Generosity in the Church never ceases to amaze me.

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Over the 12 plus years I have been serving in ministry I have been amazed by many different peoples generosity.  This Sunday was one I really needed.  You see this past weekend I was sick.  I mean dog tired sick. I have run my body ragged between a trip to Disney, VBS, Hosting a day camp and strategic planning.  My body has literally been saying to me “Steve just STOP IT or else”.  I was sick all weekend and Sunday morning I just wanted to lay in bed.  I had been literally coughing all night and hadn’t slept except for about 2 hours from 8 AM-10 AM. I was miserable when I walked into St. John but I was there to help lead the service.  In all honesty I should have stayed home, but God had another plan.

To open the service I made a few announcements.  The most important one to me was a need we had for donations for a couple of our students who needed help to be able to attend the mission trip this summer. Throughout the service Jesus gave me the voice and allowed me to avoid coughing uncontrollable during the prayers and other parts I had to lead.  It was truly a miracle that I made it through the service. Praise God He is faithful to me and got me to the other side so I could see His great goodness. I am so glad I was there because I got to see Jesus move.

At the end of the service I had three people I come forward and ask what they could do to help.  One even wrote a check for the amount we needed for two of the students.  I was amazed.  I know I shouldn’t have been amazed but God brought those people forward to help reach a need for our young people.  I should never be surprised by the generosity of Gods people for His mission.  I am so glad Jesus brought me to that moment.  I got to see Him work.

Today as you may be feeling down, or tired, or broken be reminded that Jesus is continuing to work in the lives of His people. He is working to bring about His good and we are blessed often when we can see it. My prayer for you today is that you see Jesus work his miracles working in your lives.

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Tell your daughter she is beautiful, show your son it is manly to love Jesus! Lessons from the Mission trip.

22086_514760352023887_970493562160296772_nLast week I spent time with 20 high school youth on our annual mission trip.  It was my last week really working with them because God has called me to a new place in ministry.  It was a week of much joy, crying, and laughter. It was truly a great week of ministry.  As the week progressed I spent a lot of time with guys and girls in one on one in conversations. I  got many opportunities to talk with my youth group and with other students on my crew.  Here is what I learned.

All girls need someone to tell them they are beautiful.  They need it desperately.  We live in a world that tells them they aren’t good enough, pretty enough, or special enough.  Girls who are paper thin and the girls who are not don’t ever need encouragement to loose weight. They feel they are ugly.  They feel no one thinks they are pretty.  I spent the better part of two nights telling girls they were beautiful. That Jesus finds them beautiful inside and out.  God looks upon them through the eyes of Jesus and sees beautiful women of God.  Please if you are reading this go and find your daughter and tell her she is the most beautiful person in the world. If you have a friend who is a girl remind her she is beautiful in the eyes of Jesus. I know I just did.

Second lesson for the week is for all the men out there.  Show your sons  and other men that loving Jesus is manly.  I talked to a lot of boys who struggled with this.  I am so glad I had a number of male leaders this week who are some of the most manly men I know share with these boys how manly it can be to love Jesus.  We as men can be manly and love Jesus.  It is manly to worship Jesus. It is manly to be undignified to love Jesus.  Jesus isn’t just for women.

So parents, adults, and youth, remember to care for each other, remember Jesus finds you beautiful, and remember to share Jesus’ love with everyone it is the beautiful and manly thing to do.