College Mountain Retreat Info…

Here is all the info you need to know about our 2009 College Mountain Retreat!

retreat-letter

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College Winter Retreat Info…

Here is the document with all of the details for the upcoming College Winter Retreat.

https://bartcook.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/2008-college-winter-retreat-letter.pdf

Parents of Youth Survey…

Hey everyone!  I would really appreciate it if you took a few moments to fill out a survey I have designed specifically for Parents of Youth.  It is only ten questions and should take just a couple of minutes.  Your info will be extrememely helpful to us!

CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE SURVEY

Suffering…

I forgot to mention that the one-post-a-day for a week commitment does not include the weekends (everyone needs a break)!  So, now that it is Monday, I am back at it!

I have been studying through Philippians as part of my time with the Lord the past couple of weeks and wanted to share a verse that really struck me tonight.

Philippians 1:29 (ESV)
29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake…

For one reason or another, I have been having a rough month or so, but I know I have nothing on Paul while he was writing this letter.  Imprisoned, probably in Rome at this time, Paul knows his martyrdom may be imminent.  Having been ship-wrecked, beaten many times, and even stoned Paul has endured a great deal of suffering in his life.  However, he proclaims later in Philippians, to “rejoice in the Lord always!” (4:4)

We see from Philippians 1:29 that Paul clearly has a different perspective upon suffering than you or I may ever have! Here are just a few thoughts on this verse that may encourage/challenge you:

1. In the Greek, the verb translated “granted” (charizomai) stems from the noun for “grace” (charis). What is inferred then is that what is being granted to us is a “gift of grace or favor”. Suffering for Christ is not by accident or punishment, but rather a gift given graciously–a gift of divine grace/favor!

2.What has been graciously given to us? Well, according to this verse belief in Him and suffering! We can rejoice in suffering because it is the partner of genuine belief and because God is accomplishing His purposes in us through our suffering (see Phil. 1:20).

Philippians 1:29 has changed my perspective on some of the momentary problems that I have in my life.  I am encouraged that God has given me the gift of suffering for Christ, and that what I am suffering is part of God accomplishing His purposes in my life!

What do you think?

BBQ!

Okay, so I just wrote my first post in a long time below, and then I find this piece of blog gold below (it is from a friend’s facebook status)!  2 posts in one day-WHOOO!

By the way, this video is dedicated to our church staff, which talks barbecue almost every week at staff lunch!

Hobbies…

It doesn’t sound real manly, but I love my new Kitchenaid mixer!  The one thing on my mind when forking out the cash to buy one–BREAD!  I am sure my attraction to bread began a long time ago, but lately I have been drawn to the art of baking good quality, artisan bread. I love the simplicity of ingredients but complexity of flavor.  Not only that, but I love the way in which bread takes time and patience to make.  It forces me to slow down and think about what I am doing.

Now to the real point of this post.  For those that do not know me, I have a habit of obsessing over different hobbies/subjects–learning as much as I can about each one–then moving on to the next subject when I begin to lose interest or don’t have the time or money to invest in it.

When I think about it, I used to do the same thing as a kid.  I remember reading through the encyclopedia and scanning for interesting entries.  I was just amazed by so many different areas of life and nature. So, you might be wondering what kinds of other hobbies/interests/obsessions I have had in the past besides bread?  Well, here are a few for starters:  woodworking, disc golf, hunting, training dogs for bird hunting, saltwater aquariums, making pottery, photography, cooking various types of food, and now, baking bread!

I am sure my wife can add even more strange obsessions I have had over our five years of marriage, and I appreciate her putting up with my enthusiasm for each one (she has found herself being dragged into each of them some how).  But, how about you–what are some strange or fleeting hobbies/interests you have had?

Back from the dead…

I have a little extra time at work today, and I got to thinking–maybe I should try to raise this blog from the dead and post for once! I am actually going to try and write on this thing everyday for the next week, but lets see what happens!

M-fuge…

I will be taking a group of my Middle School students to Charleston for M-fuge this next week (Monday-Saturday).  This trip is one of the first introductions to missions my students receive and it is always amazing to see them realize they are not to young for God to use them.  It is a great trip, and because we take fewer students then we do on a normal trip, it gives me a really good chance to get to know my students better.

Please pray for us as we head down to Charleston!  I hope God will do great things in the lives of my students and give them a greater passion for missions!

Sermon…

Hey everyone (the one or two people that read my blog)!

A lot has happened since my last blog post, especially since I am terrible at keeping my blog updated.

One of the opportunities I had this past Sunday was to preach at church.  I thought it would be cool to post my sermon to the blog, since I am so terrible at writing blog posts.  It’s an easy way to update this thing without really doing much work 🙂

Here is the link to the podcast if anyone is interested in listening:

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=79922571

MS Beach Blast Leader Bible Studies

Okay MS Beach Blast Leaders:

Here are the three Bible studies you will be leading for Beach Blast in electronic form.  If you don’t feel like printing them, I will have hard copies available in my office.  Let me know if you have any questions this week as you look the studies over.

I am so pumped about what you will be doing! Here are the pdfs of the study:

bible-study-1

bible-study-2

bible-study-3