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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Optimism and Realism in Youth Ministry

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If you’re going to do youth ministry for any length of time, there are two perspectives you need to balance. First off, you need a good amount of optimism–a passion for seeing life change and believing that God can change anyone.

But you also need a dose of reality, realizing the truth of brokenness in the world and our own limitations. Because sometimes students come to Christ, and sometimes they walk away. Both optimism and realism are needed if you’re going to have longevity in ministry.

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Seasons

Used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/changing-of-the-leaves-3-1186746

Used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/changing-of-the-leaves-3-1186746

I listened to a podcast recently by Rob Bell. This is something I do frequently because I happen to think the RobCast is quite amazing. In this episode, Rob worked through the idea of seasons. His main point was that life has different seasons we experience, and it’s important to be aware of what season we are in.

This idea made a lot of sense to me. Seasons in life are vast and varied and everyone has them. It helped me think through the season I’m experiencing right now.

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