“5 Things Teens Need That Youth Ministry Can Provide”


As anyone who has parented a teenager or worked with them in ministry can attest, teenagers have a variety of emotions. Understatement of the century! Happy. Sad. Angry. Tired. Horny. (Oh snap, the pastor said horny! Now I’m interested!). Irritable. Clingy. Apathetic. Helpful. And back to Happy. Attached to each emotion is a need, and though there are definitely more than five needs, I’ve chosen to focus in on just five for the remainder of this article. These are five needs that I believe that a healthy youth ministry can meet to varying degrees. 

Also, just for clarity sake I’ll be using the terms teenagers and students interchangeably. Okay… Onward!

1. Teens need a place to belong in community with their peers. 

This is why we make a concentrated effort to have a weekly meeting where students can come to play games and blow off steam with their peers. We truly believe that fun over time = connection, and we are seeking to connect them in relationship to their peers, caring godly adults, and ultimately to God. Students need fun (heck, we all do!) and safe places to gather with their friends. What if the church made it a priority to provide a desirable place like this? 

2. Teens need a safe place to process questions and doubts in their faith.

This is why we believe so strongly in small group ministry at South Bay Students. Especially because high school students by and large think like philosophers. They need to be pointed toward discovery…it would be easier to give them the answers to their tough questions, but what if we asked another question and began an ongoing dialogue instead? (If you take a look at the gospels you’ll see this was Jesus’ approach) This serves to allow them to discover the answer on their own, and produces ownership of what they believe. What if we were no longer threatened by tough questions, but learned to leverage them?

3. Teens need godly adults in their lives in addition to their parents. 

Parents will always have the most potential time with, and deepest impact on a students faith walk, but parents are not the only thing that students need. This is why we believe that every student needs a champion (aka adult) who knows their name and what’s going in on their life. These adults are meant to be in addition to, and should complement strong parental support. Small group leaders can be one of several potential godly voices pointing them to Jesus. Recent research on teens and what is deemed a “sticky faith” indicates that one major factor in a teen remaining in their faith beyond high school was the presence of at least five other godly voices/influences in their teenage years. What if we made it a priority to make sure every teen had multiple godly adults pointing them to Jesus before they graduated? 

4. Teens need a place to take ownership of their faith and begin to act on what they’ve discovered.

There really should be no better place for students to learn to serve in the area of their passion than the church. Creative writing? Childcare? Teaching? Leading? Music? Pastoring? Greeting? Praying? What if we showed teens just how significant they are by giving them something truly significant to do in the body of Christ? Will they fail? Yes. Will they flake? Some of them. But what safer place to fail and learn, or to flake and get forgiveness than the church? What if we handed over the keys of ministry to teens now instead of later?

5. Teens need to be mobilized to live the great commission. 

Teenagers need adults raising them up and cheering them on as they are sent out to impact the world with their God-given passions and talents. Schools need the light of Christ shining from their lives. Sports teams need the saltiness of the Gospel that they can provide. What if a weekly youth service and/or small groups were launching pads into the world to carry out the great commission, and then a gathering place to encourage and support said mission? 


Well, these are the five areas of need that students/teens have in their lives and the ways that I believe a healthy youth ministry can meet them. What about you? Anything you’d add? Subtract? Modify? I’d love to hear from you! 

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Top Five: Soundtrack of September

Where has this year gone! Can you believe September is now almost officially behind us?! I don’t know about you, but life feels faster and faster every year. Anyway, I thought I’d look back on music that I’ve enjoyed during this month, and in doing so share my five favorite songs with you in a Top 5 Soundtrack of September. Here they are…

“Nothing Stands Between Us” – John Mark McMillan 

Hands down this album Mercury & Lightning is my favorite of the year. This Song “Nothing Stands Between Us” is a perfect ending to a fantastic journey. I cannot recommend enough and give it the rare rating of five stars in my review below:

https://www.jesusfreakhideout.com/cdreviews/MercuryandLightning.asp

“Camelot” – Pen Pals


Solo artists Jetty Rae and Heath McNeese join forces for a second whimsical collection of singer/songwriter songs. A tasty treat for fans of The Gray Havens, The Civil Wars, and Johnnyswim. 

“I’ll Find You” – Lecrae (feat. Tori Kelly)


Though I was ultimately disappointed with the musicality of over half the songs on this one the lyrics are on point.  It’s worth checking out and you can read two reciewers opinions here:

https://www.jesusfreakhideout.com/cdreviews/AllThingsWorkTogether.asp

“Take Courage” – Kristene DiMarco


I wasn’t sure what to expect with this release as I have a very hit or miss relationship with Bethel Music, but I was pleasantly surprised. I’d recommend it if you like Bethel, Jesus Culture, Hillsong  United, Brooke Fraser, and any of the solo offerings from their worship teams. Here’s my review for further reading:

https://www.jesusfreakhideout.com/cdreviews/WhereHisLightWas.asp

“Lamb of God” – Emerald Hymns


I was caught off guard by how much I enjoyed this release from the new group Emerald Hymns. Though not a top offering of  the year for me due to lyrical repetitiveness, there’s enough I was impressed with to be excited about future releases. Read my review here:

https://www.jesusfreakhideout.com/cdreviews/PsalmsHymnsandSpiritualSongs.asp

What about you? Any favorite songs from the last few months you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you. Happy listening! 

The Princess Bride turns 30

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The best I can remember it, my journey with classic movie “The Princess Bride” (released to little fanfare to movie theaters in 1987) began Christmas of 1991 when I was 10 years old. Family friends (The Lawrence’s) loaned us a VHS copy so we could see this movie they thought we’d like. That Christmas we were all sick with the flu, and that was either the only movie in the house, or the only one we wanted to watch after seeing it, because I watched it at least three times in a row that day. And so it began…

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen the movie since, or how many copies I’ve bought on the cheap to give away because I’ve lost count… However, I can tell you that my love for the movie only grows deeper with each subsequent view. I won’t ruin it for you, or blather on with praise if you haven’t seen it, (which would be a shame you should remedy immediatly)…suffice to say, it’s a great movie with something for everyone. Fighting, fencing, swordplay, wordplay, quotable lines, true love, mystery, comedy, death, chases, escapes, rhyming, revenge, chocolate covered miracle pills and on and on. I have done my best to pass along my love of the movie to my own kids (and in fact we are watching this as I type) and to the teens that I work with by hosting movie nights at the church and my house on breaks from school.

To pick a top five or even top ten favorite lines is near impossible as I just have so many, but I wanted to share three lines that I think echo the beauty of the gospel.

 

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Westley: Hear this now: I will always come for you.

Buttercup: But how can you be sure?

Westley: This is true love – you think this happens every day?”

 

Westley has this unwavering confidence that their love is true love, and that nothing can keep them apart, not even death (more on that later). It’s the kind of love that God showed as He sent his son Jesus, not to condemn the world, but to save the world though him. God is a giver, “For God so loved that He gave…” (John 3:16-17) What we settle for as love pales in comparison to the true love that He offers in a right relationship with Him. May we never settle for gods that leave us wanting, but wait patiently for the true love that knows the depths of our ugliness and still sent His son for us.

 

Westley: As you wish.”

This line is uttered by the farm boy Westley to the beautiful, but full of herself Buttercup, and is his way of saying “I love you.” She comes to realize what he means eventually as he continues to serve her without complaint. I see that same humility in Jesus displayed in Philippians 2, where though God, He doesn’t consider equality with Him something to be grasped but took on the form of a servant and became a man. He faced every temptation we do and was without sin, ultimately with His obedience ending in a death that many people demanded. I can hear echoes of “As you wish” as he hung on the cross and says, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” 

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Westley: I told you I would always come for you. Why didn’t you wait for me?

Buttercup: Well… you were dead.

Westley: Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.

Buttercup: I will never doubt again.

Westley: There will never be a need.”

 

Death cannot stop true love, all it can do is deadly it for a while. Three days perhaps?! Jesus’ death conquered death and the penalty of sin forever, and it’s why we have hope and should live a victorious life in Him. In that line I hear and see the triumph of Jesus’ death and rise from the grave three days later. Not even death can stop true love! He has gone back to heave to prepare a place for us, what a blessed promise. May we not grow tired or weary of sharing His love with others as we eagerly anticipate His return!

Well, I certainly hope that you’ve seen this movie, and if not you make it a point to see it as I think it’s a true classic worthy of repeat watches even 30 years later. Here’s to you Princess Bride, may you continue enthrall and entertain for many years to come!

What about you? Any favorite lines you’d like to share, or memories of the movie? I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Top 5 Featuring…PFR

Some bands just never get the full appreciation they deserve(d). Maybe they are just ahead of their time, don’t get enough support from a label, or maybe it’s just pure bad luck, but they come and go with only a few die hard fans to show for it. PFR was certainly appreciated during their career, (1992-1997 & 2001) as they had a few radio hits, but I felt like they deserved so much more. Well, I hope you’ve already heard these guys and their fantastic brand of jangle pop ala (the jellyfish, the Beatles, Badfinger, and ELO), but on the off chance you haven’t here’s my ranking of their short but sweet career. They are definitely worth checking out even if some of their catalogue feels dated to their time period. 

1. Great Lengths


Overall, song for song Great Lengths is my favorite PFR album. I still go back to it regularly and keep a copy nearby in the car for when I get a jangly guitar pop hankering. (Which is frequently) Favorite tracks are “Great Lengths,” “Merry go round,” “The love I know,” “Blind man, deaf boy,” and “Life goes on.” 

2. Goldie’s Last Day


Goldie’s Last Day has so many great songs! The quirky title track was the first one I heard from this one, and it’s least like anything else they ever did. It was nice to see the band having fun and paying a tongue-in-cheek tribute to their dog. Other songs worth noting are the rocker “Walk away from love” with its wailing guitar solos, the air tight harmonies of “That Kind of Love,” and the poppy encouragement of “Wait for the Sun.”

3. Them

Album Them saw the band stretching and flexing more of the rock side of their sound. “Pour me Out” is such a crunchy song showcasing how hard they could rock when they waned to. Song “Anything” is pop/rock at its finest, and continues on with the harmonious PFR sound they were know for. “Fight” slows things down and offers lyrics on the power of prayer like, “We fight on our knees/but don’t often see/The battles that rage being won.” Two other highlight songs are “Say” and “Garden.” The latter of which ends the album on an encouraging realization that God is calling out to us in our despair. 

4. Disappear


This was the 2001 return of PFR after they had disbanded in 1996. It’s a much more polished sounding in its production, but still has some amazing songs. “Amsterdam” starts things off with high energy that “Gone” keeps rolling with lyrics like, “I can’t lie, it’s okay that it worked out this way…” Ballad “Missing Love” sounds most like their earlier work and made a fine radio single. Two other favorites were on the latter half of the album and are songs “Falling” with its wailing guitar and “Me” and its thumping bass guitar. Disappear was a great comeback album, albeit ironically titled as they would again break up shortly after and fade from the scene. 

5. Pray for Rain


The debut from the band then know as Pray for Rain (later shortened to PFR because a previous band already had the name) was really a solid and memorable introduction. They would certainly get much better, but the potential of what they would become is clearly seen on tracks like jangly opener “You Lord,” tasty alt rock song “Do you wanna know love?” and its piercing guitar solo, and the mid tempo radio song “Let Go.” Lastly, lesser known song and album ended “On and on” has always been a favorite and perfect closer for the album as it soars through to the end with the lyrics, “Here are all my burdens/I lift them up to You/Your words they easy my mind/Your gentleness shines through/Giving us hope/When hope is all gone/Never retreating/Sending us on and on.”


Five bonus songs by PFR:

1. “Name” – The Late Great PFR

2. “Forever” – The Late Great PFR

3. “Kingdom Come” – Roaring Lambs: Various Artists

4. “We can work it out” – Beatles tribute album

5. “Living thing” – Lynne me your ears tribute album

Here’s a playlist if you’d like to take a listen to rekindle love for songs you’ve previously known or make an introduction to a band you haven’t heard yet. Happy listening!

https://open.spotify.com/user/jukeboxjosh/playlist/0mrgEvIS9Dv9pXcz54IYbn?si=ZRt3hOyc

Rich Mullins (1955-1997)


As a sixteen year old at the time of Rich Mullins fatal car accident I will not pretend that I appreciated him to the degree that I would later in life. I didn’t own any of his albums, and was only familiar with his songs “Awesome God” and “Alrightokuhhuhamen” due to youth ministry choir. (That’s right I was cool! Haha)

It wasn’t until later college years in the 2000’s that I was able to fully understand what an amazing person and musician he was. In fact, I can’t tell you with any certainty what song first captured me, or exactly when I was stopped in my tracks by his artistry. Memory fades, but I do know it was sometime after reading the devotional biography of his life titled  “Arrow Pointing to Heaven” by Rich’s friend James Bryan Smith. I highly recommend it for any looking for more first hand details of Rich’s life. What an inspirational read! 

Like any great music, most of his has aged well. Time has only served to season it, there’s a depth to his lyrics that is rarely seen in today’s music industry, and that’s largely because he wasn’t afraid to spend time wrestling with God over big questions. 

So, I set about the unenviable task of trying to pick ten of his songs to highlight. Not an easy list as there are so many great ones. Trust me, anything he wrote is worth hearing at least once, but I chose these because they have made an impact on my life in some way or another. Outside of the first listed (“If I Stand”) they are in no particular order because I just can’t…these are simply songs I love for various reasons and come back to most often. 

Thanks for the music Rich. Sometimes I swear If you stop & listen hard in rare moments of silence you can almost hear a hammer dulcimer playing faintly in the distance. #RichMullins20 #richmullins

“If I Stand”

Favorite Lyric: 

If I stand let me stand on the promise that you will pull me through/and if I can’t let me fall in the grace that first brought me to You/if I sing let me sing for the joy that has born in me these songs/ and if I weep let it be as a man who is longing for his home

“Hold me Jesus”

Favorite Lyric:

Surrender don’t come natural to me/I’d rather fight you for something I don’t really want/Than to take what you give that I need

“Elijah”

Favorite Lyric:

But when I leave I want to go out like Elijah/With a whirlwind to fuel my chariot of fire/And when I look back on the stars/Well, It’ll be like a candlelight in Central Park/And it won’t break my heart to say goodbye

“Screen Door”

Favorite Lyric:

Faith without works/Is like a song you can’t sing/It’s about as useless as/A screen door on a submarine

“Let Mercy Lead”

Favorite Lyric:

Let mercy lead/Let love be the strength in your legs/And in every footprint that you leave/There’ll be a drop of grace 

“The Love of God”

Favorite Lyric: 

There’s a wideness in God’s mercy/I cannot find in my own/And He keeps His fire burning/To melt this heart of stone/Keeps me aching with a yearning/Keeps me glad to have been caught/In the reckless raging fury/That they call the love of God

“I will Sing/Hope to Carry On”

Favorite Lyric:

And love has come/love has come/love has come/and it’s giving me hope to carry on

“Awesome God”

Favorite Lyric:

And when the sky was starless/In the void of the night/(God is an awesome God)/He spoke into the darkness/And created the light /(God is an awesome God) 

“Sometimes by Step”

Favorite Lyric:

Sometimes the night was beautiful/Sometimes the sky was so far away/Sometimes it seemed to stoop so close/You could touch it but your heart would break/Sometimes the morning came too soon/Sometimes the day could be so hot/There was so much work left to do/But so much You’d already done 

“Creed”

Favorite Lyric:

And I believe what I believe/Is what makes me what I am/I did not make it, no it is making me/It is the very truth of God and not/The invention of any man

Honorable Mentions:

“Verge of a Miracle”
“Sing your praise to the Lord”

“While the Nations Rage”

“We are not as strong as we think we Are”

“I see You”

Here’s a link to all songs listed for your listening enjoyment should you so desire.

https://open.spotify.com/user/jukeboxjosh/playlist/1DG0eXgkDD61AO5it18Vhx?si=uvjBNxZ9

What about you? Do you have a favorite Rich Mullins story/memory? Concert experience? Song? I’d love to hear from you! 

How The Beatles Changed Music


Hurricane Irma is barreling toward Florida with my home in Riverview facing record high winds and potential major damage. To say things in the next few days could be changed forever is to say the obvious. One thing is for sure, I need a distraction so I thought I’d write about a band that changed music forever…The Beatles. 

Much has been written concerning the Fab Four and their impact by much smarter people than I, so I won’t likely say things that haven’t already been said. However, as a band I certainly have opinions on their lasting impact on the music industry and on my own personal music taste. Below are five not fully fleshed out ways that I believe they changed music forever in their decade of making music together. (1960-1970)

1. They did pop music better than anyone else.

They played together a lot early on, and had a tight sound because of it. They were writing and singing their own tunes right out of the gate and though masked as simple love songs they really were quite innovative in melody and chord structure. 

2. They kept from growing stagnant by innovating. 

They kept the music coming at a steady pace. Twelve albums in ten years. None of those twelve albums were complete duds, though some clearly better than others. Whether it was new instruments, new genres of music, or new sounds created in the studio they kept audiences guessing on what would come next.

3. They formed the music industry rather than conforming to it. 

Much like the point above they never made the same album twice. Did they have signature sounds? Sure. Ultra tight three part harmonies, jangly guitars, psychedelic sounds to be sure, but nothing ever sounded like a retread. They also were inspired by their contemporaries like Bob Dylan but never directly copied them. Their penchant for stretching themselves also pushed their contemporaries like Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys to create some of their most innovative work like “Pet Sounds.”

4. They changed how music was consumed. 

From an industry that largely lived off of hit released singles to The Beatles created can’t-miss albums that were best consumed as a whole. Strangely enough, I feel we may have come full circle in the music industry and need to go back to singles and less long play albums due to the digital music boom. (In my opinion)

5. They went out on top

Some bands stay too long allowing creative attrition (a pet peeve of mine) to set in, tainting their legacy..Abbey Road is arguably the greatest final album by any band to date. (Also just my opinion) And yes I realize that technically “Let it Be” was released after “Abbey Road” but I don’t count it as the whole band wasn’t working together to make it. 
Lastly, it’s the impossible task but I endeavored to rank their discography. Here’s how I choose to rank them in order of my personal enjoyment.


1. Abbey Road

2. Hard Days Nigjt

3. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

4. Revolver

5. Please Please Me

6. Rubber Soul

7. White Album

8. Help!

9. Yellow Submarine

10. With the Beatles

11. Let it Be

12. Beatles for Sale

What about you? Fan of the band? How do you think they changed music? What order would you put their catalogue in? Love to hear from you! Stay out there Florida! 

“Much Afraid”


As my home state of Florida hunkers down in preparation for hurricane Irma, there is much fear and uncertainty of what can happen to our lives in the next few days. As you probably well know from experience, Fear is a very strong emotion. Understatement of the year right?! (Insert slow clap here) Unchecked fear causes us to behave differently than we normally would. We get selfish, mean, offensive; and often, fear paralyzes any movement at all. Good news though, the Bible tells us that, “God does not give us the spirit of fear…” (2 Timothy 1:7) and that “Perfect love, casts out fear…(1 John 4:18) So fear isn’t from God, it’s a spirit, and the way it is driven from tormenting us is the perfect love of God. So whether we find ourselves full of courageous faith, or we find ourselves much afraid, our answer is our good Father. 

Also, as I prepare for a physical storm my mind (as it typically does) turned toward music for comfort and answers. I was reminded of an album titled “Much Afraid” from my all-time favorite band Jars of Clay. The title track/album title was taken from the name of the main character in Hannah Hurnard’s classic book “Hinds Feet In High Places” published first in 1955. I believe the song (and the book which is worth a read) has some things to teach us about fear and faith. So today, I share the title track with you, which I believe to be applicable to where we find ourselves in a 2017 full of wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, racial tensions, floods, and hurricanes.  

“Much Afraid” the album was released September 16, 1997, almost twenty years ago. I would contend that it has aged well, standing up to the test of time, landing in the top three of their long and varied catalogue. I have a complicated relationship with this album, as upon first hearing it I was disappointed. I had to learn to love it for what it was, (an evolution of sound) and not for what I wanted it to be (more like the self titled debut). There’s certainly spiritual application here alone. God often “surprises” with who He actually is, and not who we thought He was, or who we want Him to be. But that’s perhaps a topic for another time…on to “Much Afraid” the song. 
If you’re unacquainted with the song here’s a link to hear it below…

Much Afraid

And here are the lyrics…


“Much Afraid”

Verse 1: Empty again/Sunken down so far/So scared to fall/I might not get up again/So I lay at Your feet/All my brokenness/I carry all of my burdens to You

Chorus: All of these things/Held up in vain/No reason or rhyme/Just the scars that remain/Of all of these things/I’m so much afraid/Scared out of my mind/By the demons I’ve made/Sweet Jesus, you never ever let me go/Oh, sweet Jesus, never ever let me go

Verse 2: So happy to love/Yet so far to go/You lead me on to where I’ve never been before/All of these things/I’ve held up in vain/No reason nor rhyme/Just the scars that remain

Chorus: Of all of these things/I’m so much afraid/Scared out of my mind/By the demons I’ve made/Sweet Jesus, you never ever let me go/Oh, sweet Jesus, never let me go/No, no, no no, no, Sweet Jesus, you never let me go

Indeed. Whether physical storms, trouble of our own making, the pain of life, or simply being asked to move further out of our comfort zone, it’s comforting to know that we need not fear because “Sweet Jesus, will never let us go.” 

What do you think? Id love to hear from you about fear, faith, or today’s feature song “Much Afraid.”

“A King & A Kingdom”


I certainly am not one to stir controversy, and don’t post this video to rile anyone up one way or the other…I’m simply trying to put prayerful thought into what to make of this world of hurricanes, floods, The Nashville Statement, DACA, White Privlege, Black Lives Matter, etc. This Derek Webb song came to mind, and I feel it pretty well describes my thoughts thus far. Take a listen below…

Derek Webb – A King & A Kingdom

There are sinful heart conditions that I have to check everyday I look in the mirror. Though my salvation is a finished work through Christ, my life seeking to walk in the light is certainly a work in progress. I have very little figured out, and continue to pray to know how to best express the love so greatly given to me to everyone I come into contact with. We need to be reminded that loyalty to our flag, country, and leaders are admirable; AND that there is another allegiance to a King and a Kingdom not of this world and it’s systems. 

To close I’ll leave you with a line from the late Rich Mullins song “If I Stand,” that i want to be the continually cry of my heart as I seek to show kindness and love to all…

If I stand let me stand on the promise that You will pull me through/and if I can’t let me fall on the grace that first brought me to You.  

Click the link below to hear that masterful song in its entirety. always stops me in my tracks each time I hear it…

Rich Mullins – If I Stand

Just another beggar in need of bread,
Josh

My Life in “Quotations”

It’s time for our Friday Top 5 Featuring…”My Life in Quotations.”

Much of my life is a series of quotes, and I often joke that my spiritual gift is quoting movies. This I’ve learned is a fun party trick, but otherwise not useful. I mean, who needs to hear me quote major portions of The Princess Bride or Jim Carrey movies? A few lines are funny, but a large chunk of the movie becomes annoying. It’s akin to the best advice I’ve given to teens over the years when applying axe body spray, “less is more.” Anyway, without further ado, here are five quotes from people much smarter than I that have had a deep lasting impact on my life. They are the way I am trying to live my life, and I often fail to live up to them, but it’s what I’m aiming at. 

1. “Comparison is the thief of all joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

I forget when I first heard or read this, but I’ve had it seared into my heart over the last few years of youth ministry. I’ve tested it and can unequivocally attest to its truth by failing repeatedly to heed its warning. Jealousy is a close sister to comparison and both leave you wanting. Comparison is a no win because you either end up feeling bad because you don’t measure up, or superior because you think you’re better. It’s just U-G-L-Y.

2. “Fun over time equals connection.” – Reggie Joiner

A youth ministry hero of mine is Reggie Joiner founder of the Orange Strategy/Curriculum for NextGen Ministries. I take crazy notes when I go to Orange Conferences, but this quote about the place for fun in ministry has stuck with me most. Fun over time equals connection…when we consistently create fun safe places for teens (or people is general really) to gather, and we as adults join the fun instead of holding up the wall, we win the right to then speak truth into teens lives. That’s why any youth budget should have a line item for intentional and relational FUN. 

3. “Do for one (or a few) what you wish you could do for everyone.” – Andy Stanley

Both Pastor Andy Stanley and Reggie Joiner speak this one often so I’m not certain where it originated but I think it was Stanley. I really connect with this idea because I’m one prone to get paralyzed by the insurmountable amount of work that needs to be done. How can I be there for everyone?! It was a much needed newsflash for me to hear I didn’t have to be. But in truly going deep with a few, I can maximize my effort and hopefully multiply my time and investment. Think about it, if we all deeply invested in just two or three people pointing them to Jesus what would our world look like? 

4. “God is awesome. He doesn’t need you to be awesome. He wants you to be obedient.” – Matt Chandler

This is another pressure reliever…cease striving and allow the one who is awesome to be awesome, and just be obedient. That’s it! Hear and obey, allow results to be Gods responsibility, because it always has been anyway. 

5. “God never uses a person greatly until he has tested them deeply.” – A.W. Tozer

This quote remained on my white board at work for almost two years. I saw it every day, and chewed on it often. I’ve seen other iterations of this quote replacing the word “test” with “wound,” or “hurt.” I had to spend some time wrestling with the tension of whether a good God allows us to be wounded, or whether he himself wounds us deliberately. (Or is it basically the same thing?) 

Well, that’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed this Top 5 Friday Featuring “My life in Quotation.” I’d love to hear from you! What are some of your life quotes? 

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