Friday, October 28, 2011

FAMILY PLUS High School - October 28

Hello HS Parents

What a GREAT series we have having on Wednesday nights! This overall series (called Forward Motion) has really been a surprise for me. I can't tell you how many students I have talked to about their desire to take baby steps in their faith. If you remember, I spoke last week about how our attempts to make BIG LEAPS in our faith can leave us frustrated, disappointed, and exhausted. Long lasting faith decisions in our lives happen little by little.

Needless to say, I felt the pressure of getting the message clear this past Wednesday night. I wanted to make sure that any student who had chosen to take a baby step closer to Christ would feel equipped to do so. We talked about some clear, tangible ways that they could take baby steps in their faith journey. And I was pretty transparent about some of the steps I needed to make in my own life. I shared with them that God has made a significant investment in them as believers.

To encourage them about the investment God has made in their lives, I shared with them an illustration about Netflix. If you haven't heard, Netflix has recently lost about 800,000 customers and watched their stock tumble incredibly over the past few months. In fact, they are worth about 11 billion dollars less today than they were in July due to poor execution of a new business model. As you would imagine - shareholders of NFLX have been bailing out left and right. Their stock was worth about $300/share in July - today it's worth $83.

The point I made with your students, though, is that God is not an uncommitted shareholder. In fact, His investment in us remains solid through the best of spiritual economic times and the WORST of spiritual economic times. No matter how we perform in His market, He remains committed to the idea that we will make a turnaround!

I challenge you to take a few minutes to speak with your student this week about what he/she could do to take a baby step forward in his/her faith. And I doubly challenge you to tell your student something YOU can do to take a baby step forward in your faith. Maybe you could even submit yourself to your student to be held accountable for what you need to do - just sayin.'

As always, shoot me a mail or text if I can pray about something for you or your family!


Friday, October 21, 2011

FAMILY PLUS High School - October 21

Hey everyone!

Two nights ago we had an INCREDIBLE meeting in the District with both middle schoolers and high schoolers. Robert was in New Orleans taking a class at seminary, so the MS gang came down to hang out with us.

I began a three week series entitled "Forward Motion." I talked to your students about the feelings we have when we go to a camp, a mission trip, or a retreat. A lot of times we get all hyped up on emotion and make some pretty sizable commitments to God....commitments that many times are impossible to keep.

I shared with your students that a walk with Christ is not made with giant leaps - it's made in small steps. I told them that Christ is anxiously awaiting them to take just one step closer to Him today as an act of faith, discipline, and commitment to living a life for Him. Giant leaps leave us dealing with failure, fatigue, and exhaustion. Small steps in our faith are attainable, God-honoring, and offer more longevity in our Christian walk.

My challenge this week - let your students see you take a small step closer to Christ in your faith walk. The smallest, most insignificantly seeming step you take in your faith could be just the catalyst they need to get them thinking that they can take small steps in their faith as well.

If I can pray about something for you or your family, shoot me an email.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

FAMILY PLUS October 15

Hello HS Parents!

This past Wednesday night I spoke to your students about life...and death. We actually discussed a dear family member I recently lost - my great Uncle Charlie. He was such a godly man and his funeral was spent sharing the many years he committed to living out his faith in all that he did.

I had your students complete two exercises:

1) They paired up with another teenager and wrote a eulogy for him/her.

2) I had them write a eulogy for themselves depicting what they hoped people would say of them about their time on earth.

As you would imagine, the responses were pretty interesting...and quite humerous for some of them (I LOVE their creativity!). We ended by asking them to consider that 1,000 years is but a day to God. And since our short time on earth is barely a blink of His eye...what should we spend our time doing?

I would encourage you to look for ways to steer conversations with your student toward purpose and meaning. High school students are in the prime stage of looking for their meaning. Seize the chances you get to help them identify what we are all TRULY here for.


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Thursday, October 6, 2011

FAMILY PLUS High School - October 6

Hello HS Parents!

My email to you this week comes from Metairie, LA - a city just east of New Orleans. Metairie is the home of Metairie Baptist Church - the place we stay when we are on mission in NOLA.

I have had an INCREDIBLE week with your students. God has given us opportunity to see significant advance in the work He has called us to here. The relationships that we have with the community and its leaders are just so humbling as they have strengthened considerably over the past several months. God is using our high school students in a very powerful way, and they are stepping up to newer and higher levels of service for Him to this community.

This coming Sunday we will be back in the District for our regular Sunday morning group meeting. We will be covering week two of a study started this past week called Goodness Gracious. We will be looking at Psalm 25 and talking about "What does it mean for God to be "good?" Some question s we'll be asking are:

1 - When you say that someone is a "good person," what do you mean?

2 - How would you describe faithful love?

3 - Do you ever feel "directionally challenged" when it comes to spiritual things? Do you think we get "off course" a little to easy in our Christian journey? Why?

Thank you again for sharing your students with me this week; they have made you look GOOD!!! If you have any questions or something you'd like me to pray about for you - shoot me an email or give me a call.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

NOLA Fall 2011 - Day 2

Day 2 is really Day 1 in the field for us - shaped up to pretty good for us...after a semi-shaky start. This is the first time we have come down here with very little work lined up. It's a challenge to schedule work more than a week or so before you come down as people are still a little hesitant to purchase materials. This stems from all the fraud that was going on right after the storm. Even though we've worked on over 100 homes and have kept our promises to the homeowners we've worked for - people are still a little reluctant. One of our MAJOR jobs was going to be carpeting the sanctuary at Metairie Baptist Church (where we stay), but their carpet didn't get shipped in time. Looks like that will have to happen when we're back in March.

Another challenge facing us is that we have several new (and younger) students working with us in the schools. I'm excited about the opportunity we have to build this young group into seasoned veterans, but many of them will hit the ground running tomorrow for their first time in this environment. That is challenging and rewarding to me at the same time. I'm so excited about what they are going to experience, but appropriately cautious due to the investment we have in our multi-year strategy in the schools.

ALL of those issues caved today as we found out:

1) We have more work to do as of today than we will probably be able to complete before we leave to come home. After an announcement was made in the Franklin Avenue Church Service, we had plenty of work to keep us busy for the week.

2) Our younger and inexperienced school team members had to endure training with me today. I put them through nearly six hours of constant recreation training that had them all pretty spent by the end of the day. They rose to the challenge and surpassed my expectations in every way. I feel very confident about their effectiveness tomorrow in the schools.

It was pretty humbling to watch God lay out for us the plan He had ordained long before we left on Saturday to come down here. Sure, it wasn't timed just exactly as I would have laid it out - but it was timed perfectly according to His plan. I closed the day by having students ideate (in their teams) about how they could be-on-the-look-out for opportunities to represent Christ tomorrow. I asked them to be proactive tonight about ways to engage someone for God's Kingdom without speaking about anything "religious" or having to do with Christianity. I wanted them to be prepared to BE the church tomorrow in actions as they execute their work.

Day 2 summation: It was good.