Tuesday, December 27, 2005

12-28-05

REMINDER FOR TOMORROW
12-28-05
NO YOUTH


Also
1-4-06
We will be meeting over Mike and Jennifer Dombrowski's for youth
This is the adress
3 Hunt Loop, Ft. Leavenworth, KS 66027
If you need a ride on post, be at the church at 6:30
Those who wish can watch the USC vs Texas game which starts at 7 and will most likely end a little after 10. If this is a problem, give me a call. 913-680-4389
If otherwise not interested in the game, you are free to hang and socialize, but I will be watching the game.
Feel free to arrive at the Dombrowski's between 6:30 and 7

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

YOUTH PARTY TONIGHT!

REMINDER: Bring your white elephant gift thingy WRAPPED!!!

Also, if your parents are coming, and would like to just meet at the Roberts house, the adress is 323 Pope on Ft. Leavenworth. (that's right isn't it ali?) If your parents cannot come, please be at the church at 6 PM, and you may ride with either myself or Dave Griffith over there, and we will be more than happy to bring you back to the church for your parents to pick you up, or if need be, take you home (I'm volunteering myself, not Dave for that).

If you have any questions or needs, please call me before it gets too late. Thx, Luke.

913-680-4389

Christmas Story

Ok Jon, wow, we have been slacking majorly! I know, I know, finals. So I'm going to make this one so amazing it'll erase all memory of how badly we (at least me) have been slacking!

This is a Christmas Story. In fact, it is THE Christmas Story. And seeing as how I'm probably not going to be able to post much after today (not net and all) I'm going to relate this story today. It's the real "reason for the season" as the song goes, and although everyone has heard it, sang about it, performed it, seen paintings of it...I don't think it hurts to review, just in case some of you aren't quite in the spirit of Christmas yet.

Matthew 1:18-25
Now this is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her fiance, being a just man, decided to break the engagement quitely, so as not to disgrace her publicly.
As he considered this, he fell asleep, and an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. "Joseph, son of David," the angel said, "don't be afraid to go ahead with your marriage to Mary. For the child within her had been conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." All of this happened to fulfill the Lord's message through his prophet: "Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and he will be called Immanuel (meaning God is with us)."
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord commanded. He brought Mary home to be his wife, but she remained a virgin until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.

So there you have it, the Christmas Story! Hopefully everyone already knows the true meaning of Christmas but if not, be willing to share this story with them, not that is is fresh in your minds. See you all tonight. Lasagna...YUM!

Friday, December 16, 2005

The Shortest Verse of the Day EVER!!!

First go to Tim's blog and read his post from the 15th.........
Man, you guys are SLOW readers! Ok, now proceed!

Luke 6:27-35
But if you are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Pray for the happiness of those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn the other cheek. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give what you have to anyone who asks you for it; and when things are taken away from you, don't try to get them back. Do for others as you would like them to do to you.
Do you think you deserve credit merely for loving those who love you? Even the sinners do that! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, is that so wonderful? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, what good is that? Even sinners will lend to their own kind for a full return.
Love your enemies! Do good to them! Lend to them! And don't be concerned that they might not repay. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to the unthankful and to those who are wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.


I know you've probably heard that verse a million times, but you can never read God's word too much, so it matters not! And there you have it, love everyone! Simple enough right!? I think so...simple to think about, harder to do, but work at it guys and have faith.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

New Bloggers

Hey all,

We have two new bloggers to the crew. Keira and Sean have recently joined the ranks. Check out their blogs on the right under the links. C You guys Wed.

Luke

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

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That's it, I give in

Thank you all for your time and patience, but I posted those test posts at like 12-4 pm earlier today, and they just now came up...so the real deal will probably come up at like midnight. Oh well, it will be there at some point, but not anytime soon probably. Love ya guys. You ought to spend some time praying together and do communion anyway. God's good, even if technology isn't. Cya Sunday.

Luke.

I might be like 5 minutes late...

If you don't see it at 7, refresh it in like 5 minutes.

Luke

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ONE MORE THING...actually two

I was not meaning to sound harsh, or discount Aley's job on the Verse of the Day. She did a great job, and is faithful to update so you guys can have something to read, and some spiritual insight into God's word, and I appreciate her hardwork. I simply did not want anyone trying to use that as justification to slack off. Really, just to push you to work hard, get through it, and rest knowing you did all you could.
Aley and Jon, thank you for your time and work on the youth blog. I appreciate it very much!

(I know the last post is long, but you REALLY NEED TO READ IT ALL!)

IMPORTANT!!!

As it is supposed to snow 3"-6"-12" tonight, we will not be having youth (you could probably get there, but the hardest stuff is supposed to hit between 6-8, making getting home much more difficult). I know this will crush all of you, but we will instead have it on here! Hmmm...Interesting, I wonder what it will be like??? I guess you'll just have to be on here at 7 pm to find out!

Bad News...

Well sorta, it's actually better news in reality/spirituality!!!

Alright, to somewhat provide gentle correction to the previous post, and more than anything clarify what was most likely being said.

Philippians 3:7-11
I once thought all these things were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ Jesus has done...

Alright, specifically, in context, Paul is speaking about his efforts to attain righteousness by living in exactness with the law. As he was a pharisee, he was used to obeying every rule to the T, and in doing so believed to be better people (better than everyone else that is...they really weren't concerned with pleasing God, rather pleasing people.)
Here Paul professes that the law, or actions, by themselves cannot bring union with the Father (vs. 9 "I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey God's law, but I trust Christ to save me"), but only in true faith in Christ can he ever "experience the resurrection from the dead" (vs.11)(a new life, born again).

So, I think the analogy of school is a bit of a stretch. Not that we ALWAYS have to take everything in the Bible in exact context. On the contrary, God's word is called "alive" because when we read it, it applies directly to our lives in different ways, as the spirit speaks to us through God's word.

This passage for instance, can have a very strong message for everyone of us.
Take Aley for instance. Aley has worked hard in school since the day she was born. I swear she came out of the womb doing calc! Which isn't a bad thing. (Aley, please don't be insulted, that is absolutely a compliment!) But here, coming into her senior year, with the end of highschool coming, she might be questioning whether or not her priorities in life, and her trust in God to guide her in the future, have been always viewed in the right order (and that's not just aley, that's all of us!) So, as Aley reads this passage, as she and all of you have been stressin with school and finals, and everything else (christmas/holiday seasons are stressful period! Your folks get stressed, and that gets to us all. One thing I learned "A happy mom makes a happy family." Keep that in mind.), God may be speaking to her (as I believe her true meaning behind the post is) to slow down. That it is important to work hard in school and do well, but the most valuable thing in life, the one thing that will make the most difference, is her relationship with God. And to rest in that and not to stress over and worry about school (not that it means you don't have to work hard).

Here's some helpful hints to deal with the holiday/anytime/school stress
-TAKE A BREAK---I still do this to this date. When I'm studying for tests coming up at work, or if I'm studying for a youth lesson, or whatever I'm doing, there will come a point when your brain just can't handle it anymore. At that point, you can attempt to keep studying, however, anything you read, go over, whatever, will get lost in the nothingness that is your brain at that moment. So, TAKE A SHORT BREAK>>> Sit down, listen to some music, read your Bible, spend some time praying, spend some time doing nothing. It doesn't matter, just stop for a bit. (Psalm 46:10---Be still, and know that I am God). Your problems for today, your worries of tomorrow, none of it is too big for God. Take a break and take comfort knowing that God wants you to rest (The Sabbath, Hello? Yeah, we don't know what that means in America.)
Then> Get back to work!

-DON'T STRESS OVER THINGS(once again, this doesn't mean you don't have to work hard)---Like Aley said, when it's all said and done, the only thing that truly matters is your relationship with God. Look at it this way. You are working hard for a time, so when it's done, you can finally rest. REMEMBER THE VERSE WE TALKED ABOUT LAST WEEK? (it's actually right after this passage...Philippians 3:14 "I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.") Alright, direct relation. Life will be tough, work through it, knowing that in the end, you will finally get the well earned rest you've worked so hard for. EVEN MORE DIRECT APPLICATION---Study hard for your finals, knowing that when they're done, it's over. You won't have to worry about it until the next time around (there will always be a next time around...it doesn't end when highschool is over, ask Dave or myself.) Last verse (Matthew 6:27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not.)(Matthew 6:34 So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough)...

...that leads into the next helpful hint
TAKE THINGS ONE AT A TIME---Often we find ourselves so deep in the muck, we don't know where to start. So, in an effort to escape, we put things further and further back, and until we're even farther behind. (I know, I'm speaking from experience) WHAT TO DO? Take it one step at a time. Write out a list of the things you need to get done, in order of pressing importance, and start at #1. Work on that till your done, then move on, making sure to take a break when you reach that "non-functioning" state. Amazingly, the list gets smaller and smaller, and then we're not so far behind. You'd be absolutely amazed at how much you are actually capable of getting done in a day when you prioritize and focus.

ALRIGHT, THOSE SHOULD BE SOME THINGS TO HELP...NOW, ON TO THE OTHER THING!!!

WORKING HARD IN SCHOOL IS IMPORTANT!!!

I know you guys don't want to hear this, but it is important that you work hard in school and do your best. Here's a couple verses to support what I'm saying.

Colossians 3:23
"Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people."
-Yes, school is what all of you do!

1 Timothy 5:17-18
"Elders who do their work well should be paid well, especially those who work hard at both teaching and preaching...those who work deserve their pay."
God is calling all of us to work hard at everything we do. If he calls the elders of a church to work hard, then it must be important for us as well! And make no mistake, when you work hard, you are definetly rewarded for it!

Ephesians 5:5-8
"Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. SERVE THEM SINCERELY AS YOU WOULD SERVE CHRIST. WORK HARD, but not just to please your masters when they are watching. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. WORK WITH ENTHUSIASM, AS THOUGH YOU WERE WORKING FOR THE LORD RATHER THAN PEOPLE. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.""

Titus 2:7-10
"And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good deeds of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. Let your teaching be so correct that it can't be criticized. Then those who want to argue will be ashamed because they won't have anything bad to say about us. Slaves must obey their masters and DO THEIR BEST TO PLEASE THEM. They must not talk back or steal, but they must show themselves to be entirely trustworthy and good. THEN THEY WILL MAKE THE TEACHING ABOUT GOD OUR SAVIOUR ATTRACTIVE IN EVERY WAY."
-Your life is an example of Christ. People are watching everything you do to find an excuse as to why they shouldn't believe. Do not let your LAZINESS be a bad witness for the gospel. The exact opposite should be true. They should see your hard work and wonder what makes you so motivated and content in tough circumstances.

1Thessalonians 4:11-12
"This should be your ambition: to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we commanded you before. As a result, people who are not Christians will respect the way you live, and YOU WILL NOT NEED TO DEPEND ON OTHERS FOR YOUR FINANCIAL NEEDS."
-When he says "working with your hands," what do you picture? A carpenter, a blacksmith, a construction worker...You picture someone who does physical labor. Those people are looked up to because they know the labors and benefits of hard work. No one looks up to a beggar or a sluggard. Laziness is not something we admire in people, and like the above comment is not a good reflection of what God calls us to be. But, hard work and dedication is looked up to, and will give no one any reason to speak badly against you. Also, when you work hard in school, and life beyond school, you will be able to support yourselves, your families, and God's Kingdom. Making it that much easier for God to use you for His glory.

---------Enough of that. I think you guys get the point. School is not just something to keep you out of trouble until your old enough to do it on your own (we all know the truth...nothing, even school can keep yall out of trouble). It is valuable and important in not only educating us and getting us into a future and a career, it is also a place that our faith is tested and walked out. A place where the lost will look to us for a solution to the pains of life without Christ. A place where our character is put to the test, and we find out what we're really made of.

The fact is guys, WHO YOU ARE AS A PERSON IS NOT DEFINED IN A SINGUALR MOMENT. WHO YOU ARE IS MADE UP OF THE INDIVIDUAL DECISIONS YOU MAKE THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFE. When you are at home, knowing you have homework to do, but you think "I'd much rather sit down and play video games, or read a book, or blog, than do my homework." You set a precedence for your life, and you begin to mold who you are. Will be you focused, determined, hard working? Or will you procrastinate, be lazy, and someone who hides from responsibility and confrentation. The choice is before you. No one else is responsible for you but yourself. You determine who you will be, and thus what God can do with you.

(Yes Jon, I know I am probably the last one who should be talking about this ((For those of you who don't know, my philosophy through highschool was "if they can't teach it to me in the hour they got me, then they're not doing their job.")) Regardless of that, I still managed a weighted 4.1 gpa and top 15% of 2000 students. Still, that's no excuse, that's why I'm speaking from experience. Who knows, if I had actually studied and done homework, maybe I could be in Med School or Law School right now? And so could you. Do the best you can with what God's given you!)

I love you guys.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Good News!

I know it's getting to be that time where everyone is just about dead. Everyone's stressed and tired (which was completely obvious during worship practice on sunday). Whether its because of grades or homework or just tired of school period, this verse applies to all!

Paul says in Philippians 3:7-11....
I once thought all these things (for our sake, lets think of these things as school related) were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage (rubbish), so that I may have Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey God's law, but I trust Christ to save me. For God's way of making us right with himself depends on faith. As a result, I can really know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I can learn what it means to suffer with him, haring in his death, so that, somehow, I can experience the resurrection from the dead!

Whenever you get overwhelmed by all the worldly responsibilities and trying to achieve all your worldly goals, remember....they don't matter! Don't get me wrong, goals are important and if you want to do something with your life, you do need to do decent in school, but in the big picture, getting A's in school, going to college and landing a well-paying job means very little. Think about it, is God going to care if you got a D on an english essay? Is your future job going to have any berring on your enterance into Heaven? NO!!! Everything we are doing now that is not doing God's will, is garbage, or rubbish, as my favorite shirt says.
I know I have always had a problem with trying to overachieve in high school. I HAD to get all A's or I'd just die! I thought that my being in the top 10% of the class and getting into a great college were the most important things. Luckily, I've come to realize that they really don't matter at all. My serving God and worshiping Him is all that really matters. For people that don't have Jesus in their lives, it makes sense that they would be so concerned with worldly achievement, but it makes no sense for us! We have God in our lives! Do we not have more important things to do than read "The Scarlett Letter"?

Colossians 2:8-10...
Don't let anyone lead you astray with empty philosophy and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the evil powers of this world, and not from Christ. For in Christ the fullness of God lives in a human body, and you are complete through your union with Christ. He is the Lord over every ruler and authority in the universe.

So, to sum it up: Don't stress out about finals and all those horrid things. Do they matter?...Yes, but not as much as they seem to right now. And if trying to achieve perfection in school takes away from the time you have to spend with God, then stop! (I know, I am the last person to be saying all this, I should be talking into a mirror, but I am taking my own advice, believe me!) So chill out guys, don't work too hard and take a sigh of relief because in the big picture school does not matter at all! (Don't tell your parents I said that)
Peace out yo!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Narnia

We will be going to the 12:30 PM show at the Barry Road AMC Theaters.
You can buy tickets online at MovieTickets.com
Also, anyone who wants to, we will be meeting at the church and leaving at 11 to go eat lunch in that area. If you can't make it, feel free to meet us there.

Thanks Guys, Cya Wed,

Luke.

Multi-Purpose

Ok, this is a multi-puprose post as the title suggests.

First off, VERSE OF THE DAY

1 Corinthians 2:1-9
"Dear brothers and sisters, when I first came to you I didn't use lofty words and brilliant ideas to tell you God's message. For I decided to concentrate only on Jesus Christ and his death on the cross. I came to you in weakness---timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. I did not use wise and persuasive speeches, but the Holy Spirit was powerful among you. I did this so that you might trust the power of God rather than human wisdom.
Yet when I am among mature Christians, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world, and not the kind that appeals to the rulers of this world, who are being brought to nothing. No, the wisdom we speak of is the secret wisdom of God, which was hidden in former times, though he made it for our benefit before the world began. But the rulers of this world have not udnerstood it; if they had, they would never have crucified our glorious Lord. That is what the scriptures mean when they say,
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him."


I'm not going to go too far into this (primarily because you guys get that enough from me on Wed.'s)...however, I did want to share this one thing about that passage.
I found this particularily applicable to my life for one reason. Here paul states that he spoke very plainly to new christians, and then much deeper with more mature christians. I find sometimes I don't know where to start with new christians. I wonder what to begin with, whether it would be better to reveal areas of sin, and gently encourage correction first, or to share some of the more insightful things that God has shown me over the years, or to start in this book, or in this place, or whatever, and then sometimes, I try and figure out exactly what "they" need most in their life when it comes to living for God and all that.
Here, paul says that he preached JESUS, and then let the holy spirit work. He spoke plainly so they might understand the message of the cross, and from there, as they become more mature instructed on the deeper issues of living for the King.

I realize there are some other really good things in this passage, but I'm going to let Jon expound on them.

Hear that Jon (or read that I guess), I've given you the verse, you simply need to expound now.



OTHER PURPOSES FOR THIS POST

Make sure to tell your parents about the youth Christmas party. We would like your parents siblings to come if they would like. I will be calling your parents tonight to let them know they're welcome. I need to know how many people total are coming by Wed.

ALSO,

We have power up in the youth room! YEAH! On January 4th, we will have a work day up in the youth room cleaning, instead of our regular XF programming.

ALSO,
Remember, no XF on Dec. 28th.


Love ya guys,
Luke

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Upcoming Events

Sat Dec. 10th
We will be going to watch The Narnia (lion, witch, wardrobe) movie as a youth group.
I don't have times yet, ticket prices are $6-$7 depending on what time we go (also, bring your student ID, they have discounts)

Fri. Dec. 16th is a worship night at the church.
I would love for you guys to come and worship with us. However, only come if you plan on really worhsiping. This is not a social gathering. If you truly want to enter into God's presence, bring it! We'll have an awesome time.

Wed. Dec. 21st is the youth Christmas Party
We will be meeting at the Roberts house on post at 6 pm.
This is a family friendly event. If your parents or siblings would like to come, simply let me know. If you can, leave a comment on this blog stating how many from your party are coming.
If your parents are not coming, and you need a ride, we will carpool from the church in two vehicles with post stickers on them already (to make getting in easier)
-Remember the white elephant gift exchange! Bring one item under $5 wrapped to the party. DO NOT TELL ANYONE WHAT IT IS! If you don't bring a gift, you will not be able to play the game. It's a lot of fun, I don't want you guys to miss out.

If you need anything else, let me know, or give me a call. 913-680-4389

Luke.

Football today @ 1

It's going to be cold, so dress warm enough, but not too warm to run. Cya there.