Last night we had our final meeting with our Lee County FCA students who are going to camp with us on Thursday. We went through all the students need to know for going to camp, what paperwork to bring, what to pack, when we are leaving and coming back, and what the camp schedule looks like. We are very excited as it looks like God has provided the needed funds for camp fees and transportation. Out of all the years we have taken kids to camp this is the closest we have come to leaving for camp with funding in doubt so last night as the students brought in their money it was just awesome to see God providing. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for our finances and we would ask you to keep praying for students as we head to camp Thursday. Pray that God would begin working in their hearts even now that they would be receptive to the teaching and Bible training they receive at FCA Leadership Camp. Pray that they would grow in their relationship with Christ and that they would come home ready to impact their schools, families, and communities for Christ. Lastly, we ask you to pray that some of our students may even be challenged this week to give their lives to full time ministry. God is working already and I will keep posting later this week to update you on how are kids are doing at camp. Keep praying!
This morning our students were up bright and early for devotional time and calisthenics and a brisk morning run before breakfast. While most probably cringed at the thought of the run, we loved that they were up and ready to go with diving into God’s Word as the first priority of the day!
During the morning our students had a morning chapel session where they were challenged to seek out the voice of God in their lives to see how he is calling them to serve. The speaker did an excellent job of challenging the students to get serious about their time in the Word and prayer so that they will be able to discern the will of God clearly.
Following morning chapel the students had a couple of hours where they were either meeting with their huddle groups discussing the Word or involved in various competition games around the Campbellsville University campus. It was during this time, that myself and the other huddle coaches, sponsors, and leaders gathered for a time of fellowship. We introduced ourselves to one an another and shared about the various FCA things we are doing and how God is working in our schools. It was a huge encouragement to me personally to see how God is moving through FCA and changing the lives of students around the country!
Right before lunch the students gathered back in the chapel for a time of Campus Ministry training. This is where they are trained on how to do our weekly huddles in the school and impact their schools for Christ. As always our goal is to get our huddles more student led and so this is a great time of encouraging and training our Lee County students to do just that.
In the afternoon our students were able to enjoy some free time. Many took naps or showers, but some played basketball and various other activities. Myself and Maeven went to the pool for a swim. She was however very excited to find a couple of our students were going swimming and that the teenagers were going to play with her. So getting pulled around and thrown in the water was a blast for my giggling little 3 year old!
This evening the students were treated to testimonies from two different college basketball players about how God has worked in their lives. Our girls were especially excited to hear from Sarah Hammond who plays basketball for the University of Louisville.
The evening service was once again kicked off with a great time of worship as we sang praises to the Father. Our speaker used the first nine verses of the book of Joshua tonight to challenged our students on three truths about an all in leader. He told them that an All In Leader trusts the promises of God, trusts the presence of God, and is committed to the Word of God. He also encouraged the students that God does not call them because of what they can do, but because of what God can do through them. I have been very encouraged this week at how clear our speaker has been in speaking truth to our students. God promises that the truth of His word will not return void, and I can not wait to see how God is going to use this week’s messages of truth in the lives of our students.
It’s time I head to bed now though, but as we head into day 3 be praying for our students. They will be heading out Saturday afternoon to share their faith with complete strangers. Pray that just like Joshua they will be bold and courageous for Christ!
Yesterday afternoon, there was much rejoicing in the Owens family house. For the most part the day had been a pretty low key day with Erin keeping up with the kids while I was once again home sick with this crud that I can’t seem to shake. Erin was starting to wear thin from the stress of potty training Maeven and keeping Judah away while Maeven was on the throne. To be honest I think she was about to give up. Then it happened! My wife Erin didn’t know whether to cry tears of joy or squeal with delight. Maeven danced around clapping and Judah smiled and laughed, not knowing what was happening to his family. After several days and many loads of laundry our baby girl Maeven finally decided to go pee pee on the the potty!
Tomorrow is a big day here in Lee County as our school system officially kicks off the first day of the new school year. There will be nervous first time students bumbling around the halls trying to find their classes and not make eye contact with upperclassmen. There will be students wondering if they have the courage to eat whatever that mystery dish is on their lunch trays. Some students will be prioritizing how to get school work and extra curricular activities done and done well, while others will be figuring out how to procrastinate and get out of learning all together. No matter what, everyone will have some sort of survival plan.
Today, I want to encourage our parents to have their own plan together to help their students survive the school year. As we all know school is often the place where our Christian students are truly put through trial by fire. Their beliefs and values are tested by peers and faculty. Too often our students don’t have the solid footing of knowing what they believe about Christ and why, and therefore are swayed whatever is the popular way to sway. So this year parents let’s make a difference.
One of the first things I want to encourage you to do parents is to impress upon your students the importance of spending daily time in the Word and Prayer. This is one of the greatest things that my parents did for me. They asked me if I was doing my devotions and often even helped find me devotionals that I could work though throughout the school year. That time in the Word and prayer was where I could pour out to God what was going on at school and all the challenges I faced, and then through the Bible find out what God’s answer was. It gave me a firm foundation to withstand temptations and pressures I faced. This devotional and prayer time can do the same for your child as well. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”(NIV) Not only can it help your child when they are older but right now. So please pursue your child to pursue God’s Word and prayer.
Next, make sure they are getting the fellowship and instruction that they need. When I was helping lead a youth group a couple of years ago I noticed a huge problem that I had heard about from others in ministry. Parents that are solid believers weren’t making their children attend church and youth group. Whether it be just a letting the student do what they want or putting them in or scheduling sporting/extra-curricular events that keep them out, the parents were playing an instrumental part in their student not being a growing member of the church community. This is a problem in churches across our nation and our students are putting this time of teaching and fellowship at church lower and lower on their list of priorities. I have found that students of strong believing parents often have as much/little Bible knowledge as the students who are totally unchurched and don’t know Christ. This is a very sad truth, and it falls directly on the parents who are not instructing their kids in God’s Word and are allowing them to stay out of Church. If they don’t receive this instruction and crucial fellowship how can we expect them to be solid believer or followers of Christ at all.
Last, but not least parents let’s take a look at our prayer and devotional time. Are we spending time in God’s Word seeking His will and direction for our lives. Are we spending time on our knees pleading before the Lord for our students’ salvation and firm boldness for Christ in school? This has to be a daily part of our lives. How can we expect this of our students if we are not willing to do the same. The Bible says that we will be known by our “fruits”. Our actions and attitudes will let others know if we are the genuine deal or a hypocritical fake. And who watches us more than our own children? No one! So please set that example to our students this year!
I hope this blog hasn’t been too preachy for your ears and eyes, but rather a reminder to hopefully do what you already should be doing. God has given us a great charge and our students desperately need us to follow through. So lets all agree to be there this year to help our students stand strong and be bold for Christ!!!