It’s a day of Celebration in our family and in Heaven! After church today Maeven began talking with her brother Judah about His need for Jesus and prayed with him. I then was able to talk with Judah who very clearly told me “I want to follow Jesus!” We talked some more and prayed together and I am so excited that Judah know Jesus as his Savior and Lord! I can’t wait to see what God is going to do with my little guy. We are also so proud of Maeven for wanting to make sure her brother knew Jesus!
For a while it seemed like the winter of 2015 wasn’t going to be that bad. We made it through January relatively unscathed. However, in February all the snow and ice hit us with a vengeance and lasted into the first week of March. Finally though, this week things have warmed up and we are getting back to a regular schedule of sorts. With that return to good weather and normalcy also comes a return to our high school and middle school FCA Huddles.
With all the bad weather I have either not been able to get to either of the schools or one and not the other each week. Finally this week I was able to return to both schools and have our weekly FCA Huddles. With the layoff of not being there to share with the students, one of my concerns is always their relationship with Christ. Many of our students either aren’t involved in a church regularly or at all. Some I honestly worry about what and if they are being taught truth as well. So this week I concentrated on challenging the students about where they are in their walk with Christ. Are they daily growing closer to Him in a way that is visible to others, are they stagnant, are the regressing, or are they apathetic. It was exciting to be able to once again spend time with the students and see them interact very well with the devotions I shared.
Please keep praying for our students that they will grow and seek to allow Christ to be first in their lives! Also pray for myself and our teacher sponsors that we will be able to effectively communicate Christ’s love to our students!
In the Sunday School class I teach at our church I have been going through a weekly study on owning/developing your own faith. With students everywhere, and particularly in our area, I have seen a major problem where they really don’t know what they believe about God. Often when you ask them how they know they are a Christian, they respond with something about going to church or the fact that some member of their family is a Christian so therefore they are. Understanding what a true personal relationship with Christ is, is something that often eludes them. Also, many of our students that do have solid relationships with Christ, still struggle with being able to share with others what they believe and why. So the series we are doing has been great to help them own their faith.
Yesterday’s Sunday School lesson was on owning your own faith through understanding the deity of Christ. Basically, that’s a long way of saying understanding that Jesus is God. It was a great lesson as I really felt like the students were engaged as we discussed things like the eternality of Christ, the fact that He is the Creator, and many other aspects of his deity, especially the fact that He is God and not just a prophet or a good man.
The awesome thing about how God was working yesterday was the fact that our lesson tied directly in with our pastor’s morning sermon. Our pastor spoke from John 3 about Nicodemus visiting Jesus in the night. One of the key points that he shared was how Jesus was clear to Nicodemus that He was God and that we must look to Him for Salvation.
As I sat there listening to my pastor speak, I couldn’t help but smile to myself as I thought about how God was working that very morning. My pastor and I hadn’t spoken to each other this week and had no way of knowing what the other was going to teach, but God had a plan. Our students were very clearly able to hear that Jesus truly is God the Almighty Creator and that only through Him can we truly find Salvation. I know some people may say that this was just and awesome coincidence, but I know that with our Awesome God there are no coincidences. Just as I know this was an awesome part of God’s plan how these lessons tied together, I know that His plan is not completed yet. So please join me in praying for our students that they will take this very clear message and apply it to their lives and trust in Jesus as the one true God and Savior!
The past week has been a very busy one for my children. They have been going like crazy to camp, VBS, and church. On Sunday, Maeven was even promoted to the next Sunday School age group and moved into Children’s Church. Through all these experiences both kids have been hearing more and more about Jesus. Erin and I also, read with our kids each night and do a small devotional and prayer time with them as well. Judah is still a rambunctious toddler and keeping him still is the biggest challenge, but Maeven is really listening to what she is being taught at camp, church, and home. She came home from VBS on Saturday to let me know that Jesus is alive!!! Then on Sunday, she talked with me all about what she had learned about Jonah in children’s church. On Monday morning I took Maeven with me to pick up a little girl who was coming to grade school camp at YHBC this week. Maeven wanted to know why we needed to pick up the little girl. I told her that we needed to bring the little girl to camp so that she could hear about Jesus at camp. Maeven was very excited and said this little girl needs to know Jesus is alive! While I know from our conversations that Maeven is still a little while from understanding what it means to accept Christ as her Savior, I am so very excited to see things starting to click with her and her to begin to understand. I am also excited to see the love she has for going to church and Bible camp and learning about Jesus and the joy she has for other people learning about Him as well. Please pray for both my children that at a young age they will decide to follow Christ and that God will use them to do great things for his Kingdom!
This morning and on Tuesday morning I had the pleasure of sharing the verse above with our Middle and High School FCA Students. Each year at this time I try to do devotions with them that will encourage them to finish their school year well. Last week, I actually talked about finishing well, but this week I wanted to go deeper with them. So, we talked about how when we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, that is truly the only way we can finish well and make it through anything life throws at us.
At the end of the school year our students are facing the crunch of homework, papers, tests, and all kinds of various activities going on. The stress level of friendships, relationships, and parental interaction is elevated during this time. Often in the stress of this season of life the student’s relationship with Christ is what gets put on the back burner. We are encouraging our students to not let this be so in their lives. Instead of setting Jesus aside, turn to Him, and be even more focused on their prayer times, Bible study, and worship with fellow believers at Church. While Christ doesn’t promise our students everything will be perfect, He does promise to be with them and help them through the storms of life.
Please join me in praying for our students. Pray that as they are facing the storms of this time in the school year that they will stay focused on Christ. Pray that they will feel His presence and guidance and that even when this season passes that they will still keep focused on, “the source and perfecter” of their faith!
This week is a big one for us, as we are getting ready for our annual fall teen lock-in outreach at the Rec Center. This coming Friday night from 10 pm to 6 am on Saturday morning. In the past we have had between 150 to 250 7th-12th graders attend. The students will get a fun night of games, bowling, cosmic bowling, food, fun and much more. Our main reason for the outreach is that about half way through the night we have a guest speaker who will share Jesus with our students. Between the speaker and our staff mingling with students throughout the night we hope that many will give their lives to Christ. Please be in prayer this week that all our staff will get much needed rest before the lock-in, pray that we will have enough adult volunteers to help chaperone our students, and most of all pray that God will begin working in the lives of our students even now and that their hearts will be soft and open to the Gospel during this outreach. I can’t wait to see what God is going to do and appreciate your prayers, and if you so choose, help chaperoniing!