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, February 26, 2016

#HesstonStrong

This morning you can feel it in the air, the entire atmosphere has changed. The easy going, lighthearted feel of this community is gone. Our safe little town was attacked yesterday, it is as if the entire town is in shock. As the day has moved on the shock is turning into the entire gamut of emotions. When tragedy like this strikes it is so easy to let fear control the way we react. We lock our doors and bunker down, blame the weapons, and cry out to God, "Where were you?"

The truth is God was there, He is always there. He was there with the first responders giving them the strength to go into the unknown, the scary, the unimaginable and do their jobs. He was with all those people as the ran out to safety, He was with the doctors and nurses who received the wounded, and He was definitely with the officer who stopped the madness.

It is easy after an incident like this to start talking about guns and how bad they are, when the truth is that gun violence may have started the incident but it was gun violence that ended it. It isn't a lack of gun control that causes or even makes these incidents possible. Even if there were absolutely no guns in this world there would still be murderous violence. Cain killed Abel with a rock. This isn't a gun issue its a heart issue, its a sin issue.

Today as we try to figure out how to pick up the pieces from yesterday's tragedy we cross denominational lines and we come together as a town committed to community. We spend hours planning a citywide memorial service and figuring out how to help those struggling to cope with what happened. We hit our knees in prayer and supplication for those we love and those directly affected by the hurt from yesterday. We stand behind our Law Enforcement and Emergency Personnel who are working endlessly to protect and serve us. We  continue on with our lives helping each other find peace and comfort in the midst of this storm. Today we are Hesston Strong.

This is more than just a town, this is a community with a heart beat that is so strong people can't stop talking about it. We can't let fear get a foothold in this beautiful town. Yes, "It happened here" but it doesn't have to define us, we may have made the map yesterday but we can stay on that map because of how we respond to this tragedy, not by how we let the tragedy control us. God is still God, and He is still holding us together, we just have to have faith today and every day. Faith is the only way fear will go away, faith is the only way we will sleep at night. I believe that Hesston will come out of this stronger and that God will be more visible than He already was. I've never lived in a town where it was easier to love God than this one, and I think that will only become more true as we move forward from here.

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." - Ephesians 6:10-13

It is time to suit up, get on our knees, and lift up our arms in prayer to the one who is in control. Jesus said, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." - John 16:33.

I pray that the peace that passes all understanding will sweep over this community, we will never understand why this happened, but we can come back to peace knowing that God is still in control. Thank you Lord for your peace! Amen!


The visuals are strong today, the support is quite loud!


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

For Your Baptism

Dearest Adah Grace,
  I'm writing you this letter a few days early. I'm not sure I will mentally be prepared to do so on Sunday. You're getting baptized this week. This is a big deal. We are officially laying down the path for the rest of your life. You have so many people planning on being here for you for this. You're such a special girl, some of these people have only been to visit us since you have joined the world. You're so worth the drive to all the people who love you.
  I can't believe how fast you are growing. At times it is hard to imagine you as anything but the sweet little infant you are now, but our baby days are numbered. You're already almost two months old and I want to grab time and slow it down. Before I know it you will be running around this church with all the other kids and you will be talking, and playing, and learning all of the lessons life has to teach you. If only I could keep you innocent and safe from the pains of this world. But I can't, you will have to walk through all of the fires of this life just like everyone else. I know my heart will break when yours does and my tears will fall each time you do.
 The only thing I know how to do, my little one, is introduce you to the Creator of the Universe. He is the only one who can truly protect you and hold you through everything. It is my job as your mother to guide you and teach you about God's love. I will only be able to hold your hand for awhile but God will hold your hand for eternity if you learn to love Him. This is why your baptism is so important to me, Daddy and I will be standing up in front of the church committing to leading you to a life filled with God's Grace.
 I know that ultimately the choice is yours, you will have to make a decision to join Christ's family on your own, but until you are old enough to do so, I promise to raise you in this family. I promise to surround you with people who will always love you and guide you in a life of faith. I promise to pray for you, and teach you how to pray. I promise to read you the Bible and explain what it means to you. I promise to be present in your faith journey and constantly deepen my faith in order for you to have a role model to look up to. I promise to bring you to church and make church life a priority, even if it isn't my career. I promise to love you, no matter what. I will love you through the good days and the bad. I will love you as unconditionally as humanly possible.
 Adah Grace you are beautiful, you are loved, you are important, you have a purpose. God will always love you and so will your daddy and I. I pray you never forget just how special you are and that you never stop hearing in your heart just how loved you are.
Love,
Mommy

Holding Daddy's finger during her first church service.

Sleeping on Mommy's lap during her 2nd church service.