Posts Tagged Youth
It’s been awhile since the last time I’ve blogged. (3 years to be exact) I thought I would start back up.
There are many things going on in my life that I would love to share.
I am still the Youth Pastor at the Parsons Church of God. I have also become the Young Life leader for Tucker County and I was just hired as an assistant Jr. High football coach for Tucker Valley Middle School. I also work for McClain Printing Co. in the pre press department. I’ve been employed at MPC for over 23 years.
I wanted to start blogging again. To encourage people. To keep people inform of what’s going on in my ministry. To combine faith with your everyday life.
This summer is going to be a crazy summer for me. I’m taking a group of teens to “Creation”. It’s the nation’s largest christian music festival in June. When I get back from there, I get a few days off. Then I am heading to Scotland on a mission trip with my fellow Eastern Mountains Young Life area leaders. We will be there for 12 days. Then I am taking a group of teens to Young Life camp in Rockbridge, Va.
I know I’m going to face some challenges this summer, but with a lot of prayer I believe it will be a rewarding one.
Hopefully, I will keep on posting and maybe share a light in this world that we live in today.
This is a short story written a young teen in my youth group, Taylor Ambrose. She wrote this for “Teen Talent”, a statewide talent competition for the Church of God. She won first place in the short story division.
Delicate, beautiful, simple, yet extraordinary, I am a rose. People admire my piercing red, but I still give a modulated feeling to those who will accept it. My petals are set up in a maze, weaving in and out o each other. Not very complex, but it does make you mesmerized by how something that came from the dirt could be so beautiful.
Beautiful, or so they think, because when you go down, down to my stem, you back away. Why will you back away? My stem is stout, sturdy, and strong. Through the wind, and the rain, it keeps me held up. They don’t think or see that. They see thorns. My thorns are sharp, despicable, grotesque things that hang on my stem no matter what.
A small girl and her mom approach me. “Mom, look how beautiful.” She bends down to pick me up. I feel disdainful because the little girl noticed me. But then her mother promptly snaps. “No, get away from there! Those contemptuous little thorns will hurt you!”
The mother grabbed the little girl’s wrist and made her leave, not leaving a sliver of time for objection. All alone in the grass I stand feeling melancholy. The crisp night comes then early morning rises. A small figure rises over the hillside. The closer it gets the more I recognize her. It’s the small girl from yesterday. I cannot understand why she would be here. Her hands come gently to my stem. She grabs a thorn, then she strips it from my stem. Blood trickles from her finger but she doesn’t hesitate to grab the next thorn. Thorns are leaving while more of her fingers are hurting. After the last thorn is gone she says quietly, “There now, you can be perfect.” Sensitive, exquisite, simple yet extraordinary, I am a human. My body works together in critical ways. My hands can make dumbfounding things. My feet can take me places. And my mouth can sing alluring notes. My complex mind is full of knowledge; it is astounding how much my mind can store. I am amazing.
Amazing, or so they think, because when you look deep, deep into my head you will see that I sinned, numerous times. Sometimes it feels like 1,000 pounds are weighing me down because of my sins.
I start to walk aimlessly around a room. I pick up a book that is on a stand. Small words, many pages, but I read a story. It tells about a man, he appeared to be just like you and I. But he could do amazing things. He gave people their sight back, legs back, and healing anyone that asked. One night, the man let guards take him away, beating him and torturing him. He was in pain, was dying, but he didn’t refuse anything being done to him. Carrying a cross up a steep hillside, crying out in agony, the man was barely holding on to life. Nails are driven through hands and feet to hang him on the cross. After being mocked, abused, and not repairable for humans, He prayed, then He died. They put Him in a tomb; people had lost all hope that they would see Him again. But after three days He arose from the tomb as good as new! Then He ascended into heaven and watches over us always. All of this was done for me so that my sins can go away. I am astonished to say anything, but I can hear Him saying to me now:
“There, now, you can be perfect!”
Taylor Ambrose is a 7th grade student at Tucker Valley.
On March 25th and 26th, we hosted Ignite. For those who don’t know what Ignite is, please go to my blog on Ignite.
It was a great weekend as teens from across the county came together. Above is a highlight video from the weekend. We stressed living our lives for Christ. We wanted create a desire for Jesus. It was a very emotional and fun weekend. We had speakers and a praise band. We played games like the Hillbilly Olympics and Minute to Win it. We had a LOT of great food to eat.
The services were very inspiring, challenging kids to examine their lives. It was amazing seeing their testimonies on facebook when I got home. Some of the kids were quoting song lyrics while others were saying it was life changing. The response was so overwhelming that we are talking about doing Ignite twice a year.
There are a lot of things in the world competing for our attention. The question is which one are we going to devote our lives to? What are we on fire for? Hopefully, we can point kids to the one that has a desire for them and in return create a desire for Him.
“As for me and my household we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15b
For more pictures from Ignite, go to my facebook page or the ECHOS Youth Group facebook page.
What is your favorite bible verse? One day I was reading my bible, when I came across this verse.
“But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.” Galatians 4:4-7(NIV)
This passage excites me. As an heir, I get to inherits that is of my father. So what does my father have? According to Revelations, Jesus is the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” So that makes me an heir to the king.
I often ask my youth group, “That if we are an heir to the king, then what does that make us?” Their response is, “That makes us princes and princesses.” So, if we are princes and princesses, then how should we act? We should act like the royalty that Christ has made us. After all, we were created in the image of God himself.(Genesis 1:26)
Don’t ever feel like you are worthless, that is not how God sees you. He sees royalty.
I am excited about this blog. This comes at a time that I am preparing for a weekend youth retreat called Ignite.
Romans 12:11 says “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” The underlying Greek word for “fervent” is “zeo”, which means, “to be hot.” We want ignite a passion among teens for God.
We started this retreat 2 years ago. The youth group did a devotional called “The Hardest 30 Days of Your Life” by Justin Lookadoo. It challenged them to examine their walk with God. In the middle of the 30 days the youth had to do a media fast. They abstained from TV, computers, and radio. The time they would generally devote to media, they would instead take that time to pray, read the bible and focus on God. To end the 30 days we decided to have a weekend retreat to worship, to start a fire within, to be hot for Jesus. This is our third year in hosting Ignite.
Ignite is open to all teens. It is FREE to attend. It is being held at Camp Kidd, outside of Parsons off Rt. 72. Sign in starts at 7pm on Friday and we will be staying the night. Check out will be around 7:30pm on Saturday night. This like a mini-church camp. There will be speakers, a praise band, activities, games, food and prayer.
We want to have an impact on ALL teens in Tucker County, no matter were they go to church. We want to create a burning desire for Christ, to make a change in the community they live in. We weren’t called to blend in with the world, but to make a differnce in it. We ask this question, “what are you on fire for?”
If anyone is interested in attending Ignite, or know someone who might be interested. Go to the ECHOS youth group facebook page.