Tag Archives: University of Colorado

March Madness

Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Have you filled out your bracket?

Yep, I’m talking about the NCAA’s baby!  This year I’ve got my team going all the way.  Yep, I’ve picked the University of Colorado to make it to the NCAA championship game.  I always pick my school to win it, which hasn’t been possible due to the fact CU hasn’t been in the NCAA tournament in nearly 10 years.  This doesn’t mean deep down I expect them to win, I just hold out hope.

I am extremely excited about my team, but to be honest I haven’t been able to pay much attention this year.  I always hope for CU to do well, but this year they have blown past my expectations.  I figured they would win a game or two in the Pac12 tournament, but not much more.  So I was floored yesterday when I saw that they’d won the tournament and were lacing up their dancing shoes for the big dance.

As excited as I am about all this, something much greater has been going on this last week.

I’ve been out of the country.

Over the last week I have been serving on a short term mission trip in Guatemala.  After almost 9 months away from Guatemala I made it back for the Inter-American School’s Spiritual Emphasis retreat.

Last week was amazing and I am not quite ready to fly back to the states.  But what I am ready to do is share about all the crazy things God did in our lives.  He not only worked in our lives, but he used my dad, Mike and Stacey Davis, and Me.

Two students in high school made statements of faith and 30 in elementary asked to know Christ.

Let that sink in.  That is so much bigger than CU making it to the NCAA’s.  Kids lives were changed and God let me be part of it!

This is the real madness.  Over the last couple of months I’ve been preparing for this week.  I wanted it to be perfect.  Almost every night I’ve had a dream about Guatemala, most of the time my students are like characters out of Harry Potter, but they’re my students just the same.  And so as I dreamed of my return, I also made sure I did my best to include God in on my plans.  I didn’t want to come back to IAS just to see all my friends I missed, but to challenge my students to grow in Christ.  But just like I hoped CU would make the NCAA tournament, never really expecting them to win the Pac12 Championship to make it in to the big dance, I never expected God to do so much during my time leading the retreat.

It’s amazing how, when we have an open heart to all he is doing, he blows past our expectations.  He truly is greater than we give him credit for.  But I guess that’s what life is like when we live spiritually.

I believe that God did so much this week because my team and I came down to Guatemala with open hearts to all he had for us.  It is only when we are open to him that he uses us.  Before the week began we each prayed that we would be open to all God had for us this week and man, he had an extravagant amount for us.  I have so many stories of how he moved and am very excited to share them all once I have time to write them down.  Just be prepared to be changed, because when you read them, if you read them with an open heart toward God, you wont be the same.

As we fly home my prayer is that the students who felt Christ move in their lives will be able to find someone who will be able to help them grow in their faith.

I promise I will write more about the trip to Guatemala.  God showed up on my adventure this week and I am very excited to share it all with you, but right now I need to get to bed.

Please pray for a safe flight.

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What We Can Learn From Alferd E. Packer

In the winter of 1874, a man named Alferd E. Packer showed up in Gunnison, Colorado claiming that the rest of his party of gold seekers had perished in a snowstorm. Eventually he confessed that during the blizzard, in order to stay alive he had eaten some of his friends who had died in the storm. He had no choice, he remarked. If he hadn’t eaten them, he would have perished as well.

The legal authorities couldn’t stomach his claim, and convicted him of murdering his cohorts. After serving time in prison, he was released and died not far from my home in Littleton, Colorado.

One hundred years later, the students at the University of Colorado christened their new cafeteria the “Alferd E. Packer Grill” with the slogan, “Have a friend for lunch.”

Stories of cannibals have existed for millennia. Like Packer, some have resorted to “having their friends for lunch” out of necessity. But for the most part, cannibals have resorted to eating people in order to gain something from the person being consumed.

In many ways, the same holds true of Jesus’ followers.

Please join me…but not for lunch!

TODAY’S READING

1 Samuel 10:1-11:15
John 6:43-71
Psalm 107:1-43
Proverbs 15:1-3

INSIGHTS AND EXPLANATIONS

1 Samuel 10:1-11:15. Samuel’s words to Saul in 10:1 are very telling: “Has not the Lord anointed you leader over his inheritance?” Samuel was appointing Saul to lead God’s people. Israel didn’t belong to the newly anointed king. Instead, God appointed Saul as a steward over his possession. This is a great perspective for any leader.

In chapter 11, it quickly becomes obvious that although Israel now had a king, each tribe operated independently. Faced with the possibility of one region being forced into servitude, Saul rallied the other tribes into battle. Saul—and Israel’s victory—solidified his role as king.

John 6:43-71. Jesus’ words in this passage make it abundantly clear that he was more than a prophet. Every line is saturated with meaning.

Psalm 107. I always enjoy reading this psalm. The theme of this psalm gives praise to God for his unfailing love. Despite our digressions and failures, God proves that his love never ends. We can run out of patience, out of ideas, even out of gas. But God’s love and forgiveness is in infinite supply!

Proverbs 15:1-3. The subject of the first two verses concerns our words: “A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.”

I readily admit that I’m a talker. But when I reflect on these two proverbs, I’m inclined to talk less, listen more, and measure my words wisely.

YOUR SIDE OF THE CONVERSATION

Yesterday’s post about Israel’s evil request for a king generated an interesting insight from one of our readers. In two different posts, Elna remarked

Can you imagine how it was before Israel got a king? Everything belonged to the people, no excessive government spending, no overbearing and under-achieving bureaucracy? And no, I am no socialist…

Maybe that’s why God called a king a curse.
Being answerable to your direct family/family head makes your ‘sin’ more real…because it’s not “them” you are in rebellion against; its “us.” People always talk about the inhuman way of stoning. But it really puts the onus on the community to keep the sinner from sin because you really don’t want to stone your friend/family member. And from wrongful accusation/fraud because if you lie you will be committing murder. By putting justice in the ruler’s hand we are shirking our duty towards our community, and our own conscience because it is so far removed from ourselves that we don’t take responsibility.

My colleague and co-blogger Eugene Scott responded,

It seems that though the people sinned by each “doing what was right in his own eyes,” God’s idea of a theocracy (if we should call it that) in Judges and even part of Samuel had to do with the people not having an excessive government, bureaucracy, king, dictator, etc. But rather a loose system of family and tribal leaders that allowed them to be in more direct dependence on God.

What an enlightening and thought-provoking discussion! That’s why a daily Bible conversation is so much better than one person droning on and on about what the Bible says.

If you’ve found A Daily Bible Conversation helpful, share it with your friends! Forward your daily email or send them a link to the website: http://www.bibleconversation.com.

THE WORD MADE FRESH

The early Christians were accused of being cannibals–and what would you expect when outsiders heard that the Christians were gathering on a regular basis to eat Jesus’ body and drink his blood?

Today, we read some fairly confusing words uttered by Jesus:

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. John 6:53-56

What in heaven’s name does Jesus mean?

For centuries, theologians have debated this passage, likening it to various interpretations of communion. Granted, it points to communion, but on a deeper level, it points to the way you and I regard Jesus. Do we keep him at a distance or do we make him our life…and our death?

Ingesting Jesus means to consume him and look to him to give us life. It means to seek him, rely on him, and give him predominance in our thoughts. It means depending on Jesus to be our savior and follow him as our Lord.

That’s why his disciples told him, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”

At the end of Jesus’ hard words, and after many of his disciples left him, Jesus turned to his disciples and asked, “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Peter then answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

Eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking his blood means leaving no room for other options. He is our only way to true life.

You see, following Jesus doesn’t mean he’s a part of your life, it means he is your life.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. What spoke to you in today’s reading?
  2. What does John 6:43-71 tell you about Jesus?
  3. How do you consume Jesus? How have you discovered him to be your life?

If you’re reading this blog on FaceBook and you’d like to join the conversation, click here.

www.bibleconversation.com

Michael co-pastors The Neighborhood Church in Littleton, Colorado.

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