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I got home yesterday from preaching a 3-night rally in Colorado. I like the emphasis on kicking off the school year right—with Bible preaching! Today, I’ll be re-preaching all three sermons (not all in Sunday school!) as we think about starting the year strong. Each day is a new beginning […]

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God’s Work on the Mountain – YWR 2011

January 9th, 2011


My wife, our thirteen children, Grandpa Jon Hedman and I just returned from what was the most spiritually beneficial event that we have had a chance to experience with our teens so far.  The Youth Winter Rendezvous was a time to get away from the world for a while, make some good memories without regrets, and be challenged from God’s Word in an intimate and relaxed setting.  Our only regret is that is didn’t last longer!

Thank you very much, church family, for praying for your teens.  God granted safety up and down the mountain, and our favorite answer to prayer was that God worked in their hearts!  Time will only tell what kind of impact a weekend like this can have, and the spiritual decisions that were made were only a beginning to a part of their spiritual growth.  Mrs. Jamie and I talked all the way down the mountain about how uplifting it is to be a part of something so special, and we were telling each other story after story of how God is working and changing lives!  Nothing beats that, and I would never trade you jobs!

Thursday night and Friday morning I preached on BEing and Christian, and DOing what a Christian should do, respectively.  To BE a Christian is to simply delight in God and allow him to place his desires on your life (Psalm 37:4).  That type of delight basically boils down to some basic Bible principles, and the teens were challenged to simply surrender their attitudes, read their Bibles, pray, and love church!  That foundation is then built upon as Christians act on what they believe, or… DO.  Friday morning was when we went through the spiritual gifts that God grants to church members… yes, that means teens too!… and how that each Christian ought to use his or her gifts to edify others (1 Cor. 14:12).

Bro. Donny Wilson, the youth pastor of Lighthouse Baptist Church in Moreno Valley, the church we went with, preached Friday night and this morning about respect, and challenged all the teens with convicting questions.  Who/what are you looking at?  Or listening to?  Or thinking on?  Who/what do you respond to?  Who/what do you model your life after?  What motivates you?  Who/what are you defending?  The answer to these hard questions reveals your true respect.  His messages really resonated with our teens, and many of them made incredible decisions to clean off iPods, clean up thoughts, and analyze their motivations.  Mrs. Jamie had a meeting last night with the ladies while I met with our guys, and we heard testimonies of teens who have purposed to read their Bibles for at least ten minutes every day, and pray for fifteen minutes a day.  Others purposed to embrace their spiritual gift of encouragement (we gave them a little test for them to determine their spiritual gifts) and write more notes, or do five small encouraging things every week.  The list could go on and on, and our hearts are overjoyed at God’s work.

Mrs. Jamie and I spent LOTS of time with the teens and had chances to pray with them individually, have great talks, enjoy playing games, and just be around them.  The MAIN reason that we had all that time was because on our huge transportation/cooking/cleaning/medical/support staff all wrapped up in one man… Jon Hedman.  We would never have had the same week if we were up as early as him (checking the breakfast burrito Crock-Pots in the middle of the night!), in the kitchen preparing the meals, cleaning up the meals, making popcorn, and making sack lunches for our day of tubing!  I don’t know of the right way to express thanks for his spirit about serving, but it’s an indescribable blessing to have someone like that around.  Bro. Jon said more than once that his philosophy is that he wants to take ALL peripheral issues that he can worry about, and free us up to spend time with the teens.  We attend camps with that type of mindset, but 1) we pay big-time for it, and 2) there are entire staffs that do what he does.  What a blessing for our teens to see a man like Bro. Jon come prepared for everything and doing everything.  I don’t think much of a guy who knows the Bible but won’t do anything with the knowledge, but everyone thinks the world of someone who is a true servant.

Oh yeah, and the week was nothing but fun too!  Enjoy this slideshow that we showed the teens on Friday night.  Thank you, family!

2011 Youth Winter Rendezvous from Calvary Baptist Church on Vimeo.




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