February 10th, 2016
Have you ever thought, “Eh, big deal. Who cares what I do in high school. I’ll just ‘grow out of it’ like everyone says. I mean, look at ______. HE had a rough past, and NOW look how God is using Him. I don’t care about living for God now.”
If that’s your attitude, consider these few high schoolers who are now in their 20s and 30s, serving God with nothing holding them back.
Ms. Sarah. Mrs. Jamie and I worked in the youth department in Stillwater, OK from 2008–2010. During that time, Ms. Sarah was one of “our” teens. She graduated about the time that we were leaving, she headed to Heartland, and now she’s here on staff! If she had been a rebellious teen, we would never have considered her for church staff. But, we saw a special love for God in her that almost no other teen had. Was she perfect? She’ll be the first to tell you a big, “Nope.” Guess what…no one is perfect! But it’s about your heart for God. That starts for you RIGHT NOW! In jr. high and high school. It matters.
Chris Pattison. I was a senior in high school and Chris Pattison was a Freshman or Sophomore. We played football and basketball together. We had lunch breaks together. All the while we were in school together, Chris was a godly example of what a young man should be and do as a Christian. Now, he’s one of our missionaries to the Philippines. His testimony in high school helped our church be
able to support him.
Brian Pattison. Chris’s older brother, Brian, was a year older than me, but we had a few classes together. Brian was a soul-winner and a wonderful guy—even in high school. About 5 years ago, Brian planted a church in Chino, about 45 minutes from here. Our church helped him because of his good testimony in high school. Bro. Brian is a great friend and a good Christian man, and it started with his good choices in high school.
Pat Cook. One of my favorite classmates was a man named Pat Cook. He was the star everything—football, basketball, preacher, singer, etc—but he wasn’t cocky about it. He sincerely loved the Lord, even as a high schooler. We graduated high school in 2004 together, and his testimony influenced me to be much more for God than I was currently being. He and I went to different colleges, but now he is in Menifee, planting a good Baptist church, which our church helped in. His passion for God in high school is influencing our youth ministry today.
Adam Marrujo. The graduating class before mine—the 2003 class—had two men in it: Brian Pattison and Adam Marrujo. Adam was one of my favorite people in high school. He was a plodder—a worker. He was never the super-star in sports, but he was always a phenomenal performer because he worked very hard at it. He always made me laugh, and his spirit was contagious. Bro. Adam is now planting a church in Riverside, starting on Easter. If it’s a guy I knew in high school, Pastor always asks me, “What about this guy? Is he for real? Is he serious? Is he balanced? Is he a good guy?” With all these guys, I’ve been able to respond, “Yes. For sure,” and we’ve supported them. It started in high school.
Think a bad attitude is no big deal? It is. You have NO idea what your
future will be like. Don’t sabotage your future before it gets here.
On the other side, many—most—of you are setting yourself up for a wonderful future. You’re making GOOD choices, and I love that. Keep it up. Again, you have NO idea where God will bring you in your future,
so live right NOW. It is always worth it. I promise.
At least, that’s what I’ve noticed in life, so far…
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