Tuesday, November 30, 2010

God Is Alive. Always Working.

This is an amazing story from North Central YL tonight.  It truly shows that God is constantly working in this broken world and will always provide comfort, love, and peace even in times of grave tragedy.  Jon Whitmer wrote this after Campaigners tonight.

Friends,

I assume you have heard about the NC sophomore, Leon Baisa, who tragically passed away last Wednesday night in a car accident. Leon has 8 brothers and sisters, including Roman who is a freshman at NC and Falcon who is an 8th grader at Northview. None of the leaders really knew Leon and he didn't come to YL, but we knew who he was, as Doug Barnack, Ryan Johnson and I had just gone to watch Leon play in an intramural basketball game at NC last Monday night after Campaigners, since we knew a lot of Leon's friends on the team, including Jack Cagnassola, the other boy in the car with Leon the night of the accident. Leon's girlfriend, Olivia Trusty, is a freshman and was involved in Eastwood WyldLife and came to Timber Wolf with us last summer. She's been coming to Campaigners and Club every week this year.

Tonight, there was a spaghetti dinner at Moe and Johnny's benefiting Leon's Memorial Fund. Many student's left the dinner early, including Olivia, to come to Campaigners at 7:30. Olivia had asked Caitlin Weber, her leader, if she could share something in front of everyone tonight at Campaigners. Caitlin has talked to Olivia every day since the accident, a comforting friend in the midst of Olivia's pain/brokenness.

There were so many new faces at Campaigners tonight, around 55 kids in total, all crying, emotional and looking for a safe place. Not only that, but Garrett Lee, a senior, knew that Leon's brother, Roman, needed to be at Campaigners tonight, so he went and picked him up and brought him. What an incredible example of the way God pursues us through one another. I'm so thankful and so impressed with Garrett's heart in doing that. With the brother, girlfriend and countless other grieving friends of Leon in our presence tonight, there was much pain, sadness, anger, and questioning, as kids asked "why" and "what now." As Romans 15:5 says, it was a place where, as a family, "we mourned with those mourning." 

But tonight was also a sacred moment in the midst of a tragedy. Olivia beautifully shared her feelings for Leon and then went on to share the story of Lazarus for the whole group, a perfect story, where Christ weeps over Lazarus' death, showing that when we hurt, God hurts. But it's also a story where Christ is described as "the resurrection and the life" and the one that has the power to bring us from death to life. God was working tonight, as in the beginning, everyone was so somber and full of tears. Yet, as kids were leaving, there was laughter, smiles and small steps of healing.

Please continue to pray for the Baisa family, for Roman, for Olivia, for the NC students and faculty coming around them and for the YL leaders, as we continue to walk with kids through the peaks and the valleys of life. Praise God for tonight, for a place like YL, a refuge for these lost kids.

In Him,
Jon

Sunday, November 28, 2010

This Is Love.

video


Just listen to the message and the lyrics of this song. This is love, the way God made it and the way it is intended to be.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Psalm 42:1-2

"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?"

This verse in Psalms has always brought me back to "Do I desire God like this?" Do I thirst for Christ? Does my soul pant for Jesus? Am I asking when can I go and meet with you Lord?

If I do not desire Jesus like this, am I truly seeking and following Him? Am I truly living life to its fullest extent and living my life the way God intended me to?

Reflect. If you want to live life to the full (John 10:10) then your soul should pant and thirst for Jesus Christ.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Love One Another

1 John 2:9 says, "Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light."

God created all of us. Every single one of us was created by the same God. Every Christian, Muslim, drug addict, liar, homosexual, any label you can think of, some labels might even overlap. In 1 John 2:9 brother refers to everyone we are all brother's and sister created by the same God. No matter how far a brother or sister strays from the path or way of the Lord, we are called to love them unconditionally. The closer we are to the Lord the less we judge, stereotype, generalize, assume, and hold grudges instead we accept, forgive, listen, comfort, and love. The more we live into the light the more our love shines through our actions and the more we put others needs before our own.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Prayer

When you pray go somewhere quiet, alone, solitary
Pray that you will not fall into temptation
Withdraw from everything of this world
Pray that God's will be done not your own
Pray earnestly with undivided focus
Separate yourself from everything except for the Lord
Even if everyone is looking for you,
You must go away and pray
Pray privately
Pray for others
Praise your Creator and Savior
Pray for the day at hand
Pray for protection from Satan's evil plots
Pray that HIS kingdom will come
Pray for the fullness of grace
Pray to become more and more like Christ
Do this each and every day