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Youth Sunday- Freedom in Christ

                  After a long weekend of travel and marathon support I returned to an exciting Sunday at FFUMC.  The youth led both worship services and did a fantastic job.  We had singers (Erin Lewis and Kelli Reese), we had Piano Players (Amanda Cleveland) we had scripture readers (Nick White, Erin Lewis, Jacob Aylward, Carly McGuire) we had an amazing skit called “EVERYTHING” that you can watch on YOU TUBE (Caroline Dyer, Douglas Rogerson, Megan Scheuneman, Carly McGuire, Brett, Amanda Cleveland, and Kelli Reese)!  We had testimonies from Kelli Reese, Caroline Dyer, Liza Burroughs, and Nicholas Henderson.  We had students help with greeting (too many to name) and students fill in as Ushers.  We had students lead our offering time in prayer (Jordan Kirchner, Maggie Mobley, Allie Mobley).  It was just an amazing morning.

                 Near the end of each service I brought the word on behalf of the Youth Group.  We talked about a Life of Worship, and even more importantly, FREEDOM IN CHRIST!  We addressed a life of Worship through 2 Psalms.

                  Psalms 95:1-2 “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.  Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.”

                   Psalms 96:1-6 “Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.  Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.  Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.  For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.  For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.  Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary.”

             We then finished up on Freedom in Christ in Galatians 5, when Paul summarizes his defense of Christian Freedom and Liberty from Chapter 4.  He says in 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burded by a yoke of slavery.”

              The Youth Leadership Team wanted the congregation to hear about what they feel they are experiencing in Freedom in Christ.  They feel that with Christ they can do anything.  They feel that with Christ they can praise the Lord however they want to!  They want people to express themselves more in relation to their faith.  There is no right and wrong way with Worship…as long as it is real and authentic and works on our hearts!  One thing is certain.  Walking with Christ is not boring…and it should be fun!  Challenging?  Absolutely, but fun too!  One of my heroes of faith, Jim Rayburn, the founder of Young Life said, “It is a sin to bore a kid with the Gospel!”  I think the same could be said of the Church as a whole!  So lets add a little excitement to our life of faith this week.  Get creative with Christ and explore the Freedom and the Liberty that we have been given from the bondage of sin and the world!  Have a fantastic week!

                And just so my brother knows how happy I am for him….a great big SHOUT OUT to the University of Northern Iowa Panthers on their HISTORIC win against the #1 Overall seed in the tournament, the Kansas Jayhawks!  My brother is a UNI Alum and currently works in Development at UNI.  He is a die-hard panther.  I was prepping for an interview with Young Life many years ago with my siblings in the car.  My sister Amy asked, “Mark, if you could be any animal, what would you be and how does it relate to your faith.”  I don’t remember what I said…but John quickly responded without hesitation, “I would be a Panther!”  John bleeds Purple and Gold and was in the arena in Oklahoma City as his Panthers (David) took down the Jayhawks (Goliath!).  I had a blast watching the Panthers play in Iowa not long ago in their home finale in Cedar Falls.  They are an exciting TEAM to watch and I am definitely a fan!  Forget the brackets…who cares!  Go panthers!  Love you John!  Congrats!

              

           

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