Thursday, July 31, 2008


Need I really say more? Ha ha that's a Christian youth group for you!
Last night we had our first combined youth group meeting. We call them 'Lifegroups' at my church. There were a lot of people there and the discussion was pretty good. It would have been better if the video we had watched had been any good, but what can you do?
I can't wait until we have our on separate Youth leading the Youth groups. I'm pretty sure they will be led by Greg and Peter on the boys side, and Jan and me on the girls side. It's going to be awesome. I mean, we do so many irrelevant things that don't really apply to any of us in our adult led lifegroups, and when it's us four in charge...
Well, we know what the real problems are, you know? We know what's actually going on and no one will be afraid to talk to us about their problems, the serious ones. I mean, no one is going to come up to our youth pastor and be like "I had sex with my boyfriend and it didn't seem that bad." Or "I think I'm addicted to drugs" or whatever. It's not like we have those problems at our church, but if we did, it would be so much better for them to talk to us than our youth pastor. And all of us have the power and the knowledge to help.
I realized something scary the other day. I am completely devoted to band. I play the sousaphone and I'm going to be section leader this year. This year we might actually win something, I can feel it. The feeling of pride and belonging that comes with Marching Band can't be beat. But I realized that if I had to, I would give it up. I would quit if I needed to. If this new missions/leadership thing needed more of my time and effort, I would give up my favorite thing in the world and focus only on church.
I've always held on to stuff. I never really understood what it meant when people said you should "give everything up to God", and that seemed like a weighted statement. I mean, you can't possibly give everything up to God, a person can't live with nothing. But I think I understand a little more now. I'm willing to quit the activity that is going to pay for my college, I'm willing to see my best friends less, if it means that I'm getting that much closer to where God wants me to be.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Fair Warning

If you're looking for some terribly excited blog to read while you wait for your mother to finish cooking eggrolls, you've got the wrong place. If you know me, and you're looking for gossip, you have also got the wrong place. If you're an atheist who likes to argue, TURN BACK NOW, OR I SWEAR TO... What do atheists swear to? Their Aunt Mildred?
Anyway, my point is that is more or less my prayer journal. Or, my twisted version of one. It won't actually be prayers, but it will be focused on my church life. Because my church life is the focus of my world.

Story time
My best friend (lets call her Marcia) and I just got back from this major church camp, called Bigstuf. It's on the beach, it's private and peaceful, and it's also filled with 1,500 people all there to worship the same God. It's an incredible experience, for sure. But you see, our youth group went to a totally different church camp back home, somewhere in the woods, I don't know.
Well at Bigstuf I had my eyes ripped open for me. You always hear about how bad other kids have it around the world, but it was never really something I could relate to, so it never really hit home. Well that week it did. I'm not a person who cries a lot, but I found my self sobbing around every corner. I had this huge thing laid on my heart, missions. I knew that it was what I was meant to do.
And it's an amazing thing, I had never felt like God had a plan for me. I was Christian, but struggled with my faith a lot. I never doubted that Jesus was the Son of God...If, in fact, there was a God. But I had never felt anything pull at me like Missions did.
When I got home, I was so certain that no one else from our self-centered church would care about what had happened to me, no one would want to listen to my ideas. I was sure that I would have to find a new church.
But then an amazing thing happened. My other best friend (lets call him Greg) saw that I was home because I updated my status on facebook (yes, I do realize how stupid that sounds) and he texted me. Well, we talked for a while about our different camps, and I could feel a 'My camp is better than your camp' argument coming on, and I totally didn't want to deal with that, so I said "I had something huge laid on my heart, Greg. I had my eyes opened and now I have to do something". He took a while replying, and when he did it was something along the lines of "The same way with me. The exact same way. If it's the same thing, it will be totally freaky." Well, I had no doubt in my mind that it wouldn't be the same thing. So I went ahead and told him it was missions, and that if I didn't do something about it I would explode.
His reply brought me to my knees. You see, I used to think my church, my youth group in particular, was so wrapped up in itself that it couldn't see the outside world. My youth group is mostly boys, which can create a lot of problems and drama. The boys can be mean, and only like to hang out with each other, and our church seemed to be segregated by race.
I seem to be the Dr. Phil for all the girls, I suppose because I never really have any drama or problems of my own, and I'm good with secrets. It's the same way with Greg for the boys, and we both sort of vent to each other about everything. But my point is that I was really unhappy with my church and was starting to consider other ones.
But just the power of his simple "Me too" nearly disabled my ability to think. The rest of the day was a blur of us making plans, thinking off the top of our heads, and a lot of emotion. I had-well, have-never been more sure that God is alive and working in my life.
So now, we are still trying to gather our thoughts. Factored into the equation is Jan and Peter, two other kids from my group. It looks like the four of us will be leading a new era at my church. We're going to meet at a coffee shop when Greg gets back from vacation (he's been halfway across America this whole time and it's made things difficult) and we're going to get our game plan together. Then, we're bringing it to our lead pastor. And things are going to happen, I've never been more sure of it in my life.