Monday, February 22, 2010

YS Student Newsletter #433


1. Something for Your Heart
2. Surf Report
3. Forgettable Fact
4. Potent Quotables
5. Uh, That's Funny?


"And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory." (Ephesians 1:13-14)

Today's verses are the story of how a person comes to be in the family of God. And how you can know for sure that you're still in God's family.

Remember from the 12 verses before this: God did all the work. He made the plan to adopt you (because He wanted to and because it made Him happy). He executed the plan by sending His Son to be executed in your place, for your sin. Then He published the good news that you were welcome through faith in Jesus.

Then A) you heard the truth and B) you believed and C) you were given the Holy Spirit as a guarantee that your place in God's family is secure (even though you're not home, yet).

Of course, there is no C) without B). That is, there is no place for anyone in the family of God who has not trusted in Jesus for their salvation.

Think: Have you believed the "word of truth, the gospel of your salvation"? How have your expressed your faith in Jesus? Are you convinced that God is strong enough to forgive and to guarantee you a place in His family?

Pray: As a Christian, thank God for including you in Christ when you heard and believed. Thank Him for marking you with the seal of the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of your place in His family.

Do: Read the rest of Ephesians 1 (or the whole book) to see how Paul builds on these huge ideas.

A Daily Devotional from, copyright 2010 Youth Specialties. Used by permission.

Movie review of Youth in Revolt

Music review of Tonight by Toby Mac


All polar bears are left-handed.

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
~ George Orwell

Let us resolve to be masters, not the victims, of our history, controlling our own destiny without giving way to blind suspicions and emotions.
~ John F. Kennedy

What bird can lift the most?
-- A crane.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lent Challenge

Anyone know what Lent is all about?

In Christian tradition, Lent is the period of 40 days in the liturgical* year leading up to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer for the annual commemoration* during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This spiritual preparation is done through the following—prayer, penitence*, almsgiving* and self-denial*


*liturgical=a Christian action or discipline practiced throughout Church history (prayers, Scripture readings, fasting, etc)

*commemoration=to honor the memory of (in this case, the death and resurrection of Christ)

*penitence=seeking forgiveness

*almsgiving=giving money to the poor

*self-denial=showing restraint or limitations for one's desires or interests (often self-denial is in the form of a fast*)

*fasting=giving up some or all food or drink (or other consuming activity) for a period of time in order to refocus on God and offer prayer for a specific purpose.

One can fast from anything that takes up more time than it should or that is a very meaningful part of the day's activities. By abstaining from such an object or activity the goal is to be constantly reminded to be in prayer and in close communion with God.

For example, we have the 30 Hour Famine coming up. During those 30 hours we will abstain from solid foods in order to be reminded of those around the world who die each day from hunger--to pray for those people and be thankful for all we have and raise money from sponsors to help those who need it so desperately. We will also spend the time we would normally be eating serving those in our community and praying and worshipping.

So, hopefully, you understand Lent and fasting a little bit more (if not, if I totally confused you with all the big Christian-ese terms, please let me know. Ask away!)


Are you willing to give up one of your regular desires/activities for the next 40 days in order to focus more intently on the greatest encounter of human history--the death (crucifixion) and RESURRECTION of our Savior, Jesus Christ!?

Make your decision today. Lent begins tomorrow and goes through Easter Sunday.

What will it be? 40 days without meat? or fried foods? or sweets? or coffee? or a certain website or video game?

Monday, February 15, 2010

30 Hour Famine

Tonight we talked about a GREAT event coming up in just two weekends. February 26-27 we will be heading over to Hillsdale FMC to join their youth and at least 4 other FM youth groups to experience World Vision's 30 Hour Famine together.

"World Vision's 30 Hour Famine is a worldwide movement of students who are serious about serving God and fighting hunger - all on an empty stomach. For 30 hours, participants get a taste of hunger by not eating - something more than a billion people around the world experience every day. And by doing fundraising activities, community service projects, and learning more about the facts of world hunger, students are changed in amazing ways as they help others and save lives."

Make sure you talk to your teens about this event. And for all the information you need check out these websites:

Everything you need to know about 30 Hour Famine (check out the video!!)

And download THIS information packet. Be sure to read every details as it's all important. You need to know what to bring, and how much money to raise (at least $10..if not much more!!), and the permission slip must be signed or you will not be able to attend.

I need to know by this WEDNESDAY if you (and your friends) are planning on attending. Let me know if you have questions/concerns?

YS Newsletter::on love


1. Something for Your Heart
2. Surf Report
3. Forgettable Fact
4. Potent Quotables
5. Uh, That's Funny?

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

Happy Week After Valentine's Week. Or Happy Making Fun of Valentine's Week Week. Some people just can't stand the hype leading up to the biggest greeting card day of the year. Others can't wait to get some candy love!

Either way, the PW Daily Devo is here for you. Call this week's devotionals our valentine to you -- or the ultimate anti-Valentine. We're cool both ways, as long as you're cool digging into some verses about God's giant, expensive, expressive, impressive love for His children.

For starters, we're absolutely convinced that God has proved His love for us way before we could do anything to make ourselves lovable. As today's verse points out, He gave His Son to make it possible for us to live with Him forever. Do you need more evidence?

Think: Do you ever wonder if God really loves you? Are you convinced that His gift of the life of Jesus in your place is a demonstration of His forever love for you? Why or why not?

Pray: Thank God that He demonstrated His own love for us by sending Christ to die for us when we were still sinners.

Read: See how huge this idea really is when you read Romans 5:1-11.

A Daily Devotional from, copyright 2010 Youth Specialties. Used by permission.

Review of Lovely Bones

Review of Do Hard Things

Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people.

Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love.
~ Charlie Brown

It's easy to make a buck. It's a lot tougher to make a difference.
~ Tom Brokaw

Q: How do you make a hot dog stand?
A: Steal its chair.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Dare2Share::Fan the Flame

Kevin and I delivered our collected non-perishable food items to the Salvation Army today. Thanks to all who helped serve those who are in need through the Souper Bowl of Caring.

Dare2Share:::I think everyone would agree...we had an AWESOME, unforgettable time in Columbus, OH at D2S! (click on the D2S group photo in the right column to check out the full album of pics on Facebook.) Thanks to everyone who donated food and vehicles and products! And teens, you guys were great. Thanks for being ready on time, having a great attitude through the ice and slush, and most of all for having soft hearts as the Spirit of God moved within you. We can't let the works HE began just come to a halt now that we're home. We must keep advancing THE Cause. Let's not let anyone off the hook. Hell is not something to be taken lightly. I know you don't hate your friends enough to keep the good news of the GOSPEL of Christ a secret. Spread with wild abandon and don't ever give up. In this world, you will have troubles, but take heart!! Christ Jesus has OVERCOME the world (and the grave!!) John 16:33.

If you're serious about THE Cause and want to learn more, Dare2Share has some great resources and helpful ideas on this page of their website. Check it out!!!

And don't forget about connecting in real time to other teens and youth leaders and Greg and Zane and Propaganda on the Facebook page. Join at Share YOUR stories. ASK questions. SHARE answers. Keep mobilizing each other to reach your friends for Jesus. Not just today or this month...but from here on out!!

Start by watching this "Discover THE Cause" podcast introducing what in the world THE Cause is all about.