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December 9th to 15th (Suggested Passage: Isaiah 1)

on Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:52 am
Please share at least one devotional on the readings that are provided for that week - this week will consist of Chapter 5 from Radical. And Leadership Axioms chapter 34 and 37.
-Please make sure at least one devotional is done on Radical.


1. Pray. Ask God to reveal Himself onto you through Scripture. Ask God to give you an appetite for his Word (Just like how we always pray before we eat - you are essentially praying before you eat spiritually
2. Read maybe 2-3 times
3. Interpret the passage, see what verses, terms, and key phrases stick out to you.
4. See how you can apply the passage - knowledge is amazing, and to know God is essentially our focus. Even better if you can find ways to apply it.
5. Share your prayer requests. Seriously. Everyone is able to read what you flesh out and we are a Church that will pray on your behalf - also an opportunity for you to pray for others as well.
-You can always share praise songs that has spoken to you as well, maybe throughout your devotional/quiet time.
6. Pray to end off your devo, trust God that He is working through this initiative.

Suggested Passage is Isaiah 1
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Re: December 9th to 15th (Suggested Passage: Isaiah 1)

on Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:31 pm
Matthew 21

There was a lot to take in from this chapter, and to be honest I didn’t fully understand all of it. There were lots of parables and stories in chapter 21, and the one that stuck out most to me was the one where Jesus curses the fig tree. He saw how this fig tree was not growing figs, but just leaves. It didn’t serve its purpose so he cursed it by saying, “May you never bear fruit again.” Then, the tree died just like that. Jesus said if we have faith and do not doubt we can do anything. With God, everything is possible. I tend to overlook this statement a lot in my life. Thinking God’s not in my life 24/7, I doubt a lot of things like eternal life, God, Jesus, etc. Later, Jesus states that if we believe with all our heart, then we will receive whatever we ask in our prayer. Again, I overlook this as well. Sometimes when I pray, I ask for surface level things like keeping my family healthy and safe, watching over me as I drive, thanking Him for everything he has given me, etc. I need to be able to pray more with my heart and what’s deep down. I realized if I want to be able to grow I need to pray more as well. My prayers have not been meaningful at all. God is so powerful, and He works in mysterious ways. I have this up and down relationship with Him. There are times where I pray with all my heart and I feel like He hears me and listen to me. Other times I feel like either I’m not putting in all my heart or He’s not listening. These days it feels like He’s not listening even when I put my heart into it. I’ve been praying about a few decisions I needed to make, but I don’t think I’ve been open enough or am listening for Him. I tend to make decisions with my emotions. So all in all, I hope I can maintain a great relationship with God, and be able to listen to what He has to say to me. I have to stop thinking selfishly and that God is the one who can’t hear me. I also hope I don’t doubt as much when it comes to my faith.


Prayer Requests:
-give me a stronger faith and a stronger ear
-help me to make the right decisions with God as my first priority
-be a better role model to Jayden, because lately I don’t think I have been(stop swearing as much, stop talking bad, and stop nagging him for every little thing he does)


Songggggg
-Give Me Faith
Give me faith to trust what you say
That you're good and your love is great
I'm broken inside, I give you my life


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Radical 5

on Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:52 pm
For this chapter of Radical, Platt is describing Jesus' mission to us: To make disciples of all nations. Platt describes how Jesus had told us to make disciples of many nations to spread God's glory to all places, Platt then describes of what we do to do this, we start fundations, go on mission trips, and do all these things we do to try to glorify God's name. But, Platt tells us that if Jesus wants us to make more disciples, why not do it like how he has done it? He describes how Jesus has done it by just recruiting a few men to his cause who share his attributes. Those who are caring, loving, and willing to glorify God: and then they too start to make more disciples. We the same can do this, and honestly I feel like we are doing this right now. Take for anb example a Bible study group or even our devo groups. This is a small group, in which we all have the goal to study and glorify God. Yet, when we are not attending these said groups, we can go out into our society and preach the same message we learned in our groups to other people. Obviously not like a massive crowd walking in the Glen, but a sincere one to one conversation. I think this is also why Jesus chose his disciples like this. Instead of preaching to a large crowd and telling them all you are my disciples, he specifically chose a few people to help him in his mission. If we talk to a crowd, I can bet that almost all of them will forget whatever we try to tell them. Yet, having that one to one engagement really shows some personal care for your mission. To the other person, it shows how much you care for this, that you take time out of your day to talk to a random stranger or friend about the gospel so that they too may believe Christ and spread his word.

Platt also describes how important this discipleship should be. He explains how on the night of Jesus' death, Jesus tells God about his disciples. He doesn't tell God of all his miracles or his sermons or the lives affected no, but he speaks of his disciples. Platt then describes how Jesus didn't show his work through miracles, but he showed his work though his disciples. Platt describes Jesus as not the one who lived to do all the work, but that Jesus was the one living for his disciples, so that Jesus can teach them his message and they can then spread the message to other nations. Essentially his work was the disciples. You can even say that Jesus was sent to Earth to make more disciples to glorify God's name.

One last thing I wanted to pull out of this chapter was how Platt says that we still show this type of work in our everyday lives. Although indirectly, we show this discipleship to God. Platt tells us an example of two of his church members. They start a business, and with that business they introduce God to their co workers. Then with that the co workers go to church, learn about Christ, and then repeat the same thing that the original two people did. We can even still do this at our schools. All the youth group members at our church can do this. We can be in a group project or a classroom or even at lunch with our friends and ask them if they know Christ. As we ask them about Christ, we can introduce them to church, or even the multiple stories in the Bible. Eventually, we can bring them to church and then we now have another Christian eager to learn about God. See, in doing all these things we become disciples of God, and with that we make more disciples, which was Jesus' mission to us in the very first place

Prayer Requests
- Hope that everyone's week's are going well so far! Praying that we don't have too much stress or get frustrated at all
- Give thanks more - For a while I haven't been praying to much besides in school. I just want to pray more about giving thanks to God for food, friends, family, etc
- Just pray that these devos are working and that our spiritual levels are going higher

Song
Oceans - Hillsong
Apparently Eco-Gym was playing this while I worked out and I found it pretty nice and fun to listen to while working out
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Re: December 9th to 15th (Suggested Passage: Isaiah 1)

on Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:23 am
I read John chapters 16-18 and something that stood out to me was two simple verses in John Chapter 17:14-15, which says, "I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one." This passage just really reminded me of Jonah, when he tried to escape God's plan to go to Ninevah and spread his word and warn the people about how they will die if they do not repent for their sins. He got on a boat to run away from the world but God sent a storm that forced him to fall into the ocean and to be eaten by a big fish which took him back to Ninevah to spread the word. This passage made me think that we are like Jonah, in which we run away from the world by hiding the fact that we are christian or we decide to run away from God. I find myself doing this because of how scary it really sounds and the inconvenience and uncomfortable positions that I may be placed in. I find myself hesitating about talking about my faith with people who do not believe and it makes me feel really ashamed. However, this passage reminds me that Jesus came to this world to spread his word and that now he has given us the word, we should spread the word to the very world that hates who we are and that we are not tempted by the worldly desires and sins. I just think it is truly incredible and blessing that some of the words that Jesus said thousands of years ago can still deeply affect the world works today.

Prayer requests:
Church- Just think we need some prayer through all the things that are happening we just really stick together as a family
School- Started my application today and hoping God will lead me to the right path
Family- Just to be more patient and be more caring for my family
Friends- Have many friends who do not believe or fell out of faith, hoping God can use me or just anyone through prayer to really have the realize his love
Retreat- Pray for the leaders who are taking their finals this week or next week that God will keep them strong, praying for my small group that God can use me to really love them and help them with their faith, Fundraiser goes smoothly
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Re: December 9th to 15th (Suggested Passage: Isaiah 1)

on Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:18 am
Tonight or today (depends how you look at it LOL) I read and reflected through Ephesians 4:1-15 titled as "Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ."
-I read this in relation to Axioms 34 and 37
-And to be honest, I particularly chose these two axiom chapters in context to our devo meeting this past sunday.

Axioms chapter 37 addresses 'Leaders Call Fouls' as chapter 34 brings about the fact that we can disagree without drawing blood.
As chapter 34 concludes, it states that we ought to examine the Ephesians 4 passage in living a "life worthy of the calling you have received." Hybels also references character traits such as humility, gentleness, patience, and peace.
Chapter 34 also brings about that passion is a good thing to have, especially when it comes to serving God and 'kingdom issues'. He also states that it is inevitable for 'passion to beget passion'. Passion shows that we care, it shows that we have ownership with whatever what we're passionate about. And once we become more and more passionate for God and for our youth group - we will inevitability have conflict.

It is absolutely true that we are called to 'Just Say It'. But this isn't without the fact that we're called to speak the truth in love. We're called to welcome disagreements, yet we ought to disagree peacefully - showing love and honour to all, even if they agree or disagree with what we may claim. We're called to uplift people and to build one another up. And as we grow passionately for God, my prayer is so that our passion won't leave us to burn one another but to have a contagious passionate heart that will eventually trickle down to all of the youth group students. Passion is great and we're called to be passionate. But we need to harness and express our passion in a way that it doesn't burn others.
-Speaking the truth in love, we're also called to call fouls. This basically means that we take action in a way that's gentle yet stern when we find something that isn't called out. And this should not give us a license to call each other out for the sake of criticism - but it has to be established in love and truth. And as recipients of criticism, will we go beyond the criticism itself and search for the kernel of truth? Weird and pretty cool to see how these axioms work with one another.

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." (Ephesians 4:2-6)

Just want to express my gratitude for you guys and am super proud as to how we're always trying to be ambitious with these devos. Will miss you guys as I already do when I'm in Toronto Sad

-Please pray for sermon prep to go well for the retreat, as I'm trying to plan and set a framework by Saturday.
-Please also pray that I can learn to be more serious with you guys when it's time to be serious. I feel like God is revealing the fact that I've haven't been doing well in establishing a pastoral relationship
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Axioms 34

on Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:53 pm
So in this chapter, Hybels talks about the topic of arguments and conflicts without drawing blood. Of course, I think the blood part is an over exaggeration, and really means like broken relationships, or just a ruined congregation in the end. Hybels starts off talking about marriages, and with author Catherine Johnson interviewing couples on what makes them happy. What key detail though in every couple was that they would somewhere argue or have a big fight. This is the truth, for a healthy relationship you need to have fights. Anyway, the phrase that one couple has said was "When we disagree, we will not draw blood". Hybels took this and connected it with the church ministry in general. He tells us that there will be moments when people disagree with what you're saying, and as a leader we have to prevent that situation from escalating any further than it has to without "drawing blood". He tells us a story of a man who had attacked Hybels very rudely in asking a question. Of course in response to this, the entire congregation erupted at the mans comment during the service, but Hybels had peacefully negotiated with the man, and how Hybels was still willing to answer his question just in a nicer, more civilized way. Hybels tells us that in order to be a leader, we have to defuse these types of situations. I can see this alot in our church, with people disagreeing with the elder pastors here and there, and what is really sad here is that we are leaders. Doesn't matter if we are youth, we are still leaders. However, Hybels tells us that instead of resolving the conflict with a "Hey, shut up!" or a "What are you saying?!?", he tells us to diffuse it more civilized. Hybels didn't rudely attack the man to try to stop the situation, but he reached out to him, gave him a second chance. In doing this, that man realized how rude his comment was, and then proceeded with the right thing to say. I think as a church we have to be a lot more like that, us especially, myself included. There are multiple times when one of us asks a question, if it is rude or dumb, that we respond with a lot of hostility. We have to be more like Hybels, try to reach out. Instead of responding with rude comments, we should try to understand what they are trying to say more, and if they made a mistake in whatever they said, just let it slip. One mistake isn't going to hurt the world.

Prayer Requests
- After reading this chapter, I realized our youth group does what the congregation did to the man alot, which was argue, shout and yell. Pray that we can just be more caring and loving towards one another, and demonstrate what Hybel did and show passion, so that we can just reduce the amount of teasing going on in our church (some is still good though lol)
- Pray that we can just keep on doing these devos, and that we won't stop, we can just be efficient in them
- Pray for school, church, and family, just that all will be well.
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Re: December 9th to 15th (Suggested Passage: Isaiah 1)

on Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:51 pm
Philippians 1
For the next couple of devotionals I will be going through the book of Philippians. Although there aren't many chapters, I believe this book holds a lot of value. In this first chapter, Paul's complete devotion and full faith in God is clearly shown. In verse 13 he mentions how he was imprisoned for preaching the gospel, but in the next verse he expresses joy that because he was detained, other Christians were becoming more confident in proclaiming the gospel without fear. Also in verse 18 it mentions how although there are false prophets who preach out of selfish ambition, Paul is seen to be still rejoicing in the fact that Christ is being preached. In both cases, there was a negative situation that is presented, but Paul still finds a reason to praise God for them. This demonstrates how Paul is an individual who only looked to God rather than the circumstances around him, and had complete faith in God's will. I was inspired by this devotion and learned that although a certain situation may seem rough at the moment, God always has a plan. For that reason I should rely fully on Him as Paul did. In the concluding section of the chapter, Paul urges that rather than being fearful of those who persecute you, stand firm and conduct yourself in a manner that reflects the power of the gospel (verse 27). The next verse points out that in your absence of fear, it reveals to your persecutors of the truth that they will be destroyed while you are saved. Finally, verse 29 mentions how just as God calls us to believe in Him, we are also to suffer for him. These couple of verses give us the wisdom and understanding that Paul acquired after having been persecuted relentlessly. It's crucial that we realize that one, we represent the gospel and should compose ourselves in a way that reflects this by ridding ourselves of all fear, and two, know that this persecution is inevitable and not to dread it but to rejoice in it.

Prayer Requests:
- For my hunger for Christ and desire to know and love Him more.
- To have a heart and mind focused on God in everything I do (at school and home, not just at church)
- To overcome my laziness in spending time with God and not use my school work or schedule as an excuse

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Re: December 9th to 15th (Suggested Passage: Isaiah 1)

on Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:46 am
I read leadership axioms chapter 34 and 37, i believe that these chapter are crucial through some of the things that our own leadership team should learn and grow through. Chapter 34, Disagree without Drawing Blood, kind of talks about how we must stay composed no matter how things might get personal. Its a feeling thats hard to describe unless you actually felt it before, but when you actually care for someone so much that you want them to grow or change for their own benefit or have a problem you want to resolve really badly but having to do it without attacking them because you don't want them to get hurt but still trying to get your point across. It really is a hard feeling to describe and I kinda just mumbled my thoughts there but how I felt about this was that as a leadership team we should genuinely care for each other to prevent disagreements from becoming personal. The second chapter, Leaders Call Fouls, kind of goes off chapter 34 in where we should not attack each other through what we say personally but when these unfortunate incidents happen we should learn to call them out as a foul for the mistakes that they have made. No one likes being called out for their mistakes because of the humility that is involved and I always find myself trying to find excuses for myself even when I know that it was my fault. However, i believe that calling out these fouls shouldn't be taken as something we should be ashamed of or to feel attacked by, instead we should call out these fouls or be called out by these fouls to learn and grow in humility to become better leaders. Therefore, we should be careful in what we say or even the way we act and call each other out on it so that as leaders we can grow by learning from the mistakes of others or from our own mistakes.

Prayer requests:
- PJ, sometimes I feel like we don't pray enough for PJ but PJ is human too and has his own personal struggles and we brush it off as if he is this perfect christian who we use for our own benefit and we are not as thankful to have a youth pastor as we should be
- Church: I think we are going through kind of a rough patch but I believe through this we can learn
School: Nursing applications
- Family: To be a good brother and son
- Retreat: Pray for my small group, the leaders who are serving, PJ, allt he workers who are graciously providing us food and shelter, Church for just giving us money to make this retreat affordable
- Groupmates: the people in my group, Ashley and Ethan
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Re: December 9th to 15th (Suggested Passage: Isaiah 1)

on Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:45 pm
Leadership Axioms Ch. 35


These two chapters were about how a leadership meeting should look like when we disagree or put in our ideas. Chapter 35 is titled Umbrella of Mercy, and it refers to how others should act or think while another person is under this umbrella by sharing their ideas and inputs. I believe our team really needs this. There are many times where people sit quietly, and are too afraid to share their ideas. Not wanting to face any judgement, they never share. If we want our youth group to grow, shouldn’t everyone be able to speak their mind on certain situations? I noticed in some meetings that the way we respond to someone’s idea may come off as rude or mean. We say, “Huh” or “What are you talking about?” If we don’t understand then we can question instead of attacking. It really makes a difference if we start using, “I’m sorry can you repeat that?” with a better tone. I’ve done this quite a few times, and I now realize how it makes someone feel unsafe or uncomfortable in the environment. Usually, a lot of us use it when we hear nonsense, but it shouldn't be used during the meetings, when someone’s sharing what’s on their mind. Another thing is our reactions, especially me. I’m very bad at hiding my reactions to something I hear, and sometimes it can hurt the person who’s speaking. A simple eye roll or disgusted face can hurt a person’s self esteem. I’ve been trying to nod and smile at a person when they share to show that I acknowledge their opinions or indifference, and try to make them feel safe. A person could feel braver and more comfortable to share. I think small changes like these can really improve the atmosphere in our future meetings. It doesn’t have to take all of us to fix it. Even one person who continuously does this can help make it spread. This may be something small, but really it can make a difference. Growing off of these small things can help us grow off of bigger things as time goes on. Let’s grow into these healthy habits together:)


Prayer requests
-Help me to be more acknowledging to other people’s opinions or feedbacks to me whether it’s negative or positive. Help me to receive it more as a gift that will help me grow into a better person.
-As the semester is almost ending, I have borderline grades that are stressing me out. Help me to not think so much on how to get it up, but more on putting my best effort in and being happy with whatever result I get. It will be hard, but I pray for strength to get through this.


Song: You Lead by Jamie Grace
This song really helps me when I doubt God and His plans for me.

You lead, I'll follow,
Your hands hold my tomorrow,
Your grip, Your grace, You know the way,
You guide me tenderly,
When you lead, I'll follow,
Just light the way and I'll go,
'Cause I know what you got for me is more then I can see

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Radical Chapter 5

on Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:41 pm
What I have gotten out of Radical Chapter 5 was of the importance of discipleship and what it means. It really talks about the contagiousness of what discipleship really is. One of the inspiring stories in the chapter was when they were going to the French Quarters in New Orleans and speaking to some of the homeless people by building relationships by learning who they are and learning about their lives. What inspired me about this story was of a man they later met after coming back to the Quarters after some time, where one of the men that they reached out to, started his own homeless ministry. Another story speaks of the Cuban churches where each church planted so many other churches and it spread throughout the country. Through all this I thought to myself, then what am I doing when all these other christians are going out in any way or form to really just reach out to other countries and neighborhoods to make disciples out of them. Another part of the chapter that stood out to me was Discipleship or Disinfecting. The chapter says about how even the Son of God had only 11 disciples (Not including Judas) and yet, i believe, that we always measure our success by numbers of how many people go to retreat but in reality it doesn't matter how big or vast this number is if we are just "disinfecting" by keeping people in our church when we fail to spread throughout to people outside of the church. One of my favorite verses in the bible is Mark 2:17 which says, "And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” We tend to stay so focused on our own church members, which I don't believe is a bad thing and is essential to a healthy church, but we fail to spread out and make disciples outside of our church.

Prayer Request:
- To be a disciple, to make disciples, to go out and do what Jesus commanded us to do
- Retreat: To focus on the real importance of retreat rather than going to have fun or to glorify myself but to do this all for God, my small group
- Church: God will keep us united and be faithful brothers and sisters to one another
- School: Nursing Applications
- Ankle: Sprained my ankle and it hurts lol
- Friend: One of my friends asked me to pray for her to get a certain job and she needs all the prayer she can get
- PJ: To have a safe flight to and back from Canada
- Family: To be a better brother and son
- My group members: Ashley and Ethan

Songs: Alabaster Jar
Lyrics that spoke to me is "This time that I have left, is all I have of worth, I lay it at you feet Lord, its less than you deserve."
Feel like it speaks about this chapter where I should make disciples with my life but even then it won't be enough for what Jesus did for us
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Axioms 37

on Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:25 pm
In this chapter of Axioms, Hydels talks about how leaders should be able to call out wrongs or bad actions seen in someone in a group or a meeting. Hydels begins with setting the stage on how every team has multiple people with different personalities, and those personalities sometimes clash. Yet, when these clashes do occur, someone usually asks "why aren't we doing anything?'. I think this relates to our own church youth group a lot, and in our teams as well. Someone in our church always disagree's with someone else, which causes this clash or unnecessary drama. Our church has a lot of this, and as a leadership team, Hybels tells us that we need to take charge and know when to call someone out or not. Hybels also doesn't mention how calling someone out is necessarily a bad thing, but it can really help the group or entire church if we address this individual's problems and try to solve it. Hydels also brings in the example of people's personalities in interrupting conversations or announcements or what not. This is the type of situation where we have to address everyone in the room for that type of behavior. Hybels tells us that we shouldn't be afraid to say something like please don't interrupt, or please listen to one another. I think our church leaders can have a lot of trouble with that because of the idea that we may come off as mean or just have an attitude of shut up. I know this is seen a lot in our VBS, because for me I always get scared to yell at the kids, and when they really start to not pay attention or behave, I have to yell. Of course, I regret yelling because then these said kids get scared, don't like me, and etc. But instead of kids, we have to deal with that in our own team. Hydels also mentions how we have to critique individual's in a team if they are bringing the team down. He gives examples of a few people who have really kind of ruined the mood for an team, and how Hydels approached them to talk to them about the issue. Sadly, one of the individuals left the team after his talk with Hydels, but we should demonstrate that same type of critique in our own teams, but in a respectful manner. If we respectfully talk to them about it, usually I think it would end with an "oh, ok sorry about that. I'll try to fix it!" rather than the hostile response people usually expect. This brings up Hydels main point of criticism. We shouldn't be afraid to call someone out if they are affecting the team, because it can possibly turn into something amazing. They can fix that wrong in them, and overall just benefit the team as a whole.

Prayer Requests
- Just to be able to do these devos more often, I really could feel myself feeling better after doing these devos so it really does help
- Try to be better in praise team, not lose focus and try to play better lol
- Just that school and church and family life can continue without any hardships
- Hope that these devo groups are working really well for everyone
- Retreat, that God would just be with the leaders so they wouldn't be stressed. Also pray that God would be with PJ, as he prepares his sermon on the retreat.
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Re: December 9th to 15th (Suggested Passage: Isaiah 1)

on Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:55 pm
Ecclesiastes 5:8-20-6:1-9
“Riches Are Meaningless”
This passage is saying that no matter how much money you have it’s all pointless. When you love the riches you have you don’t have enough an you can never be satisfied. There is no meaning to all the riches in the world, because there is no point to get to see and use all the money you make. It is meaningless to work and earn money because when we leave this world we do not take all the money with us we leave it all behind. And it says that we can into this world with nothing and that’s how we should leave it. (This is a kind of confusing chapter so excuse me if I interpret this badly). Solomon says that he knows a few good things about this life. One being that is a good thing to eat and drink after a long day of work. And when God gives you wealth and happiness don’t take of it advantage because this is a gift from God. God gives us everything we want from wealth to honor so that we have everything our hearts desire. He gives us everything except the ability to be happy with all this, but other people find happiness in this. He says that is the worst evil of all. He then gives an example that if a man had 100 children and lived for a long time, but does not enjoy any of it and does not even have a proper burial, isn’t a child that dies in the womb in a better place then him. They don’t see the world and anything but isn’t it just the same thing because the stillborn child doesn’t get to experience anything and the man who lived for a long time could not find something he enjoys. Isn’t it all just meaningless. Solomon the goes on saying whether you are rich or poor we all leave this world with nothing. It’s like chasing after the wind.

Prayer Requests:
Spiritual guidance through this tough world, for everyone to stay healthy and safe.

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Colossians 3: 1-17

on Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:43 pm
Colossians 3's title starts with Living as Those Made Alive in Christ. Based off the title alone, this chapter gives us guidelines on how we should live our lives. The passage tells us right away that since we have been raised in Christ, we should set our minds and hearts on the things above rather than our earthly desires here. It also says how we have "died", and how Christ is our life. With this mentality, we should devote the things we do for Christ. We can't really set our mind son the heavens, but we can set our actions for the havens. It's like the actions we do, is for God and the heavens. Like taking a test, or studying, or writing this devo is for God. The next few verses tell us that we should put down our earthly desires and temptations. Due to these bad temptations, the wrath of God is soon coming to this Earth. It's kind of like Noah and the Ark, how God flooded the world due to all the sins everyone was committing. Then the next few passages tells us to get rid of all our bad habits; swearing, rage, anger, etc. It says that if we get rid of these things, we can be renewed with God's knowledge, and therefore have Christ in us. The next chunk then tells us what we should be like in our lives. We should have compassion, love, trust, and all these great things. It even says that we should learn to forgive each other, since the Lord forgave us for our sins. Then near the end of this chapter, it says how everything we should do should be for the glory of God. We should get rid of our bad habits and try to live a new renewed life in Christ, with love and compassion. Doing this can bring glory to God in our daily actions and how we can all connect with Christ in us.

Prayer Requests
- Hoping that Friday game night will go well! That God will just give us patience and we can have a successful game night.
- Pray that this week has been going well so far, since the weekend is almost here. One more week for GBS/GBN til winter break
- Pray again for the retreat, pray that PJ can teach his sermon well and that all the leaders there won't be stressed.
- Ask God to give me a thankful heart, and try to act kindly towards people older than me.
-
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Re: December 9th to 15th (Suggested Passage: Isaiah 1)

on Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:50 pm
Decided to cut Radical chapter 5 into two categories, one of which I reflected upon as a devo.

David Platt brings up the importance of making disciples, that we are all called to make disciples, regardless of our background, what we look like, our skills/talents, etc.
My take on this was the fact that we ought to make disciples in the relationships surrounding us. After David Platt provides many examples of how people took initiative in their careers in advancing the Gospel, I realized that my job is no less or any greater than these folks. Growing up in church, I've always had the impression that being a pastor is the most holiest career one could ever dream of. But I feel like this chapter provided a greater glimpse in that, because I definitely don't think so, by just looking at these examples. I think moving forward we need to identify ourselves as a Christian first and then our careers would come second. For example, I was realizing that I'm not a pastor who's a Christian, rather in virtue of my faith, I've taken on the role of a pastor. What we do does not define us rather our relationship with God is primary and everything else should follow.

Also, with the long experience in New Orleans that Platt addresses, I think that this shows as an example that sharing the Gospel is not just handing out tracts and evangelizing. Sharing the gospel is being in relationship, sharing the love that flows from God, the source Himself. "Disciple making is not about a program or an event but a relationship. As we share the gospel, we impart life, and this is the essence of making disciples. Sharing the life of Christ."

Some reflection questions also came up too, like, "How much of my life's relationships should be in the Church?" "What is Church anyways?" "How can we incorporate better ways of 'doing life' in and outside of the Church?"

Really ecstatic to spend some time at home, to re-energize and recharge, especially for the retreat. Please pray for my health and spiritual health as we go off into battle and this battle isn't one that is physical, but spiritual. Really feel like satan has us in his crosshairs.
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Re: December 9th to 15th (Suggested Passage: Isaiah 1)

on Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:24 am
Leadership Axioms Chapter 34 - Disagree Without Drawing Blood

As leaders we are not perfect so there will be times when we disagree with each other and that’s perfectly fine. Through disagreements we hear each others’ opinions about the topic and get a wider range of answer to see which one is the best fit for the situation. But the way you approach that disagreement with each other is one important part in building or breaking that bond you will have as you serve. Confronting someone elses opinion negatively in a way they feel attacked is not okay. In space of leadership the atmosphere should feel safe and encouraging so even when you share a disagreement with someone it’s out of love and not hate. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be honest in what you have to say, because your opinion should be truthful and be what your passion is driven towards. In chapter 34 in the Leadership Axions share “effective leaders do not fear passion. They welcome it. But from time to time passionate discussions digress into personal attacks, and real people get really hurt. In my view, leaders must head that off before it happens.” You’re comments to others shouldn’t be aim to hurt people but help them grow even if it’s a disagreement or a rebuke. If as leaders we are able to follow this guideline our leadership at CCYG will definitely grow because a youth ministry isn’t grown by one person alone. It’s built by a group of people who all have their own role to help shape CCYG’s ministry into something amazing. Romans 12:3-8 “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.  For as in one body we have many members,[e] and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.  Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching;  the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads,[f] with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” Disagreeing without drawing blood can be hard at times but as leaders at CCYG its something we have to do to help grow this ministry into something amazing.

Prayer Request

- Even through disagreements we will show encouragement and love instead of hate
- Winter Retreat

Song of the Day

- Awaken in me
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Re: December 9th to 15th (Suggested Passage: Isaiah 1)

on Sat Dec 15, 2018 3:44 pm
Philippians 2
This chapter was divided into three sections that emphasized two main traits: humility and gratitude. In the first section, verse 3 calls us to value and look to the interests of others above ourselves, and to do nothing out of our own conceit. Later on, it reminds us of the price that Jesus paid by humbling himself through both adopting the nature of humans and offering himself as a sacrifice. From this I interpreted that in order to fully live united with God, we must also live according to His good character. In this first section, the aspect of God's character that is described is His humility, and putting the needs of others above our own. Living on this earth, it's easily to fall into the culture of vanity and the pursuit of one's selfish ambitions, but this principle challenges that by commanding that we instead prioritize others. The reminder of the magnitude of what Jesus had sacrificed which was described shows how much he cared for His people. Especially in a leadership role, I think this teaching is the ideal mindset that should be adopted to lead well and with the right intentions. Rather than focusing on or prioritizing the personal gain from leading, the people that are being served should be held to an even higher importance. In the second section, verse 14 commands us to do everything without grumbling or arguing, and the next couple of verses say that through this, we can become blameless and pure and God will rejoice. While reading these verses, I was reminded of how much I complained about any unfavorable situations that I faced. But rather than spreading negativity by dwelling on this, this verse is reorienting this habit to being grateful for these situations instead. The arguing aspect of the verse pointed to a specific type of scenario in my interpretation. I thought of how when people disagree with each other, there is normally arguing, and this verse discourages that. But I don't think it meant not to disagree with people entirely, but to do it in a manner that's righteous and reasonable rather than rash and offensive. In general, both sections mentioned from this chapter demonstrate God's desire for us to adopt His good character/will and to always positive and grateful, both showing the emphasis on positivity and encouragement.

Prayer Requests:
- To put others above myself while serving
- To be more diligent and not use excuses to justify my inconsistency with spending time with God
- For my focus/concentration to counteract my laziness

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Re: December 9th to 15th (Suggested Passage: Isaiah 1)

on Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:04 pm
12/15/18
Romans 16

Romans 16 is the last book of Romans, and it's basically Paul commending certain people that he's met for following God's path. He begins by giving a brief description of them then describing exactly what they did that Paul is commending them for. Furthermore, he says in verse 17, "I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them". Although Paul's list of people is indeed important to see that good things come to those who are faithful, I think this verse is the one that is the most applicable to our daily lives as well as the youth group itself. He urges us to stay away from those who try to distract our walk with Christ and to be faithful to the teachings that you know is right. He specifically calls out those who cause division within the church and those who commit actions against what we have learned. This is important to apply in our lives, as we should not be listening to these people, but trying to help them. We also need to make sure that we ourselves are not these people, but that we help those who are these people to realize their wrongdoings and turn back to Christ.
To end my devotional, I did a brief reflection of what I learned in the entire book of Romans. A lot of what I've read was extremely applicable in my daily life, and a lot of it was a call out to my sinful actions and my sinful nature. I've ultimately grown not only as a leader, but also grown to hate more of my sinful nature and have gotten better at turning to God in all of my struggles.

Prayer Requests:
- there are a lot of tests next week, so please pray for my mental health
- To continue to learn the most I can through the next book I go through
- To apply everything I learned from Romans into my daily life



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Re: December 9th to 15th (Suggested Passage: Isaiah 1)

on Sat Dec 15, 2018 8:53 pm
Leadership Axioms Chapter 37 - Leaders Call Fouls

In position of power in any contexts there will come time when one leader or staff member will cross the line in what they say or in what they do. In these moments as leaders we need to be able to confront them for their foul words or actions. But confronting someone isn’t just tell them what they did wrong but explaining to them why their decision wasn’t the best one in that situation. We need to be able to correctly rebuke and confront other leaders because we want it to be a learning experience not form of attack. Being part of a creative team is fun especially because it becomes a space where you can share your thoughts and opinions freely. But sometimes there can be miscommunications for example one leader can have good intentions about what they’re sharing but would execute it poorly. Through this miscommunication one leader might get hurt and feel comfortable not knowing is all an honest mistake. In moments like these we need to be able to call each other out according so it doesn’t build up and boil into a bigger issue. To confront someone appropriately you need to let them know its out of love and not show passive aggression in the way you try talking to them. I say that because ninety nine percent of the time it’s a miscommunication or whatever disagreement is said is not worth breaking up the leadership bond just to prove one point. Think the past few months at CCYG we have grown so much as a leadership and I’m really proud of everyone who decide to take a step up to serve. But I think as leadership one thing we all struggle with in different levels is confronting someone when we disagree. Also being able to approach them and try to solve the problem instead of avoid it and gossiping to others about it. This is how toxic and unnecessary miscommunication is built and the only way to stop is how we as a leadership decides to handle it.

Prayer Requests

- Our winter retreat is right around the corner so if we can pray for our volunteers who dedicated their own time to serve at this retreat. If we can also pray for the teachings and worship we will go through and learn to not only impact our hearts but also our minds.

Song of the Day

- Though you slay me
By Shane and Shane
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Re: December 9th to 15th (Suggested Passage: Isaiah 1)

on Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:20 pm
Matthew 5 - Salt and Light

One thing a lot of christians struggle with is being able share and confess their love for Christ to the people around us because majority of the time we’re afraid to be judged. Even though I grew up in a church, served on worship team for the majority of my youth years, and also confessed my faith in-front of the whole church to be conformed I still struggle in vandalizing the word of God. I always told myself its not that I don’t believe in God but I’m just scared to face negative judgement from others or get a bad reaction. I feel like a lot of us think the way saying that you believe in the word but are too sacred to share it. But if you believe in the word God why are you scared to vandalize? Does your fear of being not liked great than the teaching of God? Do really believe in the word of God if you are not able to share it with others? These were some of the questions I would ask myself as I grew closer to faith. As followers of Christ we shouldn’t be scared to express our faith and love for our God because through our faith in him we are saved with eternal life. As disciples we need to be the light for the ones who are lost to help them find their way to the truth, that is mission God has given us. In Matthew 5:13-16 say “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that[a] they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Yes its scary to face what this world has in-stored for us but through the word God we cans face any obstacles. We need to be the light that shines through the darkness so everyone can see how great is God’s love is.

Prayer Request

- I have a pharmacy exam coming up soon that is really important and I’m extremely nervous about so hopefully I do well and not fail it.

Song of the Day

- How Great is your love
By Passion
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Re: December 9th to 15th (Suggested Passage: Isaiah 1)

on Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:24 pm
Chapter 37: Leaders Call Fouls
In this chapter, the author discusses how the inappropriate or disrespectful actions of others should be directly addressed rather than overlooked to promote an overall more God-honoring environment. Throughout the chapter, he references a situation where there's a meeting taking place, but a certain person or several people act in a way that is plainly rude or that disturbs the cooperativeness of the other participators. In this case, these instances need to be not simply ignored but directly handled with in some form, whether this be by directly confronting the person or by announcing it to the group as a whole. I thought that this point was important to reflect on in the context of our own church meetings, because I feel like there are many times when certain issues linger/haunt the process of the meeting but are not actually addressed and resolved. This could hinder the potential progress that the meetings could achieve and overall drag the team down, which is the reason why this is important to address. To conclude the chapter, the author mentions how the leaders calling these fouls is beneficial, but the main indication that this culture of constructive criticism is deeply embedded in the members is if the members themselves begin to point out their own fouls. As a leadership body, to serve the Church with collectively righteous intentions and in the most effective way, I think this chapter is telling us to be mindful of pointing out one another's mistakes to prevent it from spreading negativity and damaging the whole body.

Prayer Requests:
- The successful organization and execution of the upcoming retreat
- For God to use Pastor James and his sermons during the retreat to bring the youth group closer to God collectively
- To let our leadership team operate under a culture that is pleasing to God and making us quick to point out anything that needs to be addressed so they can be resolved

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Re: December 9th to 15th (Suggested Passage: Isaiah 1)

on Sun Dec 16, 2018 2:55 am
Axioms 34 - Disagree without Drawing Blood

It is perfectly okay to not fully agree with what one says, but while disagreeing, you must make sure that you are not hurting the other person. Hybels says that many people, including himself, can get really passionate about certain topics, myself included also, and that passion can turn into “personal attacks, and real people get really hurt.” We as leaders must steer away from potential problems like these before it happens. We must set an example on others to let them know that we will never just sit there and let a meeting, gathering, or conversation get out of hand to the point where people’s feeling are on the line. We as leaders have to let everyone know that the “‘disagree without drawing blood’ language” is the right way to go and that we as leaders will protect them from fights and create peace and unity amongst everyone, even through the disagreements.

Prayer requests:
- For my spiritual life to become stronger
- For me to step up my game in school
- For me to be a better leader and example



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Re: December 9th to 15th (Suggested Passage: Isaiah 1)

on Sun Dec 16, 2018 2:55 am
Axioms 37 - Leaders Call Fouls

I think I definitely related to and learned something from this chapter because this reminds me of leadership team as a whole. I think we all know that when we speak, sometimes words don’t come out as planned and we may end up hurting someone else’s feelings. We need to be aware of what we are saying and really think our words through before speaking to ensure that we won’t be making a negative impact on people. Because as much as we say we do and say things for the benefit of others, breaking each other down throughout the way is not the right thing to do. Like Hybels says, “we won’t interrupt each other, and we won’t belittle each other’s ideas. Instead, we’re going to listen to each other attentively. We are going to choose our own words carefully so that the process will be as God-honoring as the outcome.” In other words, if we hear something that may have a negative connotation, we may want to call that out as a foul and let the person know that their words could have been worded differently or that their words were hurtful. However, this does not mean that they should call out the person in front of everyone and embarrass them. That would be terribly wrong. Now, you may be wrong at times when pointing out fouls to people, and you just have to apologize, own up to your mistake, and move on. Same goes for if you are called out and you know that your actions were in the wrong.

Prayer requests:
- my relationship with God to become so strong to the point where it is unbreakable
- for me to give my all in school as well as serving ccyg


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Re: December 9th to 15th (Suggested Passage: Isaiah 1)

on Sun Dec 16, 2018 2:56 am
Radicals 5 - The Multiplying Community

In this chapter, Platt goes into depth of why we are here. We were brought to this earth to spread God’s glory and be known in all nations. “All he wanted was a few men who would think as he did, love as he did, see as he did, teach as he did, and serve as he did.” With just a few people, he need to touch their hearts and then they would go on to touch the lives of everyone around the world. Reading the stories about the members of Platt’s community touches my heart and encourages me to serve God in a stronger way. No matter where we come from, everyone from different backgrounds, we should all join together as one for “the glory of God.” Later in the chapter, we are presented with the question of whether we are receivers or reproduces. By nature, we are receivers, according to Platt. We may have this thirst for God’s word, but in the end, we are simply trying to “receive” God’s word and it actually share it. He then goes to ask “How can I listen to his Word so that I am equipped to teach this Word to others?”, and I think that it all depends on yourself. Just hearing God’s word is not enough. Listening, understanding, and coming to the conclusion that you have the “responsibility to teach the Word... changes everything about how we hear the Word.”

Prayer requests:
- Everyone at church because you never know what they may be going through


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Re: December 9th to 15th (Suggested Passage: Isaiah 1)

on Sun Dec 16, 2018 3:27 am
12/16/18
Leadership Axioms Chapter 34

This chapter was really impactful to me, as I found it almost as a direct attack to a lot of what our church is built upon. We often roast each other to a point where honestly, it hurts the other person more than we intended to. Although the chapter talked primarily about how we shouldn’t say offensive comments during an argument, I think this also applies to our daily lives as well. Roasting has become so ingrained in our culture that we do it on a regular basis, even when we’re not mad at another person. I found this chapter to be very relatable and found myself reflecting on the relationships I’ve hurt due to the unnecessary comments that I’ve made to someone. We should be loving and value our relationship instead of tossing off-handed comments around like our relationship with that other person doesn’t mean anything to us.
This chapter is one that should cause reflection in everyone who reads it at our church and is a good wake up call for those who need it. It’s definitely helped me realize and be more conscious of what I’m saying and doing from now on.

Prayer Requests:
- to be more conscious about what I say
- to not let my emotions get the better of me when I’m angry and say something I’ll regret
- please pray for my sleep schedule it’s beyond broken


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Re: December 9th to 15th (Suggested Passage: Isaiah 1)

on Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:27 am
Leadership Axioms Chapter 34: Disagree without Drawing Blood

Summary: Hybeles recites “Lucky in Love” by Catherine Johnson, and he talks about this concept of  “Disagreeing without drawing blood”. In the book, Catherine interviews hundreds of couples on how they have stayed together and why there are still deliriously happy. She found a common denominator among all of them, which was that at one point in their relationship, they, no matter how bad the agreement was, refused to destroy each other. Meaning that they wouldn’t say things that they couldn’t take back because of how deep it would cut.

Application: i think this perfectly connects to hitting rock bottom. When you hit rock bottom, you can only go up from there. No matter how bad the argument is, you don’t draw blood. I think this is very applicable to us because we have a lot of differing opinions at our church, which isn’t a bad thing. However, when someone has an unpopular opinion we should be shouldn't be attacking the person for their ideas.

Prayer Requests:
I felt really burnt out this week and devos have been getting harder and harder for me to do. Please pray for me that God will motivate me and keep me accountable
Please pray for me so I fix my diet.
Please pray for winter retreat as the days are counting down.

Song of the Day:
So Will I (Do It Again) - Cross Worship feat. Osby Berry

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdIOaAvvOp8&start_radio=1&list=RDQdIOaAvvOp8
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Re: December 9th to 15th (Suggested Passage: Isaiah 1)

on Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:28 am
Leadership Axioms Chapter 37: Leaders Call fouls

Summary: Hybels tells us to call fouls as soon as you see them and points out that calling fouls is part of being a leader. When you witness one, “Just say it”. He also goes into how nonverbal cues can be a foul, like body posture. Lastly, he talks about how he called a foul on someone who would always pray negatively, meaning he would project his problems and feeling tot the group. Hybels kindly asked him to stop because he noticed that it would bring down the mood and dev motivate the group. Calling fouls is part of being a leader but you shouldn't do it alone, when you start, people will follow and fall other fouls. Eventually, they will be calling their own fouls.

Application: I think our group does a pretty good job with calling foul but I might be totally wrong. From my point of view, we know what to say and what not to say, for the most part, so we know when to call out our own fouls before we say them. On occasion, we do sometimes slip up and others are there to catch us. However, our culture tends to glorify roasting. We think its funny to make fun of other, and I have been part of that movement, which I am not proud about. Since I’m not around all the time, I can’t 100% say definitively that we are leaders that always calls fouls, but I think that we are improving and making strides toward what Hybels envisions. If we are “Leaders who call fouls” and we “Just say it” without “Drawing Blood”, we will be in a very good place.

Prayer Requests:
Sometimes it's really hard for me to forgive someone because of the things that they did or are doing. Usually, I’m a very easy going person, however, if someone triggers me, it makes me upset for a long time. Please pray that I may have a more forgiving heart.
I felt like this week was hard because I didn’t rely on God. I always remind myself to rely on his power but I always get caught up and depend on my own strength. Please keep me accountable!

Song of the Day:
Great Are You Lord - Cross Worship feat. Osby Berry

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Re: December 9th to 15th (Suggested Passage: Isaiah 1)

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