Xperience - a movement.

The experiential worship and teaching of Grand Valley Christian Challenge @ Mesa State College.

4.13.2006

...Rest Stop...

This is my Body


While they were eating, Jesus took bread and blessed it. He broke the bread, gave it to them, and said, "Take this. This is my body." Then he took a cup, spoke a prayer of thanksgiving, and gave the cup to them. They all drank from it. He said to them, "This is my blood, the blood of the promise. It is poured out for many people. "I can guarantee this truth: I won't drink this wine again until that day when I drink new wine in the kingdom of God." After they sang a hymn, they went to the Mount of Olives.
Mark 14:22-26

On this night almost 2000 years ago, Jesus ate and drank at the Passover feast with his disciples before He left to be betrayed. Here, he instituted the Eucharist, or communion.

When we eat and and drink and remember Him and what He lived and died for, it is one of the greatest acts of worship we can do.

Worship is responding to God's Love, and in Christ's death, God's love is shown the
most.

Take,
A moment to reflect on what Jesus went through this night.

Eat,
And remember His earthly body that walked and breathed and ate and drank and laughed and wept.

Drink,
And remember His blood that was spilled as a sacrifice so that we could become the sons and
daughters of God.

Pray,
And forgive and forget and love and thank and praise....

Crown of Thorns



The soldiers led Jesus into the courtyard of the palace and called together the whole troop. They dressed him in purple twisted some thorns into a crown and placed it on his head Then they began to greet him "Long live the king of the Jews!" They kept hitting him on the head with a stick spitting on him and kneeling in front of him with false humility. After the soldiers finished making fun of Jesus they took off the purple cape and put his own clothes back on him Then they led him out to crucify him.
Mark 15:16-20

Read the
Medical Description of the Crucifixion
A word of warning it is graphic, for even with the video we now have of Mel Gibsons s
The Passion of the Christ the imagination is a much stronger force.

Just be prepared...

Take and feel the thorns on the crown
Write a prayer in response to what you have read in the comments

Tired...


He took Peter, James, and John with him and began to feel distressed and anguished. He said to them, "My anguish is so great that I feel as if I'm dying. Wait here, and stay awake."
After walking a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if it were possible he might not have to suffer what was ahead of him. He said, "Abba! Father! You can do anything. Take this cup of suffering away from me. But let your will be done rather than mine." He went back and found them asleep.
He said to Peter, "Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn't you stay awake for one hour? Stay awake, and pray that you won't be tempted. You want to do what's right, but you're weak."
He went away again and prayed the same prayer as before. He found them asleep because they couldn't keep their eyes open. They didn't even know what they should say to him. He came back a third time and said to them, "You might as well sleep now. It's all over. The time has come for the Son of Man to be handed over to sinners. Get up! Let's go! The one who is betraying me is near."
Mark 14:33-42

There is a little known group of people who stay up all night the Thursday before Easter, as Jesus asked of the disciples so long ago. They take this time to Pray and reflect, but also to show their love for their Savior.

What are you willing to give up to show your love for God? Can you stay up all night, or even a couple of hours just to pray and reflect? Read the section of Mark above again, and then take a moment and consider how deep your faith runs.

4.06.2006

---> Rush....

1. Virtue Reality



Take a few minutes and read “Virtue Reality” by Rich Mullins. When you are done, answer the questions below and reflect above or on a comment sheet.

Virtue Reality

Questions:

Name the 3 virtues that Rich discusses in this article.

What would you name the “parody” of these?

What is the main difference between these ideas:

What virtues in your own life does this occur with? Explain.

What would it look like if you were truly loving?

2. Love is...



Read the next writing “His Masters Voice.”

His Master's Voice

Write out a prayer following the ACTS outline about your reaction to this writing...

Adoration (Thanking God for Who He is)
Confession (Confessing sins to God)
Thanksgiving (Thanking God for what He has done)
Supplication (Asking for things as Jesus would)

3. Prayer Rope



Read the instructions from the previous post, only change the focal points to


1.Focus on the Holy Spirit and asking Him join you
2.Focus on the “Normal” (Lost) people you know
3.Focus on what their individual needs are
4.Focus on how you can meet those needs

4. Reflections in Cyberspace



Please take a moment and share any experience you've had tonight with the rest of the world through the new CC blog. You'll see each of tonights stations listed on the blog, and at the bottom of each post is a link called “comments.” Follow this link, then choose the “other” identity. Add your name (or screen name, if you choose) then type any comment you have on the station. Repeat for all three stations.

Feel free to visit and add to the discussions at any time. If you are feeling really ambitious, go ahead and do last weeks stations too! Thanks a ton!

3.30.2006

Prayer Rope

"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."

This is an ancient prayer form from the orthodox church. You say it slowly repeating it in time with your breathing.

On an inhale, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God...”

On an exhale, “...have mercy on me, a sinner.”

In orthodox monasteries the monks would have a cord with 100 knots. Beginning at the tassel as they prayed once through the Jesus prayer they would go along the cord one knot.

Try it. Start at one end, and repeat the Jesus prayer as you move your hands from know to knot.

The tassel at the start is a reminder to pray for the Holy Spirit to come to you.

Then after 25 knots there is a bead - on reaching it gently focus on distractions and put them to one side.

After another 25 knots there is another bead. At that point focus on areas in your spiritual life that you can move to meet the Spirit as He works.

After another 25 knots another bead at which point silently pray for God to help you accelerate by slowing down.

Do not let your mind wander. As you repeat the prayer, focus on the goal of the time – Asking the Spirit to come to you, removing distractions, areas of your life to work on, then peace and stillness.

When you're done, take a moment and reflect in your notes. What did you learn? Did you connect with God?

Lectio Divina...

THE METHOD:

1 - Stop/Relax/Connect with God. - Calm your body. Concentrate on some slow breathing - try to clear your mind of the busyness of life and your day. Simply call out to God - ask for him to touch you as you pray.

2 - Scripture Reading 1 - read the passage twice. Read the Scripture slowly. Allow its words to wash over and sink into your consciousness as you become familiar with the passage. Don't try to interpret it or understand it. Picture and even enter the scene, watch and interact with the characters. Listen for words that catch your attention, when they do, savor them, toss them around in your mind. In the silence that follows the reading meditate upon what you have heard, let the verses begin to stir up memories, thoughts or ideas as they come. If a word/s or phrase/s from the passage strikes you say it out loud or write it down - don't embellish or explain it.

3 - Scripture Reading 2 - read twice more. As you read the Scripture again, continue to allow it to wash over you. Let its rhythm and repetition flow. In the silence that follows continue to enter into and engage with the scene and the authors words. What theme/s emerge for you? How do you and your experience connect with what is being read? What is Christ speaking to you at this time? Write in a sentence the theme that you feel God is speaking to you through the text.

4 - Scripture Reading 3 - read twice more slowly. Continue to interact with and meditate upon the Scripture as previously. What action might God be calling you to through these verses? Let your meditation lead you to silent prayer, thanksgiving, petition, confession etc. Interact with God on what you are thinking, communicate with your thoughts and ideas. Journal your thoughts and prayers. Write to God as if writing to a friend. Go with the flow, let your mind be taken in whatever direction you find it goes.

Make note of any action that you feel God is leading you to.

When you feel comfortable ending your time, thank God for interacting with you & pray about any other issues that you may have on your heart.

THE SCRIPTURE

I can guarantee this truth: You will cry because you are sad, but the world will be happy. You will feel pain, but your pain will turn to happiness. A woman has pain when her time to give birth comes. But after the child is born, she doesn't remember the pain anymore because she's happy that a child has been brought into the world.
"Now you're in a painful situation. But I will see you again. Then you will be happy, and no one will take that happiness away from you. When that day comes, you won't ask me any more questions. I can guarantee this truth: If you ask the Father for anything in my name, he will give it to you. So far you haven't asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive so that you can be completely happy. "I have used examples to illustrate these things. The time is coming when I won't use examples to speak to you. Rather, I will speak to you about the Father in plain words. When that day comes, you will ask for what you want in my name. I'm telling you that I won't have to ask the Father for you. The Father loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I left the Father and came into the world. Again, as I've said, I'm going to leave the world and go back to the Father."
His disciples said, "Now you're talking in plain words and not using examples. Now we know that you know everything. You don't need to wait for questions to be asked. Because of this, we believe that you have come from God."
Jesus replied to them, "Now you believe. The time is coming, and is already here, when all of you will be scattered. Each of you will go your own way and leave me all alone. Yet, I'm not all alone, because the Father is with me. I've told you this so that my peace will be with you. In the world you'll have trouble. But cheer up! I have overcome the world."

John 16:20-33

Silence

Worship is responding to God's Love. So often we become so over-saturated with distractions in this high-speed world that we can miss when God is speaking to us. What we need to do speed our spiritual lives up is to slow our thoughts down.

Put on the headphones and take a listen to this file, silence. Calm your mind and listen for God to speak. When the bell rings, close your eyes and listen. When the bell chimes again, remove the headphones and take a moment to reflect upon what you heard.

Comfortable?

To increase in speed we need to be more aware of what is going on around us. How many times have you driven (or ridden) home from work or school only to realize that you remembered none of it when you got home? We humans are creatures of habit. When we are in a stable routine, we often miss basic things that are going on around us. But when we move out of our comfort zones, we can begin to see new and amazing works God is doing.

Jesus quickly made his disciples get into a boat and cross to the other side ahead of him while he sent the people away. After sending the people away, he went up a mountain to pray by himself. When evening came, he was there alone. The boat, now hundreds of yards from shore, was being thrown around by the waves because it was going against the wind. Between three and six o'clock in the morning, he came to them. He was walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified. They said, "It's a ghost!" and began to scream because they were afraid.
Immediately, Jesus said, "Calm down! It's me. Don't be afraid!"
Peter answered, "Lord, if it is you, order me to come to you on the water."
Jesus said, "Come!" So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.
Peter saw the wind and he became afraid and started to sink. He shouted, "Lord, save me!" Immediately, Jesus reached out, caught hold of him, and said, "You have so little faith! Why did you doubt?" When they got into the boat, the wind stopped blowing. The men in the boat bowed down in front of Jesus and said, "You are truly the Son of God."

Matt 14:22-33

Notice how Peter “saw the wind” when he followed Jesus? Peter's perception changed when He stepped out of the boat. He left his comfort zone and saw something completely new to him. Read the poem below, then write down a few ways you can break your routine...

Reset yourself
We are Creatures of Habit.
Of routine.
We are all in our own groove.
So try new. Try different. Try crazy
Try unexpected.
Like punk? Try opera.
Wear black? Try white.
Love bubbles? Try still.
Speak spanish? Try chinese
Love to ride? Try running.
Always grumpy? Try happy.
Like science Fiction? Try romance.
Never cook? Bake some bread.
Forever cynical? Try love. Try trust. Try hope.
Take a different route to work.
Say Yes when you mean no.
Wear your watch on the other hand.

Leave the comfort zone.

~Harry

What is Lent?

The time of year prior to the Easter Holiday is known as Lent. Lent is a season of soul-searching and repentance. It is a season for reflection and taking stock. Lent originated in the very earliest days of the Church as a preparatory time for Easter, when the faithful rededicated themselves and when converts were instructed in the faith and prepared for baptism. By observing the forty days of Lent, the individual Christian imitates Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for forty days. All churches that have a continuous history extending before AD 1500 observe Lent. The ancient church that wrote, collected, canonized, and propagated the New Testament also observed Lent, believing it to be a commandment from the apostles.

Often times Lent is when people of some sort of religious background give up something important to them. Why? So many don't know. They just know that fasting from something is an important thing to do.

Read the quote on the table. What do you think about this quote? If you have ever celebrated Lent, have you ever forgotten the meaning behind the fast? Reflect upon the desert and why you have done or are doing this ancient rite.

If you've never celebrated Lent, why not? Take and find something important to you that you can give up for the next three weeks until Easter. Every time you crave it, remember that Jesus went without food, water, a bed, a home, showers, Internet, wine, beer, computers, or any of His friends for 40 days.

To increase our speed, we can be more like Jesus. He was infinitely quick. Lent is a chance to let the Spirit work and to be more like Him....

Reflect?...

2.17.2006

Listen for Your Echo too...

Statistics show that even the most introverted of people will have influence in the lives of about 10,000 people before they die. Like the echoes that resound multiple times after the initial sound, the way you teach others can resound throughout the world. When we come together in community, everyone will influence everyone else in unique ways.

Look for your name on the poster before you. If you don't see it, write it on there. All around your name, write the names of those people you know. Start with anyone you know that you are teaching, then move on to those that you spend the most time with. These are the people you influence the most. Draw lines from your name to these names, then look for names others have added that you know. Draw lines to these people too.

When you're done, step back and look at the web of influence. Follow some connections and try to see a little bit of the world you are a part of. Take a moment and pray for some of these connections, asking God to work in these relationships.

Who are You and Echo of?

Everyone is an echo of someone else. You have had many teachers in your years, and you will have more before all is said and done. Some have taught you well, and some have taught your poorly. Often we learn from those we dislike as much as from those we do. Some aren't even people, but the music and television stations we watch. I know personally one of my great teachers has been the food network. I have learned many of the things about cooking that I know from TV.

Take a few moments and think about those who have an who are now teaching you. On one sticky note, write your name. On a different color, write the names of all the people who have taught you something scholarly (i.e. School teachers, coaches, etc.) Use a different sheet for each name.
On another color, do the same with people who have taught you something about relationships. Think about friends, parents, relatives, even those who you dislike. You can learn a lot from what NOT to do. On a final color, write out the names of people who teach you spiritual things. Who taught you about Christ? Did you have any good Sunday school teachers? Any Buddhist friends? Atheist Friends? Ever had a discussion with the Mormon missionaries?

Now, Take a look at those names. Think about who made the biggest impact on your life. Who taught you the most important things? Place these names in a new pile.

Think back over this new pile. What is/are the factor(s) that makes these names different? Is it the time they spent with you? Is it their passion for life? Is it the pure spite you have for them? On new stickies, write down these factors. Stick them to the table to share with others.
Finally, is there any part of your life that you feel needs more work? Where do you need a new or another teacher? Write that below and say a prayer asking God to send you a teacher that can help you grow in this area. Then open this up every day this week and keep praying until you get an answer....
Dear God, I need a teacher to teach me:

Listen to the Echo

To teach is to Lead as you Follow. This is shown masterfully in the idea of the echo. Take a look at this diagram:






Sound is reflected off of the material, which in turn produces an echo. Much the same way...





What kind of material are you? Take a moment and discover some of the acoustical qualities of the materials around you by clapping or yelling or making some sort of sound. Listen to the response of the material. How is the pillow different from a brick wall? Does the wood table sound different from the projector screen?

Think about how well you reflect the ideas that you have been taught. Are you like a brick wall, and everything bounces exactly like you hear it? Or do you suck up ideas and never pass them along like the pillow? Or do you resonate the sound with your own personal warmth and character, much like the body of a guitar does?

2.09.2006

1. Dangerous Prayer

There are certain prayers that are dangerous. Prayers that lead us to make decisions that we cannot turn back from. Prayers that God is guaranteed to answer. These are not things to be lightly asked for, nor are they the prayers of the scared.

These prayers are the ones that will change your life. These prayers are the ones that God will use to make significant changes in the way that you perceive and relate to the world. These are the prayers that God longs to hear from His people, prayers of the courageous and of the faithful. Prayers of the broken and the lost.

2 Chronicles 7:14,15 says, “However, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, pray, search for me, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear their prayer from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their country. My eyes will be open, and my ears will pay attention to those prayers at this place.”

This is the type of prayer the heart of God longs for, one that will change the very hearts of the people praying it.

One of the most dangerous prayers you can ask for is a heart for people. If you are willing, find a bench outside one of the dorms, and sit and pray this prayer:

“God, please give me a heart for these people. Let me see them as you see them, as sinners on the path to eternity in hell. But also let me see them as people I need to love and help as you lead me. Please open my eyes that I may see your truth. Amen.

Take a couple of moments and watch the people walking by. Try to picture them as God does. What do you notice? Leave a couple of short comments, and then move on.

2. What do they need?

Evangelism is serving the students at Mesa State.. Remember our definition of love? Love is meeting needs. By serving the students at MSC, we can show God's love to a lost and hurting people.

At Mesa, SERFS shows us a great example of this principle. Before SERFS began at MSC, the College student age group was among the highest in Mesa County for DUI's. Seeing this happening around her, a former student began a program to meet this need in the community. She had a vision for students to have a safe ride home from whatever environment they were in. So, SERFS was began to meet an obvious need on and off campus.

What are some needs students have now, and how can you meet them? The only way we can know what people are thinking is to ask. Find five people, both people you know and some that you don't, and ask them this question:

“What is your most pressing need right now?”

Record your answers below. Be sure to get their name. Are there any trends? Anything that you can do? Any needs that you see that can be met? Anything you can pray for for them?

3. They must be told...

An integral part of evangelism is the fact that unless we tell people about Jesus, they won't know. We can help every person on campus, but unless they know about Jesus, it is all for naught. It is our job to love people and tell them about Jesus and what he did on the cross, and it's God's job to draw them, convict them of their sinfulness, and transform them into a new creation. But, unless we do our job of telling them, They will never know.

What are some reasons you don't tell people of His love? Add them to the comment sheet, or as a comment in the blog. Discuss what you should say and how a conversation can come up.

2.02.2006

Love One Another

We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love other believers. The person who doesn't grow in love remains in death.
1 John 3:14

Dear friends, we must love each other because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born from God and knows God. 1 John 4:7

Worship is responding to God's love. In these passages from 1 John, John speaks about the love that we should have for other believers. Sometimes loving people, even other believers, is hard. In order to truly love one another, we need to define what love is.

Throughout the New Testament, when Jesus would show love to a person, He would meet a need in their life. It may have been a need for freedom from sin, or for healing, or for a parable, but He showed love by meeting needs. Therefore, at its most basic level, Love is meeting needs.

This means you cannot love the whole world. It is not possible to meet the needs of every person on the planet. You cannot even love All believers. But, you can love those in your circles of influence..

This thought also frees us up from having to like everyone. It is possible to meet the needs of other people while still not really liking them. But, as we meet needs in people's lives, it is possible we can know them more and begin to change our perceptions of them.

In the notes section, List the names of five believers you know. After each name, list one way in which you will love them (meet a need) this week. It may be as simple as a phone call saying, “I just wanted to tell you that you're important to me,” or possibly something more tangible, like washing a car. Take time and pray for these believers.

By loving other believers, we are responding to the love God has for us. This is worship.

This is my story...

God has shown us his love by sending his only Son into the world so that we could have life through him.
1 John 4:9

Worship is responding to God's love. God has shown His love for us by sending His Son for us. One way we can respond to His love is by telling our story.

In the notebook provided, take a few minutes and write the story of how you discovered God's love for you. At the end, write a short prayer thanking God for His love.

Dear Children

Those who live sinful lives are disobeying God. Sin is disobedience. You know that Christ appeared in order to take away our sins. He isn't sinful. Those who live in Christ don't go on sinning. Those who go on sinning haven't seen or known Christ.
Dear children, don't let anyone deceive you. Whoever does what God approves of has God's approval as Christ has God's approval. The person who lives a sinful life belongs to the devil, because the devil has been committing sin since the beginning. The reason that the Son of God appeared was to destroy what the devil does. Those who have been born from God don't live sinful lives. What God has said lives in them, and they can't live sinful lives. They have been born from God. This is the way God's children are distinguished from the devil's children. Everyone who doesn't do what is right or love other believers isn't God's child.
1 John 3:4-10

Worship is responding to God's love. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to die for our sins, even when He didn't deserve it.

When we hold on to these sins instead of confessing them to Him, it is pride. Why would you keep something so awful and disgusting when He has already paid the price for them?

One of the ways we can respond to His love is to ask forgiveness for the sins in our lives.

Take a moment and pray, asking God to reveal the sins in your life.

For each sin God reveals to you, strike a match along the cross. As it burns, ask for forgiveness for that sin. Once you have asked for forgiveness, blow out the match and place it in the bowl. Repeat until you are finished. Pray and thank God for His amazing love for you.

1.26.2006

Straight From God's Word to Your Mouth

There are many times in the new testament where both Jesus and the apostles would use a portion of the Old Testament to pray. When we do the same, we are taking advantage of the mind of God to lead our prayers. What could direct a prayer more than to use the very scriptures from which we get our inspiration?

Look at Psalm 1. Read the first verse. Take the verse and apply it back to your life.

Is there someone or something it triggers in your mind to pray for?
Is there some character of God that you can thank Him for?
Has God done something for you that you should thank Him for?
Is there any sin you should confess?
Is there any promise you can claim?
Is there any command you should follow?

Repeat for verse 2, 3, and on.

ACTS of Prayer

“This is how you should pray:
Our Father in Heaven,
Let Your name be kept Holy.
Let Your kingdom come.
Let Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us our daily bread today.
Forgive us as we forgive others.
Don't allow us to be tempted,
Instead, rescue us from the evil one.”
(Matt, 6:9-13 GW)

When Jesus instructed us to pray, He never meant for us to be cookie-cutter replicas of His prayer. Instead, he gave us an example of an outline for How to Pray. And lucky for us, it fits well with the acronym ACTS.

A – Adoration: Thanking God for Who He Is. “Let Your Name be Kept Holy.”
*Notice that it's not a prayer for what He has done, but a character trait of God.
C – Confession: Confessing any sins to God. “Let your kingdom come...”
Since Jesus never sinned, He prayed for God's will for the world, almost as an apology for its sins instead of His.
T – thanksgiving: Thanking God for what He Has done: “Let Your will be done...”
A chance to be grateful for what God has done in our lives
S – Supplication: A big word meaning “To ask”, “Give us our daily bread...”

By practicing praying this way, we can avoid the problem of trying to put ourselves and our needs ahead of God. When we take time to thank God for who he is, what he's done, and ask forgiveness for what we have done, our supplications don't seem quite so big and special anymore. Not that God doesn't like to hear us ask for things, but when all we do is ask for things, it is hard to keep our focus on God Himself.

Write a prayer to God in this fashion. Practice makes perfect.

Wartime Radio

In his book "Let the Nations Be Glad," John Piper writes this:

“You cannot know what prayer is for
Until you know that life is war.”

Do you agree or disagree?

Think about the times you have prayed to God. What was your focus? Are you one of the many people who pray for things you want? “God, I really need a good parking place today... Please God, help me pass this test... God I need $50 to buy a new pair of jeans...” Do any of these describe you?

In the letter to the Ephesians, Paul describes the kind of world we live in. He says:

This is not a battle against a human opponent. We are battling with rulers, authorities, the powers who govern this world of darkness, and spiritual forces that control evil in the heavenly world.
[Ephesians. 6:12]

Its been said that prayer is more like a war-time radio than a call to the JC Penny catalog. Rather than calling on God looking for reinforcements from our commander in chief, we are oblivious to the war going on around us, asking for a new Honda Prius as the enemy bears down for an attack.

Read on in chapter 6 of Ephesians. Write down the pieces of armor Paul describes on to a sticky note, then stick it to your body in the appropriate place. As you stick it to your body, pray that God will equip you with the spiritual armor listed.

Save Your stickies. Pray them on every day this week.

1.25.2006

Welcome to Xperience!

i want to welcome everyone to the Xperience blog. this has been set up to chronicle and comment upon the Xperience alternative teaching and worship gathering at Mesa State College. May you all be blessed and challenged by the information found here.

~K

its a movement, baby.