Thursday, April 30, 2009

...and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

This morning I was doing some cleanup in our Youth Center after last night's services, and had to stop for a minute to look at our Prayer Walls.

It has only been a few weeks since we cleaned them off and already they are full again. And I'm not so overwhelmed with the amount of things going on in young people's lives as I am by the breadth of the requests.

There is everything from asking for help on tests at school to dealing with cancer and drug addiction. And as I read these honest, heart-felt prayers on these walls, I find encouragement.

Encouragement that somewhere, the young people who come to our Wednesday night services have grasped the idea that God hears their prayers and wants to change things.

So I ask that you join me today and continue to join me everyday in thanking God that we can come to Him with our requests and have confidence that He will answer....

"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." -Hebrews 4:16 ESV

Friday, April 24, 2009

Signs of Life

Ah...Spring is here at last.

And while the official first day of Spring was March 20th, it wasn’t until this week that I’ve really started seeing the signs of new life marking the rebirth of spring. This week I’ve seen buds blooming, gardens growing, baby animals frolicking. I’ve smelled barbeque and cut grass in my neighborhood. I’ve watched small children lose their minds due to the warm weather.

It’s been great.

I love it because it reminds me of the hope we have in Christ. In Revelation, it shares that at the end of all time, God will say, “Behold, I am making all things new”(Rev 21:5), and each Spring we get a small reminder of that recreation that God has promised to those who love Him and follow Him.

In addition to seeing these physical reminders of new life, I also get the privilege through my ministry to see spiritual reminders of new life.

This month I’ve watched a teenage girl finally understand that Jesus wanted to forgive her sins and have a relationship with her. I got the privilege to pray with her as she gave up “everything” to Him. I to got take our Creative Worship Team to Ken Laffoon’s for a fireside worship session. I watched as God used that time to reaffirm a group of committed kids who all seemed to be going through a lot of difficult times at that particular moment. I’ve watched as dozens of students have gotten VERY excited about our upcoming 30 Hour Famine - a time of prayer & fasting. (Which are the things teenagers are always excited about...) All of these things & more have reminded me that we are all hungry for that new life!

So I pray this week that whatever you are facing you will look around and see these signs of life.

And be reminded that God is all about rebirth, renewal, restoration, reconciliation. I would love to hear your thoughts and observations as you do this! God Bless.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What is Your Life "Full" Of

Truth can be found in some strange places.

This week I went to the dentist...

for the first time in ten years.

And as I sat in the chair, waiting for my cleaning, making polite conversation with the dental hygienist, there truth came and found me.

The hygienist had asked me how my day was and I explained to her that I was trying to remove the word "busy" from my vocabulary, as that too often is my standard answer to her question. And she flippantly said, "Maybe you should try 'full' instead." So I decided to try that on for size, and I am learning to love it!

Now, you have to understand I'm a little slow sometimes. I say that because it didn't dawn on me until sometime later that this change in vocabulary was actually Scriptural. I replied to a friend later that day on Facebook that I wasn't crazy "busy" but crazy "full". She told me she felt sorry for people who were busy, but thought being "full" was what we should be. Then it hit me: Jesus said He came "that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10 NIV)

So being "full" is exactly what we should long for. My life is full of great relationships, wonderful children, more provisions than I can handle, wonderful opportunities to speak truth into people's lives, a hope that doesn't fade and joy unspeakable! When put that way, all of the hectic appointments and stressful deadlines just seem to fade away.

So what is your life full of today? Let us seek to see how God has given us with life to the full!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Creative Worship: Waffle House Edition

Our Weekly Announcements Cleverly Disguised as a Three-Minute Reality TV Show!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Why I Love My iPhone

So, I've had my new iPhone for two weeks and have been compiling a list of ways it is LIFE-RUININGLY good! So below is the prioritized list of why my iPhone makes my life better.

(I hope this justifies my monthly cell bill ;)

10. Yes, I sent that email from my iPhone!
9. Oh No! He's using the Reverse-Pinch Zoom Hold!!
8. "The Force is strong with this one" since my iPhone doubles as a LIGHTSABER!
7. Too lazy to look outside? Yeah, I can check the weather on my iPhone.
6. YouTube on the go. (& Yes, that is a Leprechaun in my tree!)
5. My Maps function can even find me on backroads while driving Youth Group members home.
4. The power of facebook in the palm of my hand!
3. Don't have that song? Buy it on iTunes right now!
2. Pandora music my car!!! No Way!!!
1. Cellphone, PDA, iPod...all in one!!