Well we did it! We survived the first “road trip” planned by Bekah. :) As promised yesterday, I wanted to share a little bit about my experience this weekend at Acquire the Fire in Cleveland, OH with 16 teens and 2 other awesome adult leaders. The theme this year for this conference was Mend the Broken.
I guess I’ll just go through the weekend chronologically to give you an idea of what we experienced and learned.
The first session on Friday night started with worship led by a band called School Of Worship. They led us in worship all weekend and it was always an amazing time to just enter into God’s presence and give him praise before hearing Mike Guzzardo share God’s Word with us. Friday night Mike shared with us that our lives are kind of like broken down cars that need refurbished. First we have to let God take us out of the junkyard so that he can begin to take us a part and clean every little part of us…. it takes time and he has to get into every little deep place, but then, once we’re clean on the inside, he can begin to rebuild us in a way where we can think and live how he originally intended us.
The night ended with a Newsboys Concert during which we got to be a part of the video recording for a music video. They said they only use a live audience for a music video once every 2 or 3 years and they picked Acquire the Fire- Cleveland, OH to be that audience. Watch for their video for the song “Miracles” coming out soon and see if you see any of First Trinity Crossroads group in there!
After that we headed back to Lutheran High School West in Rocky Road, OH which was gracious enough to let us use their facilities to sleep and shower this weekend! A youth group from Hosanna Lutheran Church nearby also joined us Friday night at Lutheran West.
Saturday morning started bright and early (for high schoolers) at 8:00 am and was broken into three sessions all including worship, a message, and part of a drama that continued all throughout the day.
The first session Saturday tackled some difficult issues that teenagers (and all of us) face today regarding pornography, sex before marriage, same sex attraction and more. Teens were challenged to join “The Resistance” when they struggle with these or any sins in their lives committing to purity in heart, mind and body. An organization called CovenantEyes.com also provided students with a 30-day trial of an internet filtering and accountability software that they produce.
The afternoon session was about failure and how we deal with it. We were reminded that just because we’re Christians doesn’t mean we won’t fail (see Proverbs 24:15) it means that God helps us get up when we fail and that we don’t have to be defined by our failures.
The afternoon also included 2 concerts, one by Young Joshua and the other by Jimmy Needham.
After dinner we went back for the last session which was about how our world tries to get us to focus on The Me-World .. my problems, my stuff, my fun. God calls us in our new refurbished life to focus on the HE-World …. the things of God’s heart… whether that’s serving your neighbor next door or going overseas, we all can start now making changes in our lives to shift and “get away from ME”.
Our weekend wrapped up by attending St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Chesterfield, OH on our way back to NY. They were very welcoming, had a beautiful sanctuary and there was some AMAZING scenery on our drive between the high way and the church. Think, curvy hilly roads with gorgeous houses lined with trees still dressed in autumn colors yet covered with snow. BEAUTIFUL! Definitely added meaning to the term “scenic route”.
Overall it was an AWESOME weekend filled with fun and, I pray, spiritual growth. Those of you from First Trinity, take a chance to ask one of the kids about it… them sharing with you is one thing that can help continue the growth that began this weekend. Thanks again for your prayers and support!
Here’s a video summary put out by the Acquire the Fire organization. (You can see some of our group members at around 1:42).