Monday, March 30, 2009

Young Christian's Weekend!

Young Christian's weekend started out cold and rainy! It was actually just plain miserable on Saturday! We had layers of clothing under jackets, coats and rain ponchos and were still wet and FREEZING!

All the kids wore their rain ponchos at first. After awhile the rain turned into more of a cold mist. So I allowed the girls to remove the ponchos. Tori conveniently placed herself inside her jacket for easy carry. Then realized it made her look pregnant.
We had been discussing the harmful affects of quick judgements against people at a first glance. We often take one look at someone and assume we know the condition of their heart. However, only God knows the heart! Tori thought this would be a good opportunity for a little experiment. She wanted to see how many evil glances or snide remarks she would receive right smack in the middle of a Christian retreat. How many Christians are quick to judge? How many Christians actually share the love of Christ? Out of sheer curiosity, she remained "pregnant" the entire day.

We were really amazed at how many evil glances she received. Nearly everyone was quick to judge her based on the fact that she "appeared" to be pregnant. For surely she must be a very bad person to be 15 and pregnant...right? Imagine a Church Youth group placing such a girl on display. Huh! What a witness! I hope you're catching my sarcasm. For this is why so many young people are turned away from church!
Tori not only received hateful glances, but she was also the victim of ridicule. Some boys from another "Youth Group" walked by and made some very hurtful remarks. Tori's feelings might have been crushed, if it had actually been true. Instead, she just smiled, patted her fake belly and said, "The joke's on them!"
Our group is well aware of the importance of making Godly choices. They know we are always to STRIVE for that Christ Like perfection. However, this weekend they also learned another very important lesson on always showing the love of Christ! We are not God, we do not know everything! We do not undstand the circumstances surrounding someone's behavior, or the mistakes they make. Whatever the circumstances, we are to give them Jesus, and HE will take care of the rest!
So Saturday, we waited all day in the rain. All the rides were closed due to the weather. Everyone was cold and miserable. Then about two hours before the so anticipated Kutless concert, we received news that their lead singer was stuck in an airport due to weather delays! The concert was canceled for the day. We decided to leave the park early. We spent the evening playing games in an arcade, gorging on junk food and ice cream.
The next day the sun was shining! All the rides were open! The kids didn't waste time! They all enjoyed the thrill of the roller coasters.
Notice I said THEY! This particular experience is not MY cup of tea! I prefer to remain with my feet firmly planted on the ground!
Of course the best part of the trip was finally getting to see Kutless in concert! They performed the praise and worship for the Sunday morning service. It was Awesome! God's presence was so strong throughout the Amphitheatre. We were all the way up in the nose bleed section and couldn't help but just weep within HIS presence! It was something we will soon not forget!

All in all, Strong Tower Youth had a very nice trip. We were bonded with life learning experiences, spiritual awareness and just plan goofy behavior!

Yes! That's my husband! You just gotta love him!
Or at least.....I Do! :)


Stephanie RN BSN (to be!) said...

It looks like you had a great time! Glad you made it there and back safely.

And I must say, what a great really revealed how judgemental Christians can truly be. So sad.

Anonymous said...

You know, I was just on this subject of not judging
people at a first glance in The Homeschool Lounge
I have joined online. This is so true... I think it is
great that your daughter was willing to play such a
role for a day... it helps other's see how quick they
are to judge... even though they might think they
would not react in such a condemning way.

At my church... and I think in most... it is easy to
see young ( and sometimes older ) women wearing
clothing that is not modest. Our subject in the
homeschool lounge got very heated over this...
how one should react or point out to a woman not
dressed modestly that she should.

In Ezekiel 33 it tells us that if God appoints us as
a watchman ... we are to rebuke other's sins... or
we will just a guilty as they are of sinning. But I
don't think we have to do this in an arrogant, shunning, or demeaning manner. We are to
rebuke others in love and concern...

Thanks for sacrificing your pride for a day...
Did you get to talk to any of those youth and
point out why you pretended to be pregnant?
A great creative way to reach them... and help
them learn how to rebuke in a loving manner.


Tessa said...

i have to admit my brother in law is such a dork, he is soo funny, we just love that last pic of him lol

The Burk Family said...

Yes the word of God plainly tells us we are not to ignore another's blatent sin or we will be just as guilty as them. However, we must also be careful not to cause someone to turn away from Christ, otherwise their spiritual blood will be on OUR hands!

When I say, give them Jesus and He'll take care of the rest, I'm meaning, The Holy Spirit is the one who brings conviction, only He can bring about repentence! We can harp on someone all we want to but if the Holy Spirit isn't in it, it's not going to do a lick of good! The only thing it will accomplish is emotional scars!

We are merely to open their eyes to what the word of God says. Hand them the benefits of obeying God's Word and the consequiences for choosing not too. We are to do this in a loving manner. We do NOT sugar coat it....we just introduce it in love!

As for frivilous issues like how a person talks or what a person wears... No these people should not be in leadership of the church! However, That is the entire purpose of reach the lost!!!

The witness of Christ is harmed MORE by "so called" Christians casting judgements than ever could be harmed because of the length of a skirt! Satan's most effective tool is God's own people!

When we set forth the effort to preach the gospel. God's Word begins to settle in their hearts. Then over time, the Holy Spirit begins to weed out those little imperfections one by one. The closer they become to Christ...the more Christ like they become. It takes time....for us all!

In the meantime...we just love them and receive them with open arms. If we are living the Godly life that we should then our lives are going to speak louder than our words anyway!

I'm sorry to say that the kids from the other groups were just passerbys. We didn't get the chance to talk with them. I didn't even know about the remarks until much later. But our group had a nice long conversation and there are a few people in their school, to whom they will see in a completely different light from now on! They are really beginning to see the power of prayer and love! I am so proud of our entire youth group. Oh uh.. Tori isn't my daughter, she's a member of our church youth group and just happens to be my niece, but I'd claim her as my daughter in a heartbeat! :)

Thanks for all the comments!
Dana Burk