The 10 Unofficial (But Accurate) Commandments Of A Youth Group Kid

The 10 Unofficial (But Accurate) Commandments Of A Youth Group Kid

It was more than a church, it was a second home.

It all started that one Sunday night that my mom made me go to youth group, the night my life would never be the same. This is the night I met my people, and the night I realized what it meant to be a youth group go-er. Maybe it was the free pizza, the worship, the ridiculous icebreakers, or the youth conferences, but I knew I had found my place.

If you grew up as a youth group-groupie, you may have followed these ten commandments almost as strictly as Moses'.

1. Thou Shalt Always Accept Free Food

There are three significant times food comes into play at youth group: 1) when it’s your mom’s night to bring the whole squad food and she says she’s going to make some weird food that no one will like. Operation Padre John kicks in and pizza must be ordered. 2) When your youth ministers bribe you to volunteer with free food and 3) Post Youth Group McDonalds and Skyline trips.

2. Thou Must NEVER go about purpling

Everyone knew that girls are red and boys are blue and that purple is most definitely out of bounds. This was a scary line to cross and an ongoing joke amongst the years. If all else fails, probably just become a priest or a nun.

3. Thou Shalt Be Fluent in Church Puns & Jokes

A few of my personal favorites are “At what time of day was Adam created? A little before Eve,” and “How does Moses make his coffee? Hebrews it.”

4. Thou Shalt Know Every Word To "Oceans" by Hillsong United

The number of times this song or something to do with it was the theme of one of the retreats we put on is innumerable, but truly, it never gets old.

5. Honor Thy Youth Pastor, But Always Prank Them

Whether it is hiding cut-outs of your priest’s face throughout the parish, saran-wrapping everything, or turning everything upside down in their office, the pranks are the best. We do it because we love them, and they know that.

6. Keep Sacred Thy Inside Jokes & Traditions

If you’re from my church and you don’t know what underwater basket weaving, pie-ing Grant in the face, cool girl #2, Bucket Hat Deacon, or Canoe Tipping is, then you’re simply not doing it right.

7. Thou Shall Not Miss a Youth Conference

These are sometimes for serious memory making, time away from home, in dorms, or even better, church floors.

8. Thou Shalt Always Give Your Testimony

If you are asked to give your testimony at a retreat, that is one thing, but to have the spontaneous opportunity to share with others how incredible the God you love is, that is something completely different.

9. Thou Must Always Participate in FourSquare and Weird Food Contests

Being the King of the Square is not just any old title. It is THE title. And eating mashed up graham crackers, ketchup, honey, pickles, a brownie, and a piece of ham in one bite is normal. The weirder the better, I guess?

10. Thou Must Keep Sunday Evenings Holy

“Yeah sorry, Betty, I have youth group Sunday night, I can’t hang out.” This also meant a break from homework on Sunday night. Sunday’s are for the Group.

If there is one thing I will always remember, it is that "Thou Shall Not Forget The Memories."

Cover Image Credit: Erika Glover

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.

Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

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Faithfulness Is Like The Clouds

God's faithfulness in our lives reaches higher than the clouds - that's pretty far.

Psalms 36:5 "Your love Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies."

As I look out of the window in the airplane, I see the sun covering everything in its sight. And as I watch the sun cover the earth, I can feel the peace of God being to settle into my heart. We lift off the ground and I know His faithfulness travels with me wherever I go.

Something that I've learned in 2018 is that Gods' plan for my life is never late. He didn't messily throw my life together in 5 minutes, nor was He unwavering in the details of my life. He very cautiously knit together every moment of my life, even when I didn't understand why He chose to do what He did.

Over the past five months, I have been more aware of Gods faithfulness in my life than I have been in a very long time.

To make this story short, I did not grow up surrounded by extended family like most people I know. And while God has still been so good to me in my years growing up, I still had the small void in my heart that yearned for something more. Something that I had prayed to God in secret many times, but never intended to do anything about it.

This past summer I watched as God took that very desire of my heart and beautifully unravel them before my eyes in a plan that has been so intricately put together for years, but He chose to reveal it to me now. I watched as He taught me how to trust Him with everything in me, not just bits and pieces of me. I watched God reintroduce me into what it means to be proud of my culture and ethnicity in new and fresh ways. The dry and barren place of my heart that I felt could never see these promises that God had for me were beginning to come to life.

He gave me joy. Joy in people and in places that I lived 20 years without, but God knew one day He would surround me with. As I sat in the midst of conversations and togetherness, I was reminded that this was the very thing that I had prayed to God for so many years.

Our prayers are not insignificant to God. He holds every single one of them close.

So many times in my life I have asked God to just help me to understand what He's doing in my life. To just tell me why He's doing the things that He's doing. And so many more times after that, I have God remind me that maybe I'm not supposed to understand. Maybe I'm supposed to just let everything in me fall at His feet the same way that Mary did with Jesus. Maybe I'm supposed to constantly trust Him with every second of my life, even when I don't know the next step.

God never stops teaching me about His faithfulness, and I hope he never does stop. I hope in 2019 He brings me to places of growing more in what it means to invest in relationships, to speak into other lives about His goodness in mine. One significant thing that I learned recently is that Gods promises for our lives are never meant to run out. Just like His faithfulness in our lives are never meant to only happen for a few months. It is never ending and always secure. In Hebrews 10:23, It says "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful."

..."For He who promised is faithful"

What a beautiful truth to know and to carry with us into this new year.

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