September 2011

26 Sep Let’s Get Radical #4

Here is a brief overview of the final three lessons in our Let's Get Radical teaching series. Week #4 Radical Love, Radical Expression God's radical love towards us is undeniable. The Psalmist David tells that He daily loads us with benefits. (Psalms 68:19) While it is impossible to count all of his benefits, David begins to list some of the radical things that God has done in telling that God has forgiven all of his sin, healed all of his diseases, ransomed his soul from hell, surrounded him with His loving-kindness and tender mercies, filled his life with good things, and renewed his youth like the eagle's. (Psalms 103:1-5) Considering the numerous acts of God's love towards him, it is no wonder that David pushed aside Michal's rebuke for his radical demonstration of praise. (2 Samuel 6) Radical love demands and brings forth radical expression! Week #5 Once You Know It, Show It God's Word tells us that radical praise is a part of our DNA. Psalms 8:2 tells us that even babies have the ability to worship God! This praise is on the inside waiting for an opportunity to be expressed. After all that He has done for us, how can we keep this praise on the inside? How can we be like the nine who continued on their way after receiving Jesus's awesome healing power? (Luke 17) Here's the exciting part of demonstrating our praise. It doesn't have to be boring and repetitious. Throughout the year, I love to buy candy for my wife Vickie. There are boxes of candy that are filled with the same type of chocolate candy and other boxes of chocolate candies that contain an assortment of types. I love the assorted boxes because you never quite know what you are about to eat. I have read that David loved the assorted kind of demonstrations of praise. I have yet to study this to verify it for a fact, but I have read that Psalms uses 58 different Hebrew words to describe radical praise and worship including words that tells to bow before God, spin like a top before God, jump up and down, lift up hands unto God, etc. Radical demonstrations of love and gratitude can be and should be exciting!!! Week #6 We Can’t Go Back While I love to study history, I sure don’t want to live in the olden days. It might be enchanting to read about the days of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, but please, please, please keep me living in 2011. I don’t want to go back to the days before air conditioning and electric lights and cars and …. you get the picture! What might have been acceptable at one time in history just isn’t good enough for today. We now know the truth. Our radical God has done and continues to do many radical things to and for us. Because of this, we can’t go back to the way that it used to be. Let’s be like David and say, “In GOD's presence I'll dance all I want! … Oh yes, I'll dance to GOD's glory more recklessly even than this. And as far as I'm concerned . . . I'll gladly look like a fool …” (2 Samuel 6, The Message Bible). Let’s get radical before our radical God!...

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19 Sep Let’s Get Radical #3

Here is a brief overview of the next two lessons in our Let's Get Radical teaching series. Week #2 We are Made in His Image Jesus told us that we when we saw Him, we were actually seeing what God is like. Jesus was being a copycat of His Father. The Jesus that walked on the earth and did awesome, radical things was copying or being like His awesome, radical Father. “Jesus answered, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”” John 14:9 (New Century Version) The Scriptures teach us that we too are to be imitators of God. “Follow God's example in everything you do just as a much loved child imitates his father.” Ephesians 5:1 (The Living Bible) How is this possible? How can we be radical like God? It's quite simple. We were made in His image and likeness. “Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image and likeness.” Genesis 1:26 (New Century Version) If God is radical, then we too can be radical! Week #3 God is Radical in His Love to Us Counting is one of the first things that we learn in preschool. First we start counting by using our fingers and then we might even start counting on our toes to get into the bigger numbers. Our counting and measuring never stops. Whether we recognize it or not, we are constantly counting throughout the day. We count and measure our days by knowing the time of day (when we look at a clock) and the number of days into the week or year (when we look at a calendar). We count and measure our height, the amount of food that we eat (our calories), the amount that we weigh, etc. As brilliant and educated as we might become, there are some things that are so immeasurable that the numbers can't be tabulated or counted. The Bible tells us that God heaps His love and His blessings on us each and every day. “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits.” Psalm 68:19 Did you get that? He LOADS His blessings upon us. Try as we may, we cannot measure the radical display of the radical love shown by our radical heavenly Father. It is impossible. Why? Because our God is constantly thinking about us. (Jeremiah 29:11) There’s not a second that goes by throughout the day that He isn't looking over you. What an awesome, radical God!!! ...

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12 Sep Let’s Get Radical #2

Don't you love it when you have the opportunity to actually see that the children are comprehending and responding to your teaching and ministry? I know from experience that there are times when you want to go and hold a mirror in front of a child's face in order to see if there might be any exhalation fog on the mirror that would indicate that there is actually any life in the child. But, thank God, there are the times when you can see the children are alive and applying and responding to what is being taught. I shared last week about one of those times. Before going into our Super Sloppy Double Dare service, Vickie led the children in a time of praise and worship. Lo and behold, we saw the children across our auditorium applying our Let's Get Radical teaching from the previous 6 services by being radical in the demonstration of their love for Jesus. There was no need for the mirror fog test. I saw it with my own eyes!As promised last week, let me begin to give a brief synopsis of the lessons in our Let's Get Radical teaching series. This week, I'll share an overview for the first lesson. Week #1 God is a Radical God From Genesis 1:1 on, we see that the Scriptures describe a God who never does anything half way. Creation alone shows the extravagance and magnitude of our God. First, we used a large quantity of Powerpoint slides showing the beauty displayed in the vast array of God's creation. Each and every part of God's creation is wildly unique. Examine the numerous types of fish with each type of fish having its own distinctive beauty. Consider the birds and animals, each with its own exclusive features. Look at the majestic beauty of God's handiwork found at the Grand Canyon or Niagra Falls or Mount Kilimanjaro or the tropical rain forests. It is impossible to find enough words that adequately tells of the wonders of His work. Secondly, we shared an illustration using a breakfast item, Malt-O-Meal. I don’t know if you have ever eaten Malt-O-Meal, but once you put a big blob of it in a bowl, you are looking a food that looks bland and doesn’t have a lot of taste. Only one word comes to mind, blah. God is no Malt-O-Meal God who does things that are bland and lackluster. Not only does creation display a radical God, we can see that His works show His greatness and grandeur. “LORD my God, you have done many miracles. Your plans for us are many. If I tried to tell them all, there would be too many to count.” Psalm 40:5 (New Century Version) Need I say any more? He is a radical, radical, radical God!!! Next week, I'll share a brief overview of lessons two and three....

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05 Sep Let’s Get Radical #1

What a weekend! After completing a series of lessons on a particular subject, I love to plan a weekend that is a fun, off-beat type service to provide the much needed variety necessary for a well-rounded children's ministry. And so this weekend, we scheduled a Super Sloppy Double Dare weekend. Perhaps you have had a service like this. After a time of praise and worship, we showed a 30 minute DVD (the animated stories in the Focus on the Family Adventures in Odyssey series are tremendous www.whitsend.org) and then we began the Double Dare by asking the children questions about the story. The next 45 minutes showed why this service is one of the children's favorite services as they attempted to answer the questions or take physical challenges that included gross, messy games using raw egg, shaving cream, etc. (For more information about our Super Sloppy Double Dare, please write me at billy@billyburns.com.) While I loved seeing the children being excited about Double Dare, the aspect of this weekend's services that thrilled me beyond words was to witness the children being passionate in their time of praise and worship. I opened up this blog by mentioning that we had just completed a series of lessons. The series was a six week teaching titled Let's Get Radical which showed that we serve a radical God who desires a radical group of people who will love Him with radical praise. In our last two lessons, we showed that the psalmist David utilized 58 different Hebrew words to describe his way of demonstrating his love for God including Hebrew words telling of David spinning around, dancing, bowing, leaping, bowing, etc. Sadly, David's passion has been hidden due to the limitations imposed by our Bible translators lumping these beautiful expressions of worship into single words like "praise" and "bless" and "worship". It was so beautiful to see that the teaching hadn't been forgotten. I was thrilled to see the children entering into a new arena of worship as they passionately demonstrated their love to God during our praise and worship. Let me close out this blog entry by giving the titles of the lessons in our six week series. Space limitations in a single blog entry won't allow me to elaborate in length about the lessons and so I will take the next few weeks to give a brief overview of the Let's Get Radical teachings. #1 - God is a Radical God #2 - We are Made in His Image #3 - God is Radical in His Love to Us #4 - Radical Love, Radical Expression #5 - Once You Know It, Show It! #6 - We Can't Go Back Until next week ...

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