Take my life and let it be all for You and for Your glory…

I love those lyrics.  They fit in perfectly with what I am talking with the youth about tonight.  I am really excited about the possibilities of what God can do through our group.  I am talking with the youth this evening about John 17 and The High Priestly Prayer of Jesus.  There are several things that we can learn from Jesus in the way that He prays to God.  In John 17:4 Jesus states, “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.”  God take my life and let it be all for you and for your glory.  That is all about doing the work that God gave me in this life. I plan on challenging the youth to begin coming about an hour earlier on Wednesday evenings so that we can become a group that does great spiritual battle through prayer.  I think that so often teenagers are so focused on themselves, and I want to try to get them for at least an hour to be focused on the Kingdom of God.  I believe that God can use our group in a mighty way.  I know that as we pray, His presence can fall on us, and we can be changed.  My prayer is that we can come together each week with an attitude of expectancy, and that God’s presence is so heavy on us that we cannot even open our eyes for fear of being encountered with the very image of the Lord.  I want God to use us, and I want for the youth to grasp hold of the importance of interceding on behalf of our church, our families, our country, and our world.  I will let you know how things go tomorrow.  Have a great night.

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Back in the saddle again…

I am back in class for the first time since the beginning of May.  I feel like it has been forever since I did any school work.  I just wanted to let everyone know that I am still alive.  Youth camp did not kill me.  These past couple weeks have been a whirlwind.  With camp and VBS being back to back I am drained of energy right now.  Now I am in class, and it is tough to stay awake.  I love seminary classes, but I am just so tired right now.  I will let you know how the week goes.

This week is also very exciting for me.  Thursday is Kim’s and my fourth anniversary, Saturday AM kim is graduating from Georgia Tech, and Saturday PM my college roommate is getting married in NC.  It will be a busy week, but a very rewarding week.  I am also very excited about the fact that kim and I have felt led of God to sponser a child through Compassion International.  Through a great amount of prayer God has introduced us to a five year old little girl from Uganda named Lunkuse.  I know that God has placed a love in our hearts for her and her family.  I cannot wait to learn more about her and tell her about us.  I am really looking forward to being a part of helping Lunkuse and her family come to know Jesus.

I hope that everyone has a great rest of the day, and I will check in later on this week.

Yours is the kingdom, Yours is the power, Yours is the glory forever

Day three of camp has been amazing.  God has made his presence known in a grand way.  This morning we spent the entire session following the music portion in prayer for our churches.  It was a powerful and very moving time.  I think that the youth are starting to understand the importance of taking time to pray for those who they rely upon so often.  I think that the youth can begin something amazing at our church.  It all comes down to a matter of whether or not they are willing to step up and take responsibility for the calling that God has placed on their lives.  I tried to get them to understand this evening that they are going to be the leaders of the next generation at Westside whether they want to or not.  I would ask that you pray for the continued development of the understanding that the youth have.  I do not want them to miss the opportunity this week to experience the presence of God in this context.  Sorry for the short post tonight.  It has been a long day, and I am very tired.  Continue to pray for us.

All our hope is in You, all our hope is in You

Day two of camp has been amazing!  God is most definitely here.  This morning focused around the question, “What are you fixing your eyes on?”  We get so caught up in the visible and tangible world that we completely overlook the spiritual world that is just a s real s the physical one.  If we are fixing our eyes on the things that are visible, then we have lost sight of the things that are important.

This afternoon we had a great time enjoying God’s creation at the beach.  We had a little accident where one of the adult leaders ending up at the hospital getting four stitches in her shin, but I promise that everyone is doing fine, and she will make a complete recovery.  I don’t even think that she will need physical therapy to relearn how to walk. 🙂  The free time outside was cut short by an afternoon thunder storm, but that let us have some great time hanging out at dinnertime getting to know each other a little better.

This evening center on four things that happen when we are in God’s presence.  We looked at Exodus 33:7-16.  In His presence our posture changes, our focus changes, His presence becomes necessary to us, and our faces are changed as a result.  I firmly believe that God is doing something in the hearts of the youth from Westside.  They have all stated that they want to ask God to show them His glory.  I told them all during our church group time this evening that I hoped they are ready to face the consequences of voicing that desire.  I mentioned that I was not discouraging them, but rather trying to help them understand what will follow a request like that.  I read the kids a quote that Louie Giglio said during my youth pastor’s meeting just before the service this evening.  He stated, “I want your students to know that it is okay to let Jesus do something crazy in their lives.  Don’t think that it will be wrong for Jesus to radically change their lives.”  I pray that the kids will understand that.  It is completely  okay for Jesus to radically change them.  He can call them to serve in a currently unknown village in the jungles of Indonesia to be the first person to reach a people group for the name of Christ, or He may call them to serve in their neighborhood by helping cut the grass of an elderly person down the road.  GOD CAN DO AMAZING THINGS! Especially when we are willing to give up our plans for life, and follow hard after the Lord.

Everyone is doing great, and please know that God is doing a mighty work in our lives.

What’s not to love about You, Heaven and earth adore You…

Well we made it to camp!  We are in Daytona in our hotel, which is very nice might I add, and we have finished day one of camp.  We had a great trip down here today.  The first main group session was amazing.  God has already made His presence known.  The Holy Spirit of God was in the room with us this evening.  As worship began this evening I knew that God was there.  To me there is no sound like that of the people of God joining their voices together to sing praise to Him, and 7000 people joining their voices together is a great sound.  Chris Tomlin led us in worship in the way that he always does.  He lets God use his voice and his guitar to speak to those who are present.  God moved during that time.  We could have left after the singing portion of worship and my spiritual tank would have been full.  However, Louie Giglio spoke following Chris, and God moved again.  He spoke of the fact that God’s presence is always before us, but so often we overlook it because it is not visibly tangible to us.  We must find the way to access it and then begin to try to understand the incomparable power of God’s presence.  I followed this in our church group time by asking the kids, “What did you expect God to do this week?”  I told them that I did not want a “Sunday school” answer.  I wanted them to be as honest as they possible could.  The discussion that ensued addressed the fact that so often our expectations of God are so limited that we miss what He could truly do.  We have to expand our expectations of what God can do when we offer ourselves as vessels for His use.  So day one is over, and day two has really already begun.  I will write tomorrow to let you all know the progress.

I also wanted to let everyone know that if you leave comments for your children or the youth from the church I will do me best to pass the messages along to the kids.  Good night, everyone!

Published in: on July 14, 2009 at 12:11 am  Leave a Comment  
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We are family. All my brothers, sisers, and me…

I write those lyrics because Kim’s mom, step dad, brother, and sister are in town with us this week.  It is fun having them in town though.  I really like them a lot.  I am getting really excited about youth camp next week.  I know that it is going to be a blast both recreationally and spiritually.  That is what I want to focus on tonight.  I really am praying that camp next week is mostly about the spiritual blast that I am expecting.  I wait with an attitude of expectancy for God to show up in a big way for the youth group.  I know that we are going to have a great time during our free time in the afternoons, but the thing I am looking forward to most is the times when they all are quiet and God is whispering in their ears.  I love those quiet moments when God begins to whisper and tug on the heart strings.  I am praying so strongly that God will move in a mighty way for the camp as a whole, but more selfishly for the kids from Westside.  I want them to grab hold of the passion and energy that comes from having a mountain top experience.  However, I want so badly for it to not be a mountain top experience only.  I want the passion and energy to stay at a maintained level for an extended period of time.

We have one more pre-camp lesson tonight talking about how God’s ways are so vastly different from anything that is done here on earth, but God’s ways are always the best way.  I will let you know how it goes tomorrow.  It is also a fun day tomorrow because we are going, as a youth group, to play Whirly Ball.  If you don’t know what it is you need to google it, and it will change your life.  Okay that’s all for now.  Have a great night.

There’s a party going on right here; a celebration to last throughout the year…

I am really happy that this is going to be a long weekend coming up.  That is the reason for the “party going on right here.”  It will be nice to have some time to just sit back and relax for a couple of days.  I need it right now.  I will spend all day with my three girls.  I love days when we have nothing planned to do, and we can just coast.  For that reason I don’t really have much to say, and I won’t check in until next week.  I hope that everyone has a fabulous Independence day, and a great rest of the weekend.  Get out and enjoy the weather, and hopefully you can spend a little time by a pool or something.

Published in: on July 2, 2009 at 3:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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