Sunday, July 15, 2012

Week of Change

This last week, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to spend a week in Northern California learning about God, myself, and what it means to be faithful. The first night of camp, we talked about how being a Christian is more then going to church and following the rules. Following rules when it comes to my faith is something I struggle with. People make it sound like God won't love you if you do not follow the rules perfectly, and I just don't like the way rules with faith sounds. In my opinion, God has placed restrictions in the bible to help provide us with a less complicated route through life. Those restrictions are optional, but they will have consequences that we are not able to comprehend. To me, that was a huge breath of fresh air because I felt like I had been given more freedom in my faith. I have and will hopefully always strive to follow those guidelines to perfection, even in my sinful nature. Being a Christian had nothing to do with what you do and don't do; it has everything to do our trust in God the way that we bring glory to him. Jesus didn't come to save perfect people, but broken people that need nothing more then Him. A lot of teen in today's world play "church" because that's all they've ever known, but what they don't realize is that church isn't going to get them salvation. I kinda forgot what the second night was about. But, the third night, our speaker spoke about the difference between and quest and an adventure. An adventure is something that you do with no intention of changing or accomplishing anything. A quest is something that you're willing to lose your life for; something that you hope to come back from changed. Now, this week I had come into camp completely numb to God. I didn't care what He wanted and what He had planned for my life. When I prayed, I felt like I was talking to the walls and when I read my bible, I wasn't comprehending. I was going to live my life the way I wanted to to. On that third night, I realized that I didn't really have a relationship with the Lord,and that my life was gonna be pretty well screwed if I didn't change something. On that third night, our speaker gave the camp an opportunity to make God their quest if they hadn't already done so. I had been saved when I was super tiny, but I didn't remember it, and it really had no meaning in my life at that point. So, our speaker prayed the prayer of salvation with our camp. After the prayer, he asked the ones that had just prayed that prayer alongside him to do something pretty bold. He asked those to stand and declare their newfound faith, and on the count of three, I stood. On that third night, I accepted Jesus as my redeemer and Savior. The passion I felt for God at that moment still has yet to die down, and I pray that it never will. I devoted my everything to God, and I have never been so happy and a peace with my life. In the last few days, my life has changed with change still yet to come. I am on fire for God, and wouldn't have it any other way. I cannot wait to see what he has for my life now. This week was filled with worship, and I found that the key to my relationship with God was going to be through music.this week, I learned so much about life, God, faith, and priorities. I went a week without my phone or Internet, and it changed my life. In the midst of our busy lives, maybe we should take some more time to remove the distractions and truly listen to what God can say.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Young People and the Gospel

As young adults, we are constantly searching for ways to work around the rules and have as much fun as possible. So, when we start digging into theology and realize that being a Christian is going to be the furthest thing from easy, we tend to stray from Christ so that we don't have to worry about the restrictions and rules that He may bring to our table. Staying pure,
refraining from using inappropriate language, and treating others with decency are things Christ declares important, however these are not things that are easy to do. A lot of the time I find myself thinking that life would be simpler and more fun without Christ, but deep down I know that these restrictions are placed for and in my best interest. Commonly discussed themes in youth events are things that you cannot do, and that Christ is there for broken people. Now, don't get me wrong, Christ is there for broken people and there are thing we shouldn't do. But when teaching young people about Christ, shouldn't it be focused on building solid relationships with Him and filled with more praise? As a young adult, I would be so much more apt to respond to teachings if they were filled with what you can do for Christ, not what Christ can do for you, but shown and modeled in a joyful manner. We need to see Jesus as role model and someone that is like an older brother more so then someone that calls our shots. We need to be shown that He isn't about rules, but about us.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Little things, big value.

As I'm sitting here in the dark because our power is gone, I realize just how much we don't value power. It's just something that we have always had, and expect to always have. Power is really something we use a lot, but never actually realize it. People in other countries would kill for the accessibility that we have to resources like clean water, heat, POWER, and food. Everyday we use these things, but never think about how lucky we are to have them. People have to walk days just to receive a jar of murky water. People have to choose which child to feed on a daily basis. People die from the cold. So, the next time you think your day couldn't get any worse, just remember how good you have it here.