The Presence In The Absence

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Used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/alone-1492668

Lately, I’ve been acutely aware of both the presence and absence of God. There are days when God feels present in the whole thing, like I couldn’t escape Him if I tried. Other times, however, He seems aloof and nowhere to be found.

It’s like David Crowder once sang, “Sometimes you’re further than the moon; sometimes you’re closer than my skin.” How do we reconcile this feeling of nearness and distance? Partly, I believe, is a recognition that there is a presence even in absence.

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This Election And Its Impact On Students

Used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/american-flag-1150851

Used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/american-flag-1150851

I feel like I’m late to the game when it comes to saying something–scratch that–ANYTHING about the upcoming election. This has been intentional on my part, not because I’m worried about anyone disagreeing with me, but because I didn’t know how to approach the subject.

Honestly, and I know I’m not alone here, I’m not a fan of either candidate. I know supporters on both sides and I figured I’d write something from the perspective of what I am–a youth pastor. So, here are some thoughts as a youth pastor on what I’ve heard and observed from my students about this upcoming election.

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Everything and Nothing

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Used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/empty-office-1519291

In the gospels Jesus asked this simple, yet haunting question–“What good is it to gain the world, yet lose your soul?” In other words, what if you have it all, but you’re missing what matters most?

Is it possible to be incredibly full and yet painfully empty? Can someone have it all together, and yet, be utterly and irrevocably depleted? Jesus was entreating us to think about our lives and what we’re striving for. He was inviting us to consider what constitutes a meaningful life.

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Living To Please Him

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The apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians that our aim, when we realize our salvation in Christ, is to live to please Him. This is a theme that dominates much of Scripture, but how often do we forget this simple goal?

As Christ followers, where do we place our focus in this life? Are we actively pursuing a life that seeks to please Jesus?

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