Vision 2019

The Christian Formation Podcast was birthed through some youthful angst and hopefully a dash of obedience to God’s guidance. In 2018 we decided to begin a process of discussing life and bible issues as a means to put good content in the ears of our church family. The youthful angst, you may ask, is the bit inside us that believes we have something to say that no one else is saying. Thoughts to solidify and put through the airwaves. Teaching to condense and download in our friends.

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Andrew Rutten
God's Heart for the Poor

There are countless things that my parents taught me while growing up. They taught me how to tie my shoes, my dad taught me how to drive a stick shift, and my mom at least attempted to teach me how to cook. Out of all those things, small to big, the one I am perhaps most grateful for is the way they taught me that serving the poor is part of being a Christian. They led by example and frequently served with our church in different ministries in the Denver area. It was evident, even without their words, that their service was directly connected to their faith in Christ, and was even evidence of their faith in Christ.

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Kent McCrimmon
Scripture Memorization

If you would have asked me a year ago if I had any verses memorized, my response would have been anything but impressive. I probably could have rattled off John 3:16, if for no other reason than I’d seen it at sporting events so many times, but that was about the extent of my abilities. You can probably imagine my reaction then when I was asked if I would memorize Psalm 6, to be recited to the congregation on a Sunday morning.

Naturally, I procrastinated until the week that I was to recite this Psalm. I fumbled my way through a couple articles on how best to go about memorizing something and started trying to internalize the Psalm. Who knows how much time I spent that week simply reciting these verses over and over again. I had barely managed to get to the point where I could recite the Psalm entirely by memory by the time that Sunday morning came.

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Reis Pieper
Stewarding Independence

I (Gabe) wanted to write an opinion piece that would pair well with our fourth of July week. There are many blogs I wanted to write. ('religious leanings of founding fathers,' 'the pagan history of fireworks,' 'how to be missional this fourth of July,' or something along those lines) But, I think the timely word for Christians this 4th of July week 2019 is to consider our concept of independence and reflect on how those concepts might be in line with or contradictory to the Bible.

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Gabriel Jasso
Bangkok Update 2019

Greetings Providence Church family. It has been only about 6 months ago that we talked through some of our ideas and our heart to start a center next to Assumption University here in Bangkok. We started to see some interest among the international students on campus, then started a Bible study and thought – what if we were to have a center right next to the campus? It seemed like a good idea, and that God was opening doors, as there was a building for rent right next to the campus. But it still left us with the question of: how would we fund it? In God’s providence (pun intended), around that time Andrew contacted us on behalf of the church asking if there were any financial needs that we had. I’m not sure if he knew what he was getting you guys into, but pretty soon you all generously covered the rental costs for the first year.

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Keith Neigenfind
Why Worship Nights?

Every month, our Church gathers to sing, pray, and read the Bible. We call these times Worship Nights, because we believe them to center our attention (our worship) on Christ. But recently I (Gabe) have been asking myself, what is the difference between a worship night and a Sunday morning church gathering? What, if any, is the difference between gathering on Sunday morning and gathering in someone’s house to do relatively the same thing?

To compare these two is like comparing apples and oranges. (Which, counter to popular belief, actually can be compared.) You see, just like apples and oranges, both Sunday morning and Wednesday night strive after the same thing, they exist in the same ecosystem, they are both fruit. Both spaces exist to help people worship God. But qualitatively each of these spaces “taste” different. They each have their unique way of calling us back to God. Here are a few things that you will find at a worship night that make it distinctive from our Sunday morning gatherings.

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Gabriel Jasso
Lewis: The Apologist

Lewis: The Apologist

Polarizing, yet popular. CS Lewis has been read, quoted, debated and nuanced for the last half century. Our previous post was devoted to giving background to Lewis and introducing one of his most famous works, Mere Christianity. But who was Lewis as an apologist?

Apologetics is a defense of a certain set of beliefs. You can have apologetics for the effectiveness of crossfit, a religion, a political ideology, or why the ’96 Huskers truly were the best college football team of all time. An apologist is simply someone who defends their beliefs and values.

Christian apologetics, then, is the defense of the faith. When most people think of apologetics in the Christian world, you might think of arguments for the existence of God, the resurrection of Jesus, or the reliability of the Bible. Mere Christianity, for example, begins with a moral argument for the existence of God. This writing would be a form of apologetics.

What we are interested in presently, is looking at Lewis as an apologist. What was his view on defending the Christian faith, and what was his impact?

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Andrew Rutten
C.S. Lewis — Mere Christianity

Some of CS Lewis’s most famous quotes reside in one of his most famous works: Mere Christianity. However, I must admit that while I skimmed through this book as a new Christian years ago, I have not read it since. 

Quoted from it, absolutely. Engaged with the actual work, not exactly.

This January, I picked up Mere Christianity for a class I’m taking on its author, CS Lewis. I had as much familiarity with vaguely remembering of an argument about Jesus being liar, lunatic or Lord. Yet as I read, it was not what I thought it would be, in mostly good ways.

Maybe you have read it years ago, or you have skimmed it like me, or your only interaction with it is your pastor’s quarterly CS Lewis quote from it. No matter your familiarity with it, great benefit can come from adding it to your to-read list in 2019.

Here’s a brief summary, a few personal takeaways, and who I’d recommend to read this book this year.

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Andrew Rutten
Faith & Work (A Brief Conversation)

If we have ever thought about how Christianity intersects with our career, we most likely have asked the question “How does God fit into my work?” For many of us, if we think about being a faithful Christian at work that most likely means we feel the pressure to evangelize. But what if there is a better understanding of the mission of God and our work?

Instead of asking how God fits into our work, we want to reframe our thoughts to see how our work fits into the story and plan of God. Whether you are a pastor, stay-at-home mom, engineer, plumber, teacher, lawyer, photographer, or anything else in between, your work fits into the story of God. To be faithful Christians in our city, it is going to take a deeper understanding of how our work furthers the mission of God.

Justin Curtis helps us think through the beginning of the conversation in this week’s podcast. After you listen, would you consider joining our Mission and Work class on Thursday mornings in May? We want to start the conversation of what it looks like to be faithful to the mission while at work.
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Justin Curtis can be reached at justin@cdomaha.com

Next Steps: 

Omaha Faith & Work Collaborative's Next Event
"
The Problem With our Work"
4.25.19 | 6-8p | Thrasher Corporate Headquarters (11844 Valley Ridge Dr. Papillion, NE 68046) 
RSVP here

Providence's "The Mission & Work" Class
Thursday Mornings in May | Pella Building in Blackstone (303 S. 41st St. Omaha, NE 68131)
Register here

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Andrew Rutten