The FCA students choosing to join Summit for niceSERVE gave us a glimpse of some of the amazing things our local schools have to offer—the relationships that only they can build, the influence that only they can have, and the skills that only they can offer.
“The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” Jesus’ voice rose as he ended his story with a burst of confidence and hope. Even I could feel it.
Shanon and Alejandro have worked in the arts for many years. When they felt the call to share the love of Jesus through dance at the Fringe Festival, they asked several in their church community to be a part of such a show. Through the hard work and many hours interpreting the story of “The Light Princess,” they knew it was worth the effort because it was a show that glorified God.
How often do we feel ourselves drawn to something bigger, something more, something different? We can all relate to that. But how often do we also find ourselves longing for a sneak peek of our story before taking that first step?
People need more than information on screens. They need relationship. They need people willing to take time out of their day to listen without judging. They need people to point them to the hope of Jesus.
Do you know the feeling of having a life-long fear fall away and be proven wrong? Do you know the feeling of someone looking at your secret shame and not walking away? Do you know the peace of sitting with someone who knows the worst of you and having it make your friendship stronger?
As I reflect this week about the sermon and the way it made me feel, I am asking God to take away the guilt and shame and inviting him to speak through me. I am asking that my basic desires not be at the forefront of my mind and heart but that I will trust in him and believe the truth of the gospel above all else.
As much as we have enjoyed traveling and reveled in our truly full summer, we never imagined not returning to our lives and to our church family. Being confident in the life God has given us is what gave us permission to enjoy the change in place and pace that we had during our sabbatical.
God is love; so we were not only made for love, we were made by love. And while our hearts too often settle for lesser love, true love is what we long for. True love is what penetrates the deepest parts of who we are.
As summer comes to an end, so does our time with our four summer interns. It has been a pleasure to have each of them around and we are so thankful for their time and hard work these past few months. But before we say goodbye, we wanted to take some time to check in and see what they did during and what they thought of their internship.
As the cast and crew broke down the set, put away props, and hung up costumes for the last time, my head swirled with thoughts. Gratitude for the experience. Love for everyone involved. Amazement at the support the show received... and wonderment at where the time went. The final performance of Jonah & The Wave Breakers marked the end of an almost four-month journey for most of the cast and crew. But for me, it began over two years ago.
So why in the world are we spending an entire summer studying prophets from thousands of years ago? Hopefully, now that we are halfway through the summer, you aren’t asking that question anymore. If you are, this blog post won’t answer that question. But at this point in our series on the minor prophets, you might have some questions about the historical context for these prophets. So this blog post is my attempt to answer those questions better than Wikipedia would.
Ethan realized he couldn’t be perfect on his own. He needed Jesus. While he was still in middle school, he started talking about the duality in his life with his Surge leaders, which alleviated much of the stress and shame. His Connect group embraced his vulnerability, which fostered an environment of trust and openness. Being able to confess and discuss his thoughts and feelings lifted a burden off of Ethan, and it freed him up to start praying and really listening to God.
But there is no double meaning to Jesus’ words. He tells Judas that Mary did exactly what she was equipped for—what he equipped her for. She did exactly enough. Jesus fills in the gaps between Mary’s small action and Judas’ harsh words. And because she didn’t let the standards set by Judas hold her back, Mary’s story speaks to me all these years later.
Yes, life might be easier if we could simply void out our emotions. But that kind of life wouldn’t be true life, would it? It wouldn’t be the kind of kingdom living that God invites us into. If God created emotions, then we can trust that they are good and serve a purpose. So what are we to do with them? It has been my experience that when we fully acknowledge our emotions, and entrust them with another person, we are on our way to holy feeling.
…he began searching for answers. He started praying again. He prayed asking God if he’s really there and if he’s really listening. “It developed into, like, I’m talking to someone that I know,” Austin explains. God used Austin’s prayers to pick him up piece by piece.
Spending quality time together is very important to the VonRabenaus. They’ve enjoyed many a family vacation—sometimes up north to see snow, sometimes across town to visit Disney, but usually to the beach. And they’re excited to add Family Camp to their wide repertoire of traditions.
In our study of Galatians, we have been looking at Paul’s defense of the gospel and his call to the believers in Galatia to not add anything—no rules, no laws, no additional steps—to their simple and profound faith in Jesus and in his death and resurrection. … I was reminded of the false gods that I and many believers that I know are tempted to serve again out of laziness, frustration, or just our plain self-centeredness.
Tecla refuses to be merely a product of her circumstances but has taken ownership of her life and lives from her identity as a child of Christ. She expresses this contrast of circumstance and true identity in her art.
It’s still scary to trust God sometimes. Committing to be a partner at Summit doesn’t mean my relationship with God is perfect and life is super easy now. There’s no switch on the control panel that makes everything great; there’s no autopilot. But I can sit knowing that he is for me and never against me.
The Edge Retreat was all about identity and why it’s important to tell your story truthfully. So after the retreat, we asked the students how they would introduce themselves to the author of their biography and what it means to them to know that God is the author of their story.
She realized that her debt was trapping her in the day to day struggles. She wasn’t able to look ahead to the future because she was placing so much effort on managing her finances today. This was just not the life she wanted—not for herself and certainly not for her daughter.
We had no idea what to expect, but we knew we weren’t committing to this alone. As our friends and family found out about the opportunity, they rallied around us and offered to help welcome Martin in any way they could. A member of our Connect group put it this way: “Your ‘yes’ is not just a ‘yes’ for you—it’s a ‘yes’ for our community.”
Like most of us, Sheri longed to live in a world where she is loved, she isn’t alone, and where goodness proves to be more powerful than evil. But what would that require of her? Since humanity was first exiled from the Garden of Eden, God has longed for his people to be restored to glory, free from the snare of sin and death, and living in his presence. What would that require of him?