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Crash Participant's Guide

Crash Participant's Guide

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Crash Participant's Guide

Lunghezza:
202 pagine
1 ora
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Dec 15, 2009
ISBN:
9780310861539
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

When heaven and earth collide, there’s a crash. That crash is the place we live in every day when we invite God’s will to be “done on earth as it is in heaven,” and there’s no better place to be if you want a glimpse of the Kingdom of God. Here, students are given a book that helps lead them in prayer to the point of impact so they can experience God in their everyday lives, and youth workers get lessons, activities, and other ideas to help them incorporate Crash into their ministries.
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Dec 15, 2009
ISBN:
9780310861539
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Steven Case has been in youth ministry for more than 20 years. The author of several books, including The Book of Uncommon Prayer 1 & 2, Steve works at the United Church of Christ, in Windermere, Florida. He lives near Orlando with his wife, Becky.

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Crash Participant's Guide - Steven Case

Thoughts

INTRODUCTION

It’s my hope that you totally abuse this book. If someday you and I meet and I find this book sitting on a shelf in pristine condition, I’ll be disappointed.

This book was written so you can come back to it over and over and over. There are prayers in the back of the book that can be used again and again. It’s created to be tossed into a backpack, shoved into a glove compartment, read outside in the rain or inside a warm coffee shop as you ponder when the snow will stop falling. And stains. I really hope there will be coffee stains and blueberry fingerprints throughout this book someday.

So let’s start with the obvious question. Read this next part and then you can decide whether you want to put the book back on the shelf and never take it down again or press on and make this book a part of your life.

Here’s the obvious question. Ready?

What is the CRASH?

In the simplest terms, the CRASH is where heaven and earth collide with each other and we choose to live in the explosion.

The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth he has given to humankind. (Psalm 115:16)

Heaven belongs to God.

Earth he has given to humans.

Heaven is where everything is exactly the way God wants it to be. Earth is where everyone else has a say in how things should be.

But sometimes…

Just sometimes…

The fog of our finite existence is lifted for a moment to give us a glimpse of the infinite.

An ordinary person is presented with an extraordinary opportunity.

The unimaginable becomes tactile.

The seemingly impossible drifts within our grasp.

Sometimes heaven and earth collide with each other, producing a wonderful and beautiful CRASH.

The collision isn’t always loud and dramatic. The CRASH can be hearing the perfect song on the radio as you drive with the windows down and the warm sunshine on your face.

The CRASH can be that last night of the mission trip when the candle is burning and the songs are being sung and you begin to feel the full weight of what you accomplished for the people you served.

The CRASH can be an overwhelming realization of exactly how big the universe is and exactly who created it.

The CRASH can be the kind and loving dope slap that brings your sorry self back to reality.

Are you still with me?

The CRASH is when we’re connected with God—but it’s not like God throws down a rope for us to cling to. Connection, in this case, is more like floating halfway between the surface and the floor of the deep end of the pool.

The CRASH is…

…a waiting

…a repose

…an inward glance

…a new view

…an intense and sudden knowledge

…a realization

…a silent conversation

…an explosion of emotion

…a knowing

…an enveloping presence

…a connection

…a right-place-right-time feeling

…an individual journey

…a group road trip

…a baggage-leaving leap

…a deep and total acceptance

…a shining

…a Fender guitar blast

…a completion

…a beginning

…a continuance

…a link

…a correlation

…a—

Well, I think you get the idea. Let’s move on.

THE CRASH

EXPLAINED

CHAPTER ONE

Let’s go on a journey, just you and me. We’ll go together. We don’t have a destination in mind, so we won’t know when we get there. But that’s okay because in this case, the journey is the thing.

Ever been on a really fun road trip? The kind in which where you were going turned out to be secondary to what happened along the way? Riding with the windows down. Singing along with that song on the radio. Eating frightening amounts of junk food. Telling all the jokes you know. Praying you find a hotel with a shower because the person sitting next to you is getting a little ripe. A road trip full of laughter, communion, and love.

That’s the kind of journey we’re going to take.

We’re going to find the kingdom.

The problem with looking for the kingdom is that it doesn’t stay in one place. So you have to keep looking and keep journeying—even after you’ve found it.

The kingdom isn’t a location. The kingdom is a way of living.

When heaven CRASHES into earth, the kingdom exists—sometimes just for a moment, sometimes longer. For a lucky few, the CRASH of heaven and earth can last a lifetime.

Let’s take a look at the elements involved in the collision.

HEAVEN

I believe heaven is a place so far beyond our understanding that we can’t even conceive of it.

Walt Disney and his team of creative geniuses could sit at a table with Henry Ford, Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Seth MacFarlane and, on their very best day, these men and women could not even begin to conceive what heaven is really like.

Why?

Because, as humans, we’re limited by our senses.

Sight.

Sound.

Smell.

Taste.

Touch.

These abilities enable us to experience the world around us—but they limit us when it comes to God. When we die, we leave behind our imperfect bodies. We’re no longer limited by our senses. We experience something more.

What? I don’t know. No one does. Because of our five limitations, we can’t ever know what it’ll be like until we actually get there.

Everything we know about heaven—every movie, every drawing, every dream, every song, every TV show—is based on someone else’s idea of what heaven is. And this someone is as human as you and I, working with his five limited senses.

Heaven is so mysterious, so otherworldly, so amazingly beyond our comprehension that we can be right in the middle of the CRASH and not realize it.

EARTH

The creation story in the book of Genesis is beautiful—and probably one of the first stories many of us learned in church. But there are passages in the book of Job that look at creation from another perspective. Their words come directly from the mouth of God.

Check out the following passages from Job. Better yet, stick your finger in this book and go look up Job 38 and 39 in your favorite translation. In this part of the story, Job feels like God’s personal outhouse. He’s endured unimaginable tragedies, one after the other. And finally, he can take no more. Job goes off on a tirade—not just any tirade, but an at-wit’s-end, screaming-at-the-rain tirade. (Remember Lt. Dan on top of the boat in Forrest Gump?)

God patiently listens to Job’s diatribe.

And when Job is finished, God sits the boy down and delivers the following speech. Look closely and you’ll see evidence God has a sarcastic sense of humor.

You’ll also discover a Creator who is intimately involved with his earthly creation—One who wouldn’t hesitate to intervene (sometimes in miraculous ways) on behalf of his people.

Job 38

"Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?

Tell me, if you understand.

Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!

Who stretched a measuring line across it?

On what were its footings set,

or who laid its cornerstone—

while the morning stars sang together

and all the angels shouted for joy?

"Who shut up the sea behind doors

when it burst forth from the womb,

when I made the clouds its garment

and wrapped it in thick darkness,

when I fixed limits for it

and set its doors and bars in place,

when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;

here is where your proud waves halt’?

"Have you ever given orders to the morning,

or shown the dawn its place,

that it might take the earth by the edges

and shake the wicked out of it?

The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;

its features stand out like those of a garment.

The wicked are denied their light,

and their upraised arm is broken.

"Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea

or walked in the recesses of the deep?

Have the gates of death been shown to you?

Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?

Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?

Tell me, if you know all this.

What is the way to the abode of light?

And where does darkness reside?

Can you take them to their places?

Do you know the paths to their dwellings?

Surely you know, for you were already born!

You have lived so many years!

"Have you entered the storehouses of the snow

or seen the storehouses of the hail,

which I reserve for times of trouble,

for days of war and battle?

What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,

or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?

Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,

and a path for the thunderstorm,

to water a land where no man lives,

an uninhabited desert,

to satisfy a desolate wasteland

and make it sprout with grass?

Does the rain have a father?

Who fathers the drops of dew?

From whose womb comes the ice?

Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens

when the waters become hard as stone,

when the surface of the deep is frozen?

"Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades?

Can you loosen Orion’s belt?

Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons

or lead out the Bear with its cubs?

Do you know the laws of the heavens?

Can you set up [God’s] dominion over the earth?

"Can you raise your voice to the clouds

and cover yourself with a flood of water?

Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?

Do they report to you, ØHere we are’?

Who gives the ibis wisdom [about the flooding the Nile],

or gives the rooster

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