Monday, March 30, 2009

the Upstreet revolution

We are part of a revolution - a revolution that is changing the way the next generation looks at the world. We are part of something that is changing the way this generation is growing up... it will change the way they live as kids and adults. And THAT will eventually change the world. 1 kid at a time...

I'm so stoked! Check out some of the stuff we've been talking about over the past 3 months (December, January, & February) with the Upstreet kids (k-5th grade) @ Ridge Church.

In December we talked about GENEROSITY! The Bible talks SO MUCH about it so seems like a good thing for us to talk about too. “Be rich in good deeds … be generous and willing to share.” (1 Timothy 6:18)

We wanted to put some action to our talk about Generosity for the month, so we did something called **Project Generosity**. You can read more about it HERE. But basically because of the kids' generosity throughout the month, there is a boy named Erick in Kenya who is no longer living in horrible conditions. Just thinking about it makes me jump off my couch a little. The money the kids gave will support Erick for all of 2009 with food, water, school, medical care, etc... we just got a letter from him, but more on this later.

The 1st week we talked about an awesome story! = Bigger Barns (Luke 12:13-21). This is the story Jesus told about the rich man who pulled down his barns to build even bigger ones for all his extra food and stuff. But all around him in his city were poor people who probably hadn't eaten that day. God killed the dude that night! & called him a "FOOL"... the kids all agreed with God that someone who has extra & doesn't use it to help the poor IS a fool! Sounds like a lot of "Christians" we know, doesn't it? they're not the revolutionary kind.
Bottom Line: Don’t let things become more important than people.

The 4th week was about Jesus and the rich young ruler (Luke 18:18-25). This dude couldn't even follow Jesus because he was rich... he couldn't imagine being without his stuff (which in Upstreet was an iPod, xbox, iPhone, sweet clothes, etc...)
Bottom Line: Don’t let stuff get in the way of serving others and loving Jesus.

January was all about HONOR. “Love each other deeply. Honor others more than yourselves.” Romans 12:10
My favorite story was "Dinner with Sinners" = it's where Jesus hangs out with his newest follower--Matthew--at his crib. (Matthew 9:9-13)
Matthew had a party & didn't invite all the "cool, rich, important" people... he partied with the sinners and kinds of people that everyone HATED. the "uncool" people. And Jesus went on to say that His heart was for these kinds of people! It's why He came to earth. This is the opposite of the way our culture thinks. They usually ignore the people who get left out. So, this Jesus way we're teaching the kids to live is so revolutionary!
Bottom Line: Show honor to people who’ve been left out.

February was all about FAIRNESS & we even had a "FAIR is Wheel" (lol) and an Upstreet County Fair goin' on... “Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:9

The 1st week was so awesome when we talked about the principle of fairness from James 2! God wants us to treat the poor and bad dressers just as we treat the rich. The passage even says not loving the poor is just as bad as murder. hmmm...
Bottom Line: Treat everyone fairly because everyone's important to God.
Then, one of my FAVORITE stories of all time! The parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10). I made sure I got to be an actor in this week's big production in Upstreet! It was awesome as we did a full on drama of a modern day good samaritan story + interactively told the one from Luke 10 (thanks Alan for being the donkey!)
Bottom Line: Treat everyone fairly--even those who are different
And the 3rd week was a pretty HARD revolutionary way of Jesus for all of us to live! loving our enemies? who does that? Ananias did. & Revolutionaries do...
Bottom Line: Treat everyone fairly--even your enemies.

Man... the crazy thing is that most adults don't seem to know or "get" this stuff. These kids are "getting" it & I'm so stoked about it. We've got a revolutionary group of leaders who are putting their all & leveraging their time & talents into making sure the next generation is different than our current one.
Really stoked about what's going down the next few weeks... April 19th is gonna be awesome!

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