Random Thoughts From Panama City Beach

Once again—it is a beautiful day!  I cannot get over how awesome this youth group is!  I sat and watched them from my balcony this morning as they were all over the beach with their Bibles open & seeking Jesus, for some reason I think God smiled on that!

Good news—they have a Starbucks in the lobby of this hotel!  YEAH GOD!  Bad news (parents), your kids are drinking a lot of expensive coffee drinks!

Oh yeah, I forgot—there is a tattoo parlor and a body piercing place near here…we took the kids there yesterday and encouraged them to express their creativity.  You should see the designs they came up with!  Just kidding!  :-)

At the risk of offending someone—Trevor sent me this link this morning.  I was having a really good week until I read it!!!  Please hear me—I appreciate the Southern Baptist Convention.  I received Christ in a Baptist church…the first two churches I served in as a youth pastor were Southern Baptist and the South Carolina Baptist convention was incredibly instrumental in NewSpring getting started; in fact, we are still a part of the SCBC.

But…and I can hear it now…I honestly believe that people in the SBC must sit around and think of ways to be considered stupid—and they are being quite successful!!!  The link you just read bothers me.  Let me explain…

If you are a parent and have chosen the route of home school or private school for your children then that is awesome.  You are the parent—and you are commissioned by God to make choices that will allow your child to grow and develop in the best environment possible.
BUT please do not think say that home school or private school is a biblical mandate.  It is nowhere in Scripture that we must send our kids to a certain type of school.  And please understand that by choosing a certain route for the education of your child…it does not make you better as a parent and you should never look down on someone for not taking the same route that you are taking.  It is a matter of personal preference.

When we built our building it was asked of me by several people when we were going to begin a school at NewSpring.  That is an easy question—NEVER!  And please save the time and energy trying to call or e-mail on this—it’s not going to happen!  And here is why…

I have a passion as the pastor of NewSpring to reach OUT to this community—not to withdraw from it.  As Christians we are not called to retreat to some cave and talk about how bad the world it…we are called to be salt and light—to go out and shine and spice things up!

I do want an emphasis on Christ in our schools in Anderson County…but I want it in a different way.  I want so many teenagers in our church to fall in love with Jesus and carry that love to school with them.  I want them to share Christ with their friends.  I want them to pray with one another in the halls.  I want them to know enough about Scripture that when a fellow classmate or a teacher begins to speak against Christianity then they can speak up!  I want them to be salt and light…and because of Jesus working through them the public schools in Anderson become Christian schools!!!

You might say that I am being idealistic and that what I have described cannot happen.  If that is your conclusion I would say that your god is too small.  Please open your box and let your god out of there.  If your god cannot transform the public school system in Anderson County then what makes you think He can save you?  You need to stop looking and god and begin looking at GOD.  (Capital “G”)

Keep our teens in your prayers—they are all having a blast and learning a ton…and they are coming back to Anderson FIRED UP!