Let This Change You

I’m putting together a little guide for our church youth group tomorrow night. Neither myself nor my other Wednesday night cohort in crime, Dewey, can be there, so one of the college-age guys is going to lead the group. I thought I’d jot down the flow here, since I can easily link directly to the videos and write out the discussion questions as well.

 

GETTING STARTED

Today we’re going to watch a couple video clips from a movie called To Save a Life. This movie is the story of a young man named Jake Taylor. He’s the school champion of basketball and beer pong, has a beautiful girlfriend, and everybody loves him. Life couldn’t get better, right? An old friend from Jake’s childhood comes back into his life, and shortly thereafter, commits suicide. Jake begins to think. “What did i miss? What could I have done different? It’s all my fault!” A youth minister meets Jake, and leads him to Jesus. Things don’t magically turn nice and neat, however, and Jake begins to really wrestle with the realities of life, judgement, and character.

VIDEO CLIP – TRAILER (full screen button in bottom right)

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DISCUSSION

Just what does the “Good Life” look like in your world?

What do we suppose the Christian Life is “supposed” to look like?

When you’ve shared your faith with a friend, or when you’ve looked for promises in the Bible, what is it you hope to find?

I don’t think anyone would disagree that the Christian life is better than the Good Life… but how? Why? Are those things just words?

If we really want to go deep into being the people God has made us to be, we have to quit wading in the shallow waters of easy answers, convenient friendships, and false hope.

In this next video clip, Jake ventures into a youth meeting at the church shortly after everyone was playing a game of drinking pop through a sock. Even though he’s living a life of newly found faith in Jesus, the problems of his world did not go away, and the shallow attitudes of the other people in the room becomes quickly obvious to him.

VIDEO CLIP – LET THIS CHANGE YOU (full screen button in bottom right)

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DISCUSSION

What reasons did people give to why they didn’t want to be in church?

Are those valid reasons? Not just in our church, but anywhere?

Jake said: “What’s the point of all this if you’re not going to let this change you?”

How would you answer that? Big or small… how are you going to let this change you?

Just a couple weeks ago, for example… Drew was up on the stage as the youth shared about their trip to Nashville, and he talked about the way he wanted to go out of his way to start seeking out friendships with some of the students at school who needed extra help. I loved how he said it, how often we say we’re trying to “protect them from getting hurt” but in reality, how much of it really is a convenience thing that we just don’t have to “deal with them?”

How much would you risk? How much would you give up… To Save a Life?

There are people all around us, in our schools, on our block, or even in this very room on any given Sunday, who are lost, lonely, and without hope. Do we expect them to get up off their butts and come to us for help, or do we take the help to them?

This last video is the music video from Casting Crown’s song, Does Anybody See Her. I’d encourage you to make that decision, individually, and together. Just how far will you go… to save a life?

CASTING CROWNS – DOES ANYBODY HEAR HER? (full screen button in bottom right)

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SONG LYRICS

She is running
A hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction
She is trying
But the canyon’s ever widening
In the depths of her cold heart
So she sets out on another misadventure just to find
She’s another two years older
And she’s three more steps behind

Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even know she’s going down today
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that’s tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?

She is yearning
For shelter and affection
That she never found at home
She is searching
For a hero to ride in
To ride in and save the day

And in walks her prince charming
And he knows just what to say
Momentary lapse of reason
And she gives herself away

Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even know she’s going down today
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that’s tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?

If judgment looms under every steeple
If lofty glances from lofty people
Can’t see past her scarlet letter
And we’ve never even met her

If judgment looms under every steeple
If lofty glances from lofty people
Can’t see past her scarlet letter
And we’ve never even met her

Never even met her
(Never Even Met her)

(OHHHHH)Does anybody hear her? Does anybody see?
Or does anybody even know she’s going down today
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that’s tucked away in you and me

Does anybody hear her? (Does anybody hear her?) Does anybody see? (Does anybody See?)
Does anybody even know she’s going down today?
Under the shadow of our steeple (shadow of her steeple)
With all the lost and lonely people (Lost and Lonely people)
Searching for the hope that’s tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her? Does anybody see?

He is running a hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction

Hugs from God

I have a little thing with hugs. With physical contact period. I long for it, yet am uncomfortable around it.

Friday, after a very wearing day, I finally had a few minutes alone before bed. I sat down on the kitchen floor, put my head in my hands, and finally just relaxed and let it all out for a couple minutes. I remember saying something like, “I would just love to be hugged, God. Freely, just given a real hug.”

Sunday morning after church it started. A pair of boys from the youth group, Ethan literally RAN up to me and have me a huge hug. Right after that, another. Later on, a full fledged hug from Tabi.

On monday, two girls came out to ride horses. Again, the hugs came as a pair, Tabi and Stevi. I was starting to get the message. These were direct from God, and just what I needed.

Then today, after lunch with a group of friends, 3 more. 2 from kids I may not see again for awhile but are now emblazoned on my heart, Stephen and Amber. And another from Tabi. And I felt finally free of something, to really hug back.

Loved it.

As I told Erin the whole story, starting with the prayer, tonite it made me tear up a little more. God gave me EXACTLY what I asked for, in a way far more personal and meaningful than I’d thought possible. Especially with how they seemed to come in pairs.

So to all of you, ET, Tabi, Stevi, Amber, Stephen and one more who I’ve gone blank on… Thank you from the depths of my heart and soul. God was hugging me, through you. You mean so much to me, and I love you.