As we begin a New Year, it is typical for people to make New Year’s resolutions. Uturn has made a resolution and it is this: to create a youth group that is irresistible to Heaven. But what does this mean? While most people are waiting for the next commandment from God, God is waiting for the dream of his church. When Jesus established the church, he wasn’t talking about a building, but a people- an irresistible force. And that’s why this resolution is going to be carried out by the entire youth group.
You don’t just attend uturn, you are part of the team. Every member of uturn has some sort of influence on someone else and, according to Rick Warren, the purpose of influence is to speak up for those who have none. God has gifted you with talents and passions to use your influence in those areas for him. Our job is to go and make disciples of nations, but this cannot happen if we do no work together.
As Moses acted as a source of wisdom for Joshua’s modern methods, we must work with the older generation to fulfill this resolution because that’s how God moves. We have a vision of a revival for uturn; we want to be an irresistible force within our community and beyond.
So now that you know what God’s dream for uturn is, what will your role be? Over the next few weeks, we’ll show you.
Challenge: Connect with someone who is older than you for wisdom and someone who is younger than you so you can invest in their lives (pray for them, mentor them).
Next Week: Hunger for his Presence
Hey everyone! Uturn is bringing back text challenge and the rules are simple!Sign up for Uturn texts by clicking on this link: http://trunc.us/4if121* and you could win free money! Once a week we will send out a text that reveals one spot in El Segundo where the money is hidden. Be the first one there and it’s yours! Teri (pictured below) won $10 last week from the text challenge and this week, it could be you! If you haven’t signed up for our texts yet, it’s not too late! Don’t wait, sign up now!
*In addition to the weekly TXT Challenge text, Uturn will send 1 or 2 texts with updated information on Uturn.
Next TXT challenge: Tuesday, Nov. 6th
Every week a TXT will be sent. It will contain a location in El Segundo. The first person to that location who finds the package, wins CASH. The amount will vary. It could be $5, it could be $50. Want a chance to get in on this game? Sign up by clicking on this link: http://trunc.us/4if121 *
*In addition to the weekly TXT Challenge text, Uturn will send 1 or 2 texts with updated information on Uturn.
It was a dark October night in a near abandoned dollar movie theater. I was in college and my two friends and I sat in the lumpy cushioned seats with feet sticking to the soda layered cement floor. On screen a flickering movie with a dark and frightful plot. Something inside me started to stir. I later identified it as the Holy Spirit. I excused myself from the theater seat and walked into the lobby. It was void of people and very eerie. No one, anywhere. I called for help at the consession, no one answered. I waited. Nothing. I looked across the way and saw a door labeled “office” and walked over to it. Locked. The kind of lock that had a five button combination above the handle. I pulled, twisted, and pounded. No response. Then it happened. I hovered my index finger over the top of the buttons and felt my finger being pulled toward a random sequence. Click, click, click, click, and the door creaked open. On the other side was an old staircase. I slowly walked up the squeaky wooden stairs, sweat forming on my brow. At the top of the stairs I found myself peering down a long dimly lit hallway. It had an awful musty odor. There was an open door at the end with a small light on, barely visible. I started slowly walking down the hallway, heart pounding. This is where the creepy true story pauses. The theater manager yelled at me from the room down the hall. After he was done accusing me of breaking in, and grilling me about who on staff gave away the combination to the lock, I offered my story. Disbelief. My friends and I were now on our way home. I sat alone in the backseat. As my friends were engaged in some sort of dialog about the film, in silence, my mind was spinning. Then it happened. As clear as my friends voices were from the front I heard a whisper in my ear and will never forget what it said, “You have felt our power, now join us.” “Stop the car,” I yelled. “I need prayer.” That whispery invitation has never returned but the feeling has. The stirring inside happens every October. I am forever aware of the reality of Ephesians chapter six and where our battle lies. It is not in flesh and blood.
I have since had many power encounters where good and evil clash in the supernatural and God always wins. But it is possible for us, as humans, to fail. Mark chapter four is one such occasion. The disciples are caught in a vicious storm and very afraid. Jesus calms the storm at their request and then says the words that penetrate my heart, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Still. After all you have seen and heard and done in my presence. Still. Why? Because fear is the opposite of faith and when you feed it, it grows and faith dies.
I’m going to come straight out and say this: I believe it is wrong to seek fear for pleasure. If God has given us His Spirit, which is not a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control…why is it okay to pay or watch or walk into environments that promote the opposite of the Spirit of God for the purpose of inviting fear in? As a Christian it has become easy for me to justify my actions so that I can do what I want to do. I will call it “redeeming value”. I will say that _________ has a way for me to view God in a new light. But so does the Bible. Let me use horror movies as an example. I’ve heard it argued that they make us face our mortality, show us we are not in control, and identify that we are in need of someone to “save us.” Sounds Biblical, but what is the collateral damage? How much fear does our enemy need to corrupt our faith? Many third world countries have a different view on the supernatural. It is not watched on television; it happens in the living area of the local witch doctor. It is very, very real. Horror movies don’t make sense in those cultures because they can’t understand why people would seek darkness for enjoyment. But when it “isn’t real” it must just be fun…or is it?
I have three beautiful children. All girls. They don’t flinch when I pretend to punch them in the face. How do I even know this? I was curious and tried it. Why do they not even bat an eye? Because they’ve never been punched in the face nor have they seen anyone get punched in the face. They have seen their father only show them loves and hugs. Fear does not exist, faith does. In 2 Timothy 3 the bible says, “In the last day people will be…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” I believe we deny God power when we seek fear for pleasure. We feed it, it grows, and our faith is starved and eventually dies. I believe it equally dangerous when we invite fear in for pleasure and convince ourselves that it’s “not real” so that means “it’s acceptable.” Here’s the problem, evil is real. Satan wants nothing more than to convince Christians to believe that fear is fun and evil does not exist. Horror films, haunted houses, ghosts and goblins, thrillers, the evening news, anything that has fear as it’s end game, I avoid at all costs.
One could argue that any movie, TV show, or reality based content that has conflict could also promote fear. True. But not for everyone. I was talking with someone recently who said the following, “I love scary movies, I’m not affected by them at all. I just can’t watch them at night and usually sleep with the lights on for a week after.” Not affected? Every person needs only use the following equation when evaluating fear. X+Y=Z. X is THE CONTENT. Y is YOU. Z is FEAR. Does CONTENT + YOU = FEAR. If so, avoid at all costs. Another way of saying it is this. Does CONTENT + YOU = INCREASED FAITH or INCREASED FEAR?
I conclude with this: If you’ve never asked yourself this question, try it as a filter for both you and your family. “Does _________ lead me to have more or less faith in God?” Does it promote fear or faith? Does it cause me to become more a lover of pleasure or lover of God? We are supernatural creatures with an appetite for the supernatural. Let us find our fulfillment of that supernatural desire with the one who created the hunger.
This week Steve Maynard gave an awesome message on dealing with offense. Did you know that the vast majority of sins are committed by the tongue? Mr. Maynard broke these down into a few categories:
- Slander- undermining someone’s reputation
- Scoffing- mocking or making fun of someone
- Boasting- speaking of oneself with exaggerated pride
- Tale Bearing- repeating something that doesn’t need to be repeated
- Rumor Mongering- repeating stories that have no truth
- Berating- abusive speech
- Gossip- one of the worst sins of the tongue; literally being a part of Satan’s team
When we abuse other people through our speech we are sinning against them, but Mr. Maynard pointed out that we are actually sinning against God first. How? Because we are all made in God’s image, when we sin against someone else, the primary offense is toward God.
When we sin against someone it is our responsibility to reconcile the relationship. There are two ways to do this depending on the nature of the sin:
- Say Sorry- this is reserved for sins that are unintentional on our part
- Asking for Forgiveness- when we sin against someone intentionally we must go and ask them to forgive us. It is important that we make an effort to restore the relationship we may have broken.
As Christians we are called to love others as God has first loved us- this includes forgiving others if they have committed an offense against us. If we cannot bring ourselves to forgive, our grudge will only lead to bitterness which has the power to poison our minds and our actions (the opposite of love!!!!).
Mr. Maynard ended with this, “To truly love is to truly forgive, not only because you need it and God commands it, but also because it is the only path to Truth and the freedom the Truth brings.”
No problem! Last night at Uturn, Pastor Jon kicked off our new series, “How to…” with How to: Lead Someone to Jesus. As Christians, God has called us to spread the Gospel and tell everyone about what Jesus is doing in our lives. For most people, this is a lot easier said than done. Salvation is a big deal, how can we even begin to explain to non-believers everything that Jesus is doing for us?
1) Create Your Testimony
People want to hear what God is doing in YOUR life before they will even consider making him part of theirs. Whether accepting Jesus as your savior saved you from continuing down the wrong path or you grew up in the church and have been fortunate enough to experience God’s grace without straying from your walk with Him, make sure you express what Christ’s sacrifice means to you! What has God saved you from? How are you changed by accepting Jesus into your heart?
2) The Roman Road
Romans is a great book to use when leading people to Jesus. There are key scriptures that outline what Jesus has done for us and what walking with Him is all about.
-Romans 3:23 Admit that you are a sinner.
-Romans 6:23 a Know that you deserve death for your sin.
-Romans 6:23 b Ask God to forgive you and save you.
-Romans 5:8 God gave his son to die for us
-Romans 10:9-10 Call out to God in the name of Jesus and ask Him to come into your heart!
This Week’s Challenge: Lead someone to Jesus in one week or fail five times trying.
Next week: Another practical “How to…”
Here we go! You paid $110 for a ticket, now what? Here are the details:
We will be meeting downtown at the Nokia Theater. The schedule can be found here.
We do have 5 tickets left unsold. We will be putting them on Ebay today unless you want an extra one!
Everyone is responsible for their own food and transportation. Below is a form if you have a ride or need a ride.