First, you guys are all AWESOME. Seriously! This post is going to have some important information in it so be sure to read it ALL. :)
1) Be sure to read Kevin's post from earlier today.
2) Notice that I added a list to the right side of the blog for BIRTHDAYS! I believe each one of your birthdays is a great excuse to celebrate and I would love to have a complete list of your dates of birth. Please post a comment on this blog post with that special day. :)
3) ARC dinner servers: Katie, Megan, Travis, Chris K, Chris F, and Shelby have offered to volunteer their time this Friday evening to help serve at the ARC dinner. Here's the information you will need:
Where: Prince of Peace Church (corner of Dunbar & Lewis)
When: 5pm on Friday, October 10th
What: Serving drinks and desserts
Clothes: WHITE shirt & BLACK pants
I will be sure to email the 6 of you later this week to remind you! We need YOU to be there!
4) Now, whether or not you were able to join us on Sunday evening for youth group, here's the message in a nutshell:
You guys did a great job describing the various aspects of the word "discipline" and then were able to figure out what the term "spiritual discipline" meant. We defined the term spiritual discipline as follows: intentionally setting aside time to get to know God better.
Most of us agreed that our lives are pretty darn busy and we all have our own ideas of what we do if we had 20 minutes to spare in a day. Sleeping, tv, video games, and friends were all ways we can easily fill that amount of time. However, we also talked about how important it is that we DECIDE to give God at least 20 minutes of our days if we desire to deepen our relationship with him. (That's how you get to be good friends with someone right? You spend TIME with them?)
Surrending your life over to God's control is not a one-time decision. Every day we need to make the choice to give him our yolk (not the egg...hee,hee...but the heavy burdens that we are carrying) and let him take care of all our worries, fears, plans, hopes, and dreams. It's not an easy thing to do--we like CONTROL don't we? But in reality giving Jesus the job of carrying our burdens and our plans for our lives means life is going to be easier. Read Matthew 11:28-30 as a reminder of this concept. Re-read that passage until you really understand the message Jesus is trying to across to us. He will give us the rest we need if we give him our burdens.
5) My challenge to you this week is this: pick ONE spiritual discipline to practice every day this week. Come back on Sunday evening prepared to tell us how it went. Was this a completely new activity you tried? What did you learn? Was it harder than you thought? Or easier?
If you can't think of a spiritual you would like to try then google "spiritual disciplines" and search around until you find something that makes sense to you and that you want to attempt. OR here's some other ideas (keep in mind...there's a much deeper description of each of these in my Spiritual Disciplines Handbook which you are welcome to look at):
- Devotional Reading=to prayerfully encounter and surrender to the Living God through attending to Scripture.
How to: -prayerfully focus on a passage of Scripture
-stay focused on one passage of Scripture until the Lord prompts you to move to another.
-don't read the passage in order to understand every aspect of it, but in order to let it's message penetrate your heart.
- Journaling=to be alert to my life through writing and reflecting on God's presence and activity in, around, and through me.
How to: -record your prayers, prayer requests, answers to prayers.
-keep a written record of the way God is working in your life (this is include drawings, collages, poems, quotes, and so on as well as your thoughts)
-keep track of important events and transitions that happen each day or week.
- Unplugging=to be fully present to and uninterrupted in my interactions with God and others.
How to: -unplug electronice devices (like iPods, computers, cell phones, tvs...)
-refrain from watching tv for recreation
-devote uninterrupted time and attention to God
- Service=to reflect the helping, caring, and sharing love of God in the world.
How to: -using your gifts and abilities to help others (raking leaves, serving mentally disabled at the ARC dinner, baking cookies for a friend, babysitting, holding doors for people, asking if you can help clean up after an event, and so on.)
-using those services to show that God loves the hurting people all around you.
6) If you have any questions email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. (For instance if you don't get anything I just explained...ASK!)
7) Love you all!