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Okay - I'm laying it out there.  After a day of being confronted with numerous consequences of sin in one form or another in students' lives and discussing with them the problems so prevalent on the high school campus - drugs, alcohol, sexual confusion and promiscuity, bullying, violence, loneliness, depression, suicide, etc., etc., etc. - I feel this impressed upon my heart (and shared it with some of our students tonight):

High school is hard.  The "culture" of high school can change you.  I've seen so many students enter our ministry in middle school and be "innocent" and full of hope and joy and graduate high school scarred, cynical, and crippled by the bad decisions they've made along the way.  High school can change you...

But is there any hope that WE can change our high school?  Is there hope that instead of the culture around us shaping us we can instead take a stand upon the truth of God's Word and begin to shape, impact, and change the culture around us?

Could teenagers surrendered completely to the Gospel change:

Hatred to Compassion?
Violence to Peace?
Selfishness to Service?
Lust to Purity?
Bullying to Self-Sacrifice?
Racism, Prejudice, and Oppression to Understanding?
Lies and Confusion to Truth?
Loneliness to Love?
Depression to Hope?
Addiction to Freedom?
Death to Life?
Darkness to Light?

Could it happen?  Is there any hope that a handful of teenagers can change a community?  Can God really do something like this?

I know what I believe...  what about you?

- Tim
 
 
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I love Easter Sunday.  What a joy it is to celebrate and center ourselves on the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  This morning I taught middle and high school students on the evidence for and significance of the resurrection.  I opened with this question and statement:

Is Jesus dead?  All of Christianity depends upon this question.  If Jesus is dead, Christianity is dead along with Him.  But if He is alive, then those who follow Him are made alive with Him!

Everything we believe as Christians hinges on the resurrection of Jesus.  As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:17, if Christ is still dead then our faith is futile and we are still dead in our sins.

Here are some questions to consider when it comes to the resurrection of Jesus (thanks to Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill in Seattle):

If Jesus is dead, why did his followers no longer fear death & suffer martyrdom boldly trusting they would rise one day?

If Jesus is dead, why do we not know where he is buried as dozens of “holy men” had enshrined tombs in that day?

If Jesus is dead, how can we explain why the first Christians starting practicing baptism to show death, burial, & resurrection?

If Jesus is dead, how can we explain why early Christians stopped worshiping on the Saturday Sabbath & instead changed to Sunday, the day Jesus rose?

He's alive!

- Tim