It's hard to believe we are moving into August - the last month of the summer!! As summer is winding down, our team is busy gearing up for the next school year. We are excited for what's ahead!
We had a great turn out for the Show Up Event this week - more than 40 students came over for a pool party at my place on Monday and it was a blast! The weather held off, kids were in the pool, there was corn hole, soccer and frisbee happening in the yard, and some parents hung out with us on the deck. Our final Show Up Event is scheduled for next Monday! We are having a Movie Night at the Putrich's -we hope to see you there!
Kevin Lorow was with us in Collide this week and we continued our study though the parables of Jesus in the book of Luke. This week we looked at the parable of the Persistent Widow, which gave us the opportunity to talk to the middle school students about prayer.
In this passage, Jesus is up front about the reason he is telling this story. He says that he is telling this story so that they would “Pray and not lose heart.” The story that follows is pretty simple. There is an unrighteous judge and a helpless widow, who continues to bother the judge about giving her justice. The judge finally caves -not because he cares about her situation, but because her persistence was annoying.
At this point though, we begin to wonder -how does this connect with “Pray and do not lose heart”? Kevin explained how Jesus uses a bad example of an unrighteous judge to teach us truth about God. The point is if this is how an corrupt authority acts, how much more will God, who is a holy and righteous judge, who cares for us, hear our prayers and give us justice.
Kevin brought us back to core truths, that help us understand why we should always pray and not lose heart; because God loves me, God is in control, and God is growing me in faith. His challenge for us was Do you believe those things are true? If we believe those things are true, we will continue to seek the Lord in prayer and will grow in faith as a result.
We have a great opportunity to help the youth of CVC learn how to pray and develop the practice of God-Dependance. Hopefully they spent time in their LifeGroups talking about what they need to do with this command to “Pray and do not lose heart!”, but you can continue the conversation. Here is a simple guideline you can use to help students begin to develop their prayer life.
It was great to have Amy Gustafson with us this Sunday for Summer Sessions. Amy is one of our Impact leaders; she hosts a LifeGroup during the school year with her husband Kyle. During this series, each of the leaders are sharing the best thing they’ve ever learned; Amy's topic of choice was holding on to hope in the midst of suffering. Although she is in a different stage of life than our students, she shared some of her story with us and the truth she held on to during those periods of her life.
She reminded us that we have to interpret our circumstances through a framework of what is true. Here are some of the truths that she recommended we should start with:
- God is unquestionably good. (Psalm 100:5, 119:68, 136)
- God is trustworthy. (Luke 24:25-27, 44-49)
- God loves us deeply. (Mark 8, Mark 1:40-45)
- God is sovereign.
So, how do we have a hope that endures in suffering? We spent some time looking at the story of Shadrach Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3:16-18. These were some of the takeaways:
- We should expect suffering at some point
- Trust God’s sovereignty
- Our hope must be in Jesus, NOT in circumstances
This is not a band-aid. In order to live this out, we must be reminded of this truth over and over again. It is a process that Amy still has to lean into to find hope in the midst of suffering, and a process she encouraged each of us to lean in to.
Be sure to mark your calendars with what's coming up next!
August 5 - Final Show Up Event // Movie Night @ the Putrich's
August 18 - Last Impact Summer Session
September 8 - Evening Impact resumes for the school year and Impact LifeGroups resume
October 5 - Collide Fall Fest
November 22-24 - Impact Fall Retreat