I think it is helpful as we begin a new week to make a few notes on things to celebrate. I know that this weekend was a busy one for me, but at the same time, God did some awesome things.
We have youth group on Friday nights. This last week we split up for a guys and girls night. We will occasionally do this in order to deal with guy and girl topics and to keep things fresh. The funny thing was that we had planned for the guys to be outside for the night, but it was very windy and the coldest night we have had in a while. That doesn’t matter, though, when you are trying to teach boys to “Man-Up.” We played a little wiffle ball, put together our first attempt at a zip-line and made a camp fire.
The campfire was a real challenge because gusts of wind would come and throw coals in the eyes of our students. It does make them pay attention, though. We also tried to make some form of tin foil meals that included some beef and other items. That worked to a point, except the tin foil ripped and we had a huge grease fire. We tried a few times and ended up with marginal success. We have a camp-out in June where we can fine tune this process.
We even had a half bottle of tabasco left that one of our students drank. I am not kidding, he drank it. This was challenging because it was a shaker and we required that he swallowed it all at once. Wow. I did not think he would do it. This gives new meaning to “Man-Up.”
The real highlight for that night was the relationships that we are able to build. Our discussion was very scattered and distracting due to the wind, but that didn’t matter. God is working in the lives of these guys and they seem to really connect with each other and with God. I celebrate God’s work in them and the joy of being able to be involved in that. What a privilege! The girls did something surrounding the topic of inward beauty, but I wasn’t there to report on that. All I know is that they had a really great night as well. Praise God!
Saturday I took a group of our student leaders and adult leaders to an event surrounding the importance of the Gospel. As with any of these events, there are points that we take with us and there are things to ignore. However, for me the highlight was the car ride there and back. In the spirit of truly not throwing away any opportunities, I love car rides. Where else do we get to have discussions with teenagers in an environment where they can’t escape? It is awesome!
Our discussion surrounded some deep topics like predestination, God’s goodness and a variety of Old Testament stories that are just amazing. We were also able to discuss things about our lives. They were asking each other about fears, how they came to know Jesus and what some of their future goals were. This is something I celebrate as well.
On the way home we stopped for dinner and talked about what we learned. I love this because each person takes different points with them to apply. They then are able to articulate those things to each other and we are all edified as a result. God is at work in them and it is incredible.
Sunday was a blessed Lord’s Day. We heard a few testimonies yesterday in the service about how God has used people in some simple ways to impact others. One man told a story about post cards he had written to a young man in Alaska and how through that he is now able to help him in the midst of a crisis. Someone else talked about a young man in the hospital who he has had the chance to minister to. Another person testified about the way a person who has recently passed away impacted their life. These are all things to celebrate; God is alive and active among us.
Lastly, I celebrate the health of my youngest son. Saturday, as I was leaving for my event for the day, he was sick. But, by Sunday he was much better.
What are you celebrating today? Even in difficulties, I know there are always things to celebrate. Be encouraged today and trust in the Lord for His work among you.