture of Jesus holding His precious child in His arms. Cliché as it may be, Jesus loves you. Let down your guard. Tear down those walls. And let Him make you into a stunning new creation in Him. His glory awaits.
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh,
2012 top ten Zach Klein
we conducted a poll of former Lake Beauty Bible Camp staff & friends asking them what they are most looking forward to in 2012. here are the results: 10
adventures the new Hobbit movie weddings
2nd coming/ the end of missions trips the world (...really??)
summer (& summer camp... this should be #1) 7
& number one......
God’s plan for my life.
comedy corner jokes by Laura Gibson What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire? Frostbite What did the one snowman say to the other? Smells like carrots If athletes get athlete’s foot, then what do astronauts get? Missile-toe
How do you scare a snowman? You get a hair dryer. How much did Santa pay for his sleigh? Nothing, it was on the house What do you call a snowman in the summer? A puddle
How do you know when Santa’s in the room? You can sense his presents. What is the best present in the world? A drum–you can’t beat it! What goes “oh, oh, oh”? Santa walking backwards.
Why do birds fly south in the winter? Because it’s too far to walk
13 we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Global Perspectives CHINA
People’s Republic of China, Asia Geography:
Area: 9,573,000 sq km The third-largest state in the world, also containing the highest mountains and plateaus in the world. The climate and geography are extremely diverse, ranging from tropical in the south to sub-arctic in the north, from a highly industrialized and modern eastern seaboard to sparsely populated western deserts and mountain ranges. Hong Kong and Macau are integral parts of China, though their statistics are not included here; Taiwan’s status is debated. These three are handled separately. Population: 1,330,584,783 Annual Growth: 0.63% Capital: Beijing Urbanites: 44.9% HDI Rank: 92 of 182 (UN Human Development Reports 2009)
Largest Religion: Non-Religious Religion: Pop: Christians 105,382,315 Evangelicals 75,399,270 Non-religious 590,247,410
%: 7.92 5.7 44.36
Annual G 2.7 2.9
Answer to Prayer
The survival and growth of the Church in China are tw generation. The staggering recent growth of the Chines – from 2.7 million evangelicals in 1975 to over 75 millio the majority Han Chinese, with some growth among mi no known believers among them in the late 1990s now h churches.
Challenge for Prayer
The window of opportunity for spiritual receptivity mig today faces materialism – with increasing wealth, the de Peoples ruption, moral decline and the growing social and econo Peoples: 516 (83% unreached) All of these may profoundly affect the spiritual opennes Official language: Putonghua (Mandarin Chinese); local languages in the five Autonomous itself. Pray that the Refiner’s fire might keep burning and Regions. 15 regional mega-languages. There are an estimated 600 different spoken Han edge – honed in the midst of persecution – might not b dialects, but one written language common to all Languages: 296 For more information, go to operationworld.org/chna
Happy New Year… Again! Though we in the west celebrated the coming of the new year January 1st, our friends in the east wait for the lunar new year. On January 23rd, the Chinese New Year (or Spring Festival) celebrates the coming of the year of the dragon. Traditionally, the celebration of the new year in China was the most prominent festival of the year. It was a time for families to earn good luck and fortune for the year to come. In order to achieve this, a number of rituals were followed annually. These included: - meticulously cleaning the house: thought to rid homes of huiqi, or bad spirits which build up throughout the year; a clean home also appeased the gods - sacrificing of food and paper icons: again, to appease the gods -posting scrolls and lanterns: in hopes of keeping evil spirits away and inviting good luck - giving money to children: a sign of good fortune - feasting: eating symbolic food would bring promise of good fortune for the new year
14 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was
wo of the decisive events of our se Church has no parallel in history on in 2010. Much growth is among inority groups. A few groups with have networks of growing house
ght not be open indefinitely. China ebilitating effects of spreading coromic impact of the one-child policy. ss of the nation and the Church d that the Churchâ€™s spiritual cutting be blunted.
In the 1900s, the celebrations evolved into the Spring Festival. When China became more involved in the Western world, they adopted the Gregorian calendar (which we follow) and began celebrating the new year on January 1st. Some of the rituals and feasting remain, but they have lost much of their religious meaning. In fact, newer generations are celebrating the week long vacation from work they receive more than the new year itself. Traditional observers of the Chinese New Year did whatever they thought necessary to prepare themselves for the new year; they were intentionally striving to live better, to draw nearer to family and friends, and to be made right to their gods. Though it is pretty clear we shouldnâ€™t be cleaning our houses to rid them of evil spirits or making sacrifices to appease gods (Exodus 20), there are still a few lessons we, as Christians, can take from the ancient traditions of the Chinese new Year. Primarily, it would behoove us all to prepare ourselves for the coming year. We can fight for our relationships with family. We can clean our lives meticulously to rid them of sin. We can do whatever it takes to live to honor and glorify God. resource: history.com
15 reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
Schmiessy Science with Zachary Schmiess Metamorphosis
Most people likely link the term “metamorphosis” with a mental image of a butterfly prying itself free from a hanging chrysalis, or of a tadpole with a shortened tail crawling out of a slimy bog to take its first breath of air. However, the phenomenon of metamorphosis is not unique to butterflies and frogs; in fact, metamorphosis is observable in various species of insects, amphibians, crustaceans, and even fish. Scientifically, metamorphosis can be defined as a significant, post-embryonic development in an animal’s form and function which takes place over a brief period of time compared to the creature’s lifelong development. Organisms are said to be in the larval stage of life before metamorphosis and the adult stage of life after. The tadpole is the larval stage of a frog’s life, and the land-dwelling four-legged frog is the adult stage. In the same way, caterpillars are larva; butterflies and moths are adults. During the transformation, certain species of insects go through a pupal stage as well. A chrysalis is the pupa of a butterfly, while a cocoon is the pupa of a moth.
Of the many changes undergone by an animal during metamorphosis, the change in the individual’s physical appearance is easily the most obvious and the most observable. Differences in body structure before and after metamorphosis reflect the changes in the function of these body parts, which in turn reflect changes in the animal’s mobility, habitat, and diet. For example, the short stubby legs and fat body of a caterpillar only allow it to crawl along the ground and up the stems of plants, where it feeds on leaves. However, after emerging from a chrysalis as a winged butterfly (and after waiting for its wings to dry and unfold), the ex-caterpillar is now free to fly, assisted by the use of newly developed wings and of compound eyes and antennae, which aid in navigation. The ability to fly enables the butterfly to reach new habitats, as well as new food sources. The mouth of the caterpillar, which is designed to chew solid material, has now been replaced with a straw-like proboscis, which the butterfly uses to suck liquid nectar. This change in diet is made possible by the elongation of the gut and by the development of gut muscles within the butterfly.
Another familiar organism that undergoes metamorphosis, the frog, experiences changes during the process in the same areas as the butterfly. Tadpoles differ in appearance from the adult frog. In the larval stage, the presence of a large tail and gills are suitable for swimming and an underwater habitat. However, with the disappearance of the tail and gill pouch, and with the development of the legs (ideal for jumping), adult frogs are able to survive on land. This change in habitat, along with development of the digestive system, allows for a change in feeding habits as well. Many species of frog rely on a herbivorous diet while in the larval stage then become completely carnivorous as adults.
When we walk daily with Jesus and allow Him to influence us, we become new creations. Kind of like metamorphosis. When a caterpillar is, well, a caterpillar, it crawls, it eats leaves, and it might look like a fat worm. But when that caterpillar encases itself in a chrysalis and allows itself to be changed, it becomes something new. It becomes a butterfly. It doesn’t look like a grub any more; it has beautiful wings! It doesn’t feed on leaves like it used to; it drinks sweet nectar! And it doesn’t crawl on the ground any longer; it flies!
to Canaan (Genesis 12), maybe you could sit at a different table during lunch, talk to the new kid in class, reach out to those around you. In the same way that caterpillars grow beautiful wings, you may feel led to look different than your friends. Your choice of apparel may not be quite as trend-breaking as John the Baptist (Matthew 3), your hair style might not be as gaudy as Samson (Judges 13-16), and hopefully your physical body will not require altering such as the Israelites performed before entering the promised land (Joshua 5), but there are better ways to stand out. Don’t wear that revealing outfit, don’t tell that dirty joke, don’t use that cuss word and trust me: people will notice.
Forgive me a quick change of pace here: The current and (with any luck!) ongoing purpose of this column is to present readers with interesting concepts from the fields of science and mathematics, and then to draw meaningful connections between these concepts and our daily lives as Christians. While I will readily admit that, in the future, it might be a stretch for me to find topics that are easily related to our walk with God, this issue’s topic presented no such obstacle. In fact, for millennia, the biological world has been helping Christians to better understand spiritual matters in the place where one would most expect to find good spiritual advice: the Bible. Matthew 17:20 (“faith as small as a mustard seed”), John 15:5 (“I am the vine; you are the branches”), and 1 Peter 5:8 (“the devil prowls around like a roaring lion”) are just a few verses that metaphorically describe aspects of the spiritual world using examples from the natural world. Now I don’t claim to be of the same caliber of writer as those authors of the Old and New Testaments, not even close. But I do think I am able to make a few connections here. This month’s theme verse is 2 Corinthians 5:17, which says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
Now, while it would be pretty crazy-awesome if being a new creation in Christ meant that we could sprout wings and fly, that’s clearly not the case. And that’s not my point either. The point isn’t that being a Christian makes our lives swell and peachy and one-thousand times better than life as an unbeliever, because that’s not necessarily true. The point is that when we truly live for Jesus, we’re different! We behave differently, we act differently, we look, think, and feel differently! Just as tadpoles move above water when they become frogs, as believers we may be called by God to move to a new place. While your relocation may not be as drastic as Abraham’s journey
Well, I’ve been up until 1 a.m. typing, my research material is long overdue at the library, and I’ve easily surpassed the word cap placed upon me by my editor, so it’s time to wrap this all up. Metamorphosis is a complex and fascinating method of development found in various species. Jesus calls us to be new creations in Him and live differently than we did before. Make the connection, then go out and make the difference!
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
january playlist Cole Johnson a new playlist for the new year, about becoming new creations in Christ and the hope we have in Him. enjoy. (click the tracklist to listen on Spotify, & the highlighted tracks to download)
17 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5 (ESV)
January is full of crazy holidays! Celebrate something different almost every day of the month!
new years day
08 bubble bath day: enjoy the sab-bath!
15 religious catfreedom herder’sday: day thank God for the freedom you have!
22 answer your cats questions day.......
national static electricity day: balloons +hair
16 appreciate a dragon day
23 chinese new year: check out page 14 to learn about it
national puzzle day: bubble wrap appreciation make your own! day-you know what to do
cigarettes are bad for you day: don’t smoke
17 kid inventor’s day: help a kid in your life invent something great!
rubber ducky day!
sanctity of human popcorn day: life day make some on your stove and pop in a movie
24 talk like a grizzled prospector day
31 inspire your heart with art day: try a new medium, draw, paint, write a song, anything!
todd hollow day of encouragement: give someone an extra boost!
21 national hugging day: spread the love
fun at work day: national kazoo day: make a game out of make a kazoo symphony school & homework with some friends
Published on Jan 8, 2012
Published on Jan 8, 2012
issue 2 of doulos magazine, an online magazine seeking to provide teens with the insight, resources, and encouragement they need to go bring...