Friday, November 06, 2009

Ok... so it's been a while.

I know that is seems I have been MIA. In fact, I have been. The past few months have been a whirlwind. Since we last "spoke" or typed my wife and I have gone into a business venure with some family and friends. It has been a really fun ride alreay. We opened a store called Big Rock Outfitters in the Old Mill in Lexinton, SC. The store looks great and we have just finished two weeks of actually being open. This weekend I am going to the mountains of NC with a group of 12 middle school boys. It will either be a BLAST or I won't come home alive. Jenna is going to Lake Lure with some middle school girls. SHE IS SO AWESOME! Anyway, things are great! God is really moving in our middle school ministry at East Lake and I am excited to see what is ahead. Until next time... hopefully not months from now. PEACE!

Trevor Miller

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

SOAP Thursday, June 18

Acts 9:1-19 (New International Version)

Acts 9

Saul's Conversion

1Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest 2and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
5"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked.

"I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. 6"Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."

7The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

10In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, "Ananias!"
"Yes, Lord," he answered.

11The Lord told him, "Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight."

13"Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. 14And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name."

15But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. 16I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."

17Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." 18Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

S.- Scripture
... Saul was breathing murderous threats...
... belonging to the Way...
... take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
... a light from heaven flashed around him.
... "Saul, Saul why do you persecute me?"...
I am Jesus...
... the men stood there speechless.
... but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing.
... for three days he was blind...
... place his hands on him to restore his sight.
... This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name...
He got up and was baptized...

O.- Observe
Saul was on his way to Damascus to persecute and kill Christians. He was a Jewish leader.
On the way he is thrown from his donkey by Jesus himself. He is blind for 3 days.
A man named Ananias has a dream and meets Saul and lays his hand on him.
Saul is healed. Scales fall from his eyes.
He is baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit for a task God has for him.

A.- Apply
God can use me no matter how much crap I have done in my life. I am thankful... cause most of my life was crap :)
God has a plan for each of us.
I need to allow God to use me despite all my short comings.

P.- Pray
Jesus, thank you so much for saving me from my life that was far from your way. Thank you for showing me the great plans you have for me. Use me please. Thank you.

Friday, June 19, 2009

SOAP Challenge Pt. 3

Wednesday June 17th

Acts 7:54-60 (New International Version)

The Stoning of Stephen

54When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56"Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."
57At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.

59While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 60Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.

S.- Scripture
... gnashed their teeth at him.
... Jesus standing at the right hand of God...
... dragged him out of the city and began to stone him.
Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.??
... "Lord, do not hold this sin against them."

O.- Observe
The jewish leaders are so mad at them they are gnashing (grinding) their teeth.
Stephen is again full of the Spirit when he experiences this.
One of two times in the Bible where Jesus is seen standing.
The leaders threw rocks at Stephen... called stoning... until he died.
A man named Saul oversaw the whole ordeal.
Stephen repeats what Jesus said from the cross... "Lord, do not hold this sin against them."

A.- Apply
I need to be aware that their are people all around the world who are dying for their faith. I am very blessed to live in America.
Jesus standing for Stephen right before his death should give me strength to live boldly for Christ.
Do I forgive those who hurt me the way Stephen does in this passage?

P.- Pray
Jesus help me to live a life as a forgiving person. Help me to be someone who is quick to extend peace instead of hate. Thank you for the great country I live in. Give me the strength to stand for you in all circumstances. I love you. Amen.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Chew On This Pt. 2

I hope you middle school students are having a great time getting into the Word through studying ACTS. I can't wait to hear how it has gone this week. Make sure you guys and girls check out the bible studies that start tomorrow night!

Acts 6:8-16 (New International Version)

Stephen Seized

8Now Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. 9Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia. These men began to argue with Stephen, 10but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke.
11Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, "We have heard Stephen speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God."

12So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. 13They produced false witnesses, who testified, "This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. 14For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us."

15All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

S.- Scripture
... Opposition arose... (from Stephen's sign and wonders)
They could not stand up against the wisdom the spirit gave him as he spoke.
... secretly persuaded...
... customs Moses handed down to us...
... his face was like the face of an angel...

O.- Observe
Stephen is a follower of Jesus who is full of the Holy Spirit. He has done great things.
The Jewish synagogue is not happy with him.
Stephen followed Jesus and the jewish leaders did not believe Jesus was the messiah.
Jewish leaders from all over the region could not match the power Stephen had from the Holy Spirit.
The leaders convinced people to lie about Stephen in order to get him into trouble.
Stephen was so full of the Spirit that his face even showed it.

A.- Apply
I need to realize that living for Jesus means that sometimes other will not agree with me.
There is a possibility I could be lied about, mistreated and called into question because of my faith.
Even in those trials I should radiate the fact that the Spirit lives in me.

P.- Prayer
Jesus make me a Stephen. Help me to be so full of your Spirit that I can stand before those that would question my faith. In all thing let me radiate your love. Help my students live lives as a Stephen.

Monday, June 15, 2009

S.O.A.P. Challenge

Hello Current middle schoolers! If you are reading this blog it is because you have taken the S.O.A.P. challenege. As we discussed sunday I will be blogging each day on a different passage from Acts. These are the same passages we have asked you to journal on. Feel free to comment on my blogs and we will discuss more passages with S.O.A.P. on sunday at 9am!!! I hope to see you all there.

Monday, June 15

Acts 4:32-37 (New International Version)

The Believers Share Their Possessions

32All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
36Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), 37sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles' feet.

S.- Scripture
... they shared everything...
... were no needy person among them...
... it was distributed to anyone that had need...
"What does one in heart and mind" mean?

O.- Observe
Everyone seems to be humble and unselfish. They are giving of all they have.
The apostles... or disciples... are full of power that they received earlier in Acts chapter 2. The Holy Spirit provides this power.
Some people have a lot of stuff... land and homes... some have nothing.
Joseph is very generous and giving at the end of the passage to share what he has.

A.- Apply
As a believer and follower of Jesus I should be generous with what I have.
Being a part of a group of people who follow Jesus is helping those who are in need. I need to look for people around me who are in need and help meet their needs.
How can I use the Holy Spirit's power that I have a Christian to testify to the resurrection of Jesus? I can tell others that Jesus is alive. I can show Jesus to others by how I live.

P.- Pray
Jesus, thank you for sending us power through your Holy Spirit. Help me to be generous with what I have been blessed with to help others. Help me to be bold with my faith in you God. Help my students at East Lake to live like the group of believers in Acts.

Monday, June 08, 2009

3 stages of bible reading

While preparing for a new series we are doing for our middle school students I stumbled upon 3 stages of bible reading in a book that I had to blow dust off of on my shelf. It is called Christian Living made simple.... which seems to be an odd title. The three stages were incredibly elementary, but I have experienced each stage myself and for some reason I like it. So I will share it with you... my one reader.

Stage 1- The Robitussin Stage- This is the stage where reading the Bible is like taking cough medicine. You have to choke it down. You know it is good for you and will benefit you in necessary ways, but you read it while holding your nose and taking a big swig of Pepsi after.

Stage 2- The Shredded Wheat Stage- At this stage you begin to realize that reading the Bible is nutritious and healthy, but still a bit dry. Like Shredded wheat... there is a bit of sweet coating that you get a taste of every once and a while, but for the most part it has to be chewed with milk.

Stage 3- The Peaches and Cream Stage (I don't like this name and so I will rename it to The ZEBRA CAKE Stage)- This stage is when the Bible begins to actually open up to you and "taste" sweet like a ZEBRA CAKE. This is when you can't put the Bible down. It always seems to "hit the spot". This stage is a great stage.

I seem to go back and forth between all of these stages over and over. The fact that there are the other stages causes me to push threw. I know that reading God's Word is what I need. I know it is the very thing that has changed my life. After all, it is inspired by God... "breathed into"... it is alive.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Jetta TDI

I have found myself really impressed with the Volkswagen Jetta TDI cars. I am not usually a car guy... nor is my wife, but we have been test driving vehicles recently for Jenna and we have both really liked this car. Maybe one day we will get one. Maybe.