The Name Game

February 27, 2009

nametagIf you’re on facebook, you’ve probably seen or played the name game where you create new names for yourself based on specific directions. For example, your “witness protection name” is made by combining your mother and father’s middle names. Your “superhero name” is your second favorite color, your favorite drink, and then you add “the” to the beginning. Try it! It’s especially fun with a group of people.

We all know that names are important. In fact, The LOGOS Ministry was begun by a man who, when he was younger, couldn’t seem to do much right in the eyes of the church. That all changed with a new pastor who called him by name!

Our names identify us and even define us. That was even more the case in Jesus’s day when your name really did express what kind of character or personality you had. There are many stories in the Bible of name changes and they are usually linked to a new mission, or direction or promise. Abram’s name was changed to Abraham, Jacob was changed to Israel, and Simon was changed to Peter.

Well, I was thinking about names the other night while at our LOGOS program. I saw two visitors, each whom I had met before but who didn’t know me well at all. The first was a high school student. I greeted her at dinner with, “Hi Julie! How are you?” She looked at me with huge eyes and asked, “How did you know my name?” I told her it was because she had been to LOGOS before! She still was pretty blown away! Then in the hallway I saw a fifth grader who had lived across the street from me a couple of years ago and I said, “Hey Laurie! Thanks for coming to Buddy Night! We wish you’d come every night to LOGOS!” She was just as surprised and opened right up to tell me about her evening. At the end of LOGOS she caught my eye and smiled and said, “Good bye!” How amazing it is to “do ministry” just by remembering and using names! It’s not always easy to do, but it does always make a difference.


LOGOS Conference-A Student’s Perspective

February 17, 2009

Here is a college essay that a student wrote about her Experience at LOGOS Summer Youth Conference.  It is an incredible testimony of the experience.  In her words, ” The Conference changed my life in so many different ways. I thank God for LOGOS!”   Read on and find out about one’s persons connection with God.

Estes Park, Colorado is a sight to be seen. The drive from Indiana is certainly a long one, but once you get out there, the sight alone is worth it. The mountains make you feel like you are just an ant on an anthill, minute compared to your surroundings. The environment there is unlike anything I had experienced in Indiana. The sights and sounds of Colorado are not better than those of Indiana; they are just different. There are endless possibilities to learn, explore, and grow, in both places. I had no clue at that time as to how the experience in Estes Park would alter my outlook on life.

During the summers of 2006 and 2007 I traveled with my church youth group (Logos) to Estes Park for The LOGOS Ministry Youth Conference. Our church youth met with other church youth from around the nation to spend a week with each other at the YMCA Camp. The purpose of the time spent there was to strengthen our bond with God.

I had no clue what to expect. Upon arriving, I realized that it was nothing like I had imagined. I thought it was going to be just another place to meet new people, play games and have a good time. It was that, plus more. It was a beautiful place, but what made it even more beautiful was the fact that people treated each other like they knew them; there were no strangers.

The week went so quickly it felt like 2 days. That was probably because our week was so jammed packed with activities. Activities the whole camp participated in included Choir, Bible Study, Energizers, and Recreation. We also took outings with our own church group up into the mountains or into town.

While I was up there I had so many different feelings. Everyone there treated me like I was a child of God. I felt unified as one. There was no negativity. I felt like I had known these people my whole life. The emotions and feelings that I had were just unexplainable, but left me with a deeper connection to God.

The last night on the mountain we had a candlelight service. It was the most awe-inspiring candlelight service I had ever experienced. It wrapped the week up, summarizing everything that we had learned and experienced into one night. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I had experienced so many new and uncommon emotions that week. I did not want to think about the end of my time spent there. I did not want to go home and leave this perfect place.

My second summer came up fast, and I could not wait to go back to that Utopia. The day finally came to go back to Estes Park with the benefits of seeing all of my old friends and that amazing view. When my church group arrived at Estes Park I felt like I had never left; I was home. The emotions welled up inside, and reminded me of last summer.

The second week ended up being even better than the first week spent there. I knew what to expect and what to do. Everything was basically the same, but yet it ended up somewhat different: new people, experiences, sights and sensations.

While I was in Estes Park, the feeling I had was different from any other feeling I have ever had before. I felt free but safe: surrounded by love, friends, family, and God all at once. As I climbed up the mountain I became closer to God. The bond that I had with him was magnified. On my journey down the mountain I realized that I had grown as a person and my life was forever changed. I had always been taught that everyone was a child of God. This was the first time I had seen it demonstrated in my life by others in such a big way. I will no longer perceive life in the same light.

What you get is what you believe

February 12, 2009

We were in staff this week and I brought up a topic we had discussed before based on the pictured diagram.  Our beliefs shape our foundation of who we are which informs the decisions we make and the behaviors we express which produce the outcomes or the end result.  This is a cycle,  so depending on the outcome, our beliefs may be re-enforced or changed.  Therefore, it is not just about making different decisions, it is about having the right belief system in place. For example, I used eating and dieting as a model.  If I don’t believe that I have-  A)bad eating habits, B) I need to sacrifice what I want, and C)that good eating habits are essential- I can choose to diet all I want but I will keep failing because my beliefs aren’t in alignment with my desired outcomes.  So the net result will be I fail to stick to my diet and healthy eating plan.  Trying to make a the decision over and over again won’t work.bdo4

We can see evidence of this in Scripture as well.  If we look at Matthew 14: 22-32, we see Peter walking on water toward Jesus.  The world around Peter didn’t suddenly change in that moment.  The winds didn’t die down, gravity didn’t cease to exist, the waves weren’t gone.  Stones and other objects thrown into the water would still sink.  So what went on?  Peter’s belief system changed.  He believed that he could walk on water because Jesus called him even though everything around him was the same.  And so he made the decision to get out of the boat. The outcome was he walked on water until he changed to disbelief and decided to fear and then the outcome was he sank.

All of this to say, what are your beliefs right now.  Do you believe things are so bad that there is no way out?  Do you believe that things are hopeless?  Do you believe that there is no money to carry on in ministry?  If so, those beliefs will guide your decisions and the outcomes.

Or do you believe that God is in control and all things are possible?  That there is a way to go on in ministry with the resources God provides?  If so, that will shape your decisions and outcomes in  ministry?

Beliefs… Decisions…Outcomes…It is a powerful cycle.

What do you believe?