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I'm a little late on putting this up, but we have a new series going on called "Now is the Time" at our IMPACT youth services.  I'm loving this one!  Here's the rundown:

Series Title:  NOW IS THE TIME
Text:  Colossians 3:8-11
Overview:  A five-week look at Col. 3:8-11, and a call to start living out what it really means to be a Christian!

Now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. - Colossians 3:8-11, NLT

NOW IS THE TIME TO…

…BE DIFFERENT
Stop looking like everyone else.
...get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language.

…GET REAL
Get real with each other, start building real community.
Don’t lie to each other…

…PUT ON THE NEW
Forget the old, embrace the new.
…for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.  Put on your new nature…

…KNOW AND GROW
Know God, become like Him.
…and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.

…TEAR DOWN THE WALLS!
Stop focusing on what separates us and focus on what unites us – Christ!
In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.
Stay tuned for downloads of these messages as we go through the series.  (The first one is below!)
 
 
This weekend I'm teaching students on the question "Can we know that God exists?"  Tough topic, to be sure!  In my preparation I sat down today and watched the pilot for the Discovery Channel's new show "Curiosity" featuring Stephen Hawking answering a similar question.

Of course, Hawking's final thesis was that no, God does not exist.  Though I think the guy is INSANELY brilliant, I could go on and on about why I think his logic on this is flawed (check out my Facebook statuses from earlier today!).  But more importantly than that, I was reminded how important it is for us in YM to help our students navigate through some of the conflicting ideas that are out there regarding the existence of God and our ability to know Him.

I know it can be intimidating for the average youth minister to teach or lead discussions on this topic.  But take heart!  There are lots of great resources out there for you.  One of my new favorites that I led a group of middle school, high school, and college students through early this year is called True U: Does God Exist.

This is a fantastic video-based study that our students absolutely loved!  WARNING - some of the information can go a little over a middle schooler's (or a youth pastor's!) head, but I told my students to not worry about the information as much as the ideas.  Go for the big picture stuff, so to speak.  Check out the trailer below for True U and click right here to check out the website.

This is really important stuff - ask your students what conflicting worldviews they face when it comes to the existence of God, and then help them strengthen their faith by talking about and teaching on those issues!
 
 
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You can listen to last night's IMPACT youth message by clicking right here.  Enjoy!
 
 
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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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Our Christmas teaching series in YM this year is called "Grinches".  We're looking at four different things that "steal" the true meaning of Christmas way from us.  Yesterday we tackled Grinch #1 - materialism.

Here's a quick outline of where we went during the study:

- Series intro.
- What is materialism?
- How can we tell if we are materialistic?
- What does the Bible say about materialism?
- Read Matthew 6:19-21.
- What is the problem with setting your heart on "stuff"?  (It is temporary.)
- What are treasures in Heaven?
- Why should we focus our hearts on Heavenly treasures instead of earthly ones?  (HT's are permanent.)
- Where are our hearts focused this Christmas?
- Small group discussion.

Great kick-off to the series - excited about this one!  Next up is selfishness.

- Tim B.