Living with Hope and Courage in All Circumstances

Talk at ICF Delft Sunday, October the 6th 2019

Talk theme: living with hope and courage whatever may come

We all live our lives without knowing what may happen in the future. All humans are fragile in one way or another. For instance, we cannot avoid death or the death of loved ones. Furthermore, we need to know who we are to be able to live a life free from wrong expectations or the trap of performing to be accepted. We want to live with values that will help us live a life worth living. Who can help us live with hope and courage during our short and fragile lives? The Christian faith has an answer to these questions. Our passage this coming Sunday from 1 Thessalonians 4 and 5 talks about certainty in death, a meeting with the King, the courage to live with kingdom values and an identity rooted in a love relationship with God.

Click below to listen to the talk from about minute 29.

Outline: A Creed. A Meeting. An Identity. A lifestyle.

New Church (Nieuwe Kerk) in Delft.

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Student Leaders and Their Potential Impact on Campus

StudentLife, the organization I am working with, believes that students can be positive influencers on their campuses. They can make a difference and impact others with the good news. What follows is some points related to the importance of student leaders for campus work and why students should consider becoming one. 

First, a student leader gives hands and feet to the Great Commission. 

You may have heard that Christians should go and make disciples of all nations, Mark 16:15 comes to mind. A student leader can partly help students give hands and feet to this commission. 

Christians sometimes know what they are supposed to do but don’t know exactly how to do it. Someone who came to StudentLife in Delft a few weeks ago said exactly this, “I know I have to share the good news with others but I don’t know how to do this.” 

Student leaders facilitate the moments to go and have conversations. They also arrange training on how to lead conversations and have follow-up meetings. 

Second, a student leader learns about spiritual leadership hands-on. 

There are different reasons why someone would not become a student leader: limited time, fear of the unknown (“what am I getting into now?”) failures, weaknesses, feelings of inadequacy (“I am not good enough, or not ready”) some doubts about faith, lack of courage, and the list can go on. What would you add to this list? Here some thoughts about the above reasons. 

Time is always a challenge. But how much time does it take to be a student leader? In StudentLife not more than 2 hours per week! Yes, you have to learn about time management and also stick with these two hours. We always can do more. But we have to learn to set limits and boundaries in our lives. 

It also has to do with priorities and values. What are the things that you are doing at the moment that you could either postpone or avoid doing for the next three months, or stop doing because they don’t help you become a better person? 

Furthermore, we all can feel a sense of inadequacy: we’re not ready, we’re not good enough, or we’re not able enough. The apostle Paul felt like this many times, such as in 2 Corinthians 3:5-6. Read and reflect on these verses. And Paul was not the only one to feel like this! Jeremiah as a young man felt overwhelmed with the idea of becoming a prophet for God, read and reflect on Jeremiah 1:4-10. Write your thoughts down and pray about your feelings of inadequacy. 

Third, you will learn what it means to depend on God and trust him to do his work

God is asking us to share the good news. He also expects us to be good leaders in our lives and our service for Him. But He also gives us the strength, wisdom, love, mercy, and power to do it. 

To join a StudentLife team and go for conversations with the purpose to help others think about the big questions of life is pleasing to God. To go a step further and become a student leader and lead a movement in your campus is also pleasing to God, good for others, and good for you. You will learn what it means to press on and not give up easily because God will sustain you. He will teach you the value of prayer in your life. A student leader once said, “Going for conversations is a training school/ground to share the good news and make disciples.” A training ground! And you can facilitate, you can make it happen with God’s enablement. 

Finally, some points about what a student leader does

  • A student leader organizes once a week, or biweekly, to go out for conversations on the campus. 
  • He arranges some training for the students. StudentLife staff or student leaders are available to give the training. 
  • He gives the signal in the WhatsApp group when they go for conversations and leads the time they meet for this purpose. 
  • He always has StudentLife staff in reach to help out. He is never alone! 

Would you prayerfully consider becoming a student leader? Feel free to contact me or one of my Studentlife colleagues. 

KV brochure A4 March 2019

 

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Reasons why people may reject faith in God

Here are some reasons why people reject faith in God. I mention four of them. What could be some reasons you are rejecting faith in God? leave a message and I will try to respond in about a week.

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Conversations with students September 2019

A conversation about life after death

It was a nice sunny September day and I went to have a few conversations with students at the campus in Delft. “What do you believe happens to people after they die?” was one of the questions in the questionnaire I was using.

The student said, “we don’t live forever, it is the end.” He explained, “it is like a book that has a beginning and an end.” Then he added, “it is the scientific method.” I asked him then why he thinks this is the scientific method. Does science prove that life ends after death? “No, no,” he said, “we cannot prove it.”

This was a good moment in the conversation I thought. It was just a question I had to ask to help the student admit that science cannot prove if life continues or not after death. And this is the lesson I want to leave with you, my reader. Sometimes we don’t need to explain things. A simple question may be enough to help people clarify their thinking.

Another student that was in this conversation said, “maybe there is something there, life after death.” But he added, “it is possible but uncertain.”

Well, is there life after death and how can we know? Is it possible to find an answer to this question? I think there is a way to find a satisfying answer to this important question. It may not be conclusive, but it will be sufficient. At least this is what I think. If you want to know more then leave a message and I will try to respond within a week. 

 

My Activities

My speaking schedule for fall 2019

  • 6th October 2019 ICF Delft in Delft.

    • A series that continues on 1 Thessalonians. I will speak in chapter 4:13-5:11.

 

Previously this year

10th March 2019 Grace Church in Amersfoort.

  • An excerpt from this talk: Relationships are important because they define us as human beings. To be authentically human, someone said, is to exist in relationships. Happiness has to do with the knowledge of being loved. Relationships define our identity. Not any kind of relationships brings happiness. Only loving relationships bring happiness in our lives as nothing else can do.

30-31 March 2019 Connexxtion student retreat

  • At the Connexxion retreat, there will be three main sessions, two related to Christian apologetics and one to evangelism

19th May 2019 Grace Church in Amersfoort.