This week, Dan continued his series on hope by talking about walking with Jesus. many people claim to know God, but they fail to follow Him. Following Christ, living the way He wants you to, and letting Him carry your burdens is the way to find hope in your struggles. If you feel hopeless, maybe it’s because you haven’t given Jesus everything, and you’re not walking on His righteous path. Our key verse for the night was Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
How do you get to know about someone really important? You look them up, read about them, and figure out who they were and what they stood for. You don’t just follow someone without knowing them! The same is true for God. He wants you to get to know Him, and a perfect way to do that is to read about Him in His book. The Bible is full of true stories that tell us who God is and what He has done for the world. It is the most historically trusted book in the world and every week, it is the #1 bestseller! More than just telling us about God, the Bible is a book of hope. Through it, God explains His love and His plan for us. If we ever need advice or don’t know which way to go, God’s words in this book are perfectly clear! We had a man from Teen Challenge, Heath, come up and tell us how the Bible changed his life. When he was hopeless and thought that he would never change, God spoke to Heath through His Word and gave Him a way out of his dark life. Praise the Lord for His love and mercy! If you are in need of hope, go to the source of all hope: Jesus Christ!
This week, Dan started a new sermon series based on one word: hope. He started this topic by describing the Star Wars movie, A New Hope. In the ending scenes of the movie, the heroes face a situation that seems pretty hopeless; the fate of the universe is riding on their shoulders. They have exactly one chance to defeat the evil Empire. Now, they could have easily lost hope, but instead, they held on and ended up saving everyone! Sometimes in life, we go through times where we lose our hope. The weight of everything is crushing us into the ground and we want to give up. But Jesus is the source of our hope; He is more powerful than any bad thing we face and He promises to deliver us from the darkness. Don’t lose hope! Have faith, and remember that Jesus will set you free!
We kicked off the new year by having a special Rock-Us this week! We were blessed by a visit from the women from The Hoving Home in New Jersey. These women all have come from tough situations, but have all been touched by the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. Their choir sang some songs for us, and several of the women gave their testimonies. The whole night was very powerful as we learned about the amazing mercy that God shows us. what a great way to start off Rock-Us for 2019!
This week marked our last night of Rock-US until January 2nd… so we made it a night to remember! The whole night was centered on one of the best days of the year-Christmas!!!! We had an ugly-sweater contest, some great games, and a meaningful message given by Dan. He reminded us that in the midst of all the candy, decorations, and presents, we need to remember the reason we celebrate Christmas. This day is special because it represents the day that God sent His Son Jesus, down to Earth as a human baby. God did this so that Jesus could die for our sins and give us the opportunity to have eternal life in Heaven! What an amazing gift! And what an important thing to remember this season. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!
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This week at Rock-Us, we had Stephen Ebling give the message! He talked about a bit of his testimony and how he weathered through some storms in his life. He reminded us to have faith in God and to not focus on all the bad things that happen to us. Stephen related this to the story of Jesus calming the storm. The disciples were looking at the storm, so they were scared. But Jesus wanted them to have faith in Him, so He demonstrated His amazing power by stopping the wind and the waves! That same Savior is alive and in our hearts today! Have faith in His promises to protect and guide us!
So last week at Rock-Us, we mixed it up a little. We had an ENTIRELY youth-run night! From the game, to the praise band, to the skit team, to the sermon, to the small-groups, all of it was led by the student leaders. The theme of the night was “Focus: Shifting Your View to What Really Matters”. The night’s sermon talked about the different things that we focus on nowadays: clothing, popularity, money, the future, etc. and how instead we should be focusing our attention on God. We talked about the difference between Tom Brady and Tim Tebow. How Brady has pretty much everything, yet he’s still unsatisfied, and how Tebow has the same stuff as Brady, but is completely fulfilled. The difference between these two is that Tebow has his life focused on God. When you fix your eyes on God and what He says, then it doesn’t matter how your life is going here on Earth. He will satisfy you and give your life meaning. The youth praise-band sand a special song called, “Breathe” by Jonny Diaz. It reminds us to not get so distracted by the craziness of life, but instead to find peace and rest in God. All in all, it was a very powerful night, and we are SO proud of everyone who was apart of it.
Thank you to everyone who joined us for Camp Andrews RENEW Weekend this year! We all had a blast! The theme for this year was knowing what you believe and defending your faith. We had AMAZING worship time, great fellowship, and a LOT of volleyball! Be sure to ask anyone who went about their time, they’d love to talk about their experience. If you missed it this year, be sure to join us next year!
Last week at Rock-Us, we talked about forgiveness and how it frees us. Dan again used the Biblical story of Joseph to explain his message. Joseph had every right not to forgive those who wronged him. They didn’t ask for forgiveness and it wasn’t fair. Yet Joseph decided to forget his pain and love those who didn’t deserve it. By doing this, he proclaimed freedom over his life and played a big part in fulfilling God’s plan of a coming Savior. If Joseph had kept that bitterness in his heart, it might’ve consumed him, and his brothers certainly would have died. Even if it seems impossible, God wants you to forgive those who have hurt you. He will help you and you won’t forget it!