This time last year we encouraged Christian to look at the opportunities around him to be a "doer of the word, and not a hearer only" (James 1:22)
He had been receiving weekly teaching of God's Word at worship, small group, discipleship and youth group. We wanted him to take all of that teaching and put it into practice amongst his peers.
We knew that there was a FCA group meeting on Sunday night in our area that had 50+ students attending, most of them from his public high school. We encouraged him to go for a special night that they were having to baptize some students that had gotten saved. He decided to skip it and go to his own youth group instead.
When he found out that 2 of his close friends had gotten baptized that night he was so upset with himself for not going. The following week he went without hesitation. His eyes were opened to the opportunity to make an impact for Christ among his classmates.
Fast forward 1 year, and this time he's part of the group of students that's leading competition night. He helped plan games, participated in a gospel presentation skit and was asked to explain what it means to become a Christian.
He came home tonight so excited about how God moved. There were 70+ students there, some of his teammates that had never come before. After the gospel presentation 13 young men & women gave their lives to Christ and 5 more rededicated their lives to serving Him.
Thirteen young people walked from death to life because others chose to be doers of the word and not just hearers. Young people who chose to step outside the walls of their churches and youth group buildings into a mission field right in their own backyard. Young people who aren't waiting until the next overseas missions trip to share the gospel. Young people who aren't waiting until they're older to serve God.
I am praising God for these 13 new brothers and sisters. But it doesn't stop there. I'm in agreement with Christian when he said " I feel like something amazing is gonna happen at Tipp High School this year"!! Something amazing will happen if each and every Christian student will boldly proclaim Christ within the walls of Tippecanoe High School. But it's not just limited to Tipp City.
Something amazing can start to happen at every high school in this country when Christian young men and women become doers of the word and choose to shine His light in their schools.
I'm so excited to see revival happen in the halls of Tippecanoe High School. Will you join me in praying for the students to be bold in their faith and for God to move in a mighty way?
As a mom, I can find myself being proud of many things in the lives of my children. I'm proud of cooking abilities that give me yummy treats. I'm proud of athletic abilities that give me bragging rights. I'm proud of my children when they use their talents to preach Christ. And sometimes those proud mom moments happen when we make it through a family meal without fighting or when they remember to do their chores without being told.
Just last week I had a proud mom moment that still makes me smile when I think about it. It happened on the sidelines of the high school football game. My oldest 2 boys are both playing high school football. Christian is a senior and Noah is a sophomore. Christian is a starter as well as a team captain. And even though he doesn't like to admit it, Noah looks up to his big brother and likes to hear him cheer him on.
During the fourth quarter, Noah made a big defensive play and as he ran off of the field there was Christian. Smiling and pointing at him. Just waiting to give him a high five and telling him he did an awesome job. And at that moment my heart swelled with pride.
In that moment I saw a big brother express his love & pride for his younger brother. He was so excited you would have thought that he had made the play himself. In that moment I also saw a younger brother soak in the love & affirmation from his big brother. There was no competition between them. Just 2 brothers having a moment on the sideline. A moment that happened so fast that many people probably didn't even see it. I'm so glad that I did.
That 10 seconds is something that I will remember for a long time. It gave this momma's heart more pride than anything my boys have ever done on the football field. I have spent many hours praying for their relationship to be loving and brotherly without so much sibling rivalry. Moments like this give me small glimpses into what their relationship can become as they both continue to grow up and mature. I pray that God will give me more proud mom moments like this one.
Today you are 18 and are officially an "adult". It's so hard for me to grasp the fact that that is even possible. We have been through so many adventures in the last 18 years and I am so proud of the young man that you have become.
You have allowed God to change you and transform you and I am confident that if you continue to put Him first in your life then you will continue to be an instrument that He uses to further His kingdom.
When you first came into this world, your Dad and I had no clue what we were doing. And some days we still don't. But thanks to the many prayers and loving support of your grandparents, we realized that the only way we would have a chance of doing anything right as parents would be if we chose to put God first in our home.
We know that we have made many mistakes along the way. And I am sure I have driven you crazy with all of my chore charts, daily schedules and parenting systems through the years. As the firstborn you were our guinea pig. So thank you for helping us grow up with you.
We cannot take credit for the person that you are today. It is only through prayer and the grace of God that you have avoided the pitfalls that cause so much devastation in the lives of teenagers.
I've prayed daily for you to make good choices. I've prayed for God to soften your heart and make it desire Him above anyone else. I've prayed that you would see why we placed certain boundaries around you and your siblings. I've even selfishly prayed that you would still love us and want our input in your life.
My prayer for you today is that you will continue to seek God for direction in your life. Put him first and he will bless you and everything that you do. Trust in His plan and His timing. Don't be seduced by the world's ideas of success and happiness.
God has gifted you with the ability to leader others, so lead them to Jesus Christ.
God has gifted you with the desire to speak in public, so speak boldly the message of Christ.
God has gifted you with an outgoing, friendly personality, so use it to reach out to the lonely and the lost.
God had gifted you with great athletic ability, so play to the glory of God and publically give Him the credit for you successes.
God has given you a great mission field within the walls of Tippecanoe High School, so continue planting seeds of the gospel and being the one known as the "Jesus Freak".
I am so excited to see God's plan for the next chapter of your life unfold. I'm
praying for Him to reveal to you where He wants you to go to college and what
career He wants you to choose. I'm praying for your future spouse that she
is also seeking God's will for her life.
As you begin this adventure into adulthood, I pray that God will give you peace about the future. Your future is a story that has been written by Him. There is nothing out there that he doesn't already know about. So continue drawing closer to the author of your story and He will show you what happens next.
Happy 18th Birthday Christian. I love you and I am so proud to call you my son.
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, a VBS crafter, a coupon clipper, a thrift store shopper, a football fan, a cook, a student of the Bible and an avid reader.