Monday, May 4, 2009


I will be addressing the youth of today. I want to try and get them to understand the concept of love, and what that means. The scripture we will be focusing on is 1 John 4:9-11 which says: This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

This can sometimes be a hard concept for youth to understand since the only kind of love they see on TV is the love that includes sex and things that promote sexual promiscuity. So how do we get them to see Agape love and show that to one another?

For starters, when you have a large group, I have always found it best to get them to interact with one another in groups of three or four. The three works best for me because I like to do the praying in three, and reinforce the trinity through that example, so it just works best for me. Once they are in groups, I would get them to ask themselves and each other this question: “What does love look like?” There will always be that one that asks, “well what kind of love?” That’s when you have something up your sleeve like whatever love looks like to you.

It is important for them to get out their views of love because once they do that; they will make their opinions of it more rounded based off what their friends say. Sometimes it is best to have your key students stay away from one another, so that they can be in the groups that aren’t regular attendees, and possibly lost.

After you do that activity, it is time to bring the group back together. Once they have their own understanding of love, then we go off of what scripture says love is. There are many scriptures on this, but we want to emphasize the value of Agape love, and how we can show it.
How do you get the youth to feel that?

One thing to do is explain in detail what true Agape love is. Agape love is simply loving the un-loveable. You can always bring up the illustration of the boy who cried wolf, or those who don’t have the things you have, but you want to make sure and feel out the room, and know everyone’s status before you do this, because you do not want anyone to feel singled out. Another example you could use for youth is that we should love those who are thieves. This will be something they can see, and may even be a bit hard for them to even think about, but it will allow them to see this.

We must get them to love people who are not in their group of friends, or even who are not on the same level as them. Our youth now thinks only about them self most of the time, and it is time to get them to think about others, or this world will not go anywhere. So get them to be able to feel what it means to have and show Agape love.

Another good thing to do is show them how Christ did this. He loved the beggars on the street, and to reincorporate what it means to be a Christian: Little Christ’s. I think they lose what that means, and think that it is simply a club to be a member of. They become Christians and never do anything with that. To see them grow and allow Christ to be shown through them, I believe the first step is to get them to love others.

The next thing to do is to get them to show love. How can you get them to do this? Many times they think that they cannot do anything because they are too young. They feel as if they have no grounds to stand on, and as if that is what everyone else thinks as well.

We must get that stigma out their minds. We must challenge youth to get out of their comfort zone, and to not just tithe with their money, but also tithe with their time. There is only one problem with challenging youth to do something. If you truly challenge them, and even a handful of them accept and live out that challenge, they start changing their community. The people who are not up to the change will get freaked out, and possibly people in the church will leave because there are kids dressed in black, guys wearing makeup, kids wearing hats in church, etc., etc. the list goes on.

Once they see the value in showing love, and act upon that a firestorm can happen. Revival could possibly sweep this country. We just must make sure we are feeding the fuel to it, and pushing them to do the things that God has called them to do. We must not allow them to become lazy like so many generations before. Our youth needs to become again a generation that loves everyone, and leaves no one out.

There is only one other problem with doing this. People will be out of business. Porn industries will go under. Alcohol and tobacco industries will go out of business. There will be bars that turn into churches. Is it time for our youth to stand up and allow God to work through them and change this nation?

The gray area..."I'm still a virgin, or am I?"

What is the gray line? I think it's a mixture between black and white. What does that mean exactly?

How many times do we push the envelope whether it be with drinking, saying to ourselves "I can handle my alcohol" or if it's us saying "I'm still a virgin" after we clearly are not in the eyes of God?

Where am I going with this? Here it is. Many times we want to put our own definition on what it means to be a virgin, and what sex is, and is it. We do this to justify our actions. We then many times compromise our values, and go just far enough to where we can "keep our virginity" in the eyes of the world. But what good is that? Does God look at that? How does God see that? Everyone has there own convictions, and it is 1:30 in the morning, but don't we many times allow ourself to get a little too close to the edge of the cliff, just to get a rush, and then back off. How many people have we seen do the same thing, yet fall over? Aren't we as Christian's called to honor Christ? So why do so many of us tread in the gray area?

So my big question is this: Is it ok to kiss? My opinion on that is that it is when you get married. Maybe you may think I'm going a little extreme, but let me explain. When you allow yourself to kiss someone, and get emotionally attached to them, when the break up comes, it's hard to avoid the hurt, rather if you would have not kissed them, you could get away from that a bit easier. Many times we are suppose to be an example, and others just see what they want to see, so when they see us kissing, they assume that we are doing other things behind closed doors. So in a sense, we are allowing them to go to the edge, and not have the "safety net" that we have. We are literally hanging them out to dry. What if instead, we decided that we would not only save our virginity for our partner, but not kiss anyone but our mate as well?

What would that look like for the non-believers who are watching us, or even better yet for the younger Christians who are watching us?

Just a late thought.

Comment and give me your feedback

Sunday, May 3, 2009

9/11 one of the many touching stories from that day

This was forwarded to me...thought it was worth passing on...

A man from Norfolk , VA called a local radio station to share this on Sept 11th, 2003, TWO YEARS AFTER THE TRAGEDIES OF 9/11/2001.

His name was Robert Matthews. These are his words:

A few weeks before Sept. 11th, my wife and I found out we were going to have our first child. She planned a trip out to California to visit her sister. On our way to the airport, we prayed that God would grant my wife a safe trip and be with her. Shortly after I said 'amen,' we both
heard a loud pop and the car shook violently. We had blown out a tire. I replaced the tire as quickly as I could, but we still missed her flight. both very upset, we drove home.

I received a call from my father who was retired NYFD. He asked what my wife's flight number was, but I explained that we missed the flight.

My father informed me that her flight was the one that crashed into the southern tower. I was too shocked to speak. My father also had more news for me; he was going to help. 'This is not something I can't just sit by for; I have to do something.'

I was concerned for his safety, of course, but more because he had never given his life to Christ. After a brief debate, I knew his mind was made up. Before he got off of the phone, he said, 'take good care of my grandchild. Those were the last words I ever heard my father say; he died while helping in the rescue effort.

My joy that my prayer of safety for my wife had been answered quickly became anger. I was angry at God, at my father, and at myself. I had gone for nearly two years blaming God for taking my father away. My son would never know his grandfather, my father had never accepted Christ, and I never got to say good-bye.

Then something happened. About two months ago, I was sitting at home with my wife and my son, when there was a knock on the door. I looked at my wife, but I could tell she wasn't expecting anyone. I opened the door to a couple with a small child.

The man looked at me and asked if my father's name was Jake Matthews. I told him it was. He quickly grabbed my hand and said, 'I never got the chance to meet your father, but it is an honor to meet his son.'

He explained to me that his wife had worked in the World Trade Center and had been caught inside after the attack. She was pregnant and had been caught under debris. He then explained that my father had been the one to find his wife and free her. My eyes welled up with tears as I thought of my father giving his life for people like this. He then said, 'there is something else you need to know.'

His wife then told me that as my father worked to free her, she talked to him and led him to Christ. I began sobbing at the news.

Now I know that when I get to Heaven, my father will be standing beside Jesus to welcome me, and that this family would be able to thank him themselves .

When their baby boy was born, they named him Jacob Matthew, in honor of the man who gave his life so that a mother and baby could live.

This story should help us to realize this: God is always in control.

We may not see the reason behind things, and we may never know this side of heaven, but God is ALWAYS in control.

Please take time to share this amazing story. You may never know the impact it may have on someone... God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

O give thanks unto the LORD; for [he is] good: for his mercy [endureth] for ever Psalm 136:1