Back in America

Well its been far too long since I've written. I promised some updates, and I'll give several, but here is one to get started with. I got back Sunday night about 7:00 and since then I've been trying to get over a head cold and adjust back to the time difference. The combination of those two things at the same time is frustrating. Last night was my most normal schedule yet, I went to bed about 3 in the afternoon and got up about 5 this morning. I'm hoping today I'll be able to stay up to a reasonable time. We'll see.

I guess one of the first things I can say about my trip was that it was really good to see how God brought together the theme of the week and all the activities with the sermons I had prepared. We had three full worship services and two shorter ones. I was a little worried that my voice wasn't going to last since I was singing for leading worship and then preaching right after that, but it turns out i didn't lose my voice until the way home (connected with the cold I now have), which was definitely the best time to lose it if I was going to.

The first sermon was on the holiness of God and how the word "holy" often just becomes religious terminology that has little true meaning for us. I talked about what it really means when the Bible calls God holy and why that should matter to us from Isaiah 5:16-17. The second service I talked about how we have been made holy through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross from Hebrews 10:14. The aim of this message was to show that our sanctification is a work of God, not something was can take credit for. So the theme of that message was sanctification already completed and the theme of the last message was sanctification not yet completed. In the last service we talked about Philippians 3 and how Paul said he pressed on and strained ahead toward being made holy.

I tried to put all three messages together so that they gave a very full picture of what it means to be sanctified (sanctified was the theme for the week). Several of the youth commented that the way the messages came together in the end was really neat and I also got some comments that the individual messages really spoke to some of the students. So that was very encouraging.

As far as music went, we had some really good times as well. Its always good to lead worship for a group that comes prepared and excited to worship. And I really can't say enough about the group of youth that we had. I think i wrote about this some in my last blog, but the group was such a fun group to be with because they really knew how to have a good time and also when it was time to be a little more serious.

Well I hope you check out the pictures and videos I've posted on some of the other pages. If you click on Thailand Photos (2nd from the top in the site menu), it'll take you to the first page of photos and from there you can get to 3 more pages of photos and one page that has two short video clips on it. I'll write back again soon with some more details from my trip.
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