Friday began around 7. I woke up to Herd making coffee... which by the way I am very thankful for... coffee was just what I needed.
SIDE NOTE- Andy never stops serving. He is a wonderful example of a servant for Jesus Christ. I just want to give a shout out to him and THANK HIM for who he is!!
Breakfast began at 8. From there we headed to chapel. Micah brought the word from Ecclesiastes. His message fit perfect with the overall spiritual focus we had desired. He spoke of true, biblical friendship. Something that needs to be understood in light of unity of the Spirit. What was so awesome about this was that Micah has been preaching out of the book of Ecclesiastes for about a month at youth group on sunday nights. His next message in his series was at the exact time we were heading on our trip. God had planned out Micah's messages so carefully so that this would fall on this weekend. I love that God does that. He is so interested in the lives of His children. His plan and timing is perfect.
After chapel we loaded on the bus and in the vans and headed up the mountain. It was absolutely beautiful. The views were breathtaking. I stood in awe of the Creator of this world. He created this. He carefully formed the mountains. He lovingly provided a place of majestic beauty.
A few of the youth spent the day snowboarding, but the majority of us spent the day... well technically it was only a few hours, but who's counting... tubing. The snow was so RAD. It was fresh powder. Walking through it proved to be a challenge at times, with it reaching some peoples hips... but that didn't stop anyone from making the best of it. the youth had a blast. After a few hours of playing in the snow we ate lunch and headed back to the camp. As soon as we began our decent from the mountain my mind quickly began to be filled.. consumed... with things that need to be done.
The second night of chapel was NERD NIGHT. I loved this. We had the room full of nerds. Some with fanny packs. some with suspenders. some with broken glasses. It was RAD to say the least. The night began with a quick team game to get the youth excited for the night. As soon as that finished, we jumped right into worship... Worship at the retreat was awesome. God has blessed our youth ministry with so many talented kids. Our worship team has grown so much this past year. Its so cool to see them use their talents for the Lord. One song in particular that we sang this weekend was the motivation for my title for these posts. The Stand, by Hillsong United. When I heard it I gravitated towards it. The words were so powerful, and in that moment I was focused solely on worshipping my Savior. I had forgotten about everything else. For that moment, my Savior was the only one who mattered. Yet, after the song ended my mind was filled once more with schedule. with my to-do list.
Our guest speaker, Ricky, brought the word again. This time he spoke on influence. He once again challenged our youth. to examine themselves. to examine this ministry. He asked them to consider who they are influencing, how they are influencing, and whether or not this influence pointing to Christ. We have an opportunity to influence. WE as a body of Christ. We are called to STAND UNIFIED TOGETHER. The Christian life is not meant to be done on our own. God has established the body of Christ to fulfill His ultimate plan together. If we stand as one, go out and share the gospel in all we say and do, God can do great and mighty things.
Earlier in the day my sister, Amy, approached me. She asked me to consider if we should have some sort of discussion after the chapel service. she thought it would be a good idea for us to head back into the cabins and spend some time talking about the message, and pray that the Lord can do a work in each of our lives. I was hesistant at first. Would this work? Would it fit into our schedule? It was something that I hadnt even considered before...
From that moment on the Lord began to convict my heart. He was bringing to light the fact that I was not even concerned with the spiritual aspect of the retreat. I was so consumed with the busyness of it all that I let the most important part of the weekend take a back seat to my schedule...