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Xmin Academy http://www.xminacademy.com Thu, 13 Jun 2013 16:57:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Eschatology: Afterlife http://www.xminacademy.com/essays/eschatology-afterlife/ http://www.xminacademy.com/essays/eschatology-afterlife/#comments Thu, 13 Jun 2013 16:57:43 +0000 http://www.xminacademy.com/?p=7661 There are so many beliefs of what happens once you die its insane! In the textbook Eschatology: A study of things to come, by Zenas  Bicket, it shares some of the many beliefs. One is the view of atheists, which believe that all life ends when the body dies. This not what I believe, but there are many who do believe this.

The next view is universalism, which is the belief that all persons will in the end receive salvation. This, I feel, is another very popular belief, but again, I don’t agree. God sent us to earth and gave us a right to chose between Him and the world. We need to choose Him here in order to receive that salvation.

Another belief is reincarnation of souls. They believe that the passing of the human soul at death into a new body, either human or animal. Once again, I disagree, because the Bible says when we die, we either go to heaven or hell, it says nothing about passing into another body.

Soul sleeping is another belief, in which the soul is in a stat of unconsciousness after physical death until the time it is awakened at a resurrection. It is based on the sleeping imagery Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 15:6,18,20, 51 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-15, 5:10. But if you look up those passages, in each case the meaning is not literal.

One of the largest beliefs is that at death humans pass into purgatory, or a state of suffering until they are purged of past sin. The prayers of intercession by living friends and family, or by priests who pray on behalf of the church, contribute to the release of such souls. I think this is an interesting view, and I know many who believe it, but I, again, do not.I believe that you have to take responsibility for your own actions.  If you live your whole life denying God, and they pass, I don’t believe that they prayers of others are going to help you. You had your choice. There are still many other views to look at, but I believe we need to base what we believe from what God has told us in the Bible.

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Old Testament: King Solomon http://www.xminacademy.com/essays/old-testament-king-solomon/ http://www.xminacademy.com/essays/old-testament-king-solomon/#comments Thu, 13 Jun 2013 16:53:52 +0000 http://www.xminacademy.com/?p=7648 Solomon became king when his father, David passed. As the authors of Old Testament Survey, Global University staff said that Solomon was probably between 21 and 25 years of age when he became king.  Peace and prosperity described the 40 years of Solomon’s rule. He ruled with wisdom that he sought from the Lord, which helped the kingdom grow larger. People from many nations came to seek advice from the wise king. Solomon was known not only for his peaceful reign and wisdom but also the building of the temple.

His father, David, made plans for a grand temple for the Lord that Solomon was able to build. The building of the temple happened in the first ten years of his reign. He made the desires of this father a reality. David longed for a permanent place people could worship the Lord, and Solomon fulfilled that when the temple was completed in about 950 BC. It stood for over 400 years until Nebuchadnezzar destroyed it in 586 BC. But none the less, Solomon built the temple.

Despite all the good things that Solomon had done, his life ended in defeat. Like many kings of that time, he confirmed treaties and sealed alliances by marrying kings’ daughters. The king had 700 wives and 300 concubines. In 1 Kings 11:2 God had warned the Israelites not to marry foreign women, because they will turn their hearts after their gods. Solomon let his love for women over power his wisdom. He let his wives worship their gods, and even built temples for many of them. Solomon ended up worshiping other gods himself, and because of that, his heart was not fully God’s.

For Solomon’s disobedience God said He was going to divide the kingdom. However, for David’s sake, not until Solomon died. But even before he died, Solomon saw enemies rising up. I think the life of Solomon is a great example for life. As Christians, we feel we need to live perfect lives, but the fact is we can’t. Or people think we are perfect, but we are not. We still make mistakes and fall short, but God can use us still. We need to follow God, however, and be obedient when He tells us to do or not do something. God knows what is best for us, and He knows all, we don’t. We get our wisdom from the Lord, we need to not let our sinful nature to cloud that.

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Who Is That Guy? http://www.xminacademy.com/essays/who-is-that-guy/ http://www.xminacademy.com/essays/who-is-that-guy/#comments Thu, 13 Jun 2013 16:51:28 +0000 http://www.xminacademy.com/?p=7646 Who was Jesus?  What is so special about a guy who lived a couple thousand years ago?  Why does it even matter?  So many people have so many different views and ideas on who Jesus was or is.  Some think he was just some teacher who had a lot of good ideas on how to live.  They think he was just some do-gooder who hung around some fishing guys and went from town to town telling people how they should live their lives.  But that cannot be all to who Jesus was.  There has to be more to who he was.

Who was Jesus?  Simply put Jesus was one hundred percent God and one hundred percent human.  What?  I know that the math does not really add up but this is who Jesus was.  He was more than some do-gooder.  He was God in human flesh walking among us here on earth.  Jesus did not just do and teach good things but he healed the sick and the disabled, he lived a sinless life, and he forgave people of their sins.  These help show the divinity of Jesus.  In my text book Introduction to Theology:  A Pentecostal Perspective by Johnny Ford, Mr. Ford says, “Because of Jesus’ divinity, He represents God to us.  Many of us have seen a child who looks exactly like his or her father.  Similarly, when we look at Jesus as God’s Son, we see many characteristics of His Father….In Jesus, we see God.”  Jesus was not just a good person who lived a long time ago, He was God.

Not only was He all God but He was also all human.  Jesus walked on this earth and lived among us.  He knew what we go through and what it is like to be human.  He was just like we were, He was tempted just like we are, and He knew what it was like to be tired.  Mr. Ford put it this way, “Jesus had flesh.  He understands our feelings and our limitations because He experienced them….Jesus’ humanity is important in that it means He understands us.”  He knows what it is like to be us.  He knows what it is like to go through our pain and suffering.  Jesus went through it, too.

Those people who believe that Jesus was just a good teacher miss the whole point of why Jesus came to earth.  Jesus did not just come to here to teach people some good ways to live.  As Mr. Ford put it, “However, the main reason Jesus came to earth was not to preach.  Rather, Jesus came to die….The reason Jesus came to die was sin.”  Yes, Jesus was a great teacher and He did a lot of great things but that was not why He came.  He came as God in the flesh so that He could live like us and go through the things we go through so that He could die for us.  He came to save us.  Who is Jesus?  He is God who came as a man so that He could be Savior.  That is who Jesus is, our Savior.

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I Am A C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N http://www.xminacademy.com/essays/i-am-a-c-h-r-i-s-t-i-a-n/ http://www.xminacademy.com/essays/i-am-a-c-h-r-i-s-t-i-a-n/#comments Thu, 13 Jun 2013 16:47:32 +0000 http://www.xminacademy.com/?p=7641 I remember this song I use to sing when I was a little kid.  It went a little something like this, “I am a C. I am a C-H.  I am a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N.  And I have C-H-R-I-S-T in my H-E-A-R-T and I will L-O-V-E E-T-E-R-N-A-L-L-Y.”  The funny thing is I finally learned what the last word was not that long ago and I have been singing this song since I was little.  As a kid I would sing about the fact that I was a Christian because I had Christ living in my heart.  But sadly, and this is true for many other people, I did not always love eternally.  I did not always love like I had Christ in my heart.  We all love to sing about having Jesus in our hearts but when it all comes down to it how much do we love living like him?  As Christians, we like to worship Christ and reading about him in our Bibles but we don’t really enjoy actually living the way he has called us to live.  In my text book, Romans:  Justification by Faith by William F. Lasley, Mr. Lasley says, “True Christianity flows from learning about Christ to living for Him.”   It is great that we have Jesus in our hearts and we love him but now we have to really show it.  Mr. Lasley goes on by explaining what the apostle Paul says in Roman 12:1-2, “Paul’s counsel to believers is this:  In order to put our faith into practice, each of us is to give our body, mind, and will to God.  Offering ourselves to God – all that we are – allows Him to transform us into the image of His Son.”  When we give up everything that we are to God, we are able to not just say how much we love Jesus but how much we love others and live like Him more by leading others to Him.  We do not have to just learn about Him but we can really live for Him and be true Christ followers.

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Just Us Two http://www.xminacademy.com/student-blog/just-us-two/ http://www.xminacademy.com/student-blog/just-us-two/#comments Tue, 26 Mar 2013 20:46:01 +0000 http://www.xminacademy.com/?p=7630 So about a month ago Jess and I experienced a dark day in our lives while being here in Xmin.  Our roommate had family who came to visit one weekend and, after a talk with them, she decided to quite Xmin and returned home with her family.  It was really hard for Jess and I to see her go but, as hard as it was, I think it was a good thing too.  Now don’t misunderstand me, Jess and I both loved her (we still do) but Jess and I have gotten a chance to really grow even more and it has been really awesome.  You see, Jess and I sometimes have a love/hate relationship, mostly love but sometimes a small amount of strong dislike might happen.  Let’s just put it this way, I have a “remarkable gift” of driving people completely crazy.  I’m not exactly proud of this talent but I am pretty good at it :)  Well this “gift” has gotten me in trouble a few times with Jess.  I have learned just the right buttons to press to get Jess worked up and just about ready to kill me.  Obviously, I am not dead yet but I do just about push my limits sometimes.  Jess and I have had quite a few rough spots since we have been living together but it has been more amazing than rough.  I have known Jess for about five years or so but I never really took a lot of time getting to really know her other than some basic stuff.  Since we have been living together I have really gotten to know her likes and dislikes, her heart and passions, and I have gotten to see firsthand how much she has grown in her relationship with God.  Jess has such a heart and passion for God and for people and it is so awesome to see in how she loves on the children we minister to in the projects and on the children in Camp Courage.  I have learned that Jess has a “remarkable gift” as well that tends to drive me crazy sometimes.  Her “gift” is helping to keep me in line and accountable and she is very good at it.  She has been such an encouragement and an awesome friend.  I am so thankful that she is here doing Xmin with me.

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Ferdinand Magellan Hicks http://www.xminacademy.com/student-blog/ferdinand-magellan-hicks/ http://www.xminacademy.com/student-blog/ferdinand-magellan-hicks/#comments Tue, 26 Mar 2013 20:25:18 +0000 http://www.xminacademy.com/?p=7624 Have you ever had something in your life that made you happy and relaxed every time you walked through the door of your house?  Maybe it was a dog, a cat, your wife/husband, and/or kids?  Well, for Jess and me here at our house here in Xmin it is a little blue betta fish we named Ferdinand Magellan Hicks.  Yes, this blog is about a fish and, yes, he has a middle and last name.  Ferddie, as we lovingly call him, came to be a part of our little family a little over a month ago through my two wonderful friends, Jess and Brooke and the permission of Pastor Chilly (because we are renting and living in his house).  After getting clearance from Pastor Chilly, Brooke and Jess bought Ferddie home on February 11th as a surprise gift for me for my twenty-fourth birthday (hence the reason his last name is Hicks).  Although it was a birthday gift to me, Jess had already started calling him Ferdinand so, because I wanted to give him a name too, I decided to give him a middle name, even though I think it is weird to give pets middle names.  It is kind of funny though because, even though he is just a fish, it is fun to come home to a pet.  It is strange to think that something that seems so little and insignificant can mean a lot to a person.  Now don’t get me wrong, I really am not getting emotionally attached to a fish but I really do enjoy owning a pet even if that pet happens to be just a fish.  It also makes me feel like I can accomplish anything in life when I wake up every morning and find that my fish is still alive.  That’s right, it has been over a month and I have not killed my fish yet J. It has been pretty fun and I am hoping I can keep him alive at least until I get back to Minnesota.  This should be interesting.

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Gifted? http://www.xminacademy.com/student-blog/gifted/ http://www.xminacademy.com/student-blog/gifted/#comments Tue, 19 Mar 2013 02:05:51 +0000 http://www.xminacademy.com/?p=7611 I have recently read a couple books by Terri Blackstock that have got my head thinking. The first book I read was called, “The Gifted.” The book is about three co-workers who are caught under their office building after an earthquake. The three are miraculously healed and given divine gifts. They then use these gifts to tell others about Christ. The other book, “The Gifted Sophomores,” is similar except the main characters are sophomores in high school. The books are not too long and are interesting stories of people working for God.

There are a few things that have me thinking, comparing my life to theirs. Every one of the main characters claimed to be a Christian but didn’t really live completely for God. They went to church and were involved in some other activities, but when they were not in a church setting, they didn’t necessarily deny Christ, but they didn’t proclaim him either. I know that in my  life, I have done that too. I have been going to church and been in ministry for pretty much all my life. But outside of that I wasn’t proclaiming him with my mouth or with the way I lived. I don’t need to be caught in a natural disaster to start living for God, but am I using the gifts that God has given me? Yes, to a point… I have done some, but I am definitely not doing all I can. I know that I let my life get in the way a lot of the time. I am busy, I have to do this, I need to go here, I am already in the process of doing something else. And this way of thinking needs to stop! John 8:32 “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Philippians 4:13, ” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I can do it all, because Christ strengthens. And Christ is truth, and He has set me free. Who am I that I should let my “busy” life get in the way of others knowing the truth and being set free? Jesus has saved my life, and my life is not my own, it is his.

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Hello, Namaskar, Witaj, Marhaba from Hamtramck http://www.xminacademy.com/student-blog/hello-namaskar-witaj-marhaba-from-hamtramck/ http://www.xminacademy.com/student-blog/hello-namaskar-witaj-marhaba-from-hamtramck/#comments Tue, 19 Mar 2013 02:03:46 +0000 http://www.xminacademy.com/?p=7606 So on Valentine’s Day I started a new job here in Hamtramck at a little shop called The Polish Art Center.  It has been really exciting to learn all kinds of new things.  Such as:  pisanki are fancy decorated eggs, kistkas are a type of tool used in decorating the pisanki, and wycinanki are pieces of paper that were cut in a fancy way into different designs (kind of like making a paper snowflake but fancier).  I have been mostly learning the proper way of printing and packing orders that come in.  I have been learning to pack these orders so well that you could probably drop kick the package and everything would be just fine!  A person probably would not want to try it but we try to aim for that kind of protection because some orders come from other parts of the world like France or Australia.  I have also been learning a very, very small amount of polish like Wesolego Alleluja which means Happy Easter.  I wish I could tell you EVERYTHING I have been learning so far but I am pretty sure that I would run out of room.

I really love working here so far and sometimes I wish that I could almost live in the store; however, a little thought has been entering my head lately.  You see, I am only in this little store for about four hours a day for five days a week but while I am in there, surrounded by and learning about Poland, I almost forget about something very important.  I almost forget about the other estimated nineteen or so nationalities who reside in this two mile by two mile little city.  Hamtramck is quite the little city with about 22,198 people with about twenty-six different languages that are spoken here.  With all this diversity in such a small area, I sometimes just walk by most of it because I have ear buds in or my mind is focused on the other things I need to do for the day.  This all got me thinking, am I the only one who gets so focused on one little world because it is more my style or in my comfort zone that I forget about all the other worlds around me?

I think it is pretty safe to assume that I am not the only one like this.  We all walk past people who are without Jesus everywhere we go but we focus so much on our own agendas, deadlines, events, and to-do lists that we walk right past them without a second thought.  I don’t know about you, but I am really tired of focusing on my own little world when there are so many other worlds that do not have Jesus in them.  So, what are we going to do about it?  Well as a start, for the past few days I have been walking to work with my head up and my eyes and ears open, willing, and ready to act for God.  It has only been about three days or so but it is a start and I am learning a bit more about this city and it is only the beginning.  This world is full of people who are without Jesus; God has called all of us to step out of our busy schedules to follow his plan which is to seek and save the lost.  We have to be willing to step out of our worlds and into others, even if it is out of our style and comfort.

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…Coffee… http://www.xminacademy.com/student-blog/coffee/ http://www.xminacademy.com/student-blog/coffee/#comments Fri, 08 Feb 2013 17:13:40 +0000 http://www.xminacademy.com/?p=7582 I am pretty sure everyone in the world knows this but if not, I don’t really care for coffee. I have a hard time telling the difference between roasters and types. But the funny thing is I really enjoy working at Courage Coffee!  Even thought I cannot understand everything that goes into our amazing pour overs, I like learning and trying to taste the differences in our coffee.  I definitely think that God is using this to humble me. I always thought that I was the kind of person that caught on quick, I wasn’t always the best but I could understand it. With learning to make a pour over and tasting the coffee, I am still not quite catching on. I can do every step there is to make a pour over but it takes me like four tries to make one that is strictly okay. And when it comes to tasting coffee, they all taste the same to me. However, I am still in the process of training my pallet to taste and tell the difference between each coffee. I know that I am learning because with the new Brazil coffee we had I could actually taste the sweetness of the pears and peaches that are in the tasting notes. I was so excited! Also, of of the cool things about working Courage Coffee, I have the chance to spend time working with awesome people, getting to know them a little bit better. I loving talking to people that normally I don’t get one on one time with. Another cool thing about working it is talking to and getting to know some of the customers. I still don’t think that I realize how diverse our city is! I love it though, knowing that our coffee shop is for everyone and that people like it is such an awesome thing. The overall experience of working Courage Coffee is amazing. Learning about coffee and people. Growing and being challenged is great. I am really thankful to be a part of it.

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Love Through the Chaos http://www.xminacademy.com/student-blog/love-through-the-chaos/ http://www.xminacademy.com/student-blog/love-through-the-chaos/#comments Fri, 08 Feb 2013 17:12:15 +0000 http://www.xminacademy.com/?p=7581 If there is one word that I can use to describe the Projects its chaos. We are understaffed and outnumbered, surrounded by kids who have more personality in their little finger than I do in my whole body. Taking on this job is not for the faint of heart, because when you are a part of this you have to put your whole heart into it! You can not look at these kids the way the world does, if you do all that will come is discouragement. When you look at them through the eyes of Jesus the chaos turns into peace. But not because the situation has changed, rather the outlook has been altered.

My outlook has been totally transformed. I am not the type of person that handles stress well, I usually tend to shut down and go into autopilot when I feel like I cant deal with what is going on around me. This is a trait that took me years to develop and I am now realizing the repercussions of it. I will tune out in the middle of a conversation with someone and I won’t even realize that I am doing it. Even though I already knew that this was a problem I had, I didn’t realize just how bad it was until I started working at the Projects. I would be talking to one of the kids at my table, so then because I would get so stressed out by whatever else was going on, so I would tune out and not pay attention to the child that was talking to me. At no point is this ok.

There has never been any point in my relationship with God that He has has stopped paying attention to me when I speak to him. I am a very insignificance person in the grand scale of things, But with God I am his treasured jewel and so are these kids. In remembering this I found that I had this remarkable peace in the midst of the chaos. I have made it my goal for the rest of this year to really get to know these kids and what their interests are, not because I feel like I have to but because that is what God does for us. All I know is that I want to love these kids.

 

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