S.L.A.M.
Students Living a Message

SLAM NEWSLETTER

Contents
1. Something for Your Heart
2. Surf Report
3. Forgettable Fact
4. Potent Quotables
5. Parting Shot
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1. SOMETHING FOR YOUR HEART

Long before the race of Humans came into the world, there was a mighty angel—great in both rank and honor—serving in the high court of God. Though we know few details, we do know this angel wanted a station higher than the one he was created to possess. He wanted God’s place, God’s throne, God’s power.

And with that, God struck him down. The angel wasn’t built to be God; if he wouldn’t choose what he was created to be, then he’d become far less.

His angelic name was Lucifer, the light bringer. Today, he’s known as Satan, and he’s no storybook creature with horns and a pitchfork. Even depictions of him in movies such as the Exorcist hardly match his twistedness.

In Revelation 12:9, he’s called, “the great dragon.” Satan is smart and savvy. He has more power than the world’s empires combined, yet he can subtly influence the hearts of men and women with prettiness, pleasure, and half-truths.

He is active in the Wild, and he desires to devour people to fill his house below. Satan is a mastermind who strategizes with his Jedi Mind Tricks on how best to capture the weak.
Why doesn’t God just crush this horrible creature? If God has so much power, why doesn’t God simply wipe out Satan altogether? Well, God could, and God will—one day. But not yet. The battle is not between God and Satan. The battle is over what we will do with our ideas about God.

There is a battle between Heaven and Hell over whether God is good. And the battle is for the human heart.

God could crush Satan in an instant. Yet that’s not in God’s purposes right now. God is more concerned about us. Will we see God as good? Will we choose to be God’s friend? Or will we pretend we are God? Will we tell God to buzz off ? Satan may influence us in many directions, but we still have the freedom to pursue God—or not.

Here’s what the Bible says about the battle against the Dragon: The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4, 5)

The Dragon’s major strategy is not swinging his mighty tail or enflaming our villages with fire. Rather, Satan works to make us believe that ideas don’t matter. He wants us to lack understanding about the Wild and the way Home. He wants us distracted and ignorant. He wants us apathetic. He wants us plugged into our electronics and listening to a multitude of other voices so we hardly know our own. In other words, he wants us to trust our diversions.
The Enemy isn’t interested in getting us to disbelieve God or to become atheists. That’s not an effective strategy for him because thoughtful atheists are still at risk of thinking hard about God.
No, the Enemy has something more sinister in mind.

At the heart of Satan’s warfare is his ongoing plan for us to misunderstand or disregard who God is and what God is like. It’s an attack on our knowledge of God.

Facing ideas, weeding through them, and using new tools along the way will help us understand ourselves, our hurts, our struggles, and how to deal with them without turning to easy diversions. This is no battle of swords and bombs.

This is a battle for our minds. What I think matters. And what you think matters.

**Questions to live into:

Find a place where you can have 15 minutes alone in the quiet (that means turning off music, TV, cell phone, etc.). Ask yourself these questions:

If all jobs paid $10 per hour, what job would you choose? Why? When you feel uneasy, lost, lonely, afraid, be-wild-ered what do you do? How often do you use the following as diversions?
Money-seeking
Fashion
Church
Music
Busyness

What other diversions do you use that aren’t on this list? Why do you feel drawn to certain diversions? What do they do for you?

Unplug. Try going one day without listening to music. Any music. Then write down how you felt when you wanted to listen to music as your diversion. Were you surprised? Do you find it hard to admit how you really feel about this? After you go one day without music, next time try a whole weekend. After that, try a whole week. See what happens.

Find a friend and ask, “Do you think about your purpose in life?” See what happens. If your friend says yes, follow it up with, “Does it change how you think about life?” Discuss that a bit.

Hunt for Jedi Mind Tricks. Watch your favorite TV show. Pay close attention to the commercials. Whom are they trying to convince? What are advertisers trying to get you to believe? Do you find it easy to believe what they’re telling you? Do you find you suddenly have new “needs” that you didn’t have before you watched the commercial? Does the commercial change what you buy?

Taken from “Living with Questions” by Dale Fincher, c 2007

2. SURF REPORT

~ HowStuffWorks -Learn how lots of stuff works—http://www.howstuffworks.com

~ Answers.com—www.answers.com

3. FORGETTABLE FACT

When opossums are “playing dead”, they are not “playing.” They actually pass out from sheer terror.

4. POTENT QUOTABLES

“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

“Being religious means asking passionately the question of the meaning of our existence and being willing to receive answers, even if the answers hurt.” – Paul Tillich

5. PARTING SHOT

Right now I’m having amnesia and déjà vu at the same time. I think I’ve forgotten this before.

copyright 2007 :: Youth Specialties

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