The summer has officially flown by and my baby girl is heading back to school tomorrow for her first day of the First Grade. On Facebook I received one of the throw back pictures of her when she was so very tiny, and now here she his tall, beautiful, and full of high energy starting her second year of school. Not only, does it make me feel old, but it’s depressing to realize how short the time God has given me to be a Dad really is. My constant prayer to God is that I am the type of father who reflects Christ to my kids in all that I do and say. Looking at how fast that time is going, really makes me want to be sure that I am reflecting Him well. My time as an example is short and I want to have maximum impact for Christ on my kids. I can’t imagine all the things that my daughter is going to have to face in school and life, so helping her get a Godly base now is so important. The Bible says in Ephesians 5:16 (ESV), “Making the best use of time, because the days are evil.” I have to make the best use of time with my sweet girl so that she can face all that life throws at her, both good and evil. That’s my prayer as a father and I hope that if you are a parent it’s your prayer too!
For the past few weeks my posts have been few and far between and I want to apologize for that. With the busyness of ministry and life in general I have just fallen behind. Now with the camp season over with and being able to fall into more of a routine here at the Lee County Recreational Center, I hope to do a much better job of having regular postings.
So, in my first attempt to get back to blogging regularly, I wanted to start out with some prayer requests. Today is the first day of the new school year here in Lee County. As our students head back to school please keep them in your prayers. We have been busy working with FCA students this summer helping encourage and prepare them to be “All In” leaders for Christ at their schools. An “All In” Leader is someone who puts their relationship with Christ as the number one priority and relationship in their life and every aspect of their life flows from that. This is a challenge for our students as they will face all kinds of school and peer pressures this year. Pray that rather than their schools impacting their relationship with Christ that their relationship with Christ will impact their schools!
This year many of our faithful FCA Leaders will be seniors. Pray that they will finish their school careers strong and leave behind a legacy of faithfulness to Christ. Pray with us that this year we will see underclassmen grow in their faith to take strong leadership roles in our FCA Huddles.
Our FCA Huddles won’t officially start back for regular weekly meetings until September. However we are going to be working with our Leadership team to lay out a plan for this year’s huddle meetings and set goals for the school year. Please pray that we would follow God’s leading in the direction He would have for our Huddles to best honor Him. Also, pray that our Leadership team will honor their commitments to being Leaders for Christ and being active members of our Leadership team.
I know that as we face a big new school year that there will be many challenges. That being said, I know that I have an even bigger God who is going to do great things! Please just keep praying for our students throughout the 2014/2015 school year!!!
Many of you had been praying for our Golf Scramble fundraiser last weekend and I wanted to let you know how much we appreciated that. God gave us a beautiful day for golf and everyone had a great time. We were down a few golfers this year, but God blessed through some very generous sponsors! Please continue to pray for us as we seek to raise money and get our air conditioning back up and running for this very hot summer that is coming.
This week though, we are gearing up for our End of School Teen Lock-In!!! On Friday night starting at 10 pm and going till 6am in the morning, we will be packed with 7th-12th graders. Students will enjoy a fun night of cosmic bowling, bowling, ping pong and pool tournaments, karaoke, movies, and much more. About half way through the night we will shut down everything and a guest speaker will share the Gospel with our students. Please start praying with us for this event. Pray that many students will come out. Pray that we will have enough chaperones and helpers throughout the entire night. Pray for our speaker that they will communicate the truth of God’s Word effectively to our students. And most importantly, please pray for our students that they will have soft hearts and that many will make the decision to give their lives to Christ!
Lastly, please consider coming to join us for this outreach as a chaperone! As our staff gets older we appreciate those who have a heart for our students and would help us with this fun event. Hope to see you Friday night!!!
Today, I have the privilege of heading back to our local high school to start another year of meeting with students every Thursday for an after school Bible study. I am so thankful for this opportunity to work with the students and to help them dive deeper into God’s Word. Please be in prayer today and through the upcoming weeks for our students. Pray that they would come and come ready to study. Pray for myself and the teachers that join us each week that we will be prepared to encourage and equip our students. Pray that the words we speak will be words of wisdom from God. I will keep you posted on how things go in our Bible study and in the mean time keep praying!
Depending on when you are reading this post our FCA students are either preparing to head out to their first day of the new school year, in the midst of their first day back, or possibly home already recovering from their first day back. I would like to take today’s post to ask you to please be praying for our students. Pray that they will go to school ready to be Relentless in standing strong for Christ and sharing their faith with their fellow students and teachers. Pray that when they face peer pressure they will view it as an opportunity to be a witness by making choices that honor Christ. Pray that they will find more Christian students that they can fellowship with and encourage each other to be strong. I know that God is going to do great things at Lee County High and Middle Schools this year through our FCA students, but they need your prayers and support. Please join me in praying for them!
As we get ready to wrap up spring and head into summer we are also wrapping up the winter bowling leagues at the Rec Center last week and this week. On Monday afternoon one of my personal favorite leagues ended for this school year, our Monday Night After School Jr. Bowling League. This is a league where we pick up students from each of the local schools (elementary through high school) on Monday nights and bring them out to the Rec Center. The students get two games of bowling, pizza, and a drink each week. For a couple of years we had tried do a weekend youth league, but parents wouldn’t bring their kids out. Over the course of this past year over 100 students at various times have participated in this league, giving us a great chance to build relationships and share the love of Christ. At our awards ceremony each student was given a participation award, team awards were given, and some students earned awards for high games, averages, and series. Many students are doing great and we hope to get to bowl on our high school team eventually! Please pray for our students over the summer that we might have some more opportunities to see them. Also, pray they will come back so that we can continue to build relationships with them and share more about Christ.
On Monday night we gathered our students who are on our FCA Leadership team at our house for a time of discipleship and getting ready for this summer’s FCA Leadership Camp. It’s hard to believe but it’s almost time for camp again this year! We are excited to be taking even more students to camp this summer as we currently have 7 who will be going with us.
The camp theme this year is “Relentless” which is taken from Hebrews 10:39, “But we are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and obtain life.” (HCSB). This is a great theme for our students as we want them to be relentless in their desire to grow stronger in their relationship with Christ. To help get them ready for this theme and camp we are doing a discipleship program and starting with helping them write and share their testimonies. Last night we spent a lot of time with them going over their testimonies and helping them go into further detail about what Christ has done for them.
One of the big issues we face with taking these students to camp is the cost of the camp. FCA Leadership costs $225 per student to go. Even though this seems expensive the experience and training the students receive to be able to communicate their faith in Christ and be leaders at their school is priceless. In order to pay for our students to go, for my wife and I to go for training, and travel expenses we need to raise around $2,000. One of the things we are doing to raise these funds is going to local churches and letting our students share their testimonies, how leadership camp has impacted them in past years, why they want to go to camp this year, and how they want to be leaders in their school. Through sharing with the churches we hope to be able to raise funds towards camp. This Sunday, April 28th we will be sharing in the 7pm service at Bear Track Bible Church, please feel free to come hear our students!
Over the next two months leading up to camp I will be keeping you posted on our fundraising progress. I would like to ask you first and foremost to pray for our students as we get ready to go to camp. Pray that they will grow in our discipleship meetings, pray that God will use camp as a catalyst to for our students to change their schools for Christ and possibly go into full time ministry themselves. Pray for the $2,000 we need to raise for camp this summer. I have no doubt God will supply it, but we covet your prayers that hearts will be burdened to give to our students. Lastly, please pray and see if God would have you help financially with taking our students to camp. Your prayers and help could have a profound impact on our students. Please please pray!