The Wisdom Truth

For posterity - some of the thought for the week slots so we can look back and see where we've been


Thoughts for this week - courtesy of Your YooF leadership team....          


14th November 2010                   
THIS is your LAST Chance...................

Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any.  So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’” LUKE 13 6 - 9

Have you ever been given a last chance? A final warning?  Happens all the time on the football field. Two yellow cards and then it's the dressing room.  In this parable Jesus is talking about the need we have to produce fruit, to show that we are Christians by the things that appear in our lives.  it is a warning looking at whether we really take Jesus seriously or not. are we going to live for him - or do our own thing.

On sunday we looked at the analogy of a pupil on th epoint of expulsion for assaulting his teacher.  The teacher pleads his case withhet head and the boy is given a LAST chance.  So the challemge is ...are we going to take our chance with God serioulsy or not?


07th November 2010

And the Father came running...................

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.  LUKE 15 :20

This is one of the best known parable stories of Jesus. The son who knew it all, wanted his money and turned his back on his father and his family and went off to see what he could get out of life.  Ever felt you wanted to do that?  We all probably  do at some time - But of course after a while of enjoying it - he began to realise the emptiness of life away from his father - and 'came to his senses'.  Can you imagine what he was feeling as he turned the corner and looked at the family home.  Was he scared, anxious, or what? Would his dad be mad or really cold towards him?  But here's the best bit....his father had been looking out all the time, longing for the day when he would come to his senses and come back to him and  when he saw him in the distance he came running to meet him.  

We have been discussing how Jesus' stories only really help us understand God if we think hard about what they mean and try and fit our minds round the stpory.  And if we look at this story we see that GOD is the father and just think then how happy he is when we turn back to him.

We looked at Jeremy Camp's song - You'll take me Back - and yes that's the message - when we turn back to God - he's delighted and will Take us back.  

See you Sunday @ YooF


4th 2010

Being of Use to God

"In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets—some containers used to serve fine meals, others to take out the garbage. Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing."  2 Timothy 2 (20-21) The Message

This week we looked at 'being useful to God' and thought about this young man Timothy who was charged with looking after a church in Lystra.  It was a great challenge and Paul wanted to encourage him.
We focussed on the fact that - God does not have to use us - he can get by pretty neatly without us. But when he does use us it blesses us, strengthens our faith, builds us up. But the reading above is about preparing ourselves and making sure that we can be useful.  Are we available for God (or do we fill our time up with lots of things that mean we're not available).  Is our lifestyle good and pleasing in God's sight?  (You wouldn't trust a cheat with a secret - would you?) 
So the question is - are you making yourself available, clean and ready to be used by God - for whatever he wants you to do.  It's a challenge.  Read the rest of 2 Timothy this week and make a note of all the challenges to your life there are in it. 


January 17th 2010

Life is like a great big pot of porridge!            

"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."Hebrews 10 24-25

This was one of the verses we heard on Sunday morning....and we talked about it at the end of Sunday night - laying down the challenge to say something encouraging to each other every day this week.

Think of the picture of a huge pot of porridge.  If you're going to make porridge you really need to keep stirring it to get it hot right through and to stop it getting lumpy and spoilt..(in fact if you're going to cook a delectable sauce of any kind the principle applies.  Keep Stirring!"

So in our Christian life - it's a bit similar.  It's good to keep prodding and encouraging each other, 'stirring each other up' to keep us hot in our Christian life. It might be to keep reading the Bible, or praying. It might be sharing something you have learnt, or a verse you've read. It might be to help someone do something that is 'loving' or a 'good woork'. We all need encouraged. We all need prodded. We all need stirred up!

And as we really look forward to a new year , and a new minister, and exciting things in Yoof we can encourage each other to keep on for Jesus.

Your challenge this week - say something, text something, email something to encourage someone else TODAY and EVERY DAY this week.

And when you see a plate of porridge - or taste a delicious sauce - think of this! 

See you Sunday @ YooF


December 21st 2009

The Big Change....

"Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, "Isn't he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn't he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?"  Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ."    Acts 9 19-22

What's the connection between Doug's Bus (the 1979 VW Camper) and Saul's story? We'll come back to that.  But this was the story we looked at this week. How God turned round someone who was so dead against the Christians that he wanted them, exposed, captured, imprisoned and killed.  And before three days were out ...he'd become one of them!  We looked at the way Ananaias must have felt when God said he was to go and help Saul.  It was a real 'who me?  You've got to be joking, Lord,' moment.

But as we've seen before, Jesus promises that the right words will be given through the Holy Spirit, at times like this. So Ananaias was helped in knowing what to do and say.  And it's the same for us in those difficult moments at school and Uni when we are not sure what to do when someone asks us about or makes fun of our being a Christian.  Remember Ananias...and remember Saul.  So Doug's Bus? Well Saul was converted from a hate breathing, Jesus loather into someone who would give his life for him. Now Doug is talking about converting his beloved dormobile to run on LPG fuel rather than petrol. It will go better, furher and be cheaper to he says. This means the thing will look the same on the outside, but have a new heart and run on a completely new spirit.  Well the guys among us thought that was a good analogy about the conversion of Saul into a Christian.  If the girls want to come up weith a less mechanical idea about what conversion is about we'll enjoy that....answers on a bit of paper in your favourite YOOF leader's sweaty hand by Sunday..and you'll get extra chocolate on X Faxtor Night on Sunday. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

November 29th  

....7 Things to do.....                                                                      

"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved    Acts 2 42-47 

This has to be one of the most exciting bits of the Bible.  It's about 6 weeks since Jesus rose from the dead. 11 of Jesus' chosen disciples were left.  120 people in total believed. (That's about as many as fill two of the downstairs sides in our church on a Sunday) ....and then as Jesus promised the Holy Spirtit came and in His power things began to happen.  By the end of one day 3000 had been added to the number who believed. 

But we looked at the things that marked them out.

1. They devoted themselves to learning.  What can we do to devote ourselves to learning more about God?

2. They devoted themselves to fellowship.  That's a two way thing as  we tell our Christian friends about what God is doing in our lives ...and we are encouraged by hearing back.  Do that then this week at school and Uni.

3. They devoted themselves to prayer.  How much time can you spend in praying this week?

4. They broke bread together. (And remembered what Jesus had done weeks before).  We had a loaf and took a bit as we then told each other something important about Jesus at Yoof this week.

5.They shared THINGS as well as WORDS

6. They ate together.  That's something we are pretty good at at Yoof....but we can include more friends. 

7. They praised God together

And here's a great bit.....everyone looked on and thought this was good....and more and more joined them. So think this week about encouraging each other as you pass them in the corridor at school.... or with a text or a call.  Share with each other the things you're learning as you read through the Bible.  Have fellowship! Feel good about the fact that people really do recognise there's something special about Christians....who are living the way God wants them to! ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

November 22 

Being Grapeful                                                                          

"I am the vine and my Father is the gardener.." John 15 (1-15)

 This is a challenging bit of the Bible for us.  If you read your way through this passage you will see tha Jesus is being encouraging and challenging at the same time.  He encourages us with the promise that we will be fruitful . BUT he is challenging in the fact that we have to remain in him...and so we have to put some effort into staying close.  We thought then about the bad 'branches' is our lives, the things that interfere with our closeness with Jesus ...things we say... or do ...or think. Places we go tha are not helpful. We thought to about the challenge of being 'cut off from God'.  How terrible that would be.  This week work hard at being close to God.

 ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________November 16th


'In the beginning was the Word ...."  John 1 :1

 This week we looked at the first part of John's Gospel -- the part we've reached on our walk through the New Testament.  And we saw that John was really keen to try and establish exactly who Jesus was - Jesus God's son -we thought about the fact that John knew Jesus perosnally.  He lived and followed him for three years. He saw what he did and said - and so we can trust what he says.  Read through the first 18 verses of John again this week and substitute the word "WORD" with "JESUS". Thta'll really bring the passage alive.


October 18th 09


"The sky and the earth won't last forever, but my words will. ..."                          (Matthew 24:35)

have you ever thought about those words that Jesus said all those years ago....we still have them, we can read them...we should obey them.  He said they would never pass away.  One day the earth, the Sun and all the planets will wear out. The Sun will be burned up, the Earth finished.  But Jesus' words aren't like that. they last forever. They are that important....which is one reason we are reading right through the New Testament together this year.  How are you doing. it's mark 1-8 this week. Keep at it and we'll  see You Sunday @YooF 


(September 9th) 


"Don't be jealous or proud, but be humble and consider others more important than yourselves. Care about them as much as you care about yourselves and think the same way that Christ Jesus thought....."                          (Philippians 2 3-5)

So this was the memory verse for the weekend away. We really should have left it blank and just let you remember it....but we like to be of help.  The message of the weekend away was about our own relationship with God. We spoke about believing in Him, what he was like and what he has done for well as loads of other things - relationships, being Christians - how easy and how hard that can be.

But this is one verse we were all to remember. It tells us about Jesus' attitude. STOP and ask yourself this. Is it easy to think of others as being more important than ourselves? Surely not! But we thought at the weekend about how Jesus thought we were so important that he was willing to suffer and to even to give his life for us. In fact if you were the only person that needed this.... he woud have done it just for you.

Now your challenge is to think of serving him, living the kind of life he wants, putting him first in your life and living this kind of "others first life". It's about seeing God as being more important than, (what was the phrase Scott used?) for the moment, seeking to please all your own desires, whatevere they are.  Have a good week getting on with that!


(Summer hols 2009)


"And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness"                          (Colossians 2 6-7)

Getting your roots in the right place is really important. If a tree is well watered and in good soil it will grow, but if the roots are in really dry or rubbishy ground it'll be a weed of a tree! It's the same with us.  we need to make sure we're well watered and well fed (which is a real YooF thing to say). So this summer when we are apart we need to make sure we spend regular time reading God's Word and regular time praying.  We can all pray for each other and especially for our prayer buddies. Some of the group will be at camp or mission or leadership training - and that's well watered ground. It's really encouraging to be with other Christians and times like that really help us to grow. It's always harder when we are alone  so let's make sure we work at keeping our roots deep in Jesus by linking our life every day with his! 


June 7th 2009)


" Every time I say your name in prayer—which is practically all the time—I thank God for you, the God I worship with my whole life in the tradition of my ancestors. I miss you a lot, especially when I remember that last tearful good-bye, and I look forward to a joy-packed reunion. 2 Timothy 1 (3-4)

So who are the important people in your spiritual life? Paul was an older Christian who was encouraging the young man Timothy in the job he had to do. Basically Timothy was the minister in Ephesus and he needed support and encouragement, and advice on how to live as Christian in a difficult city.  Paul prayed for him - consistently.  This is a challenge for us all to be prayerful - and should encourage us to pray for each other.  Take some time this week to pray for someone in particular in Yoof and your prayer buddy.


(May 17th 2009)

Greetin Meetin!  

" ...Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. Greet also the church that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia. Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you. Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. Greet Ampliatus, whom I love in the Lord. Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys. Greet Apelles, tested and approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus. Greet Herodion......."                                        Romans 16 - 3 -11

We spent time on Sunday looking at a list of fairly ordinary Christians whom Paul wanted to greet personally. What made them special? Why did they stand out in hois mind?  What greeting would he write to our church, or Yoof itself if he wre writing the letter to Avendalians today?   Remember then, this week how encouraging it is when someone greets you and remembers what you do...(well if it's a positive memory anyway).  Take time to greet each other and encourage each other ....and some folk too that wouldn't expect you to 'greet' them. 


(May 10th 2009)

There's Nae Man like Naaman!  

"It so happened that Aram, on one of its raiding expeditions against Israel, captured a young girl who became a maid to Naaman's wife. One day she said to her mistress, "Oh, if only my master could meet the prophet of Samaria, he would be healed of his skin disease."                                         2 Kings 5 :3

This is probably the most obscure quote we've ever put on the 'Thought forthe Week Slot" - but since we're looking at the small people who get a mention in the Bible obscure is the new cool. Have you ever had your name in print...and granny go off and buy ten copies of the nwspaper because you just came third in the local sports three legged wheelbarrow and marrow race? We worked out that this little girl got herself in the Bible (even though we don't know her name) because she did somethin that was really crucial to  the outcome of the whole story.  She spoke out and told someone about what God could do....and if she hadn't then - Naaman wouldn't have got healed.  This week think about the consequnces of speaking out for God....and of staying quiet.

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