February 8, 2015

The Church at Brook Hills and David Platt

Posted in Personal impact/anecdotes tagged , , , , , , , at 3:54 am by sanguinemare

This of course, is a very belated post, since all of this happened basically last September.  But I’ve been meaning to post about it, and since I finally am fed up with all the tabs open on things I’d like to post on (lol), I’ve decided to finally get this on here.

I had many mixed feelings when I first heard the announcement that David Platt would move on from being the Senior Pastor at Brook Hills, to becoming the president of the International Mission Board (IMB).  Not because I had particularly known him at all… in fact, that was one of the reasons I was so full of mixed feelings.  You see, David Platt was a name that came up many many times in my church, a name that people spoke with reverence and respect.  And little wonder – my church happens to be somewhat of a church plant from Brook Hills, so many of the people there had spent the last few years under his tutelage.  From all their words of praise, I’ve always wanted to go to the church someday and listen to him preach, but it’s about 30 minutes away, which for someone like me is relatively far to travel.  However, I had just heard of Secret Church last Easter, which he hosted every year apparently, so I had been planning to check it out this Easter.  Little did I know that the chance to hear him preach in person would be lost much sooner than I imagined.

On the other hand, I am very happy for him in this new position.  It sounds like the position will give him the ability to do something that’s long been on his heart in a more effective way than he could have before, and it sounds like a lot of thought and prayer went into this decision.  I’m excited that the IMB has him as their new president, and I’m sure he’s going to do great things for them in God’s name.  While I did not have the chance to ever hear him in person, I have seen a couple of his sermons online, and I can tell that he is very passionate about spreading the Gospel to all people and all nations.  If you need an example of his earnestness here’s a link to his message to the Church at Brook Hills after he made his decision to take the new position he was offered.  And here is a follow-up article about his last Sunday as Senior Pastor at Brook Hills.

March 25, 2012

Conviction: New Bible Study Group

Posted in Personal impact/anecdotes tagged , , , , at 6:53 pm by sanguinemare

Today, I went to a United Methodist Church near school with a friend (I had been trying to get him to go to church for a while and since that’s the denomination he was used to going to growing up, we went to check it out this week).  We went to the Traditional service, since that’s what he’s used to, and while the organ was cool, and the hymnal singing was good, and the message was pretty good, all the standing, sitting, singing, reading of short phrases and saying stuff at the end of each segment as a congregation back to the pastor, took a little getting used to for me.  It was an interesting experience though, and something I DID get out of the service was coming away with a stronger conviction that I should start a bible study group for people my age at school (of which there are currently none, as far as I can tell.)

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, since near the beginning of the year when I couldn’t find anybible study groups for people around my age at all in the med school (much less any good ones).  This is very striking to me, especially since I am now living smack in the middle of what is known as the Bible Belt.  A couple friends and I have talked once or twice about getting together to study the Bible, but so far it’s only been a nebulous idea and we’re all so busy with school that we haven’t had time to put anything together, and everyone’s kind of just found their own fellowships with their church/community/etc.  But just yesterday, a friend messaged me on facebook about the friday night fellowship we have at my church, saying she’s been meaning to ask me about it and go check it out.  Much as I’d like to have her join, I sat there thinking “Well… it’s mostly a bunch of middle school and high schoolers, so I don’t know how much she’s going to get out of that.” 

Which is not to say youth don’t have great ideas and that you can’t learn from them… because I definitely have learned a lot from them and can see them maturing by the day.  It’s pretty awesome actually.  But at the same time, the issues they struggle with, and the literary depth of interpretation at the sessions, are not going to be the same ones we struggle with, as young adults in medical school. 

Between my friend’s message and the sermon today talking about wanting to be like the Greeks in John 12:20 who “wish to see Jesus,” I’ve become more and more convicted, both about my own lack of drive to seek Jesus since coming here, and about the need to have a study group for something other than school here – for something much more important.  So I have decided.  I’m going to do it.  I want to start a Bible study group at my school, one that is based on apologetics, epistemology, and taking a strong, intellectually-based look at the Bible and its teachings, going deep into its roots (including the original translation and possible interpretations if necessary). 

Any suggestions on a good study guide/book to start with?

January 29, 2012

Why do you go to church?

Posted in Sunday school/service tagged , , , at 8:41 pm by sanguinemare

Words of wisdom from the local Christian radio station today (paraphrased): You don’t go to church to see “what can I get from it?” but to give – to give praises to God and be joyful and thankful for what He has given to you.  It’s a time devoted to praising God.

I thought this was an interesting concept and a good reminder.  So many times we go to church and are, in a sense, judging how “good” the church is.  Our response to the question of “why do you go to ____ church?” is something along the lines of “the Pastor is good/has good messages” or “the music is great”, or sometimes even “my friends/family go there.”  And this is one of the reasons people church-hop so much, because they are always searching for something better that they can receive from the church – better speakers, better music, better community.  But we forget that not only are we trying to get something out of church – which is also important – but it is time for us to give.  To give thanks for what we have, to give encouragment to each other, and to use this protected time to give praise to God. 

Having not grown up in a Christian family, it was always a privilege for me to be able to go to church, because it was such a rare occurence.  Now, I am able to drive myself to church every week, and enjoy it.  But I also find myself being kind of elitist – oh I don’t like big churches because I feel lost, this pastor is new and doesn’t speak as well, the music is not as good as my last church so I can’t really get into it… so many complaints, so many “I wish they could” or “if only they did this it would be so much better”… but that’s not all what going to church is about.  It’s about enjoying time with God, loving Him, praising Him, and being able to just BE with Him – something we often don’t find enough time for the rest of the week.

So next time you go to church, don’t just sit there and passively listen.  Don’t think about all the things that could be better about your church or the people around you.  Use that time to thank God and appreciate all He has done for you. Use that time to renew yourself in Him, and to love Him as he loves you.