Bob Goff and his daughter Lindsey wrote a book last year for kids called, "Love Does for Kids." Watch the video below as Lindsey shares an example from her life on just how damaging or life giving words can be.
At our Tuesday night gatherings we've been working our way through the letter of James. Our most recent lesson was about how the dangerous the tongue is (James 3:1-12). We don't normally think about our tongue being dangerous! After all, when we bite down on it accidently, it hurts so bad and feels so weak. When we drink a super hot liquid, the sting may last hours or even more! We do not usually consider our tongue as a dangerous weapon nor an instrument of great healing; it can be both!
Words have great power. Our words go forth and either destroy or create! Hurtful words flow out of a darkened heart can affect and infect us for years and then we can continue to hurt others our of our own hurt! Healing words flowing from a transformed heart. If we want to break the cycle, the only way to change the tongue, it to have a new heart! The Bible talks about the infected heart. There is no amount of "I'll try harder next time" that can change your mouth, because the problem is deeper - your heart! Maybe you can say good things for a short time, but your heart will eventually leak out the ugliness or the pain lurking within. Isn't that what the Bible teaches?
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” Jeremiah 17:9-10
The reality is we need a CHANGE OF HEART if we want our Tongues to work properly! The Good News is that God set forth His plan to do something about the problem of our hearts that were far from Him.
"And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26
What did Jesus say about our troubled hearts?
“For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." Luke 6:43-45
But true heart change doesn't come from trying harder but from accepting the gift of a new life in Jesus Christ! It's HIS WORK not ours. It's a FREE GIFT.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." 2 Corinthians 5:17
In John 4:13-14 Jesus talks with the women at the well about her deepest needs. They would not be found in relationships (she had many). Her "thirsts" were leaving her more thirsty. Jesus shares hope with her and us, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Jesus uses His powerful and life-giving words to bring healing to this woman and it led to many in her town becoming healed as well! But she had to let Jesus in! What are you waiting for? Do you want a new heart? Ask Him for one today! Or if you are already a follower of Jesus and just lost your way... Prayery read Psalm 51 to the Lord and invite His renewal!
On Friday March 5th at 7pm we enjoyed another First Friday together! First Friday is a space we create monthly to focus on loving God and loving one another. It's never the same and almost aways surprises. Sometimes we sing, share testimonies of what God is up to, perform dramatic reinterpretations of scripture, eat pizza, try to kill one another with pool noodles, and so much more. A special thanks to everyone that helped put the night together as well as those who helped setup and stayed after to teardown. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!
Here was the opening video of the night.
We had a cool yet sophicated Bible guy lead us through some scripture.
Here was one of the most violent moments of the night. We call this DEATH THERAPY!
If anyone else has pictures from the evening and would like to share them with me, I will re-post them here. Thanks!
from Don Williams
This song by Josh Garrels is a favorite. It draws inspiration from the old hymn by the same name. I did not grow up in the church, so hymns are mostly lost on me. But there's gold in them hills! If you have a few minutes it would be worth it. Notice the lyrics that refer back to some of what we talked in our soaping journey through James. Both songs point us to some answers to questions raised but may have not received any answers to! What do these songs struggle with and where do they ultimately point us? Add your comments below.
A favorite part,"Skipping like a calf loosed from its stall - I’m free to love once and for all - And even when I fall I’ll get back up - For the joy that overflows my cup - Heaven filled me with more than enough - Broke down my levee and my bluff - Let the flood wash me
KICKOFF COOKOUT! TUESDAY @ 6PM
Join us Tuesday 6pm (August 25th) at the ACT Campus House (612 E Wooster - blue house / orange door). There will be grilled food, music, and more! Then at 7pm we have our weekly time of singing, Bible discussion, prayer, and sharing. We are abiding by all of the state and city rules for meetings so bring your masks.
Our Theme this semester is LOVE LIKE THAT. We will be exploring His great love for us and how we might live lives of love toward others just like Jesus.
"Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that." Eph 5:1-2 MSG
We are very excited about our upcoming FALL GETAWAY on October 18-19. We will travel to beautiful Cuyahoga Valley National Park for an overnight getaway aimed at refocusing on what matters most! Cost is $15 and covers everything. Registration will begin next week. Enjoy a day of hiking, prayer, worship, meditation, laughter, and more. We will leave early Saturday morning and return late afternoon Sunday.
FRIENDS! The latest student newsletter is out. We have a lot going on and so many ways for you to jump right in and get involved. We see significant growth happen in the lives of students who take a risk, and jump right in! Our TEAMS are launching this and next week. There is a place for everyone to get involved. Plus, out Tuesday night Bible studies are so good! Click the image of the newsletter to find out more!
Campus Fest happens every fall during the second week of classes at BGSU. It is a great way for students to better connect with a club or student organization. Our ACT students did such a great job encouraging the campus with their hand made scripture signs!
NEW TO ACT this year is the addition of TEAMS! These are smaller group gatherings designed to help students grow in their faith as well as live out their faith by making a difference in the lives of those in BG and Beyond. We want every student to discover a relationship with Jesus as well as the restorative mission He invites us on. If you are not yet a follower of Jesus, there is a team for you. If you are a follower of Jesus but feel very disconnected from God, there is a team for you. If you are someone who just wants to make a difference in the lives of those living in the BG community, there is a team for you! You will be stunned by what God can do when you give Him space to help you grow and then help others grow when you get going!
"But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted." 1 Peter 2:9
Don't miss our free dinner Tuesdays @6pm. Stick around for our large group gathering @7pm for singing, Bible teaching & discussion, and a time of fellowship and prayer! Our teaching focus for the first 6 weeks is CRAZY THINGS JESUS SAID and the last 6 weeks of the semester will be a study on overcoming anxiety called "ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING." That will be about the time midterms hits, so don't miss it! We can't wait to see what the Lord does with your semester as you learn to trust Him and grow in Christ-likeness daily.
We've begun our nightly readings through the New Testament. We would love to have you read with us live in person at our Perrysburg home, or via our live-stream, or read daily on your own even if you can't join, just let us know you are reading along.
Make sure to check the ACT GROUP-ME for the live link that goes out nightly around 9:15pm. We start promptly at 9:30pm and go about 15minutes. You can stick around if you want after the 15min as we usually have a lively discussion about what we just read, and it gives us a chance to all check in on one another. If you are not in the GROUP-ME send Michelle or Don a text.
Below is the reading plan so as you read you can check off the scriptures daily. By the end of the summer we will have completed reading the entire New Testament. Please invite your friends/family to participate any time you are available. You can read aloud with us, or you can be muted and just listen via the live-stream.
The 90 Days in the New Testament reading plan:
THREE INGREDIENTS FOR SUMMER GROWTH!
At our last meeting of the school year, we talked about three ingredients for growth this summer. We sent everyone home with a freshly planted seed but we let everyone know that it's up to you whether or not it grows! You'll need to make choices that provide your seed everything it needs to grow. We shared about how many students over the years went into their summer break without a real plan on how they were going to grow. They would go home and just work, play, eat, sleep, and repeat! But what about your faith over break? Will faith just grow without any effort? We are providing some concrete practices for your break that will put you in a better growing position (God's handiwork) and enable you to come back with a FAITH ON FIRE! Just like the plant we gave you, choices need to be made in order for you to grow! Click the link below for details about the ACT SUMMER GROW plan!
GOOD SOIL - PREPARING YOUR HEART!
Schedule a DAY RETREAT with the Lord! DO THIS AT THE BEGINNING OF YOUR BREAK once you are done with finals. Make it a super big deal. Pack a lunch and head off to a special place that really speaks to you (a park, zoo, river, lake, etc.). Spend some time there, just you and your Lord. Don't rush this! Talk to Him about how much you want this summer to belong to Him. Talk about how your previous summers went. Talk about why you've never dedicated a summer to Him before? Pray over your job, your fears heading into summer, the people you work with, pray for your friends at home, your family. Ask Jesus to use your summer for His glory! Ask Him to help you become less self focused, to love others more, to love people you don't like more than ever! Ask Him to deepen your faith over break. Then open up your Bible and just spend some time in the Word with Jesus and as you read also just be listening with your heart and eyes as you hang out with Him. Jot down any thoughts you have during this time, or anything that jumps out at you.
GOOD SUN - SCHEDULING TIME WITH THE SON!
You are going to need a lot of SON-LIGHT (see what I did there?) if you want to grow, you will need a plan! Many folks head into summer with a desire to grow BUT NO PLAN. If you AIM AT NOTHING guess what happens? YOU'LL HIT IS EVERY TIME! So the plan we are inviting you to join is a simple one (key is consistency).
GOOD WATER - A PARTICIPATING COMMUNITY
You are going to need a lot of GOOD WATER if you want to grow over the break. We talked about the importance of Christian Community and how you can't grow it alone! We have several ways you can put yourself into a good position to receive the Good Water:
SEEM LIKE A LOT? However, how many times have you binged watched a TV show? How many hours spent sleeping in? The plans/practices we want to put into place over break will take far less time with 10x the life/rest/peace! We do what we value the most! May this be the summer of all summers in making Jesus the number one priority in your life!