some cool things!
Well here is the first official, legit, post! Some cool things happened this weekend at Elevation 2015 at Cedarcrest Church that I wanted to share. What Elevation is, is a weekend for middle and high school students to get away from life for a bit, worship God and learn about Him. The individual groups stay at 'host homes' and hangout with everyone all weekend. The speaker for the three rallies this year was Stuart Hall (fantastic), the worship band was led by Matt Cole (incredible) and Social Club (lit) made an appearance to give the students a good time and some wisdom! I had the incredible opportunity to be one of the leaders of a 9th grade guys group. My friend Josh stepped up at the last minute and was able to help me lead these guys. Without Josh there, there is no way that this weekend would have gone as smoothly, nor would the students have seen God's love for them as much as they did.
This weekend, Stuart talked about courage, a lot. A couple of things that floated to the top of my mind during his talks were: students have an insane amount of influence in our lives, there is not much male leadership in christianity anymore and that I am not inadequate. Whether we believe it or not, our generation (teenage/college) has an amazing amount of influence in the lives of other people. Think about the amount of people you interact with on a daily basis. Right now I'm sitting in The Commons at KSU, and there are easily 200-300 people around me. A handful have probably noticed me, and maybe a few have come and talked to me. But regardless of that, we love to watch people (I do this so much). We watch how people react, converse and look. Based on what we observe, we form some judgements, good and bad, about them. With the amount of people that students are around at school every single day, we have so many opportunities to touch their lives. When people see your characteristics, you can make them think, "man, there's something different about that person."
The other thing I have picked up on is that male leadership and presence has dramatically declined in christianity. It was so evident just by looking at the massive number of girls that attended Elevation this past weekend. The girls far outnumbered the guys. Before I continue, no I do not have anything against girls, and I am so so so so thankful that there are so many females stepping up in the church because men are failing to do so (talking to myself here). The reason I think this is such a huge problem however, is because of what Scripture says. "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish." - Ephesians 5:22-27. This is not saying that men have any right or privilege over their wife! Please know that this passage means that men are called to lead their households and the church. It also says men should love their wives. This verse does not mean that women re any less than men! The thing that God has revealed to me is that men are failing to do what God has called of us. We are prideful. We are lazy. We do not care. And those are quite possibly the worst things that men can do. We are failing those around us because we are not stepping up. I am speaking to myself in all of this because I have failed. No I do not have a wife, but I can still love my parents better, I can still love my friends better and I can still love Jesus better. It's time to man up!
The last thing that I really took away from the weekend was that I am not inadequate. For the past, goodness forever it feels like, I have felt so inadequate in the eyes of others and in the eyes of God. I was sitting in my seat Saturday night listening to Stuart talk about the lies that the enemy plants into our heads to knock us off our game. He invited students to shout out lies that they deal with on a daily basis. I heard students shout "I'm not loved! I'm not pretty enough! My family won't accept me! I'm stupid! I'm not heard! I'm a screw-up!" All of these things, and a multitude of other lies, came from the mouths of middle and high school students. It destroyed my heart to hear that. But what was so beautiful was the fact that they were vocalizing what the enemy had planted on their minds. They knew they were lies, and God was freeing them from it right then and there! Stuart wrote the lies he heard on the bottom of his shoes and stomped around because as it is written in Romans 16:20, "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you." Those lies were crushed! My lie was that I am inadequate. God squashed that under my feet! God put Matthew 3:17 in my head as I asked Him to crush that lie, and it says, " and behold, a voice from heaven said, 'This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.'" How beautiful! That has totally changed my life. Just knowing I am his son and that the God of the universe is well pleased with me!
So yeah! This past weekend was fantastic! If you didn't know about it, or you weren't able to come, there's always next year! But you don't have to wait until then to be free of the lies you've been told! Call on the name of the Lord! He is so good! Sorry this story is a bit long, but I hope that it provided some insight and entertainment for you today! Hopefully I can do this every Tuesday! Have a fantastic week!