Best Day In History

There are days throughout history that all of us know. These are days that have had a profound impact on the course of history and have altered the flow of time in ways we could never truly imagine. I would like to briefly countdown the top four Best Days in History, ending with the celebration of one of these days that is right around the calendar corner. Remember, these are my top four days in history, and matter how old you think the earth may be, that is still impressive.

Number 4- Creation. As a Christian, I believe in the Creation account set forth in Genesis. I believe that God created the world from nothing and has created each of us indivually and unique from the rest. And of course we managed to mess it up; we fell victim to the Tempter and sin was introduced into the world and into all aspects of Creation.

Number 3- Christmas. Although celebrated for different reasons, the main idea behind Christmas is the birth of Christ. This is the point in history when Jesus became both fully God and fully man and entered into our world as a baby. It was the beginning of the greatest act of undeserving love throughout history…Christ came to save us from our sin.

Number 2- Good Friday. On this particular day, Christ took the cross upon his shoulders and carried it, for all of us. He took the full weight of the world’s sin upon His own shoulders and offered Himself as the ultimate sacrifice to cover the stain of our sins and wash us clean forever. It was while He hung on the cross that he spoke some of history’s most powerful words, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do…It is finished.” With that, Christ took His last breathe and died, hanging on the cross-having been rejected and beaten by the vary people He had come to save. Now, this could have been the end of the story. Christ could have died and that would have been that…history would have gone on and remembered Him, maybe, just as a guy who performed some cool miracles but in the end was just like anyother man. The good news for all of us, is that this is not the end of the story…not by a long shot.

Number 4- Easter. This is the single greatest day in all of history. Just a few days after giving Himself on the cross for the sins of the world, Christ rose from the grave. In this single act, He destroyed death’s power over humanity. No longer do we have to be afraid of dying, Christ has conquered the grave for us. He has now given us access to eternal life, with Him…and He only asks one thing in return-that we give up the sinful ways of this earth and follow Him. On this special day, we celebrate the life and hope that Christ has delivered to all of us. Easter, the day we remember Christ’s victory over death and the grip of sin, is BY FAR the single best day in all of history.

Amen.

For further reading and understanding, check out the story in the Gospels (the first four books in the New Testement of the Bible).

What It’s All About

In the midst of all the planning, shopping, and travelling, sometimes it just takes the words of a child to remind us of the true meaning of Christmas. Take a moment from the business of everything and remember what it’s all about.

Christmas or Holiday?

It’s during this time of the year there seems to be so much political correctness. People bring up arguments regarding church and state, and how the two should be separate from each other. There seems to always be a push to drive anything religion oriented from public venues such as courthouses, schools, and other areas. And while these types of arguments and discussions happen all during the year, I feel like it’s more prevalent this time of year.

So many people want total separation that saying “Christmas” is too much because it implies a day about Christ, or brings too much religion into the picture. Well, there’s the truth about it…it is about Christ. Christmas is the day that celebrates the birth of Christ over two thousand years ago. It is on this day that Jesus humbled Himself to our level and was born among man. It was beginning of His life on earth, which was concluded with His death and resurrection. In terms of humanity, not just Christians, this is one of the most important days in all of history. So yes, it is Christmas, and it should be focused on Christ.

Friends and Co-Leaders

So last night was awesome…I got to spend time with my fellow youth group leaders. We’re all leaders with the junior high youth group at our church, Eastside Foursquare. While we do get to see each other each week during youth group, it’s always so great to have a chance to be in community together outside of being at church. Each month we meet at our youth pastor’s apartment, have dinner, plan for upcoming weeks/months and all sorts of stuff. It’s typically a few hours of a good mix of fun and seriousness as we work together. Last night was our Christmas meeting and it was wonderful! We had a delicious dinner and spent some time just chatting. Then we jumped into brainstorming topics for the new year as well as continued planning for our Winter Camp in January. (We’re spending the entire weekend on the book of James) After we covered the business end of things, we enjoyed some Christmas fun. We exchanged gifts, played games and just enjoyed the chance to hang out with each other. It was great!

I feel so blessed to be a part of this group and am so thankful for each of the leaders. When I moved home after camp, I prayed that God would open an opportunity for me to get involved with youth ministries, if that was His will for me. Literally the next day I talked to one of the youth pastors at my church and she asked if I wanted to help out with the youth group. I’ve now been involved with the junior high youth group for most of the school year and it’s been great. It took me a little while to get accustomed to it, mainly cause it’s a different area of ministry than I am used to, but I am so thankful I decided to stay with it. I’ve been co-leading the 8th grade guys, and while they are a challenge at times, it’s been very rewarding. I enjoy helping out with different aspects of Wednesday services and working alongside a great group of individuals. While each of us come from different areas and experiences, we all have something to give and make the youth group better for everyone…1 Corinthians 12, anyone?

It’s been a great experience so far and I look forward to more great times to come! Please keep our youth group, students and leaders in your prayers.

A Time of Giving

The other night I was working at a concert and was humbled by people’s generosity. We asked people to bring non-perishable food donations in exchange for free admittance to a Jadon Lavik Christmas Concert. We were only able to advertise this for barely two weeks and were unsure of how effective it would be. I was so surprised by amount of food and money was donated, truly a humbling experience. Some people gave a little, some people gave a lot…it all added up to a tremendous amount. We estimated that by the end of the show, there were at least ten large donation boxes worth of food, in addition to cash donations. A lot of people are going to be receiving meals in the coming weeks thanks to the generosity of these people.

What this event really showed me, is that we can all make a difference. Can by can people gave and gave. While it may be easy to be distracted by the large donations, it is almost more important to remember the small ones too. In the end, everyone’s donation was added together, each donation became part of the whole. No matter what each of us have, it can make a difference…in ways we may not not be able to fully understand or comprehend. I sincerely hope you catch what I’m saying.

While the picture doesn't fully do the donations justice, I hope this provides an idea as to the depth and scope of people's generosity.