We live in a world of sin and imperfection. I am a child of God striving each day to live out my calling. Welcome to my blog where you get the inside scoop of this Youth Pastor's world!
"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity." - 1 Timothy 4:12

Friday, September 28, 2012

Let My LIFE be the Proof

So there is a song on Christian radio right now that is very popular and one that I love a lot. It is called "The Proof of Your Love" by for King and Country. I have been known in the past to create a devotional from a song that catches my heart. It has been awhile since this has happened but this song has been on my mind a lot lately. Every time it comes on the radio I just want to sing it at the top of my lungs. I have posted the lyrics here to be read for those of you who don't know the song. I encourage you to look it up. This band is amazing.


"The Proof Of Your Love"


If I sing but don't have love
I waste my breath with every song
I bring an empty voice, a hollow noise
If I speak with a silver tongue
Convince a crowd but don't have love
I leave a bitter taste with every word I say

So let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love
Let my love look like You and what You're made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
So let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love

If I give 
To a needy soul but don't have love then who is poor?
It seems all the poverty is found in me

So let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love
Let my love look like You and what You're made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
Oh, let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love

When it's all said and done
When we sing our final song
Only love remains
Only love remains

Let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love
Let my love look like You and what You're made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
So let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love


So I bolded and turned to blue the lyrics of the chorus. This is the part that gets me every single time. I try to let my life be the proof of God's Love each an every day. Now like every human I fail and I fail miserably. Sometimes it is easy to let worldly things come between me and the God that I live to serve. Now when this happens it is solely me pulling away because God will never pull away from His children. 

I felt my call into ministry when I was 15 years old, I have always gone to church and always known God in my life. It was in high school though that I really started having my own relationship with God. I started reading my Bible every night and was soaking everything I was reading like a sponge. I had a lot of other loves in high school but there was always one thing that never failed me and that was God. In college I started working at Camp Horizon, a Methodist church camp in my home town and I was finally able to put my hands and feet to work for God. It was here that I started to learn just what it meant to live a life in ministry. 

Growing up I had a really hard time with fake people. I don't have time for fakeness, you either are or aren't who you say you are. Now this has caused some people to view me as judgmental  stuck up, or better than others, but the truth is I'm just looking for honest people to have in my life. I have great respect for people of other faiths and belief systems that are true to who they say they are. 

DC talk says at the beginning of the song "What if I Stumble?" - "The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today Is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips Then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable."

My youth group is in the process of watching the movie "To Save a Life" and in this movie Jake has a hard time grabbing a hold of the Christian label because he is struggling to see real life examples of what that means to be.

Our theme as a youth group this year is Reflect, and this summer my word on my rock was Moon. It is all becoming clear to me that this is something laying heavy on my heart this year. I want to live a life where people see God in me always. I don't ever want to lead someone away from God and a chance of knowing Him better. 

I want my life to be the proof of His Love for us. I want my life to reflect God's love in the way that the moon reflects the sun.

For me as a youth pastor and a young single lady I have set certain standards for myself. Now those standards aren't necessarily God's standards for everyone's life but somewhere along the way it became apparent that this was where He wanted me to stand.

  1.  Read the Bible everyday (I have been failing here lately but I'm getting back on that horse today)
  2. No alcohol (I have plenty of friends who enjoy alcoholic beverages and I enjoy their company. In the Bible Paul talks throughout his letters about everything being ok to those who are strong, but shame on the person who dares to bring another person down.) I couldn't live with myself if my harmless drink caused someone else to sin. There are other reasons behind this too but this is the main one. So yes, I am 23 years old and I have never had any alcoholic beverage.
  3. Purity - I am setting a pure example of a Christian woman and at the same time saving myself for the man that God has for me.
  4. Health - This is a newer one for me that is just starting to be a part of who I am. I want to be healthy so I can do God's ministry better, longer, and more efficiently. That and I just have more confidence when I feel better about myself.
  5. Live my life outside of the church as if the entire church is watching. Now that is not to say I'm paranoid or something, but I want the Darci people see on Sunday to be the same Darci that exists through and through. This is where the whole let my LIFE be the proof comes through. Not just my Sundays or Wednesdays or Office Hours but my entire life. 
This is part of my mission here on Earth. To be a genuine Christian through and through. Now being human I fail but God's Grace is sufficient for eternity, I just pray that God's people have grace to see that I, and everyone else, am an imperfect person seeking God's perfect love.

What does your life stand for? Are you willing to stand for something? Each of us reflects something, what are you choosing to show others?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Youth Group Devotional Day 1


I have decided to write a devotional for my youth group. I think I want to give it to them for Christmas. I'm not sure how many days it will have but I wrote the first one today.

Day 1: Worry
Philippians 4:6-7
Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything you can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Don’t worry about anything that is obviously easier said than done. In the world today there are so many stresses that interfere with our lives. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could always have an easy going day and never have anything weighing on our minds? The truth is there will always be something that will cause us to stress or worry; it is part of our human nature. Imagine what your daily life would be like if you had no weight of worry. Paul is suggesting to the Philippians to pray instead of worry. Instead of sitting and mulling over how much more there is to do, or a dead line coming up send it up in a prayer. The fact of the matter is that nothing gets accomplished when you are sitting around worrying, but powerful things happen when people pray. Through prayer people are healed of cancer, brought back from near death, lost children come home, and cold hearts are warmed. If God can heal the broken world through prayer than He can most definitely hold onto your calendar, homework, chores, bills, money, friends, relationships, cars, family, and anything else that may be weighing on your heart. Today try something new, try praying instead of worrying. Each time that thing that is weighing on your heart comes to mind stop and pray about it. Let God know exactly what you are feeling and why you are scared to let Him have it. If this can become your new way of thinking and reacting to the world then you will find that you are a little easier going and a lot more fun to be around.

Prayer: Dear Lord, please help me to turn toward you in my times of worry, stress, and fear. I know that if I put you at the center of my life and let you take control things will be easier for me and I will find true joy in my life here on Earth. Help me work toward your peace. I love you Lord and I want to be less weighed down so I can do the things you have called me to do. Thank you, for always being there for me, even when I don’t realize it. Amen.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Back When I Was Your Age

Tonight is the kick off for our Wednesday night programs. I have had the blessing of planning for all of these events this year, but I am most excited for the group that I will actually be teaching and spending time with. Faithgirlz. This is the 7th and 8th grade group. After them I head down to the high school group.

Well I have been thinking back to when I was these girls' ages and what was important to me and what was important in the world at the time. So I created a slide show of my world over a decade ago.








            These Pictures are from a New Year's Eve Party, Mime Troop at Church, and a school project.




These pictures are from two different birthday parties, an award's ceremony, and Christmas at church






I was surprised that some of these movies are this old.




I did not listen to any of this music except for Faith Hill



I remember watching these shows, except The Osbournes I was never allowed to watch them.



I remember being really sad when Walker, Texas Ranger was over, and when Mr. Rogers died.


All of these books are now movies.


It was a lot of fun taking this trip down memory lane. I will see what my kids think, they are going to update me! :)



Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Time Is Right

At church we are kicking off our Capitol Campaign tomorrow morning with a big celebration called The Time is Right. We are doing a mock game show based loosely off of The Price is Right. Instead of having things that we are guessing the prices of we will be giving out church statistics in the game. This Capitol Campaign is just about all anyone at the church has talked about or thought about since I got there and even before. As a newcomer I find it all a little bit too much but it has got me thinking about what the real point is.

  • Raise money to pay off debt & finish remodeling
  • Bring church members back together as one community
  • Remind people of where we came from and where we are striving to go.
This all is based around a group of people's dream for this church and the needs that are arising out of those dreams. This got me thinking on my own life. Everyone should be dreaming for their lives and where they are headed, no one wants to be stagnant. 

In the past year I have:
  • Moved out on my own.
  • Accepted my dream job.
  • Graduated from Grad School in less than a year.
  • Had another incredible summer at Camp Horizon.
  • Taken someone into my home that needed me, only to watch it all fall apart.
  • Be there for a family going through a horrific life changing court case.
  • Celebrated 6 years as a Big Sister for BBBS
  • Watched my brother fall in love with his amazing girlfriend
  • Spent a lot of time with my grandparents, and then again not enough time.
  • Spent a lot of time in my car driving from Hesston - Ark City, and back.
  • Spent a lot of time fixing other people's problems and being the support and level head that others have needed.
  • Watched two of my best friends be amazing moms to their 1 and 2 year old.
  • Been Maid of Honor in a best friend's wedding.
  • Finally figured out just how to be an adult.

I could keep going on but the point is this past year has been crazy, of course every year seems to feel that way, but my life has changed a lot, especially in the last nine months. I have decided that with all of this change it just means that now the Time is Right for me to dream new dreams. I have always dreamed of being a youth pastor, now I am one, I have dreamed of being done with school, now I am, and I have always dreamed of having my own place and now I do.

The Time is Right for:
  • Weight loss - I am tired of feeling like I am fat and not feeling confident in my clothing or my appearance. I am also tired of being lazy. I am taking back the control over my body and I am going to be an active person like I used to be.
    • Last spring I started walking in the mornings - will begin again on Monday.
    • I started counting calories to help me realize what I am putting in my body - begins tomorrow.
    • I started working out in the evenings - begins tomorrow as well.
    • This isn't to be skinny but to be healthy and confident!
      • Every pound I lose = $5 in the new TV fund
      • Every pound I gain = -$5 from the new TV fund 
      • Every time I am over my daily calorie intake = -$1 from the new TV fund
      • Every time I am under my daily intake =$1 in the new TV fund
      • Every day I don't workout = -$2 from the new TV fund
    • This may seem like a lot of money but I have been blowing money on a lot of pointless things and I really want a TV. So I am going to do this starting tomorrow. I will weigh in once a week and do my money stuff then. I think I will choose Sundays to do that. If by Thanksgiving there is money in the minus fund I will donate to somewhere. Hopefully I will have been good and there won't be, there will be enough $$ for a TV and maybe even some to go toward a couch. 
  • Spending Control - I am going to re tighten the reigns on my wallet. I have been spending money just because I can, I am going to limit myself. I want to stick to my budget and really be conscientiousness of where my money goes. We will be starting a financial Bible study at church in a couple of weeks and I am really excited to do what it suggests and see how much it helps me!
  • Hanging Out with Friends - I hung out with one of my new friends last night and I had a lot of fun, I need to plan more fun things into my schedule otherwise I am going to burn myself out in the ministry world soon. I need to have fun, I have never really been good at putting myself out there, but if I ever want to meet a guy and get married I am going to have get out of my office and my apartment and put myself out there to meet people.
  • Be a Happy Person - Sometimes I am a negative person, especially if the people I am around are not being positive. I want to be the positive person that other people turn to for a lift up. I want to let go of my personality that stresses all of the time. Now I don't want to lose the focus that the stress brings but I want to be happy and healthy and loving and genuinely a positive person. That begins by being cheerful and hospitable tomorrow the entire day at the Arboretum during the event! :)
The time is always right for change in a positive direction! No one can tell me who I am or who I am going to become, it is time to Let Go of the rut that I easily find myself in and let God lead me to the happy person I know I can be! The Time is Right, the Time is Now