Wednesday, April 28, 2004

It is Like . . .

I got the privilege of speaking at Grace last night. What an amazing experience Grace is! Hundreds of college students from many backgrounds, three different universities, with one purpose: Give God glory through biblical unity. Powerful.

The usual speaker, Luke Norsworthy, was a former intern for Kim and I at U-turn. He spoke last night after I did (I was the opening act - you know, the no name band from North Dakota that screams a lot and breaks their guitars?) and was amazing! God used him to passionately challenge his peers to not be content with the "sit and watch" approach to living Kingdom lives. Luke was a man possessed with the Spirit. It was so cool to watch. I felt proud to be his friend.

The following is a transcript of my notes. I concluded my message (only about 6 minutes - some of you are saying, "no way, Quile only spoke for 6 minutes! Ain't no way!) with a prayer of commissioning for God to show himself to us, convict us of times that we place a lower value on the Kingdom than we should (apathetic living); cause us to repent, and send us out. I prayed specifically that our adoration would grow up into proclamation. Anyway, here are the notes:

• It is like the 1 yr old baby girl whose parents say “show ‘em how you can bounce!” and the little girl smiles and bounces up and down in delight of her new talent!

• It is like the two yr old boy whose older sister affectionately ask in front of her friends “how old are you? How many years are you?” The little boy proudly holds up two fingers as if he was the wisest man in the world.

• It is like the 3 yr old girl who learns how to write her name and writes it on every piece of paper in sight.

• It is like the 4 yr old boy who learns, latter than the girl, how to write his name and he proudly pens it on his bedroom wall with a big black marker he found in dad’s desk.

• It is like the 5 yr old who pulls out his new spider man lunch box at lunch on the first day of pre-school and yells, “check this out!” to his best friend that he just met on the playground at recess.

• It is like the 6 yr old girl who can’t wait to show her kindergarten teacher her missing tooth.

• It’s like the 7 year old boy who can’t wait to show teacher and entire class his cool new shoes that make him jump higher and run faster.

• It is like the second grade girl, who at 8 yrs old is so proud of her broken arm she gets a neon green cast so that no one will miss it!

• It is like the 9 yr old girl who returns to the third grade after Christmas break riding her brand her new Barbie Bike, couldn’t be prouder! The boys on the other hand plot to pull off those dumb pink & purple streamers from her handle bars at lunch.

• It is like the 10yr old boy in the fourth grade who brings his puppy for show and tell but really its just to show off to doubters in the class.

• It is like the boy who at 11, gets his first “real” baseball glove and takes it to practice with pride.

• It is like the girl who at 12, gets her first “real” bra and gleefully displays it to every 6th grade girl in the PE locker room. The boys know about it before schools out.

• It is like the 7th grader girl who dawns her cheerleading uniform down the halls on the first Friday of the fall at school.

• It is like the 8th grade stud of a boy, who rips up his sleeves and announces to anybody who will look, “Check out these guns! And notice the arm pit hair while you’re at it!”

• It is like the high school freshman girl, who at 15 is wearing the sweatshirt of her “senior” boyfriend in front of everyone but her parents.

• It is like the sophomore girl, who on her sixteenth birthday, runs into class after lunch and yells, “I got it! I got my drivers liscence ya’ll!”

• It is like the dude who is rolling hard to the first day of junior year, in a rust bucket of a truck that put the “ghe” in “ghetto”, his arm out the window, beats bustin from the 89.00 K-mart cd player, dude is proud ya’ll. He is proud!

• It is like the senior linebacker on the football team who wears his letterman’s jacket. Everywhere. Seriously, you’ve seen this. Shower, Prom, Grandma’s funeral, first week of college!

• It is like the 19 year old freshman girl who wears her “college” sweatshirt back into youth class during Christmas break as if to proclaim, “I’m so mature, so mature.” Of course the freshman dude who is now working at Dairy Queen is sitting there in the same class going, “check out my letterman jacket yo!”

• It is like the 20 yr old sophomore girl calling her mom seconds after receiving a bid from the same social club her mom was in! You can imagine it. Loud shrieking, jumping up and down, crying, it’s sickening. But it is like that.

• It is like the junior guy calling his dad up in May, and proudly declaring, hey dad, good news, I pulled a C- minus in Economics – I’m a senior now!”

• It is like the 22 year old senior sweetheart of a girl who is showing to her girlfriends the monster of a diamond ring she just got from her boyfriend turned “fiancĂ©” Again, more hysterical screaming, jumping, hugging, crying, loss of brain activity, blah, blah, blah.

• It is like the 32 year old brand new dad whose wallet is constantly opened as he is pridefully producing pictures of his “new baby boy”

• It is like the 42 year old dad who is actually proud of their new minivan. “Check it out Frank, see how easy the seats fold down?”

• It is like the same dude a year later whom at 43, has just traded in the family minivan for a red 2005 mustang. Mr. Midlife is so proud!

• It is like the 50 year old grandma at the beauty salon who is passing out pictures of her new baby granddaughter. She says, oh look at this one, isn’t it just the cutest? It’s a picture of her bouncing!”

• Pause, open my bible and read passionately:

• The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

• The kingdom of heaven at its core is good, great, glorious. That’s why we call it good news. The nature of good news is that it is so good that it is shared, spread, and sacrificed for.

• We began last fall praying that everyone of us would gain an Appreciation about the Kingdom of Heaven this school year. It is our prayer that this summer our appreciation grows up into proclamation. Grab a hand of someone close, and let’s talk with the Father:

• God,

It was the last Grace of the year. When it starts back up next fall I really encourage everyone to check it out. It is like . . . well it is like grace.

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