• ~IMPORTANT~

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

A New Day. A New Season. (12/18/16)

This past Sunday’s message was put together to go along with Brittany Teal, one of our volunteers, stepping down from helping in youth. Brittany has helped with Awakening Youth Ministries even prior to Lydia and I arriving three years ago. Brittany is launching into a new season with her school and work, so it is necessary for her to put more of her time and efforts into those areas.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8NIV says,

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Seasons change. Sometimes too quickly for us to process what is happening. This can cause us to feel awkward, unsure, excited, hurt, angry, confused, etc. The truth? Change can be confusing and frustrating. The question is, “How are we supposed to respond?”

1. Embrace the Future
Hebrews 13:8 says —Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Seasons change, but God does not. That is why we can embrace the future. We know that God  has everything under control.

Malachi 3:6 says — “I the Lord do not change…” We can count on God to have our backs even when life throws us the craziest seasons of change. God is our constant!

2. Remember the Past (Not live in the past)
Isaiah 46:9 says — Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.
Psalms 77:11 says — I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.

Remembering what God has done for us in the past helps create faith and confidence. While we don’t want to make the mistake of living and remaining in the past, it is important to remember all of the places that God has brought us through.

3. Live in the Present (Control what you can and live in God’s blessing)

Matthew 10:29-31 says— Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

We are God’s prized possession!

Isaiah 41:10 says— So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

God will hold us up AND strengthen us as we trust in him! Whatever season we may currently be in, we should be confident in knowing that we are God’s most valuable and prized possession. God can teach us more about him and strengthen us in any situation when we trust in him.

We took time after the message for everyone to tell Brittany how she had impacted our lives over the past few years before eating some DELICIOUS Cookies n’ Cream cake.

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Jayvon taking his turn thanking Brittany.

Be Blessed and have a Merry Christmas!

-Pastor Dustin

 

The Unopened Gift— 12/11/16

Happy Monday #teamawakeningfamily!

We kicked off last night with a game of rock, paper, scissors—Christmas Edition. Santa Claus beats Scrooge, Scrooge beats Snowman, and Snowman beats Santa Claus. The best part of the game was seeing the youth impersonate whoever they picked each round!

The message tonight was the “Unopened Gift”.

Think about the best present you’ve ever received for Christmas. Until you opened it, it was nothing more than an unopened gift. It isn’t until a gift is opened that you experience the joy it was meant to bring. Check out the video below for a quick laugh, and maybe even a reminder of how some of us act when we finally get that gift we’ve waited on for so long.

Luke 2:8-20NIV says,

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

There are three things that we talked about last night when it comes to the unopened gift.

1.     Open the Gift

Think back to the best gift you’ve ever received, and think about what you would have missed out on if you had never opened that gift. Think about what the shepherds would have missed out on if they wouldn’t have “opened” or accepted the gift that the angels told them about. They would have missed out with a face to face encounter with the Creator and Savior of the world!

We then asked the question— What gift or blessing is God trying to give you in your life right now that you haven’t opened?

The gift of salvation that God has given to us wasn’t just to save us from going to hell, but it is also to help us live victoriously and experience the love of Christ in our daily lives. The definition of salvation is — deliverance from the power and effects of sin. The part of this gift that many of us never open is the part that delivers us from the effects of sin: insecurity, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, the pain from the past that you struggle with, being afraid to to fully commit to what God has for you, etc. The gift of salvation is truly the best gift that anyone will ever receive.  Are you using it like God intended?

2.     Use the Gift

It sounds weird that someone wouldn’t use the gift of salvation, but think about it for a second. The gift of salvation that God gives to us wasn’t just to save us from going to hell, but it is also to help us to live victoriously and experience the love of Christ in our daily lives. The definition of salvation is — deliverance from the power and effects of sin. The part of this gift that many of us never use is the part that delivers us from the effects of sin. Some of these effects are: insecurity, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, the pain from the past that you struggle with, being afraid to to fully commit to what God has for you. The gift of salvation is truly the best gift that anyone will ever receive.  Are you using it like God intended?

3.     Give the Gift

The shepherds went back and spread the word and all who heard it were amazed. Are others amazed at what they here you saying, or showing, about the greatest gift ever given? The truth is this— We aren’t fully experiencing the gift of salvation until we give it away and share it with others. Think about the joy it brings your parents to see the joy on your faces when you open your gifts, and then think about the feeling you have seeing someone enjoy a gift that you’ve given them. There is something special about seeing someone’s life impacted by something that you’ve given them or done for them.

We split back up into our small groups after the message, and the leaders went over this week’s challenge with the students. The leaders helped the students in their groups to develop a plan for giving away the gift of salvation this Christmas. This included helping them verbalizing what the gift of salvation has done for
for them, what it means to them, and practicing talking with their friends with others in their group.

This week’s challenge is to :

  1. Ask your friend what the most important/special part of Christmas is to them.
  2.  After they are done, ask if you can share. Then take time to talk about the gift of salvation that began with the birth of Jesus and how it has impacted your life.

Be Blessed and Give the gift of salvation this Christmas!

-Pastor Dustin