Archive for Faith

The Gospel According to Twitter – Part 1

                      Boston Marathon – April 15, 2:49pm

On April 15, 2013 at 2:49pm EDT two bombs exploded within 13 seconds and 210 yards of each other near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  The bombs killed 3 people and injured another 264.  Within seconds, Twitter was lighting up people’s cell phones and computer screens with first hand accounts of the event including images and videos of the scene.  It was a full 10 minutes before any other news source was able to report anything. Read more

Living the adventure

Recently while staying at a friends house, I was playing with my daughter and their two daughters and I witnessed an interesting dichotomy. As I lay on the floor, tired from moving out of our house, the girls started running around me.  I reached out, pretending to grab one of them which began an hour long game.  As you might imagine, the game was simple, try to run past Brian without getting caught.  Every time they would run past, they would scream with delight. Read more

AIDs: our response

I was half way through college before I realized that not everybody had the same opportunities that I did.

I was working at a summer camp where the leader had us play a simulation.  The simulation was simple. Take a step forward if the statement applied to you.  Stay put if it doesn’t.

I remember the first statement. “Take a step forward if your family had multiple book shelves.”  I took a step forward.

Take a step forward if your family had a cabin.  My immediate family didn’t have a cabin, but my grandparents did and we went there almost every weekend during the summer.  Take a step forward if your father went to college.  My father went to North Dakota State University.  Take a step forward if you mother went to college.  My mom went to Moorehead State University.  Take a step forward if your family had a computer.  My family had a LOT of computers.

By the end of the experiment Read more

Thriving in college

A lot is made about Christians managing to survive college and for good reason, depending on which statistics you read, 60%-80% of Christian students in High School leave their faith in college.  That’s a lot!  What happens?  What are the problems that Christian students face when they head onto the college campus?  There are a lot of problems that I see Christian students face when they get to college.  I’m going to focus on two of the more common problems that I see.  Then I want to talk about how to thrive in college so you’re not just surviving.
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Who provides it?

Money TreeI recently thanked a donor for his increasing financial support.  His response told me he counted it a privilege to support us.  He went on to say that as long as he and his wife had a job that they would support us.  By they way he responded, I asked if he was expecting that to happen soon.  He told me about three scenarios for how the company may decide to make cuts if the current economic trend continues.  In two of the scenarios he would likely keep his job but in the third he could potentially lose his job.  Then he said, “It’s the Lord that provides the ability for me to work, and the Lord who provides what we need.”

As InterVarsity staff we are required to raise 100% of our salary, benefits and other ministry expenses.  This raises several questions that you must wrestle with early on.  One of the reoccurring questions I was asked early on in fund raising was, “why don’t you get a real job?” Read more

What is that smell?

I am not a real big fan of coffee.  In fact I don’t drink it and neither does my wife.  Coffee has a smell that is unmistakable.   It fills a room.  When you leave a coffee shop everyone you meet for the rest of the day will know where you have been.  Different coffee shops have different smells.  My wife can even tell me which coffee shop I have been working at depending on the smell on my cloths.  Folders had a whole series of commercials that finished with a little jingle.  Why do I go to coffee shops?  Primarily the wifi.  Secondarily the tea.  I love tea, but tea doesn’t have the same smell.  It doesn’t stick with you the rest of the day. Read more

Evangelism and Culture

God is at work drawing people to himself.  I am excited!  Students are leaving their lives of sin and choosing to follow Jesus.  Over the past two and a half years at Bemidji State we have seen 57 students make decisions to follow Jesus and I expect that we will see more.  Nationally, InterVarsity is seeing one of the largest harvests in history.  We are living in exciting times.  What’s happening?  I believe God is using a generational issue to raise up followers to fulfill his mission.  The mission is to care about the world.  Students care about injustice.  The good news is that God does too!  What’s going on?

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Hearing and Seeing

When I was 5 years old, I was legally blind in my left eye. I remember one time when I walked up to side of our kitchen table. The table stretched out to my right. My mom was sitting at the head of the table eating breakfast.
When you are 5, you can barely see over the table. As I stood at the edge of the table with my mom sitting to my left, I announced, “Mom! I can’t see out of my left eye!”

My dad, who was standing in the hallway, came over to the table. Together they asked me to close my right eye and to count the number of fingers I saw.

“One, two three,” I counted.

Every time, no matter how many fingers they put up, I could count them.

Jesus talked a lot about hearing and seeing in the parable of the soils in Matthew 13.

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How can I know?

What should I major in?  Who should I marry?  What  job should I take?  Where should I live?  What should I do?  The list of questions we ask God are endless.  Inquiring minds want to know.  At every stage in life we ask a new set of questions.  I am asking, should I go to seminary?  Where should I go to seminary?

How do we know which path to take?  How do we know whether it will honor God?  How can we be sure it is the will of God?

The short answer is: we can’t!  The long answer is that we can use the Bible, community, prayer, and history to help us figure it out.  What do I mean by that? Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

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Knowing God’s Will

wedding

“Brian, God wants us to get married.”  I can still hear the words echoing in my mind.  I was shocked.  Sure we were friends, but we weren’t even dating!  I don’t even remember how I responded but I do remember struggling with those words for quite a while.  I remember asking, is it true? Has God spoken to her but not me?  Am I going to miss something?  Is this God’s will for me?  Today, she is no longer following God and I have no doubt it was not God’s will for us to marry.  I have grown in my understanding of what God’s will is and how to discern it.  I am married to a wonderful wife who is following Jesus.

What is God’s will? Read more