Sunday, July 20, 2014

Day 201- A Teenage First

Today is church day for us.  We had a Haitian pastor (Pastor Franckie Jeune) preach for us this morning. I wanted to use that as a "first" but he's actually preached here once before.  The last time he preached in the evening and this time he preached int he morning so that is pretty close to a "first."  It was also very challenging and convicting. There is nobody in his church (of almost 200 people) that has a job, 4 people have electricity, and they all have to walk to get water for their homes.  Quite the reality check for those of us living in the United States.

Tonight at church I stopped into the teenage Bible study class and asked them some random questions for my "first."  We have some great teens at Hopewell and I wanted to include them in my "first."  I asked them several questions.  Here are a few.
1. What is your favorite Bible verse?  Here are some of their answers: Isaiah 40:31, Romans 12:2, Philippians 4:13, 1 Timothy 4:12, and Isaiah 41:10.  The cool thing is when people ask me that I usually say Isaiah 41:10 so one of our teens shares that with me.
2. What is your favorite Christian song?  Here are some of their answers: Oceans by Hillsong, Miracle of Mercy by Steven Curtis Chapman,  Midnight Cry by whoever, Write Your Story by Francesca Battistelli, and Beautiful Day by Jamie Grace.
3. What is your favorite season.  The top two answers were college football season and hunting season.  I love the South.  Christmas and summer were the other answers.

Afterwards, I decided to ask Hannah Grace and one of her friends the same questions.  They both answered that their favorite season of the year was Christmas. Then Hannah Grace said her 2nd favorite season was the day after Valentine's Day and her friend said the third day after Valentine's Day. When I asked why (I was pretty sure of the answer), Hannah Grace said because the chocolate goes on sale the day after Valentine's Day. Her friend said, "Yes, but the third day after Valentine's Day it is 75% off."  That was pretty wild coming off the top of their heads.

Very cool teens

Fearless leader Pastor Jim

I love our teens.  As I thought about them today, I wanted to encourage them to live all out for Jesus.  When I look back on my teen years, I'm grateful that I came to Christ when I was 17.  I'm grateful for every decision to follow Jesus. I regret those decisions that moved me away from the Lord.  Some of those decisions seemed like the fun and exciting thing to do, but as a follower of Jesus, I regret the decisions to disobey God.  I'm very grateful that these teens have favorite Bible verses and favorite Christian songs.  As a younger teenager, I did not know any Christian songs except the ones that were sung at church.  These teens are listening to Christian music at other times and that is exciting to me.  It's also exciting to know that God can do incredible things with their lives if they will let Him.  Andy Stanley said he used to say to his children, "God's plan for your life is too good to miss."  I want these teens and my children to believe that with all their heart. I have not always embraced that belief.

One of the ways I can help them is by living God's incredible life myself.  I believe God's plan for our life at any age is too good to miss. It is easy for those of us well past our teenage years to say to them what a wonderful life they can have with Jesus.  That's kind of lame if I'm not willing to live that at my age. I want my life to say to anybody at any age, "Go all out for Jesus. He is worth it." I thought of 1 Timothy 4:12 today, "Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity."

Glad the abundant life is for all ages

3 things I thank God for today
1. Hopewell teens
2. Pastor Franckie preaching at Hopewell today
3. Running water

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