Will you go? Will you send?

Last week at Cru, the Traveling Team came and visited, and showed us in the Bible how God is all about missions. We learned about how all the different languages started (“Greek, French, Italian, Thousand Island…”) and read where the prophets spoke about God wanting believers to share the gospel with others (including “the Italian prophet Malachi…”). As you can tell, they had a little sense of humor too. ;)

They also explained how we, as college students, can be a part of missions.
GO – There’s always the option you’ve heard of: you can go overseas for a summer, for a week, for a year, with Cru or other missions organizations. But, have you ever thought about “going” across campus? There are hundreds of international students RIGHT HERE at Winona State that come from all over the world. What if you befriended one student? What if you got to share the gospel with them, and they decided they wanted to have a relationship with Jesus? What kind of impact could they have on others when they go back home?

SEND – YOU can be a part of sending other missionaries who are already going, and help them get there! There are two critical ways they need your help: financially and prayerfully. You may think as a college student that you could never help financially support someone to go overseas. But think of this: what if you could scrounge up even $20 for a missionary who’s going? What if 5 college students could each get together $20? That’s already $100 more than that missionary had before! A little can go a long way. :)
And, we’re calling YOU out to be a prayer WARRIOR for those going. Prayers are powerful, and our most powerful weapon against the Devil stopping missionaries. Your prayers can take down armies, cut through government red tape, and soften even the hardest heart. When we pray, God moves!

Find more at www.gosend.org 

Who is Jesus, anyways?

No dogma. No politics. No moral at the end.
Jesus Without Religion (Rick James)
February 12th @ 9:00pm in Somsen Auditorium

Come find out who Jesus is – not who the church says he is, or Cru says he is. Just historically, who he is.

Rick dives into the character of Jesus with a discussion based on his book. “Jesus Without Religion is a very up-to-date look at the person of Jesus. Stuff you never knew — things you’ve never heard before, and the promise that when you leave, believe it or not, you’ll understand as well as the Gospels.”

JesuswithoutReligionClick here for the facebook event

If you could ask God one question… what would you ask?

November 6 – Questions for God

Last night at Cru, we had a Q&A time with God. Well, kinda.

For the last 3 days, we’ve been asking people, “If you could ask God one question, what would it be?”

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People asked a wide range of questions; anything from, “What’s up?” to “If you are always here, why do I feel so alone in the world?”

We asked a panel of Christian respondents to come in and do their best to answer these questions. We know, of course, that they are not God. We’re not claiming that. (Despite my joking start to this post.) But they are people who have studied the Bible for a long time, and can give a better answer, know more about God and what he says, than others. A lot of people showed up to see what they would say, and I heard conversations continuing as people walked out afterwards.

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If you’d like to get in touch with any of the panel, because of something they said, or a question you wanted to hear more on, contact one of our staff, and we’ll get you in touch with them.

Have a question you’d like to ask God? We’d love to talk more & help you find an answer. Contact any one of our staff here

Wearing Masks

October 30

Tonight at Cru, we had a Halloween costume contest! And, just to mix things up a bit, we talked in groups, rather than having a speaker up front. Here’s what we talked about:

  • What is your favorite mask or costume you’ve ever had and why? Or which one are you the most proud of?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages to “wearing a mask” or keeping people from seeing our true self?
  • When are you the most tempted to “wear a mask” – keep people from seeing your true self? Why?
  • When is it the easiest to “take off your mask” and allow people to see your true self? Why?
  • How does a relationship with Jesus free us from the need to “wear a mask”?
  • How can we draw people out of “wearing a mask” and encourage others to let us see their true self?

Questions? Contact any Cru staff here

One of these things is not like the others…

October 23 – Paul Runnoe (Winona Cru staff)

“One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong. Can you guess which one is not like the others, by the time we finish this song?” Do you remember this song from Sesame Street? :)

 As believers in Christ, we are told that our lives are to look different from the rest of the world around us.

1 Peter 1:13-15  Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

1 Peter 2:9-12  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

We have been set free from the lifestyles of this world.
I like this quote from the author C.S. Lewis, in his book The Weight of Glory, and Other Addresses:
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

We are called to live a different life, not only to because God asks us to – but also because life following God will be so much more fulfilling than life like the world!

God is holy.

I Peter 1:15-16 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
So, if we’re supposed to be like him…. what is Jesus like?

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The longer we walk with God, have a relationship with him, two things will happen. First, we will become more and more like him. Which leads to the second, that we will be more and more aware of what is sin. It’s like our sense of sin, what’s wrong, becomes sharpened and more focused. Here’s a sketch that may help:

Awareness of Sin

To be a light to those around us.

1 Peter 2:11-12  Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

Want to know more? Contact Paul at paul.runnoe@cru.org 

What is discipleship?

October 16 – Amy Baxley (La Crosse Area Cru staff)

Pursuing

John 1:35-49
In this passage, these men hear about this man named Jesus, see the amazing things he is doing, and decide that they want to know more. They want to hang out with him, get to know him, learn from him.

This is what discipleship is.
When I asked the girls I disciple how they would define it, these are a few of their answers:

  • “Discipleship is doing life with someone in order to become more like Jesus.”
  • “Discipleship is growing closer to Christ together. It is being challenged, encouraged, and held accountable and learning about what it looks like to become more like our King. While also having fun.”

Ultimately, it is more than just being friends and having fun. It is to develop into Christ-centered laborers who will walk with Christ and serve Him for a lifetime.

Who to disciple…

In order to be able to disciple someone, both of you need to show up and be able to meet together, and this need to happen on a fairly regular basis, so that influence happens. We like to use an easy-to-remember acronym:
Look for someone who is “F – A – T”
Faithful
Available
Teachable

What do you do?

  • Go through the Word (Scripture) with your disciples. (John 1:41, 45)
  • Take your disciples out to share their faith
  • Let your disciples learn by watching you share your faith

1 Corinthians 11:1
Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

Who do you look like?

October 9 – T.J. Habel (La Crosse Area Cru Staff)

As people who have a personal relationship with God, as believers, there are certain things that are true of us:

Truth #1: Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession. Ephesians 1:13-14

Truth #2: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works. Ephesians 2:8-10ish

This also means that we are called to look different, be set apart, and to live our lives differently than other people: So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts…. Ephesians 4:17-18

That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:20-24

Ask yourself: What needs to change in my attitude?

Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:25-32

What do you need to “put off”, and what do you need to “put on”?

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2

Summary:

  • Salvation is clear, free, and never questioned
  • Being reunited with God frees us and beckons us to live different from the world
  • “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light…” Ephesians 5:8

Are you lost?

October 2 – Jenn Runnoe (Winona Cru Staff)

Have you ever been lost? Once, when I was about 6 years old, I got lost at the store. I was with my mom, who was shopping, but (as you may remember) playing in the clothes racks was way more fun than looking at them then. I crawled inside one of those circle racks, and played inside it like it was a fort. After what felt like hours (so it must be time to go home now), I crawled out, only to find my mom was nowhere in sight. I circled the store, walking through all different departments, but just couldn’t find her. I went back to where I last saw her, and just sat. Even though in the back of my mind I knew that my mom loved me & would find me, I remember thinking, “What could she possibly be doing that is more important than finding me? Is she even looking for me? Does she want to find me?”

You might be feeling this way right now. Whether you’re a bubbly, outgoing person, or a shy, quiet type, you may feel lonely in a crowded room. Do you ever feel like no one really knows you? Almost like you’re lost?

Jesus actually shares a similar story of something (or someone) being lost:

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’  I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” (Luke 15:4-7)

See, often we can feel like that sheep. We got distracted by something, and suddenly we feel left behind. Forgotten. Lost. But the sweet thing is, that God doesn’t want it to be that way. God is the shepherd in the story. He is looking for you, and he will find you, no matter where you’re at. God doesn’t want you to be lost! Not only will he find you, but he rejoices over you – he just loves ya that much. And he doesn’t want you to feel alone anymore.

God created us for community, or to be in a “flock” (like the sheep). Bible discussion groups & men’s/women’s times are great places for you to “re-join the flock”, and get to know people – and be known. Click here to find out when these smaller groups meet.

Don’t be a lost sheep! :)