I received my free copy of mark Batterson’s new book Soulprint a on Wednesday December 29th from Water Brook Multnomah Publishing Group. I had set a goal in my mind to have it read and a review posted by the beginning of the year. Batterson made it easy to meet that goal.
In this book readers are seeking to answer the question of “Who am I?” As we seek to live lives of purpose and fulfill the plans God has for us we must first answer this question. Sure, we are all called to live lives devoted to God, but that is only half the story. Each and every one of us is unique and different from anyone else on the on the planet or who has come before us. With this in mind Batterson writes of each one of us having our own soulprint, like a finger print that is at the core of who we are.
Throughout the book King David is a companion on the journey. Readers take a closer look at some of the defining moments of David’s life. These are moments where David discovers his soulprint and lives into being the person he was made to be.
This is a great book to take a look at in the new year. With resolutions flying about this book may give some guidance to discovering your soulprint. Batterson writes that he felt like he was at a loss as a preacher because he has to use a manuscript. Because these carefully written sermons make up the foundation of the book it is easy to read, filled with practical application and contains wonderful illustrations. The discussion guide in the back of the book is great for personal reflection or group study.
I was expecting a lot from this book as I have grown to like Mark’s writing more and more. Soulprint didn’t disappoint. Pick up a copy. It is set to release January 18th.
Click here to check it out on Amazon
In the book “Tuesdays with Morrie” there is a conversation about getting older. Morrie tells Mitch, the book’s author, “I embrace aging.” He explains that if he were to stay 21 he would not know the wonders of being 22 or 54 or any other age. Morrie goes on to say, “I am every age, up to my own.”
A little while ago someone from my elementary school growing up found and scanned some of our old yearbooks into facebook and then tagged a bunch of us as like a remember when kind of thing. I am the one in the top row second from the left. As I look at that picture I think about all of the memories that I had then, but would never want to go back. In fact Morrie’s words ring true for me. I have had first hand experience of every age, up to 28. How cool is that! The trouble comes when we forget some of these ages. We forget about parts of our lives that make us, us.
In student ministry we should embrace the ages that we still are. We are not just our current age, but we are all of our years. When I talk to students who are going through a hard time or who make strange decisions I have to stop myself from thinking “What are you doing?” I have to remember my teenage self. I have to remember when my brain was literally not making connections the way it does now.
Perhaps an extension of grace to our students is taking the time to remember the things that mattered most to us during our middle and high school time. Telling an 8th grade guy to “suck it up” and essentially walk it off when he tells you that he broke up with the love of his life (a relationship lasting 4 days and a lunch shift) may not be the most pastoral thing to do. Feelings and emotions are real and intense for our students.
In the coming year make an effort to remembers your ages (all of them) and better connect with your students.
More and more I can’t help but read the nativity story (especially where it concerns Mary) without thinking about the cross. I am one of those people who likes to read the first and the last 2 chapters of a book before reading the text in its entirety. So with that, I can’t help but think about this season without thinking about the cross.
Charles Spurgeon once said that his preaching makes a beeline for the cross no matter where the scripture comes from. The cross is the thing that changes the game for us. Without the cross there would be no Christmas. Without the cross we would not know, in such real terms, the love that God has for us. Without the cross the world would be a very different place.
So in this season, in particular, we are given an opportunity to share that God doesn’t just have the kind of love for humanity that sends the baby Jesus, but also that kind of love that leads to the cross. May we all be blessed because of this Christ child who entered the world and turned everything upside down because of his life, death and resurrection.
Be blessed this Christmas
Finally I can put to rest the Winter Ministry catalogue for our student ministry. This is a booklet that outlines all that we are offering in our student ministry on the Fellowship, discipleship and service areas. We also talk about ministry teams and give a calendar of events through the spring. The next time I have to do one of these is going to be in May!!!
Many thanks to the folks who helped edit and proof read my poor grammar and bad spelling. I am excited about getting this in the hands of our students for Christmas eve and beyond. Check it out. We are going to be printing today and posting to the web soon.
I always forget the details that go in to making this thing. I was so excited I even put on my Santa hat to show my holiday cheer!!!
I saw this come across the web the other day and thought that it was really perfect. Take a look. You may have seen it at church this weekend. SOOO fun.
The other week when Katie and I were in the throws of trying to push out some young adult materials for the Conference Young Adult Council, I took a number of pictures of nativity sets from our home.
I got out the tripod and my nifty 50mm 1.8 lens and started snapping. Soon I found that I had a very interested assistant who was willing to hold up backdrops, move furniture, and hold lights at just the right angle.
After she got the hang of it she wanted to shoot some ornaments on our tree for her self. So we gave her a crack at it and she did rather well. take a look at some of her shots.
It was so much fun. next time I think that we are going to try for some sunsets.
This week I was fortunate to be able to go to my daughter’s preschool program for the end of the year. After a 3+ hour car ride from Brunswick to Arlington VA (a trip that should have taken an hour and 15 min) we arrived just in time for the beginning of the program. Eden was great, she sat with her class, wore her Santa hat, sang and did her hand motions just so. I had my camera and snapped a few choice pictures of Eden and a couple of some of her friends. Then when the program was over the kids staid on the stage and parents could then swarm up close and get their pictures.
Katie’s mom directs the preschool and wanted me to take some pictures of the parents taking pictures like paparazzi. I am sure they were all taking pictures of my Eden because, well, she is the most adorable one up on the stage J/k .
As I took pictures of the parents I thought about Mary and Martha. There were parents who sat and enjoyed the program, while others only saw it through camera viewfinders and camcorder LCD’s.
With all of the hustle and flow of Advent and student ministry in general, we must take seriously the words of Jesus to Martha to slow down and enjoy the present. We can easily get wrapped up in the planning and execution of programming that we forget about the people who we put the programs on for. Ministry can get lost in the production. Make sure you are able to take some time (even if it means some little things will not get done) to be with your students.
Be blessed and pause to take it in