I love this season

I love this season
"For everything there is a season..." Eccl. 3:1

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Privilege of Persecution

     Our pastor recently shared a story from the book The Privilege of Persecution in a recent sermon.  The authors minister to those Christians around the world that experience persecution for their faith.  Persecutions like being denied religious freedoms and basic human rights are woven throughout the book.  These persecuted Christians are discriminated against for their faith, put into prison for their faith, and some believers are even killed for their faith in Jesus Christ.  The faith of the persecuted Church cost them more than it does in the West.  We may end up losing friends but  it can cost them their lives, their families, their comfort, & favor. The Privilege of Persecution caused me to really think.
     Believers in some of the countries have to hide God's Word in their hearts because it's the only way to access it.  Americans whine about how hard it is to commit scripture to memory, me included.  Ask me the lyrics to my favorite songs from years ago or even now, no problem there. Not disciplining myself to memorize scripture because it's hard is a copout. I am an athlete.  I know how much discipline and training it takes to win, to achieve, to succeed, to reach my goals.  It's hard, sometimes painful, and sometimes I honestly don't like it.  It's bound to be the same with scripture memory, but the results are worth it.
     What if....we find our freedom to have the Bible in our possession stripped away tomorrow? Where would I be? I know several verses; but passages, nope.  Quiet honestly, that's embarrassing on so many levels.  I must follow the example of our persecuted brothers and sisters and know the Word, treasure it in my heart.  Why? It's Truth.  It's freedom, it's life, it's power, it's everything.  This will take accountability.
     The persecuted church likes to pray.  Yes, they" like" to pray.  I was reminded that how we view prayer is actually how we view God.  They are happy that the God of the entire universe would actually make time to spend with them personally as they talk to Him and as "get" to listen to Him.  They are absolutely dependant on prayer.  We need more of that.  I need more of that.  Their love for the Lord, their fear of Him, the way they worship the holy God is beautiful.
     Other issues addressed in the book that caused me to do a heart check were on their non-issues, like busyness, forgiveness, letting our blessings/our stuff get in the way of our walk.   My toes were getting stepped on all over this book.

The Privilege of Persecution Book - Written By Dr. Carl Moeller & David Hegg with Craig Hodgkins. Foreward by Brother Andrew

     I have a lot to put into practice that I see in the lives my persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ.  I walk away with much respect for the persecuted church and their willingness to live out their faith no matter what the cost.  I want to adopt that attitude, that heart, for Jesus, in America.  And "if" my freedoms were removed, would I be as courageous as these? I pray so.  Would I see persecution on behalf of the one I profess to love a privilege?

2 Tim 3:12," All who want to live a godly life in union with the Messiah Jesus will be persecuted." (ISV)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Why read Passion and Purity

In a society where nothing is sacred, Elisabeth Elliot offers us a real example of how to handle our passions and to pursue purity.  Elisabeth is a giant in the faith for us as women.  She truly seeks to live life abiding in Christ.  She encourages young women/women that purity, although costly, is worth the pursuit, it isn't cheap.  I love Elisabeth's love story that unfolds in the book, with the Lord! She's leaving an amazing legacy for us!  Billy Graham said, "This book is definitely for men, too."  I read Passion and Purity as a teenager, it's almost as if I was reading it for the first time recently.  Can I encourage you to read or reread the book?  Married, single, or teenager, it's an incredibly applicable to every season of life!  Make time, it'll be worth it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Breakthroughs birthed in prayer

Today is day 4 of camp, the last full day of camp.  While I am praying that it's not the typical Thursday night camp service, I am praying that many students will choose to follow Christ tonight in complete obedience.  We need surrendered lives.

Playtime is over.  As our friend Dr. Jay Strack says, "It's time for the little girl to sit down, and the young woman to stand up.  It's time for the little boy to sit down, and the young man stand up." 

While many are making decisions this week, moving forward with Christ, abiding in Him; there are still some that are completely resistant to the Gospel...we need breakthroughs birthed in prayer.  Please be praying with us today.  Please cover the names of our students and leaders. 

Praying that we see this life is really not about us as Rick Warren so simply put it.  I pray that students honestly examine their hearts. 

"We cannot play games with God, and at the same time experience spiritual awakening." Ronnie Floyd. 

"Changed lives.  Results from being in the holy presence of God.  Changed attitudes, changed relationships, changed hearts.  This is what can happen when we experience the supernatural power of God....When we repent of our willful desires to put distance between ourselves and God's holiness, He will change our attitudes toward our most cherished sins, and we will find ourselves in the center of a spiritual breakthrough.  Only as we live in His presence will the power of the Holy Spirit enable us to change both our attitudes and our conduct.  Instead of our self-worshipping nature wants to do, we will choose to do what God wants us to do...God will give us liberty.  We will know the meaning of true worship.  Our sinfulness, hopelessness, and insufficiency will come so clearly to the forefront that we, like the hearers of Jonathan Edwards's sermon-will know we are but one step from destruction.  This is what can happen to us when we stand in awe of the holiness of God."  Ronnie Floyd

'
J.I. Packer says, "Holiness is the very purpose of regeneration: that believers become Christlike.  Nothing defeats Satan's purposes for Christians like a a holy life, and nothing plays into his hands more than the failure to practice holiness.  Holiness gives credibility to witness; lack of it negates the witness.  True happiness comes only as a by product of holiness."

Praying for students to follow hard after Him today.  When we experience true worship of  God, our lives change.  We begin to care more about the things of God than about what we want.  I am praying for myself, all the same things this week, this time has been incredibly refreshing for me in so many ways.  The quiet moments while Caleb naps in the morning and in the afternoon are incredible.  Listening to the message via livefeed has been awesome!  The Truth is being preached this week.  He has been displayed. The Lord's speaking and I pray I will be found faithful. 

Pray that today, students will being living out the gospel "as they go."  There will be people hurting all around them, and me, today.  Pray that we have His eyes for them and can offer them the love of Christ.  This may mean for students, leaving their buddies/girlfriends awhile and taking some quiet moments with someone within the youth group who is hurting and pulling away for a bit to "bear one another's burdens." Maybe they bump into a vacactioner and strike up a conversation that points them to Christ even in the elevator.  Praying "as we go" that they'd point to Him today.  That they'd truly enjoy fellowship with oneanother while being on the lookout for divine appointments. 

Also, please pray for "unity among the brethern."  Pray that students would restore relationships this week. That they'd truly enjoy being together with one another. 

Pray from Ephesians 4:12-32:

17:So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
      25Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another. 26BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27and do not give the devil an opportunity. 28He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. 29Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Thanks for taking time to read and to pray.  Breakthroughs are birthed in prayer!

"Prayer does not equip you for greater works. 
  Prayer is the greater   work."       Oswald Chambers

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Memorial Stones

Today I FINALLY had the chance to take my little buddy jogging...it was nice and overcast; such a blessing to get the baby out in early in the morning to run and talk to the Lord before the heat set in.  I was living an answer to prayer...jogging with my baby...on the streets where I'd so longed to have my arms filled again.



The roads in Orange Beach are a memorial stone place for me, for our family--a place to remember and reflect upon the goodness and faithfulness of our God during the grieving times.


I had an amazing moment today!  As Garrett headed to worship with the students, I delayed Caleb's bedtime for a bit...feeling drawn to Grand Pointe, the place we ran away to after Gabe's celebration of life on Dec. 25, 2008.   Then at Thanksgiving, Gabe's 1st birthday, we returned, after having recently beginning the adoption journey.  It was here where the Lord continued to lead us, speak to us, encourage us, mend us, and directed us.
 
Although Caleb was already asleep, I could not resist waking him as I saw a couple passing by that could capture this moment for us with my cell phone camera.  I briefly asked if they could snap a picture of me and my son.  I thanked them for their time as I explained that in 2008 we'd lost a son, and this was the very place where we came after his homegoing. Then I explained that the Lord had chosen to fill our arms two years later through the miracle of adoption with this precious child, Caleb.  And what a blessing it was to return to this spot with the gift of a precious life to our family from His arms to mine, for the very first time. 

"Great is thy faithfulness, morning by morning, new mercies I see...Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me." 
  
 What a moment, what a GOD!  Incredibly grateful today for His goodness! 




















How do I become more devoted?

Thanks for taking time to pray for High School students this week at Student Life youth camp.

Suggested prayers in the student life material for today include:

Pray that students will have a desire to grow in their devotion to Jesus
Pray that students will value quality time spent with God
Pray that students will develop a passion for prayer and Bible study

Today's question is how do I become more devoted? Students will read Acts 2:42-47, Phil. 1:27-2:5.

"Being devoted is a lifelong calling.  During our lifetime we have the opportunity to grow in our devotion.  Throughout the book of Acts we get a picture of what this looked like in  the lives of individuals as well as the early Church as a whole." (Student Life Leader Guide)

Picture from last night's church group devotion time with @garrettgrubbs, student pastor, my hubby and favorite youth pastor! 

mc6zd.jpg
Pray by name...

Camp Pastor this week is JD Greear. Our adult leaders are leading Family group Bible studies.

Students:
Ada Bailey
Rachel Bailey
Dylan Barnes
Lakese Brown
Emily Brunson
Jerilyn Byrd
Christina Charles
Mary Margaret Charles
Morgan Clark
Annalese Clem
McKenzie Cole
Olivia Cook
Payton Couch
Bethany Cromie
Bailey Duncan
Madison Duncan
Amelia Elder
Jovanna Escobar
Marly Eubanks
Alicia Evans
Emily Garland
Taylor Glow
Becky Graves
Jennifer Henson
Meggan Hunnewell
Hazzannah Jones
Kayla Kirkland
Ashley Lane
Alexandria Lewis
Amie Loudermilk
Mallory McClearn
Madison McClearn
Emilee McLeod
Katie Meagher
Morgan Miller
Bree Milliner
Ashlyn Peachey
Savannah Peachey
Hannah Plummer
Savannah Peachy
Brooklyn Rainey
Taylor Reynolds
Katie Richards
Leigh Robinson
Kelsey Rogers
Mar Claire Sanders
Michaela Satchell
Kimberly Smith
Kelsey Spencer
Sarah Stone
Lidsey Taylor
Cara Walker
Taylor Weaver
Jade West
Chassidy Williams
Saralyn Wilson

Aaron Anthony
Skylar Barnes
Trey Broome
Terranc Burnette
Daniel Cooper
Brandon Cromie
Brett Cromie
Rashard Davis
Shaine Edmonson
Syd Erikson
Josh Flickenger
Brandon Gonzalez
MJ Green
Jeremy Hancock
Parker Hatcher
Josh Howick
Dustin Howell
Larrece Kelley
Landon Montgerard
Clay Norman
Jacori Oliver
William Orr
Ben Proctor
Jacob Rodriguez
Steven Rogers
Brett Sheperd
Daniel Smit
Jud Spencer
Jacob Sproul
Patrick Stanford
James Strawder
Chandler Tabb
Clay Wyatt
Jansen Barnes
Torrey Andrews
Aahron Daniels

Leadership:
Garrett Grubbs
Traci Grubbs
Kenny Miller
Lon Jorgensen
Karen Jorgensen
Chris Mathis
Kaitlyn Frits
Jim Russell
Anita Russell
Chris Matthews
Todd Stone
Cherie Peachey
Patricia Bennett
Wendy McLeod
Kaitlyn Lamb
Cindy Stone
Christine Kozuch

Please pray over each student and leader this week.

You can follow Sherwood Student Ministry on Twitter @sherwoodteens and Facebook under sbc students as well.

This week's theme is devoted and comes from Deut. 6:5, "Love th Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."

Praying that studnts will come to truly KNOW Jesus Christ this week and understand what it means to be devoted. Praying that students will honestly evaluate where their devotion lies;is it for Christ or for self.

Don't forget you can tune into listen to the service tonight @ http://www.studentlife.com/ and follow the prompts.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

He's turned my mourning into dancing

In 2008, on Christmas Eve, our gracious pastor and church allowed us time away to seek the Lord following the death of our infant son, Gabe Chaney Grubbs.  A gracious friend offered their beach condo for us to spend time together with one another and with the Lord.

So on Christmas Eve, we said goodbye to family and went to be comforted by the peace of Christ.  We needed a change of scenery, and what a healing place we found in Orange Beach able to reflect surrounded by God's creation.  The condo has double balconies, one of the beautiful pass and the other looks out over the ocean. There's something about the beach for me, the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach that reminds me of the beauty of our God, His power, and His sovereignty. 

The Lord was teaching me all about His sovereignty in through the loss of yet another child.  I also found Him compassionate, as He Himself was witness to His Son's death, He's no stranger to grief.  We serve a compassionate God who does not delight in bringing affliction to His children (Lam. 3:33) yet "who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." (2 Cor. 1:4)

He was our Rock during the storm, our Anchor when the waves of life were crashing all around us...He was (and is) the CALM, the PEACE in the storm.  I found Him to be enough  His balm that soothes the hurt, the pain, is incomprehensible to me. But was completely sufficient.  I praise Him for giving me so much love always, but particularly during those days. 

Honestly, "I thought" that the Lord must have had an incredible plan to get glory through an incredible healing in Gabe's life.  track with me for a moment:  My water broke 19 weeks into pregnancy, it was a miracle that the Lord sustained Gabe's life through the first night in the hospital, He continued to have many close calls as his heart deceled at times...but my thoughts continued...if God had sustained His life with such little water for 10 weeks of me on my back in the hospital, if He survived birth, andsurvived transport to another hospital 4 hrs away (all miracle within themselves if you talk to medical personel), that there must be a BIG plan for Gabe's healing. 

There WAS a big plan! An ULTIMATE HEALING in being absent from his body and present with the Lord Jesus.  Paul says it best, "Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord."  God called Gabe Home on Dec. 20, 2008.  Gabe did not continue to suffer and be in pain, Gabe found himself in the arms of His Heavenly Father...how can we NOT prefer Gabe to be present with the Lord? I long for that day myself.  I rest in Him. I look forward to being reunited with both of my sons who're already there, Gabe and Graham. 

I receive much joy when I recall ALL the Lord taught me in being Gabe's mother as he was on earth...although briefly, those days were precious.  28 precious weeks of carrying and nuturing Gabe in my tummy, feeling his happy feet kick my sides, reading to Gabe, singing to him, praying for him, and looking into his eyes....all such tender moments from the Lord.  Such treasured vivid memories. 

It wasn't until March of 2009 that we began to hear God speaking to our hearts about adoption.  But it was in October that we stepped out of the boat in faith and watched God being to prepare us to parent another child.  Oddly enough, He spoke first through Christian radio and the testimonies of others who had big hearts for caring for orphans as parents.  I didn't want to believe that message was zeroed in for our family; but there was no denying He was at work, and we needed to join Him.   

To celebrate Gabe's first birthday, we returned to Orange Beach, rented a condo at the same location we had visited following his celebration of life (which most refer to as a funeral).  On the balcony, Thanksgiving, morning, we spent precious moments with the Lord.  He continued healing our hearts while preparing us for the future son he had for us.  We did a lot of business with God that week; many jogs on Beach Boulevard...up and down the grueling bridge...something about talking to God and "running my heart out" before Him, soooo refreshing!  It was a sweet celebration of past and of what was yet to come.

This week, in my first return trip to Orange Beach for the first time since 2009.  Last year at this time, while Garrett returned back to Orange Beach, I found myself stranded waiting for another adoption that we were pursuing in another state. 

What a joy to return to Orange beach with our son, CALEB ELLIOT GRUBBS, who God called us to adopt August 12, 2011 after a long faith journey.  We have the privilege of praising Him where our hearts were praying for him. 

Part of me wants to knock on the condo door at Grand Pointe and say, "Excuse me, can I borrow your balcony for a few precious moments with my son and the Lord?" I would absolutely hold him up in the air, toward Heaven, and say to the Lord, "Here is Caleb, the child you promised to entrust us to raise on this earth.  THANK YOU for your kindness towards us.  May we always remember whose child he is.  May we be found faithful as his earthly parents in pointing Him to you every moment you ordain us to walk this earth together."  I want to sing a praise to my God there.  I want to weep before Him there with tears of joy!  He has turned my ashes (grief) into beauty!  He has filled the desires of my heart (Ps 37:4).
"You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy," Psalm 30:11

This is the day we were able to finalize Caleb's adoption, Dec. 28, 2011, an incredible day remembering the faithfulness of our Father!

Am I Devoted?

It was a beautiful site to see our students rising early, after a long day, meeting with the Lord, united in prayer and indivudally, calling on Him, listening to His Word, all across the beach from our balcony this morning!  What an awesome blessing to take my son, Caleb outside where he could see our students praying!  I know Caleb does not understand yet, but He will.  I am grateful for students with a heart for the Lord that are setting an example for Caleb's generation! 

Please continue to pray over the list of names of our campers and staffers.  Here are some thoughts from the student life curriculum for today...

Peter serves as an example for students of what it means to be devoted as the question is asked of each student today if they are devoted.  Upon examining Peter, they see how he was devoted from his earliest days with Jesus.  Second, through his testimony and confession we learn just who jesus was and is, the Christ, the Son of God.  Third, studnets identify with him when he doesn't measure up to his own boasts of devotion and celebrate that his restoration provides us with hope for our own.  Last, stuents are challenged by his first sermon to examine whether or not they are devoted themselves.  Peter serves as a good aid as students (and us for that matter) seek to answer that very question for themselves. 

To follow along throughout today, read Matthew 16:16, 4:18-20; 16:13-18; 26:1-35, 69-75; John 21:15-22; Acts 2:14-41; 1-2:7; 1 Peter 1:13-25; 2 Peter 1 :3-15

Prayer suggestions:
Specifically, pray that students will see the need for God's salvation and forgiveness in their lives.
Pray that students will understand Jesus' call to follow Him.
Pray that students will respond in faith to the gospel and become fully devoted followers of Christ.

Students:
Ada Bailey
Rachel Bailey
Dylan Barnes
Lakese Brown
Emily Brunson
Jerilyn Byrd
Christina Charles
Mary Margaret Charles
Morgan Clark
Annalese Clem
McKenzie Cole
Olivia Cook
Payton Couch
Bethany Cromie
Bailey Duncan
Madison Duncan
Amelia Elder
Jovanna Escobar
Marly Eubanks
Alicia Evans
Emily Garland
Taylor Glow
Becky Graves
Jennifer Henson
Meggan Hunnewell
Hazzannah Jones
Kayla Kirkland
Ashley Lane
Alexandria Lewis
Amie Loudermilk
Mallory McClearn
Madison McClearn
Emilee McLeod
Katie Meagher
Morgan Miller
Bree Milliner
Ashlyn Peachey
Savannah Peachey
Hannah Plummer
Savannah Peachy
Brooklyn Rainey
Taylor Reynolds
Katie Richards
Leigh Robinson
Kelsey Rogers
Mar Claire Sanders
Michaela Satchell
Kimberly Smith
Kelsey Spencer
Sarah Stone
Lidsey Taylor
Cara Walker
Taylor Weaver
Jade West
Chassidy Williams
Saralyn Wilson

Aaron Anthony
Skylar Barnes
Trey Broome
Terranc Burnette
Daniel Cooper
Brandon Cromie
Brett Cromie
Rashard Davis
Shaine Edmonson
Syd Erikson
Josh Flickenger
Brandon Gonzalez
MJ Green
Jeremy Hancock
Parker Hatcher
Josh Howick
Dustin Howell
Larrece Kelley
Landon Montgerard
Clay Norman
Jacori Oliver
William Orr
Ben Proctor
Jacob Rodriguez
Steven Rogers
Brett Sheperd
Daniel Smit
Jud Spencer
Jacob Sproul
Patrick Stanford
James Strawder
Chandler Tabb
Clay Wyatt
Jansen Barnes
Torrey Andrews
Aahron Daniels

Leadership:
Garrett Grubbs
Traci Grubbs
Kenny Miller
Lon Jorgensen
Karen Jorgensen
Chris Mathis
Kaitlyn Frits
Jim Russell
Anita Russell
Chris Matthews
Todd Stone
Cherie Peachey
Patricia Bennett
Wendy McLeod
Kaitlyn Lamb
Cindy Stone
Christine Kozuch

Please pray over each student by name...or ask the Lord to give you a special group of students to "adopt" in your prayers all week long throughout the day, maybe 3-4 names that you can take before the Lord each time He brings camp to mind.  Idea: each time you eat or drink today, take time prior to and lift up campers before the Lord...let food/drink be a prayer trigger.

Thank you for your investment in our students!  He is listening! 

Lastly, let's ask the Lord as we examine our hearts in the reading of His Word if we are devoted....are we pointing the students to Christ in our devotion to Him? Or do our lives lead them away from Christ.  Let's spend some time with Him today...at His feet...and let Him speak as we are still.  We must prepare for our students' return...let us rejoice with them in the work Christ is doing rather than discourage because we have not had a time of refreshing with Him this week.  He is calling, let's meet with Him.

Monday, June 20, 2011

High School Camp @ the Beach

Traveling through the Sunshine state on our way to Student Life Camp with 107 of our high school students. Wecovet your prayers this week while at camp for our campers as well as our adult leaders.

Today's schedule:
2-4:OO CST registration
5 CST dinner
7:OO CST Youth Pator Mtg
7:30 CST Worship
9:OO CST church group time

Camp Pastor this week is JD Greear. Our adult leaders are leading Family group Bible studies.

Students:
Ada Bailey
Rachel Bailey
Dylan Barnes
Lakese Brown
Emily Brunson
Jerilyn Byrd
Christina Charles
Mary Margaret Charles
Morgan Clark
Annalese Clem
McKenzie Cole
Olivia Cook
Payton Couch
Bethany Cromie
Bailey Duncan
Madison Duncan
Amelia Elder
Jovanna Escobar
Marly Eubanks
Alicia Evans
Emily Garland
Taylor Glow
Becky Graves
Jennifer Henson
Meggan Hunnewell
Hazzannah Jones
Kayla Kirkland
Ashley Lane
Alexandria Lewis
Amie Loudermilk
Mallory McClearn
Madison McClearn
Emilee McLeod
Katie Meagher
Morgan Miller
Bree Milliner
Ashlyn Peachey
Savannah Peachey
Hannah Plummer
Savannah Peachy
Brooklyn Rainey
Taylor Reynolds
Katie Richards
Leigh Robinson
Kelsey Rogers
Mar Claire Sanders
Michaela Satchell
Kimberly Smith
Kelsey Spencer
Sarah Stone
Lidsey Taylor
Cara Walker
Taylor Weaver
Jade West
Chassidy Williams
Saralyn Wilson

Aaron Anthony
Skylar Barnes
Trey Broome
Terranc Burnette
Daniel Cooper
Brandon Cromie
Brett Cromie
Rashard Davis
Shaine Edmonson
Syd Erikson
Josh Flickenger
Brandon Gonzalez
MJ Green
Jeremy Hancock
Parker Hatcher
Josh Howick
Dustin Howell
Larrece Kelley
Landon Montgerard
Clay Norman
Jacori Oliver
William Orr
Ben Proctor
Jacob Rodriguez
Steven Rogers
Brett Sheperd
Daniel Smit
Jud Spencer
Jacob Sproul
Patrick Stanford
James Strawder
Chandler Tabb
Clay Wyatt
Jansen Barnes
Torrey Andrews
Aahron Daniels

Leadership:
Garrett Grubbs
Traci Grubbs
Kenny Miller
Lon Jorgensen
Karen Jorgensen
Chris Mathis
Kaitlyn Frits
Jim Russell
Anita Russell
Chris Matthews
Todd Stone
Cherie Peachey
Patricia Bennett
Wendy McLeod
Kaitlyn Lamb
Cindy Stone
Christine Kozuch

Please pray over each student and leader this week.

You can follow Sherwood Student Ministry on Twitter @sherwoodteens and Facebook under sbc students as well.

This week's theme is devoted and comes from Deut. 6:5, "Love th Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."

Praying that studnts will come to truly KNOW Jesus Christ this week and understand what it means to be devoted. Praying that students will honestly evaluate where their devotion lies;is it for Christ or for self.

Pray students grasp the need to be devoted to Christ over self in their own lives. I am reminded of what Jesus said in Luke 9;22-23, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me willsave it."

I am elated to be able to be part of praying for our students and leaders this week! But have such joy knowing Jesus prays us in John 17. Looking forward to seeing life change this week camp-wide that radically transforms lives to His glory.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

1 Tim. 4:12 in action

Grateful for many students who took time to visit the prayer closet tonight and who prayed for missionaries and persecuted Christians in the various stations.  I saw a ton of prayer cards that were wonderful evidences of the prayers that were offered tonight on behalf of our sisters and brothers in Christ.  It is so encouraging seeing students who are seeking the Lord and who have a heart for prayer.  I am so grateful for our intern team who made the prayer closet possible.  Another thing that brought me joy today was when I saw one of our students who's visiting California tweeting that she was praying as well although she was not physically present...very cool to see students in love with Christ and desiring the gospel to be declared among the nations.  I praise God for these young prayer warriors and am reminded of 1 Tim. 4:12, "Don't let anyone look down on you for being young. Instead, make your speech, behavior, love, faith, and purity an example for other believers." What an example they are setting for us as believers...thanks, students! I love you!


Sweet duty





Tonight, our awesome interns are hosting an AROUND THE WORLD theme night...which I think is so cool!  The students are dressing up in garb representing different peoples and will be encouraged to pray for missionaries as well as to those people groups that need to hear the gospel. 
While many of you reading may not be able to attend, I would LOVE to issue a challenge that our family is taking...in particular to Sherwood students and families of students in @Sherwoodchurch, will you commit to make it your “sweet duty” to keep praying for missionary families all summer? 
Yes, summers are busy, but what a sweet duty it is, and what a neat way to spend some family time that lifts up Christ and those who are serving Him faithfully in missions around the world.  Even taking time at family mealtimes is a great time to pray for missions.  It shifts our often me-centered focus to the Lord and others...may spark some great dinnertime conversations as well. 
Are the students and kiddos "bored," have them research about how to encourage missionaries, encourage creativity.  Need a cheap idea? Take home some prayer cards from the church-and let them drop them off by the church office or better yet in the offering plate...their prayer offering for the week. I can think of some college students who were recently on the prayer list and families who'd be so encouraged by our prayers. 
Will you pray with us tonight and this summer?
CS Lewis said it is our sweet duty to pray for those we love.
I encourage you to join our students from wherever you are tonight as they pray for those serving around the world.  The following scriptures below can serve as a prayer guide in addition to how the Lord leads you to pray for these families.
Exodus 4:12; 33:14
Psalms 4:8, 19:14, 121:1-8
Isaiah 40:29-31; 55:10-11
Zechariah 4:6
Acts 1:8, 4:29,30
Ephesians 3:16-20; 6:10-20

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Who helps campers become and remain devoted?


Today is day 4 of camp, the last full day of camp.  While I am praying that it's not the typical Thursday night camp service, I am praying that many students will choose to follow Christ tonight in obedience and that our adult leaders have much wisdom and compassion as they counsel.  Praying students will have the boldness to be honest with themselves, to the Lord, and to an adult at some point today.  My prayer is that no camper leaves camp having been resistant to the Holy Spirit's calling and leaves with no spiritual marker from Student Life Camp 2011.  I was reading a facebook msg last night from my best friend in high school, Stephanie Wilburn Clanton.  It was a really encouraging message...unique...she wrote to her bridesmaids on her wedding annniversary a very sweet encouraging note regarding our friendship.  One of the bridesmaids response included how my best friend had invited her to Summer Jam '92 (a Sherwood youth camp led by Jonathan Beasley) where she gave her life to Christ.  This bridesmaid is now a beautiful Christ follower, minister's wife, and mother...praise the Lord...for students who invite their friends to youth camp...and for youth camp all around...and that it's truly a huge opportunity for students like this friend of ours and myself, who come from many walks of life to accept and grow in Christ at youth camp.  Praying today....for much fruit to abound.  Would you pray with me?

Student life suggests that adults will accept the privilege and responsibility to disciple these students (Let's add from camp or at home)....I am who I am in Christ because of women like Elisabeth Beasley, Davina Seymor, Lindsay Johns, Kim Bateman, Sue Freeman, Wendy McLeod, Kendra Schultz, Jan Kennedy, Becky Williams, Angie Barber, Debbie Beasley, Diane Giddens, Angela Wilburn, Leah Glow and on and on...who took a chance in pouring God's word into my messy life during my high school years...and in turn, pointed me to Christ....I am so grateful they took time to drive me, invite me, invest in me, disciple me, and challenge me in my walk--their investment is priceless. 

Pray for students to value the discipling relationship and will seek out others to disciple them.

Pray that students leave this week of camp with a new or renewed devotion to Jesus Christ and insight into the tools that can help them greow in their devotion.

Today's passage is 2 Tim. 1:3-14 and tonight I believe Ed will be sharing from 1 John.  The question they are answering today is who helps me become and remain devoted?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Middle School Camp Day 3

Thanks for taking time to pray for Middle School students this week at Student Life youth camp.

Suggested prayers in the student life material for today include:

Pray that students will have a desire to grow in their devotion to Jesus
Pray that students will value quality time spent with God
Pray that students will develop a passion for prayer and Bible study

Today's question is how do I become more devoted? Students will read Acts 2:42-47, Phil. 1:27-2:5 and continue their study in the evening of 1 John with @Ed_Newton. 

"Being devoted is a lifelong calling.  During our lifetime we have the opportunity to grow in our devotion.  Throughout the book of Acts we get a picture of what this looked like in  the lives of individuals as well as the early Church as a whole." (Student Life Leader Guide)

Pray by name...

Middle school girls
Carolyn Barnes, Hannah Barnes, Rachael Broome, Alaina Clem, Kade Coates, Kendall Cook, Rachael Cooper, Sarah Daniels, Anna Dunne, Tori Edmondson, Christina Eubanks, Jordan Hancock, Savannah Hargis, Kylee Harrod, Alli Jernigan, Julie Anna Jernigan, Kate Johnson, Madison Keller, Hannah King, Kelsey King, Courtney Kirkland, Imani McBean, Molly Kate McClearn, Linsdey McDaniel, Nicole Norman, Bri Pafford, Desire' Pantone, Malone Powell, Branson Rainey, Madelyn Smit, Lauren Sparks, Juliana Spencer, Hannah Thomson, Maci Underwood

Middle school guys
Kristopher Bradshaw, Darius Brown, Kenny Brown, Jacob Cravey, Blake Cromie, Dylan Evans, Josh Gonzalez, Laroon Harris, Quincy Hayes, Joshua Kendrick, Noah Kimsey, Connor Lawson, Rob Martin, Zac Miller, Xavier Mitchell, Carlson Moncrief, Samuel Orr, Grant Osteen, Micah Proctor, Reed Reynolds, Chandler Ricker, Blake Shepard, Tucker Smith, Spencer Taylor, Dalton Todd, Nick Wendland, Ben Williams

Our adult leaders include:
Garrett Grubbs (My favorite youth pastor), Kenny Miller, David Boyd, Lon Jorgensen, Clay Wyatt, Brett Shephard, Patrick Stanford, Doug Cochran, Jim Russell, Karen Jorgensen, Kimberly Prescott, Leslie McDaniel, Kathy Thompson, Claire Thompson, Katie Meagher, Sarah Stone, Annalise Clem, Emily Roberts
(There is a possibility that I have left someone out unintentionally...if you know this to be true, I would be happy to add their name, just let me know....in the meantime, we can cover anyone that I may've left out as well).

Middle School Camp Day 2

Please continue to pray over the list of names of our campers and staffers.  Here are some thoughts from the student life curriculum for today...

Peter serves as an example for students of what it means to be devoted as the question is asked of each student today if they are devoted.  Upon examining Peter, they see how he was devoted from his earliest days with Jesus.  Second, through his testimony and confession we learn just who jesus was and is, the Christ, the Son of God.  Third, studnets identify with him when he doesn't measure up to his own boasts of devotion and celebrate that his restoration provides us with hope for our own.  Last, stuents are challenged by his first sermon to examine whether or not they are devoted themselves.  Peter serves as a good aid as students (and us for that matter) seek to answer that very question for themselves. 

To follow along throughout today, read Matthew 16:16, 4:18-20; 16:13-18; 26:1-35, 69-75; John 21:15-22; Acts 2:14-41; 1-2:7; 1 Peter 1:13-25; 2 Peter 1 :3-15

Prayer suggestions:
Specifically, pray that students will see the need for God's salvation and forgiveness in their lives.
Pray that students will understand Jesus' call to follow Him.
Pray that students will respond in faith to the gospel and become fully devoted followers of Christ.

Pray by name...

Middle school girls
Carolyn Barnes, Hannah Barnes, Rachael Broome, Alaina Clem, Kade Coates, Kendall Cook, Rachael Cooper, Sarah Daniels, Anna Dunne, Tori Edmondson, Christina Eubanks, Jordan Hancock, Savannah Hargis, Kylee Harrod, Alli Jernigan, Julie Anna Jernigan, Kate Johnson, Madison Keller, Hannah King, Kelsey King, Courtney Kirkland, Imani McBean, Molly Kate McClearn, Linsdey McDaniel, Nicole Norman, Bri Pafford, Desire' Pantone, Malone Powell, Branson Rainey, Madelyn Smit, Lauren Sparks, Juliana Spencer, Hannah Thomson, Maci Underwood

Middle school guys
Kristopher Bradshaw, Darius Brown, Kenny Brown, Jacob Cravey, Blake Cromie, Dylan Evans, Josh Gonzalez, Laroon Harris, Quincy Hayes, Joshua Kendrick, Noah Kimsey, Connor Lawson, Rob Martin, Zac Miller, Xavier Mitchell, Carlson Moncrief, Samuel Orr, Grant Osteen, Micah Proctor, Reed Reynolds, Chandler Ricker, Blake Shepard, Tucker Smith, Spencer Taylor, Dalton Todd, Nick Wendland, Ben Williams
Our adult leaders include:
Garrett Grubbs (My favorite youth pastor), Kenny Miller, David Boyd, Lon Jorgensen, Clay Wyatt, Brett Shephard, Patrick Stanford, Doug Cochran, Jim Russell, Karen Jorgensen, Kimberly Prescott, Leslie McDaniel, Kathy Thompson, Claire Thompson, Katie Meagher, Sarah Stone, Annalise Clem, Emily Roberts
(There is a possibility that I have left someone out unintentionally...if you know this to be true, I would be happy to add their name, just let me know....in the meantime, we can cover anyone that I may've left out as well).

Thanks, ya'll!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Calling the Prayer Warriors, let's stand in the gap for Student Life Camp 2011

Motherhood has me in a different season of youth minister's wifedom this week...home...but in the meantime my heart is in prayer with for our students, our adults, and the Student Life teams at Shocco Springs. Would you join me in praying this week for our middle school students and our adult leaders?

Our students are attending Student Life Camp in Shocco Springs, AL.  They arrived safely today; praise the Lord.  There are 80+ from our church but hundreds of others attending this week as well.  (Another church we served at in Alabama is also attending this week...pretty cool).

Middle school girls
Carolyn Barnes, Hannah Barnes, Rachael Broome, Alaina Clem, Kade Coates, Kendall Cook, Rachael Cooper, Sarah Daniels, Anna Dunne, Tori Edmondson, Christina Eubanks, Jordan Hancock, Savannah Hargis, Kylee Harrod, Alli Jernigan, Julie Anna Jernigan, Kate Johnson, Madison Keller, Hannah King, Kelsey King, Courtney Kirkland, Imani McBean, Molly Kate McClearn, Linsdey McDaniel, Nicole Norman, Bri Pafford, Desire' Pantone, Malone Powell, Branson Rainey, Madelyn Smit, Lauren Sparks, Juliana Spencer, Hannah Thomson, Maci Underwood
Middle school guys
Kristopher Bradshaw, Darius Brown, Kenny Brown, Jacob Cravey, Blake Cromie, Dylan Evans, Josh Gonzalez, Laroon Harris, Quincy Hayes, Joshua Kendrick, Noah Kimsey, Connor Lawson, Rob Martin, Zac Miller, Xavier Mitchell, Carlson Moncrief, Samuel Orr, Grant Osteen, Micah Proctor, Reed Reynolds, Chandler Ricker, Blake Shepard, Tucker Smith, Spencer Taylor, Dalton Todd, Nick Wendland, Ben Williams
Our adult leaders include:
Garrett Grubbs (My favorite youth pastor), Kenny Miller, David Boyd, Lon Jorgensen, Clay Wyatt, Brett Shephard, Patrick Stanford, Doug Cochran, Jim Russell, Karen Jorgensen, Kimberly Prescott, Leslie McDaniel, Kathy Thompson, Claire Thompson, Katie Meagher, Sarah Stone, Annalise Clem, Emily Roberts

(There is a possibility that I have left someone out unintentionally...if you know this to be true, I would be happy to add their name, just let me know....in the meantime, we can cover anyone that I may've left out as well). 

Today, please pray that the students will understand that being devoted means abandoning everything else in our lives for the sake of knowing Jesus.  Philippians 3:8 says it this way, "More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord because of Him I have suffered th loss of all things & consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ."

Paul chose to adandon everything for the sake of Christ.  He immediately began living differently, dedicating his entire life to Jesus.  thsi is a picture of what it means to be devoted, and the call that each of us has from Jesus is no less dramatic.  Pray students will understand that Paul abandoned everything he had been in order to follow Jesus.  Pray that students will apply their understanding by evaluating their own devotion to Christ.  Pray students will understand what it means to be devoted.  Pray that they'll clearly see a measrue of their own devotion to Jesus.  Pray that students will grasp the great need to be devoted to Jesus in their own lives.

If you have time, read along with them in their study today
Acts 9:1-31, 7:51-8:3; Gal. 1:11-20; Phil. 3:1-14. 

Thanks for taking time pray with me.  Thanking God for all He has in store!  Ephesians 3:20

Follow this link to Listen live or email your student at camp...

Friday, June 3, 2011

"A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Prov. 17:22

video
What a journey it is!  I can't get over His faithfulness!  His gift of Caleb's laughter today in particular.

Psalm 113:9, "He gives the childless woman a family, making her a happy mother. Praise the LORD."

I totally love when the everyday moments of motherhood point me back to Christ. 

Today, Caleb and I were playing at the end of a long day while Daddy was at work with one of those cheap-o dollar rubber balls from Walmart, and it was one of those moments. 

We had been pushing the ball back and forth to each other...which I am amazed he can do at this age...and I threw the ball in the air...this turned his giggle box upside down!  I LOVED it!  I kept on and on...being sure to give him time to breathe in between...lol...as a careful mom would...but that laughter...in our home...is such a gift...a moment I had prayed for.

We began reading later...a book that I read many times as a child at my great grandma's house...Richard Scary's Nursery Rhymes...the story of the 3 bears...and something about how I impersonated Daddy Bear's voice..."someone has been sleeping in my bed"...and so on...turned that giggle box AGAIN, as we laid our head on the boppy together, reading and laughing together!  Precious answers to prayers! 

"A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."  Proverbs 17:22


Thank you, Jesus, for the gift of mothering Caleb, and for the laughter he's brought into our home, our hearts, and lives. 

The Message says it this way, "He gives childless couples a family, gives them joy as the parents of children. Hallelujah!"