With several of our families bidding farewell to their college students for the first time, I thought it might be interesting to view the “Mindset List” released each year by Beloit University. It is educational to get a little insight into the minds of our current college community. I will caution you however: It will make you feel old! This is a selection of the fifty items listed on the website (https://beloit.edu/mindset/2019).
From the website:
Students heading into their first year of college this year are mostly 18 and were born in 1997. Among those who have never been alive in their lifetimes are Princess Diana, Notorious B.I.G., Jacques Cousteau, and Mother Teresa. Joining them in the world the year they were born were Dolly the sheep, The McCaughey septuplets, and Michael “Prince” Jackson Jr.
Since they have been on the planet:
- Hybrid automobiles have always been mass produced.
- Google has always been there, in its founding words, “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible.”
- They have never licked a postage stamp.
- Email has become the new “formal” communication, while texts and tweets remain enclaves for the casual.
- Four foul-mouthed kids have always been playing in South Park.
- They have grown up treating Wi-Fi as an entitlement.
- The announcement of someone being the “first woman” to hold a position has only impressed their parents.
- Charlton Heston is recognized for waving a rifle over his head as much as for waving his staff over the Red Sea.
- Cell phones have become so ubiquitous in class that teachers don’t know which students are using them to take notes and which ones are planning a party.
- If you say “around the turn of the century,” they may well ask you, “which one?”
- They have avidly joined Harry Potter, Ron, and Hermione as they built their reading skills through all seven volumes.
- Attempts at human cloning have never been federally funded but do require FDA approval.
- The therapeutic use of marijuana has always been legal in a growing number of American states.
- Teachers have always had to insist that term papers employ sources in addition to those found online.
- The Lion King has always been on Broadway.
- At least Mom and Dad had their new Nintendo 64 to help them get through long nights sitting up with the baby.
- First Responders have always been heroes.
- Splenda has always been a sweet option in the U.S.
- The Atlanta Braves have always played at Turner Field.
- The proud parents recorded their first steps on camcorders, mounted on their shoulders like bazookas.
Here is the most important “mindset” of all, however: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:1)
The Christ Centered Church in Miami, FL continues to effectively reach it’s community. Fruit Cove has had the privilege of supporting C2Church financially and with people. Last May, our College Students traveled to Miami and served C2 through evangelism and community outreach.
Last week, we received an update and thank you from Pastor Derek Allen. Take a few minutes to read the C2Church Thank You Letter and rejoice in the great things God is doing in Miami!
This past Sunday our family arrived late the 9:30am worship service. We caught the last baptism but missed all that transpired before this. I have 3 kids, one who loves Jesus and has been baptized and 2 younger ones that are just coming of age to understand these things. We share the gospel at home but I know for my child to know and understand the gospel I must get them around the gospel. One visible place we can see the gospel is baptism.
As a youngish father who grew up in a very old and traditional church, seeing Sunday night services as a part of life then disappear, music change from organ and piano to the addition of drums and guitar, from Sunday school to small groups (which in my opinion is the same thing with a different name), through of all the changes made, baptism was sort of pushed back. I grew up in a church where baptism happened once per year. It was an odd, yet sort of cool tradition. In serving in a few different churches I saw baptism on Sunday morning, Sunday evening, after service, before service, at camp, and everywhere in between. With all the cultural changes in the church, this has left baptism sometimes in “inconvenient” time slots.
If we are going to see baptism for what it is, the celebration of new life in Christ, we MUST participate. Baptism is not just for the believer being baptized, rather for the whole church. It is the outward expression of looking at what Jesus did and can do. Baptism is just as much for me to celebrate with the new believers as it is for my own children to witness. It is imperative that my children see, participate, and later ask questions about baptism. My responsibility as a father is to get them around baptism, and it is also yours. A couple of questions we should ask:
- Do our children see others being baptized?
- Do our children frequently see others being baptized?
- Have my children ever seen anyone baptized?
- Do my children need to see me being baptized?
- Do I have open dialogue with my children about baptism?
- Is baptism important to our family?
One of the greatest things we can do as parents for young believing and un-believing children is to bring them around the gospel and those who have responded to the gospel. At some point, your child will be held accountable for their life and faith, and no longer you as a parent. My role as a parent is to present the gospel so often that my children can see and hear that Jesus is better. One way I can do that is getting my children in front of baptisms. If I can make a point to teach them about football and get them in front of that, I have no excuse.
Josh Glymph is the Youth Pastor at Fruit Cove Baptist Church. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to make a case with this blog for reclamation. I want to challenge you, us, we, the Christian, Christ-honoring, Christ-following community of believers, the Body and the Bride of Christ to stand up for a time-honored, commonly recognized symbol. While I know I am not the first to suggest this, I want to make my case for reclaiming the rainbow.
Quick, without thinking too much about it, when you think about the rainbow what is your immediate association?
1) A wonderfully sweet, multicolored candy called Skittles (You know, “Taste the rainbow!”)
2) A covenant promise from God that He would never flood the earth with water again
3) The symbol of the LGBT movement
4) An upscale vacuum cleaner
Some of the answers above will be conditioned by the generation. Some by your affiliation with a church that actually teaches Bible stories. For a few, the thought of a vacuum cleaner came to mind. And let’s be honest. Some of your answers were conditioned by your affection for candy.
But I will further press my point by asking this. If I flew a rainbow flag in our church sanctuary Sunday morning, how many of us would immediately think “the Pastor is going to preach on God’s covenant promises?” And how many would think, “Is our church supporting the homosexual agenda now?”
Many in our culture today look at the rainbow in a totally different light — as a representation of gay pride. First used in a parade in Northern California, artist Gilbert Baker created the first “rainbow flag” as a visible symbol for the LGBT community in 1978. Then when the Supreme Court issued its pivotal ruling this summer, the White House that night was bathed in multi-colored striped lighting to depict…a rainbow.
It struck me the other day as I was driving back from Orlando following a thunderstorm and there, streaking across the sky in all its glory was a double rainbow. Pam immediately got her phone and took a picture. Apparently the same thing had happened in Alabama, because our daughter Allison posted a rainbow picture she had just taken on her Facebook page.
Then it hit me. The LGBT community doesn’t own the rainbow. God does. Now if you know me, you know that, as an American, I believe in and will fight to protect the human rights of any person in America to be a practicing homosexual, and as a person I am obliged to be socially tolerant of and kind to any who may be so inclined….(and we in the Christian community need to work on our kindness toward those with whom we disagree). However, I do not have to acknowledge or believe that such a lifestyle is moral or right, no matter what our culture or any court says, nor will I be silent in what I believe.
And I want my rainbow back.
A member of our church asked me a question recently that, truth be told, may be a question many have. The question was, “Does doing more for the Lord (eg, working more, volunteering, etc.) make us a better Christian?” One of the verses we could turn to in dealing with that issue is in James where we are told, “Show me your faith without deeds and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” (2:14-26 ) In this instance, “deeds” or doing good deeds or works is portrayed as evidence that one’s faith is genuine. Can you be considered a true Christ follower and do nothing to show it? Of course Jesus also said, “By your fruits you will know them.” (Matthew 7:20) Does fruit imply good works or good deeds? These are hard questions for us to wrap our thoughts around, and to convince ourselves that we can either amplify grace in our lives by doing more good “stuff” or have grace subtracted because we are not “doing enough” is to misunderstand the nature of salvation.
The Bible teaches “by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves… it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) So we see here clearly that it is grace through faith that produces salvation, not what we do however busy or well intentioned we may seem in our efforts. There are many well-intentioned, workaholic Christians who have transferred a Puritan work ethic and overlayed it on how God saves us. That negates a Gospel of pure grace. We are not saved by what we can do FOR God, but from what we did TO God through our sin. Jesus died on the cross to pay that penalty once and for all… completely. Nothing we can do negates that. Nothing we do can add to that. It is by grace.
So then, where do our “good deeds” fit? Ephesians 2:10 tells us “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works which the Lord prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” The Lord has a prepared, measured amount of work that He expects of us. It is always in line with our giftedness, it always brings joy to us when we do it, and it is always an assignment that we are uniquely gifted to accomplish.
In short, an authentic Christian who has been saved by grace will also show evidence of that salvation by tangible deeds and works. However, to “try” harder and to “do” more to gain a higher standing as a Christian is a vain activity at best. The rewards spoken of in the Bible are for acts of obedience to the Gospel, for standing fast in difficulty, and for walking faithfully with the Master, but our standing with God is ultimately based on His goodness and His work at the cross on our behalf, not on our works for him.
We can’t be a ‘better’ Christian.. …. only an obedient one!
The following is a guest post from one of our church members. Please read this powerful challenge to influencing our children through the Bible teaching ministry.
Take a look at this rope. There’s nothing flashy about it, no tricks, no nothing….it’s just a rope. And yet….it speaks volumes.
You see, this rope is 168″ long. Each inch representing one hour of the week.
Now….see that little black mark there? The tiny one….at the end? Well it represents one hour…..that’s the average amount of time each teacher has to pour into the the lives of kids and students here at FCBC.
Take a good look at the rope again…..there’s a whole lot of rope…..and only a tiny little mark.
Only a tiny little opportunity to pour Jesus into the lives of babies-seniors in high school.
One little hour to combat the other 167 they will face during the week.
One tiny hour to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those who may not see Him demonstrated in their homes.
One little hour to guard against all that the world will throw at them.
One simple hour.
And yes, some may come more frequently…..but even if they do, is a few really that much in light of 168?
And while the Bible is clear that it is the parents responsibility to be the primary Biblical teachers of their children…….we as a church have a great opportunity to assist in that process…..to be a part of parent’s plan to disciple their kids….and we need to take that responsibility seriously.
Teachers, what you do during that one simple hour has great implications…..simply put…..it matters. So thank you for taking it seriously, and recognizing the great responsibility you have been given. Thank you for spending every opportunity, during that hour you have, to pour Jesus into the lives of those entrusted to you. We are so very grateful for you.
And for others out there who aren’t currently teaching……would you prayerfully consider it? If you have been overwhelmed by what God has done for you…..for the cross….for salvation….for grace……don’t you want to do everything you can to point this younger generation to Him? To help them build a firm foundation in Him? To help them as they learn to trust in Him?
1 out of 168…..we have been given 1 in 168. So I ask you…what will you do with it?
In 1980 I read a book for the first time called The Cost of Discipleship. The author was a German theologian named Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I actually chose it because, on the reading list, it was the shortest and cheapest of the books I could choose for theology class! That confession is now done. Dr. Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran theologian who, in his mid-thirties, was hung by personal order of Adolf Hitler for a failed assassination attempt. While awaiting execution in Flossburg Prison, Bonhoeffer continued writing and his books were smuggled out and later published by students and former church members. One of those books was an expository study of the Beatitudes entitled, The Cost of Discipleship. The book has several phrases that make it famous now eighty years after its release. The idea of “cheap grace” came from this book. It is, according to its author “Grace without repentance.” Grace, according to Dr. Bonhoeffer, is not free. It’s costly. It cost the Father everything to give it. Cheap grace is no grace at all. I have been fascinated by Bonhoeffer though more for his stand against the ruling party of Germany and against the popular whims of culture that pressured him and other pastors in Germany’s anti-Nazi “Confessing Church.” They would not bow. They would not comply. They would not conform to the world. So they went to prison, ripped from their homes and seminary classrooms and pulpits while preaching. And they took their stand, some even to death. How instructive for our day. And I wonder how long before we will face our Bonhoeffer moment…and I wonder will we stand as he did? Another phrase from the book has always given me pause. For Bonhoeffer it was prophetic. He said “When Jesus calls a man he bids him come and die.” (Luke 9)
What will our Bonhoeffer moment be?
Yesterday was an amazing day in the life of Fruit Cove Baptist Church. A couple of hundred baptismal candidates, family, and church members gathered on a hot (!!) day at Mickler’s Landing to witness the ordinance of Christian baptism. A large number of these folks were brand new Christians…young and old(er). A number were from our Student ministry. It was a joyous day fighting the fiercest waves yet of any of our beach baptisms. In all, 32 folks braved the Atlantic waves to profess their faith in Jesus Christ as their Risen Lord and Savior. In addition, another eight or ten pastors, deacons, and helpers were also immersed (but they don’t count). It was, as said before, a time of joy.
Nothing brings excitement, anticipation, and the reminder of our mission back to us like a baptism. Whether it’s one or several dozen, a baptismal service centers us, calls us out to the main thing…sharing the Gospel…and re-orients us to reproduce. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20) With those important words, Jesus called us to “live sent.”
But the baptism isn’t the end. Like the birth of a baby, it begins the arduous process of learning to eat, to walk, to speak, to live. It requires a family to nurture these things and to protect, model, and guide the newest among us. And, like a family we model for them what living with Christ should be.
So if you’ve never seen a baptism, especially one at sea, let me encourage you to make a point of coming next time. It’s incredible! And if you’ve never been baptized Biblically (by immersion…under water… after you profess faith in Jesus) then come and be baptized and in that way show obedience and allegiance to Jesus. And if you know one of these who were just baptized, the next time you see them… rejoice in what they have done.
…it’s the most important decision of their life!