Can God Use Someone Just Like Us?

Artists: The Chainsmokers, Coldplay

Song: Something Just Like This

Album: Memories…Do Not Open

By: Brandon Best, Brandon.Best@oakwoodnb.com

Oakwood Church – New Braunfels, TX

Theme: Superheroes and Humanity

Teaching Point: God Can Use Someone Just Like Us

Opening Questions:

Have you ever thought about what your life would be like with Super Powers?  With all the movies on the big screen and all the legends in the storybooks, what movie or story do you see yourself in?  How would your life change if you woke up the next day and had some sort of Superhuman traits that you never had before?  What would your super motto be?  Who would you want to team up with?  Where would you live?  What would you wear?  

SWITCH UP… What if you only had those powers for ONE DAY?  How do you think you would react the NEXT DAY??? Would you be happy to be someone JUST LIKE YOU, or wish you could be back on the Superhero list?

Discussion

There is no doubt that Chris Martin’s smooth voice and the Chainsmokers’ approach to EDM music strike a thoughtful question about humanity and the supernatural.  The lyrics begin with a grand view of a universe filled with myths, legends and modern day imaginations of beings that display supernatural powers.  

While all these stories speak of super strength, strong fists, and great power, the song leads us to a reality check.  When we step away from the stories, we realize we do not make the cut.  We would love to have a life filled with powers beyond our humanity, but the truth is that the normal human being is not on any Superhuman list.

This is not the first time a writer has considered a vast universe with great awe and power, and has concluded that humanity plays a small roll.

Consider Psalm 8:3-5 (ESV)

3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,

4 what is man that you are mindful of him,

and the son of man that you care for him?

5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings

and crowned him with glory and honor.

 

The Psalm Writer looks at the heavens, the work of the Creator, and realizes a powerful thought.  God is mindful of SOMEONE JUST LIKE US. We are the small, the normal, the frail, the fearful, the Unpowerful in many ways.  

However, God is mindful of US.  He places us on a list with powerful, “heavenly beings,” and cares about our normal, everyday lives.  The truth is that we may not be on any Superhuman list, but we are on HIS list, and He thinks about US.

 

Conclusion

The Song writers point to a simple thought that ignores the wishes of superpowers and calls for a normal, attainable relationship.  We can conclude that God has a plan in our everyday relationships as well.  

The truth is, God Can Use Someone Just Like US

Read 1 John 4:12 (ESV)

No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

 

His superpower is the POWERFUL LOVE we share with one another in our small, normal, frail, fearful, and UNpowerful, HUMAN lives.  He wants to display His power in our humanity and use Someone Just Like Us.

Keep It Weird Parent Cue

THINK ABOUT THIS
By Reggie Joiner
Who I am is determined by a combination of things like:
My past experiences
My significant relationships
My personal interests
My spiritual beliefs
My personality traits
My physical characteristics
My natural talents

Each one of these things plays a role in shaping your child’s identity. Sure, there may be a host of people who have things in common with your child in each of these areas, but no one has the same combinations as your individual son or daughter. So, as parents, these issues become a way for us to think about the uniqueness of each of our children, and to help them begin a healthy journey toward understanding who they are. Here are a few suggestions to create an atmosphere in your home that celebrates the value of uniqueness.

Reinforce the Idea of Uniqueness Verbally
How often do you actually say something that encourages a sense of uniqueness in your children? It may seem strange but when my kids were younger, I would say things like, “Sarah, I just want you to know that you are my favorite second-born daughter.” She would reply with a sigh, “Dad, I’m your only second-born daughter!” I would smile and say, “Exactly.” There are a number of ways you can be intentional about saying things to your kids that add to their sense of uniqueness. Be specific. For example instead of saying, “You are a good writer,” you might say something like, “I can tell by your writing that you think in a very detailed way.”

Capture Significant Memories
Your past really does influence your understanding of who you are. Memory is a powerful force. There are significant moments that should be highlighted through photography, symbols, journals, etc. An author friend of mine recently talked about how he decided to collect things to decorate his home that actually reminded him of specific defining moments in his past. It makes sense when you remember that your past experiences are part of what makes your story unique.

Share Family Stories to give a Sense of their Unique Heritage
When my kids were younger, I heard a psychologist talk about how critical it was for children to hear stories about their parents and grandparents. He explained how it helped them contextualize their lives, and find a sense of connection and identity from the bigger story of their family. There are a number of ways to collect family stories. One way is to start a tradition on family holidays to have relatives tell stories about you and your parents from their perspective. It gives your children a unique view of you and themselves they would not otherwise have.

Expose them to Different Cultures and People Groups
If you live in the country, visit the city. If you live in the city, visit the country. Develop relationships with neighbors or associates who come from different ethnic backgrounds. Eat in a restaurant where the owners are from another culture and speak a different language. Ask them creative questions to find out something interesting about their culture. Watch documentaries together that broaden their understanding of how other people live. Teach them to respect the diversity around them.

Experiment with a Variety of Activities
Again, one of the most important things you can do as a parent is to continue to help your kids discover their strengths and passion. It’s okay for your kids to try out a number of things before they find the things they love to do and what that are naturally good at doing. When they are young, let them experience different kinds of camps, play different sports, and experiment with art and music to discover their passions. I know parents who have let their older kids spend the day with different friends at work so they can get a better understanding of a variety of occupations. Remember, you are helping them narrow their focus to the few things that they will ultimately invest their life.

What other ideas do you have to teach kids about uniqueness?

Get connected to a wider community of parents at TheParentCue.org.

TRY THIS
There isn’t a more difficult time in life to navigate differences and embrace uniqueness than in middle school. During this time, it can sometimes be hard to see that the things that make us unique are hints at what we can excel at. Especially if we ‘re constantly being teased or pressured to conform to what the popular group deems as “normal.”

One thing we can all do to help our teenagers embrace their uniqueness is to model the way. We can show them what it looks like to embrace the unique characteristics about themselves.

Think about your unique characteristics. How have you recognized, used, talked about, and celebrated them? How difficult was it for you in middle school to embrace these unique qualities? Were you bullied, teased, or ashamed of them? What changed that?

This week, share the answers to these questions with your teenager.
Maybe in the car you say . . .
•Hey, did I ever tell you what middle school was like for me?
•Hey, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I have a bad habit of __________ about myself. So I’ve decided instead of ____________, I am going to change the way I talk about it. I need your help!
•Hey, remind me when we get home to show you a [picture, figurine, trophy, etc.] that I received when I as in middle school.

One of the best gifts you can give your teenager is to normalize their feelings around their unique qualities. This conversation can be the first step towards creating an atmosphere in your home that celebrates the value of uniqueness.

Middle School Kick-Off @ Schlitterbahn 4pm to 6pm

Come to Blastenhoff Entrance – Meet up with Brandon and the Middle School Team 4pm

We will break off in groups with Middle School Leaders.

Pick up at 6pm at Blastenhoff Entrance.

Hey Oakwood Families,

If you don’t have a Season Pass and want to join us a the park, check out the Partner Discount Info Below:

For year-round fun at Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts, use the link below to access our Partner Discounts.  Discounts are available for admission, season passes, accommodations and more.  Although Partner Discounts are not currently available for Cabanas, Early-Access and Blast Passes through our Partner Program, they are available on the site for your convenience.

To view the park-specific offers, visit Partner Link listed below and follow the steps listed below.

  • Choose your Park.
  • Select the Item Type you wish to purchase from the Park Landing Page.
  • Enter your Quantities and Follow the Prompts.
  • Add your eTicket Code and Apply Promotion to receive your Partner Discount.
  • Visually Confirm that your Rates have changed.
  • Remember, if your eTicket Code is not entered before check out, you will be charged full price.

Partner Link:           www.schlitterbahn.com/partnerdiscounts

2017 Code:              201700234

Partner Discounts are available online only and require an advance purchase.

Middle School Summer Schedule Sneak Peek

Hey Middle School Parents!

We are getting plans together and  getting ready for the SUMMER!!!!

  • Wed  May 31  Summer Kick-off at Schlitterbahn (4pm – 6pm)  Group will meet at Blastenhoff inside Schlitterbahn at 4PM – Bring your Season Pass or Buy Ticket at Door
  •  Sun. 4  –  Fri. 9 Focus Pointe Camp
  •  Wed. 14 Open Pavilion Night—Pizza and Games (6 to 8pm)
  • Thur. 15  7th Grade Mission Trip Student Training (12  to 2pm) in the Pavilion
  •  Sun. 18 Middle School Lunch Out at Zaxby’s (12pm to 2pm)
  •  Sun. 25 Middle School Lunch Out at McAlister’s (12pm to 2pm)
  •  Wed. 28 TRANSFORMERS  Movie Night   Time TBD (check on the church calendar for details) Meet at Urban Bricks Pizza at 4:30pm; movie at Creekside
  •  Thur. 29 Girls Bible Study Lunch @ Chick-Fil-A  (12pm to 2pm) Guys Bible Study Lunch @ Chick-Fil-A (12pm to 2pm)

  • Wed. 5  Movie **  Despicable Me 3  (check the church calendar for details) Meet at Orange Leaf at 2:30pm; movie at Creekside
  •  Fri. 7    Movie ** Spiderman  (check the church calendar for details)
  • Sun. 9 Middle School Lunch Out  –  Intern’s Pick  (12pm to 2pm)  Volleyball  @ Landa Park  (8pm to 10pm)
  •  Wed. 11 & 12 Local Mission Trip     (9:30am to 1pm) @ New Braunfels Church of Christ Gymnasium
  • Sun. 16 Middle School Lunch Out  –  Intern’s Pick  (12pm to 2pm)  Volleyball  @ Landa Park  (8pm to 10pm)
  • Monday 17 –  Friday 21    VBS – Middle School Lunch Out  Places TBD
  • Sun. 23 Middle School Lunch Out  –  Rudy’s BBQ  (12pm to 2pm)  Volleyball  @ Landa Park  (8pm to 10pm)
  • Wed. 26 ZDT’s Amusement Park  3:00 pm to 8:30pm  Cost  $25
  • Sun. 30 Middle School Lunch Out  –  Intern’s Pick  (12pm to 2pm)  Volleyball  @ Landa Park  (8pm to 10pm)

  • Wed. 2   Schlitterbahn  (12 to 5pm)  Group will meet at Blastenhoff inside Schlitterbahn at 4PM
  • Wed. 9    NO MIDDLE SCHOOL ACTIVITIES  (Leadership Summit at Oakwood 10th & 11th)
  •  Wed. 16 Student Pavilion Night
  •  Fri. 18  –  Sat. 19 Lockapalooza  Friday 7pm to Saturday 7am
  •  Wed. 23 End of Summer Party @ Marek’s Home 6 to 8pm
  •  Sun. 27 PROMOTION SUNDAY
  •  Wed 30 Fusion back on Campus  –  6:30pm in the Pavilion

Fuze Night Tonight Update!

6 Middle School Students Gave their lives to Jesus at our Fuze Night!

What is Middle School Fuze Night? Fuze Night is a large group gathering for Middle School Students in the Student Pavilion on Wednesday Night.  6:00pm begins with pizza and hang time then we move to high energy music, a relevant speaker, and response time. 8pm is dismissal time. Middle School students are challenged to shine a light for Jesus in their area of influence.

6pm Pizza and Pavilion Hangout/Outside Games

6:30 Travis Kiers Band

7:15 Gospel Messsage with Pastor Brandon

7:45 Response Time

8pm Dismiss

Middle School Parents – Student Pavilion is Up and Running!

Sunday MorningsStudent Pavilion 9:15am to 10:30am.

Middle School Students grab a Shipley Doughnut or two, worship together, and listen to a talk time geared for them. We end the hour in Fusion Small Group break out rooms by grade and gender.

Wednesday Nights – Student Pavilion 6:30pm to 8:00pm.

Set up an environment geared towards Grades 6-8, 6:30pm to 8pm.  Students begin in the Student Pavilion and move to breakout rooms to end the evening.


What is Fusion? Fusion offers a loving and accepting environment geared for Middle School Students Grades 6-8.  We have events, weekly meetings, and exist to Intentionally Engage Middle School Students by leading them to the heart of the Father.

When and Where does Fusion Meet? ? 6th-8th grades begin in the NEW STUDENT PAVILION on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights.

What happens on Fusion Sundays?  Beginning at  9:15am, students have a Shipley doughnut or five, worship time with a band, talk time, and then break out in rooms by grade and gender for small group time.  10:30am is dismissal time from break out rooms.

What happens on Fusion Wednesdays? 6:30 Bible Study Begins in the NEW STUDENT PAVILION!!!!! –  We have hang out time before things get started, begin with Worship, move to Talk Time, then Students move to break out rooms for real life discussion. 8pm is dismissal time.

What can my Middle Schooler do for dinner? We suggest sending your student to the Oakwood Wednesday Night Dinner for a nice hot meal.  Students are welcome to hang out with us in the New Student Pavilion between 5:30 and 6:30pm.

Can my Middle Schooler play on the playground?  Parents, please let your Middle Schooler know that the playground is for CHILDREN and that they will be asked to leave the playground.

What is Middle School Fuze Night? Fuze Night is a large group gathering for Middle School Students in the Student Pavilion on Wednesday Night.  6:00pm begins with pizza and hang time then we move to high energy music, a relevant speaker, and response time. 8pm is dismissal time. Middle School students are challenged to shine a light for Jesus in their area of influence.

What is All Access? All Access is a foyer event geared for students to invest and invite a friend. The Oakwood Student Ministry, grades 6-12, meet in the Main Worship Center for a night of high energy worship and a relevant message, challenging students to follow Christ. 6:00pm begins with food and hang time, then high energy music, a relevant speaker, and response time. 8pm is dismissal time. Our Believe Weekend Kick-Off night is an All Access Night as well as our Back to School Bash.