Persevere

April 7th, 2014  |  Published in high school, middle school, student union by sharp

per·se·vere

 

verb (used without object), per·se·vered, per·se·ver·ing.

1.to persist in anything undertaken; maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly.

In the last 24 hours in the life of Jesus, we see him persevere in a couple of ways:

Prayer.  Jesus was facing certain death and He knew it.  It must have felt diiscouraging knowing the time was drawing near and the pain He was about to endure.  His first response, even when He was with his disciples, His people, in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”  Jesus could have spent time telling His people more parables, answering their questions, or just being in their presence.  We see His first priority is to still go and talk to God the Father.  While Jesus goes to pray, He says in Matthew 33:38, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death…”  Even in this extremely emotional situation,  He did not break His relationship with God the father.

What emotional situation do you have happening in your life right now?  Are you following the example that Jesus set, by persevering in your relationship with God first?

 

Obedience.   In the very next verse, Jesus says, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.  Yet not as I will, but as you will.”  Jesus asked God for what He wanted, yet knew His obedience was required no matter the answer.  Jesus would have to persevere by taking the actions necessary to maintain His purpose in spite of the difficulty.  In Matthew 26:56 Jesus says, “But this has all taken place that the writing of the prophets might be fulfilled.”  Jesus purpose to fulfill the Scriptures was clear and He was willing to continue to take the steps necessary.

After spending time with God in prayer, what is He asking you to be obedient in?  If it is difficult, are you willing to continue steadfastly and say yes to Him?

 

As we reflect on the last 24 hours in the life of Jesus, let us remember that we were created in God’s image for relationship with Him.  Jesus sets the ultimate example of what it looks like to walk out this purpose in the face of any cirucumstances.  How are you following Him today?

Weekend in Review – March 30th, 2014

April 1st, 2014  |  Published in high school, middle school, student union by sharp

This weekend we started a new series called 24. In this series we will be looking at the last  24 hours of Jesus’ life.
In Jesus’ day there were jobs no one wanted to do and one of those was wash peoples feet. If your wondering why there even was such a job, in that time when you ate your feet were sitting by the food, and no one wanted dirt, and mud from outside to get all over their food so homeowners hired servants to wash the feet of their guests.
John 13 describes how Jesus washed the disciples feet.
This was a big deal because in John 13:1-5 Jesus understood he was about to die, and yet he spent his last day by serving his disciples and washing their feet.
Adam then called students to “Find the Need”.
  On Jesus’ last day instead of thinking of himself he thought of those around him and had a servants heart.
Then Adam laid out three ways to find the need and ultimately live like Jesus did on his last day.
   1. Focus on who it is that you’re serving!
   2.Focus on showing them love
        John 13:35
    3.Show people how much you love them just like how Jesus loves us
        John 13:6-8
He concluded by challenging students to follow Jesus’ example
    Jesus wanted his disciples to develop a habit and lifestyle of service
After we did something new and washed the feet of others of importance in our life and got somewhat of an understanding of what it really means to wash someones feet and the importance of what that means.

13 Qualities of a Legit Christian

March 26th, 2014  |  Published in high school, middle school, student union by sharp

In my readings I came across this great article! The Author is Jarrid Wilson.

Being a legit Christian is all about owning up to the unique qualities in which Jesus reflected during his time on earth. And while we as humans will never be able to fully reflect the perfect image of Christ, I believe there are many attributes that will reflect one worthy of His name. All these attributes can be found in following Christ himself.

1. Loving

You love your enemies, your neighbors, your family, and your friends. You aren’t afraid to love when others are withholding it. (1 John 4:8)

2. Forgiving

Grace is an inevitable quality of any Christ follower. While the rest of the world may show resentment and hold grudges, a legit Christian will always show grace and forgiveness. (Ephesians 4:32)

3. Selfless

You don’t think of yourself before others. In fact, you do the complete opposite. Your spirit is wired to put others before your own needs, wants and desires. Why? Because Jesus himself did the same thing. (Philippians 2:4)

4. Servanthood

You give and serve out of the abundance of your heart. Not only is your heart passionate about serving others, but its sole purpose is to serve others as Christ came to serve us. (Psalm 37:21)

5. Humility

Pride comes before the fall. If you don’t remember, pride itself is what sent satan to his lonely exile. Humility showcases a posture that is open to being molded, directed, and empowered by the Spirit of God. There is no such thing as a prideful example of Jesus. Why? Because pride isn’t an attribute that Jesus practices. (Matthew 23:12)

6. Driven

You don’t sit at home and bask in your own mess. Instead, your are a driven and goal-minded individual who seeks after the will of God. Your driven heart keeps you focused on God’s promises, his will, and his grace. (Proverbs 10:4)

7. Passion

You are passionate about Jesus, sharing the promises of God, and showcasing the living and breathing image of love. Settling for mediocrity is not something you’re willing to do. Your passion and zeal for the Lord takes you deeper into the character of God himself. (Colossians 3:23)

8. Compassion

Compassion is like a second language to any legit Christian. You bear the burdens of others, feel their pain, and do whatever you can to comfort those going through a tough time. (Galatians 6:2)

9. Patience

Patience is a true virtue of any true Christ follower. It’s easy to make quick decisions, but those who are truly grounded in the Word of God are prone to slowing down, seeking Godly wisdom, and pursuing the guidance of Christ. (Philippians 4:6)

10. Control

Self-control brings security and maturity to anyone’s life. And while some may see control as a flaw, Jesus views control and organization as a beautiful thing to practice when in a relationship with him. (Proverbs 25:28)

11. Kindness. 

If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. Kindness is a beautiful attribute of any legit Christian. Not only does kindness showcase a vibrant reflection of Christ, but it also allows you to personally reflect an image of his being. (Proverbs 11:17)

12. Joy

Life is too short to be spent in sorrow. As Christians, we are called to rejoice in all things. No matter what you are going through in life, choosing joy will always be the way of a legit Christian. (Philippians 4:4)

13. Peace

Don’t look to stir up controversy, dissension, or even strife. Seek to be a peacemaker in all things. While the rest of the world looks to make their point, seek to bring peace through the love and grace of Christ. (Romans 12:18)

 

P.A.

Red Letters Week 1

March 5th, 2014  |  Published in high school, student union by sharp

The Red Letters – Week 1 Review
By: Sydney Daniels

God, as your Creator, has an amazing future planned for you that only He can lead you to. He needs you to surrender control (Mat gave the example of giving God “your chair”, meaning that you let Him have the place of control you usually preside in) over to Him for Him to fully be able to guide you. You can do this out of four main motives:

 

  1. Feeling obligated to- where you surrender only because you think you have to.
  2. Knowing it’s the right thing to do- where you surrender because you know it’s the moral/Christian thing to do
  3. Doing it out of respect- where you surrender because you respect God and want Him to have the honor of “sitting in your chair”.
  4. Doing it out of a complete awe of God- this is the best place to be in, where you surrender to God out of a complete reverence of Him. You are practically begging God to be in “your chair” at this point because you know He can control your life better than you ever could and because you are so utterly amazed at who He is.

 

Who controls your life? Who controls your choices? In what areas have you handed your chair over to God? In what areas are you still holding onto it?

Small Groups!

March 3rd, 2014  |  Published in high school, student union by sharp

This is a great Article from DownloadYouthMinistry.com.

We see some great things happening in our Small Group Ministry, and our Refuge program! We kick off our Refuge Classes this Wednesday night (March 5th) Come and check out some awesome classes!

 

As the school year is well half-way over and we are turning the corner on winter into spring I always want to see how things are going with our small groups. I started to think about what are some signs in which we can see that small groups are still gaining momentum in our ministry.

Your small group attendance is catching up to your programmed service. I think one of the great signs small groups are sticking and making a rise in your ministry is when your percentage of students in services is being gained on by the percentage of students in small groups every week. The closer those numbers get to each other, you know your small groups ministry is working hard.

You are adding small groups in the middle of the school year. It’s one thing to launch with a certain amount of small groups in the first of the year, but if you are adding small groups still it means your small groups ministry is doing something right. You are gaining more leaders and you are pushing students into small groups all year-long causing new ones to start. Super strong.

More and more people in your Small Groups are “known”. Small groups are where students can be known. In small groups we know those students are really “known” by their leader and the relationships carried over from small groups will show up in the midweek/weekend services. Trust me, you will see a difference in culture.

More students are serving in areas of the church. For HSM, our weekend services and events are our open front door where we expose students to the Gospel. Everything we do is to push students into small groups because I believe that is where true life change happens with peers and a caring leader and experience Jesus. When your small groups are in their groove we want to see student then be able to express Jesus in this world through service. When you have more students serving, chances are your small groups are producing that.

More and more stories of life change are popping up. Stories of life change are powerful. They are one of my favorite things. We do student testimonies in services from time to time and you know when your small groups are in full swing is when every single story of life change has to do with the students meeting Jesus and their small groups have a part in being a part of their story. When more and more stories of life change happens you know your small group ministry is working.

If you are having any of these happening in your ministry right now, chances are your small groups ministry is absolutely killing it and god is moving. Keep it up!

Pink and Blue Week 4

February 24th, 2014  |  Published in high school, student union by sharp

Pink and Blue – week 4 review

By: Kristan Dooley

 

Yesterday was one of my favorite days serving at the Student Union ever! To watch our students respond to the challenged issued was overwhelming. I am so proud of each of you. Being willing to be vulnerable, open up and step out gives God the opportunity to step in and do BIG things in your life and our ministry. We are a family, my victory is your victory, is our victory, and is ultimately HIS victory. We serve Christ better together and we definitely fight holiness better together.

 

In case you missed this weekend @vineyardstudentunion here is a brief summary of the notes:

 

To the guys: Some of the best-kept secrets of your “girls”

 

1 – Her desire is often rooted in an emotional longing

2 – She is wired to be pursued

3- She is turned on by touch

 

If these three things are true, here are some simple ways you can help your Student Union girls experience victory in their pursuit for holiness.

 

1-    Protect her from the emotional

a.     Don’t say things you don’t mean just for the sake of saying them. She wants to be important, cherished and loved. She wants to be taken care of and accepted. Don’t lead her on with your words. Don’t talk about a “future” you aren’t sure exists.

b.     Tell her she is important to Jesus. Don’t ever try to be the most important man in her life. Point her to the only one that can truly satisfy.

2-    Don’t pursue her just for the sake of catching her

a.     In fact, don’t pursue her at all unless you are ready to commit to something. Your pursuit without commitment is a tease that reels her in and messes with her mind. If you are unsure of what you want, then wait until you know. She is worth the wait, her mind worth protecting and her heart worth guarding

3-    Stop touching her

a.     Your flirty, innocent touches mean more than you could ever know to her. She reads into your hugs and connects herself to you in her mind. Feelings are developed without a proper invitation because girls are wired to respond to your touch

4-    Pray for her

a.     How often do you stop and pray for your sister as she pursues holiness in a world that teaches the opposite. Be her support. Go to battle for her. Pray for her heart, pray for her mind, pray for her strength

b.     It is my belief that as you pray for her, not only will she be empowered, but also the way you see her will begin to change. She will inevitably become something you fight for and value the same way Christ values the Church.

 

To the girls: Some of the best-kept secrets of your “guys”

 

1.     He is physical

2.     He is visually stimulated

3.     He finds the pursuit of the you stimulating

 

If these three things are true, here are some simple ways you can help your Student Union guys experience victory in their pursuit for holiness.

 

1.     Protect him from the physical

a.     He feels everything. Girls do things like “spooning,” “cuddling,” and “hugging” in order to feel loved. Those well-intended actions might possibly take him down a completely different path.

2.     Dress to protect him

a.     The woman’s body is a weapon to the average guy. Instead of drawing attention to his need for control, why not make the battle a little easier by covering yourself up. A guy notices how you dress. Dress to protect his eyes, his mind and ultimately his heart. Think about what you wear before you wear it. It doesn’t matter how cute it is if it leads to the moral failure of one of your guys.

3.     Stop leading them on

a.     You like to be pursued, which is great because the pursuit is a turn on for him, but don’t lead him on just because you like the way it feels to be chased.  Don’t go there if you are not sure of what you want. It’s not fair.

4.     Pray for him

a.     Pray for his eyes, pray for his mind, and pray for his heart. Pray he become the man of God he is destined for. Pray he have the strength needed to walk away from the enticing calls of the world we live in. Pray he stand up for what’s right and lead the way.

b.     It is my belief that as you pray for him, he will find strength and you will be changed. The way you see him will be different. The way you protect him will become important. The way you fight for him will be stronger.

 

The truth is we are family and families’ battle for one another. They pray hard prayers and make tough sacrifices. I am better because you are battling for me and we are all better when we battle for each other. Don’t rob one another of the promises God makes over your lives by making the battle harder. It’s hard enough already.  Love each other enough to battle together. Be willing to do whatever it takes to launch your brother or sister in Christ to the destiny waiting before them.

 

Pink and Blue week 3

February 17th, 2014  |  Published in high school, student union by sharp

Pink and Blue Week 3- Luke’s Story

by: Dajah and Kristan

 

Over the past two years the Student Union has been blessed with an incredible intern named Luke Haselmeyer. He recently got a job at NorthWest Vineyard, and this weekend Luke shared the incredible journey God has had him on along with providing some healthy advice on relationships.

 

Here’s the recap of Luke’s life:

-Born a pastor’s kid

-Moved 11 times before he turned 9

-Dad is one of his most inspiring examples

-Despite growing up in the church, always had a rebellious side

-Throughout high school he rebelled a lot by getting into trouble and making bad choices

-Student Union events like Fall Weekend and SOS still kept him hanging on to his faith

- One year during SOS Luke received his first prophetic word (a prophetic word is simply when someone hears or sees something from God on your behalf). The word was this: You are going to be a huge influence on your 2 younger brothers and you are going to be like David and lead people.

- Luke shrugged it off – looking at his life he was anything but an influencer and a leader.

- Luke spent his college years debating with his roommate about believing in God when one night he heard God say to him, “How are you going to lead Pete if you aren’t following me yourself?”

- From that moment on Luke heart began to change from a heart of rebellion to a heart of submission and God’s blessings began to flow.

Blessings follows obedience. When you hear God speaking over you or prompting you to obey His Truth you can bank on the fact that He will reward your faithfulness. Luke was obedient to God’s prompting that night in college. Since then he has avidly sought after God. He became an intern at the Student Union and dove into leadership. God has opened up doors for him to build an incredible Student Union Leadership team as well as launch a young adult house church that has experienced rapid growth.

God is so good, in fact, that Luke’s new job will entail continuing to grow this group of passionate, young adults with the support of a Church.

 

      When asked what could have stopped all of this from happening Luke replied, “a relationship with a girl…The person you are dating needs to love Jesus. If talking about God and Church is awkward, then you probably need to move on. I was growing towards the Lord, but I was spending half of my time focused on her. My interests were divided and I wasn’t able to give God my entire life, my whole heart. Making her fall in love with Jesus became a project for me. Relationships are not meant to be missional. They are two people growing together towards Christ, pushing each other to love Jesus more. It’s hard to believe that none of this would have happened had I chosen to stay in that relationship. God is so faithful.

 

Luke – the Student Union will miss you! You have impacted us deeply. We are different because of you. Thank you for the years of eagerly searching and investing. We are so incredibly proud of you and cannot wait to see what God does with your obedience. You’re family, so this isn’t goodbye – it’s simply see you later.  Love you!

Pink and Blue week 2 – Not Even a Hint

February 11th, 2014  |  Published in high school, student union by sharp

Weekend Follow- Up

 

Pink and Blue week 2 – Not Even a Hint

Kristan Dooley

 

I had so much fun at the Student Union this weekend talking about God’s plan for our purity. I pray that you heard from Him and were challenged significantly. Below are some of my notes. Please use them to allow the Spirit to do a deeper work in you as you strive to live a life of purity

 

God’s standard.. God’s heart.. God’s promise

 

God’s Standard

Ephesians 5:3, ““But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality.”

 

Not even a hint – not a second, not a show, not a conversation, not a magazine, not a movie, nothing

 

God’s standard is high- because He understands the damage lust causes

 

Galatians 6:7-9, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”

 

Let me create a picture for you – you have been given a field. The concept of reaping and sowing implies the struggle in our pursuit of holiness lies not in the sex itself but in the seeds we plant long before the sex.

 

If the concept of sowing and reaping is true – then the secret to purity lies in the seeds we plant. Sex is not the problem. Your struggle is not that you are a sexual being. Your problem is not that you long for deep, intimate connection or that you desire to be satisfied – your problem lies in the seeds you plant

 

The enemy has done such a good job disguising lust that I fear we hardly recognize it anymore. Daily we plant seeds of lust into our field and act surprised when one day those seeds spring up into something they should not be

 

We act surprised when we find ourselves in the midst of sexual impurity and struggle – when the truth is we are a product of the seeds we have chosen to plant in our lives

 

James 1:14, “But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.”

 

We often plant the very seeds that eventually drag us away

 

 

God’s motive

God’s standard for Holiness is high (not a hint), but His motive is pure.

 

He is not asking you to abstain because He wants you to miss out on the best that life has to offer. He is not asking you to say no so that you can be left out, made fun of or struggle.

 

God is not holding out on you. He is asking you to say no so that you can live the life He intended you to live. When you find Him He promises to provide you with what you need to stay pure. He doesn’t intend for you to live in an endless cycle of defeat – he intends for you to find him, rely on him and grow in him.

 

It all boils down to intimacy. God desires to be intimate with you. He wants a relationship with you, a friendship, he wants to communicate with you, he wants to be your support, your strength, your everything and He knows that until you develop this kind of intimacy with Him any other type of intimacy will struggle.

 

It is in the struggle that we will find the intimacy we are looking for. In the struggle we will learn to know Jesus the way we were created to know him. In the struggle he will become everything to us. God doesn’t call us to sacrifice for the sheer enjoyment of it. Obedience and sacrifice always lead to blessing. God is not against your lust because he is against your pleasure – he is against your lust because he is so committed to your future.

 

God’s promises

God’s standard for holiness is high, His motives are pure and His promises are true

 

Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

 

You cannot succeed on your own

 

Only the power of the Gospel can provide you the grace you need to live a pure life. It’s a daily battle, a daily surrender and constant willingness to lay down the things that the Holy Spirit asks. You need to be rescued, you cannot journey this without Him. You have to learn to pay attention to what He shows you. You have to become sensitive to the convictions of your heart and the things that turn your eyes and ears. You have to be willing to sacrifice to follow.

 

 

God’s standard is high – His motives are pure – His promises are true

He wants what is best for you in the long run.  His promises are true – He promises to provide you what you need to overcome. You can defeat lust, you can be pure, you can be holy – but only by partnering with Him and allowing Him to speak into your choices

Big Chill!

February 6th, 2014  |  Published in Uncategorized by sharp

Big Chill

 

Big Chill is quickly approaching. We are taking registrations right now. Big Chill is a progressive all nighter. We will be heading over to Fort Wayne, Indiana via bus and begin our adventure at Skyzone. After Skyzone we will head to Crazy Pins for a little midnight bowling, lazer tag, video game action. After that we will finish up the night at bring in the sunrise at the one, the only, GOLDEN CORRAL! It’s going to be epic. An event that you don’t want to miss. An even that will you will want to bring all of your friends to.

 

Check out the website for any more details http://www.vineyardstudentunion.com

More Notes from this Sunday….

February 3rd, 2014  |  Published in high school, middle school, student union by sharp

Adam ran out of time this weekend so I snagged the rest of his notes to share with all of you.

 

 

1 Cor 6:18 - Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body

 

 

 

For the dudes: don’t date a girl if…

 

#1 – She Cries & Pouts Every Time She Does Not Get Her Way.

 

She will call herself “emotional;” however, reality is that she is a manipulator because she knows when she gets “emotional” that you will do whatever she wants.

 

#2 – She Is A Gossip.

Be VERY careful if, after you have spent time with friends and she pretends to absolutely have a blast while with them…but the second you two get alone she begins to BLAST them by pointing out all of their imperfections and shortcomings (which is insecurity!)

 

Selfishness is the hammer that will chip away at purity.

 

Eph 4:29 - Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

 

#3 – She’s Lazy.

Girls who sit around all day watching MTV, Disney Channel, HGTV, they are filling their minds with junk. Girls who work hard at sports, choir, band, art, music. They know what comes from hard work!

 

#4 – She’s Needy.

If she calls you multiple times a day asking you is everything ok…and you reply yes and ask why is she asking she says, “Well, you haven’t called me.”  A lady who needs you to always check in on her and call her has already placed you in the role of her functional savior…and you will be crushed under that weight!!!

 

1 Thes 4:3-5 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;

 

#5 – She Is Rude To You.

 

If she does not show you respect before you are married, then she will not be able to after you are married either.

 

#6 – You Can Not Fall In Love With Her Heart.

Don’t get me wrong…looks matter!  Esther is hot…but “hot” is not a reason to either pursue or stay in a relationship.  In fact…hell is hot…so I’m not sure “hot” should be the only qualification for a future wife.

 

I Peter 3:1-4 talks about a woman who is beautiful!!!  It’s not all about how she appears, but rather her character.  If you can’t trust her completely and you begin to notice that she is not who she appears to be…you might want to call things off for a while.

 

#7 – Everything That Doesn’t Always Go Her Way Is Always a Crisis & Brings On A Meltdown.

If this is the case she has not fully learned to trust in the Lord…she has control issues and as long as she is “sovereign over her universe” then all is well.  This type of attitude will not lead to a healthy relationship because she will seek to control you rather than begging Jesus for Him to have His way in your life!

 

 

 

 

 

For the Ladies – Don’t date a guy if…

 

#1 – He Uses The Phrase, “The Ball Is Now In Your Court!”

This usually means that he is tired of pursuing you…and so he is going to abdicate his role as the man and actually wants you to pursue him!  DON’T DO IT!!  You are worth the pursuit and if you wind up pursuing him now then he is, most likely, not going to pursue you after you get married. (And GREAT marriages always include pursuit…by the man!)

 

#2 – He Says He Has “Issues”

When someone talks about them having issues all the time, or every time you are with them they bring up these huge issues that they are working though. It’s time to stop hanging out with them.

 

as it is working.

 

#3 – You Have To Tell Him To “Stop” Because He Is Making You Uncomfortable!

He should NEVER put you in that position.  He is not struggling for purity if he isn’t fighting for it!

 

#5 – You Only Know Him Through An Online Relationship

Anyone can be anyone online!  You have no idea who that person really is until you have spent an extended amount of time with then.  How do they handle anger?  Hurt?  Disappointment?  DO NOT allow yourself to be swept away by a guy you don’t really know!!!

 

 

#6 – You Have To Talk Yourself Into Being With Him (enough said!)

 

This one is the one that boggles my mind, ladies, if you have to convince yourself to be with him then you don’t need to be with him!

 

 

#7 – You Have To Drag Him To Church (enough said!)

 

When you have certain standard for purity because you are trying to live your life like Christ and then you have a guy who doesn’t really follow the same moral code you do its a really tough to stay pure.

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