so lately i have been completely frustrated in everything that i have done. especially for the past couple of weeks. but this last weekend completely renewed my joy.
disciple nows are always fun, but this time it was a little more meaningful than it usually is. i had middle school girls, and although at times they were a little distracted (or a lot distracted) it was a good weekend. they heard good stuff, and not from me, but from God. the worship was awesome, and the saturday night session was phenomenal. we talked about how as humans, we are created to worship, and when we don't worship God, we worship other things. and that each of us have a God shaped hole in our life and we try to fill it with other things, but it doesn't work.
and there was a point in the lesson (its a little fuzzy what we were actually talking about at this point, because i was busy writing a whole page of notes of things that God was telling me...which is a cool sentence, when you think about it) where philip (our speaker) was talking about how we don't worship God because we don't realize the magnitude of our sin, and we don't realize what it is that he has saved us from. and i know that on this side of heaven, we are never going to really realize how much he loves us and how great an act of love that was for each of us individually. but i do know that when you catch even the slightest glimpse of that love, you will be overwhelmed at the power of our God. such proved in the paragraph i wrote saturday night on my note-taking paper:
oh what He has set us free from! what magnitude of sin we are forgiven for! what freedom we get from knowing Jesus. when we see the depth of the things that we are freed from, we wouldn't we cry out in worship for the God who loves us so? why would our hearts not embrace the truth of salvation? how empty our lives are without the joy of knowing Christ! why are our hearts not bursting with the good news?
and it really lended a great intro from big group worship to our small group time that night. instead of talking just about the session that we needed to cover, we spent at least half an hour talking about how great our sin is and how God loved us so, and then the salvation story. there's no telling how much the girls actually heard, or how much they got out of it. but the thing that is important is that they heard God's word that night. maybe it wasn't exactly what the curriculum was on, but it was what God was telling me that i needed to say. which is another cool sentence.
and like i said, disciple now is always fun, but this year i felt it on a more personal level. i felt more of a burden to pray for the hearts of the girls i was in charge of. several times during the weekend i felt the need to pray for the groups that were in sessions all over, not only for agricola's d-now but also the other churches involved in disciple nows thoughout the county. i also found myself in the middle of the afternoon, on my knees beside the bed i was sleeping in, praying for the hearts and attention spans of the girls i was with.
and oh, the sweet, sweet friendships that i am so blessed to have. the relationships that grew deeper this weekend because of our Almighty God. the other girls that were leaders with me have the sweetest spirits, and i am so glad to call them sisters. so besides the fact that we got to talk to these girls down on the coast of mississippi about the love of Christ, we also got to experience it in our own lives as well. i feel like this weekend was not only a chance to serve, but an opportunity to encourage each other in our faith as well. and really, that's what disciple now is all about.
the conversations that i have had from last friday up to the last time i was around people tonight have been amazing. how blessed we are that we can live in a country where we can sit around in public places and praise our God without fear of being killed for it. oh, what a blessing it is to see the work our God is doing.
and if our God is for us
what can ever stop us?
and if our God is with us
what can stand against?