Youth News - March 2014
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Youth News
March 2014
by Hector Meza

Genesis 12:1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

2 “I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through your father’s household to the land I will show you.

Hopefully, as you are reading this I am not in a full body cast. That means that I have survived my first time skiing with our youth. Even though I grew up in the Poconos, in the very same town as the ski resort we went to, I had never been skiing and never did I imagine that I would be leading a Youth Group on a ski retreat. It really got me thinking about all the surprises that God has brought into my life. I never thought I’d want to teach in a high school, I never wanted to live in the city, I never wanted to preach, all of those things God called me to do. The Christian life, at least the kind that I believe God wants us to live, is one filled with adventure and surprises.

Youth News - February 2014
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Youth News
February 2014
by Hector Meza

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5:25-27

When I ask people the question, “what is marriage?” certain words like, love, joy, comfort and completeness are usually the response. Yet I’ve come to realize that those words are nice and all but really the words that should also crop up are work, sacrifice and humility. And it’s no surprise to me because the very Author of Love is God and of the many ways He’s demonstrated His love for us the most demonstrative was the sacrifice of His only Son.

Youth News - December 2013
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Youth News
December 2013
by Hector Meza

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host
appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
- Luke 2:13-14

This earth could use a little peace, could it not? There are fearful and discouraging things all around us. We see people being taken advantage of and abused, nations rising up against each other, families crumbling. This has been the pattern for humanity as far back as Adam blaming Eve for his sin and one of their sons murdering the other.

So when the angels descended on the shepherds with news of Jesus’ birth it’s no surprise that they brought a message of hope, life and peace for humanity. They declared that peace among men or on earth could start to flourish once more because Jesus would be the one to begin the restoration. Those of us that are believers in Christ can rest assured that in Jesus we can find peace. And as followers of Jesus we are to pattern our lives after Jesus and seek to be peacemakers on this earth. As Jesus revealed, “blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.” God is calling us to join in His work of bringing peace to this world.

Youth News - October 2013
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Youth News
October 2013
by Hector Meza

“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” - 2 Chronicles 7:14

The times that we live in are filled with many uncertainties. Students wonder about their futures and “what if” there are no jobs available for when they graduate. We hear about global conflicts, turmoil and financial meltdowns and wonder “what if” we are headed towards another world war. We ask, “what if” concerning our families, careers and health. It seems as though people have been wondering, “what if” since the beginning of time. When we read the Bible we a given reassurances over and over again through the stories of men, women and nations that were rescued from their trials and tribulations by God. In our “what ifs” we have a God who is great in might, mercy and power.

Youth News - July/August 2013
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Youth News
July/August 2013
by Hector Meza

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

I read somewhere that about 90% of the things we worry about never actually occur. That means that most of us spend (or waste) our time worrying about things that never come to pass. I found this to be the case in my life last week as Lydia and I prepared to make our big move. And of all the things that I worried about like, “Will the cat be ok?” or “Will we be able to effectively reach the students in Brick?” or “Will we find a good pizza place?” the one that stressed me out the most was, “Will we be able to fit all of our things in the moving truck?”

Youth News - January 2014
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Youth News
January 2014
by Hector Meza

There's a peace I've come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul
I can say "It is well"

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

-Exert from I Will Rise by Chris Tomlin

Recently the youth came together for a night of testimonies through the medium of worship. It was great to hear many of the students and leaders share about how God has used songs to impact their lives. Students and leaders would play a clip from the song and then speak of why it was meaningful to them. Our hope was that students could see how God was speaking the Gospel out to the world using their testimonies. Each of us has a story and our life story should be one that directs people towards God.

Youth News - November 2013
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Youth News
November 2013
by Hector Meza

1 Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
2 But they delight in the law of the LORD,
meditating on it day and night.
3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do.
Psalm 1:1

They say that technology is making us dumber and giving us a shorter attention span. If that is true then this might explain why Bible reading is down in our culture. The thought of sitting there and reading anything longer than a paragraph or status update can seem more dreadful than a dental visit. Yet, we all know how important and vital to the life of a Christian Scripture reading is.

Youth News - September 2013
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Youth News
September 2013
by Hector Meza

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

At various moments in your life, some verses jump off the page and come to life for you more than others. This verse was the theme verse for the JUNE project this year. A group of 12 students and 4 leaders travelled to Hamburg, PA for a week of ministry and fun alongside other youth groups from New Jersey. One would think that a missions trip was anything but restful, but I was personally encouraged and refreshed by the students and leaders on this trip.

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