YTGBA

15 Sep

YTGBA. You take God’s breath away. Do you believe me?

I spent a week at Castaway (a YoungLife camp) with an amazing group of middle school students from our Wyld Life club in Rogers, MN. Funny thing is in high school I hated Young Life, yet God quickly changed my heart. Now I love all Young Life stands for. Year around I get to hang out with middle and high schoolers and I absolutely love it. No doubt about that. It was wonderful learning and having fun with our Wyld Life students for a week, for the best week of their lives. Wyld Life and my girls have challenged and changed me. At camp, one girl told me that Wyld Life changed her life, as it has mine as well- and I’m in college, not middle school! At camp, my girls realized they had been stuck in their parents religion. But now they know who Jesus was, why he loves them, why Christians wanted to learn more about him, why they should love Jesus back. They were honest about sin that I hadn’t realized in my own life: the way we get our self-worth from social media and friends. Let’s just say we had amazing conversations. And I learned far more from them.

Our speaker Crystal shared about how each one of us takes God’s breath away. As I ponder that. As I think about God’s love for me. For my girls. For my friends in Ghana. For the girls I met in Cambodia. For my homeless men. For my special needs students. For the people I dislike and avoid. God created each one uniquely. He loves each one so deeply. Not just me, but equally loves and desires the best for everyone, even my worst enemy. What a cool God. I just been pondering and reflecting on His love. How amazing would it be if we loved like Him!

Romans 8:31-39 (the message) // So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

1 John 4:7- // My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God. … We know it so well, we’ve embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God.  God is love…. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. … We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first. … The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.

Side note. I have been missing, thinking and praying for my friends in Ghana- can’t wait to see yall again. And I may have the chance to go back to Guatemala to see Jose, Eagle’s Nest kids and meet new friends. I am praying and excited for open doors to finally see Vivianna’s legacy in India. To see where God leads Ryan and I. What happens this next year with Wyld Life. All as God wills.

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