A Great New Beginning
By Wes Olsen
Most people point to January as a time where there are new beginnings. We make new resolutions, we are going to do new things, and why not? It’s a new year!
For me, September seems to be that time of year. School starts, youth group starts, there are new students, new friends, and new challenges. But as I have reflected on this, and tried to see things God’s way, there are a lot of beginnings - everyday!
Today I was struck by Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools reject wisdom and discipline.” Wow! Stop and think about this. The beginning of knowledge and wisdom is having a healthy reverence or fear of the Lord Jesus. I mean this makes sense, but think a little deeper about this: If I want knowledge and wisdom I must start with Jesus – when I wake up, when I brush my teeth, when I eat my meals, when I watch TV, when I teach, when I speak, when I deal with my family – anytime I do anything, I must consider God first! When I examine my life in light of this verse and what it means, it has “epic fail” written all over it! What can I do?
Well, I can do what Proverbs 1:7 says and get my heart right with God and begin to consider Him in everything I do, even before I do it. I will begin with God every morning and all throughout my day. I will trust that He will guide me by His Holy Spirit in me, to love others as He does, live in humility and give me discernment to make wise choices. I will pray that will not fall, but be able to stand at the end of my day victorious because of Jesus’ Holy Spirit! And if life becomes too much and I forget to consider God, He gives us another new beginning, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
It’s Crazy Love Time!
By Wes Olsen
Every summer I make a list of the books I want to read while on my summer vacation. This year I read Crazy Love by Francis Chan, Hurt by Chap Clark, and Lost and Found by Ed Stetzer. Crazy Love stood out because it was spiritually challenging to me and was able to get me to think about my love for Jesus and His love for me. I needed to think about the topics Francis Chan brings up in this book, and truth be told, I had some repenting to do.
Chan writes in the Preface, “This book is written for those who want more of Jesus. It is for those who are bored with what American Christianity offers. It is for those who don’t want to plateau, those who would rather die before their convictions do.”(p.21) I absolutely fall into this camp. I want more, I have plateaued and I don’t want to be a cultural-christian, but a follower of Jesus. I am tired of doing it any other way.
Chan goes on, “I hope reading this book will convince you of something: that by surrendering yourself totally to God’s purposes, He will bring you the most pleasure in this life and the next.” (p. 21) Francis Chan does just that and more in his book. I wanted to surrender more, and not just because Francis Chan said so, but because the truth in the Word and the exposition of it by Chan, makes it clear that this is what it looks like to follow Jesus – complete surrender.
Recently, I was speaking to my wife – ok I was complaining- about how tired I am trying to follow Jesus, and that was the problem! I was trying to do something, except enter into the joy of trusting Jesus alone. Are you tired? Do you want more?
I would like to challenge you, the reader, to pick up Crazy Love and be challenged by living a life completely surrendered to Jesus. A life that Francis Chan says, “…God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.” (p.124) Amen!
Testimony Night was Amazing!
By Wes Olsen
One of the greatest things God has led us to in this youth ministry is “Testimony Night”. “Testimony Night” or “Testify!” is a night where our youth get up and share what God is doing in their lives, for His glory.
Last week we heard from several students who have left
, but not Jesus! But because of their training and discipleship at Shorewood Christian School and Ignition Youth Ministry, they felt ready to “go into all the world” and be a light at their school. They admit it is scary and intimidating but they know God is with them and God will use them in great ways! Shorewood Christian School
We also heard from students who have been challenged by God to grow closer and repent of sin, and we heard about a moment where God used a few of our youth to pray for a man in
Federal Way on our way home from the retreat. He was shot in Anderson Island Pioneer Square earlier that month and was trying to get home to and get right with God. All he asked for was prayer and our youth stepped up and did that! New York
God is certainly moving in our youth’s lives and doing amazing things! God is great!
1. Encounterfest 2010 is next month! Registration and down payment of $75 due October 24th. Please make checks payable to
. Shorewood Foursquare Church
2. Crazy Love books are on sale now for $10. Youth will need this book to participate in small group discussions at youth group Wednesday nights. Please see Wes Olsen to purchase a book. Recommend parents get one too so discussions can continue at home!
3. If you are participating in the PartyLite fundraiser, you only have 4 days left to sell! Please bring filled out forms and checks, made out to
, no later than Wednesday October 13th. You can bring them anytime before that too! Please remember to add tax to all orders! Got questions? Please see Wes Olsen Shorewood Foursquare Church
4. Pray for a youth lead worship group and for Encounterfest 2010
5. Got a story idea or testimony you would like to share with others? Come see Wes Olsen