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The Lounge / Re: Members birthdays
« Last post by Amanda_George on May 21, 2018, 04:22:45 PM »
It's your birthday today, Munchkyne!


Hope you're having the best day possible!
Fun Stuff / Re: Jokes thread
« Last post by Pip on May 20, 2018, 07:46:27 PM »
Tough Exam

An eccentric philosophy professor gave a one question final exam after a semester dealing with a broad array of topics.  The class was already seated and ready to go when the professor picked up his chair, plopped it on his desk and wrote on the board: "Using everything we have learned this semester, prove that this chair does not exist."

Fingers flew, erasers erased, notebooks were filled in furious fashion. Some students wrote over 30 pages in one hour attempting to refute the existence of the chair. One member of the class however, was up and finished in less than a minute.  Weeks later when the grades were posted, the rest of the group wondered how he could have gotten an A when he had barely written anything at all. His answer consisted of two words: "What chair?"
Fun Stuff / Re: Jokes thread
« Last post by Pip on May 20, 2018, 07:40:36 PM »
Darryl and Harold

Darryl and Harold were in a mental institution. The place had an unusual annual contest, picking two of the best patients and giving them two questions. If they got them correct, they were deemed cured and free to go.  Darryl was called into the doctor s office first and asked if he understood that he'd be free if he answered the questions correctly. Darryl said "Yes" and the doctor proceeded.

"Darryl, what would happen if I poked out one of your eyes?"

Darryl said, "I'd be half blind."

"That's correct. What if I poked out both eyes?"

"I d be completely blind."

The doctor stood up, shook Darryl s hand, and told him he was free to go.  On Darryl's way out, as the doctor filled out the paperwork, Darryl mentioned the exam to Harold, who was seated in the waiting room. He told him what questions were going to be asked and gave him the answers.  So Harold went into the doctor's office when he was called. The doctor went thru the formalities and then asked, "What would happen if I cut off one of your ears?"

Remembering what Darryl had told him, he answered, "I'd be half blind."

The doctor looked a little puzzled, but went on. "What if I cut off the other ear?"

"I'd be completely blind," Harold answered."

"Harold, can you explain how you'd be blind?"

"My hat would fall down over my eyes."
Christian / 10 Surprising Reasons Our Kids LEAVE Church
« Last post by Pip on May 20, 2018, 06:48:17 PM »

10 Surprising Reasons Our Kids LEAVE Church
By Marc Yoder -
April 19, 2018

We all know them, the kids who were raised in church.  They were stars of the youth group. They maybe even sang in the praise band or led worship.  And then they graduate from high school and they leave church. What happened?

It seems to happen so often that I wanted to do some digging; to talk to these kids and get some honest answers. I work in a major college town with a large number of 20-somethings. Nearly all of them were raised in very typical evangelical churches. Nearly all of them have left the church with no intention of returning.  I spend a lot of time with them and it takes very little to get them to vent, and I’m happy to listen. So, after lots of hours spent in coffee shops and after buying a few lunches, here are the most common thoughts taken from dozens of conversations.  I hope some of them make you angry. Not at the message, but at the failure of our pragmatic replacement of the gospel of the cross with an Americanized gospel of glory.  This isn’t a negative “beat up on the church” post. I love the church, and I want to see American evangelicalism return to the gospel of repentance and faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins; not just as something on our “what we believe” page on our website, but as the core of what we preach from our pulpits to our children, our youth and our adults.  The facts:

The statistics are jaw-droppingly horrific: 70 percent of youth stop attending church when they graduate from high school. Nearly a decade later, about half return to church.  Half.  Let that sink in.  There’s no easy way to say this: The American evangelical church has lost, is losing and will almost certainly continue to lose OUR YOUTH.  For all the talk of “our greatest resource,” “our treasure,” and the multi million dollar Dave and Buster’s/Starbucks knockoffs we build and fill with black walls and wailing rock bands…the church has failed them.  Miserably.  The Top 10 Reasons We’re Losing Our Youth:

10. The church is “relevant.”

You didn’t misread that, I didn’t say irrelevant, I said RELEVANT.  We’ve taken a historic, 2,000-year-old faith, dressed it in plaid and skinny jeans and tried to sell it as “cool” to our kids. It’s not cool. It’s not modern. What we’re packaging is a cheap knockoff of the world we’re called to evangelize to.  As the quote says, “When the ship is in the ocean, everything’s fine. When the ocean gets into the ship, you’re in trouble.”

I’m not ranting about “worldliness” as some pietistic bogeyman, I’m talking about the fact that we yawn at a five-minute biblical text, but almost trip over ourselves fawning over a minor celebrity or athlete who makes any vague reference to being a Christian.  We’re like a fawning wanna-be just hoping the world will think we’re cool too, you know, just like you guys!  Our kids meet the real world and our “look, we’re cool like you” posing is mocked. In our effort to be “like them” we’ve become less of who we actually are. The middle aged pastor trying to look like his 20-something audience isn’t relevant, and the minute you aim to be “authentic,” you’re no longer authentic!

9. They never attended church to begin with.

From a Noah’s Ark themed nursery, to jumbotron summer-campish kids church, to pizza parties and rock concerts, many evangelical youth have been coddled in a not-quite-church, but not-quite-world hothouse. They’ve never sat on a pew between a set of new parents with a fussy baby and a senior citizen on an oxygen tank.  They don’t see the full timeline of the gospel for every season of life. Instead, we’ve dumbed down the message, pumped up the volume and act surprised when...

8. They get smart.

It’s not that our students “got smarter” when they left home, rather someone actually treated them as intelligent. Rather than dumbing down the message, the agnostics and atheists treat our youth as intelligent and challenge their intellect with “deep thoughts” of question and doubt.  Many of these “doubts” have been answered, in great depth, over the centuries of our faith. However...

7. You sent them out unarmed.

Let’s just be honest, most of our churches are sending youth into the world embarrassingly ignorant of our faith. How could we not?

We’ve jettisoned catechesis, sold them on “deeds not creeds” and encouraged them to start the quest to find “God’s plan for their life.”  Yes, I know your church has a “What We Believe” page, but is that actually being taught and reinforced from the pulpit?

I’ve met evangelical church leaders (“pastors”) who didn’t know the difference between justification and sanctification. I’ve met large church board members who didn’t understand the atonement.  When we choose leaders based upon their ability to draw and lead rather than to accurately teach the faith, well, they don’t teach the faith.  Surprised?

And instead of the orthodox, historic faith...

6. You gave them hand-me-downs.

You’ve tried your best to pass along the internal/subjective faith that you “feel.” You really, really, really want them to “feel” it too.  But we’ve never been called to evangelize our feelings. You can’t hand down this type of subjective faith.  With nothing solid to hang their faith upon, with no historic creed to tie them to centuries of history, without the physical elements of bread, wine and water, their faith is in their subjective feelings, and when faced with other ways to “feel” uplifted at college, the church loses out to things with much greater appeal to our human nature.  And they find it in...

5. Community.

Have you noticed this word is everywhere in the church since the seeker sensitive and church growth movements came onto the scene?

(There’s a reason and a driving philosophy behind it which is outside of the scope of this blog.)

When our kids leave home, they leave the manufactured community they’ve lived in for nearly their entire lives. With their faith as something they “do” in community, they soon find that they can experience this “life change” and “life improvement” in “community” in many different contexts.  So, they left the church and...

4. They found better feelings.

Rather than an external, objective, historical faith, we’ve given our youth an internal, subjective faith.  The evangelical church isn’t catechizing or teaching our kids the fundamentals of the faith, we’re simply encouraging them to “be nice” and “love Jesus.” When they leave home, they realize that they can be “spiritually fulfilled” and get the same subjective self improvement principles (and warm fuzzies) from the latest life-coach or from spending time with friends or volunteering at a shelter.  And they can be truly authentic, and they jump at the chance because...

3. They got tired of pretending.

In the “best life now,” “every day a Friday” world of evangelicals, there’s little room for depression, struggle or doubt. Turn that frown upside down, or move along.  Kids who are fed a steady diet of sermons aimed at removing anything (or anyone) who doesn’t serve “God’s great plan for your life” has forced them to smile and, as the old song encouraged them, be “hap-hap-happy all the time.” Our kids are smart, often much smarter than we give them credit for. So they trumpet the message I hear a lot from these kids: “The church is full of hypocrites.” Why?

Even though they have never been given the categories of law and gospel...

2. They know the truth.

They can’t do it. They know it. All that “be nice” moralism they’ve been taught?

The Bible has a word for it: law. And that’s what we’ve fed them, undiluted, since we dropped them off at the Noah’s Ark playland: Do/Don’t Do.nnAs they get older, it becomes “good kids do/don’t” and as adults, “Do this for a better life.” The gospel appears briefly as another “do” to “get saved.”  But their diet is law, and scripture tells us that the law condemns us. So that smiling, upbeat “Love God and Love People” vision statement?

Yeah, you’ve just condemned the youth with it. Nice, huh?

They either think that they’re “good people” since they don’t “do” any of the stuff their denomination teaches against (drink, smoke, dance, watch R-rated movies), or they realize that they don’t meet Jesus’ own words of what is required. There’s no rest in this law, only a treadmill of works they know they aren’t able to meet.  So, either way, they walk away from the church because...

1. They don’t need it.

Our kids are smart. They picked up on the message we unwittingly taught. If church is simply a place to learn life application principles to achieve a better life in community…you don’t need a crucified Jesus for that.  Why would they get up early on a Sunday and watch a cheap knockoff of the entertainment venue they went to the night before?

The middle-aged pastor trying desperately to be “relevant” to them would be a comical cliché if the effect weren’t so devastating.  As we jettisoned the gospel, our students were never hit with the full impact of the law, their sin before God and their desperate need for the atoning work of Christ. Now THAT is relevant, THAT is authentic and THAT is something the world cannot offer.  We’ve traded a historic, objective, faithful gospel based on God’s graciousness toward us for a modern, subjective, pragmatic gospel based upon achieving our goal by following life strategies. Rather than being faithful to the foolish simplicity of the gospel of the cross, we’ve set our goal on being “successful” in growing crowds with this gospel of glory.  Our kids leave because we have failed to deliver to them the faith “delivered once for all” to the church.  I’m not against entertaining our youth, or even jumbotrons or pizza parties (though I probably am against middle-aged guys trying to wear skinny jeans)…it’s just that the one thing, the MAIN thing we’ve been tasked with? We’re failing.  We’ve failed God and we’ve failed our kids. Don’t let another kid walk out the door without being confronted with the full weight of the law, and the full freedom in the gospel.
Christian / Re: Devotional
« Last post by Pip on May 20, 2018, 06:24:01 PM »
You Can’t Out-Give God!
Apr 19, 2018 | Mary Southerland

Today's Truth
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him. Matthew 7:7-11

Friend to Friend
Dan and I now have six grandchildren and I am in so much trouble. I want to give them everything! I know love is the most important gift I can give them, but I love to give in other ways, too.   I usually have a list of the hottest toys in hand when I go shopping, as was the case the last time I took our daughter-in-law shopping. But I only found half of the items on my list. I was not happy!  When Jodi hugged me and thanked me for the gifts, I looked at her and said, “You are welcome, honey, but it’s not enough!”

Jodi chuckled, but I was serious!  “No, you don’t understand,” I continued. “We have to go shopping again, because I haven’t given the kids enough and my heart is not excited enough yet!”

I know. I am totally ruined.  On the way home, I analyzed my words and my heart.  I fully realize that material things won’t satisfy the deepest needs of our grandchildren. I am totally committed to investing time in their lives in order to help them find Jesus Christ and discover His plan for their lives. I know I can love them in so many ways, but I always want to give them more.  Our Father has the same heart a giving heart when it comes to giving His children good things. The problem is that we don’t really believe that truth.  We tend to measure His love by how much we have done or accomplished or even by what we haven’t done and promise not to do. We are missing the truth that God’s love simply cannot be measured.  God doesn’t love us because we are so lovable.  God loves us because He is love.  One of the most tragic results of our unbelief is an ineffective prayer life. We pray, not really believing God wants to or really will answer those prayers. Jesus addresses this issue in Matthew 7:7-11.  Jesus is teaching about prayer and that the love of God is like the love in the child parent relationship. The son has been out in the fields working all day long. When he gets home, he is starving. His family is seated at the dinner table, and dishes of steaming, delicious food are being passed around. I can almost see that boy’s eyes zeroing in on the food, salivating in anticipation of the meal before him. Then imagine the Father, seeing the hunger of his child, picks up a rock, tosses it to his son and says, “Here! Eat this!”

Jesus is driving home the truth that good fathers want to give their kids good gifts and if this is true of earthly parents (and grandparents), imagine what our Heavenly Parent wants to give us if only we would ask.  No one’s voice sounds sweeter to God than your voice.  Nothing in the universe can keep Him from giving you His full attention when you pray. In fact, He longs to hear your prayer.  Don’t think you have to figure out a way to steal a blessing from God.  Don’t think you have to trick Him into giving up what He would rather keep for Himself.  It is God’s very nature to give to His children. Do not doubt for a moment that He is a giving God with a heart that longs to bless you. God is not only able to answer your prayer, but God wants to answer your prayer. Just ask.
One Step At A Time / Re: fighting depression and getting back in shape
« Last post by Amanda_George on May 20, 2018, 04:09:30 PM »
Now that you've said about Loony Toons I can totally see that now... maybe try making each video a bit longer for your next target... aim for a minute and a half or two minutes or something??   :excited:
One Step At A Time / Re: fighting depression and getting back in shape
« Last post by jali on May 20, 2018, 02:18:10 PM »
I was worried at the start that it'd be too violent but I'm glad I was wrong   :happy0158:

Congrats on reaching your target... keep going after your break too!

Thanks for the comment, I try to makes these as kid friendly as possible, my niece and her friends watch them, I try to give the animations a looney tunes type of flair to them, don't worry I plan on creating more animations
One Step At A Time / Re: fighting depression and getting back in shape
« Last post by Amanda_George on May 19, 2018, 11:09:58 AM »
I was worried at the start that it'd be too violent but I'm glad I was wrong   :happy0158:

Congrats on reaching your target... keep going after your break too!
The Lounge / Re: Members birthdays
« Last post by Amanda_George on May 19, 2018, 11:01:38 AM »
It's your special day today, lettieloo!

One Step At A Time / Re: fighting depression and getting back in shape
« Last post by jali on May 19, 2018, 10:51:01 AM »
episode 10

finally reached my goal of ten episodes :happy0064:, feels good, i'm going to take a short break, threat not will be back, thank you to all the people who encouraged me along the way, your kind words kept me motivated
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