Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The House Meeting

Almost a month ago we were gathered with over 50 of our students at our fall retreat. After the session on Saturday night I was hanging around and students were sort of milling about as we waited for the talent show to begin. One of my guys pulled me aside and asked if I had a few minutes to talk.

This guy is one of our main student leaders and a co-laborer who I really enjoy spending time with. He is a junior now, and was one of the first freshman that I began spending time with two years ago when we kicked off our first fall semester at Cornell. I'm not going to name him in this story, because the work I'm going to talk about is still very much ongoing, and I also want to respect his humility.

We sat down in the dining area, and he told me how he had been struck with this idea while praying that he should organize a 'house meeting' and present the good news of Jesus to his housemates. He lives with 10 other people and most of them are not followers of Christ. He was praying, and he felt a burden for these guys and girls and he felt impressed upon by the Lord to simply invite everyone to a meeting and then tell them about what he believes.
Now first off, I love this idea! I think it's just one example of the kind of thing that is pretty easy to do in college that is actually quite difficult to do after college. Case in point, I don't live with 10 other people right now who happen to be in a stage of life where they are making big life decisions! But I also acknowledge that it's a bit edgy.....which is also why I like it! It actually takes FAITH!
But wanting to proceed with wisdom (not caution....wisdom!) we decided to pray about it for a few days.
The next weekend, my friend went out to the Desiring God conference and listened to that talk by Francis Chan that I mentioned in my last post. His impulse was confirmed by the Holy Spirit and he came back to Ithaca with resolve to call a meeting and communicate the Gospel!
Now, it was a bit weird really, but it was all good! Though he lives in a house in collegetown with 10 other people, they don't usually have 'house meetings'. But he sent out the invite and everyone came. The meeting started out with one guy asking everyone to "please lock the door" when they leave the house. Another girl settled some logistical issues regarding payment of the electrical bill, and then my friend began to tell them exactly why he had called the meeting. He talked for about 10 minutes about his love for Christ, and God's love for us demonstrated in Christ's life, death and resurrection.

After he was finished, the room was filled with silence. One guy couldn't stand it, and broke the awkwardness with sarcasm by standing up and clapping while affirming my friends eloquence. Another girl followed up by thanking him for sharing and, and acknowledging that such a move took courage and conviction. Then they sat around quietly for a few more moments until they began to talk about random things eventually brainstorming ideas for how to host their first house party.

I love what this guy did! He loves the people that he lives with, and he is not content to simply hang out with them every day wondering whether or not they know about Jesus or not.
He stepped out with passion and bravery and lived out his calling as "ambassador for Christ" and proclaimed the name of Jesus. In doing so, he opened doors, and also marked himself as a follower of God. He is an example to me and many of our students.

For now, he continues to hang out and look for ways to serve and bless his housemates in practical ways. And hopefully he'll have opportunities to follow up on his sacred stunt!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Opportunities not to miss...

The other day we listened to Francis Chan’s talk from the Desiring God “Think” conference. WOW. Adam Simpson and I were talking about how we should probably listen to that talk like every three months just to keep focused on Christ and the mission he has called us to! I recommend it so heartily! Please watch it.

At one point, Francis talks about when he was in high school. He had come to know and love Jesus and was burdened for those around him to know Christ as well. He was a junior and the High School yearbook came out. He was thumbing thru the pages and as he was looking at all the seniors he began to realize that there were tons of people who he was probably never going to see again after graduation. So despite the awkwardness, he picked up the phone and started calling all of the seniors to have a conversation about God and how important it is to be in a relationship with him.

That story inspires me as I marvel at his intensity and passion. It also makes me a little bit sad because proclaiming the greatness of Jesus was not my priority back in high school. And that’s a bummer because High school is a place, I believe, where if you were really sold out for Jesus you could probably communicate and demonstrate the Gospel to your whole school! I mean that’s just the kind of close knit, “everybody knows everybody” kind of environment that High School is! It’s sad that so often Christ is not exalted amongst his professed followers because it’s not “cool.” Talk about missed opportunity.

But college is a similar, and I believe, a somewhat greater opportunity because of the stage of life that college students are in. I am in campus ministry because I know that this is a time in life when most people are making important life changing decisions about what they are going to believe, and who they are going to live for. And though perhaps not as closely connected as high school, the university is a very social place where tons of people are gathered to learn and share life. It is my hope that students would not miss out on the opportunities here to proclaim the Glory of God to the many, many people they are studying with-people who they may never see again after graduation.

We’ve got some awesome student leaders here at Cornell, and in the next post (or the one after) I want to tell you a story of one of our friends who is really going for it here on campus.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Miners in Chile

Below is a link to a story about the t-shirts that the Chilean Miners were wearing when they were rescued the other night. They were provided by Campus Crusade for Christ!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Music for kids

Every few days my kids and I try and have a "jam out" session. We turn the speakers up loud, strum our air guitars and jump off the furniture. It's a great time, and now that we don't have anybody living underneath us we can jam with peace of mind. We listen to rock, some Christian rap (eg: Flame Feat. John Reiley) and a lot of country, because we like country music.

It get's a little sketchy though when your three year old sings words like "rain makes corn, corn makes whiskey..." Consequently we've changed that line to "rain makes corn, corn makes biscuits", and no one has asked how exactly it is that those biscuits make anyone "frisky"!

So as our little band of rockers matures in age and comprehension we've got to be more selective about what we listen to. Kickstart my Heart is still a family favorite, but we pretty much have to turn it off half way thru. Kids are impressionable as we know, and so we want to be discerning about what we have them listening to.

Recently we've downloaded some stuff that I really want to recommend. The first is a short CD that you can download for free. It's produced by The Village Church out in Dallas. The Village is an awesome church lead by Matt Chandler. This kids CD conveys solid Gospel theology to the tune of cool music.

The second is a group called "The Rizers." They are out of Mars Hill Church in Seattle and their goal is simply to "instill in kids a love for Jesus Christ and his Word through Scripture memory, praise and worship." These guys are a riot, and even as a parent, you'll probably dig the music. All of their lyrics are taken directly from Bible verses. You can check them out at www.therizers.com Their music isn't free however you can download it from itunes etc.

Here is a vimeo clip of the rizers doing John 3:16. Now that we have a longer drive to preschool my boys and I listen to these guys a lot.

The Rizers "John 3:16" from the album Meet The Rizers from The Rizers on Vimeo.