Category Archives: Christian youth

JOY Bomb!

0e4127244_1427810858_2015-blog-weaponofmassdestructionClearly GOD’s thoughts are so far above ours, not to mention His ways! God says simple things to us and we have no idea that what is simple to Him can fry our brain cells in its intensity. A simple truth like “Rejoice always…” is easily overlooked when we have to be so serious about life.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 |

Joy seems to be something for children who are just unaware of the great matters us adults have to handle. Is it any wonder we are told by JESUS to be like them to enter into the Kingdom of GOD? (NIV MK 10:15 “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”) So what’s the Kingdom about?Righteousness, peace and ….JOY! (Rm 14:7) We are cornered by the need to be joyful!!!

Oh, we just want to get away from everything and get into the presence of GOD! But…what is in the presence of GOD? “In His presence is the fullness of JOY!!!!(Ps 16:11)

Yikes!  It’s looking serious…this JOY thing.  Why is GOD so persistent with it?!!!

“The joy of the LORD is my strength!” Nehemiah 8:10  It says do not grieve because the joy of the Lord is your strength! So, can we see that without the joy of the LORD we are weak and ill equipped to triumph? Never does the Bible say we are to check the status of our situation and then see if rejoicing makes sense.  Actually, we choose to have JOY because we have faith in GOD that HE has great plans for us…that HIS promises are ours…that HIS Word never fails….that HE is ordering our steps…that HE will cause ALL things to work together for good for those who love HIM.  If we believe, our only response is JOY! Don’t worry if the moment you choose to be joyful, you don’t feel it.  Open your mouth. Confess HIS Word! Sing and make music…out of tune or in tune…season the atmosphere with praise!  This is war, but not as we know it.   “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through GOD to the pulling down of the stronghold of the enemy!!” 2 Cor 10:14

 NIV 2 Cor 10:14
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

JOY is a weapon of mass destruction! It does not make sense naturally. Who cares? Use it to dumbfound the enemy. Choose JOY and protect it! Protect your joy from assailing thoughts.  Stop them in their tracks. Release your words consistently… You will rise above…You will soar…You will have a clear mind! Victory is a guarantee!!

 

 

Bring the light!

billy-testing-flashlight

I became uncomfortable at the steady suggestions. It was what I did not know I feared.  I sat in Church trying to be normal and simply listen to the word that was being taught. Every few minutes I was prompted by the word to gaze away to this challenge I was being given. The more clear the vision became, the more anxious I became.  I would lose my privacy! I would lose my life as I know it! I would become too accessible!

My protest was met with more details, which served to pull me further in. I could see my yard crowded with the neighbors’ children, shouting out HIS infallible word.  Their songs would wake the valley.  Life would come through their musicals, artworks, and recitals. They would know a tangible GOD.  This was no Sunday School; this was GOD set to art.  It was exciting and scary.  I would need the help of those who are like-minded.  Actually, they just needed to know that the rule is: LOVE. No matter how they looked, talked or acted.

I said “yes,” not knowing how I would be received or perceived, but not asking either.  Brave on the outside and jello on the inside.- “With Knees Knocking.”  On the first day of Mountain Movers Children’s Club, I prayed and prayed and prayed…for rain!  None!

I was addicted to this ministry for seven years.  Sure many will say that it changed their lives: youths, mothers, and onlookers.  Yet, it was my life that felt like it was on steroids.

It was SUPER-natural – Like a group of teens holding hands in a circle and GOD shows up through visions, impressions, and several other manifestations that blew them away!  Like telling over 30 children to bring their book lists since GOD will supply their needs and at the last minute someone unknown from another nation sought a charity to give to and found us.  Like promising 70 children a hot meal for the week of VBS and finding a dirty bag of money at the gate with brand new unsoiled notes the day before….Like seeing the neighbors receive JESUS after dramatizing a modern day court scene where JESUS takes the convicted don man’s sentence. It was priceless the day they would not go home and decided to pray in the front yard while I counseled a girl. I wanted to rest and felt quite out of it.  “So you want GOD!” They responded with a prompt yes. They proceeded to call out on the top of their lungs, “JESUS! We want you!” People stood at my gate probably wondering what I was doing to the children. Then HE came! Some spoke in tongues, while others looked like they had strong drinks. The fact that we had no catchers probably was the only reason they were able to stand.

I had nothing to do with it!

I just said YES.

Where there is purpose, there is provision.

Who HE calls HE qualifies.

So many persons are waiting for one person to bring the light. For that phase of life I mined diamonds in the valley and eventually began mentoring mothers.

Initially,  I feared I would have to give up a lot.  I was right. I gave up more than I thought I would. Wow!  I also gained more than I could have asked, thought of or imagined. Recently, I saw a picture of one of my little girls in her scrubs, gloves and hairnet…on her way to becoming a doctor.  She said, “Auntie, I explicitly remember that Sunday when you taught us how to dream…there and then I realized we serve a limitless GOD!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Truth Allergy

“What did you say?” (sneeze) Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Anyone who dutifully tastes his or her words before spitting them out, is named among the wise.  Our world is woefully in need of the truth. 

A husband may quickly caution his wife about how she packages and presents the truth.  Certainly,  it is risky to tell the truth without tact. As a matter of fact, a tactless truth falls among lies and can be just as destructive.

A dry-humored son runs to his mom and affirms his career of choice: comedy. Hmmmn…it’s the perfect opportunity to empower this child along the lines of his gifts and talent without killing his enthusiasm.

 

It may sound erroneous, but not every truth deserves to be heard. Who wants to hear or “needs” to hear, “you look fat,” or “age is doing a number on you.”  The greatest truth about telling the truth is why we tell the truth! Are we seeking vindication or promotion? Maybe we just want to set a person free or help them up.  Maybe we want to put things in perspective so excellent decisions can be made.

There are a myriad of reasons to tell the truth as long as our motive is pure.  In the case of relationships, don’t just taste your words.  Consider if this truth can be received by this person at this time. Bear in mind…no matter how it is packaged, some people suffer from truth allergy! “Achoo!”

With Knees knocking…

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Have you ever watched Peter Rabbit when either Peter or Benjamin gets into a tight spot? They would say, “Rabbits are brave, rabbits are brave.” At the same time, they know they will have to face the challenge, whether hungry-belly Mr. Todd or the scary farmer, Mr. McGregor.  I can identify with these rabbits the moment GOD tells me to do something that takes me out of my comfort zone.  I know that I won’t say no to HIM and that eventually …
even with knees knocking, I will obey.  Courage is only needed because fear is present. Fear is not an indication that we should change course. Keep moving even with knees knocking. After all, “A good rabbit never gives up.”

“Awaiting water!”

Another in class moment….

It’s not strange to me that GOD speaks without a language. It’s not strange that HE impacts my heart without a word. Not even a slight whisper or a carefully jotted word carried HIS message. Instead it was the faithful feet of LIFE…that promptly arrived with the day’s lesson.

Unassumingly, I walked right into a punctuated moment.  Seconds before concerns tangled my thoughts….but I couldn’t miss this!   Inanimate objects and all cooperated to land this lesson.

Complaining bitterly about our water company’s inefficiencies and failure to supply water after three uncomfortable days, we resolved to accept an offer to wash nearby. A pause on the balcony distracted us from our mission and then…

A worthwhile revelation…large-water-pipe

“Honey,why is that red pipe down by the gate turned across?”

“Do you mean that we had water all these trying days while living out of a two liter water bottle?”

Sure enough when the pipe was released, the water broke out angrily, like unrestrained rage.

I felt the speechless message of GOD stilling my heart…

Like Daniel, I had been answered, even though I had no tangible evidence.

 

God said yes, but the channels were blocked at my gate.

Selah….pause to consider.

Consider…

How we pray and wonder why we do not see answers.

How we become disappointed that GOD did not respond.

How we fashion a theology to satisfy the mystery.

When …GOD, who is source,  sent it with abundance, but it is stopped at the gate!!

Gates that need guarding against the substance suckers…

Gates that need guarding against pocket pickers.

Gates that need guarding against the destiny destroyers.

I guard my mouth….so I don’t agree with my enemy.

I guard my eyes…so it leaves no negative image on my soul.

I guard my ears….from the signals that create fear.

But, let the channels to the limitless ONE be opened!

Somebody turn on the water at my gate!

 

 

 

 

 

Hot or Not!!!

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An interesting question crossed my path.

Are some people more saved than others?

Salvation is free and available to all, but as A.W. Tozer puts it, some people want God and… In essence some persons just added God to their “to do” list and continued living like nothing happened! On a Sunday they dutifully attend church and may even do another religious activity in the week.  However, the deep transforming work of salvation does not penetrate the soul.  The walking with God experience is limited to an association vicariously, where they shoot up a prayer in hope of an answer.  This relationship is void of deep convictions and passion for the things of GOD.   This person is sadly lukewarm and really misses out on daily encountering the God who passionately loves and sacrificed for him or her. They watch people who are on fire for God and wonder why they have to be so excessive in their devotion and expression toward God.

Revelation 3:15-16

15I know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other. 16So because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of My mouth!…

Ugh! That’s how GOD feels about those who take His gift of salvation lightly.  It makes Him want to puke!  Salvation though free, was extremely costly!!!! Yes it cost JESUS his life!!! I always imagine the moment that He, for the love of His Father, took off His divinity…all the power…all the glory…all the awesome god-ness and became microscopic.  Those who are hot for GOD, live like JESUS really died.  It means shunning  what is evil and clinging to what is good even if it hurts your flesh.  It means seeking God for yourself and becoming a student of the Bible.  It means allowing the Holy Spirit to correct your behaviour, thought and attitude.  It’s really personal…until Christ be formed in you.

Lukewarm people like to mix…just a little.

A little Christianity with a little worldliness.

A little truth with a little lie.

A little church with a little partying.

A little abstinence with a little fornication.

A little forgiving with a little malice.

A little obedience with a little disobedience.

Just a little…

So instead of an abundant life in Christ…

they’ll have

…just a little.

Get hot ! Stay hot!

 

 

Faith…Work it!

So I reasoned with GOD…if I believe the WORD…I know that it is as YOU have said. Is that not faith? No! Truly I believe.
Faith is not “the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of the things unseen.” No! It is “Being Sure” of the things hoped for and confident of what you do not yet see. Faith1[1]

Being sure of the promise is different from believing that it exists. If I have faith that the promise is true, I make changes to accommodate its manifestation. But…if I believe…I only accept it as a truth. Faith is doing something with what you believe. So what are you going to do?

Think again…

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Okay! Many of us are concerned about our teens/young adults leaving the Church or the faith.   This raises many questions.  What are we doing wrong? Why don’t they want to stay?  What do they want? Is our Church different? There are several answers given by Barna Research as to why some stay.  Still, we are in a place now where we have to think again. Those who claim to have an intimate relationship with GOD, stay!  Those who have a relationship with GOD for themselves stay connected to the Church. This is just where we should be asking questions. How do we connect them to God intimately?

“God, show us how to connect our youth to you.” I have wondered for years how my mother got in me the fear of God.  My best answer is that she modelled it. So how do you make intimacy with God tangible? Yes, you can model it, but it will take mentoring youth in a real sincere way.  I mean that you open up to them and show them how you talk with God daily, enter His presence, seek His face and  find answers.  Then, you also show them how to live with the knowledge of the Word in this world.  It’s transparency instead of a pulpit-pew relationship. Of course, this is most effective in a small group setting.

Hey! We are able to do this big time, because we have the big time help of the Holy Spirit!! We cannot do it on our own!  We have the One who searches all things even the deep things of GOD and reveals it to us! The Holy Spirit equips us with the answers necessary for the unique situations within which we live.  So, let’s think again.

Think beyond the physical appearance of the youth. Think beyond their rapidly sung songs! Think beyond their very catchy slangs. Think again and let’s love them to life!

 

 

 

 

 

Can I get away with it?

teens

It was a strange drive back to college.  I knew something was brewing, but though I might just reach my destination fast enough and avoid it.  I could not face her as usual, but I hoped she hadn’t noticed.  Why did my mentor volunteer to take me on this nearly two hour journey? We talked and joked and for a moment I felt relieved.  “It may just be that I am given to a guilty conscience.” She had this way of creating a stillness in the atmosphere that makes you think.  I wasn’t sure if this was taught her at law school, but it could scare somebody.

I scanned my behaviour during the holiday and concluded, “yeah, I’m good.” As soon as the van pulled up to college gate and she leaned toward my face. With an uncommon blend of the fear and love of GOD, she said, “Honey, do not be deceived. Bad company corrupts good character.”

“Ugh!”

I could hardly move.  Her words were so convicting!  I knew with her keen sense of discernment, my new-found clubbing lifestyle had been made know to her.  She was so gracious all along knowing and waiting for me to say something.

I agreed with her and said my goodbyes quickly, still her words never left throughout my college years.

Youths often need to be reminded of who they are in a way that does not leave them feeling condemned, but convicted by love.

I suggest that JESUS love language is obedience since he said in John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands.”

Those who dare to step out and say something you’re doing is not true to who you are may be the one sent to save you.  If you don’t understand right then reserve your response and pray on it.  Our love is perfected in relationships.