Looking back over the last several blogs, I’ve given myself to more thoughts than journals or stories of late. Easy solution – Awanas!

Every Sunday night, I have the opportunity to meet with around 15 middle school through high school students and have a brief time of Bible study and games with them. That may not seem like a whole lot, but I only had around 4 or 5 the first couple of years so this is a huge jump. Tonight, I provided them with Bojangles Bo-Berry Biscuits as a reward for memorizing verses. They were quite appreciative. And as they are a lively group, I try to have meaningless conversation with them prior to the actual study to kinda get the goofiness out. Tonight’s topic was pick up lines. Being middle schoolers, they had heard some of the worst and shared them with me.

We then turned our attention to the study of Acts and were looking at chapter 8. We discussed the passage of Isaiah 53 that the Ethiopian in this passage was trying so hard to understand. It was great to see the kids break down the passage and examine the greatest prophecy of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament. And if there were any passage that would tear my heart apart to see what I did to put Jesus Christ on the cross and put my heart together again as I see Him bear my sin and its penalty, this would be it.

Then, as an extra treat, I introduced them to Ultimate Elimination, the greatest dodge ball game ever. It was so much fun! Even kids who weren’t that much for games were truly enjoying it. Naturally, I was pegging them left and right and not making too many friends. But all in all, it was one of the best Awana nights ever.

As I was putting the dodge balls back in my car, Tim Wilson, the Awana leader, thanked me for doing it all. And I remembered back 4 years ago. I had attended North Ridge Bible Chapel for 3 years, but didn’t do any more than sit in the pews and take in the greatness of God’s Word and the fellowship of His people. I became convicted that I was not serving this great body of believers. I lifted up my concerns to the elders, who coincidentally were having the same concerns about me. They recommended that I begin heading up the presentation of songs and video over projector (which I enjoy doing at camp) and begin serving the middle school Awanas group. I have been blessed ever since to teach God’s Word to this group of young people. Only God knows how far it is seeping into their hearts, but I know that God can do great things in their lives. It is such a satisfying feeling to serve in the local church.

In connection with the art of word and song, I am currently listening to Coldplay’s Rush of Blood to the Head, Jill Phillips’ The Good Things, and Rich Mullins’ A Liturgy, A Legacy, and a Ragamuffin Band. I am reading The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

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