Category Archives: TEEN CHALLENGE

THE L.O.N.G VIEW

 What if today’s difficulty is the one U look back upon
in 6months, 2years, 5years and recognize it as

THE M.O.M.E.N.T

that changed Ur life for the better?
The one God used to make U
Just a little bit more like Him?

We don’t get better(or worse) in one giant leap.
It’s baby step by baby step, repeated daily.

 When we recognize God using our past for His Glory,
it changes forever how we see our PAST
it changes forever how we see our FUTURE
it changes how we see OTHERS
BUT – most of all, it changes FOREVER how we see GOD

This post was originally shared on January 14, 2014. (revised)

I shared this thought with “my Teen Challenge ‘Boys'” on Tuesday. Then I asked them about a “moment” in their lives that God is using to change them. 

I won’t share details, but there were tears, laughter, gratitude, heartbreak, regret, resolve, prayer, even joy. 

Most of the moments that change me are not earth-shattering. THE Moment was, and U can read about that here.

God is now able to use softer, gentler nudges to alter my path. (most days) He’s taught me, I’m discovering – He REALLY DOES care about me. and You!!… 

In the words of Steve  Brown, “God ain’t mad at me! (‘nU)”

#TeenChallengeTuesday@N.L.C.  –  My favorite day of the week!

  

                     H.A.H!

Ralph from Teen Challenge’n I were chatting a couple’a weeks ago while we were at New Life Church. He said something about Humility. Before we knew it, this was the result of our discussion:

H.onesty    A.uthenticity   H.umility

I’ve always been puzzled by the scripture that tells ME to HUMBLE MYSELF.
Humble yourself before the LORD, and He will lift you up. James 4:10

I remember someone telling me once: “Jim, when you get as spiritual as I am, God is really going to do mighty things for you.” My thought was… “Say What? How can YOU be spiritual if you are PROUD of how spiritual you are?” It seems to me that humility might fall in that same category. Is it possible to strive for Humility? Would that not then lead me to be proud of how humble I am? It seems like I would then LOSE my humility.(see what happens when I think too much?)

I must confess, I do not know how to humble myself. (maybe I’m just afraid to ask Him to teach me – like I did with Trusting Him) But – I CAN choose to be honest. I have discovered that it is primarily my pride that causes me to keep secrets. If I keep secrets, I am required by the very act of secrecy to pretend. And lie. 

Authenticity and secrecy are incompatible. Either one will destroy the other. 

I can CHOOSE Honesty.
Honesty produces Authenticity. In me.
Authenticity is a Basic Building Block of Humility

So… BOTTOM LINE – if I wish to be HUMBLE, I must FIRST learn to be HONEST.
HONESTY requires TRUTH from me: to Myself. To Others. And to GOD.
As I learned Honesty I began to Discover the Real Me. 

Others in my life are now telling me I am Authentic, Real, and Humble. They tell me they can trust me. They tell me their secrets, so they must. I don’t know, it’s not something I’m striving for anymore. I’m just having a good time being THE REAL ME! Finally!

Authenticity comes from Honesty which leads to Humility. 

H.onesty –>
A.uthenticity –>
H.umility!

     H. A. H.

“How can it get any Worse? / Better?”

Written on Sunday, March 7, 2015

This morning at NewLifeChurch, Alamo, CA, I sat in the Teen Challenge Corner!
N.L.C. Loves Teen Challenge!!During the Friendship Break I had a conversation with Kenny.

I’ve been watching the changes happen in this young man for the past few months. I’ve watched him turn the corner. I’ve seen as he’s had a Divine focal point shift from RECOVERY of the PAST to a new DISCOVERY of what is on the HORIZON for him!

He related Saturday’s experience as he was going door-to-door as part of the Teen Challenge Program. The stated purpose of going door-to-door is fund-raising, but that was not the Only Reason he was there.

He had an opportunity to pray for an elderly man recovering from cancer and then another man who’d had a heart attack and answered the door with his wife.

The elderly man stood in astonishment as Kenny prayed. The couple had tears in their eyes as Kenny finished his prayer. What touched me this morning was the excitement I saw in Kenny as he’s coming to realize God has a Purpose for him.

I mentioned Pastor Doug’s message from a few months ago in which he said that God works FOR us and IN us, and then THROUGH us.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/new-life-podcast/id309386201?mt=2&i=326403149

I’ve listened to other men from T.C. as they tell me with astonishment in their voices: “God is answering EVERY Prayer for me.” I call it their “honeymoon time” with God. It’s like God is proving to them that it “It really is just that simple” – He loves us! And He wants us to know it!

As Pastor Doug was coming to the platform and people were quieting down once again, I told Kenny that “He ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” I told him it keeps getting better and better. I told him about the prayer I wrote in my journal a few months ago: “Lord, NEVER let me lose the amazement of what You’re doing in my life.” (He hasn’t) I told him it just keeps getting better.

Kenny said one of the things that finally brought him to Teen Challenge was this question: “How in the world can my life get any worse than it already is?” But it did, it was – getting worse and worse. Something or someone had to change! So – here he is!! Smack Dab in the middle of where God wants him!

Every time I see Kenny, he’s more excited than the time before. Today he told me he’s staying at TC as an intern – another 6 months of change and growth. And becoming The Man God wants him to be.

I have good news for U, Kenny, U’re already God’s Man! Just keep unwrapping him! And Celebrate the Discoveries!!

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you,
will continue His work until it is finally finished
on the day when Christ Jesus returns
.
Philippians‬ ‭1‬:‭6‬ NLT