• ~IMPORTANT~

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

How’s Your Heart?— 11/27/16

 

This past Sunday was a BLAST! We started off with squirt guns and shaving cream. The competitors started off with their backs to each other before turning to squirt the shaving cream off of their opponents forehead. It was really messy and even funner to watch!

The message was “How’s Your Heart?”. We looked at Luke 8:1-15NIV,

4 While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: 5 “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. 6 Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”

When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

9 His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10 He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that,

“‘though seeing, they may not see;
though hearing, they may not understand.’
11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

We talked about four types of soil, or in our case, four types of hearts/heart conditions that we may be dealing with.

1.     The Careless Heart

This represents the seed that falls along the path and those who hear the Word of God and the truth it brings, but choose to do nothing with it. This allows Satan to rob us of the blessing and work that God desires to do in our lives..

2.     The Shallow Heart

This represents the rocky ground. It also represents someone who hears the Word, is excited about it at first, but then falls away when things get difficult because they have no root, or it becomes inconvenient. A shallow heart doesn’t have the deep roots or commitment necessary to grow stronger in their walk with Jesus, and can also represent those who may claim to love Jesus but have no desire to change their lives to truly follow him.

3.     The Distracted Heart

Many of us hear the word and are excited to act on and follow it, but the distractions of life choke out our excitement and motivation. These distractions can be anything from sin, busy schedules, school, work, extra-curricular activities, applying to college, family problems, problems with friends, etc. Many of these things aren’t bad in and of themselves, but they can become major distractions if we don’t have our priorities straight or
have the right approach to life.

4.     The Productive/Determined Heart

This represents the person who hears the word, acts on it, and stays committed to growing and persevering through the hard times in life to become more like Jesus. Notice that Jesus didn’t say that this ground didn’t have any rocks, thorns, or weeds. He simply shows us that what was present wasn’t strong enough to stop the seed from growing and producing. We each have a choice to either allow the distractions in life to kill and steal our motivation, or can push through the obstacles to grow in the life that God created us for.

After the message, the students split back up into their small groups to talk about the message and which of the four types of hearts they felt currently most described their lives. We closed the night out by having the leaders pray for the students in their group before working on our Garbonics routine for Christmas!

Have an AWESOME and BLESSED week!

-Pastor Dustin

What Are You Wearing? 11/20/16

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Happy Monday #teamawakening family!

Another week is in the books for Awakening Youth Ministries! We had a contest to see who could show up with the craziest outfit. Here are a couple of pictures from some of the people who participated.

The message was “What Are You Wearing?”. The clothes and accessories you wear can say a lot about you— your personality, place of employment, favorite sports teams, bands, people/causes you support or oppose, etc.

What in the world does this have to do with Thanksgiving??? The things we “clothe” ourselves with in life and our walk with God can also tell a lot about our values, attitude, and priorities.

Colossians 3:14-17NLT says,

14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

This scripture passage tells us two things:

1.  Get Dressed

Verse 14 tells us to “clothe ourselves”. As followers of Christ, there are certain things we should “clothe” ourselves with. This is for our benefit as well as showing others what God has done in our lives.

2.  Get Dressed With The Right Clothes

You don’t wear stripes and polka dots together (not unless you’re having a contest at youth)! Spiritually, we shouldn’t be leading two different lives. Paul tells us in these verses that, above all, we are to clothe ourselves with love. Love is the glue that brings us all together. We may be different, but we are all apart of #teamawakening. We are also a part of the bigger body of Christ. Jesus radically transformed the world with his love, and that is exactly what we are called to do!

We’re also told to “wear” the peace that comes from God. Even when things around us seem to be spiraling out of control, we can be at peace in and through Jesus. When those around us see the love and peace that we wear, they notice that something is different about us. This passage also tells us that we are supposed to encourage one another as we go through life.

Finally, Paul tells us to always be thankful. We are ALWAYS supposed to be thankful. This can be difficult depending on what is going on in our lives. The truth is that we can always be thankful that we have a savior in Jesus that loves us unconditionally, died on the cross for our sins so that we could have a relationship with him, and is always with us to help and guide us through life!

Exodus 13:9,16 says,

9 This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead
that this law of the Lord is to be on your lips. For the Lord brought you out of Egypt with his
mighty hand. ’ 16 And it will be like a sign on your hand and a symbol on your forehead that
the Lord brought us out of Egypt with his mighty hand.”

These two verses are reminding the Israelites to remember God delivering them from slavery in Egypt. Those who observed orthodox Judaism would wear these verses on their arms and foreheads in small boxes. This may sound very odd and strange, but it helped them to never forget what God had done for them. We did our own version of this last night:

The picture above may look silly, and most people would not walk out in public like this. The point of the illustration is this: Derik is going to see and feel these sticky notes on his face wherever he goes and remember what he is thankful for. When we remember and give thanks for what God has done for us, it gives us the faith and confidence to trust him to bring us through whatever we may face next in life. We need to wear thankfulness everyday and wherever we go so we always remember what God has done and is able to do for us.

When the message was over, we split back into our groups so that the leaders could break down the message with the students and pray for the students to have the boldness to complete this week’s challenge:
1. Ask your friends what they are most thankful for.
2. Then ask if they mind if you share.
3. Once they say yes, share why you are thankful for what Jesus did for you.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

-Pastor Dustin

 

 

 

 

“What Are You Looking For?” 11/13/16

Hello everyone!

We kicked of the night by splitting into our prayer groups after we had some snacks. The students prayed for our nation’s new leaders as well as for the church to unify to show others the love of Christ. Students were also encouraged and reminded that the Bible tells us to lift our leaders up in prayer regardless of what our opinion of them is.

This past Sunday was a BLAST! We had some students join us that we had not seen in awhile, and the relay game at the beginning of youth was EPIC!

The youth band did a GREAT job of leading the group in worship before the message, and then Noah, Sam, and Lydia did a skit to set up the message, “What Are You Looking For?”.

The group watching Noah, Sam, and Lydia perform the skit.

The group watching Noah, Sam, and Lydia perform the skit.

Isaiah 45:3NIV says, I will give you hidden treasures,
                                         riches stored in secret places,
                                so that you may know that I am the Lord,
                             the God of Israel, who summons you by name.

We looked at the story of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The basics of a story taught us about a shepherd who went searching for a lost sheep in the desert. The shepherd threw a rock into a cave he was passing by, and heard the rock hit something. It turned out that there were pottery jars inside the cave, along with about 10 other caves, containing fragments of Scripture written on parchments that had been hidden by a Jewish group called the Essenes before being overtaken by the Romans.

The point of the story is this— Many times, the most valuable things in life that God desires to show us are things that we are not looking for or aware of. Jeremiah 29:11-14 says, “11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will callon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord…” God has great plans for each of us. The key to discovering these plans is to allow God to guide us.

The students took some quiet time to answer some questions from the message: (1.) What things are you currently pursuing in life? (2.) Take time to ask God, “What are the plans that You want me to be pursuing and looking for in life? After the students were done, we gathered back into groups, went over our answers with the leaders, and closed out the night with the leaders praying for the students.

Have a GREAT week, and we hope see you on 11/20/16!!!

-Pastor Dustin

11/6/16— POTLUCK NIGHT!

What’s up #teamawakeningfamily?!

This past Sunday was our POTLUCK/Hangout Night. The students brought in a LOT of food, and once we were done eating a few of the youth packed shoeboxes while the rest of the group played SPOONS!

We will be back on our regular schedule this coming Sunday, 11/13/16, and we hope to see you there!

Be Blessed and We Will See You Sunday!

-Pastor Dustin