Friday, September 26, 2014

Eating Solid Food

This past Wednesday night we continued our series called “Alive” with high school students. We talked about the fact that just as our bodies grow and require a different diet as we get older, our spiritual health requires a different diet for us to mature as well. I shared with students that if they are dependent on other people to feed them God’s Word, their growth will be limited by the maturity and knowledge of the person they are choosing to feed them.

I asked them to consider making a conscious effort to read God’s Word for a week. To give them the best chance for success, I asked them to do three things:

1 - Pick a time. Picking a regular time to dive into God’s Word each day will help make it a habit.

2 - Pick a starting point. Many people (not just teenagers) get discouraged when they begin to read God’s Word. I offered some less intimidating entry points like 1 John or any of the four gospels.

3 - Write something down. I suggested that the best way to interact with reading God’s Word was to write down something about what they read. If they struggle with that, a good tact is to try to answer three questions at the end of each reading: 1)What does this reading tell me about God? 2)What does this reading tell me about myself? 3)What does this reading tell me about others?

I hope you will encourage your students to dive into God’s Word and give it attention DAILY in their lives. If you can read some of the same passages, it will help foster discussion about matters of faith when you are together.

- Michael

Friday, September 19, 2014

God's Word Is Not Boring!

This past Wednesday night we began a new series called “Alive.” This series focuses on the fact that God’s Word is ALIVE and effects change on lives when it is read. I challenged your students to look at the Bible beyond what many young people stereotype it to be.

For example, many of them related to these examples of what God’s Word is like to some people:

1 - A book your grandmother reads (it’s a book for “old” people)

2 - A foreign language book (difficult to understand)

3 - A history book (about dead people and past events)

4 - A magic 8 ball (you ask it questions and “hope” for the answer you want)

I asked your students to consider jumping into God’s Word by reading a verse a day. For some, a chapter a day might be more appropriate. It’s actually a great time for you to partner with your student to do this as our current Bible reading plan at church only tackles a chapter each day. You could read and discuss the Scripture with your students along with the rest of our church. PLUS - the reading is the text for our Sunday morning message and reflection series. It really is TOO GOOD for you to pass up! :)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Family Plus Update - High School Ministry

This past Wednesday night we completed our three week series on "Comparison." We wrapped up by looking at the parable of the talents. The main idea we wanted to drive home with students is that when we give an account to God for our time here on earth, we will NOT be judged on what we didn't have. Rather - we will have to account for how we used what He DID bless us with during our time here (talents, resources, abilities, etc.).

This Sunday we will be talking about "God Cannot Be Improved." We will discuss that because of His passionate jealousy for our worship, God condemns idolatry. We will talk about the dangers of idolatry because it distorts our view of God and corrupts our behavior. It leads us away from God and toward a false god who is powerless to save and transform us.

If your student has signed up for our high school mission trip to New York, the non-refundable deposit of $150 must be paid by Wednesday, September 17. This allows us to pay our deposits to our third party vendors. If you want to pay the deposit OR the full amount online, you can do so by following this link:

Thanks so much! Let me know if there's anything I can pray about for or your family.

- Michael

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Psalm to God

As we began the 2014-2015 school year, I asked our worship band to complete an assignment together before they began leading corporate worship: write a psalm together.

At their first rehearsal they began by getting in a circle and sharing experiences of joy, pain, good times and bad and processing those thoughts with the group through the lens of Christ’s influence and care in their lives. It was a pretty powerful moment in a way I had not predicted. After their share time, each person in the group was charged with submitting a verse of text that captured their feelings.

After all the submissions were in, the group met and put their psalm to music. This past Wednesday night they shared it with the high school group during our corporate worship time. They lyrics are below; I hope you enjoy reading their hearts. I’ve included a link to a video of part of their psalm as well.

Please let me know if there’s anything I can pray about for you or your family.

- Michael

How can You take something from nothing
And make my world whole again
When it’s broken all into pieces (x2)

Though I may walk upon the shifting sands
And I go through the weary times
I know You hold me in Your hands
You hold me close and mend my heart
You’ve always been here straight from the start

I won’t give up, I won’t give up
Cause Lord You are strong
I won’t give up, I won’t give up
You can carry me on
You can carry me on now

Cloudy days or stormy nights
You said You’d always be there for all the fights
My name is written in the palm of Your hand
With a nail scar running through You
Yeah, it’s a running through You

I won’t give up, I won’t give up
Cause Lord You are strong
I won’t give up, I won’t give up
You can carry me on
You can carry me on now

Don’t bottle up the emotions inside
When your heart is in the sands
Eventually you’ll break down
And end up crying in your hands
You still stand strong and help me heal (x4)

I won’t give up, I won’t give up
Cause Lord You are strong
I won’t give up, I won’t give up
You can carry me on
You can carry me on now