Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Message: Ninja


How many of you have seen Ninja Warrior? The show with the ninja-like people and the obstacle course, and all the crazy Japanese yelling? Well, for those of you that haven’t, here’s one of the “ninja warriors” in the final stage of the competition:


Now, imagine how hard it would be to do that without any physical training. Do you think it would even be possible? Probably not, right?

Ninjutsu, the martial art used by ninjas, included lots more than just the physical training everyone thinks about. They would often start training as early as five or six to develop the necessary skills. They learned to fight and use weapons. They learned how to accept their own mortality and how to retrieve information from others. They learned strategizing, stealth, and strict adherence to their beliefs.

What could we learn from ninja training? We could learn to focus our minds and work harder. We could learn humility, and we could learn balance. We could learn how to learn from others. But I think the most important thing we can learn is the one word that best describes a ninja’s life—discipline.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

I challenge everyone this week to find some way to train yourself spiritually. Find one thing that you can do to grow closer to God and stronger in your faith. If you’re not good with Bible reading, find ten minutes you can use just to sit down and read a chapter or two a day. Deuteronomy 8:3 says “man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” If you have a weak prayer life, find a quiet spot in the morning or evening, get a prayer book, and read that to help develop strong prayer habits. James 5:16 says “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” For me, I’m going to spend the next few weeks finishing Hebrews 11 for memory, because in Deuteronomy 11:18 God tells us to “lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul.” However you choose to discipline yourself this week, though, remember why you do it—1 Corinthians 10:31, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Theme Night: Ninja

Challenge: Through this week, find a way to train yourself spiritually. Find one thing that you can do to grow closer to God and stronger in your faith--extending your prayer life, adding an extra ten minutes to your Bible study time, memorizing a new passage, etc.

 Trivia: Ninja

Bible Passage: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Message: Spiritual discipline

Games:
  • Ninja: "Players stand in a circle. Players take turns, going around the circle. The player who is up can make one quick motion in order to slap the hand of another player. The motion must last not much more than 1 second. The player freezes in the position he or she ends in. The player being assaulted must try, also with one quick move, to evade being hand-slapped. This move must also last not much more than 1 second and the player then freezes in whatever position he or she ends in. If a players' hand is slapped, they are eliminated from the circle. If a players' move is not swift and quick, they are eliminated from the circle. Optional: Players are eliminated if they try to evade an attack when the attacker was really attacking someone else."
  • Tunnel Relay: "Teams race against each other while lined up in relay formation. All players spread their legs in straddle position and the last player from each team crawls through the legs. The next player follows in turn until the team is back into original formation. As soon as a player has crawled through the tunnel, they are to stand up so the next player can get through his legs. The first team that completes the order is the winner."

Theme Night: Murder


Purpose: To teach students that we are called by God not only to keep from killing others, but also to keep from holding grudges and being angry

Challenge: Staying angry at someone violates the fifth commandment. This week, find someone you’ve been holding a grudge against and go out of your way to forgive them.

Trivia: Biblical deaths

Message: Holding Grudges and the Fifth Commandment

Bible Texts: 1 John 3:12-16, Exodus 20:13

Games:
  •  Mafia
  • Handshake Murder: One person is chosen to be the “murderer”. When the game begins, everyone shakes hands with others. The murderer scratches the hands of those he/she shakes hands with. After a victim’s hand is scratched, they must shake hands with 3 people (more or less depending on number of players) before “dying” (dramatically!). Someone can guess who the murderer is, but if they guess incorrectly, they die as well. Dead victims may not guess. The murderer wants to be as subtle as possible in order to not be caught. The game ends when the murderer is identified or only two people (the murderer and one other) are left standing.
  • Dramatic Death Competition: The students with the most dramatic fake death wins!
Supplies Necessary:
  • Deck of cards