I See You At The Pole

SYATP_RoslynSee You At The Pole is a prayer rally where students meet at the school flagpole before school to lift up their friends, families, teachers, school, communities, and nation to God. It is a student-initiated, student-organized, and student-led event that happens one day a year in September all around the globe. It is a day committed to global unity in Christ and prayer.Last year on this day, I woke up early and took my daughters to their respective schools for SYATP. At each of their schools, they were the only ones to show up. They prayed anyways. As I pulled away from the school, I had a few emotions going on inside of me. I was proud of my daughters for standing up and praying, even if it meant doing it alone. I was sad that more kids didn’t show up. I was determined to pray prayers of faith and believe that God was and is working, despite what we see. As I was driving home, I felt God whisper to me, “Tell your girls that although they didn’t see anybody else at the pole, I saw them at the pole, and I am pleased with them.” I sent them a text later in the day to that effect to encourage them.

This morning, one year later, I woke up early and did the same. This time my daughters were on their phones inviting friends to join them. I told them that if even one other person showed up, it would be double from last year. I am happy to report that 6 students showed up at Natalia’s middle school to pray. As we wrapped up an administrator approached saying, “The kids were drawing some attention, so I was asked to come find out what is going on.” I told him about SYATP and that they kids were gathering together to pray for the school, including him. He shook my hand and smiled. I then went home and picked up Claudia and we went to the high school, and 4 students and 1 teacher showed up. When the kids finished praying, I left to walk to my car, and I was stopped by a school employee who asked, “What were the kids doing over there?” “Praying,” I responded. “Are you guys Christians?” he asked quite enthusiastically. I told him we were and he lit up, telling me what church he goes to. It turns out I know the pastors of his church.

God moves when we pray. Not only do I believe He hears and responds to our prayers in a vertical way (God to us), He also allows our prayers to have an impact on those who are witnessing us pray (horizontal). People ask questions which can lead to spiritual conversations, Christians all of a sudden discover that people they see every day are believers, and people are challenged to examine their own faith. Pretty cool. Today as a dad, youth pastor, and member of the community I am proud of my daughters and all of the students who prayed today. And remember, there may only be one “official” day of prayer, but we are called to be people or prayer 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. PRAY!

Another Youth Ministry 1st …

Yesterday I went to my first ever cross country race in support of four of our Shelter Rock Church students. They all did really great. I was cheering for them near the finish line, and gave each of them a Gatorade on which I had written a note to them with a Sharpie.  It was awesome talking with them and meeting their teammates/school friends. One mom wrote me and said, “[My son’s] friends thought you were a very cool youth pastor.” I was relieved to know that I didn’t embarrass them. Really great time and so proud of our students.

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Our 11th and 8th Grader!

IMG_5711Today was another first day of school – 11th grade for Claudia, and 8th grade for Natalia. We prayed for them this morning and sent them into this school year with these words from Paul to Timothy, which I am praying for all of our students today:

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord” (2 Timothy 1:6-8a).

“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. 3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7 Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.

“8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

“11 Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; 13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself” (2 Timothy 2:1-13).

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).IMG_5710 IMG_5715