VBS…Make the walls shake with Joy!

I love VBS. Now that I have that off my chest…DSC_1880 For some people VBS is a painful experience they have to live through.  For some youth workers VBS is some of the hardest times of their lives.  That is not me.  I love VBS.  I love those 15 hours of pure joy over five wonderful days.  I love the laughter, joy and Jesus we get to share with students for that week. It is some of the best times in the world.

I probably love VBS so much because it taught me something about Jesus that I will never forget and still love today.  You see I came from a Church that did VBS over the top awesome.  For a Church that worshiped 300 on a Sunday we had well over 550 students at VBS.  We packed the place to where we had kids everywhere and adults had to stand because you couldn’t sit is a pew.  (Luckily the fire marshal never showed up because I am sure we broke fire code)  But seriously, VBS to this day still brings me back to some amazing times in my faith journey and I learned some amazing things about Jesus those weeks..  We are now 20 days from VBS here at St. John and I can’t wait.

I learned one very important thing at VBS growing up that I pray is something I teach kids every year.  I learned Loving Jesus is fun.  Knowing Jesus is fun.  Singing and dancing for Jesus is fun.  Jesus brings us joy.  Once when I was a teen at VBS serving in music leading I was walking in late to the morning program because I was picking up my friend. When we walked in the kids were singing and the walls were literally shacking.  Not the speakers were cranking… The kids were singing so loud you could see the walls shake.  To this day I cannot  get that image out of my head.  I want my kids and all kids to sing so loud for Jesus the walls shake.  I want them to know him so much that the joy of His grace spreads to our community and world.  I look forward to sharing in the joy of the Lord in a few short weeks.  I am almost giddy with excitement.

Today as you walk with Jesus remember the joy we have in Christ.  Share that Joy with others. Maybe you aren’t in that season of Joy but I pray you can get there. I pray you can see the walls shaking because the joy of Jesus is being shared….Oh and if you are in Rochester Michigan come join us as we share Jesus with some amazing kids. I promise you will hear a joyful noise!!

7-8 Grade devotion project: two weeks of devotions

20150417_130636Starting Monday April 20th for the next two weeks this blog will be devoted to some awesome kids I work with here at our Lutheran school. This year I worked with our students to write devotions they would share with the congregation and world.  They worked for about two months on these devotions doing research about the biblical text and writing of the devotions. They aren’t perfect but I am proud of these students for stepping out and sharing their faith.  They are an amazing group of students to work with.  I hope they are a blessing to all who read them.

Check back each day for a new devotion through May 2, 2015.

Breathe, pray, breathe

untitled (2)Often as we read through twitter, or look on facebook we see a lot of anger, hate, sin, and frustration. We see people with stress, letting it out. We see broken relationships being hashed out online.  Have you ever read the comments under most articles published on the web.  People are angry, broken, and afraid.  I am angry, broken and afraid many times. So my question for today is how can we respond to all the anger, the hurt and pain?

To start I am reminded what my pastor said to me recently.  He said  “I am never surprised when people act like the sinners they are, I am shocked when they act like Christians.”  Too often I think we believe that everyone should be nice and happy all the time.  The reality is we are all sinners. We are all broken, angry and stressed, however we are also loved, redeemed, and saved by the one who came down from heaven.  So what do we do?  How do we make it through the day with so much stress, anger and hurt filling our world?  I have a suggestion, remember to breath, pray, and breath again.

I have seen lots of ways to help us but none has been more effective for me than just breathing, and praying.  Breathing is essential for life and so is prayer. Pray can help us see God at work, Prayer can help us focus on Jesus.  Lots of people take a walk, or look at something pretty. Recently I have see people post pictures of flowers to remember God’s great creation. These can all be good things. I would add breathe, pray and breathe again.  To breathe is to have life and to pray is have life.  Jesus is there with you, you can pray his words, “Neither do I condemn you; go and from now on sin no more”John 8:11b

I know we will continue to sin, we will continue to see others sin. I often try to remind myself Jesus has forgiven me, now go back out and follow him again. Be reminded of His kingdom of forgiveness and grace.  So as you are hurting, broken or angry today remember to breath, and pray, and breath again.