Fulfilling the Call to Youth Ministry

I know it’s been way too long since I’ve posted here. I just haven’t felt like I’ve had much to say that I don’t put on Facebook these days. However, now that Jeff and I are now the youth leaders at our church I feel like getting back to blogging….at least tonight, anyway. LOL.

Let me give you a little background or update if you will, on how it came about that we are now the youth leaders for our church.

In December 2012, we finally got into our new church home. For the prior 2 1/2 years, we were meeting for church at the Eagle’s Hall. The family that hosted our youth group in their home moved out of state so we stopped holding youth group services because we didn’t have an appropriate place to meet. When we got into our new building, parents of teens as well as our Pastors and board members, were anxious to get youth group going again. Being that Jeff and I had the most experience in youth ministry, we were the most obvious choice. However, I was hesitant to dive right in. Not because I didn’t want to work with the youth again, but because I don’t feel qualified. I’ve never really been the leader of a ministry before and am concerned I might say or do the wrong thing that might be detrimental to their spiritual walk or make them leave the church. Of course God had other things in mind for Jeff and me.

Being obedient, we answered the call and had our first youth group service on December 18, 2012. We had about 21 kids I believe, most of them who regularly attend the church on Sunday mornings. We played some games like dodge ball and hide and seek. (Our new building is GREAT for hide and seek and flash light tag!) We have an overflow room which is mostly open so the kids have a great place to play dodge ball and other games. Then we gathered in the “Living Room” which is an area with a couple of couches and ottomans and a TV screen where we can watch videos and such. Jeff’s message was on The Advent Conspiracy and he spoke about how Christmas isn’t celebrated the way it was originally meant to be with all the focus now on gift giving and commercialism. We didn’t do any praise and worship because we are working on organizing a youth band.

Since then, we’ve now grown to about¬† 25 to 30 kids each service, with a total of 40 coming through our doors. We hold our services in the main sanctuary now, and have started conducting Praise & Worship with computerized music. We have one of our youth workers working with some of the students organizing a worship band and some are learning the sound board and media. So, we are growing and our services are becoming more and more organized.

Some Thursday evenings Jeff has to work, so we have to have one of the other youth leaders give the message and we’ve been encouraging the students to give their testimony. Tonight was one of the nights that Jeff had to work, so a couple who help out with the youth every week had a message for the kids. It was great. Even though they aren’t experienced at speaking either, they did great and their message really touched the hearts of many of the students.

Since our youth ministry is quite young, we don’t have a lot of volunteers to do things like run sound and media, so it can be quite awkward interesting logistically. The weeks Jeff is there, I usually give the announcements and open the service with prayer. Since Jeff runs sound, he has to turn the sound down after praise and worship, then run downstairs to give his message. The weeks Jeff isn’t there, like tonight, it’s even more interesting. Actually, tonight went pretty well, logistically anyway. I typed up an order of service ahead of time which helped a lot…helped me a lot, I should say. I’m the type of person that likes/needs to be super prepared otherwise I worry and think about everything until it happens. So the order of service helped to keep things on track…for the most part. I think I will continue to do an order of service each week, including the announcements and song selection. I think in the future I need to give it to all of the leaders so they know when it’s time to round the kids into the sanctuary, etc. LOL.

I said all that to say, tonight was the first night that I actually felt like a youth minister, even though I didn’t actually do any ministering, other than talk with a few of the kids before and after service because I was running the media during service. I think the reason I’m starting to actually feel like a youth minister is because I finally realized that I am called to youth ministry. Yes, I’ve been helping with the youth ever since I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior in 1997, but I never imagined I was being groomed to be in charge of a youth ministry. I am really enjoying it and am looking forward to seeing more and more students growing in their relationship with Christ and leading their generation to the Lord.

Youth pastors and leaders, please feel free to share your experiences when you first started out and give any advice you may have.

 

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Praying in Faith, not Out of Fear

Once again, it’s been a really long time since I’ve blogged last, on this site anyway. I’ve been doing really well with my Avon business and am now an Executive Unit Leader. I’ve also been really busy in my role as administrative assistant at Life Church. But, lately God has been laying little messages on my heart, so I thought this would be a good place to share them, for now. Jeff and I also started leading youth group at our church so I’m sure I’ll have the opportunity to share these messages with the youth someday.

One of the messages God has been laying on my heart a lot lately is that of “Faith”. I think for most of us faith is probably one of the toughest areas to ‘walk out’. This is probably due to the fact that faith requires us to believe in things we can’t see. (See Heb. 11:1)

My journey towards walking in faith is really just beginning and I believe it will not be complete until I meet Jesus in heaven. I’m certainly no expert on the subject, nor am I a theologian, but I want to share my personal experience with you in hopes that you might be encouraged in your faith.

Praying in Faith instead of Fear

The main area God’s been working on me is in the area of prayer. Prayer is one of the most important things we can do because it is our communication line directly to God. You can’t be in a relationship without communication with the one whom you’re in a relationship with. If you struggle with praying, start thinking of prayer as just a conversation with someone you want to get to know better. It’s simply talking to God. Start out by thanking him for giving you one more day to live or for your family, or a roof over your head.

Perhaps you are talking to God through prayer, but you feel like He doesn’t hear you or always says “no”. That’s where I was for a while. I was praying but I felt like God wasn’t hearing me or answering my prayers. Then one day, I read or heard (I don’t remember where or who right now) someone (probably Joyce Meyer or Joel Osteen) say something along the lines of ‘pray in faith, not out of fear’. Those words hit home with me because I realized that was exactly what I was doing…I was praying out of fear….fear of not being able to pay my bills…fear of not building my Avon business….fear of not being a good wife….fear of not being a good mother and Nana….etc.

When I realized I was praying out of fear and not in faith, I started practicing praying in faith instead.

Here’s what praying in faith sounds like, compared to praying out of fear.

Praying for finances: Out of fear, praying for finances might sound something like this: Oh God, help me pay my bills. Praying in faith, however, is a statement of faith: Dear God, I thank you for your provision. Your word tells me you are my provider and I stand on your word and I know you are going to provide all my needs. Thank you, Heavenly Father. In Jesus name.

Do you see the difference? Now I know there are those fearful times, when it seems like all is wrong in the world and all you can do is cry out to God for help. Trust and know that He is there and He does help in times of need! There is absolutely nothing wrong with crying out to God for help. Please don’t think my above statement is indicating that you shouldn’t cry out to God at all.

Every time I pray in faith, God does answer….it might not be right away, and it might not be the answer I want. But, I have gotten immediate answers when money is tight, when I am working on moving to the next level in my business, when I need help with a family member, and when I believe God for healing. Those are just a few examples, and I hope you will be encouraged and start praying in faith and believing God WILL hear your prayer and answer according to His will.

 

 

 

 

 

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Mother’s Day Giveaway!

I’m having a giveaway just perfect for Mother’s Day! If you read my last post, you know that I sell Avon now, which I totally love! It’s fun, the products are amazing and they have amazing sales and deals going on all the time. Before I get too carried away with all of that, I want to tell you about my giveaway.

If you go to my Avon website , click on “My Blog” you will see all the details there.

I am giving away the Reese Witherspoon “Love to the Fullest” gift set! When you click “register” on my Avon website, you will automatically be entered in the drawing to win this amazing gift set! This $51 value can be YOURS for FREE! :) Entry into the drawing ends Wednesday April 20th at midnight EST, and the drawing will be held April 21.

If you’d like to order the gift set, of course you can do that too! I have 4 sets on hand for quick sale if you live in my area, or you can order them from my website. To do so, just click the “Shop Now” tab on my Avon website.

I can’t wait to see who wins, so enter now and tell your friends!

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What’s New With Me 4.8.2011

Well hello there! It’s been a really long time since I’ve posted here! I’ve been super busy lately with several different things, so I thought I would update you. I know, you’re so excited, right? LOL.

Let’s see, where to begin? Well, last August our church went through a church split. Yeah, that was fun. NOT! Lost some friends (at least I thought they were my friends) in the process…it’s a really long story and I’m not quite ready to go into all the details here…maybe someday. Anyway, our Pastor and about 80% of the congregation left and started a new church. I started out creating the bulletin, then was hired part-time as the secretary. I work 3 to 4 days a week at the church office, which takes up a good deal of my time, but I LOVE it and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I also recently started AVON. Back in November, I was trying to find ways to save money on Christmas shopping, so I decided to start selling AVON, since there was a good discount for representatives.  Well, shortly thereafter, I decided to go into leadership because I was so impressed with the company and their business opportunity that I wanted to help others start their own business and be successful to. As of the date of this posting I am currently a Unit Leader, working my way up to Advanced Unit Leader. I have 33 people on my team so far. Our District Sales Manager, Laurie Fantozzi, is amazing!!! She is a fantastic leader and role model, and has everything to do with my success thus far. Click here to check out my online AVON store.

I also started Weight Watchers again. I’ve been doing it for about a little over a month now. It’s a huge struggle!!! I’ve only lost 3 pounds so far due to my low thyroid. You can read all about that story here.

I guess that’s it for now. If you’d like to order AVON products or want more information about the AVON opportunity, please visit my personal AVON representative site.

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Our Heart’s Desires

I was chatting with a friend on Facebook and she mentioned how she would love to move to Nashville, but that she doesn’t see it happening. I replied with something along the lines of “you never know what can happen, because God may have placed that desire on your heart for a reason”. That thought lead me to thinking about my favorite verse, Psalm 37:4 “Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”. Many people read that verse and think that all their earthly, fleshly desires will be given them if they “delight” (or abide) in the Lord. However, through many sermons and messages, I’ve come to realize that this scripture means that when we “delight” (or abide) in God, our desires are actually God’s desires for our lives. In other words, even though you have desires you think are yours, when you’re truly abiding in God, then He laid those desires on your heart, probably for a purpose He has in store for our lives.

So the next time you have a desire come upon your heart, don’t dismiss it as a fleshly thought or unattainable dream. If you’re abiding in God, I truly believe he placed it there for a reason. It may not be for this moment, or this season, but it definitely is there to fulfill His purpose for your life. Pray about it, seek God further on it, and continue to abide in Him. And if He didn’t place that desire on your heart, it will probably go away in a very short time.

What are some dreams or desires you’ve had that you thought were impossible but upon waiting and praying came to pass?

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Determined to be Disciplined in 2011

One of my friends set that as her status on Facebook. I saw it and decided I wanted that to be my motto for 2011 as well. You see, being disciplined, and staying disciplined, is one of the biggest areas I struggle with. I get side tracked easily and if I don’t see results right away, I tend to stop doing whatever it was I was working on, whether it’s budgeting, dieting, business ventures, and even spending time with God. Yes, I admit, I’m not very disciplined at spending time with God each day.

So, for 2011, I really want to be more disciplined! I really want it, so therefore I have to be determined to be disciplined. According to Dictionary.com the definition of determined is:

  1. resolute; staunch
  2. decided; settled; resolved

And synonyms of determined are:

  1. inflexible; unfaltering; unwavering

Therefore if I’m determined to be disciplined, then I will be disciplined. Does that make sense? I also looked up disciplined and while there are several definitions for disciplined, the one that fit the best in this context is:

  1. activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training

Therefore, in order to be disciplined, I need to incorporate activities, exercises and regimens that will help develop and improve the areas I want and need to improve upon. And those are:

Alone time with God:

  1. Set aside 15 minutes a day, each day to get alone with God in prayer and thanksgiving.
  2. Start out each day with prayer and thanksgiving to God
  3. End each day with prayer and thanksgiving to God
  4. Build up to at least 1 hour a day, but not stopping there

Losing Weight and Exercise:

  1. Praying about joining Weight Watchers again (is it financially smart?) I know it works, but I don’t know if we can realistically fit it in our budget. I’ve tried losing weight on my own, but obviously it’s not working.
  2. Setting aside 1/2 hour every day for exercise. I have several DVD’s I can work out too right in my own living room.
  3. Determining to stick to it. I start out strong, but then fizzle out after a few weeks. (Figuring out why I do this)

Budgeting:

  1. Jeff and I have been doing Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and it’s a great program. Still tweaking the budget so we don’t run out of money before the next pay period and so that we can get our emergency fund built up and save money for other necessities…like new vehicles (not brand new, but new to us).
  2. Tithing: Malachi 3:10 says, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Jeff and I tithe, but I have let the tithe slip now and then when it seemed impossible to make ends meet. I’m not going to do this any longer. We will bring the whole tithe into the storehouse and test God to see if he will not throw open the floodgates of heaven!

Business:

  1. Praying about my business ventures: Full Blog Support, AVON and as the church secretary.
  2. Right now I have a writer for Full Blog Support, but thinking I should get back to doing all the writing myself, due to our financial situation. This of course requires more time. Or should I spend my time building my business and getting more writing projects, which will bring in more money. Hmmm, that sounds like the wisest way to go.
  3. As far as AVON goes, I love the product and love the discount I get on it, but honestly I don’t think I have enough time to really pursue building it as a business. Will pray about it though.
  4. And as the church secretary, I’m working part time, 15 hours a week is what I get paid for, but I really do LOVE it the most and feel it’s what I’m called to do! I’m praying that God blesses our church so much that they need me more (and can pay me more). It’s looking promising :)

For 2011, I’m Determined to be Disciplined! It’s not a resolution; it’s determination!

Posted in Everyday Life, Faith, Family, Money Management, Weight Loss | 2 Comments

What I’ve Been Up To

It’s been so long since I’ve posted here, or anywhere for that matter. I’ve been super busy with so many other things, here’s an update of what I’ve been up to the last few months.

As you know, my oldest daughter gave birth to her 3rd child, a boy, on October 2. It was quite an exciting birth, as she had him in the mini-van on the way to the hospital. You can read all about that here. So, I’ve been busy enjoying spending time with them.

Secondly, I’ve been busy with the Chosen Conferences. This fall, the conferences were held in Sault Sainte Marie Ontario, Detroit, and Gaylord, MI. We have another one coming up in February in Grand Rapids, MI, so I’ve been gearing up for that.

Another big change in my life is that I am now the secretary for our church, Life Church. It’s a part time job for now, and I truly enjoy it. I think it’s my calling. I work 2 to 3 days a week, but it’s enough to keep me pretty busy. I usually end up spending 4 days a week at the office due to working on Chosen stuff.

And the newest thing I’ve been working on is building my AVON business! Yes, I am now an AVON representative! It’s pretty exciting! I’ve already got my first recruit and I have an appointment to sign up my second one on Friday :) AVON has great products at very reasonable prices, and I love their online ordering system. AVON is a pretty easy product to sell, as most people know about it and most have bought AVON at one time or another. If you would like to check out their products or are interested in starting your own business, click here.

Then of course Christmas is coming up…which is another reason I started selling AVON. Not only will the extra income come in handy, but because I get a discount on products as a representative, Christmas shopping will be much easier.

We got our tree up the other day. We went to a tree farm and picked one out that is nice and full. We did have a heck of a time getting it to stand up…it kept wanting to fall over, so we attached some fishing line to the wall behind it…you can’t even tell :)

As you can see, I’ve been pretty busy! But it’s all a good busy and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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