Bill Cosby on being yourself

In Bill Cosby‘s book Cosbyology he talks about the power of being yourself

In this chapter, he tells a story about getting a gig in Chicago that he thought that he wasn’t good enough to be at. He took that onstage and ended up bombing. When they introduced him, they said, “Here’s a really funny up and comer from New York City, Bill Cosby.” Half the room applauded, he came up, bombed, came off stage, and the owner of the club came into the green room and said, “What the hell was that?” Cosby said, “I’m sorry. I’m not good enough to be here.” The owner stopped him and said, “Yeah, you’re right. You’re fired, but can you do me a favor? When you go back to the hotel, can you get Bill Cosby and get him to perform at the eleven O’clock show? I don’t know who you are, but I want Bill Cosby.” The late show comes up, he comes walking in, and this time they introduce him as, “Here’s Bill Cosby.” From the back of the room, Bill Cosby yelled at the guy, “What about up and comer? Last show you said up and comer.” Everyone started laughing. Cosby had a dialog with the guy who introduced him and the crowd started going crazy. He said that he did a quarter of his jokes and that the rest was improvised, but he killed. He came off and the owner came into the green room and said, “That was great. From now on you should perform as Bill Cosby. I don’t know who that was, but I don’t want to see him again.”

What Cosby is trying to say to future comedians and I think to all of us. Stop trying to appeal to an audience and do what you do and you will not only be successful but you will have fun doing it. The reason so many of us are frustrated is because we aren’t doing what God has created us to do. We spend most of our day appealing to so many different audiences. We try so hard to make everyone happy and it only produces frustration.

This happens all the time in church we try to appeal to everyone but the person who matters most. There is something to creating safe, friendly environments but the reality is when we focus on entertaining God’s presence most of that other stuff takes care of it’s self. For the church to be the church it needs to be attractive to Christ. So go back on that stage next Sunday and make your church appealing to Jesus.

 

Free Bible Lesson Jeremiah: Book of Idol Worship

 Jeremiah

Book of Idol worship

Key Point – An idol is anything we put before God!

Memory Verse – Exodus 20:3 “Do not worship any god except me.”

Skit – What we worship is obvious – Have some friends get together – (some come out with playstation equipment wrapped around his arm, someone else with a baseball glove and hat, someone else with a doll who cries when separated from the doll, lastly have a kid with a bible). Have the kid with the Bible explain that anything we put before God is an idol. The kids will be confused thinking that only things carved from stone are considered idols. An idol is anything we put before God!

Object Lesson – Have a picture of an Idol from the Bible ask the kids how many would worship this? (allow the kids time to respond) Of course we would never worship a carved out in stone or wood. Then explain that even though we don’t for the most part worship carved out idols we can have things that are more important to us than God. Like Playstation, Barbie, TV, watching movies, being with friends all these things can become modern idols. We must be careful not to let them. An idol is anything we put before God!

Object Lesson – Serving Idols separates us from God – Have two kids come up and explain that when we worship something other than God we have an Idol, that thing blocks us from having a relationship with God, we can see God we can’t talk to him because something is in the way. (During this time have one kid turn sideways to the crowd but facing the MC have the MC explain how it is easy to see this person talk to them ect.. Then take the other kid place that kid between the MC and the first kid. Explain that an Idol is anything that we place in front of God, anything that keeps us from loving Jesus.) The MC explains that anything we put before God is an Idol. If you play the playstation before you pray it is an idol, if you care more what your friends think than what God thinks they are an idol.

Puppet – Says that his Idol is elmo and barney. The MC explains that the Bible tells us we shouldn’t have idols. The puppet says that the Bible means statues, and the puppet doesn’t have any statues of elmo anywhere in his house. MC asks how many hours he watches elmo and barney? The puppet says 4 hours every day but he would watch all day if his mother would let him. The MC asks if he ever prays or reads his bible? The puppet says that he hates that stuff even though he still loves God. The MC explains that elmo and barney even though they are not statues they are idols because he loves them more than he loves God. The Puppet says that he loves God but his actions show something much different.

Bible story –  Ex. 32:1-29 The golden Calf. –

Tell the story of Israel worshiping the golden calf.

What the children of Israel were saying by worshiping the Golden Calf is the needed a God they could control. They wanted something they could see that they built that could predict what it would do and where it would move. Even though the one true God had rescued them from Egypt they didn’t fully trust God. So they did what they could do and that was trust themselves and so they built a God that would allow them to do whatever they wanted to do.

We have things in our life that we trust more than God. There are things in our lives that consume our thoughts because we think those things will make us truly happy. If we have the newest video game we will be happy or if the coolest kid in our school is our friend or if everyone thinks we have the nicest clothes.

You see idols are not always bad things often its good things that we turn into the most important thing in our life. If we have this or that or if that person likes us we will be happy. We won’t because God created us to be only truly happy when we are in a right relationship with him. God knew that the children of Israel would turn to idols just like he knows you and I would do the same thing. So he sent a rescuer to rescue us. To show us a better way to live. Because no matter how hard we try we can never be perfect we all need God’s help. So God sent us Jesus. Jesus is the only cure for a heart that wants so many other things. We will always want more and never be truly happy in life until our heart rests in Him.

We know that we can trust God with our whole life because God sent his son Jesus to give up his life for you and me. God poured out his heart and gave us Jesus so that our hearts can be filled with a true love that never leaves us love that never stops a love that can only be from God sending us Jesus. In John 3:16 it says for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him will not die but will live. Jesus wants us to live and not die. We will only truly live when our hearts treasure Jesus more than anything on earth.

Small Group Activity –

To turn to idols you have to turn your back on God. (Have three kids from the cell act out what you are describing) Have one represent God one represent other gods (idols) and the last person represent us. Have the person representing us start of worshiping God

Explain to the kids to turn to one we must turn to the other. The Bible tells that no man can serve two masters, and that a double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Questions

  1. What is an idol?
  2. What do you love more than God?
  3. Why?
  4. How often do you read your Bible?
  5. How often do you pray?
  6. What do you spend most of your time doing? What happens when we put things before God? What can we do to keep from turning our backs on God?
  7. What can you do this week to show God you love Him?

The Importance of Being Foolish

In The Importance of Being Foolish Brennan Manning does an amazing job of painting a picture of what life would look like if we truly had the mind of Christ. Manning does an impeckable job of exposing the things in our lives that keep our focus and thoughts on things other than that which consumes the mind of Christ.

Manning goes after our motives our affections and our desires. It is a fantastic read. I have been a big Manning fan ever since I first picked up a copy of The Ragamuffin Gospel and Abba’s Child when I was in College. I have since read most of his books if you have never read anything by Manning I encourage you to do so his candor and love for the gospel are evident in all his books.

Here are a few quotes that spoke to me from The Importance of Being Foolish.

If the radical demands of the Christian life are never proposed, if we settle instead for the tepid observance of a lukewarm set of precepts, how easily we become pharisaical and self-righteous. We try to save ourselves by her own works we never experience the mystery of redemption or loving dependence on God. (page 26)
If we wink at the radical demands of the new testament in our teaching and ignore the embarrassing implications of the precept of universal love, we make Christianity too easy and take away its meaning. We become as guilty as the Pharisees, ignoring the weightier matters of the difficult laws of charity, mercy, and faith while observing the positive laws of the church that are meant only as the boundaries of the Christian commitment. (page 27)

To grasp the truth of the gospel is the fall on our faces in both sorrowing gratitude. To live as Jesus lived is to move off of the floor and into the world. (page 37)

So often our self-motivated and self-moved rather than moved and motivated by the Spirit. When are sense of self is derived from our base desires, we act in ways intended to win approval, avoided criticism, or escape rejection. Deatrich Bonhoeffer wrote: “satan’s desire is to turn me in on myself to the extent that I become enslaved and become a destructive force in community. The thrust from Jesus Christ is the opposite to enhance my freedom so that I can become a creative force of love.  It is the spirit of self-centeredness and selfishness versus the spirit of openness and self-sacrifice for the good of others.”

The cure for our selfishness is to develop discerning hearts. (page 132)
A remarkable thing happens when we embrace our unity with all of God’s creation: everything we have given up is given back. Are were is considering security, pleasure, and power following in the recognition that all is well in the kingdom of God. The teaching of Jesus, “enough, then, good morning about tomorrow. Let tomorrow take care of itself” Matthew 6:34, it is known your moral maxim but a personal reality at the lived level of daily expense. In this context, the author Marry Bodo rights of Francis:

“and he was not worried or anxious about yesterday, today or tomorrow because Christ is, and all things are in him and he is in the father. Francis no longer worried, not because he was a naïve optimist, but because he become in prayer and penance a realist who saw the unimportance of Everything but God, and God and with him and through him, the importance of everything. God was everywhere and his presence charge creation with the power and the glory that made everything shine with goodness and beauty in Francis’s eyes. God’s touch on everything inspired everything that was. (page 142)

The gospel points to only one source of redemption: the Cross of Jesus Christ (pg. 152)

 

Whatever is emphasized in the New Testament should be emphasized in the church today. Whatever is peripheral should not be made central. Jesus Christ in the mystery of his death and resurrection is the center of the Bew Testament from Matthew’s genealogy to Revelation’s “Maranatha” (pg. 157)

 

” Words only get in the away when one tries to express Francis’s love for his crucified Lord” Thomas of Celano (pg 158)

 

” As Christians it is good for us not to boast of the resurrection triumph without accepting the tremendous reality of Christ crucifixion and death in us” Carlo Carretto

(pg. 159)

 

The cross confronts us with the cost discipleship reminds us that there is no cheap Pentecost and carries within it living power to enable us to endure the inevitable humiliations rejections sacrifices and willingness that the journey to the higher Christian consciousness imposes. (pg. 170)

 

” It is not how much we do but how much love we put into the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put into the giving.” Mother Teresa (page 168)

 

” Once you come to know the love of Jesus Christ, nothing else in the world will seem beautiful or desirable.”  (page 173)

 

Today Christianity is largely inoffensive this kind of religion will never transform anything. Jesus Christ the master Revolutionary offended religious and political order of Palestine. Christians too are bound to offend, and if we do not it is a bad sign we cannot be very revolutionary. (pg. 177)

 

The journey to transparency requires that we humbly knowledge, for God, but we are inordinately preoccupied with security, pleasure, and power. It requires genuine compassion for others when we see them acting out their addictions and emotionally backed demands; it is our inner solidarity in darkness that produces self-righteousness and irritability and makes compassion possible. The journey to transparency begins with an honest confrontation with the truth, which is not something we acquire, but someone. (pg. 79)

 

Remarkable thing happens when we embrace our unity with all of God’s creation: everything we have given up is given back. Our worries concerning security, pleasure, and power fall away in the recognition that all is well in the kingdom of God. (pg. 142)