Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Training & Tobogganing

One thing you quickly realize when you own a laptop: it's not cool when it breaks down. Praise God for extended Apple warranty!

So, now that I have my little white computer back, I can update this blog with some of what I've been busy with for the last few weeks.

The last weekend of January was our Youth and Young Adults Life Group Leadership training seminar day... yeah. Anyway, it was so much fun - more than I could have ever thought! Why? Throw together a bunch of young people who love God,

4 fun teachers,

yummy Bonnie and Sharon cooking,

and the Holy Spirit, for one intensive learning day topped with a school bus trip to Hamilton in the evening... and it can't be anything else but fun.

The idea had originated from a conversation Frances (our youth leader) and I had during our Life Group leaders weekend conference back in September with guest speaker Dave Earley. It was so good, and so inspiring, that I wished I had brought every young person in the church with me. Janine was there, but I really wished I'd brought more peeps.

So, we decided to share the wealth of info and inspiration we'd gathered over the weekend in a one day training day for youth life group leaders and young adults interested in leading small groups. At first, I was nervous of the outcome, but it turned out better than I could have imagined. We ended the day with a trip out to Living Hope Church in Hamilton for their youth and young adults service, and although it was a very tiring day for me, it was such a blast, and so worth it!

I was especially blessed to work with our special worship team for the day : Brianna on the electric guitar, Sarah and Kevin on the accoustic, me on the keyboard, and Degory on the djaembe... great job!

Once the big training day over, I started focusing on the message God had placed on my heart to share at the youth night Feb 9th. I was so blessed to see Kyle preach his first message ever during youth on January 26th. He did such a great job sharing his testimony and encouraging young people to run after God's true love rather than seeking fulfillment in natural lust. If we have God's love flowing in us, it can flow through us and our relationships are complete. But without God's love, we'll always expect things from people that they're just not able to give.

My message this past Friday was on eternity. The book that has messed me up for good : Driven by Eternity (by John Bevere). Amazing, amazing book - a must read! It's entirely biblical and brings light to scriptures I'd hardly ever paid attention to, and that are yet soooo important! What I shared with the youth was based on this vital, yet often ignored truth.

Everything we do here on earth affects our eternity - actions, thoughts, words, motivations... What we do with the cross of Jesus Christ and His saving grace determines where we spend eternity, and how we live in eternity is determined by how we live here on earth in regards to obedience to God and His word... and to think of how long eternity is compared to a lifetime... wowowow! It's given me a renewed, healthy fear of God - that is, a fear of ever spending a moment outside of His presence, fear of doing anything that might separate me from Him and His will... Here's the ice breaker game the youth Life Groups did after my message:

Tobogganing - so where does that all tie in? Well, that was the fun night we organized for Life Group this past Sunday. I usually don't like tobogganing, and when I go, I'll slide down the hill a couple times, and then get bored. But give over 20 young people a bunch of toboggans, and a hand-made giant crazy carpet (Jasmine and Cassandra's invention from a fridge box), and how can you get anything but a riot? It was so funny, watching the overcrowded giant cardboard-carpet slide downhill, or a virtual snow wrestling match as the guys played Chinese down-hill... I almost got run over by the giant crazy carpet as I was filming the Chinese downhill. And the closing event? Everyone grab a toboggan and link arms - we're going down all at the same time!

We topped the night with goodies and hot drinks. It was definitely a bonding night, with funny stories, pictures and videos as memorials for years to come!

See, winter can be fun - it's all in what you make it, I guess. But that doesn't really matter to me right now anyway, cause I'm hopping on a plane tomorrow night, heading down to a land of summer : Brazil! Our team of interns, lead by Papa John and I, is escaping to the sun, getting ready to "suffer for Jesus"! What an awesome time it'll be!