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Our Redeemer

It is the last full week of project and students are preparing to go home. We will no longer be doing beach ministry and working at Walmart. So who’s our ministry now? Where do we go from here? 

The Campus

Monday night David Cook, student project director, gave a theme talk about Jesus being our redeemer and what this looks like in ministry. 

“Jesus has redeemed us and invites us to participate in His redemption where we are.” 

The gospel is the story of redemption and how Jesus makes us to be like Him. I’ve been thinking about what this looks like in my life and how my interactions with people reflect my relationship with Jesus. 

This next school year I will be living in the dorms at the University of Northwestern, St. Paul. I’m going to be around new, freshman girls who may not understand the true meaning of the Gospel. This is my ministry. Going out of my comfort zone and showing freshman and sophomore girls the love of Jesus is worth more to me than getting a good grade on a test,  making a lot of money, or building my resumé. 

This summer I have been convicted of so many ways I spend my time selfishly and don’t let the message of the gospel permeate every area of my life. 

Our Reward

If Jesus is our reward, why am I not jumping at every opportunity to serve Him? If we lived in a community of believers that inspired us to do so, how would our campus change? I look forward to the opportunities that will arise living in the dorms as a senior. God is worth going out of your comfort zone.



What's a Theme?


Every year the Summer Training Project is structured around a theme and corresponding Bible verse. Past themes have included Known, At All Costs, Awake, and Exiles. So what purpose does the theme really serve, and what is the theme for STP 2013? Great questions. Don’t worry, I won’t leave you in suspense or keep you guessing. The theme for Summer Training Project 2013 is ….


Yes, “Free.” The book we are digging into this summer is Galatians, written by the Apostle Paul. We want to explore what the Bible says about living in freedom because of the gospel of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. Our theme verse, Galatians 5:1, says, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” So…what does that mean?

Christ did not die on the cross, taking on all our sins forever, so that we would feel burdened or shackled by anything. Because of Christ, we are guiltless. We don’t need to work for our salvation; we could not possibly do anything to add to the finished work of God himself dying on the cross. This summer, we want to explore what it means to live in light of this Biblical truth.

The CO staff has created a calendar of daily Bible studies for the next two months. Galatians, a book broken into 6 chapters, has been broken into nine weeks worth of daily devotions, including one memory verse per week. Needless to say, students will have plenty of opportunity to mull over and deeply engage what the Lord has to say in this book.

In addition to Bible study, the theme each summer acts as a framework for the four weekly trainings. These include Theme Training, Evangelism Training, Bible Study Training and Life Training. So far, we have had a Theme Training titled “The God who is Free,” an Evangelism Training called “Free-King Out!” and “Free Time” as our first Life Training. See a trend? The theme will be pervasive in all trainings this summer.

There are so many things we would love to be set free from: anxiety, pain, fear, burden, stress, peer-pressure, addiction, brokenness, grief – the list goes on. This summer, we are praying the Lord works in our hearts to set us free from these things as we learn more about who Jesus is, what he has done for us, and what that means on a daily basis for believers in Christ.



Loneliness in Community

Yesterday began students last week of work for the summer.  We have been blessed to form great relationships with employers and employees and are saddened to say goodbye. However, I am so grateful for what the Lord has done in the hearts of our students working the full-time jobs and in the hearts of the employees. After work, everyone came back to project for the project meal. Ultimate California Pizza was served to all the students.  After dinner, we went to the joint theme training meeting with South Project.

Larry Martini, South Project Student Director, talked about loneliness. He said that within all of us lies a deep longing of not wanting to be alone. Therefore, we cling to relationships, family, friends, and anything else we can grab onto so we don't "feel" alone. On the other side, we guard ourselves because we fear being fully known because we think others will not love us if they know the depth of our sin. Here lies the dilemna.  How are we, as believers of Christ, to love one another and love community while being genuinely sincere and yet not placing people above God?

Larry said that we feel alone when we lack intimacy with Christ. Ephesians 2:13 says, "But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ." This is the answer to our deepest heart's longings.  Because of Christ, we are brought back into community with God.  When we are in communion with God we do not have to fear loneliness for He promises to always be with us.  In addition, we can now use community as a means to know Christ more.  In Christ, we have every need and desire both met and completely satisfied. Now, we are freed to genuinely love our brothers and sisters in Christ, and point one another back to Truth.



Vision and Vigilance

Last evening, Zach Simmons, our North Project Student Director, gave our Theme Training talk.  He talked about our need for discipleship and community throughout the entirety of our lives. North and South Projects met again last night for the combined meetings. Zach's goal, in his own words, was that, "Thirty years from now you would be vigilant in you're relationship with Christ."  He talked about the necessity of growing in Christ and enjoying Him more. He encouraged us to use discipleship as a means to knowing Christ more.

We can search the Bible to find supportive reasoning for the vitality of discipleship in our lives. Philippians 3:17-18 Paul writes to the church of Philippi, "Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ." Paul urgently tells the church to imitate him so they may not walk as enemies of Christ.  Paul is in no way desiring that they idolize him, but he understands the importance of seeking older counsel.  When we imitate lives that reflect Christ, we can come to know Christ in a deeper understanding.

Hebrews 3:12-13 talks about exhorting one another daily so that we may not be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. This leads us to conclude that honest and true community is essential in the Christian's life.  In addition, imitating others above us is beneficial to our growth.  Zach finalized the talk by discussing the importance of discipleship rather than evangelism.  Yes, our goal is evangelism and the world being reached with the truth, but we need to be making disciples.  By discipling others we can equip them to walk in a manner worthy of Christ and reach others with the gospel.  The ending in reality is two fold.  As we long for Christ we can seek out discipleship for ourselves and disciple others in the gospel.



'It is the most important thing. Period.'

At Theme Training last night, Matt Reagan proclaimed, explained, and rejoiced about the gospel. He described it as “our whole life,” “the thing that is the center of all history” and “the clearest picture of who Jesus is.”

For most of his message, Matt talked about how good the Good News is.

Hebrews 10:14: For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

But how can we hear this and so often feel nothing? How can there be such numbness to the gospel in our hearts?

Matt brought up three sedatives that put us to sleep when it comes to the gospel.

One is a shallow understanding of sin. This blog post could never fully describe the weight that was felt in the fellowship hall of Garden City Baptist last night. With full conviction, holding nothing back, Matt preached about sin that was in every heart in the room.

“You must get to a place in your life when you say, ‘how could he possibly love me?’”

We must know we are broken to understand the gospel.

Another sedative is the distraction of personal performance. This one hit home for many people (probably everyone). He talked about how we perform for people, and we perform for God. He stressed how there is nothing we can do for God.

Romans 4:4-5: Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness…

There is nothing that we do. Matt quoted something he has read: “the law requires 100 percent doing; the gospel requires 100 percent not doing.”

Luke 18:9-14 is a perfect passage for what we have a right to say before the Lord. “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” We can’t pay God back with obedience or gratitude, and there is nothing we can do to improve him or improve ourselves.

But, this is such good news!

1 Cor. 3: 21-23: So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's.

All work has been done. It is finished. Now, we can rejoice that all is our’s because we are Christ’s.

The third and final sedative is the forgotten reality of eternity. We are now free to say that God’s wrath has been taken away from me forever, and I will never see it.

Matt said, “The rest of your life should be a celebration.”



Relationships – Part II

After another long day of work and AiT everyone rushed back in time to be ready for team time at 6pm. It is sweet to be part of a team and spend time getting to know not only each other but what everyone else has been learning up till now. At 7.30pm everyone headed to the chapel for Relationships Part II. There was a focus on the gospel as the most important thing, biblical principles, advice as well as Matt and Lisa's story. We then went to Garden City Baptist to finish the meeting and had guy/girl breakouts for Q&A sessions. Curfew was extended until midnight.



Final Theme Talk - Exiles

For our final theme talk, Andrew Knight shared about trusting in the to gospel to not miss opportunities to advance the gospel back on the campus. [display_podcast]



wednesday has two d's and e's

Mike Polley shared during Theme Training on discipleship, encouraging disciples to keep the chain going. The definition of discipleship is one's intentional living and sharing into another person's life to push them towards Christ. Mike Polley talked about his personal experience as a disciple and a mentor observing that the relationship is not one of tutor and student, but something closer to father and son.

James Gisler's team is leading the theme for this week.The theme is Christmas in July. Disciples on his team will be washing and cleaning the cars on project for the week's encouragement.The Social Time on Thursday will include a white elephant gift exchange, dressing up according to an assigned Christmas theme, plus many more "seasonal" events to celebrate Christmas in July.



the "t" in tuesday is for theme

Elliot Stokes, CO staff for Northwestern College and the leader for the CCP team here, will be giving the theme training today. He will unpack more on what it means for a Christian to be an exile in this world. As mentioned, Garden City Baptist (GCB) has been burned down, so Theme Training will be meeting at the Garden City Chapel (GCC) tonight.For the time being, the people at GCC have graciously offered to let project use their facilities during the week.

During Bible Study Training, Jack Thompson shared that studying the Bible is worship, and that it is a process that takes time and discipline. Disciples also got a chance to walk through 1Peter 3:1-2 together.

sharing is caring



because this world isn't enough

As of this week, everyone on project is employed. With the staff leaving among other things, this week is proving to be busy in many ways, yet disciples had the opportunity to spend a quiet morning together in prayer. This morning, many of the disciples chose to meet on the beach and pray for the staff and the project. Josh Schrock's team led Theme Training last night. Their movie, "Summer of the Infants" will be uploaded on the site soon as well as Mike Chamber's testimony of how God saved his life. Matt Reagan shared about "Heaven: Homecoming for an Exile" where he explained why Christians could look forward to death and the implications of their eternal home. All of this and more will be uploaded in the weeks to come.

Fresh stuff to check out: -You can <subscribe to our posts via email> by following the link at the top of the column to the right of this post. -Video skits from the last two weeks are online and <can be viewed here>. -Another student testimony by <Samm Ellingson>. -Once again the <sbp09 facebook fanpage> is availiable to those who want to receive updates on fb.




light you up

Theme Training this week was organized by Jack Thompson's team. After a great video and amazing testimony, Matt Reagan spoke on "Grace: an Exile's Gospel." The Christian life is not one of duty, but of celebration.The recording from this session will be joining the others soon. Eric Lonergan's Bible Study Training  from this week is also availiable online and <can be found here>. A profile album for all SBPers are in the works in the gallery, check back soon for a link to a completed album with all the portraits of the disciples along with their name and information!

SBP also has a facebook page! <SBP09 fb page> follow the link and become a fan to receive updates directly from your fb account!



Good day and blessings to y'all!

Monday was a challenging day. The day started with the entire staff and the few students without jobs going to look for one. The staff and around 14 other students prayed before making their way into town. After going around Garden City, we got the news that a couple of students were able to get jobs, which we Praise God for it.Since the theme of this week is “Relationships,” Ken Currie and his wife Teresa had the opportunity to share their story. Later on, our brother Ken talked about “True Love” and what it meant to pursue a relationship under God's sovereign plan. Moreover, tonight Ken is going to share the second part of his talk about “True Love.” At the end of this talk, students are going to be able to interact with Ken and Teresa through a “Question and Answer” platform. Therefore, keep praying for those students who have not been able to find a job yet, and please pray for Ken and Teresa as they share of what God's has putting on their hearts for tonight.



We are back in Action!

This first week made students feel at home. Through the different activities, seminars and small groups, we have been able to build strong friendships. Moreover, this morning at our Life Training Seminar, Matt Reagan talked about how we as Christians should embrace the idea of receiving and giving money.  Later in the morning, the students enjoyed once again fellowship at different Churches around Garden City. For the rest of day, students have the afternoon to rest. However, as a project we are planning to meet at 7:30 pm to Praise and Worship together. [vimeo]

SBP 09 intro from COMSBP on Vimeo.



Theme Night - Exiled

Our first theme talk from Andrew Knight was last Thursday night.  He talked about we are separated from relationship with God because of our sin.  Jesus who died for our sins is our substitute, so that we are called righteous by God.  This is not based on anything that we do (our works), but solely on the work of Jesus Christ.  You can listen to the talk here.  We will be podcasting more talks from beach project as the summer goes on.  Expect more in the coming weeks. [display_podcast]



Praise and thanks to God. We made it safe!

at the projectThere were not many complications on our way to Garden City. On Thursday night, we started out with our first seminar. Andrew Knight talked and introduced us to the theme of this Summer Project 2009, “Exiles”. Friday and Saturday were the days to look for jobs. Most of the students by now have obtained jobs at various places of employment around Myrtle Beach. These include Wal-Mart, Bi-Lo, Chick-Fil-A, Piggly Wiggly, Cracker Barrel, and McDonald's. However, they are a few students who still are looking for a job. Therefore, please keep these students in your prayers. Moreover, yesterday the group was divided in three to attend church. It was and it will be a blessing to join these different congregations at Garden City. God has been blessing us with a wonderful weather, and the fellowship through reading the word at breakfast, lunch or free time has been a marvelous time. We are excited to start a new week here at Project.



Summer Beach Project Starts

Today at 4 PM we are expecting the caravan of disciples to arrive at SBP.  When they arrive, we will help them get registered, take their bags to their room, and enjoy pop-ice to help cool us off in this heat.  We have our first meeting tonight where Andrew Knight will talk about our theme for the summer, which is "exiles."  This comes from Hebrews 11:13, but there will be more on our theme in the coming weeks.  We will post pictures of move-in day within the next few days.