Saturday, June 20, 2009

Where are you now? (tuttle)

Hey Fellowship,

Can you believe it's been a month since Basileia?

Take a moment, a deep breath. Reflect on this past month. Has it gone fast or slow? Haveyou been busy? How much time this past month have you spent working? Hanging out? Sleeping? Now, how much of that time have you spent with God?

If you're anything like me, then that last question was not a pleasant one to answer. At Basileia, you may have made big promises, committed to do things, or welcomed new practices into your life that haven't really materialized since you've come home. Personally, I'm one of those people who can barely remember to take my contacts out at night, so remembering to pray before I go to bed or spending some quiet time with God are not things that I find it easy to commit to.

Coming home, you may find that you don't have a lot of emotional or spiritual support. You may have trouble finding a church like the one you have in Binghamton, or you may be realizing how vital small gruop or large group was to your spiritual well-being. It's possible that you feel lonely, unsupported, or even backslidden.

Now here's the good news: Jesus Christ is Lord of all, seated at God's right hand, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given. And no amount of backsliding, broken promises, discouragement, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God.

So what do you do? Summer is nowhere near over! That means that there's no reason to give up hope. Here are some things that might help:

  1. Before waking up at 11am and staying up until 3am becomes too habitual, set up a time and place for you to spend time with God. It doesn't need to be fancy, just you, God and a Bible. Try it out. :]
  2. If you haven't started reading the books you bought, do it now! If you didn't buy any books and are regretting that decision, here are some suggestions: Out of the Saltshaker and Into the World and Jesus Without Religion.
  3. If you need to, confess and repent. If you've found yourself back in a place where you didn't want to be, or you're facing new challenges since you've been home, then give it to God. Remember that sin has been conquered and that as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
  4. Keep in touch with people from IV! For those of us who don't live in the city, this may not be as easy, but it doesn't hurt to drop a line or facebook some of your friends from school. Let them know what's up, keep them updated on what's going on in your life and see how they're doing. Pray together.
That's all I have for now. Hope everyone's summer is going well!

In Him,
Matthew Tuttle
.5 Small Group Coordinator

Monday, June 1, 2009

no, basileia was not a dream! (tammy)

aaaannnddd we're back!

i know it's been a couple of weeks since returning from our adventures at saranac lake, but let's not forget what we've learned. now that you've had several days to let it sink in, let's live out what He has shared with us that week. you may need more time to mull over it, but here are some ways that can help us continue to remember the things God has revealed to us:

  1. I know this may sound weird, but write a letter to yourself.

    Write to yourself about your experience at Basileia, not necessarily the things you did, but the things that God spoke to you about, and how He revealed those things to you.

    Write about your hopes, your excitement, your plans, and what you took away from that week.

    Keep it in a safe place or give it to a friend to hold on to it.

    Bring it to school with you in August so you could read it again as the semester craziness begins.

    I'm working on this one. But I'm going to do it and maybe mail it to myself.
  2. ACTUALLY read the books you bought from basileia!

    If you didn't buy some books from the bookstore because you wanted to buy them online, please order them!

    If you bought a book to give to someone you had in mind, make sure you give it to them ASAP.

    Read at your own pace. It's okay if you're a slow reader like me or a super fast one like Pam, just as long as you're reading!

    Try reading a chapter or section of the book and then pray about it. If you want, try journaling about it, or blog about it, or talk to someone about it, or something. Make something of what you learn and share it.

    Find someone or a group of people who bought the same book as you and read it "together." You don't have to literally read it together. Just read the same section and then talk about it. That person can also hold you accountable to reading it.

    I'm currently reading "Invitation to Solitude and Silence," by Ruth Haley Barton and God knows it's just what I need. Mike Leung supposedly is reading another book and then we're supposed to switch eventually. Unless Carrie finds her copy first :]

  3. Find a prayer partner to pray regularly with you this summer!

    Pray on a regular basis - it could be everyday, every week, every two weeks. Just make sure you are consistent and diligent in doing it. But don't let it become a chore! It's definitely a spiritual discipline.

    Share with each other your burdens, desires, praises, requests, or just anything God puts on your hearts. Listen to each other, and challenge each other as well.

    Pray specifically and with faith.

    Pray for the upcoming semester.

    Pray for the 14,000+ students we need to reach at Binghamton University.

    Pray for our fellowship and for growth (deeper in His Spirit and higher in numbers!) and that we would be the impact on campus we always say we want to be.

    Memorize verses with your prayer partner and pray from Scripture as well!

    I've prayed with Karen every night so far (ooh, except one!) this week, and it has definitely been a blessing. I have faith that God hears us, and will answer us in His time and in His own ways (He's already done so!). But that doesn't mean we know everything about prayer, or that we're super savvy prayer warriors. We're learning, too.

  4. I know we've learned tons of things, but what's ONE thing you can take away from Basileia?

    Write it on a post-it or piece of paper, or make something that'll remind you of it, and put it somewhere where you'll see it every day.

you can always leave a comment or email if you'd like us to help you out in any way to live out and take action on what we've learned for this summer, and to prepare you for the semester to come.