VCC Youth Update October 18, 2018

Hello everyone!
 
Couple of calendar reminders for you this morning!  First is our youth Halloween party is coming up on October 26th from 5:00-8:00, we’ll have food, drink, and candy for the students, and we’ll be playing board games, hide and seek, and doing some pumpkin carving.  The other thing coming up, of course, is our church’s Great Pumpkin Fest on Halloween night!  If you or your students want to volunteer to work a shift (or even run a Trunk or Treat!) there are signup sheets in the lobby.
 
Last night we paused our James series to spend some extended time in small groups going over a devotional and really focusing on personal application.  We looked at Psalm 109:30-31 and saw that David paints a picture of God standing in what would usually be an accuser’s place in trial, but instead of accusing, he defends the needy.  The parallel being that Jesus who is our defense, came and forgave the same people who betrayed him.  The challenge for our students (and leaders!) last night then, was that Jesus forgave those who didn’t deserve it, so then what grudges have we held on to that we should forgive?  The encouragement in all of it though, is that we have been forgiven, and because of God’s forgiveness, we are able to forgive others with the same love.


VCC Youth Update October 11, 2018

Hello everyone!
 
Here are some notices to be aware of for the next several weeks.  First, our youth Halloween Party is coming up on October 26 from 5:00-8:00pm.  We’ll have pizza, candy, games, and hide and seek.  If students want to, they can come dressed up as well!  We’re also looking for volunteers for our church’s “It’s the Great Pumpkin Fest” event on Halloween night!  If you or your student want to sign up to work a shift, there’s a sign up sheet on the info table in the lobby.  Finally, we are looking at the potential for an event on Saturday, November 10th to go to Quarry Park up in Rocklin.  The event will cost $20 per student, and we need a total of 12 signups in order to lock in that price.  I need a final tally of students who want to go by next Wednesday the 17th so we can officially book our spot.
 

Last night we began our series on James by discussing the role of temptation in our lives.  We looked at James 1:1-18 and saw that above all, everyone faces temptation, and God is faithful in the trial.  I talked about how God is faithful to give us wisdom if we ask and do not doubt (v.5-8) and that he does so without reproach.  I continued on to talk about how we are blessed when we endure testing (v.12-15).  God cannot be tempted, and he does not tempt us, but allows temptation in our lives to teach us to depend on him.  I ended with an encouraging note from verse 2, talking about how we should find it pure joy when we face trial, because it is in those moments that we find ourselves faced with an opportunity to grow closer to Jesus.



VCC Youth Update September 27, 2018

Hello everyone!  

September is somehow almost over and we’re nearing October!  We’ve got our youth Halloween party coming up on October 26th from 5:00-8:00pm where we’ll have games, candy, food, and hide and seek; all students and friends are invited!  We are also looking for volunteers for our church’s Halloween event on October 31st!  If you or your students are interested in helping set up beforehand or work a shift at a booth, there will be a signup sheet on the information table in the lobby on Sunday!

 

Last night we concluded our Kingdom of God series with a call to action.  We looked at Jesus’s High Priestly Prayer in John 17 and a snippet of Luke 17:20-21.  We talked about how God’s Kingdom exists today through Christ, and that we are part of His kingdom because of Jesus.  Because we are a part of His kingdom, Earth is no longer our home, we have a new identity to walk in (17:14;16), and we are left here on Earth with a purpose (17:15).  Finally, we are sent out to spread the news of the Kingdom of God to everyone (17:18), so that like us, they can be united with the Father through Jesus.  I closed with a reminder that our obedience to God is not a chore but a privilege.  God does not need us to obey, but through our daily, active obedience we experience deeper relationship with the Father and see His kingdom more clearly every day.


VCC Youth Update September 20, 2018

Hello everyone!
 
I hope this message finds you well this week!  The new announcement for this week is that on October 26th we’ll be doing a youth Halloween party from 5:00-8:00pm here at church.  Students are welcome to dress up, and we’ll have pizza, soda, and of course, candy for them here.
 
Last night we were going to finish up our Kingdom of God series and move on to James next week.  However, God had other plans (and I’m so glad that he did!) and a few key questions early in the sermon took us down the path of the Gospel.  We talked about how we are dead in our sin without Christ, and that without Jesus, no one has any chance of going to Heaven no matter how “good” they are.  We are saved by the atoning blood of Christ, and through his sacrifice our debt is paid, and we become alive in Christ.  Because of this, we are welcomed into union with God, freely experiencing him and exploring his infinite splendor for all of eternity.


VCC Youth Update May 31, 2018

Hello everyone,

As we are on the cusp of June, the most important thing to be aware of is Hume 101. Our mandatory Hume informational meeting will be held on June 24th from 11:30-12:30 here in Burchett Hall.       We require every student going, and at least 1 parent or guardian per family to be in attendance, so that way we can go into the chaos that is Hume Lake preparation all on the same page.

 

Last night we talked about our Identity as people under grace. We looked at Ephesians 2:8-9 and talked about how easy it is to slip into a works-based salvation mindset as a Christian. The trap being as we are obedient to Christ, it is easy for pride to infiltrate our hearts and tell us that we are earning God’s favor, when the truth of the matter is we are obedient from a position of grace, not obedient in order to gain a position of grace (because that wouldn’t be grace at all). It is by the grace and power of God we are able to be obedient at all, and thus pleasing in His sight. I ended by challenging the students to come up with ways of reminding themselves daily of the grace of God and being daily thankful for the wondrous gift we have in Christ.


VCC Youth Update May 26, 2018

Hello everyone,

In my ongoing attempt to keep things brief, we have our movie night this Friday from 6:00 to 8:00.  We’ll have pizza and ice cream for the students, so send them hungry!  We’ll be watching the Prince of Egypt, a DreamWorks animation adaptation of the story of Moses.

Last night we talked about our identity in regard to how we are saved by grace alone and adopted as sons and daughters of God. We looked at Ephesians 1:1-2:10 and unpacked how it was God’s plan to unite everything in himself even before the foundation of the world was made.       God made this plan knowing full well he would be saving sinful, rebellious people (1:4-10). Not only that, but Paul makes it clear that this mercy is shown purely because of God’s love for us (2:4-6) and the inheritance is a gift, not payment for our good works (2:8-9). Therefore, our identities as sons and daughters of God is guaranteed once we have been sealed by the Holy Spirit (1:13-14). Our identity as revealed in this passage, is chosen, loved, and forgiven by God.  It is from this identity that we obey Christ, not the other way around.  We do not (and cannot) work our way to God’s love. I encouraged the students to dwell on the simple truth that no matter what the world says about who we are (bullying is a prevalent issue in the lives of our students), we can turn to the Word of God to remind us that we are loved beyond imagine by God. 



VCC Youth Update April 20, 2018

Hello everyone,

The only announcement on the horizon this week is our movie night coming up next Friday, April 27th!  We’ll be watching The Prince of Egypt by DreamWorks animation.  The night will start at 6:00 with pizza and ice cream, and we’ll end by 8:00!

On Wednesday, we continued in our Identity series by discussing Ephesians 4:17-32.  We talked about the characteristics belonging to the old life apart from Christ, and those belonging to our new lives in and derived from Christ.  The old self can be identified by its callous nature corrupted by its deceitful desires and by its enslavement to greedy pursuit of sensuous and impure behavior.  The new life in Christ is characterized by the outpouring of truth and grace, along with compassionate and forgiving action.  I reminded the students again that without the Spirit, striving for this type of life is an exercise in futility and frustration, it is only by the power of God at work in our lives and our obedient response that we can live like Jesus.



VCC Youth Update March 30, 2018

Hello everyone,

Thank you all so much for making sure your students were in attendance last Sunday to receive their Matt Lucas Memorial scholarships. 

On Wednesday, we finished off our Hebrews series, talking about the reality that our faith is meant to not only be studied and observed, but also carried out actively in our daily lives.  The theme throughout the message was that God is always with us, so as we go throughout life walking out our faith, God gives us the strength to stand where otherwise we would fall.  Not only that, but God is the one working in us all things pleasing in his sight and equipping us with everything good so that we can do his will.  To close, I continually repeated the line “How great is our God” from our worship set earlier in the night as I emphasized how much God has given us, and how glorious and loving he is, and finally ended with the reminder again that God is always with us.



VCC Youth Update March 22, 2018

Hello everyone!

“Shorter” update this week than usual, the only thing to announce is this Sunday we are awarding the Matt Lucas Memorial scholarships for Hume Lake in service. So if your student applied for this scholarship, please make sure that they are present in service at 10:30 to receive their certificate!

Last night we discussed Hebrews 12:3-29 and focused on reality that God disciplines those who he loves.       As children we are disciplined by our parents. This is the same with God who disciplines his children so that we grow and mature in righteousness. I highlighted that suffering happens in life as a product of a broken world, but Christianity is the only religion in which God redeems suffering and ultimately makes it a tool for growth. As we endure suffering for the sake of discipline, we are sustained by the knowledge that we are joining God in his kingdom. I closed by encouraging the students that suffering isn’t without purpose, and that God is with them, strengthening and disciplining them through it because he loves them. I also affirmed the role of the Church body in coming alongside each other in support.



VCC Youth Update March 15, 2018

Hello everyone,
 
First off, tomorrow night is our Hide and Go Seek Night from 7:00 until 9:00. The other thing to keep on your calendars is Sunday the 25th during service, we will be awarding Matt Lucas Memorial scholarships for Hume, so if your child applied, please make sure that they are there in service to receive it in person!
 
Last night we continued in the book of Hebrews, covering chapter all of chapter 11, and the first two verses of 12.  The focus of the message was on being obedient in our faith, going where God calls.  If faith is belief that inspires action, then it is important that we first listen to be sure that we do not act outside of what we’re actually being asked to do.  The heroes of the faith that the author mentions all acted after hearing God’s voice.  To close the sermon, I encouraged our students to cast off what may be hindering them from a life of obedience toward God, and then run without hindrance towards God.