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This blog isn't that great.  Seriously.  I love writing it, and I love connecting with others in youth ministry through it, but there ARE some really good YM blogs out there!

One of them is DougFields.com.  Do I even need to tell you who DF is?  If you're here, chances are you know already.  Of course, his blog is full of great stuff, and you should stop hanging around this janky site and head over to his - RIGHT NOW!
 
 
You can listen to last night's message from IMPACT by clicking right here!
 
 
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We started a new series at IMPACT last night: FUEL.  Here's a run-down of the series, including each message!

::LENGTH
3 Weeks

::DIRECTION
The Christian life is filled with highs and lows, and sometimes it feels like your faith is running on empty.  BUT there are certain things we can do to fuel the fire for Christ in us.  During this series we’ll look at three ways to fan the flame and “gas up” for this journey called life.

::MESSAGES

Part 1: Remembering (Worship)
oMessage in a minute - When you feel like you’re running on empty, remember who God is, what He has done, and what He has promised to do.
oText - Psalm 42

Part 2: Reading (The Word) GUEST SPEAKER
oMessage in a minute - There is no fuel in this life quite like reading God’s Word – it is not just a source of information, but a catalyst for transformation.  Fill up on the Word!
oText - speaker’s choice.

Part 3: Reaching (Evangelism)
oMessage in a minute - Nothing will set you on fire and get you moving in your faith like reaching others for Christ.  It is one of, if not THE most exciting experience you’ll ever have - seeing someone you love come to Jesus!
oText - Acts 2
 
 
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I had a great conversation with a student last week that is on her way to Jesus.  In the conversation she kept coming back to the idea of good vs. bad.  "I'm mostly good, and I think God only punishes bad people."  "I know I do some bad stuff sometimes, but I'm a good person."  This is nothing new, but I found myself really desiring some different language to frame things in.  After all, at the end of the day, I don't think the Gospel is reducible to morals or "good vs. bad".

As we talked however, we got away from using those words, and made our way more towards two different words I think will forever replace good and bad in my spiritual vocabulary:

Broken and whole.

Because isn't the Gospel less about Jesus coming to make bad people good and more about His making broken people whole?  Don't you find that when you talk about sin and the human condition in terms of bad vs. good that we tend to put degrees on it and keep score of how's bad, worse, worst, good, better, and best?  When we get away from that though and start thinking of broken instead of bad, we realize that we're all inherently flawed (sin) and we're all in the same sinking boat, no scorecard needed.  And thinking of the work of God in our lives as a journey toward wholeness sounds so much more appealing to me than thinking of myself as getting better (because often what I really mean is "better than you").

I love learning as much if not more from students than they learn from me.  Going to wrestle with this some more and see what God is teaching me...
 
 
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Well, we made it there and back on our summer mission adventure with Group's Week of Hope in Indianapolis.  It was a fantastic week, with lots of steps forwards for our students, and I'm so proud of every single one of them!  We served in lots of different ways - clearing and planting gardens, home repair, visiting senior centers, and working with children at boys and girls clubs.  I also had the (super-last-minute) privilege of leading worship, and our students did an awesome job jumping in there helping with that as well.

I'm still in recovery mode, but I'm super-grateful to God for an awesome week and how He showed Himself to us!