Teens Together In Christ- 6th to 8th graders
Brothers And Sisters In Christ- 9th to 12 graders
For the purpose of meeting new people, hanging out with friends, and learning more about Jesus.
We meet each Saturday during the academic year at Chinese Baptist Church, 5801 Beacon Ave S, Seattle, 98108. Our meetings begin at 7:00 pm and end by 9:00 pm.
Devotion #58-- Retreat to Eat or Nah?
Why go to retreat? Why do we keep having retreats? Because the staff wants a vacation? Because the camps are great places? Because retreat food is worth the money??
Ah, yes Elisa, great questions! I’m honestly not sure about the last three questions, because the answers to those questions will vary with different people. BUT what I do know is that retreat is built to strengthen our relationship with God. Personally, I learn the most at retreat about Christ and about how strong my relationship ACTUALLY is. It’s at retreat where it gets really deep, and people start crying. Why do so many people cry? We get vulnerable. We start opening up and sharing some fears we have, and we start noticing areas where we are weakest. Those are the times where many people start to really understand how much they need Christ.
Jesus has gone on retreats too. Look at the 40 days he spent in a desert, literally just spending time with God. He didn’t even eat! (Please see Luke 4: 1-13). As important as we know it is to interact with God on a daily basis, sometimes we become unsaturated sponges-- the water of Christ just evaporates a little too much from our life. Retreat is a chance to really spend time with God and other Christians. First off, the camps usually have terrible WiFi and reception... and no phones anyways! (Even for the Holy Bible app). You’re cut off from the world in a sense, and that gives you more of a chance to really soak up the holiness. Secondly, being surrounded by so many Christians (some that you know, some that you don’t) gives you a chance to reflect on how you could be a better Christian. Hopefully, you’ll even get the chance to strengthen your current friendships and build new ones. Thirdly, the messages are always great! Even the most dedicated Christian still has much to learn, and retreats give us the chance to really dive into various topics.
If you’re feeling like a dry, worn down sponge, come to retreat to become resaturated! Forms are due soon for early bird registration so get them in on time!
Also I interviewed people for fun and here’s what they said:
“I guess that I understand that I should have a intimate, everyday relationship with God, but it's still a great feeling to have that amazingly strong sense of fellowship and spirit with almost everyone in your youth group and their friends It’s also really fun!” -- Y M
“Fun” -- J W
“The spiritual enrichment with friends away from home” -- M L
Devotional #57 - New Year New You?
Hi everybody! It’s been awhile since any of you have read one of these devotionals, hasn’t it? But hey, we’re back! I’m so excited for this new year with all sorts of new events and lessons and everything!
So it’s now 2017, the year after a supposedly terrible one happened. But with a new year, a whole new you has emerged, glorious and fabulous to all who see you! …Right? I mean, it’s a fresh start, and you can totally change all your ways in a flash, no? The disappointing part about those statements, is that they aren’t really true. It’s hard to change your bad habits so quickly, like how you can’t stop watching Netflix, YouTube, a Korean drama or whatever until 2AM even though you told yourself you would stop at midnight. Or maybe you told yourself you’d go exercise every day before class but three days in and you’re still asleep as your 6AM alarm goes off. Kinda disappointing, isn’t it?
It doesn’t have to be disappointing though! Through proper discipline, you can achieve a lot more than you think. And remember, you don’t have to make big strides. Small steps are key in doing something properly, and it’ll help with good adjustment. This applies to all sorts of things in life, such as going to church and learning about God. We must remember that we don’t have to be taking big steps in our faith. We can learn more about God and church in small lessons. We don’t have to read five devotionals, one book of the Bible, and go to church every day to be a good person in God’s eyes. As we learn, we become more transformed in our ways, and slowly become a new person.
The Bible says in Colossians 3:10, “and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him” It says that as we learn, we can become a new self and become more like God. But we must remember to have discipline in our learning, and become devoted towards it (Devot-ed and devot-ional, there’s a connection for a reason).
So go out there and set a couple new goals, ones that are reachable but’ll still take some time. I hope to see you all at TTIC and BASIC next week, and pray that this year goes extremely well for the whole church family!
[12/17/16] Happy Winter Break everyone. TTIC and BASIC will resume on January 7, 2017.
Daily Devotional #56 - Just Bs It
High school has taught me wonders in how to pass classes. I have learned how much I can procrastinate while still getting an A on a paper or test. I have learned what classes I can put in empty sticky notes for annotations or random words and numbers for math problems. I have learned which classes I can take a 10-15 minute "bathroom break." Throughout school, I've learned how to apply the least amount of effort needed while still getting the job done. But we have to be careful when it comes to our relationship with God. We can't carry this behavior over to our spiritual lives.
Why can't we do this? Because God is well... God. Colossians 1:16 says, "For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things were created through Him and for Him." God is everything. He created each and every one of us, and He created everything around us. He has washed away our sins, so that we may be clean. He invites us to heaven with Him. God is so great. His greatness is overwhelming. Because of this, we can't just bs our relationship with Him. Our relationship with God is important. It's not something to add on to the end of your daily schedule as something that you'll do if you have time for it. Set a time for when you are going to be with God every day. Be strict in your schedule because God is worth it.
Devotional #55 - Getting What You Want
Hi everyone, I hope you had good times at the Christmas parties we had on Saturday. Filled with lots of yelling, conversations, and general happiness from fellowship with one another. One of the best events of the year in my mind, but to each their own (I think I said that right). So during each of the parties, we had a little event thing called white elephant. It’s a gift exchange if you don’t know that term. Everyone puts in a gift they bought around a certain price limit and everyone picks a gift at random. That’s the most simplistic I could possibly get, so it’s nice and short for a devotion. Anyway, some people buy weird or gag gifts such as a bracelet making kit or a singing snowman plushie while others buy super soft blankets that are popular with everyone or an Olaf tsum tsum thing. Some of these gifts are more appealing to people than others, so a lot of temporary sadness comes up from a stolen item. At the end of the game, some items are so unlikable that no one wants to trade or take it and that doesn’t seem fair to whoever got it.
Even though we might not want a singing snowman doll, we must remember to be thankful for what we have, and what we have done for others. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 15:13, “A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, but when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.” By putting in a more wanted gift, you made someone happy. We usually only think about ourselves, about what we got, about how it’s dumb that we got that gift, but not about what someone else got. Thanksgiving has passed, a time of giving thanks, and we tell ourselves every year that we should be thanking everyone every day. The verse explains how keeping a positive attitude and being grateful for the gift you got will lead to happiness and being disappointed will only lead to a negative you.
Devotion #FIFTEEFOUR (54)-- Run, run, as fast as you can...
1 Corinthians 9:24-26- “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.”
Story time: Most people know that I despise running. I don’t really get how it could possibly be fun to be in track. I absolutely will not run just for the sake of running, or do suicides just to beat my mile time. I will however, run for other sports. Sprinting down a field to score and watching the other team lose a little bit of hope? That’s where it’s at. I like running and training hard if it means winning.
So that’s what Paul is talking about here. Life is a competition-- you’re going to want to win. Those of us who are Christian should go through life as though we’re trying as hard as we can to be children of God, to win our spot in heaven. “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training,” he says. That’s true for anything we try to achieve in, whether it’s a sport, school, music, or being a Christian. However, non-Christians would be training to “get a crown that will not last”. They’re just working for earthly goals, like good grades just so they can get a good job in the future. While that is entirely practical and not a bad thing, as Christians, we should be working just as hard to get that “crown that will last forever.” As hard as you may be working in school, are you working that hard in Bible study? When you go to church, are you paying close attention like you pay attention in classes? Are you absorbing all of that spiritual knowledge like you’re absorbing music lyrics? Paul is telling you to stop “running aimlessly”. He’s telling you to cut it out and be an active Christian. Read the Bible on a regular basis. Spend time with God. TRAIN AS A CHRISTIAN. Don’t just walk slowly and trudge your feet on the Christian path. RUN IT. It will be hard, and you might be tempted to stop, or just quit and leave the race course. I’ve definitely felt that urge. But don’t give up!! The Holy Spirit is cheering you on in the sidelines, and God is waiting for you at the end.
Devotional #53 - Samson the Snowman
It actually happened! It snowed today! I actually thought it wouldn’t snow today, because when I got up at 6:30, there was just rain and darkness. And even if it did snow, I never would have thought it would have stuck. But as I headed to school, flurries of snowflakes and blobs of slush started coming down on me. I went into math and class got started, but all of a sudden someone yelled, “It’s snowing!” and everyone looked outside. Then everyone got distracted, including the teacher, and we didn’t continue class for a little while. It seemed like a miracle that it would even stick to the ground. It brought happiness to everyone, but every positive comes with a negative.
Now some of you may have read the Bible story of Samson. He was this super powerful guy with long luscious locks and God said that as long as he didn’t cut them, he would keep his strength. He didn’t cut his hair because he was a Nazarite, Israelites under God who didn’t drink, cut their hair, or ever come in contact with dead bodies. He lived with this woman, Delilah, whom he loved. She wanted to know the secret to his strength, but he wouldn’t tell her so she could betray him. After many lies of his secret to her, he told her that his uncut hair gave him strength from the Lord. Then in his sleep, she had someone cut off his hair and awoke him by telling him he was being attacked. He tried breaking free from them but they captured him, gouged his eyeballs out, and took him to Gaza. A little later in the story, Samson had been chained to pillars, so he prayed to God. He prayed that God give him enough strength to take down the Philistines as well as himself. Judges 16: 30 says, “Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived” End of story, and Samson.
Today has been kinda like Samson’s story. The snow and Samson’s strength were a gift from God, both as positives. But what we kids don’t realize as much with the snow is the issues that come with it, like how it breaks car engines faster and makes driving more dangerous with frozen roads. Samson gave away his secret because he was confident and trusting, but his power came with an easy downside. Every upside is great, but we must remember that there’s always a downside paired with it. So remember that when we’re in a dark place, there’s only up to go.
Now bundle up tomorrow cause according to my physical therapist, it’s supposed to get to 28°F tonight. Watch out drivers, and see you all at the Christmas party!
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