Students Living a Message

God’s Grace at Work: Spring Retreat, 2007

We just returned from a weekend retreat with our Jr. and Sr. High students. Our theme for the weekend was, “Finding You, Finding me!” It was focused on the fact that God is always communicating with us and all we need to do is listen. We tried to give the students opportunities to let God speak to them and the following is the testimonies of His grace to us:

Pat Orgel – “God how are You here in this moment?” “How am I not here?” I am in the single dew drops that gently rest upon the lattice of a spider’s web. I am in the crisp air and everything in it. In the bird’s song made just for your ear. I am everywhere and all I want to say to you is: listen. Listen to the grass as it sways and flows. Listen to the steps of an impatient person, and see what you can do to calm them. Listen to the planes and think of the bravery and knowledge I have put in the pilots that fly them. Can’t you see? Is it not obvious? Why do you people try to cancel My thunder, command, Love, all for you? Do not take your easy way out and plug into your artificial world. Only through what I have created and have seen grow can you find Me. Does the tree need a cell phone to live quietly and overlook the forest? Does the bird need music when I gave it a voice? Then why do you need a TV, iPod, and PS2 when all they do is take you away from Me? I love you and want what is best for you, and only by Me can you find it, and only through Jesus can you find Me.

Ashton Thomas – This made the empty hole in my heart get smaller. On Saturday morning, we read Psalm 19. When we went outside to be quiet and focus on God, I decided to read back over it. Then I came to the last verse in chapter 19. It said, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” This made me think that most of the words that come out of my mouth aren’t pleasing to God. Then I got a little side tracked by the cold weather, and I decided to go sit in the sun, since I was in the shade. I sat there, and I thought that it was much warmer in the sun. I also realized that if it wasn’t for God, I wouldn’t have that warmth, much less be here to enjoy it. That made me pull my Bible back out, and read Genesis chapter one and two. I then said to myself, ‘why don’t you take time everyday to enjoy what God created!’ And it was more unreal that God created everything in seven days. I decide to start being more appreciative of what He created.

Elizabeth Schley – As I sat on the lawn waiting for God to speak to me, I saw a bird that was just looking in one particular direction. I turned in that direction for no particular reason, and saw the most beautiful thing. The grass was covered with dew and it appeared as thousands of diamonds! In Psalms it says that God has compassion on all He has made. If God garlands the grass with diamonds then how much more beautiful will our lives be?

Emily Swanson – Nehemiah 4:14… “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and daughters, your wives and homes.” When I read this verse I knew I was going through times where I didn’t trust fully in God, so I started praying for God to show me the way to trust in Him more. Then when I opened the Bible randomly and read this chapter I came across this verse near the end and it felt like a million weights were lifted off my shoulders. Now I trust in God a lot more than I used to, and can live life without worrying about things happening because I know it is for a reason. Whether it is good or bad I need to get over it.

John Orgel – “God, how are you here in this moment?” I can see you Lord in the environment around me. In this sun drenched warmth with tiny saplings popping out of the ground. I feel Your presence as I walk through the soil, it clings to my feet, grabbing and holding on as long as it can until I finally free my feet from its grip only to have You try again to pull me closer to You. I feel Your presence as You haunt the simple beauties of life all around me, with a flower barely an inch high holding its neck high as if to gain my attention and let me know that You are here. Lord, I feel Your presence in the fresh scent of pine. The scent that is sweeter than any man can produce. The scent that will lift the spirits of any fallen man. The scent that will wake the dead. I even feel Your presence in the death and decay as You command where every dead leaf should rest and tell the fly crawling on me where to find food. I feel Your presence.

“God, what do You want to say to me?” The Lord is telling me that I don’t have far to look to find His glory. God isn’t just evident in the large massive monstrosities, but finds home in the small and meek. He finds power in the miniscule and tiny. He is telling me that I need to look for His daily presence, if not in nature, then in the people around me.

“You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance. The grasslands of the desert overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness. The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing.” Psalm 65: 11-13


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