Rise [Book Review]

“Enjoy yourself while you can.”
“Don’t grow up too fast.”
“You’re too young to make a difference.”

If you’re like me, you’ve heard one of these phrases at some point in your life. Not much is expected of young people, especially in today’s culture of extended adolescence. This is reinforced by peers, parents, media, universities, and cultural in general. Just a few generations ago, many of our grandfathers were fighting wars on foreign soils while today it’s a challenge for young people to get to class or work on time, much less stand up for something they believe in.

Because of the convergence of these two factors, low expectations from others and low motivation for young people, there is a general stereotype that Millennials are apathetic. Of course, the reluctance of young people to make a difference isn’t a new problem. Almost two thousand years ago, Paul wrote to his young friend and mentee Timothy: “let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). 

To address this persistent problem, Trip Lee wrote Rise: Get Up and Live in God’s Great Story, a companion book to his latest album by the same name. This book is aimed right at young people, challenging them to live a holy life now, instead of waiting until later in life to “get serious about their faith.” Trip writes: “There are great benefits to living for Jesus in the present. Now is the time when we have the most strength. Now is the time when we have the most energy. Now is the time when we can give it everything we have. Now is the time to get up and live.”  Read more of this post

The 3Gs of Missions

I recently returned from a four-day mission trip with the youth group at Harvard Avenue Baptist Church that I have been interning with the past few years. Here is a brief outline of what we did on the 3G Mission Trip:

  • Monday- worked out at the Arkansas Baptist Assembly Grounds outside of Siloam Springs painting, jackhammering, raking, and more to get the camp ready for the summer. 
  • Tuesday- drove to Oklahoma City where we packed 20-something pallets of food and school supplies at the Feed the Children Warehouse.
  • Wednesday- traveled to Tulsa to work at a Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club and then play with and lead a chapel for the kids in the after-school program. After the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club, we traveled to the Salvation Army Center of Hope, a homeless shelter in Tulsa, where we led another chapel service for about 30 of the residents.
  • Thursday- spent the day filling over 200 bags with leaves and doing general cleanup for senior citizens in Siloam Springs in association with Kind At Heart Ministries.

What’s great about this trip is that it’s cheap and easy to do and allows a lot of students to participate. It is always great to see the students work so hard and hear what all they got out of the trip.

On the Monday night of the trip, we did a worship service to set the tone for the trip. I gave a brief devotional thought on missions from Acts 8:26-40 entitled “The 3Gs of Missions.”

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