Small steps in faith

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dalit Oppression

These are notes from the sermon at Apex by Joseph D'Souza. I would highly encourage you to listen to the podcast or go here to see the work this man is doing for those who are oppressed and outcast.
The picture of the clay pot above represents their symbol for brokeness and oppression. They brought clay pots for everyone who came to service to use as a reminder to pray for these people and to do something. You can also get your clay pot by going to the website.

"Dalit Oppression and the Clay Cup™

‘Dalit’ is an ancient Marathi (Western Indian language) word that may be defined as “ground” or “broken in pieces”. It refers to people who have been broken or ground down by those above them in a deliberate and active way. This word perfectly describes the 250 million Indians who exist outside of India’s caste society: those who are traditionally known as the “outcastes” or “untouchables.”image

Clay, or mud cups were historically used by restaurants, tea shops and train stations in India to serve Dalits separately. Dalits had to destroy the cup after each use so that no upper caste customer would ever use it and risk ‘contamination’ by a Dalit’s ‘uncleanness.’ Today, clay cups are commonly used and are no longer exclusively limited to Dalits. Dalits, however, are still rarely served in glass or metal vessels/cups which could carry their ‘uncleanness.’


The "untouchables: or Dalits have no social rights, no political rights, and even no spiritual rights.
India has a hierarchy caste system. The upper caste makes up 15% of the population. It's minority ruling majority. The slave caste represents 45%..these are the laborers.
The lowest are the Dalits believed to have been born into this caste based on past sin in previous life.
In the 1990's these people came to the church of Christ to be accepted..they revolted against their Hindu religion
They came with cries for freedom :

1 Free our children...child labor is prevalent as in Slumdog Millionaire.

2 Free our women. Trafficking is a huge problem. There are no girls under the age of 5 in families. They are sold into brothels and temple prostitution.

3 Free ourselves. We want to know Jesus. Bring the power of the gospel.

What can you do?
Become involved.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"A Perfect Mess" by Lisa Harper

The book of Psalms is a refreshing walk in the bible so I love when writer use the Psalms to relate to everyday life. This is what Lisa Harper does in her book. We all have struggles and worry about being "good enough. These chapters remind us that there are times when God followers struggled with those same emotions. She takes a collection of Psalms and relates her own experiences and how they are similar to what that particular Psalm is trying to tell us. She includes questions at the end of each chapter which help us relate our own stories. I'm always looking for a good book to use for a woman's bible study and this book is one of those. It's short enough that you can read the chapter quickly and review the questions in a night.
If you'd like to check out or purchase this book you can go here

Author Bio:
Lisa Harper is a master storyteller whose lively approach connects the dots between the Bible era and modern life. She is a sought-after Bible teacher and speaker whose upcoming appearances include the national Women of Faith Conferences. A veteran of numerous radio and television programs and the author of several books, she also is a regular columnist for Today’s Christian Woman magazine. Lisa recently completed a master’s of theological studies from Covenant Theological Seminary. She makes her home outside Nashville.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"The Dysfunction Continues"

These are my notes from Rob's sermon at Apex.
We are in the book of Jude
Jude 14-16

The service started with the baptism of 3 little girls which absolutely warmed my heart.

Rob told a story about a horrible guy from Louisville who tortured and murdered his wife and got off on a "technicality"
With God's judgment, there is no "getting off on technicality"
In these verses Jude talks about future judgment and also what's happening now.

Judgment delayed is not judgment denied!

Jesus came to earth in humility as an infant and a servant.
When He returns, it will not be in humility. He is coming back to judge

Matthew 16:27
Matthew 24:30-31
Matthew 25:31
2 Thessalonians 1: 7-10
Revelation 6: 15-17

Jude shows us 3 areas of future judgment of the unredeemed

1 Behavior of unbelievers

2 The motives of unbelievers..exposing intentions of the heart

3 The words of unbelievers

What's happening in church's right now?
What is specific present day evidence that will incur his future judgment?

1 People who verbally expose their discontented hearts...grumbling,malcontent
John 6

2 People who are controlled by their flesh. "I'm going to do what I want to do"
Galatians 5:16
1st Peter 2:11

3 People who enjoy making much of themselves
Example: People who use their facebooks,twitter,etc to boast about themselves
I have a facebook so I had to think about this one...ouch! I need to start being more aware of what I post
I also have had friends in the past who have done this...everything was about them.

4 People who use words to use others.
Example: People who flatter and schmooze those who they feel are important or popular
In order for us to savor beauty of the cross..we have to savor the wrath of the judgment of Christ. You can't have one without the other.
Jesus incurred the wrath of the Father for our sins. This should make the cross sweeter to you.

5 Attitudes are accountable
You can't excuse attitudes by saying "That's just their personality" That doesn't hold weight in the courtoom of Christ.

This is a point from his sermon that really hit home with me.
I had a friend who would tell me I had to accept them for their cynicism and non compassion because "that's who they were". When I tried to hold them accountable for their attitude, they would turn it on me as though I was the one with the problem.
I say this because holding others accountable for their attitude is not easy. Be prepared to lose their friendship if they don't like or accept what you are telling them. I learned that the hard way.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Healthy ways to stay young

I watched Oprah the other day when Dr. Oz was on. I don't care for her all that much but I do like her doctor :)
Here is some of his advice:

1 Eat antioxidants 5 fistfuls(servings) daily

sweet potatoes
green or white tea..4 cups daily
red wine..1 glass daily

2 Use these spices..these lower blood sugar,blood pressure and help with memory

Cayenne Pepper

3 Fiber Eat 25 gm/daily

Steel cut oatmeal
Jerusalem artichoke pasta
100% whole grain

4 Omega 3 oil daily

Flax have to grind it
Spuralina algae
Olive oil..2 tbsp daily

5 Exercise Cardio vascular 3/week

You need to have your heart rate up to it's max for at least 20 min

220- your age x .80= heart rate max

Strengthen..30 min daily

Flexibility..10 min daily

Mediatation..5 min daily

6 Sleep 7-8 hrs / tv or computer or light

7 Use Vitamins

Vitamin D 1000 units/day
Calcium with magnesium
2 baby aspirin daily

Monday, July 13, 2009

"Holy Roller" by Julie Lyons

I chose this book to review because of it's unusual title. My dad used that term for a church down the street. When my children went to Lee University,a woman got up and asked if they "handled snakes" because it's Church of God.
There is alot of misconception with the charismatic church.
This book gives great insight into personal experiences with healing,prophesy,discernment,and other charismatic spiritual gifts.
It is written by a white woman who is reporter for the Dallas Times Herald and finds her way to a black Pentacostal church.
In each of the chapters she relays her experiences with the pastor, his wife, and different congregation members. Each of them has a story and experience in how the Holy Spirit guides and protects them in their walk.
Their church isn't perfect but she gives a great description in how important a church family is to experience what it is God has put you on earth to do.
They deal with drug addicts, abuse, infidelity, pride,prejudice and those who present themselves as men and women of God who are phony.
She gives descriptions of healing, and casting out demons, and prophesy.
Many times we don't experience this in our own churches because we don't truly believe it still exists. This church is proof that it does.
It gives a different way of looking at faith which is what I wanted.
It kept my attention through the whole book and I would highly recommend it.

To buy a copy you can go here

Sunday, July 12, 2009

"Angels and Humans"

These are my notes from Rob's sermon at Apex.
We're still going through the book of Jude

Jude 8-13

We are to be in the world..not of the world.
Jude does not name names. This letter is going to all kinds of churches. "These people" will be in all of these churches. "These people" are in our churches today.
These people are people who call themselves "Christian" but they are not.

Jude calls out their attributes.

"These people":

1 Rely on personal subjective religious experience to support their behavior.
They rely on their dreams. Examples of what they may say: "God hasn't convicted me of that".."God wants me to do this"
They try to trump others with their experiences.
They create their own revelation of religion so they never seem wrong.
If it's experience vs Bible...Bible is should always have more weight.

2. Have problems with sexual immorality. They will tell you "I'm good with God"

3. They reject authority.
We have to learn to live under authority.
Ask yourself...Do you have a problem with being wrong?
They use the words."Don't judge me" Anyone who gets close enough to make them accountable or call them out..they run from.

4. Do not take seriously the reality and power of demonic existence.
They belittle or blaspheme the existence. It can also be to the opposite extreme where they make everything of satan and put so much focus on the demonic world that the focus isn't on Christ.
Is there a battle you are fighting on your own? We can't go against demonic forces on our own. You need the Lord's help.

5. They extend a dysfunctional legacy of sin.
The stories in verse 11 have common theme...envy,compromising for financial gain, and rejection of authority.

6. Ignore how their actions impact others. They dishonor God and themselves.

7. Are fruitless. they think they are the stars...they are the darkness and gloom.
These are the people who come in and out of house church when they feel like it. They have no accountability. They are toxic. It's all about them.

It's easy to love the perfect church..not the church as she really is.

8. Suffer a double death...physical then spiritual for eternity.

What do these attributes do to biblical community?
Brothers and Sisters are hindered in their participation in the Lord's Supper.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bob Dylan....What are you singing?


Last night Zach and Darrell went to see Bob Dylan,John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson. One of our friends was able to get them seats in his company box. I had seen Bob Dylan about 15 yrs ago and love to make fun of him singing. He was obviously stoned the night we saw him and you couldn't understand him half the time. This video is so funny and so true!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

"The Devastating Justice of Jesus"

These are my notes from Apex. Rob is back! Yeah! Worship was awesome. We sang Majesty,The Time Has Come,How He Loves (David Crowder lyrics :), and Lead Me To the Cross.
We had a baptism which always is a celebration.
My friend Kendall is goint to Southeast Asia this week with a group of high school girls so we had a prayer for them. Got a little teary on that one.

Jude 1:5-7

If we really love each other, there will be times when we have to say hard things we aren't comfortable with. This is what Jude deals with.
These are raw words of scripture. It's not your "Max Lucado inspirational verses"

Two bad but similar terms:

Heresy..systome of beliefs. It looks biblical but there are other components that are wrong. These are your religious cults that call themselves Christians ie Mormons,Jehovah Witness.

Apostasy..biblical beliefs are there but they have turned their back on the Christian faith. They want nothing to do with the Christian faith anymore. This happens more often than we realize.

Big Idea:
It is horribly dangerous to turn away from what you once believed to be true.

In these verses look at :

1. The pattern
The Israelites..the angels (Ezekiel 28) and Sodom and Gomorrah

2. The process

You get to places you don't want to be..and you don't trust or believe

1st ....Unbelief..the Israelites are destroyed in the desert except for Joshua and Caleb
2nd.....Go outside the lines..the angels go outside what God wants for them
We do this in our lives...we make decisions that are computer friends. We don't stay in God's safety
3rd..Indulge..self idolatry "I" Many times sinfulness and sexuality are tied..sexuality is one of the main ways to self idolatry. Genesis 6
Our hearts are hardened. We no longer hear God..and it leads to our destruction

3. Punishment
Israelites are destroyed in the desert.
Angels are put in chains in gloomy darkness
Sodom and Gomorrah...eternal fire. Today..Sodom and Gomorrah is located at the bottom of the Dead Sea geographically. Nothing can live.
Hell is God's justified response to people who don't see H
im as infinitely valuable.
Jesus is love but God has entrusted him with judgment.
We all have our own "lists" to get around justice and holiness of God.
Hearts should break and have mercy for those who have turned their backs on their faith.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Derek Webb's new song

Gotta love Derek Webb...he just says what needs to be said.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

This makes me laugh