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Philippians 2:12 reminds us to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." Often good people (in and out of the ministry) will confess to me their frustration with their own lack of spiritual growth and intimacy. While the principles of maintaining a relationship with Christ are the same for all of us (prayer and Scripture reading), I often suggest to those frustrated Christians that they might need to find their own "spiritual pathway."

This simple principle has been revolutionary in my own relationship with Jesus! Just as we are all wired differently, our spiritual walks, because of our personalities and temperaments, are going to be different. So, take this next hour with me and I pray that you'll discover how to better "work out your own salvation."

Loving and with a "Big Heart,"


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Anything you do in life HALFWAY always becomes boring, including your Christianity. Isn't that so true? There's a motto that hangs in our home that has really become a mantra for me. It says, "Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intentions of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways to heaven, body thoroughly used up, and happily shouting, 'WHAT A RIDE, JESUS! WHAT A RIDE!'"

In this month's Source, "Boring!" I'm developing a mantra with my students for impacting our world. It can be summed up in three words: VISION + ENDURANCE = CONQUEST. With some help from the life of Esther and an incredible true story about Notre Dame, it's my prayer that our students are ignited with fresh passion to go make a difference in their sphere of influence.

Go cut down your nets,


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While strong words, I believe covering this topic, "Breaking Free Of Relational Soul Ties," in our youth ministries can and will save the spiritual lives of some of our students. A "soul tie" is an emotional connection or bond with another person that unites us in a deep, very significant fashion. The relationship can, and usually does, drive what we think, feel, and desire. While not always wrong, negative ones that blur our spiritual vision can destroy us! I would go so far as to say that negative "soul ties" are one of the top reasons many of our teenagers walk away from their faith in Christ.

So, buckle your seat belts and get ready. We pull out all the stops in this Source by explaining multiple ways "soul ties" are formed and seven ways to break free from them. Drawing from my own personal story, a lot of Scripture and two well written monologues, your students are sure to walk away with an expanded arsenal of weapons to guard against and conquer negative "soul ties."

Lovingly,


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What is the dream in your heart? At the end of your life, what do you want to look back on and say, "I did that"? Many people have a "Field of Dreams" they would like to build; unfortunately, countless abandon it when negative situations or tough times come their way.

In this Youth Leader's Coach, we look at the movie with Kevin Costner, Field of Dreams, and unpack the immortal line, "Sometimes the good Lord allows us to lose our dream to find our destiny." Even when life appears to throw us a curve ball, we get to choose how it shapes our soul. And that, my friend, will make all the difference in the world. So grab a cup of coffee and let's see what Abraham's life has to teach us about not giving up on our destinies.

Lovingly,


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It is EASY to question what is real and what may not be. This is especially true when it comes to the topic of our faith. There are a MULTITUDE of ideologies and beliefs out there, and many times it is difficult to navigate between what is TRUE and what isn't.

In this month's source, "Doubters Welcome," I embrace the topic that is often ignored...the topic of DOUBT. I believe this is a good resource for helping students and even leaders help navigate some of the things they may question, which can ultimately help strengthen their faith as opposed to losing it. I think you'll enjoy this one.

Fighting for this generation,


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I don't think there is anybody in youth ministry, or a Christian for that matter, that starts out wanting to be a person of mere image. None of us start out that way. Sadly, the reality is that after over 40 years of youth ministry, I can think of name after name that somehow along the line became more of an image manager than someone who pursued an authentic lifestyle.

We all deal with this battle everyday. We are faced with little choices that challenge our character and question our authenticity. It is so easy to focus on our "public self" before we deal with private self issues. Listen in as we evaluate Image Management vs Authentic Living.

Still committed to being authentic,


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The summer months are so pivotal in a student's spiritual growth and we simply can't take our voice of influence in their lives half-heartedly.  We especially can't begin to punt on our communication, because if we're honest, the longer we do it or the more common it becomes to us, the easier it is to do.  That's why we're sharing, "Making Creativity Come Alive In Your Youth Service," in this Alliance.

The truth of the matter is that creativity really isn't an option anymore if you want your students to remember much of what you are saying.  We live in a pretty A.D.D. generation where it's hard to focus on much of anything.  That's why it's so vital that we that we add some elements to our services that really catch their attention.  For some of us, creativity is a little more difficult, and never has carried a lot of weight in our youth ministries.  I hear over and over, "I'm just not a creative person," but experience has taught me that with a little extra time and energy, we all have the ability to get our creative juices flowing.  So, listen in to this Alliance as I cover some of the reasons that we often don't put much energy toward creativity in our services and give ten practical ideas to add some new life to our weekly routines.


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When it comes to adversity, it's not a matter of "if," but "when" it will appear in our lives. Many of us know what it's like to have been hurt deeply by people we love, faced a hardship that seemed impossible to conquer, or perhaps had a tragedy happen to someone close to us. All of us have or will face adversity. The defining question is though, how will you respond in those crisis moments? How will you keep the times of adversity from paralyzing you from life and allow them to make you stronger instead?

In this Youth Leader's Coach I call, "Resilience: Surviving The Shark Attacks," I look at seven resilience tips for moving on after a trauma, from Laurence Gonzales' book, Surviving Survival: The Art and Science of Resilience. While I hope you will never experience any traumas as severe as the ones Gonzales outlines in his book, my simple prayer is that when times of adversity do come your way, this Youth Leader's Coach will help to prepare you to come through them victoriously resilient.

In Your Corner,


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In this Source we hope to provide you and your students with a diagnosis and cure for what we're calling "Spiritual Schizophrenia." Have you ever suffered from it? I know I have. I know Peter and Judas did as well.

"Spiritual Schizophrenia" is an illness where you struggle making your "spiritual world" match your "everyday world." While the Enemy would love for you to think it's a fatal disease, it's not. There is hope. The game is not over. Together, let's uncover the symptoms, causes and cure for this dreaded disease.

So grab a cup of coffee and a tissue. In this Source not only will you laugh a little, but you might cry a little as well. If I haven't said it in awhile, thanks for letting me be a part of your life my friend.

Much love,

9 Resources | Page: 1 of 1