My ability to remember things seems to be on a slippery slope.  How about you?  I’m not sure if it’s an age thing or something else, but it’s kind of scary to not be able to retrieve those things that once came easily.  I want to focus on those positive things that have impacted my life and forget the negative, but it can be a challenge at times to do so.  God has given us so much to be thankful for and nothing we can attain this side of heaven compares to the unmatched security and peace of knowing that God has pursued us, loves us, and wants us regardless of what we’ve done or haven’t done.  It is an attitude of gratitude that I must constantly try to remember to keep, regardless of the positives or negatives of life.  No one can take away my security of being in Christ and Him in me period, end of story, drop the mic, that’s it!  So that’s what we have and that’s more than enough, don’t you think?!  Jesus tells us to remember Him in our communion times, which are not limited to just those moments of worship, but also during each step, breath, and moment of our lives.  Remember how much you are loved, and allow that knowledge to penetrate every area and aspect of your life.

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Recently we’ve been focusing on creation in youth group.  When we first started looking at what our theme would be this year, I had an idea presented by a well-known youth ministry guru, Walt Mueller.  His idea led me to begin reading a book called “Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview” by Albert M. Wolters.  I’ve not finished it, but the basics tell us that our worldview is how we see creation, the fall, and redemption.  Or better yet, how did everything that is come to be?  Was there any influence by God or was it just a natural process that’s happened without God?  Is there an answer to the ills and evil around us, or is it also just a process of natural selection and learned behavior based on experience, along with societal and philosophical opinions?  And what about redemption?  Is there such a thing, or is this all we can expect - what you see is what you get?  These are some big questions, but how you answer them will determine your worldview.  That’s what we want our students to begin to explore and decide for themselves, based on the truths they have learned in their studies of history, science, mathematics, biology and sociology.  There are more areas to glean from, but these are the points of reference for most of the arguments as to whether God is or is not.

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Spiritual Wisdom

I’ve been studying recently on wisdom.  Scripture reminds us that man’s wisdom that is void of God is foolishness.  That same scripture also tells us that those who are proud of their own wisdom see us as fools.  Our worldview is determined by our faith, yes even fools have faith.  But those who hope in the Lord have a wisdom that doesn’t always equate with their years of experience.  Daniel, David, and Timothy come to mind when I consider the young who showed that God’s wisdom was within them.  But there is something to be said for life experiences as a means by which we gain wisdom.

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Where do you find your mission?  Is it in the people closest to you?  Does your immediate family know the truth of Jesus love?  Has a spouse, a child, a sibling or parent been your mission for years?  Don’t quit and don’t allow them to ever get away from you without showing them the goodness of God revealed to us in His Son, our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ who indwells in you!

Maybe your mission field is your work.  Do you enter your work with an attitude that you’re grateful to have the job you have and everyone sees that?  Are you working for your employer as though you are working for God?  Do you show those around you that everything you have is not your own but a blessing from God?  Are you generous with your speech and time towards your coworkers?  Do they know that God has given us the responsibility to manage everything He has created for us here?

For some of you the mission field is a place where you are not exactly comfortable.  Maybe it’s a real stretch for you and it’s serving some folks whom you may have had certain opinions about that needed to change.

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The Seasons of our Lives

Every spring brings forth a change of seasons.  We eagerly wait for the longer warmer days that will soon become summer.  For those of us who have the privilege of working with the youth of this church it is a season of change too.  The nearing end of another school year comes with the spring flowers.  This year the class of 2016 is blessed to have six students who all uniquely and unquestionably impacted our lives here at First Presbyterian.  Noah Collins, McKenzie Conover, Hunter Goodwin, Dakota Miller, Logan Taylor and Sierra Walker are ending a season of their lives as they graduate from high school and begin the next season.

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God's Gift of Family

Fresh on my mind are the thoughts of what has happened in our family over the past few weeks.  It has been for us a time of ups and downs, good news and not so good news, bright days and days of gloom.  I won’t open up all the details but I do want to allow you some insight into our lives. On February 23rd Denise got contacted from our daughter-in-law Katie that her water had broken and that she was at the doctor with her mother, since our son Brad was out of town.  Only being around 14 weeks pregnant this was not good news and the initial diagnosis was that the baby would not survive.  This was devastating to say the least and as a family we prayed together that night encircled tightly.  It was something we never would have expected but God had been preparing Brad all the way home as he traveled over 2 hours to get there as quickly as he could.  He was the husband and Daddy that Katie and Lexi needed in this moment and he reassured them of God’s provision and grace even in the midst of this.  Brad prayed a prayer for his wife and unborn son and his daughter who was very excited about being a big sister.  I couldn’t have been more proud of him as he thanked God, petitioned God, and praised God in the midst of an unforeseen tragedy.

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One Way

As I sit down to write this we have just begun the Lenten season, and with the beginning of Lent we have also begun a series of sermons based on the movie “Woodlawn”.  The movie is based on the true story of a high school in Birmingham, Alabama in the early 70’s when schools were being integrated.  The movie details the path of the school's football team who, along with other students, went through a radical change from division to unity based on the students' commitment to follow Christ no matter the cost.  The issues of prejudice, racism and injustice are unfortunately part of the history of our county.  Wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to say that they are just a part of our past and we’ve moved on?

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