FaithStudents

FaithStudents 14.6

“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 esv

I was greeting people as they came into church on Sunday and I met a man I knew and asked him how he was doing. his response was not new or different, but it did take me aback and cause me to just listen and take stock in what is happening nowadays.

‘Hey Sir, how are you doing?’

‘Hey Scott, I am doing amazing…I am just feeling so blessed in life right now and so yeah…things are going good.’

‘Things are good? Family?’

‘Yep’

Work? Kids?’

‘Yep, I am feeling blessed in this season of life!’

Then he just starting talking about how God has opened His eyes to all the wonderful things and good things that God is doing and how life could be different and yet in this ‘Season’ of life he is feeling unbelievably blessed.

I am writing this on Tuesday, April 6th and in a couple of hours I will be going to the funeral of Adelia Mae Dundas. Today is not an easy day and for the Dundas family it is only a day that the Lord can sustain them through.

Going through a ‘Season’

What does it mean to go through a season? 

Sometimes we have wonderful seasons of blessings and sometimes we go through difficult seasons of frustration and feeling dry like we are going through a desert. We understand that there are good times and also bad times in life. sometimes we assume that this does not happen in our faith. It does happen more often then we think and honestly many of these are based on our own perspective and mood. 

What kicks us out of our difficult times or makes us notice the good moments?sa We open our eyes in the difficult moments and realize that we are blessed. That no matter what we have happening we can care and love others going through far worse and we can be that joy to others and that allows us to know that this season, however long it lasts, will be done. However, He is always good.

Non-Action Point

We have two large things coming up this spring and summer. We have a MASSIVE spring retreat coming up the weekend of April 23-25 and we have 40 students coming, but would love some more. You can register your student at faithchurchaustin.org/students.

Our High School students are planning on going to Guatemala this July and we have applications for any student that is interested in coming on the trip. We do have an informational meeting if you are interested in coming, this Sunday at noon. If you are interested in coming please let me know because I don’t have many attending.

Thank you for trust in our ministry.

I am asking you a question constantly this year: Who is God putting in your life to Love Sacrificially
If you have questions please let me know at:

scott@faithchurchaustiin.org, facebook.com/FaithChurchStudents, instagram.com/fcstudentmin/

Our bi-weekly emails will be focused on encouraging you parents with resources and filling you all up to disciple your students. How can I pray for you or your students?   

Scott Owens 

Links

Informational Meeting Sunday April 11th 12:00pm at East building to discuss mission trip to Guatemala for high school students. Please let Scott know if you plan to attend.

Massive Registration is on our website. Don’t miss out on this fantastic weekend. http://www.faithchurchaustin.org

FaithStudents

FaithStudents 4.14

“Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding,” – Romans 14:18 esv

I would love a definition about what mutual upbuilding is and should be. I know what it could be or what the ‘Churchy’ definition can be when we are in a small group, but what did that look like in the first century with believers scattered. Do you ever feel like we come up with an understanding to what the scriptures are saying but sometimes you wonder how far we are off from those that wrote the words?

Many times in my faith I have wondered (as I am sure you have as well) how far I have jumped off (or from) what the original authors meant. I mean I think I understand what Charles Dickens meant when he penned ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…’ but what was in his mind when he wrote that genius opening to A Tale of Two Cities?

Romans 14:18 is at the tail-end of a letter written to believers in Rome from Paul. In this part of the letter Paul is talking about not being hinderances to the growth of the body and the value of being an encouragement. We have a responsibility to encourage and build up the body. We cannot wash our hands from the body when we don’t like elements of what they think, but instead we are to build them up even if they don’t want it (2 Tim 3:16-4:5)

M.A.S.S.I.V.E.

We have a chance to do this in a very real way with our spring retreat (April 23-25) at Lake Beauty Bible Camp. It is going to be the Most Amazing Spring Student Inspiriting Vacation Event!! (See what we did there??) Cost is $95 for the whole weekend if your student is registered on or before March 24th, scholarship money is available because we want students to get away to experience the Goodness of God.

We are going to have a spring retreat with just our student ministry for the weekend. We have a speaker coming, our worship team is leading us in worship and we will be doing awesome fun events like Campfires, Polar Dip, Sauna, Mud Dodge Ball, Laser Tag, Challenge Ropes Course and more. We are focusing on getting away and hearing from the Lord what He is doing and saying in our lives so we would love to have your students. 

Action Points

What does Mutual Upbuilding mean to you as a believer if you know Christ as your Lord and Savior? 
Does this verse apply to parents to take ownership of the faith of your students? 
Does that look heavy-handed or does that seem like a guiding hand? 
What does the ownership of your students faith look like?

I am asking you a question constantly this year: Who is God putting in your life to Love Sacrificially
If you have questions please let me know at:scott@faithchurchaustiin.org, facebook.com/FaithChurchStudents, instagram.com/fcstudentmin/

Our bi-weekly emails will be focused on encouraging you parents with resources and filling you all up to disciple your students. How can I pray for you or your students?   

Scott Owens 

LINKS

April 23-25 MASSIVE Retreat. Registration open on our website. Early Bird ends March 24. Save $30 and register now

NO DIG April 4
NO DIG April 25
NO WNL April 31

FaithStudents

FaithStudents 4.13

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” – Hebrews 12:1 esv

Did you know that there are 10 different types of clouds? I feel like when I was in school there were only four. I looked online and did some research (2 min google search) and found there are ten in three different classes: 

High-Level: Cirrus, Cirrostratus, Cirrocumulus
Mid-Level: Altostratus, Altocumulus
Low-Level: Stratus, Stratocumulus, Cumulus, Nimbostratus, Cumulonimbus 

(I bolded the ones I remembered). They also classify by shapes:

Puffy: Cumulus, Altocumulus, Stratocumulus, Cumulonimbus, Cirrocumulus
Thick layer: Stratus, Altostratus, Nimbostratus
Wispy: Cirrus, Cirrostratus

So evidently there is high-level, mid-level and low-level clouds and puffy, thick and wispy clouds that we see above everyday. I have taken this verse and started to look at the great believers around me that encourage and bless me along my walk. Some may be better about bringing the rain and some friendships are the puffy-nice clouds in my life. 

Either way, Hebrews talks about being able to endure the course of life with a great group of believers around us so that we can ‘run with endurance the race that is set before us’. I am not even going to try and figure out the 10 different types of clouds and categorize my family and friends for you. 

I do know that clouds are a collection of tightly packed molecules and if they are not tightly together then they are not clouds at all. So if you have a group of people around you that is encouraging you and blessing you and you are doing the same then you are in a cloud of witnesses, but if you aren’t then you are a lone molecule in the sky.

Clouds are important

This Saturday we had a Dayventure with 15 middle school students in which we went to Rochester and had a ton of fun (other then the fact that my team lost at laser tag). This week we have a Movie Night at the Paramount theatre in Austin. we will be watching the movie Woodlawn. It is free!  Movie night starts at 6:30pm. We do events like these so that students will invite their friends and we can get to know our students friends and share the message of Christ. 

We want for students to get the idea in their minds that they need others. There is strength in needing others, not weakness. If we have others around us that encourage and bless us and we are looking at doing the same to them then we become a bigger and bigger cloud, and clouds are important. God desires for others to see a ‘great cloud of witnesses’ and say “man, what is going on there? I’d like to be a part of that!”

I am asking you a question constantly this year: Who is God putting in your life to Love Sacrificially

If you have questions please let me know at: scott@faithchurchaustiin.org, facebook.com/FaithChurchStudents, instagram.com/fcstudentmin/

Our bi-weekly emails will be focused on encouraging you parents with resources and filling you all up to disciple your students. How can I pray for you or your students?   

Scott Owens 

LINKS

Movie Night is Wednesday from 6:30-8:30pm at Paramount Theatre. Concession available-popcorn $3, Drinks $2, Candy $3

Watch for information on WNL Student Retreat April 23-25

FaithStudents

FaithStudents 4.12

“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” – Psalm 139:23-24 esv

How well do you know the voice of your family? If you heard your student or your spouse would you know their voice and recognize it in a crowd? 

I was once in Target with Carrie and she was walking around looking for something and I was looking around for something. we agreed to meet up and when I saw her I whistled my ‘kid whistle’. I have a whistle that I do for my kids. When they hear it they need to look at me because I am about to tell them, ‘we are going’ or ‘pick this up’ or ‘free pizza tonight’. You know…something to get your students attention. Like a whistle for your dog (I don’t see my kids like dogs, but I would like them to give me their attention like my dog does). #justbeinghonest

So in Target from about 15 yards away I whistled and Carrie heard my whistle, turned and immediately got annoyed that my “kid” whistle got her attention. she had been conditioned to hear it and it frustrated her. I however, laughed. 

Attention and Voice is not the same

I love having my kids attention…getting their attention…and getting their focus. I won’t always have it and since the teenage years are coming I know this time is fleeting. However, I also understand God’s desire for us to search Him out. He wants our attention…getting our attention…getting our focus. 

letting God get your attention is one thing, but being able to hear His voice is completely something else. I have never heard the audible voice of God. That doesn’t stop me from continually trying and it doesn’t kill my desire to still seek it out. Being able to pay attention to God’s voice when He is getting your attention is great, but I do believe that listening to His voice and knowing His voice is a completely different need for us. 

The Shepherd speaks

On Wednesday night we talked about John 10 and Jesus’ message to His disciples about hearing the shepherds voice and I read an interesting illustration. Shepherds always lead the sheep. In the middle east you have the shepherd in front of the sheep and they follow because they know the voice of the shepherd. If someone is walking behind the sheep it is not the shepherd. 

The story goes that a tour bus was in the middle east and they saw off the road a man walking behind the sheep. The tour guide called attention to it and told the group that usually shepherds walk in front of the sheep. The tour guide got out of the bus and walked over to the man to understand their confusion and faulty information. After a short conversation the tour guide got back into the bus and said to the group, ‘He’s not the shepherd, he is the butcher.’

Action Points

Our students need to know what it means to give the Father their attention, to be open to allowing the Father to interrupt life and to give your focus to the Shepherd. However, listening to the Father, hearing Jesus Christ and knowing the voice of the Holy Spirit is vital to our growth and life of purpose and power.

How do we listen? 
How do we give attention and focus?
Do we know the voice of the Father?

Spend some time today quietly listening and encourage your students to do the same. Listen with them and don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear anything. A woman I knew said of her prayers for her husband with cancer. ‘I would pray 500 days in a row and hear nothing if the Lord answered me on day 501.’

I am asking you a question constantly this year:  Who is God putting in your life to Love Sacrificially

If you have questions please let me know at: scott@faithchurchaustiin.org, facebook.com/FaithChurchStudents, instagram.com/fcstudentmin/

Our bi-weekly emails will be focused on encouraging you parents with resources and filling you all up to disciple your students. How can I pray for you or your students?   

Scott Owens 

LINKS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Feb 17th: Dinner with Grandma Josie. 6pm
Feb 20th: DayVenture for Middle School Students. 830am-5:30pm. Details will be on website soon=
Feb 24th: WOODLAWN movie feature at Paramount Theatre. 6:30-8:30pm

FaithStudents

FaithStudents 4.11 

“Therefore,confess your sins to one another and pray for one another,that you may be healed.The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” – James 5:16 esv 

We don’t do confession well in the christian faith. We don’t confess our struggles to others. and when it comes to being a good example for our students we don’t show that example very well either. Confession means sharing our struggles with others with the expectation that we move past and turn from our sins. we rely on the christian community we need as being part of the body.  

Who do you confess your sins too? 

Let’s imagine that you confess your struggles to others, brothers and sisters in Christ before you confess your struggles to God. Who are those people in your life that you rely on? Because the confessing of your struggles to others in the faith lead to healing. Not that confessing to God is not necessary, but when we rely on the body of believers then we take part in the healing that God promised.  

Do your students see you confess your struggles to other believers, being vulnerable to others? 

What happens when we rely on prayer from others in our weakness is that we see regular moments of confession as something holy and set apart. We invite the Holy Spirit into these regular moments and God’s Spirit works to heal our hearts. There is great weight and power in being the righteous person that is asking God to work in someones heart. A blessing that God wanted in the Christian Body of believers. 

ACTION POINTS

Quiet Waters Prayer Retreat 

Upcoming this week on Thursday and Friday is a prayer retreat at our church. you and your students are welcome to attend and be blessed by taking time to listen to the Father and His calling for closer intimacy. Thu, Jan 21st (530pm-9:00pm) and Fri, Jan 22nd (9:00am-5:30pm). 

No WNL 

I am sorry to say that we will once again not be meeting this Wednesday (20th) because we have a number of Alongsiders and others who are out because of CoVid protocol. We are praying and expecting to be back together on the 27th.  this next Wednesday we will be not meeting but praying for your health and times together as a family that draw you closer to Christ.  

I am asking you a question constantly this year:  Who is God putting in your life to Love Sacrificially 

If you have questions please let me know at:  scott@faithchurchaustiin.orgfacebook.com/FaithChurchStudentsinstagram.com/fcstudentmin/ 

Our bi-weekly emails will be focused on encouraging you parents with resources and  filling you all up to disciple your students. How can I pray for you or your students?    

Scott Owens 

Links 

FaithStudents

Faith Students 4:10

“Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.’ 
John 9:25 esv

Where we are going

This week we are turning the corner and hitting the stretch run of the year. We have breaks in the fall months, but we pretty much have a straight shot from here to March and so there is a lot that we can do. Although we do feel a drudgery because it is winter still we have a chance to make some really good movement to teach students to share their faith. 

We want to challenge students intentional and prayerfully. We are looking to be a little more intentional at WNL and for D.I.G. classes this season of our ministry (Jan-Apr) and it is our hope to allow students to spend more time in prayer and discernment to seek out what God is telling our students where He is leading them. 

We are starting this Wednesday with John 9 and we will finish the year through the book of John. I would encourage you to join us in reading the book along with your students and with what they are learning. 

So where we are going is forward… with gusto. We want to progress and push forward so that the students really feel like they learned about the urgency of Jesus’ message to us all. We are looking for opportunities to be intentional in our challenges and students sharing their faith and having nights that makes it easy to invite friends.

On Your Mark 
Get set… GO!

We have some actives coming up that we are looking forward to such as…

  • DayVenture for Middle School Students on February 20th
  • Facing the Giants from March 17-24th
  • Districts Youth Conference the weekend of April 23-25
  • And more and more things on Wednesday night.

We would love for our students to be involved and I pray that your students can come to as many as they want. 

Action Points

I ask you to join with us in reading John and challenging your students with us here is the schedule of the passages that we will be covering. Here is the schedule:

  • Jan 6th – John 9
  • Jan 13th – John 10:1-21
  • Jan 20th – John 11:1-16
  • Jan 27th – John 14:1-14
  • Feb 3rd – John 14:15-24
  • Feb 10th – John 14:25-31
  • Feb 17th – Movie Night
  • Feb 24th – John 16:1-15
  • Mar 3rd – John 16:16-33
  • Mar 10th – John 15:1-17

The rest of the schedule is pretty much in the air, but I would encourage you to follow with us in hopes that you can challenge your students and encourage their faith.

I am asking you a question constantly this year:  Who is God putting in your life to Love Sacrificially

If you have questions please let me know at: scott@faithchurchaustiin.org, facebook.com/FaithChurchStudents, instagram.com/fcstudentmin/

Our bi-weekly emails will be focused on encouraging you parents with resources and filling you all up to disciple your students. How can I pray for you or your students?   

Scott Owens 

FaithStudents

Faith Students 4.9
“They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.,’ Zechariah 13:9 esv

THANK YOU
This year didn’t turn out…blah, blah, blah…

Thanks parents and leaders. 

Thank you for not disengaging, thank you for caring for your students especially on the day that they were not the easiest to live with. 

Thank you for praying for our ministry and church as we weaved through the minefield of opinions and issues that happened this year. 

Thank you for caring enough to ask me questions and talk to me on the phone and disagree with me and then also to challenge me with what we should be doing moving forward. 

Thank you for giving of your support, both financially and emotionally during this time in which we could have seen both of those drop quickly and we would not wonder why.

Thank you for challenge your students spiritual growth and development and for asking follow up questions from WNL.

Thank you for driving them to the East Building weekly or to special events. Thank you for allowing them to come. 

Thank you for all that you have done (seen and unseen) and I pray that you know how vital you are to your students, to us as a ministry and to me to have others take up the ministry at home.

CHRISTMAS PARTY

So this coming Wednesday we have our Annual Christmas Party and we are really looking forward to it. We are planning on having a white elephant gift exchange, Christmas Cookie Decorating contest, Live re-enactment of the Christmas Story, Dress like an Elf contest and Christmas Songs Worship and more. We would love to have your students join us and we would love to have their friends. 

One thing we ask the students to do is bring a white elephant gift, basically a small (no more than $10) gift from around the house or you can buy something fun that someone would like to receive. The only rule is that it has to in working condition. No broken gifts. Make it fun and make it exciting.  We will have extra gifts that Alongsiders have to hand out, but the more students that bring their own gift the more we can bless others. 

2021 PLANS

We are looking ahead with hope and joy, expecting awesome things this next coming year, better than 2020 and here are some of them:

  • We have a mission trip for high school students and also a trip for the middle school students to this summer planned. 
  • Districts Youth Conference is set for Apr 23-25 for all students.
  • We have a Dayventure planned for only middle school students on Sat, Feb 20th. This is a one-day exciting day trip in which we will do different fun things and focus what God is doing in our life.
  • Facing the Giants week is March 17-24th.
  • I am hoping to do a cool fundraiser at the end of May called the Great Faith Cookout, it will be delicious.
  • Hopefully more…we expect an awesome year

I am asking you a question constantly this year: Who is God putting in your life to Love Sacrificially

If you have questions please let me know at: scott@faithchurchaustiin.org, facebook.com/FaithChurchStudents, instagram.com/fcstudentmin/

Our bi-weekly emails will be focused on encouraging you parents with resources and filling you all up to disciple your students. How can I pray for you or your students?   

Scott Owens 

Links

FaithStudents

FaithStudents 4.8

“For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,’  Philippians 1:8-9esv 

Perseverance and Distance Learning. Today we start another season in our 2020 year, the all-distant learning, post-thanksgiving, end-of-the-year heighten CoVid season. What Fun!!  It is really easy for all of us to get frustrated and overwhelmed with the changes in school and routine. You feel it, our students feel it, it is not bueno! So, what role does Faith Students play in this time? 

We cannot change our situation.  what is the response when we know we need to persevere when called? What does perseverance look like for us as believers?  

What do we need to do to encourage and bless others (and our students) around us? 

The verse at the beginning of this article is from the book of Philippian. Paul wrote these letters in a time of distress. However, He is encouraging and praying for discernment and knowledge. I am going to ask that you start praying for knowledge and discernment. How does that look like during your day? With your students?  

We cannot persevere without knowledge and discernment that the path we are on is a blessed and guiding one from Christ.  
Have you ever hiked a trail without a map?  
Have you ever changed the oil in your car without guidance? 
Have you tried to paint a picture of something you have never seen? 
Knowledge and Discernment from God is needed in this time.  

Seeking Christ and WNL. I don’t know all of your situations and if you are cautious for whatever reason we understand. However, we want to give the students a chance to be together and give them a chance to worship and fellowship with each other and so we will continue to meet as we have.  

We will also be pressing in to ask the students to seek Christ’s heart in what is going on. Pray and listen to what God is doing in and through them. We cannot change our situation, but we can choose not to have a defeated attitude but rather a spirit that says, ‘I want to be used by God’. it is our task and hope to encourage your students to not just survive this time, but lean into it. What does it mean to seek Christ in this time and how is Christ challenging you to love others? 

ACTION POINTS

For you, the parent: start praying for knowledge and discernment. How does that need to look like during your day? With/alongside your students? 

For your students: pray and listen to what God is doing in and through you. We cannot change our situation, but we can choose not to have a defeated attitude and have a spirit that says, ‘I want to be used God’. 

Please be in prayer that we do not having a CoVid case in our student ministry, that all of us are healthy and we don’t have to stop meeting together. 

I am asking you a question constantly this year:  Who is God putting in your life to Love Sacrificially 

If you have questions please let me know at: scott@faithchurchaustiin.orgfacebook.com/FaithChurchStudentsinstagram.com/fcstudentmin/ 

Our bi-weekly emails will be focused on encouraging you parents with resources and  filling you all up to disciple your students. How can I pray for you or your students?    

Shape officeArt objectScott Owens 

LINKS

UPCOMING EVENTS

This Wednesday after WNL students can stay late to help decorate East for our holiday party.
WNL Christmas Bash is Wednesday Dec 16th. Dinner with Grandma J, Elf costume contest and more
Bell Ringing for Salvation Army on Saturday Dec 12th from 2:00-4:00 or 4:00-6:00 Students need to sign up at WNL or DIG

FaithStudents

What Is Discernment?

FROM Sinclair Ferguson May 08, 2020 Category: Articles

Someone I know recently expressed an opinion that surprised and in some ways disappointed me. I said to myself, “I thought he would have more discernment than that.”

The experience caused me to reflect on the importance of discernment and the lack of it in our world. We know that people often do not see issues clearly and are easily misled because they do not think biblically. But, sadly, one cannot help reflecting on how true this is of the church community, too.

Most of us doubtless want to distance ourselves from what might be regarded as “the lunatic fringe” of contemporary Christianity. We are on our guard against being led astray by false teachers. But there is more to discernment than this. True discernment means not only distinguishing the right from the wrong; it means distinguishing the primary from the secondary, the essential from the indifferent, and the permanent from the transient. And, yes, it means distinguishing between the good and the better, and even between the better and the best.

Thus, discernment is like the physical senses; to some it is given in unusual measure as a special grace gift (1 Cor. 12:10), but some measure of it is essential for us all and must be constantly nourished. The Christian must take care to develop his “sixth sense” of spiritual discernment. This is why the psalmist prays, “Teach me good judgment and knowledge” (Ps. 119:66).

The Nature of Discernment

But what is this discernment? The word used in Psalm 119:66 means “taste.” It is the ability to make discriminating judgments, to distinguish between, and recognize the moral implications of, different situations and courses of action. It includes the ability to “weigh up” and assess the moral and spiritual status of individuals, groups, and even movements. Thus, while warning us against judgmentalism, Jesus urges us to be discerning and discriminating, lest we cast our pearls before pigs (Matt. 7:16).

A remarkable example of such discernment is described in John 2:24–25: “Jesus would not entrust himself to them … for he knew what was in a man” (NIV).

This is discernment without judgmentalism. It involved our Lord’s knowledge of God’s Word and His observation of God’s ways with men (He, supremely, had prayed, “Teach me good judgment … for I believe Your commandments,” Ps. 119:66). Doubtless His discernment grew as He experienced conflict with, and victory over, temptation, and as He assessed every situation in the light of God’s Word.

Jesus’ discernment penetrated to the deepest reaches of the heart. But the Christian is called to develop similar discernment. For the only worthwhile discernment we possess is that which we receive in union with Christ, by the Spirit, through God’s Word.

So discernment is learning to think God’s thoughts after Him, practically and spiritually; it means having a sense of how things look in God’s eyes and seeing them in some measure “uncovered and laid bare” (Heb. 4:13).

The Impact of Discernment

How does this discernment affect the way we live? In four ways:

1. It acts as a means of protection, guarding us from being deceived spiritually. It protects us from being blown away by the winds of teaching that make central an element of the gospel that is peripheral or treat a particular application of Scripture as though it were Scripture’s central message.

2. Discernment also acts as an instrument of healing, when exercised in grace. I have known a small number of people whose ability to diagnose the spiritual needs of others has been remarkable. Such people seem able to penetrate into the heart issues someone else faces better than the person can do. Of course, this is in some ways a dangerous gift with which God has entrusted them. But when exercised in love, discernment can be the surgical scalpel in spiritual surgery that makes healing possible.

3. Again, discernment functions as a key to Christian freedom. The zealous but undiscerning Christian becomes enslaved—to others, to his own uneducated conscience, to an unbiblical pattern of life. Growth in discernment sets us free from such bondage, enabling us to distinguish practices that may be helpful in some circumstances from those that are mandated in all circumstances. But in another way, true discernment enables the free Christian to recognize that the exercise of freedom is not essential to the enjoyment of it.

4. Finally, discernment serves as a catalyst to spiritual development: “The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning” (Prov. 14:6, NIV). Why? Because the discerning Christian goes to the heart of the matter. He knows something about everything, namely that all things have their common fountain in God. Increase in knowledge, therefore, does not lead to increased frustration, but to a deeper recognition of the harmony of all God’s works and words.

How is such discernment to be obtained? We receive it as did Christ Himself—by the anointing of the Spirit, through our understanding of God’s Word, by our experience of God’s grace, and by the progressive unfolding to us of the true condition of our own hearts.

That is why we also should pray, “I am your servant; give me discernment” (Ps. 119:125, NIV).

This excerpt is taken from In Christ Alone by Sinclair Ferguson.

FaithStudents

Faith Students 4.6

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.’ Ephesians 3:20 esv

Getting away from the world and spending time listening to the Lord is not just a good idea, but it needs to be part of our habit as a believer. 

What does it look like for us as believers when we get away and find time for God to speak to us? This coming Friday we are leaving for Fall Fling at Camp Shamineau for the weekend. 26 of us are leaving and planning on having a great time. There are football games, volleyball games, climbing wall, worship and many other things. However, with all the fun things that we do and enjoy the greatest thing we desire is to meet with God.

Jesus often times withdrew from the crowds and got away (Mark 3, John 6, Matthew 12 and Matthew 3) to spend time meeting with God. Why in the world would Jesus need to meet with His Father if he was one with His Father, but yet he did and he valued that time. So what does this say about our necessity to meet with God. Is it a want or a need?

I recently got away for a couple days in the Wisconsin woods and just spent time reading my bible and praying, worshipping and drinking coffee, not necessarily in that order. It reminded me of the reason why we leave and take students away to fall fling, winter summit or districts. It is so they can hear from the Lord.  

I am not saying that we cannot hear from the Lord in our normal everyday surroundings and in fact if we only think that God can speak to us when we are away and alone they we miss the community of the body of Christ (see Acts 2…all of it). But Jesus retreats to hear from the Lord, because although God can speak anytime, we struggle to listen anytime. We find other things to listen too, watch often and focus on.

Have you ever retreated to be with the Lord?  What was it like and how did it help your relationship with the Lord?

ACTION POINTS

If your student never attends a retreat or get-away in our ministry will they ever know from you that getting away to be the Lord is valuable? My action point for this newsletter is for you to look at the necessity of finding time with God in your own life and then finding an opportunity to teach your student(s) the value of it for themselves. I believe often times we don’t ask of God, because we don’t know what to ask for, but what if your question was simply, ‘what do you want to say to me?’ 

Isn’t that enough?

I am asking you a question constantly this year: Who is God putting in your life to Love Sacrificially?

If you have questions please let me know.scott@faithchurchaustiin.org, facebook.com/FaithChurchStudents, instagram.com/fcstudentmin/

Our bi-weekly emails will be focused on encouraging you parents with resources and filling you all up to disciple your students. How can I pray for you or your students?   

Scott Owens 

LINKS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Fall Fling: Fall Fling is this weekend. Pray for our students that this is a transformative weekend for them.

NO DIG this Sunday, Nov 1st

Grandma Josie will be making dinner at WNL on Nov 4th. Come early and enjoy a meal. 6pm