• ~IMPORTANT~

    Our New Year's Eve Eve Party is 12/30 from 1-4! Come our and invite a friend!

Abstinence VS. Purity (3/20/16)

Happy Monday Everyone! We’re excited to bring you the update from Part 2 of our “VS. The Battle Is Won” Series.

We kicked off tonight by splitting into groups and praying for our schools and the boldness to live out our faith on our school campuses. You can check out a short clip of that below.

Prayer

After we we’re done praying we did a three legged race relay game. We purposefully paired the youth up with people of different ages and sizes to make the race more difficult. The purpose of this was to show the importance of your spouse and life partner being someone someone who enriches your life and physically and spirituality, instead of making life more difficult. Make sure to check out the video of the game below!

Three Legged Race

We had a great time of worship to set up the message, “Abstinence VS. Purity”. We talked about how our culture had become obsessed with sex. It’s in music, TV shows, movies, commercials, etc. Today’s culture views sex as a pleasure to have with whoever and whenever you want. Many times, the church is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum as they preach and stress abstinence. The approach we took with the message was not “What the World Says About Sex” VS. “What the Church Says About Sex”. Our approach was “What the Church Says About Sex VS. “What the Church Should Be Saying About Sex”.

The truth is that you can be abstinent and not be pure. For example, if you’re refraining from sex but looking a pornography, you’re not living a pure life. Many times we’re given the idea that sex is bad—we shouldn’t think about, ask about it, etc. We you have this view it creates a weird and awkward situation when you get married because what you’ve believed is bad all your life is now what you’re supposed to be doing!

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20NIV,

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price.Therefore honor God with your bodies.

He also says in Philippians 4:4-9NIV,

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Paul tells us that just because we have the freedom to make our own choices doesn’t mean that all choices are necessarily healthy and beneficial for us. He goes as far as telling us to FLEE sexual immorality (Kind of like the boy in kindergarten running as fast and far away from the girl chasing him so he doesn’t get cooties!). Sexual immorality is an example that Paul gives us to illustrate being destroyed and enslaved by sin. Inappropriate sexual behavior has the ability to control us.

The truth is that God created sex and wishes for you to have an incredible sex life! (Parents, let me explain before you panic! Youth, let me explain before you tell your parents I said God wants you to go have sex!). God created sex for the marriage covenant to bring one man and one woman together in the closest intimacy. Sex outside of marriage comes with consequences, has the ability to control and destroy you, and goes against God’s design and plan for you.

For those who may have already made the mistake of having premarital sex— God can certainly heal you, the wounds you may have, and help to walk in the freedom he created you to walk in.

After the message we split back into our groups to discuss the message on a deeper, more age appropriate level.

The bottom line—abstinence without purity can still lead to trouble. Purity isn’t just doing the right thing, it’s also doing the right thing for the right reasons. Purity is also a mindset and attitude of the heart.

Have a great week!

-Pastor Dustin

 

 

Guilt VS. Shame and Shaving Cream with Cheeseballs!

We kicked off our “VS.— The Battle is Won” Series with Part 1, “Guilt VS. Shame. These two words are often used interchangeably, but they are actually very different in their meaning.

Guilt is from God and can benefit us. Guilt tells us that we did something wrong or messed up. Shame is from Satan and tells us that we are messed up. God views us as a treasure created in his image, but shame tells us that we are worthless because we did something wrong.

We looked at the story of the woman caught in adultery in John 8:2-11NIV,

At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

The religious elite were using this lady to try and trap Jesus: If Jesus has her stoned then he discredits his message of love and grace, and if he forgives her then he goes against the Law and excuses her sin.

Notice how Jesus responds. He doesn’t excuse the sin this lady was caught in and guilty of. After he shows the crowd that none of them are as righteous as they claimed to be he asks her where her accusers are. When she says they are all gone his message is simple— “Go now and leave your life of sin.” He tells her she is guilty, but encourages her to live her life for God and leave her life of sin.

We used a funny, yet powerful illustration to help get the point crossed with shaving cream and Cheetos. We put A LOT of shaving cream on one of our students face. Then, we threw cheese balls at to see how many we could get to stick in the shaving cream. The cheese balls represented guilt. When we allow Satan to make us feel ashamed, we carry all of our mistakes and insecurities around with us. Instead of drawing closer to God, we allow our feeling of shame to make us feel unworthy of being used by God and actually end up drifting farther away from him.

After Luke’s face was filled with cheeseballs, we wiped all of the shaving cream off of his face and threw cheeseballs at his face again. Without the shaving cream the cheeseballs simply bounced off of his face. The same is true in our lives when we allow God to take away our shame. We leave our life of sin behind and find healing and freedom in Christ.

After the message we split into our small groups to unpack the lesson on a deeper level. We also did a group activity to help us see ourselves as God sees us. The youth sat one at a time in front of the whiteboard while the rest of the group wrote something positive about them on the board behind them. The person sitting in front of the board then turned around to read what was said about them. This was a simple, yet powerful activity that helped everyone to look at themselves from a different perspective.

Have a great week and we hope to see you for part two, “Abstinence VS. Purity”, this Sunday (3/20/16)!

-Pastor Dustin

Attaboy Concert and Dare2Share 2016!

This past week was packed full of great stuff!

Thursday, we had the opportunity to partner with the band “Attaboy” for an Event at Edison High School. The band did an assembly for the entire school Thursday afternoon where they gave a concert and talked about making positive choices in life. Thursday night was another concert where the band played and talked about the importance of having a relationship with Christ. We also provided a meal for the band before the concert, handed out stuff for the band with info on our group, and helped the band pack up after the concert!

Friday morning we left the church and headed to Dayton, Ohio for the 2016 Dare2Share “Live It Up!” Conference with fourteen youth and four adults in a 15-passenger van and a mini van. We were richly blessed by APEX Community Church allowing us to stay at their facility as well as providing us with two meals at no cost!

We were all challenged to grow in our walk with God, live for him in front of others, and share the Gospel with our peers. We saw our youth truly enter into worship, some stepped up and showed great leadership abilities, and we had the opportunity to walk through part of Dayton while praying for the city. Some of the youth even had the opportunity to pray with a couple of people they met during their prayer walk!

Our heart is that we continue to “Live It Up”:

  1. Upwardly by focusing on God and carrying  out his plan.
  2. Inwardly by walking out our faith through the power of the Holy Spirit that lives inside of us.
  3. Outwardly by making disciples who make disciples.

Sunday night at youth we hung out and and played some of our favorite games to recover from the long weekend. We’ll be back on our normal schedule and set up this week!

Be Blessed and gave a GREAT week!

-Pastor Dustin