Last Post Of 2011

It’s been three months since I’ve started blogging so I don’t have a ton of posts yet. Writing has never been my strong suit but blogging has been something I’ve wanted to start for a while now.  I hope you’ve been encouraged by this blog.  I really look forward to what 2012 will bring as I continue to write in hopes to encourage youth workers and students through this blog.

Would love to hear your comments on a post that you’ve connected with or any feedback you may have about the blog.

2:29am Oh SNAPP
Connecting Daily
Crazy Thoughts
Story-Weekend-part-2/2
Story-Weekend-part-1/2
True-In-Love-Wins
Hand Shake Hi-to-Hug Goodbye
Grandma’s Turkey
Youth-Leader-parents (My Child Is?)
Angel Hat Example Finally
Create an opportunity for students to share their struggle
Serving locally is a big deal
Life Group Gold

Early happy new year!!!
ac

2:29am Oh SNAPP!!

This is the post that came to me at 2:29am.  This came to mind as I opened up my gift from my wife… a G-Shock :).

I remember being young and waking up in the morning, running downstairs finding all the gifts with my name on it.  With each gift I found and opened my excitement grew.  After the last gift was opened I felt a little sad because I felt like Christmas was over.  I loved the feeling of seeing my name on gifts and opening them.  I can’t remember thinking about anything else during that time.  That’s how it was every Christmas. Until, I was around 15 years old when I opened the greatest gift ever given to man, Jesus Christ.

I always had the idea of who Christ was because I grew up in church, but it wasn’t until I experienced him for myself that I understood that he cared about me personally.  I didn’t get any earthquake chills or anything like that when I decided to start my relationship with Christ.  I just felt like there was a better life for me to live and that I needed to start living for more than just myself.  Christ had given me acceptance, unconditional love and a purpose that I would spend the rest of my life fulfilling. 

My prayer for students today is that they would receive and accept the same gift just as I did.  Receive acceptance, unconditional love and purpose. My prayer for those who have received and accepted the gift is that they would grow closer in a relationship with Christ.  Also, that there would be an urgency for them to share Christ with their friends.  Remembering that Christ was born so that everyone would have a chance to receive the gift of Christ.  The question is do you know friends that you use some acceptance, unconditional love and purpose that would fill their life with meaning?

Today – start a real relationship with Christ.
Today – share the news of Christ with a friend.

If you’ve committed to either or both I would love to hear about it. Also, share this post with friends and maybe discuss it.
ac@saddleback.com or look me up on FaceBook and message me!!

Merry Christmas!
ac

But I’m not a rapper…ha


Christmas Rap from HSM on Vimeo.
Here’s a few reasons why I love doing these videos:

  • It can be a great conversation starter for your students that are inviting friends to church or even sharing Christ. 
  • It says to students you can be a christian and still have fun.It’s a great fun element for the service. 
  • It’s great for your students to see you be goofy and act silly because they like to do the same. 

So I hope you enjoy and use it if you want.

ac

For Students: Something You Must Do!!

In order for anything to move there must be a constant flow of energy.  I’m learning it’s the same way with my life being effective for God.  In order for me to be moving in the right direction there must be a constant flow of acknowledging God in the matters of my life.  When that doesn’t happen I stall. I make bad choices and decisions.

Do you have a daily connection with God?

The effectiveness of my life for God is only as strong as my daily connection with Him.  My ministry should be a direct reflection of my daily connection to the one who holds the purpose to my ministry.  For example:

  • The same unconditional love I receive from my relationship with God should flow over into the way I love others.
  • The way that God has given to me, should flow over into how I give to others.
  • The way God has cared for me through our relationship, should flow over into how I care for others.

Those things are hard to do consistently when I’m not connecting with the source daily. Whenever my life seems super overwhelming and I feel like I’m lost in it all, I first check out how often I’ve spent time connecting with God.  We never purposefully stop connecting.  We either get distracted by the craziness of life or sometimes even the calmness of life can derail us. We get very comfortable with things being great and we don’t see ourselves drifting away from our daily connection.  Things have to get rough in order for us to fall back in line with connecting with God.

God longs to connect daily with us.  He has so much to share and give to us that we miss out when we are not connecting daily.  Now, I must say, He doesn’t want me to go off on a guilt trip feeling bad about what I haven’t been doing. He just wants to reconnect and bring things back into perspective for me.

  • Making a connection to God daily humbles me.  It reminds me that I’m not perfect and that I can’t be the person I want to be without Him.

If you get this now in High School it will save you so much heart ache and pain.  If you are struggling with connecting daily with God, don’t allow that to discourage you.  Here’s a few things that helps me keep my relationship with God moving forward:

  • You must make your relationship with God a priority.
  • You must spend time with God.
  • You must learn about God. – The more you know about Him, the more you will understand your purpose.
  • You must understand that God exercises perfect love. – you must understand this because when you mess up you must know that the love God have for you is unfailing and it doesn’t hold grudges.  Receive his forgiveness and continue building your relationship.

Proverbs 3:6(KJV)

6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

John 15:4-5(CEV)

Stay joined to me, and I will stay joined to you. Just as a branch cannot produce fruit unless it stays joined to the vine, you cannot produce fruit unless you stay joined to me. I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without me.

hope it helps

ac

Story Weekend – PART 2/2

In Rev 12:11 the bible talks about how the church overcame through the word of their testimony.  They held on to the very truth of who God is and what he has done for his people. The early church faced persecution and in the face of persecution the truth of God in their lives helped them stand firm. We have seen this truth stand firm in the lives of our students.  Although they don’t face persecution as did the early church, they face the hardships of life. These hardships have the same motives as persecution did which is to lead them away from God.  They have used this truth to overcome many things in their life.  There is something super inspiring and hope filling about a life story that has the truth of God’s plan and purpose laced through it.  Even if the purpose hasn’t been fully fulfilled it’s awesome to see it being worked out in the students that share.

It’s awesome to see the faith of the students that share their life’s story made stronger.  I am amazed how within just a few days of them saying “I want to share” to the day of them sharing, just how much growth takes place in their life.

Here is our process for the students who decide to share their story.

  • Initial meet and greet – We basically get to know them and talk about their story and what they want to share. We give the reasons why we do story weekend. Here’s a list of the topics we cover.
      • Why we share our life story.
      • What are good motives for sharing your life story.
      • What are bad motives for sharing your life story.
      • How to write your story – most of the time this is just talking about prioritizing their thoughts so they share exactly what they want to share.

  • The next meeting happens after they have written their testimony.  We have a meeting with the student and their parents.  We believe that before a student shares with the world their life’s story from their point-of-view, their parents should hear it first.  This has been an awesome step in our process. We have had parents who had no clue what was going on in their child’s life be blown away by what they’ve heard.  I’ve personally seen a lot of healing take place during this process.  I’ve also had parents in my office thanking God for their prayers being answered, after listening  to the great choices their child has made over the course of their life.  We also make our determination if the student is ready to share at the same time we meet with their family.  It also gives us the opportunity to show love to the parents as well as minster to them.
  • Lastly, we do a final edit from the draft their parents heard – this is just to make sure it flows and if the parents had any input than we honor that too.
  • We pray, pray and pray for and with the students and the families.  The students are encouraged to pray for their peers who will be listening to them give their story.

We have seen first hand that “Stories Weekend” benefits the students that are listening as well as the students that are telling their life story.  It is one of my favorite weekends that we do.  Also, hearing how God used our ministry in their life is always a humbling and awesome experience.

hope it helps
ac
Would love to hear your experiences with students sharing the testimony!!