For Students: 4 Things to Think About!!

blue-add-buttonI would love for you to think about adding and/or reengaging these attributes into your life.  As a Christ follower we are called to live differently.  The world should look at us and see a difference. Not the type of difference that says we are better than them, but they should see the type of difference that says “I’m no different than you, and that I live for an eternal purpose not a temporal one”.  I strive to really make this list a part of my life everyday.

  1. Be KindEphsians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Just think about how your relationships would change if you would intentionally look for ways to show kindness.  Think about the lives you could change. Maybe it’s with the kid who sits alone at lunch or the kid who is mentally ill.  Being kind goes a long way for people who are not use to be being kind to them.
  2. Forgive –  Colosians 3:13 Bear with each other andforgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  Life is too short to waste any time being bitter about anything.  You can choose to be bitter or you can choose to forgive. It’s your choice.  Now, that doesn’t mean the hurt will go away over night, but once you take that step to forgive you begin the process of releasing the hurt and rejecting bitterness.
  3. Be HonestProverbs 22:12 The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful. This verse should not be a surprise to us.  No one likes being around a dishonest person.  I would rather have someone who will tell me the truth even if it may not be what I want to hear.  Real friends will tell you what you need to hear.  If your friends agreed with you 100% of the time, I would really question the authenticity of the relationship.  It gives me peace to know that I have friends who will be honest with me no matter what.
  4. Be ThoughtfulHebrews 10:24 We should keep on encouraging each other to be thoughtful and to do helpful things.  This is a trait that separates you from a lot of other people.  By nature, we are all about ourselves and what we can do to get ahead.  By nature, when we are thoughtful it’s in our best interest and not others.  If you feel like your life has been all about you, start being thoughtful.  Be thoughtful towards people you don’t know, and be thoughtful towards people who might not be expecting you to be thoughtful.  That’s where real change takes place.  A thoughtful deed can be as simple as opening the door for someone or bringing an extra water bottle to practice just in case someone is without.  Other acts can include making sure your words are lifting people up instead of tearing people down.

I could add a million more but I believe these 4 things are what we lack the most of and if we could be more intentional in these areas we could change lives in a practical way.  What I had to learn was that this is a day by day decision that we must make to apply these things to your life.  So think about adding and/or reengaging these attributes into your life this year day by day.

hope it helps

ac

For Students: God Which College Should I Go To?!?!

woman praying silhoutteChoosing the right school becomes a huge concern for a lot of students right around this time.  I’m sure God gets this question a lot, so don’t feel like you are alone if this has been on your mind.  I do think scripture gives us insight on how God views our lives on earth.  I believe scripture shows us that God is more concerned with where He is in our life, than where we are in life.  The bible says in Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  A lot of times we are seeking out where we want to be in life.  God is saying, “if I am where I’m suppose to be in your life, you will be where you’re suppose to be in life”.

praying-1bThe bible also tells us that God definitely has a purpose for our life.  Jeremiah 29:11 says For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  So if it’s your hearts desire to be used by God, He will use you, no matter where you go.  Allow God to be God and He’ll take care of the rest.  So put God where He’s suppose to be and you will be where you’re suppose to be.  Here are three things I apply to my decision making process.

  1. I commit the process to God. – Proverbs 16:3 Commit your work to the LORD, and then your plans will succeed.  You must understand that college is not the end; it’s a means to an end.  College will be a part of the story of your life.
  2. I trust God through the process. – Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.  
  3. I trust him with my choice. – Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

hope it helps

ac

 

For Students: Michaela Coon – Crazy or Stupid!!!

Student guest post #4 is from Michaela Coon, a Senior at Tesoro High School. Michaela is a part of my youth group and has a huge heart for people.  I asked her to share 6 ways in which she shares her faith at school.  Most people think the people who share their faith are either crazy or stupid.  Crazy because their approach is weird and stupid because you are putting yourself out there to be rejected. Michaela really gets you thinking with her list, so my prayer is that you will apply the things she talks about to your life. Check it out!!

  1. Be aware and Intentional.- Knowing the needs of your high school is the best way to communicate your faith.  Ask for God’s eyes to look beyond just walking from class to class.  Make it a goal to be selfless and personal in the way you talk to your peers.
  2. Know you have influence.- Whether you believe it or not, you have influence.  People are watching how you live.  This is a great responsibility but a great privilege as well.  However, there is a difference between this knowledge and the way you exert yourself.  Oswald Chambers writes, “In the Christian life, godly influence is never conscious of itself.  If we are conscious of our influence, it ceases to have the genuine loveliness, which is characteristic of the touch of Jesus.  We always know when Jesus is at work because He produces in the commonplace something that is inspiring.”
  3. “Preach the Gospel, use words if necessary.”- When someone is filled with the Holy Spirit, His overflowing love is beyond undeniable.  The way you constantly love is a direct testament to Jesus. It is the little things that count.  For example, what if sticky-noting your campus with encouragement changed your school? A favorite quote of mine is by Mother Teresa:  “Let no one come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”
  4. Build Relationships.- I cannot stress this enough.  Building trust in someone’s life and creating networks is critical.  When someone values your opinion, they will listen and retain.   Be willing to break barriers!
  5. Be BOLD. Shine your light.- What if you added in something positive in a gossip-filled conversation?  What if you readily forgave? Be uncommon. Care uncommonly.  During finals week, I passed out little notes with Bible verses and everyone loved them, even non-Christians!  It was a little scary, knowing others’ beliefs, but Jesus totally worked in their hearts!  Expect Him to come through.
  6. Love, love, and love even more!

hope it helps

Youth Worker: One New Student Project!!

Wanted to share with you all an email I shared with my team.  The idea behind it was to not just assume everyone was doing this or even comfortable with doing it.  I wanted to bring it up so that we could become better at it as a team.  If you are on staff this should be an area you want to grow in.  That does not mean that it has to be your wheel house but it should be something you are trying to get better at.  You must be a model to your volunteers and student leaders.  There is nothing worse than someone telling someone else something to do that they aren’t willing to do themselves.  Also, it’s just better for the ministry. Here it is:

I have been here for 5 months and I have met a lot of great students.  In fact, at camp my intentions were to meet and connect with as many students as I could.  I was very successful in my efforts and I made significant and life changing connections with students, which I know we all have in some way.  About three weeks ago I started thinking about these relationships and how awesome they are, and how I can’t make it through the refinery without being called or hugged which is super awesome.  I also started to think about the last student I introduced myself to that I didn’t know and with a genuine heart just wanted to show that kid the love of Christ for those few seconds of introduction.  It’s been way too long and I have become super comfortable with the kids I know….which is great but sometimes being comfortable can become complacent.
I believe there is power in the hsm t-shirts.  Meaning, when someone wearing an hsm t-shirt stops in the busyness of the weekend and introduces them self to a student it is huge for that student.  I am in no way saying we have to get their life story or fix their problems in the five seconds of introduction. I do think in those five seconds we bring dignity and self-worth to some students who could be constantly rejected by parents and others.  Which I can say after talking to so many of our students that God’s unconditional love is something that our students need.  Now, if you are already doing this that is super great and I encourage you to continue.  If your kind of like me…feeling comfortable with the students you know, super focused on the tasks of the weekend…..I ask that you would try every weekend to meet one new student you haven’t met before.  Be intentional about showing God’s unconditional love in that moment (those five seconds or so).  I believe this would make a huge impact on our ministry.  Just something to think about –when was the last time you introduced yourself to a new student?

The health of your youth group is based on the relationships that are made.  All roads lead back to connections.  Students come to youth group based on some type of connection.  They thrive in youth group is based off of some type of connection.  Also, you must know that you can’t do it alone and instilling the importance of making connections and building relationships in your staff, volunteers and student leaders is crucial.  You can do all the programing, teaching and leader training you want but at the core it should be about making new connections and strengthening existing ones.

I love reading about how Jesus connected with others. He saw everyone in need of the relationship He came to give.  As a youth worker, paid or non paid, that’s how we should see every student that walks through our doors.  They need the relationship that Jesus died for us to have.  Now, no one person should be expected to meet and connect with a dozen of students at one time.  If each leader, volunteer or even student leaders made a commitment to connect with one new student at a time the impact would be huge.  Even if it was a student you saw all the time but never took the time to really connect with them, it would be huge for that student.

hope it helps

ac

A Desicion We Have To Make Everyday!!!

Had great opportunity to share this video in our weekend service.  The main point was that if we follow the voice of Christ, we effect others and ourselves for the better.  Check it out!!

I can only image what would’ve of happened that day if I would’ve listened and followed the voice of Christ.  When we follow the voice of Christ it’s always in the best interest of everyone.  Because the  saving/healing/restoring/loving/forgiving/affirming/etc… affects of you following Christ are infinite.  We just have to trust him and lean on his track record, which points to the fact that we can become a gift to this world when we choose to follow Christ.

hope it helps

ac