An Important Reminder to All Servants of God

ReminderSomething that has been on my heart during my internship is the difference between serving people and serving God. I feel like it is all too common for people who are working in ministry to get wrapped up in the “steps” of the job and forgetting their real calling.

While working in ministry, it can be really easy to start making the right moves to serve people, to get the right reaction from people, and to get wrapped up in what people want from you. This is often out of good intentions, but it is not what a minister is called to do.

A minister of God is support to serve God. (And every Christian is a minister of God- 2 Cor 5:20). To listen to God what to do. To be guided by the Spirit on the right steps. We can not forget this. We can not do what people want us to do. We need to do what God wants us to do.

What are your thoughts on this topic? What helps you remember to serve God and not people? Comment below and we can discuss!

~Lillian ❤

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Anger and Rage in our Youth

angerandrageLast week, I was blessed to serve at one of Michigan’s Youth Camps. Each night we had a powerful service and teens lives were being changed. The presence of God was so heavy in the room every single service. It was beautiful and such an amazing experience.

One night the speaker felt moved by God to have a special alter call that was completely unplanned. The speaker said to a room of 400 teens that he felt God wanting an alter call for those struggling with hatred and rage. The speaker said he felt at least twelve people would respond.

At first I didn’t think much of this. But I remember when the speaker said twelve people, I thought “Wow, that’s a decent amount for this kind of alter call.”

60+ students lined up at the alter with tears in their eyes.

I didn’t know why this surprised me, but I pondered it in my heart for the rest of the day. We often focus on the pain teens suffer from in today’s society. We want to tell them about the healing power of Christ, that they don’t have to continue living the way they do. But we forget to tell these teens to forgive those who have hurt them. We forget that even though they are victims, they also have unresolved feelings that need to be addressed.

I also think teens don’t always bring up this struggle because they don’t want to lose our sympathy. They don’t want to lose the few people that understand them. So they hold their anger in and don’t want to be free from it.

Please keep this thought in prayer and ask God if there are people and youth in your life that need to face these issues. Pray for the teens of this generation so they will not be kept in the bondage of unforgiveness.

What do you think about this event? Please share any thoughts you have below so we can chat!

Until next time, God bless!

~Lillian ❤

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Internship Update: Camps!

IMAG0295I am very happy to be serving at camps for the rest of my internship! For the next few weeks I will be traveling between different youth camps and family camps across the state of Michigan.

The past few days I have been learning different things to help me serve the camps. Some weeks I will be working independently from the team, so I’m getting familiar with everything I can.

I’ve been working a lot with technology, especially lighting. During the service I am in charge of the lighting. Its a lot to understand, especially with set up, but I think I am getting the hang of it.

I’ve also been networking. My boss tells me networking is really big in ministry, especially in Youth Alive. This is something I want to focus on at during this beginning stage of my career.

So far I have been very happy with what I am doing, It’ so cool to see kids passionate for God at such a young age. Today we have been teaching kids how to lead others to Jesus and how they can share Christ in their high schools. Below is a picture of the kids sharing their ideas. IMAG0301

Here is a picture of one of our services:

IMAG0298

Please continue to pray for me and I will be keeping you updated on my journey!

4 Reasons That I Am (Apparently) Crazy

To be honest, everyone always defined me as…interesting. That’s how they always put it, anyways. When I was a kid, I was crazy for my wild personality, loud voice, and imagination. However, now that I am an adult (kinda), I’m hearing “Oh my goodness, you are crazy!” about more important things in my life. But they always have a theme to them. So here are four reasons I am (apparently) crazy.

1. I’m going into ministry.

God has called me to be a pastor. So with barely a backup plan or any kind of plan, I am going to Bible college to be a full-time pastor. A lot of people thinks this idea is nuts. How could I ever expect to make money as a pastor?! And I am really going to school 4 years for it?! Yes, yes I am. Why? Because God has called me. Not only that, but God has designed me for this. No, I don’t plan on making much money. But that is okay, because I am serving God.

2. I’m going into ministry… as a woman.

Yep, I’m going there. Kinda. Let’s address the elephant in the room. Yes, I am a woman, who believes I am called to the ministry. And I am not saying I’m going to be “The Pastor’s Wife”. While that is completely 100% awesome and admirable (I am in no way under-valuing the role), it’s just not for me. God has called me to full-time ministry, as a pastor. Sure there may be seasons where I am not working, but God has told me He has called me to be a pastor.

3. I’m going into youth ministry.

Not only does going into youth ministry make some people blink twice, but it’s also quite interesting to see people raise an eyebrow to a woman being a youth pastor. To be honest, I was a little uneasy about the idea at first. Before Bible college, I hadn’t met a woman youth pastor. Plus I couldn’t really see myself as the a youth pastor. But with a year of prayer, I know God has called me to be just that, and I have no doubts about it.

4. I’m getting married!

Okay, I wasn’t going to post this at first, but yes I’m getting married. I figured seeing my blog was about the transition from teen to adult I should probably mention this monumental change. God started calling me and my fiance, Garrick, to get married, unlike after we finished school like we planned. But God not only provided for all my financial worries, but also my emotional and spiritual worries as well. It’s kinda funny to say that I was scared to get married. I was believing that I wasn’t good enough yet. I was convinced that I had to have all my spiritual and emotional baggage all checked. But the thing is, I am never going to be good enough. That’s why marriage is not just husband and wife. It is husband, wife and God.

However, it is still crazy I’m getting married. Yes, I will only be twenty. Yes, I will be finishing school and living on campus while being married. I have been praised and condoned for it. But Garrick and I prayed and fasted about it and we know God wants us to get married.

foreverbegins

So overall, I’m always called crazy when I follow what God has called me to do. Following the call of God is crazy and it doesn’t always make sense. However, it is the best thing you can do with your life and God will have your back every step of the way.

My Next Adventure~ My Internship with Youth Alive!

page17_picture0_2Today I am leaving for my internship with Michigan Youth Alive! I recently posted in Recent Blessings, Lessons, and Opportunities about how God has blessed me with this amazing opportunity to minister in the way I have always dreamed of, with Youth Alive.

Youth Alive is a program that trains students to being missionaries on their middle/high school campuses, as well as help students create on campus Bible studies and clubs. I was a campus missionary in high school, and my friends and I tried to start a Bible club at my school.

So long story short, (read more in the article above) I was hired to work with Michigan’s Youth Alive and work at youth camps and such for two months. I am really excited! I get to work with teens and talk to them about evangelism, which is where my passion is.

I am also quite nervous. I have never been so far from home before for such a long time. Especially alone, with no friends or family with me. It will be hard to be away from my fiance for two months too. And driving in new areas petrifies me. But I know that it is out of my comfort zone where God will use me. So here I go!

Please pray for safe travels as I drive from Massachusetts to Michigan and please pray for the ministry that will be taking place. I will be keeping you updated on my adventure! Make sure you follow me! And comment with any questions if you’d like 🙂

God bless!

~Lillian ❤

Being Busy but Wanting to Go Deeper with God- How I Do It.

going deeperI’ve been on a journey of getting more serious in my time with God. I needed to increase my personal relationship with Christ. I’ve been very successful in my journey and my life has been blessed in my growth. My life has improved in every area thanks to God’s blessing and guidance.

My journey started off with finding the little times in my busy day to stop and focus on God. It didn’t matter if it was 5 minutes or 30, the most important thing was getting some prayer and listening in. It was a great start. But eventually I wanted more. More prayer. More listening. More scripture. More connection.

Sadly, I can’t spend hours in God’s presence like I would like to. God has blessed me with responsibilities, so it’s hard to see how I can find more time for God without being a good steward of God’s gifts. So I sat down and asked myself: What do I want more of? It came down to these three things:

With this in mind, I made a simple system of my day to help me get more of these three things.

More connection: 

First, I wanted to be more personal. I didn’t want to just read devotionals, I wanted to give God time to work in me. So I decided that while I would keep doing one inspirational devotional a day, I would also do part of my own personal bible study a day. This is me working chapter by chapter through a book of the Bible. I also would do a separate topical study a day too (for example: patience, prayer, joy, etc).

This may sound like a lot, but here’s the thing: I don’t have to set a specific amount of time to do this. I like to not set up so many rules that, when I break, would discourage me. Instead, I give more attention to what I feel I need that day. As long as I get some of it in, I’ve done what is important.

More prayer: 

Every time I start a devotional, I pray before hand. But this was becoming just a step to get over. So instead, I set certain times of the day to pray. First, I pray first thing in the morning and right before I go to bed. Then, I added time after lunch to address prayer requests for my friends and I. I also try to have a “prayer and listening” time where I stop and listen for God’s voice.

More dependence:

Doing all these things at different times of my day helps me focus on God through out my day and helps me depend on him to get through the tough times. And that is what all of this is about- learning to be more like Christ and depend on him every single day.

How do you grow in your devotional life? Tell me what you do in the comments!

God bless!

Lillian ❤

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3 Things Most People Misunderstand About Teens

missunderstandOh adolescents, a mystery from he beginning of time. But why are adults so complexed by teens when they were once teens themselves? The world may never know. However, a few things can be said about how people miss understand them.

I am called to youth ministry, which means God as chosen me to show His love and teach teenagers. I will say, as I am still a teen myself (19 years old, if that counts in your opinion) I am not an expert. But the way I see it is that with being between the two age groups, I can understand these misconceptions and speak on them.

So the following statements are misconceptions about teenager (especially the American teen) that most adults seem to believe- even if they don’t vocalize it, it can be felt or implied. If this was changed, I believe so many things would change for the better; not just for the teen but for everyone.

1. They are children.

Well, they are, but they aren’t. Teens still have a lot of learning to do, they make a lot of mistakes and act immature often. But we should not treat them like kids. Sometimes we question why teens act like kids years after they hit the big 13, but do we ever analyze how we treat them? And no. being harder on your teen does not mean you are treating them less like a kid. It makes the teen feel more discouraged from maturing. Why not instead of yelling, encourage? Why not show them what it means to be mature instead of expecting them to figure it out on their own?

2. They have all the time in the world.

In today’s world, most teens are just as busy as adults. We often tell teens to do things, especially in the church, and expect them to be able to do it in all their “free time”. When in reality, there is not much free time for many teens. Between school, sports, extracurricular, church, clubs, volunteering etc. there isn’t much more time. When I was in high school, I didn’t get home until 9 o’clock most nights, and that is without spending time with friends.

3. They can’t dedicate to anything.

Sure, teens often have fleeting passions, but with the right guidance, teens have so much potential. If teens stepped up to the plate and give it their all, they can do amazing things with the passion they have. In their book Do Hard Things, the Harris twins encourage teens to challenge the low expectations upon them, and the results are amazing.

So next time you are talking to a group of teens, keep this in mind, and they might surprise you! Take them under your wing, mentor them spiritually, and you will see a side of them they don’t let most see.

The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

~Samuel 16:7b

Recent Blessings, Lessons, and Opportunities.

beachHello, dear reader. I apologize for not posting on my blog in such a long time. There is no excuse, but I wanted to update you on recent things in my journey. The end of my first year at Bible college is approaching, and I can not believe how much time has passed. But most of all, I can’t believe the amount of growth in God that has occurred in my life. .

As you know from the news and my post titled Snowmaggendon 2015, the semester started off rocky. Despite this, the semester has gone very well. I had a lot more time on my hands going from taking 7 classes last semester to taking 4 this semester. The overachiever in me wanted to take more classes, but God held me back from that, telling me this would be a season of rest and growth. And I am so glad I listened to him! I have learned to forgive long held grudges, to believe in God’s plan in my despite where I have come from, I have learned to love the way God created me and see the beauty He has given me, and I have been delivered from the spirit of anxiety. (I will post on these at a later time.)

However, spiritual growth is not the only blessing I have received this semester. God has been teaching me to trust Him with providing for my needs, from small to large. It started off with quarters needed for laundry- whenever I ran out I started finding them everywhere. Whenever I ran out of a toiletry, a friend would randomly bless me with what I was needing. I have starting giving my needs to God, refusing to buy what I needed and let God provide. God hasn’t failed with it yet.

Then God provided for me greatly as well, and this is where opportunity has arrived. The US Missions of the Assemblies of God was offering internships across the country here on campus, and I felt the Holy Spirit guiding me to apply. I did and I was accepted, and I will be working my dream job this summer. I will be interning in Michigan with Youth Alive, a program which teaches teens to be missionaries in their public middle/high schools. I will teaching teens to evangelize to their friends and peer at different summer camps. All these things have been dreams of mine! Not only that, but in exchange for my work this summer, I will be receiving a grant of half my tuition for next semester. And I am blown away by what God is doing. He is so good!

This summer I will be keeping you up to date on the work I will be doing and all the things God will be showing me. I hope you enjoy these posts and I am looking forward to showing you my adventure even further! And please pray for my travel and what I will be doing this summer!

God bless!

Lillian ❤

A Secret Place

closet“In the secret, in the quiet place,

In the stillness, You are there…” ~ In The Secret (song)

***

“Take me to that place, Lord,

to that secret place where

I can be with You…”  ~Wrap Me in Your Arms (songs)

Today I am back on campus of Northpoint Bible College, and the Spring Semester has started rolling along. I am very excited for what God has in store.

Today, I wanted to share with you a message that I have heard many times on Campus. I really believe every person can benefit from this and more Christians need to hear it. When I arrived at Northpoint last August, I was encouraged by our President and teachers to find one spot on campus, dedicated to letting God work in me; praying to Him, crying out, meditating on His Word. And I found my own little spot. I’ve made it my place to go when I am struggling or scared or just need to be alone with God. It’s quiet, private, but powerful.

Jesus also talks about finding our own little spot for prayer as well. When Jesus was teaching His disciples on how to pray in Matthew 6:6, He said:

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

The Greek word for “your room” (or “closet” as most people know it) is tameion which means “storage room” (hence “closet”), “inner chamber”, or “secret room”. The last definition stuck out to me. After all, Jesus was just telling His disciples not to pray in public for their own gain. For this reason, I edited out my description of my secret place, simply because I realized it is unneeded.

I believe one of the rewards for praying in secret place is the experience you have there. Prayer seems empty to many Christians, for with our intellectual culture, most people simply think their prayers as we go about our day. But God does a powerful thing in us when we make the time to stop, go into our room, shut the door behind us with the world outside us, and pray.

I encourage you, if you have not already, to find yourself a place to go and pray in secret, letting God work in you. It could be a nice cozy spot outside, or a corner with a chair in your house, or maybe at your kitchen table. Anywhere, as long as you are alone with God.

Thank you for reading, liking and commenting your thoughts. God bless!

~Lillian ❤

You Are More

Recently I have been thinking about what I want to tell the world. Specifically, what I want to tell the teens of the world that I will impact in my ministry. Then, I started wondering what I would say to today’s youth if I could only tell them one thing, one message. And so I came up with this”

You are more.

Your life is more than your grades. Your life is more than your struggles. Your life is more than winning state championships or your final exam. Your life is more than high school.

You have a purpose. You have a destiny. You are where are you are for a reason. That reason is God. Your destiny is in God. You are meant for great things, even now as young as you are, and those things can be found in God.

You have a deep relationship with God waiting for you. You have a great purpose waiting for you that only God can bring you to. You will do such amazing things, you will experience so many wonderful things. But these are found in God.

Any thoughts? What would you tell the world if you could only say one thing?

Till next time!

Lillian ❤