Chapter 3. Just a little note.

Posted 31 Aug, 2009 11:33 AM by Ron

I shared this on facebook, and then decided to share here as well (the slightly shorter version).  I hope that this is something that encourages each of you today.  Happy Monday!

I like to think I can do things on my own. I like to think that I don't need anybody, that I can handle it, that I am greater than I am. I try to live honestly. Of course I struggle, of course I get frustrated, and I yell at scott, or I get lazy and ignore my chores. I get irritated that the quizzers won't learn the 10 memory verses. AND...I'm a social worker at heart. I want to save and fix everyone. But I can't. Because only Jesus saves. Paul says in 1 Corinthians: So Neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who makes things grow. (3:7).

BUT ONLY GOD. We can't change people's hearts. That's not our job. God didn't call us to that. God called us to plant. So, we get dirty. We dig. Or we water. we rinse. we nurture. But NEVER can we make it grow. NEVER can I, by my own strength or power change anyone. So we plant, or we water. and we wait. and God makes it grow.

Then I did a little research because I was frustrated.  If I'm gonna get dirty, if I'm gonna work hard--i want to see what i'm working toward.  Here's what I found:  The saguaro cactus only grows ONE INCH in the first ten years of life? It doesn't flower until after its 60! But, its also the tallest cactus. It can grow taller than most trees. Over 50 feet. Planting is hard work. really hard work, and it takes time. we don't always see God working. We don't see the growth. But God's plan is bigger than ours, and what we can't see developing, may turn out to the be the strongest or greatest person of faith in our lifetime.

Today, my faith is in our Creator. The one who makes things grow. The one who places us in community to support each other, and who gives us the responsibility of planting. So that He can make things grow.

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Posted 24 Aug, 2009 07:39 PM by Ron

My pictures are up in the gallery.  Jeremy's are coming soon!  Don't forget to register for the site so you can check out all the cool stuff going on in the forum.

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New Website!

Posted 23 Aug, 2009 04:20 PM by Jeremy

If you're reading this you've probably noticed the launch of the new CCDQuiz Website. We'll be adding in new features as the quizzing year gets under way, but we wanted to refresh the design a bit, add in some new features and make things easier for everyone. Some of the new features include easier registration for coaches, the ability to comment on blog posts, and a bunch of stuff under the hood that makes life easier for Scott and Sara. If you have any issues or suggestions for the new website feel free to post them in the website forum.

Important! If you previously registered on the old website you will need to reregister as we have wiped all users from the system. This was done to clean up a lot of bogus users that were hanging around.

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Scotts thoughts: Chapter 2

Posted 10 Aug, 2009 10:10 AM by Ron

So, basically, this whole chapter is about wisdom. Paul is continuing from chapter 1 where he shows that Jesus is the very wisdom of God given to us in human form. Simply stated, Paul is showing that the way God chose to do things is not the way the world does things. Let’s look at what is going on in chapter 1. Paul gives a brief greeting, and then gets right down to the reprimanding about divisions in the church. He is wasting no time with this, so we know that the issue has to be a big deal. I would imagine that the issue in the church at Corinth is not that these people are disciples of Paul, or Apollos, or Peter, or whoever, but rather that they were arguing about who was more right, or maybe even who had more authority. They all wanted to be associated with the top dog. They were all power grabbing!

So Paul steps in and says, “this attitude is not right! Look at Jesus on the cross! Does that look like a power grab? Does that look like Jesus was trying to jockey for authority or status? That is how the world does things! We are supposed to act like Jesus, not like the world!”

So, now, think of chapter 2 as a continuation of chapter 1 (imagine the numbers are not there). Paul is still in mid thought at the beginning of this chapter.

1 When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.[a] 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.

In verses 1-5, Paul is giving an example of what this wisdom looks like. Even Paul did not come with ‘wise or persuasive words.’ Paul’s power and authority came from God, through Paul. This is so that there would no doubt that any of this came from Paul alone. Bumbling, stumbling Paul proved that the power he had was not his own, but came from God. He showed that our faith should be in God and not in how smart we are, or how eloquently we speak.

6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Paul is saying that the world’s wisdom is not the same as God’s wisdom. If the world had understood what God was doing, they would not have killed Jesus. But, since they did crucify Jesus, it is clear the world had no clue who Jesus was or what God was doing. So, it follows, that the wisdom of the world does not, can not, and never will be the same as the wisdom of God. The wisdom of the world is ‘coming to nothing.’ God’s wisdom has been secret, in that, no one knew about it, until Jesus. God had planned that wisdom to be revealed for us (for those who love him)!

9 However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"

This secret wisdom is something so new and different that no one has ever even dreamed of it. It’s mind blowing!!

10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.

The emphasis in this verse is to us. The rulers of this age, in all their power and authority, could not understand God, or what he was doing. But God gave that understanding to us!

11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.

Paul draws on an example from everyday life. No one knows what thoughts and feelings you have from day to day except for you. No one can know all of those things except for you. Paul is saying that is also true with God. Only the spirit of God can know what God is thinking and feeling. God has given us his Spirit! We can understand the things that the world cannot because God gave his spirit to us.

13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.

Paul is wrapping up with this verse. What is he is saying is something like, “all the stuff that I just explained to you, those are the things that we talk about. We talk about spiritual things. We talk about things from God.”

14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Those who don’t have the spirit won’t be able to understand the things we talk about. He can’t understand them because he has the mind of the world, and the things we talk about come from the Spirit of God. It’s all going to be nonsense to him.

15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment:

When we receive the Spirit of God we are able to understand what it is that God has done, but that doesn’t mean we no longer understand worldly wisdom. We still retain the knowledge of the way the world works. But, because we have the Spirit of God we can understand all things (spiritual and worldly). However, the man with worldly wisdom can’t claim to understand and make judgments on the spiritual man because they don’t have that Spirit of God.

16 "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

This verse is a little tricky, and some of it gets lost in translation. A better way to say this would be, ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord that he may teach him (The Lord) to others.” What Isaiah is saying is, “Who can really teach others about God or about what he is saying? Who knows enough about God to honestly be able to give that information and instruction to other people?” Well, we do! We have the mind of Christ, which is the Spirit of God. We can talk and teach about what we know because we have been given that Spirit of God. How awesome is that!? We have the mind of Christ. We can understand God! God has given us the change to really understand him, or at least understand how he works.

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