Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Colony and the Code

Good morning! We are all up in our dorms getting ready to go to the beach! Woohoo! It’s going to be great.

 

So yesterday was all about the Colony or the community of believers. We spent the day coming to grips with the fact that we need each other and our actions deeply affect each other. It really was an awesome day. If you know me well, you know that this is a subject that I am passionate about anyway, so it was great for our whole group to be processing it for an entire day at a very challenging level. We talked about what it means to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect. We learned that getting rid of filth and things in our lives gives Jesus a clear shot at our hearts, and when He has a clear shot at our hearts He never misses. 

Today is about the Code. It’s the way we love each other that truly is the code for believers. Jesus says that they will know we belong to Him by the way we love. Specifically, today, we are looking at that love in the context of forgiveness. As you can imagine, this is a difficult topic for a lot of our students (and leaders!) to deal with as we come to grasp with the people we need to forgive and the people from whom we need to ask forgiveness. Forgiving people is one of the ways that we love our enemies, and Jesus tells us that it is in loving our enemies that we are set apart from the rest of the world. This radical teaching should define us and shape all of our relationships. Tonight will be very heavy as students are encouraged to confront their need for forgiveness as well as their need to forgive. 

Please pray for the students as they come to grips with this hard, but vital, truth. 

Also, Kenneth Stewart has a black eye… that is all you need to know. 

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Our Father

Hey Everyone! Man, first thing you need to know is that every thing is going great. So far, this has been an awesome couple of days and I only anticipate it getting better. The trip up was easy with no hang-ups or anything at all. We actually made substantially better time then we thought we would! Google maps had our travel time at somewhere in the ballpark of 16.5 hours (with stops), but we actually made it right around 13! These are always the little details that you really nail down after your first time visiting a certain place. Holland, by the way, is gorgeous. I’m trying not to rub anything in but we’ve been in hoodies for most of the day. Low to mid 70s in the heat of the day with temperatures dropping to the high 50s at night. And as if it was planned just for our day at the beach, Thursday is supposed to jump up to the mid 90s.

 

Now…onto the important stuff.  

 

The theme for this year is where Heaven and Earth collide, and the focus is all on the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5-7). The theme comes from the concept that this is the point in history where this Rabbi from Heaven began to usher in His Kingdom here on this fractured earth. So the first night was really an introduction to the theme and we kind of camped out in the beatitudes. We talked about how backwards it all seems to say, “blessed are the…” and you can fill in the blank with any of the given beatitudes because everyone of them flies directly in the face of out social norms. 

Today (Tuesday) was on the Lord’s prayer and specifically the part where Jesus refers to God as “Father”. The day was all about placing our trust in God as our covenant Father. The point was never to compare Him to our earthly fathers, because (though our experiences with our earthly fathers spread far across a vast plain) they will all ultimately fall short of what God is able to be to us. So we didn’t spend time comparing the two, but rather just focusing on what it means to have God as a Father. He is our provider, He is always here, He is our shelter, He is our righteousness, He is our banner, He is our peace, and so on and so forth. This was a tremendously powerful day as you can imagine. Some students learned that they could trust God for the first time in their lives. 

We also watched a documentary called “Becoming Sons and Daughters” that told three stories dealing with the Fatherless crisis in America. This had a HUGE impact on our students and rather than tell you about it here, I’m just going to let them tell you about it when they get home 🙂

Pray that God would continue to reveal himself to our students as their Father as they sleep tonight. Pray that they would continue to trust Him as the week goes on and when it gets increasingly difficult when we are back home. 

Tomorrow is all about the community of believers and how sin from one affects the entire group. This, too, will be a very powerful way. Pray that the Holy Spirit convicts and that we have the boldness to deal with sin and that God’s grace would be made clear to the students.

Also, Isaiah Johnson has been given the nickname “Britney”. There’s even a dance. That is all you need to know.

Thank you for your prayers. We can feel them from here. I love you all.

Goodnight.

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