The past 2 weeks, Dan continued to talk about friendship and how good friends will help you in life. The second sermon in his series was all about how a friend will not leave you in the long run. And his third sermon was about how friends will carry you in the rough times of life. In short, good friends will carry each other’s burdens and will never leave your side. Just like how Jesus acts toward us, those are the friendship qualities we should look for in the people around us. And that is how we should act to our friends too!
Dan started a new series on friendship and began with talking about the movie, Monsters University. In that movie, there is a lesson that is extremely important: good friends make you a better person. Your friendships have a huge impact on your life, so it is important that you surround yourself with good friends. Good friends encourage you, build you up, and challenge you to become better, much like how Mike did for Sully in the movie. If you take a look around you and evaluate your friendships, do you see goodness? If not, it might be time to make some decisions about whether you’re keeping those influences in your life.
This week, Dan continued his “180 Life” series by talking about the movie, Toy Story. In that film, Woody felt extreme jealousy when Buzz Lightyear came to Andy’s room. Woody had been used to being the “favorite toy” and let his pride take him down a dark road. Lots of the struggles in that movie would have been avoided if Woody had treated Buzz the way that Jesus teaches us to live. The world is full of jealousy, and it often commends pridefulness. Jesus showed us a life that is completely opposite of that. Jesus showed humility and unconditional love; seen most prominently when he died on the cross for us. When we accept Jesus into our lives, He can change our hearts and turn our thoughts into ones of love and humility.
This week, Dan talked about how Jesus Christ can take a life and completely change it. When we ask Jesus to enter our lives, we “flip the script” and become new people. We used the movie, “Cars” to illustrate how radical change can be. Lightning McQueen was all about himself, all about winning, and all about speeding through life. It took an encounter with the cars of Radiator Springs to teach McQueen to slow down, notice others, and love them. That is the message that Jesus spread too. We should not be too busy for others, rather, we need to help them. We should not be self-centered, instead, be selfless. When Jesus enters our hearts, He brings change. Are you willing to follow His lead?
We had a night full of fun and games instead of our normal sermon this week. We got some of the guys from Teen Challenge to join the teams and had an awesome time!
This week we looked at the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series. We focused on Jack’s compass, a compass that wouldn’t point North. This compass points to whatever it is that the holder wants most. Throughout the first three movies of the POTC series, the main characters follow this compass around in all different directions. As their desires change, their direction changes, resulting in a lot of confusion and chaos. Instead of keeping the same morals, they abandoned their values and wasted lots of effort chasing temporary things. We can do the same thing when we let temporary aspects of life determine our desicion-making. We talked about three things that many of us follow in our lives: Trends, Friends, and It Depends. Trends and Friends are often temporary, and if we make all our decisions based on them, we might never go anywhere. It Depends situations are when you let your circumstances determine your moral behavior. You might act good in church, but different at a party. All three of these things can lead to an unsatisfying and potentially destructive life. That’s why we want to follow someone who will always point in the right direction. That someone is God. His way is right and His words never fail. He is the same always. Depend of Him, He will not let you down.
Rock-Us January 15th continued with the Life Compass series as we talked about the importance of not letting temptations rule your life. We looked at the movie, Bohemian Rhapsody and the story of Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the rock-band, Queen. Freddie had a blessed life, with a successful band, a wonderful girlfriend, and not too many worries filling his mind. But as Queen became a world-famous band, Freddie let the lusts of life start to take over. He got mixed up in the party life, lived wildly, abused drugs, and abused God’s gift of sex in unwholesome ways. Because he could not resist those temptations, Freddie’s life suffered, and his sexual lifestyle ended up killing him in 1991 by the terrible disease of AIDS. This is an extreme, yet true example of how falling into temptation can destroy a person’s life. We all face temptations every day, and some of those are very hard to resist. However, we are not alone in the struggle. Jesus came to set us free from the bondage of sin and temptation. With His strength, we can fight against the devil and refuse to obey his schemes. We developed a way to fight temptation and arranged it in the acronym, S.T.O.P.
S – Seek God first
T – Think about where the temptation could lead you
O – Others can help you deal with your temptation
P – Pursue God’s righteous plan for your life
We kicked off the year starting a new mini-series called “Life Compass.” This series will touch on our lives’ direction and focus. In this first week, Dan talked about the movie “Inside Out” and explained how our emotions can control our lives in a negative way if we let them. Emotions are an important and powerful thing, but they do not have to determine our every action. Emotions are temporary and often unstable, which is why we should have something steady as our focus and motivation. God wants to be in control of our lives and He wants to set us free from the chaotic control of emotions. Here’s the sermon notes and questions!
This week we talked about the movie “A Christmas Carol.” We talked about how Mr. Scrooge was always full of himself and never opened his eyes to the care of others. All he wanted was money and he didn’t want to deal with his own insecurities and sins. We as humans can be like that if we do not have Jesus Christ living in us. When we decide to let Him change our hearts, then we begin to know true joy that lasts eternally. And when His love begins to shape us into new beings, then we begin to show that love to others. We as Christians should live by the J.O.Y. principle: Jesus first, then Others, and Yourself last. Don’t be a scrooge! Know Jesus and then you will Know joy!
This week, we continued talking about the movie, “The Incredibles.” In the film, Mr. Incredible was a role model for the super-fan, Buddy. Now, Buddy was obsessed with Mr. Incredible and wanted to work as his sidekick. However, Mr. Incredible was not the role model that Buddy expected him to be. Buddy was disappointed by the way Mr. Incredible ignored him and blew him off. That caused Buddy to become the movie’s main villain later. Dan used this story to help us think about role models in our lives. Are we following the right people? Do we have good influences? Are we being good role models to others? In all of these questions, we are encouraged to remember that God is our ultimate role model. We look up to Him for guidance.