Youth Blog

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Reformation Day

Happy Reformation Day. Today we celebrate Luther’s nailing the 95 theses which kick started the reformation. Perhaps Luther picked All Hallow’s Eve (500 years ago) because it was a day where people would go to church, see his points, and kick start a conversation. Over time his followers distilled the their differences with the Catholic Church with 5 concise statements which still rings true today.

1. Sola scriptura: “Scripture alone”
2. Sola fide: “faith alone”
3. Sola gratia: “grace alone”
4. Solo Christo: “Christ alone”
5. Soli Deo gloria: “to the glory of God alone”
read more about the 5 solas here.

Human Trafficking

The American family thought they were adopting a child, but the child was not a orphan. The “adopting agency” trafficked the child by lying to the Ugandan mother. Greed – for a few thousand dollars they were willing to shatter so many lives. We live in a world full of evil.
At first, adopting had seemed the right thing to do. It was in line with their strong Christian beliefs, and it allowed Adam to practice what he preaches as an associate pastor at a Methodist church in St. Clairsville, Ohio. Blessed with four children of their own, they believed that adopting an orphan who was in a desperate situation was a way of making something good happen in a difficult world.
They opened their home and their hearts, only to suffer the crushing blow of what really transpired.
“We unwittingly placed an order for a child,” Adam says. “The only trauma this poor kid ever experienced was because we essentially placed an order for a child.”
full story here.
Pray for the girl’s two sisters who do not know the truth yet. Pray for justice and mercy for all families involved. Let us hate sin. Let us hate greed in our own lives. Let us grief with God for our sins and the sins of others. 

Why Youth Stay in Church

The culture of the American church and youth ministry have changed a bit since 2011 when this article was first published. But I think Jon Nielson observations are still important. The reasons youth stay in church through college and into adulthood are:
1. They are converted
2. They have been equipped, not entertained
3. Their parents preached the gospel to them
In summary he writes
“Youth pastors, pray with all your might for true conversion; that is God’s work. Equip the saints for the work of the ministry; that is your work. Parents, preach the gospel and live the gospel for your children; our work depends on you.”
read the full article here.

The Big Story – 5 Minute Overview of the Bible

Created for kids, but if you need a refresher this is a good one. 5 minute review of the major story arc of the Bible showing how everything points to Jesus. 

is your phone changing you?

Sometimes its hard to imagine modern life apart from a smartphone. 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You  is a worthwhile read to help us consider how the phone (like any tool) shapes us. I can’t tell you how many times while reading this book, I catch myself grabbing for the phone for no reason, and thinking to myself, this book is so right about me.
Here is a book review with an interesting video to introduce the book to you.

Diligence Matters

It’s Monday morning, and w are in full swing of the school year.  This is a good reminder. Work (and school) matters to God. Be good, work hard at whatever job God has put you in.
God has placed us on this earth so we can work, so we can be diligent in carrying out his will. Any failure to be diligent is a serious transgression. Thomas Watson refers to idle people as “Satan’s tennis ball” whom he whacks up and down with temptation until he at last sends them far over the fence. Similarly, Charles Spurgeon compares idle people to a target and Satan to an expert rifleman who rarely misses. He warns, “Idle men tempt the devil to tempt them.”
Idleness is a grave temptation, but so too is diminishing the value in every form of lawful work. God has placed us on this earth so we can live ordinary lives filled with ordinary tasks. It is important to remember that Paul followed his own instruction, laboring with his own hands in the simple vocation of tentmaking, convinced that through such work he was “walking properly before outsiders and being dependent on no one” (4:12). It is more important still to remember that for the first three decades of his life, Jesus was a carpenter, diligently carrying out a simple job, so that when he at last stepped out into public ministry his neighbors asked, “Is not this the carpenter” (Mark 6:3)? There is value and dignity in all labor. We honor and serve God through the simple, beautiful duty of diligence.
full article here.

Books to read, videos to watch

Teen author Jaquelle Crowe gives us her favorite resources she recommends to teens. take a lot, some of these resources (books, blogs, videos) are worth your time.

Proverbs 1-9 Sunday School Class

Here are the notes from our summer Sunday School Class on Proverbs 1-9.  Thanks to everyone who attended this class, I trust that the lessons you learned from God’s word will be fruitful in your hearts as you choose to follow the call of wisdom.

Chronological Snobbery

C. S. Lewis coined the phrase “chronological snobbery” to be:

“the uncritical acceptance of the intellectual climate common to our own age and the assumption that whatever has gone out of date is on that account discredited.”

J. I. Packer explains it this way:

the newer is the truer,

only what is recent is decent,

every shift of ground is a step forward,

and every latest word must be hailed as the last word on its subject.

As young people (I count myself in this category – I’m not 30 yet), we are particularly tempted to fall into this mindset. Not everything that is old is good, but that doesn’t mean that we should dismiss it all. We need to seek out wisdom from those who have gone before us – both the living ones and the dead ones.

I’ll be posting more on this subject.



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