#dcwinterfest

In this blog post I’m going to be briefly talking about a youth and young adults conference I went to last weekend. To say the very least, it was absolutely amazing! (Click the link at the bottom of the post to find out more.)

The fantastic Tim Biasetto, youth pastor at Shirelive church, came to speak at Winterfest last weekend. He has an incredible gift of communication and was a huge blessing to everyone who attended Winterfest.

I attended the youth stream on Saturday morning, which was simply a time that the youth came together to worship, hear preaching and ask any questions about Christianity. Tim Biasetto was preaching at the youth stream, and one of the most eloquent parts in his preaching that especially stood out to me was about chasing God. There are quite a variety of things that fall under the subject of chasing God, but I specifically tuned in to when Tim was talking about the importance of getting to as many Christian events as you possibly can. God re-instilled in my heart a fresh importance of getting to as many conferences, youth services, youth events and church services as you can possibly fit into your diary.

I feel so strongly about this because all of these different events are opportunities for more growth, more knowledge and more devotedness to find out everything that our Heavenly Father has to offer us. When you have a person in your life that you truly love, you take all the chances you can get to spend time with them, learn more about them, and experience a closer relationship with them. If we start taking these opportunities up now, imagine what we’ll be like when we’re adults! We’ll be like a whole bunch of walking bibles! Also, the rewards that come spiritually are magnificent. Just like it says in Matt 6:33, when you seek the kingdom of God above all else, He will provide for everything you need.

I could write a book about everything God did this weekend at Winterfest, but I think I’ll just keep it to this for today. If you’d like to hear more on a particular subject, for example, Spiritual gifts, prayer, more on leadership, or maybe even extra info about Winterfest or other youth conferences, give me a holla in the comments below and I’d be happy to write a post based on what you’ve said!

To learn more about Winterfest, check out http://www.winterfest2013.com/about/ to find out more.
Winterfest will be on again in 2014 at Discovery church, Mount Evelyn, so if you’re interested in attending, dates will be posted closer to the date through Little Big Movement’s twitter page (link on the bottom left). See you there!

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Day 9 – 21 day fast

Monday 18/6

I’m so sorry I’ve missed so many posts to all who have been following me on this 21 day journey! I thought I would be getting more time without social media, but it seems that end-of-term-craziness has begun and homework has taken over. Because I’ve missed so many days, I’ll just talk about today and the next coming days instead of going over all of the days I’ve missed.

How I’m feeling…

I’m starting to really get used to not having Facebook, and I’m starting to see the real benefits of being without social media for a period of time. Although I still need to focus on the same areas of persistence that I covered on day 2 of the fast, it’s becoming more and more easy to let go of social media, and let god fill the extra space.

How the Holy Spirit has moved…

The peace of the Holy Spirit has been sufficiently relevant for me today. Peace is something that I need majorly at the moment because of insane end of term madness. There have been times today particularly that I have really been feeling the pressure and stress of deadlines, finding time for everything, ect. and have really needed some of God’s wonderful peace. I’mJohn 14 verse 27 feeling completely calm now at the end of the day, and I’m ready for a peaceful nights sleep.

What God has revealed…

God has revealed to me today the importance of keeping in mind the words and actions you use on an everyday basis, particularly when there are other people around you that may look up to you, and also about forming healthy habits in the way you act and speak that can influence your close friends. This is a subject that I’d love to write a full post on, because I belive it’s a very important subject that as young leaders we must address.

How this can apply to us teens…

As it’s the end of term, I’m sure all teenagers are feeling at least a little bit of pressure or stress to get all of your assignments in on time. Remembering that God says “cast all your anxiety upon Him” is something that we can focus on in times like this, and along with hard work in your school and outside of school activties, remembering that God offers us His relentless love and peace to us is both things we can focus on in these busy times.
As teens in a society where Yolo is used as an excuse to do everything and people are caring less and less about how they carry ourselves (just have a look at some of the “outfits” people wear to Wal-Mart to understand what I’m talking about..), it can be easy to start forming unhelpful habits. Now I’m not saying that you would start to go out wearing florescent green lycra bodysuits with brown hiking boots (referring to some outfits seen at Wal-Mart), but we just need to keep in mind the way we conduct on an attitude, action, and speaking level. Believe it or not, I can assure you that there is most probably at least one younger child, a friend or peer at school that looks up to you. Be a role model for them.

Day 2 – 21 day fast

Monday 10/06

How I’m feeling…

I’m specifically focussing on persistance for now in two main areas; 1. I’m starting to feel more and more committed to not going on facebook which I need to persist in, and 2. I feel I need to focus on persisting in making sulet-go-and-let-godre I’m doing the fast for God and not for myself.

How the Holy Spirit has moved…

This morning I was chatting with God and I was finding it really hard to not think about social media. I started scrolling through the photos on my phone, and I stumbled across this photo that I had screen shot a little while ago. Although it may sound like a little thing, I tottally needed a reminder of that message “Let go and let God” at that point in time. I’m letting go of social media, and letting God take over that space.

What God has revealed…

I’ve been begining to see different ways that I can fill my spare time that I would ussually spend on facebook.  My love language is acts of service, and today I have been able to further that love language by helping someone else out. Today I was scrubbing, dusting, and wiping down my entire bathroom, which was a massive load off for Mum. Not only was it a brilliant way to get my mind off facebook and instagram, but it is so much more fulfilling than flicking through my news feed knowing that I’m helping someone else out.

How this can apply to us teens…

I’m starting to see a pattern forming in when I’m most weak to craving social media. I’ve noticed that they’re mostly in the times that I would ussually spend my time on facebook (when I first wake up, while I’m watching TV, after I’ve finished doing chores and before I go to bed). Being able to detect those times in a fast that you’re most weak can be a huge bonus because you can more easily find ways to replace these times of craving with something that glorifies God. For example, going for a quick prayer walk in the morning instead of lying in bed, doing something to help someone else during the day instead of checking up on your news feed and reading the bible before you go to sleep.

Day 1 – 21 day fast

Sunday 09/06

Along with many other Christians, I’ve just started a 21 day fast. A brief summary of a fast is where you get rid of something – in most cases food – and fill up the extra time you get from what you’ve sacrificed to spend time with our Heavenly Father.

This year I’m fasting all social media except email, and I wanted to share my 21 day journey with you to show you how fasting can relate to us as teens. All of my posts will be completely honest so that you can get the best idea of what a fast can mean for us teenagers. I’ll be focussing on four main topics each day: How I’m feeling, how the Holy Spirit has moved, what God has revealed, and how can this apply to us teens.

How I’m feeling…

Today I started writing a geometry revision sheet because I wanted to get my mind off facebook. I then thought of taking a picture of this sheet and posting it on instagram saying how hard the first few days of the fast is going to be… I think that pretty much sums up how I’m feeling.
People said that I would be feeling free after deleting all of my social media. Boy, were they wrong.

How the Holy Spirit has moved…

As I said, I’m going to be completely honest in these posts. So to be honest, although the Holy Spirit is always moving in my life, I haven’t felt the Holy Spirit move in a particularly big way as of yet. But I’m expectant for big things from a Holy Spirit perspective these next coming weeks.

What God has revealed…

Well, it’s certainly been revealed that I have a real addiction to social media. But in all seriousness, God has spoken to me today about letting go, and the importance of starting good habits, like fasting, at a young age.

How this can apply to us teens…Posotive patient persistent

Fasting as a teenager can be hard, especially when your fasting something like food, because it’s something that we need especially at this age as we’re still growing. So, it’s good to find something that is relevant to us that we can sacrifice for Him. That’s why I chose social media. It’s relevant to me, and it’s a huge sacrifice on my part.
Something that we need to keep in mind is that Holy Spirit related things may not happen straight up. In most situations that this happens, it’s usually God testing us in a sense to see if we are fully committed to the fast.
Although it can be hard at times, we must make sure that we stay persistent and expectant for God to really start moving.

If you are doing a fast at the moment, I encourage you to stay strong, persistent, expectant and excited for what God is going to do in your life.

Hayley’s Journey

A summary of Ezekiel 34 by unknown writer- But God’s faithfulness to his covenant and His desire to save were so great that he would revive His people once more, shepherd them with compassion, cleanse them of all their defilement, reconstitute them as a perfect expression of his kingdom under the hand of “David” (34:23-24), overwhelm all the forces and powers arrayed against them, display His glory among the nations and restore the glory of His presence to the holy city.

In this blog post, I get the special privilege of writing about a beautiful friend of mine. She is an inspiration not only to me, but to her family, friends and peers. I’m feeling the need to add in a #worldchanger there!
She has asked to be kept anonymous, so I’ll just be calling her Hayley in this post.

After being friends with Hayley for quite some time, I decided it was about time I invited her to my youth, i60, at Discovery church to see our awesome youth pastor preach on taking a leap of faith into our faith journey with God. Hayley said that if she was honest, she felt in a sense out of place at i60 because everyone was praising God and embracing His presence. But, although she was feeling slightly awkward at i60 the first couple of times she attended, Hayley knew that becoming in a deeper relationship with God was something she wanted.

After going to i60 a few times, she started feeling more and more comfortable and at home. She says that now she looks back on it, persistence was a huge key for her in her journey. She could have easily just said, “I’m not feeling a touch from God, so there’s no point in me coming back.” No, she persisted in coming back every week until she got what she wanted. And guess what? She got that touch! On a school camp in a tent of all places! Hayley said it was an unreal feeling that she’d never experienced before.

Last weekend we went on Revival Camp with i60 youth for the weekend, which a big group of my friends went to, including Hayley and myself. Revival Camp is pretty much just a youth camp, but a lot better than what the simple “Youth Camp” would generally sound like. Revival Camp was a milestone for, I’m sure, almost everyone that went to the camp. Hayley’s experience at revival camp was just amazing for her, and a blessing to hear too.

Hayley said that before she went on camp she was doubtful, and felt that there were some chains holding her back from being in the relationship she wanted with God. During camp, she was prayed for by some youth leaders, and slowly felt the chains coming off and doubt being washed away during the Friday and Saturday nights.

Now after camp, Hayley is in an amazing relationship with God, and she feels she is in exactly the right place that she needs to be and that God wants her to be in. She is already making an impact on people with her gorgeous, bubbly personality, and is so on fire for God! She has certainly inspired and encouraged me and is going to inspire so many people in the future. She has a huge and amazing future ahead of her.

I want you to be encouraged as you are reading this that by simply taking a step of faith, and then persisting in the things you want to do in the future, can have a huge impact on not just your life, but the lives of others.

I believe YOU were BORN a leader.

Take time to breathe

“Grace meets you and moves you to where you need to be.”- Rohan Dredge

Matthew 11:28-29 Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives.

When I was baptised in 2011 I was prayed for afterwards by my family and a few of the pastors at Discovery church. While they were praying for me, one of the female pastors said that she had a picture for me. She said she saw me floating down a river on a floating ring, and explained that the current on the river was symbolizing God, and I was simply laying back and letting Him take me wherever He wanted me to go.

A couple of months after my baptism, I had a big fall out with a really close friend. As I’m sure you guys know, fights with friends suck. This fight was just a whole lot of unresolved issues that blew up into a huge problem, and hurt both of us immensely. The feelings of hurt, un-forgiveness, anger and stress lingered in the back of my mind for weeks. These feelings were getting in the way of my relationships with my friends and I started getting quite up tight about talking about Jesus. I wasn’t sure exactly why this was at the time, but I later realized that it was because there was a wall built up in my relationship with God. I was getting so caught up with the feelings I was experiencing, that I was losing sight of what matters most to me.

I knew that I had to do something about it, but I had no idea what! I considered all these different things I could do to make the pain go away. I prayed regularly for God to make one of these scenario’s I was making up in my head actually happen (Which I realized later was not the right thing to do.). I was going round and round in circles in my head wondering what I could do to make things back to the way I thought it should be. It was tiring me out mentally, and I needed some time to R&R. Lucky, we have a God that will meet you in times of need.

I was having a chat to both of my lifegroup leaders/mentors about what was going on for me at that time, and it hit me like a bullet that I was looking at this completely the wrong way! I thought that I needed to make everything back to normal to get rid of these feelings of stress, anger, hurt and un-forgiveness. But the truth was, I needed to forgive my friend with my heart to get myself back on track and pull myself back onto that floating ring.

The point i’m trying to get to is that life is a huge roller coaster, and at times, you are going to need some time to R&R. God’s grace is amazing, and simply being in His presence can give you all the relaxation you need to continue being the brilliant person that you are! Make sure you take time out for yourself once in a while. Lay back in that floating ring and let God be the current guiding you to what He wants to do in and through you.

Sit tight and take as much joy as you can out of every situation.

If some of you girls need some more inspiration to find some time to R&R, consider reading “The one year book of inspiration for girlfriends juggling not-so-perfect, often-crazy, but gloriously real lives” by Ellen Miller. 

Can I be the leader although I’m still young?

Leading non-Christians towards a relationship with God and setting an example for other believers

1 Timothy 4:12 don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

When I made the decision to make the extra effort to become a leader, I felt like giving up so many times. There were people all around me that would doubt that I had the ability to undertake this role of leadership, generally because of my age. But, it wasn’t only because of the doubt from others… it was also that my friends, peers and even family had somewhat difficulty accepting the role I had chosen to take.

A couple of weeks ago, I wasn’t having a good week. I was feeling down and I was on the verge of just giving up with this “leadership thing”. Like, who was I going to inspire anyway? I felt that my friends didn’t care about me (which is definitely not true!) and that I wasn’t inspiring anyone. I was simply in the blues. I was also being condescended with everything I said by one of my close friends, and that didn’t help one bit.

At the end of the week, Dad came to pick me up from school. We had a stupid, tiny little argument about me not going to the right place to get picked up (I’m sure you’ve had that argument at some stage, too!). But that tiny argument was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. Dad had to go back to work when he dropped me off, so when I stepped inside the house, I was free to cry my heart out. I cried, and cried, and cried. I have never cried so much in all my high school years! I called my sister who lives interstate to try and lighten my spirits, but I just ended up crying more because I missed her. Thankfully, my brother came home and to the rescue. He gave me a pep talk and a big hug, and managed to stop me from crying any more.

To conclude this story, I gave one of my two beautiful life group leaders and mentors a ring and explained to her what was going on. She reminded me of my self worth and that just for being me I was able to inspire and set an example for other people.

I’m not saying any of this to boast or make myself sound brilliant, but because I want you to know that being a leader is not always going to be easy. You are going to have days where you just feel like giving up, and you feel that you’re not inspiring anyone. So what’s the point? The point is that just by being the unique beauty in Christ that you are, you will inspire and intrigue people, no matter what age you are.

It disappoints me when I see so many teens that feel that they don’t have the potential to be a Christian leader. But the truth is; YOU have the potential to change lives. YOU have the potential to change not just your friends, not just your youth or church or outside of school activity, but the world, in ways you would never have imagined. I want you to think about that for a minute…

Being a leader is all about having confidence in who you are as a person, where you stand with God and having a passion to lead others.

Ask yourself these three questions:

Am I willing to take up a role of leadership to inspire my friends, my family, my peers and any other people I come across in life?

Do I want to contribute to the future of our generation, and the generations preceding?

Am I ready to change the world?