We enjoyed rich teachings from Pastor David Hanson as he spoke four times from the book of Job on the theme Triumph through Tragedy. His insights brought clarity to the structure of the book and discourses between Job and his friends, drew out helpful distinctions in the subtle yet profound nature of Job's complaints, and left us with the proper sense of awe over the Lord's absolute yet caring rule over His people as He responded to Job. David did a tremendous "job on Job."
Many other highlights could be noted. Touching testimonies of suffering and loss in our main meetings were given that made the subject more real (and tears flow). Workshops on a variety of topics from spiritual gifts to "Weird Worship?" touched on topics of interest to the young people. Feeding so many was handled superbly by Michelle Baumgardner, Heidi Larson & Co. at the camp, and at Sycamore RPC following worship by the ladies of our congregation. A "Stump the Pastors" session Sunday afternoon, where six pastors fielded questions from the conferees ranging from topics as diverse as birth control to video games, brought forth some solid answers, honest admissions, and good laughs.
Yet I want to point out the highlight for me (and I am sure the other pastors). It was the heart of the youth. An earnestness and passion for God and His truth were clearly evident.
They sang and sang throughout the weekend, not just when they were "supposed" to sing but asking to sing more psalms after we were done and spontaneously starting to sing on their own if a session started late. They expressed again and again their love for God's word sung.
When asked in our congregation's "Family Worship" following the Fellowship Lunch time to describe what the Lord is doing in the church in their region, one young person after another eagerly stood up to explain Christ's work. From old works to new, from local congregations to foreign missions, these young people know what is going on in the church and have a heart to see it strengthened and multiplying.
One fervent prayer followed on the heels of another during a time of prayer Sunday evening as they sought God's blessing on the church. Presiding over the meeting, I almost felt I had to break in to end it so we could proceed. Maybe I should not have!
During a time of sharing, there was nothing forced but insightful, excited expressions of lessons and new life the Lord had given to them.
In informal times, they enjoyed one another while exhibiting godliness, sought counsel and asked questions pertaining to godliness, and served one another in godliness. That can mean only one thing. God was there!Yes, as Psalm 110 indicates above a fountain of youth has been discovered. It is in the church, where the living waters of Christ's Spirit are poured out on young people who serve Him gladly and willingly. How thankful I am that I was able to drink from it this weekend.
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