Wishing all my readers, the CITRT community, family and friends a Merry Christmas. Our church is “old calendar” so we don’t celebrate the Nativity of Christ until January 7th (13 more days of festivities). I leave you with a few beautiful nuggets.
My wife and I love sitting in front of the fire in our living room, we would love to have a fireplace in our less formal family room but alas it isn’t practical. In my typical geekness I wondered if there were any virtual fireplace options available for playback on our big screen. After scouring the net for a while, I did manage to find a few fireplace DVD options, but I couldn’t justify handing out cash for those. While taking a nice retreat day in front of the fire, I set up my Canon Vixia HD Camcorder on a tripod and got 30 minutes of great flames. I’ve put it up on Vimeo in case anyone else is as corny as I am and wants to loop it on their TV…at least it is greener than burning firewood!
Microblogging with Twitter has taken off over the past year, many have moved from longer blog posts to frequent 140 character updates. Twitter is amazing when you want reach an audience, but what if you want something to use with a certain niche? Emad Ibrahim, a friend of mine saw the need and was inspired to startup Yonkly. Yonkly is a hosted, white label solution for creating your own microblog network.
Creating your own microblog network is a good idea if you want something specific to your organization or community. That way posts don’t get lost in all the noise. A great example is Christtr, a Christian microblog running on Yonkly. where it asks “How are you living Christ’s word?” instead of “What are you doing?”
Yonkly is still in beta, I have played around with it and it definitely has a lot better usability and polish then other niche microblogging services I’ve seen. RSS support, Twitter integration (supports cross posting), an API and a desktop client are all in the works. I think Yonkly is coming to market just in time and has a lot of potential.
Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. [youversion]Philippians 2:1-11[/youversion]
God has nudged me in several different ways that the virtue I need to be working on most these days is humility. With that I decided to do a character quality bible study on humility using the method outlined in Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods.
CHARACTER QUALITY STUDY FORM
1. CHARACTER QUALITY Humility
2. CONTENTS Matthew 20 contains four sections.
Verses 1-16: Parable on the laborers paid equally
Verses 17-19: Jesus predicts His death
Verses 20-28: Jesus teaches on serving others
Verses 29-35: Miracle of Jesus healing two blind men
3. CHIEF PEOPLE
Jesus Christ Landowner The First Laborers The Rest of the Laborers Disciples The two blind men
4. CHOICE VERSE
Matthew 20:27-28 – “And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
5. CRUCIAL WORDS
First (v. 8, 10, 16, 27) Serve (v. 28)
6. CHALLENGES (Difficulties I need to study)
v. 16 – “For many are called, but few chosen.”
v. 23 – “but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.”
Song of Solomon 1:6, 8:11-12
Mark 10:32-34, Luke 18:31-33
Matthew 16:21, 27:2, John 18:28, Acts 2:23, 3:13
Mark 10:35-45, 15:40
Mark 14:36, John 18:11
Acts 12:2, Romans 8:17, Revelation 1:9
Mark 9:35, 1 Peter 5:3
Philippians 2:7, 1 Peter 1:19
Mark 10:46-52, Luke 18:35-43
8. CHRIST SEEN
1st Section - God’s gift of salvation is not given to those who “deserve” it but by His grace He generously gives eternal life to those who turn to Him early or later in life. 2nd Section – Christ predicts his death and resurrection. 3rd Section - Christ the Lord and ultimate example of a servant teaches that a real leader has a servant’s heart. 4th Section – Christ lived out the example he just taught about service buy stopping on His way out of Jericho to heal the blind men.
9. CENTRAL LESSON(S)
The first laborers agreed on a price with the landowner (v. 2) while the rest of the laborers trusted the landowner (v. 4, 7).
The disciples didn’t catch on to what Jesus meant regarding His death and resurrection (v. 17-19) and continued to think about themselves.
Christ emphasizes twice that the last will be first, and the first last (v.16, 26-28).
Characteristics of the selfish/proud brother
Grumbling – v. 11
Jealousy – v. 12
Seeking position – v. 21
10. CONCLUSION (Personal Application)
Many times I seek what is fair or what I feel I deserve and when I don’t get it, I question God. In this chapter Christ makes it clear that we don’t deserve anything but rather he gives out of His generosity. If I want to be first, I should follow the example of Christ and really become a servant to all. Christ, while on the way to His crucifixion stopped to heal two blind men, if He could make time to do that, can’t I stop to help when I am in a hurry? Christ set the example that to lead is to serve, I will begin to budget time in my schedule so that I can spend more time directly serving others.