From Pastor Joe
"The key to prayer is - simply - praying!"
Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet with Sola and Felicia Oshunniyi. It has been a joy to pastor both of their daughters and to serve with them in varying capacities. A few years ago one of our interns – Ashley – lived with the Oshunniyi family. About 6 months into her internship I asked her what she had learned most from living with the Oshunniyi family. Without hesitation she said, “to pray”.
Sola and Felicia have been a vital part of our prayer ministry at CVC and as parents would like to lead an opportunity for parents to come together to pray for our kids. I am still waiting on approval for our first date and time and will share that information soon.
I look forward to what the Lord will do because of the multiplied prayer efforts of parents!
Michael Bowler is our current leader in the CVCYouth March Madness Challenge.
Close behind him are:
Calvin Anthony, Tobin Cole, Nicole Trybus, and Molly Henard!
There is no one that is so bad that Jesus cannot save them.
This was the takeaway from our Collide message from Luke 5:27-32. Jesus meets Levi (Matthew) and calls him to be his disciple. Later, Jesus is hanging out with Matthew and a bunch of his other tax collector friends. If you were in main service this weekend, Pastor Brian explained that the tax collectors were the mafia bosses of the day. They were greedy, corrupt, and widely hated.
So, when Jesus is found with this bunch of tax collectors, the religious leaders – out of their self-righteous indignation – complain about the people with which he keeps company.
Jesus’ response? I’m here to save soul-sick sinners.
The application in the main service was a bit different than the application that we drew in Collide. Middle School is a very impressionable time and we’re not suggesting that your sons and daughters go and hang out at the wildest parties in order to reach their friends.
Rather, we suggested a shift in mindset. Sometimes we think that people are too bad for Jesus, and so we discount them and stay as far away from them as possible. It is also possible that many middle school students carry guilt over sin in their own lives that they think is too bad for Jesus to forgive.
How might your family work together to reach students and families in your circle of influence with the gospel message.
Remember: There is no one that is so bad that Jesus cannot save them.
CVCYouth LifeGroup leader Kyle Cryan guided us through Esther chapter 4 this week. In the wake of the news that all of the Jews in the Persian empire are going to be killed, Mordecai and the rest of the Jews begin to mourn deeply. Esther is in the palace and seems unaware of what is going on out in the real world until Mordecai talks to her and asks her to do something to save her people. Esther begins by making excuses - “what if I get into trouble with the King” – “he hasn’t called for me in over 30 days”
Ultimately, Mordecai convinces Esther to act, and she chooses to do so even at great risk to her own life. Kyle gave us 4 applications from this text:
- Mourn the brokenness in you and around you.
- Stay Connected to the body
- Stop making excuses
- Fix your eyes on Jesus
- Do something
There is so much mess around us and so much hurt in us, that we often act like ostriches and stick our head in the sand. Esther is living life seemingly oblivious to everything happening in the Kingdom. She goes so far as to send clothes to Mordecai to replace his sackcloth (mourning clothes).
We like to feel good – not bad. So, we ignore the brokenness and stay isolated. But the body of Christ is meant to bear our burdens and Christ has created good works that we should walk in them. Once we wake up to the atrocities happening around us, it is time to trust Jesus for the outcomes and take some bold steps of faith.
Parents, we spend a lot of time trying to protect our kids. How might you challenge your son or daughter to be risky with their faith and do something that has eternal significance?