Thursday, July 28, 2016

Renew Youth Group Reboot

Renew Youth Group Reboot
So who am I? I am a servant of the One True God, and I have followed His leading from my upbringing in the deep North Woods of Wisconsin to a Canadian Bible College, and now most recently to New Hope Wesleyan Church in Western Pennsylvania as their new Youth Pastor.

RYG stands for Renew Youth Group. This name is inspired by the Scripture Isaiah 40:31, which states,

"those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

And it is my goal to mobilize the "Next Generation" to place their hope in Christ so that they might encounter the life-changing presence of God and be renewed in body and soul, drinking from The Well that never runs dry.

Although God has blessed us with a wonderful facility, times are tough financially for New Hope, and my starting budget to run this new youth ministry is $0.00. We need just a little jolt to get this plane off the ground.

I can't help but dream of what kinds of amazing things God will do through this ministry of renewl. There would be stories of serving alongside each other helping those in need within our community; or of how emotional chains and strongholds were defeated in the lives of these teens because they got to go to Youth Camp or Youth Retreat Conferences and experience God in a personal way. Only God knows.

At RYG each teen is able to paint their name on the walls of our "Basement Youth Room", empowering them to take ownership of the ministry they are a part of. Each name has a story, and each story is connected to a life that matters.

Would you like to play a small part in Abbey's story, or Maura's, or Derek's, or Emily's, or the one whose name isn't on the wall yet? Then please consider contributing to the Renew Youth Group Reboot. Every gift no matter how small is greatly appreciated and even if you don't donate, thank you for taking the time to read what's on my heart and please pray for us, that God's will be done at RYG.

Help spread the word!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

An Unexpected Journey

July 17 2016
Scripture: Romans 8:28 (NIV)

An Unexpected Journey

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind for me. I have moved to a new location, taken on a new Youth Ministry position, started renting my first apartment, and on top of it all I wound up finding myself in the hospital. The doctors discovered that I have a form of epilepsy and I have been having blank-out seizures that make my brain "reboot" so to speak. So for the safety of myself and those around me, my drivers license was revoked, until I have been 6 months seizure-free. I was supposed to drive the teens of my new youth group to Youth Camp, but now am unable to even attend to make sure things will be alright with me. But in the midst of all this there was something I didn't know.

During the hospital visit, I was supposed to preach at my first night of youth group as the new Youth Pastor. I was going to talk about how we need to be found trustworthy with the little given to us, before we can be trusted with more. Little did I know that God wanted me to preach that to myself as I sat in my hospital bed, groaning over the loss of my license. The senior pastor covered me and did a great job leading the teens. 

Meanwhile my father and mother both were prompted by the Holy Spirit with the verse Romans 8:28, and my dad emailed my senior pastor about it. He was also thinking about preaching on this passage, and after opening the email, it was confirmed... "In all things God works for the good of those who love him." ... Even the bad things. Even when I don't see how He may be able to use it. The only thing I can do is trust that God will bring me through this and that somehow He will use it to bring good. God will never leave nor forsake me. 

"Lord Jesus, I know that You can work all things this life throws at me for Your good, and for mine. I trust you and I know that you love me. Help me to see the truth in the midst of the fog. Let Your light shine bright through this situation to help encourage others in their walk as well. Amen."