Teen Chatter

News, Events and Recent Teen Chatter

The Source

Last night I had the privilege of speaking to our teen youth group at church.  This blog comes from a portion of what I taught on:

As Christians, our lives should be attractive to those around us.  People should look and see a difference in how we live, act and in what we say.  What they see in us is the evidence of God at work (or not at work) in our lives.

Often, we talk about wanting to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to do the works of the kingdom.  We want to be empowered to heal the sick, preach the gospel, bring deliverance and freedom to others, but we totally forget to engage with Holy Spirit to work on the inner man inside us.

The greatest gauge of whether we are engaged with the work of Holy Spirit in our own personal lives is – do we have the evidence of His fruit in our lives?

Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT) says, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

The fruit, not the fruits…  all of it, not some.

If we are connected to Jesus as the source and empowered by His Holy Spirit in our lives, not only will we be able to do the works of the Kingdom, but we will have evidence in our lives – in the spiritual fruit we produce.

We will have love for others.

We will have JOY.

We will have an inexplainable inner peace that goes beyond things happening around us.

We will have patience for those we live and work with, go to school with, interact with in the store or on the highway.

We will be kind, not just when we feel like it, but all the time.

We will choose to do what is good.

We will be faithful and loyal to friends, spouses, neighbors and those around us.

We will be gentle.

We will have self-control and live balanced lives directed by the voice of Holy Spirit.

ALL of these are the fruit of the spirit.

It isn’t 9 different fruits to pick and choose from. The fruit of the Spirit is all of these encompassed in one.  Often I pick and choose and as long as I am doing well in most of these areas, I rationalize that my children make me impatient, rather than facing the fact that I have sin issue that needs to be dealt with.

 

So what happens when anxiety creeps in?

We allow the outside circumstances of life to dictate our inner peace.

 

What happens when we become depressed?

We allow the lies of the enemy to overshadow the truth and reality of our status as a son or daughter of the King.

 

What happens when we are unkind?

We allow our flesh and selfishness to overtake the reality of putting others before ourselves and live humbly like Christ.

 

What happens when we are out of control?

We allow the circumstances of life and our human desires to dictate our choices and often we choose to disobey how Holy Spirit instructs you to live.

 

The choices often dictate us and how we feel and how we live – the varsity coach that compliments us and pleads to have us on the team, the rehearsal schedules that keep us out every night of the week on top of our work, school and family responsibilities.

How often do we ask Holy Spirit if we should do something before we say yes?

Now, don’t get me wrong, there are valid reasons for us to feel depressed, anxious, sad and upset.  We are human and situations often affect how we feel. I’m not saying we should not have feelings or just sweep them under the carpet and shout, “God is in control”.  However, when this becomes the ongoing status of our lives – depression, anxiety or fear, we are not aligning our soul to the work of Holy Spirit and allowing him to dictate the choices we make.

We have the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of us and if we choose to activate His power, He can help us overcome anxiety or depression. His power can enable us to live a self-controlled life and make wise choices.

Today I want to encourage us to partner with the work of Holy Spirit in our lives, to align our hearts, minds and souls to his gentle whispers.  He will lead and guide us, often we aren’t listening.  We must learn to plug into the source, not only to do the works of the kingdom, but to live as a believer with spiritual fruit that others can be attracted to.

If we would only walk in love, joy and peace – how attractive is peace right now to the world? How priceless is peace in today’s society?

How attractive is kindness and gentleness?

The world will be drawn to us by the spiritual fruit we produce and the evidence of Holy Spirit at work in our lives.

 

Pam Lozano is the Founder and President of Pure Design Ministries and Magazine, a Youth Pastor and worship leader. She is a conscientious leader who believes in investing in and mentoring the next generation to raise them up to be who God has designed them to be.

 

Still I Praise You

Gratitude is often given when we notice good things in our lives. When a loved one is healed from being sick, or when we receive gifts from friends and family, we give thanks. We even set aside a special day of Thanksgiving to give thanks for all of the blessings in our lives. It is easy to be thankful for the good in our lives, but I recently found myself wondering how much more joy I would receive from the Lord, if I was thankful for both the good and bad I have faced.

I stumbled upon a verse that made me think deeper; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances.”

What if I was to praise God for walking by my side through my worries and fears? This past year I lost a friend that was both my mentor and a sister in faith. This sudden passing made me question what I am grateful for in my life. It also made me question my own happiness. Through many dark days God walked before me showing me the way He wanted me to go. Without God, I would not have made it through the dark tunnel of grief. Although it may sound odd, I look back at my sadness with gratitude. It truly shaped me into a stronger child of God.  It opened my eyes to be grateful for the constants in my life – to not just praise God in the moments of excitement and joy, but to continue to praise him when it is calm and when life is steady. I wrote a song called “Still I praise you.” Below are the lyrics:

Our Father, the One who guides our souls.

Messiah, please lead me wherever I go.

Where have you been?

My heart is longing for your love.

I feel alone, Lord give me the strength to carry on.

Cause even when it’s dark,

Still I praise you, when I feel like giving up, and I don’t think I’m enough.

Still I praise you, when my heart is falling through I just turn and look at you.

Still I praise you, still I praise you.

I get so caught up in my day to day life.

I start to lose sight of the beauty in this world you designed.

When I lose hope, and lose sight of my faithfulness inside.

Oh Lord,

Still I praise you, when I feel like giving up, and I don’t think I’m enough.

Still I praise you, when my heart is falling through I just turn and look at you.

Still I praise you, still I praise you.

Cause even when it’s dark, you lead me in the dark wherever I go.

Still I praise you, when I feel like giving up, and I don’t think I’m enough.

Still I praise you, when my heart is falling through I just turn and look at you.

Still I praise you, still I praise you.

Oh Lord I praise you, oh I will praise you.

Cause even when it’s dark, you lead me in the dark wherever I go.

I have started to thank God even on days I feel restless and sad. I know I must praise Him for all the blessings and gifts He has given me. I encourage you during this season of Thanksgiving to give God praise for the times your faith has been tested this past year. Give him praise for being constant in your life and for always watching over you. Through each season we must remind ourselves to praise the One who loves us and who will continue to be with us through all our trials and times of joy.