Notes for Midwest Conference 2015 Part 1

We are a few weeks away from the Midwest conference. The questionnaires were carefully made and chosen. I have developed below some other notes on the passage Matthew 9:1-13

In this passage our Lord is brought a man who is paralyzed. After proclaiming his sins are healed Jewish leaders accuse him of blasphemy. At this Jesus heals the man and sends him away. The second part is on the calling of Matthew.
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Critique My Sermon: Incarnational Spirituality

incThis sermon was delivered on April 26th, 2015 at West Loop UBF. Please feel free to rip it apart and tell me how it could have been better :)


A bit of disclosure is in order here: Since September of last year, I haven’t been attending church on a weekly basis. I’ve attended Catholic Mass a few times and have taken communion and have also had ongoing conversations about the Bible and life with others and have done my own personal study on biblical topics, but nothing like being plugged into a faith community on a regular basis. To some this may be disconcerting or off-putting, like who takes a half a year off of church and then preaches a sermon? But I thank Rhoel for reaching out to me and befriending and simply talking to me on a human-to-human level. One thing that I really appreciate about the West Loop community is you all’s desire to understand and practice the gospel in a loving manner. So I thank you all for accepting me and giving me the privilege to speak here today. I don’t take this lightly and I don’t want to waste your time, but instead I want to hopefully communicate an important point about the gospel that I think we, including myself, often miss. I’ll attempt to make my point in thirty minutes or less and end with a nice cherry on top which is an example from my own life.

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My First Few Days in Chicago

cLast Friday Chicago held a campus mission night. I traveled from St. Louis to Chicago for the event. My pastor had the missionary meeting so he was not present. To be truthful I was not entirely sure why I went. It is prohibitively expensive to travel there, since I currently only make $100 dollars a week as a graduate student. I found that I could take a bus there for only $20 and my spring break started the following week so there was no homework to worry about. I left Thursday around 2pm and arrived late. I will try to be protracted in parts I think readers will want to hear, and brief in other parts. I encourage any reader to leave any questions in the comments, a lot can happen in three days after all.
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Muslim – Christian dialogue: taboo or necessity?

k[Admin note: Libby has been a reader here for a while, and commented a couple times. Since our other articles are not ready yet, I decided to publish Libby’s first article. If we can process Ben’s article about right/wrong and good/bad, we should be able to see Libby’s points more clearly.] I don’t have to mention the news we get on TV nowadays related to the Middle East and what is happening there under the name of Islam – and it makes us helpless and sad to see. We don’t even have the energy to talk a lot about this, cause we are unaware of all the brutal mechanisms behind harming people and producing more and more refugees every day. Who is responsible for that directly? and which states in the world could possibly profit from it secretly? What does all that have to do with the “real Islam”?

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The Symposium


I have only been in my current chapter for a little over a year now, but I feel like what happened last night was something, by accounts of many former and current long standing members that at the very least was very new. Instead of having a bible study, testimony sharing bible symposium my pastor decided that we should do something to minister to non-believers, or sceptics. This was a key idea in Stephan Lutz’s book that was required reading for UBF leaders recently. The idea that book, of which I cannot recall the name, is that if only minister to the churched we are not really fulfilling the great commission. As followers of Christ we must take the message to the places that need it the most and this includes hostile arenas. In my experience colleges offer the most hostile arenas for the modern evangelist. I can recall just two days ago a pastor coming to SIUE to preach on the quad. He was assaulted by an atheist after affirming that Levitical Law was the word of God (to be fair to all involved, his wording could have been a little bit better in light of Galatians…) I was very inspired by the change I saw in my pastor’s move for this. Here are some things of note. Continue reading →

To be or not to be…a shepherd

dI recently heard a story of a man from a UBF chapter far far away from me. The topic of him becoming a “Shepherd” had been raised numerous times to him and felt as though he was being pressured. He asked me about the topic. I was in an interesting position, as I suddenly felt I could push the man from UBF forever or try to convince him to stay. This is what I told him.
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12 Things UBF Taught Me (3)

d3Campus Evangelism” – The third point in the ubf heritage is about college campus ministry. I normally combined “World Mission” and “Campus Evangelism” in to one slogan “World Campus Mission”. But really there are two slogans here. Campus evangelism refers to some specific lifestyle choices that are eventualy required of bible students in ubf (called “sheep”).

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Let Local Leaders Lead

In Manila, I am witnessing a vibrant work of the Holy Spirit in Philippines UBF, which I have not experienced in 32 years as a Christian in UBF USA. John Baik’s recent report of El Camino UBF from 2/28/2012 is encouraging and inspiring with many Americans coming to Christ and being fired up for evangelization through 1:1 Bible study. With UBF Founder Samuel Lee serving my fellowship at UIC, I personally experienced many UIC students becoming Christians in the late 80s and 90s who committed themselves to living for mission. But this influx of students and new Christians has not continued in the past 1 to 2 decades. Why? What, if anything, can be done?
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What a First Day in Philippines UBF

For 8 years, I visited Philippines UBF yearly. It has been an indigenous UBF ministry led from the outset by Filipinos for the last 25 years. I have felt the wind of the Spirit blow palpably and visibly (Jn 3:8), which is why I visit regularly.

Sandwitched between 2 staggering sorrows. I arrived in Manila at 1 am on Fri July 20. I didn’t sleep because of jet lag. I received an email about the horrific Colorado shootings, which killed 12 and wounded 58. The next day I received another staggering news of a close friend having a stillborn birth. My heart has been aching and thrown into a tailspin ever since I arrived in Manila. Sandwitched between these 2 sorrows, I attended Antipolo UBF on Fri evening, a 2 year old church plant. The lead church planter is Dr. John Talavera, a professor of Anatomy and Physiology and his lovely wife Hannah.
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How Well Are You Discipling Others?

This is based on a fascinating 9 min video by Father Robert Barron about how he would teach his seminary students as the new President of Mundalein Seminary, which is one of the largest seminaries in the U.S. How would he communicate to his seminarians the principles of evangelizing our culture today? His 5 points below of excitement, knowledge, audience, culture, and TGIF certainly fully apply to all UBF leaders, preachers and Bible teachers who want to reach and touch others for Christ effectively in this generation.
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