This past week, me and a few other leaders, had a chance to take our student from The Grove to Word of Life Summer Camp in Hudson, FL (http://www.wol.org/camps/flyc). Our trip down was very interesting. Our bus broke down somewhere in South Carolina around 3:30am in the morning. After spending a few hours on the side of the highway, our bus got repaired and we was back on the road. When we got into the Jacksonville area of Florida our bus broke down once again! God allowed us to break down off the highway so we got the bus to stop under some shade and right beside two gas stations. This was such a blessing because the students could get some drinks and at least have a place inside the sit and wait. After the second break down, we knew the bus was not going to make it any further. Our pastor, Ken Harris, was contacted and he referred us to a pastor friend of his in Jacksonville, FL. Our pastor’s friend was none other than Tom Messer, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church (www.tbc.org) which is the home of Trinity Baptist College (www.tbc.edu). We called Pastor Messer and he came out to see us where we were broke down. Lucky, some men from a local repair company fixed our bus enough for us to drive it a few miles to Trinity Baptist Church. Once we got to the church, they ordered pizza for our students and let them play some ball in the gym! It was awesome to see a local church reach out and help another church in need such as Trinity did for us! All I can say is that is how the body of Christ is suppose to be, helping each other! Not only did Trinity feed us, they gave us one of their buses to get us the rest of the way to Hudson, FL. We left our bus at Trinity where they worked on it the rest of the week. After switching buses and such, we finally made it to Word of Life around 11:30pm. It was a long 22 and a half hour trip, but God was good and got us there safe! The rest of the week was awesome! God encouraged me, along with the rest of the leaders, and got us refocused and excited about being in student ministry. This was a special week for me because I was preparing to start my intern position at our church, Union Grove Baptist Church (www.uniongroveonline.org). While the students where at camp, I had time to focus on the Word and prepare myself for this student ministry intern that I start tomorrow! It was a good time for us leaders to relax and refocus on what we do, student ministry! Our student got to enjoy such an awesome week too! Word of Life Florida, in my opinion, is the best youth camp ever! They get the students so pumped up and challenge them with the Word non-stop all week! It was awesome to sit in on the meetings and watch 300 plus students run and jump around as they sing praise and worship! Not only was it awesome to see them engage in exciting music, but the Word was presented to them daily and awesome decisions where made! The students got to hear speakers such as Ray Pritchard (www.keepbelieving.com) , Tom Phillips, Rich Andrews, and many more! The week was awesome and it was great seeing our students changed by the Word and making decisions! We pray that the fire and passion that was ignited at camp will stay with them and overflow to the rest of our youth group! I will post pictures and videos from our week at camp soon!
I just got done reading 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper today. I must say, I enjoyed this book much more than I thought. At first I was very skeptical about someone actually dying and going to heaven only to be sent back to earth. Even after reading this book, I really believe it cannot happen. But I am not going to judge or cut down Don Piper just because he believes it happen to him. Even though I don’t really believe it happened in the sense Piper says, I still was encouraged by this book. Only one chapter of the book was really devoted to his 90 minutes in heaven. The rest of the book was about his recovery and how he helped others that went through the same type of recovery he went through.
I think the main theme of this book and what Don Piper learned through his ordeal is what 2 Corinthians 1:3,4 says: “All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (NLT) Don Piper talks a lot about how he was depressed and angry through his recovery but God comforted him and got him through. And just like this verse says, Piper learned how to help others and comfort others that are going through what he went through.
I believe every situation we go through in life, God has a reason and we need to always use our past troubles and pains to help others because if they are going through something we already went through, we can identify with their pain and comfort them! That is what I got out of this book and I would encourage everyone to take a few days and read this book. To get all the information and details about this book, go to the website. Also, to learn more about Don Piper himself, go to his own personal website here.
Another popular book about this type of thing is Heaven is for Real which tells the account a young boy who claimed he went to heaven. Worth taking a look at if this type of think interests you. Also, I ran across a book called Flight to Heaven that is a pilot’s account of this sort of thing.
I recently just finished The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose. By far, this has been one of my favorite books I have ever read! Kevin Roose is a student at Brown University, a liberal school known for their liberal views. Kevin meets a group of evangelical Christian students from Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University one day. As he spends a few minutes talking with them, he realizes he doesn’t know anything about the evangelical world of Christians and has a hard time conversing with them. Because of this, Kevin decides to transfer to Liberty University for a semester to see what the evangelical Christian world is all about. As he spends his semester at Liberty, he does not tell anyone he an unbeliever and for a semester, he basically fakes being a Christian. Throughout the semester at Liberty, Kevin learns all about the evangelical world, the good and the bad! Without telling you anymore of the story, there were two things that stood out to me as I read through this book.
First, while Kevin is a Liberty, he befriends many Christians, but even Kevin admits, they don’t act like Christians they act just like his secular friends from Brown. This fact struck home because as Christians we are called to be different than the world, but here we have Liberty students, Christians students, that are acting just like the world. I am not bashing on Liberty because even my Bible college has students who don’t act like Christians. The point us, these people didn’t know Kevin was a nonbeliever. So that whole time they were acting nothing like Christians, they were being a horrible witness for an unbeliever, Kevin Roose. At the end of the book, when Kevin goes back to Liberty and tells his friends that he made about what he was doing and the fact he wasn’t a believer, many of them felt horrible because they knew they didn’t like the best for God while he was with them. This was a lesson to me to always be living for God no matter what, where, or when because they may be a lost person closer to you than you imagine.
Secondly, we as Christians forget about how the lost world sees us. Kevin admits that the way he saw evangelical Christians was wrong. Kevin says, “…not that you were right, but that I was wrong.” Sad to say, Kevin Roose never became a believer because of the time spent at Liberty, but he did admit that the way he saw Christians was wrong. As Christians, we have the reputation of being mean, harsh people who cause hurt and anger to nonbelievers. But we need to make sure we are standing firm upon God’s Word and taking a stand for God in this world, but make sure we are showing the nonbelievers that we really do love them and want them to come into the family of God.
I highly recommend this book for anyone! It is a great book to read and will really open your mind and eyes up to how the world see us as Christians. For more info on the book and Kevin Roose, go to www.kevinroose.com. Here is a video that gives an insight to the book:
I am almost done reading The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. In the great memoir by Walls, she recounts her childhood as a part of a nomadic family that was always moving from state to state. He dad was a radical man who moved his family because of legal reasons and to not be found. Her mother was an artist, but never made it anywhere with her art. Walls life was up and down and some places she lived her and her family became pretty wealthy, but only to move again and be poor. She goes through many hard things and she recounts all the good and bad of growing up in her bad environment. Near the end of the book, Walls recounts how she made it from that type of family to become a pretty successful woman making a living in New York City. Overall, this is a great book that really opens your eyes to how rough some children have it growing up in very tough environments. The next book on my list to read is The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose. This interesting book is written by a Brown University student, Kevin Roose, who transfers to Liberty University for a semester to see what Evangelical Christians are all about. I have a few friends who have read it and really liked it so I believe I will enjoy it! I will post a review about it after I read it. But I would definitely recommend The Glass Castle to anyone who enjoys reading about people growing up in hard situations, but making it through to become a great person!
Here is a video that intrioduces the book and gives brief overview of what it’s all about:
A few days ago I posted a flyer that I made for a “Summer Sizziler Kickoff Carnival” that the student ministry I am involved in is doing. Like I said in that post, I do all the promotional flyers and the media stuff for that student ministry I am involved in. It is called The Grove Student Ministry (www.ugbcgrove.com). We are doing a study on Temptation this summer and they asked me to make a promotional flyer for the study to pass out and to get the word of to the students about the study that will go throughout this summer! This should be a great study that should really challenge the students to fight temptation in their everyday life! Here is the flyer I made: