May 22, 2007

Conquer much lately?

Note: click on the highlighted words in this post to see the pictures.

We have a special service once a month for our youth and college kids at church called Momentum. It usually has a theme. This month, we had a whole weekend event for the youth. The theme was 'conquer'. So they had a lock in and played conquering games and had lessons on conquering through Christ.

It was all kicked off with the Saturday night service. The lock in was that night, so our youth pastor, Josh, had lots of cool things for the youth to do.

First, one of our very dear youth girls, Jessica, gave her testimony of how in the past 2 years, God has helped her have the strength to conquer the cancer that had invaded various parts of her body. Several people close to their family, who watched her live this out, gave their lives to Jesus as a result of Jessica's faith being lived out in front of them.

Then my husband, Charles did the preaching for the service. It was held outside in the parking lot. And instead of a podium to stand behind, he preached from a rock wall. It was brought in for the lock in, but was also a handy word picture tool for his talk that night.

He climbed as Bible verses were read to make a point:

Then he would stop and teach about how in order to conquer the difficult things in life, we must:
1. Get connected with God and with each other. (like being harnessed up for a climb)
2. Get creative. God is Creator and made us new creations. The old is gone, the new has come. The old ways just don't work anymore and we have to find new ways (new holds)...God's way.
3. Get quiet. Listen and find God's voice. He wants to lead you in the best way. He has a plan for our lives and we need to be listening for Him to show us.
4. Get instruction. God's word is our manual for this conquer.
5. Get committed. The easy way out is to quit. But following through is so worth the climb. His will is for you to conquer in this life. To press on through the hard times, that is conquering. To learn to change the direction your life is going, a lousy attitude or a sin habit that you may have. This is the stuff we must conquer. People who are conquerors keep their gaze on the goal (in this case the buzzer at the top of the wall), and don't let themselves get distracted from it. God is calling us toward a great reward through serving Him.

And if you do fall, God is there, holding onto you. He won't let you go and He will help you to start again, with new strength. Rising on wings like eagles we will conquer.

When the talk was over, the worship time began. It was lead by a group from Prescott, Arizona, called ARB, a Christian Indie band lead by Angie Raess. They are really good! Mostly a worship band, they really had a powerful message and presence.

Our kids were captured by the worship and testimony. The girl here with the neck brace and crutches is the one I wrote about in this post. She is doing great! She was at church the Sunday after the accident and had to be carried up the stairs by her dad to attend the youth group. She is working on conquering a few things physically and spiritually. Maybe she will let me share her testimony here on the blog soon. She got up and talked in church Sunday about this's amazing what God uses in our lives to teach us to take deeper steps with Him!

Afterwards the kids got to climb the wall. This is my daughter Beth on the left. She is learning to conquer a few big things in her life as well and we're so proud of her as she presses on. It takes courage to keep on climbing, but anyone who has reached the top and has stopped to look back over the years of battle, will tell you every step of trembling muscles on the climb was worth it when they look back and see how far God's taken them.

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