"This month God has shown himself through quiet peace, despite stress. Through our Sabbath discipline, I've started doing devos almost daily and spending more time aware of my time and how much I freely give to God. Choosing to lean in has brought me, as it often does, this quiet reassurance in my life." - Jaedyn
"This month God has shown himself through this community, showing me how much He loves me just as I am. He's revealed Himself to me this year by clarifying the best way for me to understand what His will is and how to have conversation with Him." - James
"Something that has stood out lately from class was learning about Job and God's response to him after all his suffering. The verse, "Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, can you loosen Orion's belt?" (38:31) was really humbling. I remember sitting in class entirely in awe of God's power and couldn't get it off my mind." - Luke
“Spoiler Alert: Everyone Dies.” Whoa, did I just read that? That’s harsh! I moved closer to verify, and stared for far too long to be sure. I mean, who wears a T-shirt like that? Is it supposed to be humorous? Is it a statement about apathy? Or, was it just a sale item at Value Village? Who knows? But those four words were loudly printed across the T-shirt of a twenty-something year old. I circled around to check the back of the shirt to see if there was a concluding message, but there was nothing else, the front said it all: “Spoiler Alert: Everyone Dies.”
Those words have hung around in my mind over the past few months. I have used them a couple of times in New Testament class and recently used them again in passing at this year’s FOCUS youth conference.
I think the ‘rawness’ of the phrase captivates me. The dichotomy of this serious truth, glibly printed on a T-Shirt causes my mind to stir. But the phrase doesn't cause me to think about dying, it actually has the reverse effect on me; it makes me think about living, and the question: Am I living wisely?
Living wisely begins by fearing God (Proverbs 1:7). I wish that was written across the back of his shirt. The wisdom literature is deeply concerned with living wisely and the fear of the Lord is where it all begins. This fear is not living in terror before him, but living a life immersed in the truth that he alone is worthy of worship, reverence, and respect. Fearing God, as the starting point, serves to affect the entirety of life. It can serve to ground us, humble us, keep our decisions in check, and tune our hearts to sing his praise. This is living wisely.
Again, I am not sure why he wore it. Maybe it was a ‘Seize the day’ thing, or a YOLO (you only live once) thing. I wasn't feeling bold at the moment to ask, but maybe next time I will. Or maybe I’ll make my own, and print ‘Live Wisely: Proverbs 1:7’ across the back.
We are currently behind budget on contributions to finish the school year and pay our staff. Please prayerfully consider supporting us financially this month. Thank you for your ongoing support that allows us to continue discipling students.
Our roof has been replaced! Thank you to all who contributed to this project, allowing us to take care of this great building God has given us.
Focus Youth Conference
• Participants: 75+
• Volunteers: 35 +
• Team Leaders: 16+
• Kitchen Crews:3+
• Theme: Kingdom
• Speaker: Jackson O’Brien
• Churches Represented: 20+
• Denominations Represented: Evangelical Free, Church of Christ, Baptist, Alliance, Brethren, Christian Reformed, Pentecostal, Fellowship, Missionary, Home, Independent
• Highlights: Working catapult, drawbridge & stocks, a medieval feast at the Celtic Hall, a prayer labyrinth, the court jester
We have now reached the mid point of the second semester. The Focus Youth Conference was a great success thanks to our hardworking staff and volunteers. It’s now in the rear view mirror as we look forward to our High Level Ministry Exposure trip, and beyond that, graduation. Our prayers and conversations these days are around seeing students finish well and preparing them for what comes next. Whether they are getting a job, working in camp ministry, or preparing for post-secondary we are encouraging them to consider being a disciple of Jesus their primary occupation, and to continue practicing what they have been learning in the following ways;
- - That they walk daily in relationship with God and practice spiritual disciplines.
- - That engaging in Christian community will continue to be a priority.
- - That they will continue to serve others interests above their own.
Join us in praying for the class of 2019-2020 as we make the most of our last two months together.