Tuesday, March 30, 2010

some good reads

Hey all!

I thought I would share with you some awesome books that I have read over the years. These are of course only some of the ones I've read, loved and been inspired by, but I'm recommending them in hopes that you might wanna at least check them out. They are written by some awesome Jesus-loving guys and once you read these, you will never look at life in the same light again.

The first author: Rob Bell:

Book: Sex God; you can read more about it here.

Book: Velvet Elvis; you can read more about it here.

Book: Jesus Wants to Save Christians; you can read more about it here.

The other author, Donald Miller:

Book: Searching For God Knows What; you can read more about it here.

Book: Through Painted Deserts; you can read more about it here.

Book: Million Miles , you can read more about it here.

Book: Blue like Jazz; you can read more about it here.

Book: To Own A Dragon (Growing Up Without a Father); you can read more about it here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

remember when....

(all photos from Leigh)
We miss you leigh!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

the end of Matthew 5

Matthew 5: 33-48 (the end of Matthew: 5)

Hey all!!!!- here are some notes on last week’s bible study (just in case you weren’t there or want a recap). Please remember that these notes are not here to take the place of bible study, but rather to re-enforce what we’ve discussed and to discuss further.... With that said, I hope yall are able to take the time to read and discuss (you don’t have to have a blog account to discuss!!!)

Bible study notes:

33You know that our ancestors were told, "Don't use the Lord's name to make a promise unless you are going to keep it." 34But I tell you not to swear by anything when you make a promise! Heaven is God's throne, so don't swear by heaven. 35The earth is God's footstool, so don't swear by the earth. Jerusalem is the city of the great king, so don't swear by it. 36Don't swear by your own head. You cannot make one hair white or black. 37When you make a promise, say only "Yes" or "No." Anything else comes from the devil.

-What do you think Jesus is trying to get across here??? (Maybe that your word should be enough?)

-Is your word enough? When you make promises, do you stick to them? If so, then people are able to trust you and your word!

-Here Jesus is pointing out that there is no need to bring anything extra into the promise to make it more legit. In other words, if you are known as a person of your word, why would you need to "swear to God"? Wouldn’t your promise be enough to the person you’re promising? If it’s not, how can you fix that???

(Luke 6.29,30)
38You know that you have been taught, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." 39But I tell you not to try to get even with a person who has done something to you. When someone slaps your right cheek, [
i] turn and let that person slap your other cheek. 40If someone sues you for your shirt, give up your coat as well. 41If a soldier forces you to carry his pack one mile, carry it two miles. [j] 42When people ask you for something, give it to them. When they want to borrow money, lend it to them.

-Do you remember what God’s 1st rule and commandment is?? (HINT: found in 1 Corinthians!)

(Answer: To love each other as He as loved us)!

-Can we really love each other if we are seeking revenge?

-Revenge (like anger, which was discussed last week) takes hold of you and turns you bitter. Revenge nor anger allow you to be pure of heart and mind, which is what God asks of us.

(Luke 6.27,28,32-36)
43You have heard people say, "Love your neighbors and hate your enemies." 44But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you. 45Then you will be acting like your Father in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both good and bad people. And he sends rain for the ones who do right and for the ones who do wrong. 46If you love only those people who love you, will God reward you for that? Even tax collectors [
k] love their friends. 47If you greet only your friends, what's so great about that? Don't even unbelievers do that? 48But you must always act like your Father in heaven.

-Note: even the tax collectors (and other such corrupt people, ha!) are capable of loving their friends and family. Even evil people can love those who love them.
-As Christians, we are asked to love even those that the world does not. It’s difficult yes. Daunting, yes. But God asks it of us. And here’s the best part– He tells us to lean on him for the strength. Isn’t that awesome??? He doesn’t want us to go it alone. He knows we need help and He wants to help us!! What an awesome Father we have in Him!!!

-Verse 48: You must always be perfect...... take a minute to think about this.

-Is this possible? Why or why not?!?!?

-True, we are all sinners, but Jesus does think we are capable of trying- that we can try to be perfect like He was and again, He wants to help us!!!

-So how can we try to be perfect???
1-in character: aspire to be like Christ, the perfect role model
2-holiness- separate ourselves from the world’s sinful ways; follow His way instead (this is difficult, but accountability partners can really help you here!)
3-maturity- grow in Christ and with Christ; and remember, there’s always room to grow.
4-love- love others as Christ loved us.

So what can you do this week to try and be more like Christ? Remember, our Bible study readings are trying to help us figure out who Christ is, what was so awesome about Him and why we should try to be more like Him. How can you answer these from the chapter we just finished reading? (Maybe try putting this in your binder??)

I will try to remember to post links to the books I use to help me with these chapters, so yall know where my info comes from and so you can join in too if you want it!

Love you guys!

And remember:
-bring in juice for Sunday breakfast for the church
-Sign up for a time to meet with me! (30 minutes)
-donuts are coming this Sunday!!!!!

See you Sunday!
Your youth leader,

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

some news

Hey guys!
Hope you're having a good week so far!

I just have a couple of updates for you:

1- Please try and sign up for a time to meet with me. I'm just asking for about 30 minutes-- and it's just a small time frame in which I can talk to you and get to know you better (and where you are in your faith, etc.)

2-I'm coming up with some fun events for us to do- so stay tuned on that. ALSO please list in the comment sections some fun activities you'd like to do during youth group time (or even on another night (i.e. friday or saturday). This is to help me make sure we're all having fun. :) I may not pick what you list, but as long as it's safe and includes everyone, I don't see why we wouldn't do it... so plesae tell me your thoughts!!!

3-You will be getting your donuts this Sunday!!! We are also serving breakfast at the church this Sunday, so don't forget the juices!!! And be there to pick up your donuts!

love you guys!!!
-your youth leader,

Thursday, March 11, 2010

matthew 5 bible study notes (continued)

Bible Study Notes
March 7, 2010

The Importance of the Law
17 "Don't think that I have come to destroy the law of Moses or the teaching of the prophets. I have not come to destroy them but to bring about what they said. 18 I tell you the truth, nothing will disappear from the law until heaven and earth are gone. Not even the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will be lost until everything has happened.19 Whoever refuses to obey any command and teaches other people not to obey that command will be the least important in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys the commands and teaches other people to obey them will be great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 I tell you that if you are no more obedient than the teachers of the law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

v. 17: God’s laws were given to help people love God with all their hearts and minds (like how a parent/guardian gives us rules to abide by). By Jesus’ time though, the laws had become just a confusing mass of rules. Does this sound familiar to you??
Jesus is trying to get us back to the law’s original purpose!

V. 20: Jesus is saying, we need to be active in our faith and religion (unlike the Pharisees were).

Jesus Teaches About Anger
21 "You have heard that it was said to our people long ago, 'You must not murder anyone.[
a] Anyone who murders another will be judged.' 22 But I tell you, if you are angry with a brother or sister,[b] you will be judged. If you say bad things to a brother or sister, you will be judged by the council. And if you call someone a fool, you will be in danger of the fire of hell.
23 "So when you offer your gift to God at the altar, and you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there at the altar. Go and make peace with that person, and then come and offer your gift.
25 "If your enemy is taking you to court, become friends quickly, before you go to court. Otherwise, your enemy might turn you over to the judge, and the judge might give you to a guard to put you in jail. 26 I tell you the truth, you will not leave there until you have paid everything you owe.

Anger: v.25 & 26
-We’re held accountable even for our attitudes!

What is anger??

What does it do to you (spiritually, physically, emotionally.....)
-Is it allowing you to fully worship God?
-Is it hardening your heart?
-Is it making it harder for you to love?

How can we re-work this emotion for God? (This was a good point brought up by a youth member!) She uses her anger to help her, instead of focusing it on "getting even" or hurting that person or herself, she uses it to add to her character. How can you do this?

God gives us emotions for a reason, we get angry for a reason, but when you get angry— are you turning to God to take it away and make something useful from it?

If we are sacrificing half-heartedly, then we are not giving Him our all. God wants from us a pure heart and mind, He wants a whole person.

Jesus Teaches About Sexual Sin
27 "You have heard that it was said, 'You must not be guilty of adultery.'[
c] 28 But I tell you that if anyone looks at a woman and wants to sin sexually with her, in his mind he has already done that sin with the woman.29 If your right eye causes you to sin, take it out and throw it away. It is better to lose one part of your body than to have your whole body thrown into hell. 30 If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

What do you get from this besides "don’t lust"?

Does Jesus really mean cut out your eye? Or do you think maybe He’s trying to warn you of how sin can take over and effect you if we leave our sins unchecked....?

Jesus Teaches About Divorce
31 "It was also said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a written divorce paper.'[
d] 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife forces her to be guilty of adultery. The only reason for a man to divorce his wife is if she has sexual relations with another man. And anyone who marries that divorced woman is guilty of adultery.

-Marriage (in God’s eyes) never ends.

-One Bible we were using for this scripture said instead of "divorce" "to put them away".

What is so important about marriage?

- These days a lot of people seem to think that marriage is something that can be taken lightly. Our generation shows us "chick flick" movies where after the couple falls in love, it’s happily ever after and life is just perfect. What we don’t see is the hardships that come with marriage. It’s a relationship... it’s something that has to be worked on and it isn’t always easy. That’s why Jesus stresses the importance....it shouldn’t be taken lightly. He created marriage to last forever, and while He does say there are some instances where divorce is acceptable, He strongly disagrees with divorce in general.

Now, this might be a hard section (especially for those of us with divorced parents). However, I think that these verses are important, because I think what Jesus is trying to get across to us is that before agreeing to a "forever" contract with someone, you need to be careful. You need to realize that it’s not happily ever after all the time, it’s just like any other friendship, it takes work. BUT the work is someti mes what makes the whole thing worth it!

If you or your family has gone through a divorce, you know how it hurts. It tears a family apart. My parents were divorced when I was in middle school and I saw what it did to us as a family and to my parents individually. It causes a pain that God doesn't want us to have to feel. God is trying to talk to us about divorce and is against it, because of what it does to us.

Hopefully we can finish up chapter 5 this Sunday! Please join us for it! (Remember, Bible Study is at 9AM at the church!!!)

Please feel free to discuss more about this in the comment section! That's why it's there. And if you want to further discuss something with me, email me, call me, or seek me out after chruch, before, whatever. I'm here to help you with whatever I can!

much love,
your youth pastor,

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

upcoming events

Hey guys!
These are some time I have available for this month. I would love to meet with each of you individually and just catch up on how things are going in your life. I’m only asking to meet for about 30 minutes, so please let me know which time best works for you so that I can put you in that time slot and let others know it’s already filled.
We can meet at the church, and if you need a ride, please let me know! :)

Some times:

March 21st (Sunday) @ 11:30 (after church): ___________________
March 21st (Sunday) @ 3:30: __________________
March 21st (Sunday) @ 6PM:_________________

March 25th (Thursday) @ 7:30 (after community meal): ___________________

March 28th (Sunday) @ 11:30 (after church): _______________________
March 28th (Sunday) @ 3:30: _______________________


Thursday, March 11, 2010: Community Meal @ church from 6-7 (It’d be awesome if yall could
make it!)

Friday, March 12, 2010: Youthquake Live; meeting @ our church @ 6pm, should be back from
event by 10:30p,; please also bring $$ for food (which we’ll get on
the way there)

Sunday, March 14, 2010: Cross Training (@ Bible Study) @ 9am
Youth group (@ church) @ 4pm
***This is also the deadline to turn in your krispy kreme donut forms and money.****

your youth leader, kellie

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

hungry yet?

I am!!!!!
Donut fundariasing for Good Shepherd youth is here!!!!! Get your forms from me and start selling krispy kreme's yummy donuts!
price: 6.50 per dozen
what they can order: donuts by the dozen OR certificates for donuts by the dozen (the donuts allow your buyers to get their donuts whenever they are near a krispy kreme store (this does NOT include grocery stores or gas stations taht sell krispy kremes!)
deadline: all sales must be turned into me by March 14, 2010!!! I will place the orders and get them to you on March 21st! Also, remember to keep track of your money. If for whatever reason you are short, it will come out of your pocket.
Most importantly: have fun!!!!
love you all,

matthew 5 bible study notes & an update!

Hey all!

This past Sunday, February 28th we had our bible study on Matthew 5. We had a lot of familiar faces with us that we haven’t seen in awhile, which was amazing!!!! It’s always good to see so many wonderful people on such an early morning. :)

One thing that I really wanted to use this blog for was to share bible study notes with those of you that were unable to make it, so you can stay caught up and connected. Of course I don’t mean this as a substitution for bible study, since it really means more if you are there to discuss and interact. With that being said, this past Sunday we had some awesome conversation that actually didn’t allow us to finish reading Matthew 5, so we will try to finish it next Sunday morning. Here is some of what we did discuss this past time though:

Matthew 5 bible study notes:

Matthew 5:1-12:
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them saying: 3"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. 10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

The first section in this passage talks about the Beattitudes. In latin, beattitudes means to be supremely blessed &/or happy! My question to the group was what do you think the purpose of this sermon (this is known as the Sermon on the Mount) was?
The group came up with a couple things.....first, they believed that these verses’ purposes were related to hope and encouraging us to stay hopeful. We also came to the conclusion that this was Jesus’ way of showing and telling us how we can be happy in life. We just have to follow these words.... Something that was pointed out in reading these verses was how they are all seemingly contradictory to each other, but perhaps this is to remind us of how God’s ways are typically contradictory to the world’s. Do you find this to be true as well??? How so??

The next section of the passage.....
Salt & Light

13"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

First of all, salt was used as a metaphor, because it was something that everyone listening would be familiar with. Why?? ...can you guess??? the Dead Sea!!!! (it’s FULL of salt)!

Here are some questions for you:
- What does this part mean? Who is the salt of the earth? (Some in our group believe Jesus is talking about us, people). Do you agree?

-What does it mean in regards to if we lose our saltiness we will no longer be good?

-How do we lose our saltiness?
During our discussion we decided that if we made no effort to affect the world around us, we’re doing little to no use to God. We’re not helping spread His word or His love, and perhaps this is what is meant in losing our saltiness? Losing what makes us good to God? What do you think?

Also, what does it mean to be the light of the world?
We came up with that we should live so that others will see God in what we do and will then praise God for his wonderfulness. We should be active in our faith and try to not "hide the light". In fact, if we love our lives for Christ and grown like lights, we’re showing others what God looks like!

So how can you personally show people in our life what God looks like?????

It was at this point that we got onto the topic of being "happy" with our religion. So, I want to ask everyone reading (and this is something between you and God) are you happy with your religion? First, is it the man-made religion and other Christians that you might not be happy about? Or is it God you’re not happy with. I think it’s extremely important to know the difference before you can go further. Then, you need to ask yourself and figure out if you’re not happy, why is that? What’s the cause? It’s ok to doubt–everyone does! But it’s what you do with your doubt that can make or break you. Doubting and just giving in to the I don’t know will only hurt you, but doubting and searching for answers (turning to God, to the Bible, to leaders in the church) that is the healthy way to go about it.

As your youth pastor, my main concern is for you and your well-being (spiritually, emotionally, physically, etc.). I decided that I want to take more time one-on-one with each of you, my youth members and talk to you about God, your relationship with Him, and our relationship as youth pastor and youth. :) So look through your calendars and let me know what you have open on Sundays or Saturdays!!! I want to start setting up times for us to hang out and get to know each other even more.

We’ll be talking more about this Sunday and start setting up times!!! :)

As always, I love you all, because He loved me first!!!
Your youth leader,
(and please feel free to email me for anything you need/want– no question is too big or too small! My email is: kellz0505@gmail.com)!!!