Hey, are you a Christian?

By: Zach Collins

Let’s start with a question, can others identify you as a Christian? This was the main question addressed at CYC 2018, in Pigeon Forge. Each speaker addressed the concept of identity and the effect that identity has on each person’s Christianity. These speakers were not referring to unique identification attributes of each person. We are not talking about fingerprints, big ears, a crooked nose, or green eyes. We are not talking about names, social security numbers, or driver’s licenses. These things are not material and could not be identified by a forensic scientist or detective. We are talking about an identity that we inherit through one simple act, becoming a Christian. But, do others know we are a Christian? It is one thing to complete the act of becoming a Christian, by hearing, believing, repenting, and being reborn through baptism (Rom. 6:4). However, it is something else to live our life as a faithful Christian, and to have that act become our identity.  It is something else for the characteristics of a servant of God to be an identifying factor for a Christian.  Continue reading “Hey, are you a Christian?”

Do the Clothes Make the Christian?

By: Keith Olbricht

This past Sunday coming home from CYC, I wore my customary khakis and a polo.  When we got back here to the building at about 5:00, I realized I was not going to have time to go home and change before our evening worship here.  It would be highly unusual for me to preach without a jacket and tie, but I wasn’t too worried about it on this occasion.  However, one of our young people made a comment to the effect that dressed as I was, I looked more beachy than preachy.  I know she was not criticizing, but based on her comment, I managed to find time to change into a dress shirt and tie before time for worship. Continue reading “Do the Clothes Make the Christian?”

Um, That’s MY Charger

By: Keith Olbricht

As it usually seems to go, I thought of the perfect illustration for a lesson…a few days after I taught it. I had taught from Matthew 25 and the parable of the ten virgins about the need for preparedness, and a couple of days later, the modern equivalent of the oil-in-the-lamps hit me. I was driving the bus to Pigeon Forge to CYC, and at some point along the way we stopped at a rest area. (I won’t insult your intelligence by telling you why. Lots of teenagers drinking lots of soda.) As we got ready to get back on the road (again), I was torn between amusement and annoyance to find that someone had taken the liberty of plugging their phone into my charger. MY charger. That I had plugged into the outlet on the dash. That I had the foresight to bring. “Foolish kids,” I thought to myself, “they should have known they were going to need a charger.” Continue reading “Um, That’s MY Charger”

The Power of Seed Principle

By: Zach Collins

I don’t know much about gardening, but I do understand seed principle. Seed principle is simple. Whatever seed the sower sows, that is the seed that will grow. Right?

In Luke 8, Jesus tells the parable of the sower. Sometimes, this parable is referred to as the ‘parable of the soils’. A parable is a story with two meanings. Jesus used this method, throughout the Bible, to get His message across. On the surface, it is like any other story. Yet, the symbols within the stories have deeper meanings. These deeper meanings often apply to our Christianity, or our Faith, in some form or fashion. In this parable, Jesus tells of the various ways that hearts will receive his Word. Starting in verse 5, Jesus begins by saying, “A sower went out to sow.” This sower did not go and sow individual seeds, in perfect little rows, as we do in our gardens. These sowers sowed their seed with a method that was akin to throwing. They would take large amounts of seed and scatter it across the designated area. This method was more productive to the needs of the sower. But, no matter where the seed was, the seed would still attempt to grow within the soil. Seed principle is simple. Whatever seed the sower sows, that is the seed that will grow. Right? Continue reading “The Power of Seed Principle”

The Beauty of the Cross

By: Keith Olbricht

I ran out of time before I could finish my lesson Wednesday night, so I want to put it into writing here and now.

The cross today is one of the most cherished emblems in the world—to those who believe.  But in the 1st Century, it was an object of scorn and shame.  As Jesus began introducing this idea to His disciples, it is no surprise that they were not immediately accepting.  Reading the three times that Jesus tells this to His disciples in Matthew (16:21-23; 17:22-23; and 20:17-19), you will notice some similarities and differences. Continue reading “The Beauty of the Cross”

Are You a Consistent Christian?

By: Zach Collins

One of the things that you will hear every basketball coach preach is, consistency. Consistency is defined as, “the achievement of a level of performance that does not vary greatly in quality over time.” Consistency is a key athletic component for any athlete in any sport. As an athlete, you are nothing if you are not consistent. Sure, you can put up 30 points one night and push your team to a win. But, if you falter the next night, and your team loses, what have you accomplished? The answer: Nothing. Consistency is the unteachable component that every great athlete has or will possess. Continue reading “Are You a Consistent Christian?”

Could I Be…Royalty?

It seems that there is much fascination in the world today with genealogies.  The Jews began it, Joseph Smith rejuvenated it, and the modern online businesses are exploiting it.  Now, for only $79, you can send your spit in a jar to a company who will supposedly tell you your heritage from your DNA.   Based on the results, people have occasionally claimed royal lineage from their ancestry!  Can you imagine?  You might be royalty and not even know it! Continue reading “Could I Be…Royalty?”

Earn Your Blessings

Earn Your Blessings

By: Zach Collins

James 1:17:

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Let’s talk about earning a blessing. My freshman year of college, I had come home on a Thursday in order to have a outpatient medical operation completed. That next morning, I had a test bright and early at nine o’clock. I was a little late getting out of bed, which caused me to run behind. So, I decided to take the “fastest” route to Morehead. That same route was also the most dangerous route. There was a slight drizzle that morning but, at the time, I didn’t think anything of it. So, I wasn’t as cautious as I should have been while driving. I started to ascend up this hill and my car slid. At the time, I just figured I hit some oil in the road and, because it was slick, I slid. Then, I get on up the road, and came into this sharp curve. As soon as I started turning my steering wheel, I could tell something was wrong. My car started to fish-tail and I lost control of the vehicle. Continue reading “Earn Your Blessings”

Word of the Week: Awesome

WOW #1 (aka, “Word of the Week”)

By: Keith Olbricht

“Awesome”

So…I want to introduce a new segment to our blogging called “WOW” or Word of the Week.  I have been called a “grammar nerd” by some, and I suppose there might be a small degree of truth to that, but the reason I so like words is…they are how we communicate!  Every thought we have, everything we see, hear, taste, touch, or smell has a word associated with it.  (One day I will give you my greatest philosophical argument against instrumental music based on this concept.)  WE HAVE TO HAVE WORDS!!!!!!  You may be what is called a “visual learner” where you associate concepts with images, but even then, you have to have words to describe those images.  Anyway, I think you get the point.  What I want to do here is to take some words from the Bible, break them down a bit, and see how they apply to us today.

I chose to open this blog segment with the word “awesome.”  If you are an OKJ person (Old King James) and you look in a concordance such as Strong’s, you won’t even find this word in your Bible.  But the newer translations have included it, and included it a lot (for example, x38 in the NKJV and x32 in the ESV).  But what does it mean? Continue reading “Word of the Week: Awesome”