Sister to Sister: I’m Getting a New Battery

images-10I took my time. I took my time through the aisles at Target last Wednesday afternoon. I called my daughter, Hannah, when I found the diapers on clearance. I wondered why she sounded like they were already traveling to evening Bible class. It was only 6:20 and they’re hardly ever early anywhere.  I talked with her a bit and then went over to pick up a box of Kleenex, the last item on my list. Placing it in my cart, I glanced down at my Bama watch and realized it was only 6:25. I even had time to breeze through the clearance clothing before checking out and making the five minute trek to the church building. I’d even be early!

When I did arrive there, I still had lots of time. It was ten till 7. I went around to the back of my car and went through Target bags till I found the little gift card and M&Ms I had bought for my secret “adopt-a-college-student” friend. I had plenty of time to hide those where he would find them.

And then, while I was “lolly-gagging” in my trunk there, my friend Brandy drove up and parked beside me. That sweet girl was hurrying her two babies out of the car and getting her Bible and diaper bag and…

“Hey Brandy. How are you?”

“Hey, Mrs. Cindy. We’re good. Just running a little late.”

“Aw…you’re not late. You’re just on time.” I said, still looking through the stash for that gift card.

“Well, just a couple minutes behind…” she said.

After a few comments about the boys and how that little one is already walking, she scurried on in. I found the stuff I was looking for  and started walking toward the entrance. Then, as I looked around the parking lot, which was full of cars, but completely desolate of people, I thought, “Well that’s kind of weird.” I walked in and saw that the giant wooden doors that separated the large fellowship hall class from the offices and fifth grade classroom…were closed.

“Am I late?”…I thought. “But my watch says it’s seven minutes till seven…Has it stopped?…Well,  no…that second hand is ticking…They just closed those doors a bit early tonight.”

I unlocked the office doors and went in there to look for a piece of ribbon to tie the M&Ms to the gift card. And then I glanced up at Mrs. Patsy’s office clock. AHHH!…It’s 7:10!

Moments later, stumbling over the women in the ladies class, I glanced up at the board where Lindsey, who was teaching, was listing the ways we evangelize within our homes. She already had a long list going. Cindy Colley was very late! I was now sitting beside a visitor…sweet Lori Lynn Rives, the young “hero mom” who had originated the idea that has now turned into the international Digging Deep study. I hugged her, but I was thinking…”What must she think of me, “Mrs. Let’s-all-be-deep-Bible-students!”…tripping over her at 7: 10 to…well…Bible study?

Seriously, I know it probably didn’t matter so much to anyone but me, but I kept thinking about that Bama watch. I love that watch, but if that thing had been running right, I would have been on time. If it had completely stopped, I would have still been on time. I would have figured out that it had stopped hours ago. But because it was running, but losing time, it had totally thrown me off my game. (I know, I should have been looking at my phone.…)

It reminded me of what the Spirit gave us in Revelation 3 to the church in Laodicea:

“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

It’s not the people who have totally stopped (working, running, ticking…those who have stopped even pretending that they are accurate representations of what God wants them to be).…And it’s surely not the people who are the real thing: who are aligning themselves as nearly as humanly possible to the standard.…It’s neither of these groups that make God most nauseated. It’s the people who are still ticking a bit; they are still pretending they are doing the job. These are the people that God will just spit out of His mouth.

Now, we’ve put those people through two analogies. They are the lukewarm liquid that nauseates God. They are the ticking watch that is totally inaccurate. They have just enough Christianity to “throw people off”. They are pretending they are getting it right, but their batteries are weak and they don’t really have their hearts in what they are doing anymore. And, just like the Bama watch threw me off my game, they are influencing others to miss the mark.

If the watch had told me it was 7:00, when it was truly 7:00, I would have been right on time. If the watch had said, say…2:30, I would have known there was a problem, and looked elsewhere for my standard.  But because it was still in the proximity of being right, I trusted it. That’s how it is with lukewarm Christians. If they would only get out of the proximity of faithfulness, we could easily see that we cannot count on them and that we should not be trusting their examples. But because they have one foot in the church, sometimes we fail to see that other foot, dangerously sliding around in the world! We trust them. We are influenced by them. Outsiders take them for examples of Christianity…and when the judgment day comes, those big doors will be closed…for them and for those who trusted them.

I’m mad at that watch. But I think I will get a new battery, and give it one more chance (because it is a Bama watch, after all.) Maybe some people need to get a new battery and give it another go.

Sister to Sister: Figuring Out Godliness–Part 2

Do You Have Your Act Together?

1010949_10151997487112802_498003468_nThe second indicator of what’s on the inside is what I’m doing on the outside. The passage says Christian women are not to be distinguished by flashy or immodest clothing and/or jewelry. But Paul doesn’t just leave us hanging. He gives us the flip side of the coin; the positive side: do be distinguished by the good works you do.  He says if you’re making the assertion that you are a Christian, do what women who profess godliness do: get busy doing good things!

I am amazed at the potential of the young women I meet as I go about and speak for ladies days and teen girls’ days. Often I find you, teen girls, more responsive to the teachings of Scripture than your older sisters in Christ. You have tender hearts. Almost always you are more creative in the use of resources. You blow me away with your talents and willingness to use them. You are tech savvy and artistic. You have much to offer the church and you are unwilling to bury your talents. Most of these areas of service are great opportunities for both men and women. Take the time to examine each of them and see if there are ideas that can be used by both guys and girls.

  1. Teen girls are putting together some of the most amazing Saturday programs for girls in their communities. These days typically include singing praises, a speaker on themes of purity, evangelism and/or service, games, a question and answer session and a meal.  I’ve seen themes like “It’s a Jungle Out There” (I Peter 5:8), and “Whatever!”(Phil.4:8). Talented decorators, cooks, and song-leaders, all under 21, put these programs together and bring their non-Christian friends. They are making a difference.
  2. Many of you are in group studies using a book called GIFTS, available from the Lads to Leaders office. I’ve known girls in several areas who’ve carried this book to school with them. Someone on the bus or in study hall is interested in the book. So a Christian girl invites a non-Christian girl over to study GIFTS on Thursday nights. Girls are learning the gospel through these private studies and some are becoming Christians.  The GUARD study for you guys can be used in the same way.
  3. Some of you are using your computers to spread the gospel. I heard of one Lads to Leaders debate group that used Instant Messenger to prepare as they studied their defense of the gospel. I know of one girl who had a lengthy study with a non-Christian friend on the subject of baptism via Instant Messenger. I know many of you use your Facebook pages to let each other know you are praying during the difficult times and to send each other encouraging passages of scripture. You use your word processors to make banners for hospital rooms and cards for sick people.  You correspond with missionaries and prospective converts you’ve met while on mission trips. You avoid the destructive chat rooms and readily available internet temptations and, instead, use your computer for good works.
  4. I have a friend who is a freshman on a state university campus. He started a weekly devotional in his dorm room on Wednesday nights after worship. To date, he has taught and baptized ten friends. This kind of devotional evangelism can happen with girls, too.
  5. Some of the most creative kids’ bible classes I’ve seen are taught by teens. Some of the most eye-catching bulletin boards are constructed by teens. This week I’m preparing an adventure center for our local Family Bible Week. Everyone on my team, except me, is college age and below. We are making a Treasure Island where children learn that real treasures are the ones we lay up in heaven and the treasure map is the Word of God. The lesson was written by a college student.
  6. Some of the most effective teachers on the mission fields are teens. I’m thinking right now of one teen girl who insisted on climbing a mountain in Jamaica to get to one lone house on the top of the steep incline. Other team members were older and lacked the energy to make the tough climb in the heat. Greeted by a sixteen year old native, this young teen girl set up a Bible study. At the end of the week, the girl was baptized.  She, in turn, brought a close friend to the Lord and that friend has now brought five people to the Lord. It wasn’t the seasoned preachers who made that little Jamaican church grow. It was the sixteen year old novice.
  7. I see local groups of young people tirelessly conducting worship services at nursing homes, raking leaves and painting houses for the elderly, doing laundry for new mothers, washing baptismal robes, cleaning up after fellowship meals, providing transportation to services and a myriad of other tasks that might seem menial to their peers. Some people may ask, “What’s so special about these teens? Why are they okay with doing the dirty work?”  Something tells me it’s that they understand what Jesus said in Matthew 25:40: “…inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.” They understand good works.
  8. I see young people who are just naturally hospitable. I would be hard pressed to even estimate how many families have moved into our area and chosen to become a part of our congregation because our teens just enveloped their children, making them feel welcome and very much a part of the family that meets together here. Oh there may have been other factors, but parents very often tell me the deciding factor was the friendliness of our teens. Can you find someone who is new; someone who may be sitting alone and invite them to come and sit with you and the other teens.
  9. I receive lots of cards of encouragement from women of various ages. Sometimes I receive a card that is such a blessing to me that I want to keep it forever. Many of the cards that have encouraged me immeasurably are those I have received from teen girls who tell me that I have made some difference in their lives. These cards make me want to be better, try harder and seek the kingdom first. Is there someone who is making a difference in your life? Take a few minutes to pen a note of thanks. Some of you are masters of expression. Use those writing talents to build up the body. Some of you are good in the kitchen. Make those muffins to carry to Sister Smith who is convalescing or to Jenny, who broke her arm in yesterday’s soccer game. Some of you are talented sketchers. Make your own cards and gifts for widows or college students or deployed soldiers. Some of you are great readers. Share thirty minutes each week with an older woman whose sight is failing her, reading the Scriptures or something she wants to hear. Some of you are great actors. Plan a widows’ luncheon, serve your guests and then treat them to a skit produced and directed by teens. They will never forget this. It will be more fun than they’ve had all year! Our teens make up songs about our elderly people. They love to travel from house to house and carol; especially during the holidays, but any time of year. You don’t have to wait for programs and youth leaders to take the initiative. You can initiate good works.
  10. Most importantly, just get excited about spiritual things. The devil loves to make us believe that the real fun is in the temporal activities of this world. While it’s okay to enjoy fellowship in pure forms of entertainment, sports and fun activities, most teens are missing out on the lasting joy that comes from service. Be enthusiastic about Bible class. Get excited about building the kingdom. Try your hand at evangelism (maybe starting out by going with your youth minister or an older Christian to a study). Make it your habit to always say “yes” whenever asked to do anything for the Lord’s church. My children both testify that this “yes” rule was a big key to the development of their talents for the Master.

One more thing about good works for girls: No discussion of this subject would be complete without at least a brief look at Titus 2:4, 5. This passage is compelling as it relates to the place of women in the body. It encapsulates the most important role you as God’s woman will ever have on this earth. It actually says that women who fail to comply with this passage will cause the Word of God to be blasphemed. Guys, whatever you hope to find in the woman you will one day marry, find someone who is working on the list below. Girls, whatever else you do in this life, may I encourage you to be sure you are developing your talents and skills to be:

  1. A lover of your husband. Decide now to find a faithful Christian with whom you can share the goal of eternal life with God and plan to be his helper toward heaven.
  2. A lover of your children. If and when God blesses you with children, realize that he has placed in your charge little souls that will exist forever. They will look to you for guidance. You will influence their destinies.
  3. Discreet. The word here means self-controlled. It means deciding that you will put your will under His Will in all of life.
  4. Chaste. This word means modest and innocent. Make early choices to guard your thoughts and life from the sins of the devil.  Live every day so that you can bow before God’s throne and pray, knowing your relationship with Him is secure.
  5. A homemaker. Whatever vocation you may choose, remember God’s plan for your life, at least while your children are at home (these verses are addressed to the younger women), is for you to be a homemaker.
  6. Good.
  7. Obedient to your husband. While politically incorrect in our world, be sure you never lose your resolve to do marriage God’s way.

Sister to Sister: I’m Old…So Here! (Part 3)

11057335_10152618923116384_8647455845390333819_nSuggestion three is not easy to say. In fact, its implementation is a struggle for this older woman. But I believe it might be the most practical of any suggestion in 2015 for millennials who want to be keepers–guardians  and protectors of–the home. I’m not a millennial. (Does that mean I am a pre-millennial? Not in the theological sense, but, yes–in the “older woman” sense.) But I know lots of them and I love the way that so many of them are coming back home–to its values, its oh-so-important roles, its traditions. So today, let’s think about something small, relatively new and pretty powerful in terms of relationships in the home.

It fits in the pocket of your purse or sometimes even in a very large pocketed keychain. It’s only a few centimeters in both length and width. In fact, its smallness is one of its biggest selling points. But in that tiny pocket package there is power to destroy relationships. The devil can fit in a package even that tiny, if you let him. You know what the package is. It’s your cell phone—your mobile device.

I heard about a pre-schooler the other day who was asked the question, “What’s the most important thing in the world to your mommy?” Without batting an eye, the sweet little girl responded “Her phone.” Sometimes the answer must be just that obvious to our kids. We keep it with us at all times. We protect it from the elements. (I actually know a man who, while cleaning the swimming pool, was accidentally falling into the water. This man had the prudence and presence of mind to reach into the pocket of his shorts and toss his cell phone onto the concrete, mid-fall! The phone was salvaged.)  We make monthly payments for its use and we check on it multiple times throughout our days.

But I know many homes in which the devil, through that little flat rectangular disc, is doing great damage. Here are a few ways he works through your device:

  1. He makes you fail to “redeem the time”. Sometimes our houses are dirty and/or cluttered, we are behind on the laundry, the cat litter box is a mess, the beds are unmade and we are running late to worship. We fail to study our Bibles daily, but we have scrolled through our news feeds, taken time to post a picture or status and, oh, if only our houses looked like our pins! (Don’t think for a moment that this is personally directed at anyone, because I write, first, to improve my own time redemptive habits.)
  2. The devil makes you overspend. It’s so much easier to buy things when there’s no getting out of your pajamas, no “store hours” to fit into your schedule, no face-to-face exchange of money, no paper trail and SO MUCH (literally, the whole world of retail) from which to choose.
  3. He makes you fail to see needs around you. You are focused on the needs that are far away…a child on CNN who is lost in the Rockies, a ten car pile-up on I-65, a federal financial crisis, or a politician who has misspoken. All the while, you are failing to see the things you can personally fix, or at the very least, affect…the child who is losing his way spiritually—YOUR child…the “pile-up” that’s in your closet, your playroom or your laundry room or, even worse, the emotional pile-up that has accumulated between you and your sister in Christ…the financial crisis that has occurred in your own checking account or with the plastic in your wallet…the words misspoken around your own breakfast table, or the words of encouragement that went unspoken as you scrolled through distant statuses and pithy postings of strangers. Sometimes, we just become very far-sighted in the presence of our devices and the things we could positively affect remain unaffected. And when we fail to do good, it is sin (James 4:17).
  4. The devil tempts us through the lust of the eyes and flesh (I John 2:16). With the multi-billion dollar pornography industry, most of which is readily available on your device, not to mention the appeal of the world through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, he is having a heyday in the lives of the people who are supposed to be sanctified. If you cannot see this as a personal affront of the devil—an affront of which you need to constantly beware—then you are not astute enough to be mentally responsible before God.
  5. The devil is working to addict (enslave) the people of God. Anything that I can’t lay aside for  His purposes, whatever His purpose may be at any given time, is an addiction. Many people I know are addicted to cell phone use. They cannot lay the devices aside for more important things, even temporarily.
  6. The most tragic thing the devil might be doing through your mobile device is destroying your relationship with your spouse. The command for wives in Titus 2 is to love (phileo) our husbands. “Phileo” is friendship love. We are commanded to be best friends with our husbands. Our husbands are commanded to dwell with us according to knowledge, giving us honor. We are missing out on some pretty basic and important relationship builders when we are phone or i-pad addicted. We miss smiles and winks. We miss opportunities to pick up a dropped fork or a broken spirit. We miss conversations that result in sexual intimacy or answers to life’s dilemmas. We miss the “look” of utter dependence that might have made us more clearly see the importance of what we are doing in the home or, in the case of husbands, on the job. We, thus, miss confidence milestones and esteem builders. We miss opportunities to show gratitude. We are absent in the “moments” of life and love. We become deficient in our communication skills because it’s easier to “stalk” than talk; easier to feed curiosity than character; easier to maintain internet navigation than interpersonal communication. So we slowly erode relationships. We do what is easy and neglect what is rewarding. It is a self-centered way to watch our marriages die. And, when the devil succeeds, through the tiny box, in this erosion, he can get his tentacles on so much more—your purpose, your skills of submission or your husband’s leadership abilities, and even the generations that will eventually come from your home.

Are you wondering if the devil may be “stalking” you through your device. Ask yourself some simple questions:

  1. Are there days when the “basics” of home are missing some components—like hot meals, clean clothes in the closet, or clean forks in the drawer…but the facebook posts have been read and you’ve caught up on Instagram notifications? (Maybe I should get up this very moment and do something else and not even post this!)
  2. If you check back on your eBay or Amazon (or other retail) history, do you find that you are spending more than you thought on impulse on-line purchases? Do your kids or grandkids already have more than they need to wear (or play with) and more keeps popping up in your mailbox? Do you have so many clothes (or shoes or purses or baby carriers) that you never wear any of them out and you keep searching the web for more? (I talk to myself. Do you?)
  3. I know you use your Facebook to encourage others, but, if you read Matthew 25, do you find  yourself failing to do most of the “judgement-day-requisites” listed in verses 33-46 in real relationships with those in your congregation, while you find time somehow to shop, pin, post and “catch up” with people you seldom see?
  4. Do you find yourself taking your device to the bathroom with you or locking the door of your office while perusing the web or quickly shutting down pages when someone walks into the room?
  5. If you challenged yourself to do without your mobile devices for one full day except to answer incoming voice calls, would you have a difficult time doing that? Is it hard for you to commit to that test?
  6. Do you have your phone with you at the dinner table?
  7. Do you text others as you ride along with your spouse in the car?
  8. Do you text while driving?
  9. Has your spouse ever mentioned  to you that he wishes you would not be on your phone while with him?
  10. Do you communicate with someone  of the opposite sex online about matters that are sensitive, personal or even sexual in nature?
  11. Do you “talk” with someone of the opposite sex online…a friendly communicative relationship of which your spouse is unaware?
  12. Do you keep surfing or communicating online at night after your spouse goes to sleep?
  13. Do you find yourself very often finishing a line of text or reading a post before going to see about a crying baby or answering child who is calling you? Or do you always look at your phone while rocking your baby or watching a movie or ballgame with your children or family?
  14. Have you ever parted from your spouse and failed to kiss him goodbye because you were involved on your device?
  15. Are you withholding any passwords or devices from full spousal awareness and accountability?

imagesIf one or more of the answers to the above questions is “yes” for me, then I need to examine that area of my life and consider changes. I might be using my phone to communicate while failing in the most important communication of all. If several of the answers is “yes”, then I should beware. The devil may be trying to connect with me online. If I accept him as a friend, I will complicate my life and endanger my eternity. He is constantly posting, sharing, tweeting and texting. He is very tech savvy and extremely “social”.  I must be sure that I own my i-phone rather than allowing it to own me. Because the devil knows my number.

Sister to Sister: Holiness: Don’t Miss It for the World!

holiness_1I recently met a sweet forty-something-ish woman, at a ladies day where I was speaking, who was electric in her conversation. I mean this woman just drew you into her facial expressions and gestures. She made you want to get to know her;  to know who she was and what made her tick. Let’s call her “Meredith”. You could tell that Meredith enjoyed life and that she was definitely a “people person” .  I enjoyed her enthusiasm about the ladies day we were attending and I learned from Meredith as she asked another lady present how she could encourage a sister who was not present. I learned that her home congregation was another hour or so east of where I was at that moment and that her ladies were busy planning their own retreat for the very next weekend and that my daughter, Hannah, and I would get to be with this positively infectious personality again at that upcoming retreat.

So there she was at this beautiful lodge the very next weekend. Meredith was one of the first to arrive from her job teaching pre-K children on that Thursday afternoon. She came in with the same wonderfully focused and quiet zeal that I had previously seen. This weekend she brought one of her friends from work with her. She was the only person  at this ladies retreat who had been successful in bringing a visitor with her. I loved getting to know her co-worker who had even brought along her young son who visited politely and then diligently worked on homework in another room. Both of these pre-K teachers had taken the following day off for this spiritual activity. This visiting lady spent one of our break times telling me how important her friendship with Meredith was and indicating to me how very influential Meredith had been in her life.

Throughout the weekend I heard about the times Meredith has lead the ladies Bible study and I watched her interact with the younger women on the topic of evangelism. I tasted the yummy enchiladas at Saturday lunch and learned that they were her signature “easy recipe”. Then one of the younger women came in on Friday night and drew us into her conversation about her boyfriend, who is deeply involved in a study of New Testament Christianity, but is struggling to overcome biases from denominational family members. I watched and listened as Meredith shared the excitement about this searching heart and gave encouragement to this young woman who desperately wants to reach this soul with the gospel of Jesus. Meredith helped her with scriptures and with reassurance about the power of the Word.

During every lesson, Meredith sat wide-eyed, absorbing the Word and its applications. Never pretentious, in her jeans and pink sock feet, Meredith took notes and nodded her approval of the points being made.  By now, I knew that she was the kind of person I wanted to put in my giant Thirty-One bag and bring home with me. I could tell she would be a blessing to whomever she met and in whatever context she smiled that infectious smile.

It was the last moment of the retreat and Meredith had been asked to lead the closing prayer. We went around the room asking for prayer requests. Just before she bowed her head, one final minute was given for any last request, at which time Meredith said, “Two things. Please remember my friend Lori.” (Lori was the friend she had brought along to the retreat, who had, incidentally, already left.) “…And remember me. I’m going to a new neurologist to see if he can help me.”

So I had to ask the question: “Oh?…What’s wrong?”

“Well, I’ve had these issues with my muscles and my bones,” she said. By the time I finished asking questions and she finished answering, I learned that her body is chilled much of the time, her right side is often numb and sometimes partially paralyzed. She has trouble with memory loss and putting the right names with faces and cognitive skills. The doctors have been thinking Multiple Sclerosis, but tests for that have been negative. The new neurologist is her hope of finding some answers.

Now, just think about this with me. Almost any one of us, experiencing those symptoms would have dismissed the prospect of a three day ladies retreat (much less the visitor accompaniment, the ladies day the weekend before, the leading of a Bible study, the evangelism and encouragement, and the help with food) as something extra-curricular for which there was surely not adequate stamina. Meredith’s synopsis at the end of the retreat was something along these lines….”I wouldn’t have missed this for the world. It was just what I needed to be focusing on right now…being holy and how to see all the blessings in my life.”

“I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.”  So many of us have it backwards. We aren’t willing to miss the world—its momentary pleasures– for all the holiness and blessings God has to give us. How sad!

I want to be more like Meredith. I don’t want, for the whole world, to miss a thing He has for me.

Sister to Sister: Run!

runningThere’s only one chance at the wreath that awaits

Only one lifetime to strive.

Only one finish that counts in this world.

And only the time you’re alive.

Only one manual, one trainer, one chance.

Just time between you and the goal.

Only one foe to disqualify you

But this enemy runs for your soul.

This race is for brave-hearted, die hard achievers

For buffeting, disciplined focused believers.

For those who can throw off the weights that would slow them

For those who have studied the rules and who know them

For those who lean heartily on practice and skills,

But also on faith and an undeterred will.

So run, undistracted.  Run fast toward the goal.

Keep steady, breathe deeply, and run for your soul.

The world is now small in the distance diminished.

The wreath soon you’ll wear..You’re approaching the finish!

The glory of this wreath dies not with applause.

This glory’s forever, for it’s in the cross!

 

 

Tomorrow’s Church, Today

1394034107The teens in our congregation are extremely worldly.” …

The kids in our homeschool group are so much more spiritual than those in our church.” …

It hurts when people make fun of you for doing the right thing, but it is so much more hurtful when it’s the kids in your youth group.”

I know. I hear these statements over and over again as I travel about and speak to moms and teen girls. I know there’s worldliness in our youth groups. I know there’s texting going on during worship services. I know there are sleepy kids on the Lord’s Day because the devil had the night before. I know that persecution is sometimes sitting on the same pew with perseverance. I know.

But the good news is that there are hundreds of our young people who’ve not “bowed the knee to Baal,” (Romans 11:4). I know.

I know Terrin, who recently read a tract about the works of the flesh in Galatians 5 and then went home and told her mom she was done with dancing–no more prom, no more homecoming dances– no more. And she meant it.

I know. I know Kaylee, who plays volleyball on a public high school team in knee-length shorts.

I know. I know Hannah, who gave up a part in the play because she was unwilling to be onstage during a single worship service of the Lord’s church.

I know. I know Jack, who walked across the auditiorium to meet a young man he’d never seen before–a visitor–and invite him to come up and sit with the youth group.

I know. I know Andrew, who went home alone on Sunday night after worship because his youth group was going to see a movie that contained language that was inappropriate for Christian consumption.

I know. I know Camron, who, finding out that the man who sat near him each Sunday was not a Christian, asked him to study the Bible and, later, baptized him into Christ. I know.

And I know Daniel Webster and Samuel Thrasher. Daniel’s just a regular thirteen year old, who likes to play ball and board games and sometimes just likes to veg-out on the couch and look at facebook. He’s also kind of a prankster. Samuel is eighteen. He likes theater, public speaking and hanging out in fun places with Christians. He plans to go to Freed Hardeman University in the fall. Together, they’ve made time to jump start an incredible website for all of the Terrins and Kaylees and Hannahs and Jacks and Andrews and Camrons–all the kids who really are trying to seek Him first, make good choices for His glory and lead others to Him. It’s called Tomorrow’s Church, Today. There you will find articles by Daniel about prayer, by Song Nicholas about evangelism, by Kayla Barker about gossip, by Samuel about God’s majesty, and so many more. You’ll find upcoming youth activities around our nation, complete with details and maps. You’ll find a question and answer section and a prayer area. Best of all, if you’re a teen with holiness in your heart, you will find a great youth group–a group of Christian teens who are just like you–determined to be a light in a dark world. Suddenly the light will seem brighter and your support group, while it still may not always be on the pew with you, will always be a click away.

So are you one of the hundreds who’ve refused to bow the knee? You’re going to love this site. You’re going to find people who think like you do and places to be with kids who will encourage you. You’re going to like this page–on facebook, and in your heart. You’re going to be stronger just knowing there are others–lots of others–who are praying to the same Father for the same help through their days, as you are. You’re going to find ways to help people around you to be more Christlike. Who knows? Those kids on your pew may be open to reading from this site, too. Share it! There’s potential on your pew for tomorrow’s church!