We are not consumed

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. –Lamentations 3:21-23

As we consider this New Year, 2017, this verse resonates. It speaks of 1) hope centered in the Lord’s great love and compassion. I spent much of 2016 placing my hope, worth, and even sanity in fleeting things. Much of my weariness and anxiety in 2016 comes from misplaced hope. It speaks of 2) the newness of each day. God’s mercy and compassion are offered every day, a clean slate, a blank canvas, a new year. Redemption and transformation are possibilities because of God’s mercy. 2017 is loaded with potential and I am excited. Finally it speaks of 3) the faithfulness of God. God’s mercies are new and yet old at the same time. His faithfulness is historic and venerable. The faithfulness of God is a stabilizing force in my quickly changing world. Because of this, we are not consumed. May you call these things to mind as you start the New Year: hope, love, compassion, newness, and the faithfulness of God. Blessings.

Jared Doe

Why do I love youth ministry?

As if it is some strange thing!  Do you really like all-night lock-ins, late night phone calls, weeklong camps, and High School sporting events?  Truth is, I actually do love those things, but that is not why I do youth ministry.  I read this quote by a guy named Cameron Cole, and I think he nailed it better than I ever could, he says:

“We long to see God heal, redeem, and free young people as they trust Jesus personally, and we long to see God birth something beautiful and redemptive in this broken world through their lives as they bear witness to their Savior.”

I ache when I take a look at the lives of many of the young people I know, the loneliness, self-doubt, awkwardness, and brokenness so many of them experience.  Each student is wildly unique, and nothing is more satisfying than watching the transformation of a student who comes to know the real and living God in Jesus.  To see young people find Hope and then offer that Hope to the hopeless around them, that is why I love youth ministry.  So to every student I’ve known, or someday will meet I pray Ephesians 3:17-19 for you.

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Tyler Ells