“O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.” - Psalm 51:15
During youth group Sunday, we talked about the spiritual gifts afforded to us and outlined in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10.
One of those gifts is prophecy. Most of the kids agreed the gift of prophecy exists … just maybe not in Medford. It was quite a conversation.
One of our youngest members, however, blew me away with her insight. She said, and I’m paraphrasing, “I love when I’m having a problem or something, and I open the Bible, and the answer is always right there.”
She didn’t say the answer is “sometimes” there. She said the answer is ALWAYS there. I smiled from ear to ear. It took me 30-plus years to realize the power of Scripture, and this girl got it at 14 years old! Glory! Not only does she have a grasp on how God’s Word will aid her in everyday life, but she wasn’t afraid to speak up and say, “I believe, and I know it’s true.” I was impressed, if you couldn’t tell.
I started helping with youth group mostly to spend a little more time with Joseph during his final years of high school and also to grow in my own faith. I admit that sometimes I dread having to get out of the house on Sunday evening, especially during the winter months when the fire is lit and the house is plenty cozy when it comes time for youth group.
Every Sunday, however, when I get home from youth group, I always feel richer. We have some great kids. Our group is small but mighty, dedicated and faithful. I love them all.
I had the opportunity to brag on them a bit yesterday as I volunteered at The House FM during the radio station’s annual pledge drive. I think I could have talked all day about our youth – and not just the youth group at our church but the youth at our neighboring churches as well. All the kids work so well together for “their” cause.
I’ve wished a million times I could have held on to my faith when I was younger the way they cling to theirs.
In my more naïve years, I tried to blame others for the downhill slide I took beginning about my junior year in high school. I wasn’t a bad kid by any means, during those days anyhow. I was just lost.
During my sophomore year, my friend Gina and I challenged each other to not miss Sunday school for an entire year – and we didn’t.
Our junior year, however, everything changed: our youth minister and his wife left, our Fellowship of Christian Athletes program disbanded, our longtime preacher moved. Although I liked our new youth minister and loved our new pastor, things just weren’t the same. Add in a boyfriend who wasn’t all that “religious,” a few funerals of close friends, the busyness of teenagerdom and a little rebellion, and you’ve got what you call Adolescent Spiritual Meltdown.
As an adult, I’ve seen it a jillion times, and it ain’t pretty. As someone who experienced it as a teen, I can honestly say, it was real ugly – for many years.
I guess this is why I want to invest some time in our youth. I know the heartache that comes from feeling forgotten – even when we’re not. The sad part is, many of the students who don’t know they aren’t forgotten are not attending youth group. This is one of our greatest obstacles as youth leaders and for the youth themselves.
During my interview at The House yesterday, DJ Janelle Keith said she wanted to talk about Medford’s youth ministry in hopes of having more parents and youth hear the incredible message being broadcast over the airwaves.
I don’t know if my minute-long interview spoke to anyone’s heart, but if it reached one teenager, that is awesome.
I guess it seems kind of silly for me to be pushing public relations for a radio station, but I know that station has literally changed my family’s life.
Joseph has listened the longest. He always tuned in 89.7 whenever he jumped in the car with me. A couple years or so ago, I just started leaving the station where it was, hoping to hear one or two of the songs I had really come to like.
Then, one day, I just left it for good, and I haven’t changed it since. I can’t tell you how many times I have flipped on that station, and the song playing literally spoke to my soul, gave me direction and renewed my spirit.
Most amazing, however, was the day the station’s music won over my countrified husband.
Jeromy had been listening off and on (mostly when he was in my car) for several months. He has listened to country music most of his life, so to ask him to enjoy contemporary, Top 40 and hip hop sounds was quite a leap. I didn’t push the issue.
Gradually, he started humming a few tunes. He would walk in the front door on occasion belting out a ditty he found catchy.
Then one day, he hit the pentacle. He busted through the front door, arms open wide and reaching to the sky, proclaiming “Glory to the Lord on high!”
I asked what in the world came over him.
He said, “Baby, I’m just lovin’ the Lord today! I haven’t listened to country music in a week. I’ve been listening to The House. I can’t describe it, but … I just like the way that music makes me feel!”
From there, we attended our first Third Day concert together. (I had seen Third Day a couple times before with Joseph and his friends.) And The House is now part of our house on a daily basis.
I listen to it while I’m working, driving and exercising. It’s part of my daily routine. The music draws me closer to God and gives me the peace of knowing I am never alone.
If you’re feeling alone or need a pick-me-up or just want to know what in the heck I’m babbling on and on about, see for yourself. Anyone can listen anywhere.
If you’re in my area (or within about 100 miles), tune your radio to 89.7 for The House or 88.7 for Praise 88. You’ll find The House a little more upbeat and fashioned more toward “Top 40” sounds and Praise 88 to be a little more adult contemporary “mellow” sounding, but both stations are rockin’ the worship for our Great King and Savior.
If you’re nowhere near here, leave this blog right now by clicking here. You’ll be directed to http://www.thehousefm.com/, where you can click on the “listen now” button and discover for yourself the power of God through music.
Do I hear an Amen? Amen.
What are you still doing here?!? Get to clicking!
Numbers 7, 8