Final Hours of Summer

Summer has approximately 8 hours until it’s dead. Rest in peace, Summer 2009. Tell Summer 2001 hello for me! For RidgeStudents, it was a great one. We had some fun activities. Here is a recap of this summer’s awesomeness:

  • A fantastic Student Life @ the Beach camp
  • A great LIFEgroup study in 1st John
  • Mission: Dallas 2009 sharing the love of Christ in South Dallas
  • 2 separate Student Service Days
  • Great experiences with friends and leaders

This past week, there was an instance that made me think about Christianity in our lives and in the schools we attend. There was an inappropriate comment left on Facebook for something connected to RidgeStudents (don’t worry parents, it wasn’t any of the students). The comment was removed and the person was reported but it made me think about the veil that we can often hide behind. It’s so easy to check a box online saying that you are a Christian, or scroll down through a list and choose your faith allegiance, but what does that look like in our everyday lives. No matter how many people see my “Religious Affiliation,” it doesn’t mean anything unless they understand what that means practically in my life. Is it merely a label? Is it a convenient fallback?

“Facebook Christianity” as I like call it, is so easy to be a participant in. I can status update Scripture all day long, but once I leave my home, I too often fail to proclaim the same message with my mouth in front of real living humans, face-to-face. If I’m not doing that, then I’m the same as the 38 year old guy who sits in his parent’s basement, commenting on various conspiracy theories on his 2-hit-per-year blog and believing that everyone else is an idiot if they don’t believe that Christianity is a made up religion from old white men in suits who use it to control our minds, all the while eating nothing but Taco Smell and drinking out of a two liter bottle of Mountain Eeeew.

We have got to be people of the Gospel. Even as I write this, I’m evaluating areas in my life where I continue to fail in this regard. Paul tells us, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith’ ” (Romans 1.16-17 ESV). The Gospel is the power of salvation! God has chosen us to proclaim that message, and what are we doing about it!? For me, I spend way too much time arranging my iTunes so that all my albums have the correct cover art and song order, and spend too much energy “window coveting” all the stuff of this world I don’t have but want and think it will somehow make my life more complete. What a waste! I need to proclaim Jesus Christ and Him crucified. If you believe that, let us join together in that cause.

My final words are, stay in the Word. If you are not currently in the Word daily, get in there! We all have the time, despite the excuses we might make. Get in the Word as a family, get in the Word as an individual, and get in the Word with LIFEgroups. Romans 1-8 will be our focus this semester, and these famous eight chapters contain the power of the Gospel for salvation and the very words of God spoken to His people so that they might see the truth, love the truth and live the truth! Please join us on this journey this fall. I pray God will shine the bright light of His Word in our hearts so that we may love Him more and no longer be afraid to proclaim the burden-freeing message of Jesus Christ in our lives. Take care and have a great first week of school in Him.

Peace in Him Alone,

Coleman Ford

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