It has been nearly 4 years since i met you among the pod-casts of youth groups in the NW. It has been 3.5 years since i first encountered you. It has been over 2.5 years that i have considered you a LARGE part of my life. After so much time i can say without a doubt, I Love You.
This love has not always been fun or easy. It has not offered much tangible reward. It has not always "felt" like skipping through daisies, surrounded by butterflies, but yes this love in my heart will never be easily shaken or replaced. Yes, Oneighty. I. Love. You.
I have often woke up in the night thinking about you. I have had numerous dreams about you. I saw you in a vision before i met you! I often find myself "word vomiting" ideas about how to see you grow, not just in number but in depth, joy, love and life. I think about you when i drive to work. I think about you when i am taking pictures. I think about you every time i see a "u-turn" sign. I think about you when i see certain names in my Faceb**k news feed. I think about you when i smell certain smells. I have high hopes for you. I believe in you. I Love You.
I cannot change you.
I can only walk in obedience to what the Lord asks me to do with you, in you and to you! I speak to you often about things that matter. However, more often than not i fear that the words i speak are quickly forgotten. I fear that i will never say the right thing... sometimes i think i do, but then i see your lives and wonder if the words actually came out of my mouth.
Oneighty, I realize that I have mentioned myself a lot in this letter, but really it's about YOU! I Love YOU! I want to see you win more than anything else, and yet it's not up to me to win it for you! YOU have to make the choice. YOU have to actually walk out the will of God on your life! YOU have to choose to be more committed to becoming a disciple of Christ than the next "Prefontaine" or "T. Sw*ft". YOU hold the keys to unlocking the potential that is YOU!
I know i have said it many times, but here i am again; I cannot be at SHS, MVHS and BHS everyday of the week. I cannot reach the 1,000 students that have been prayed for to find a safe place in the building called "180". I can't be at the parties, (stupid) dances, band trips and lunches. YOU. CAN.
Sometimes you look at me to be more, do more, give more, serve more, plan more events, write better messages, be on time, never miss an event, come to your birthday party and lead the best small group ever. Yet, i have a feeling that even if I did all of those things 100% perfectly every time, YOU would not change. YOU would still only boast 52 kids at 10:45 on any given Sunday. YOU would still want more "depth" to your small group. YOU would still want worship to be longer and the message to "hit the mark".
So here is my challenge to you.
BE THE CHANGE YOU LONG TO SEE!
speak up in small group. bring the depth you desire.
worship for an hour before you get to service.
invite a friend to come to church.
preach the message that burns on your heart in the halls of your schools.
stand for what is right.
live for what is truth.
make your spiritual life more of a priority than your wheat field on Farmville.
show up in your clothes from practice, concert, show, meet, game or event.
stay up late to do homework after service.
pray for change. be the change.
YOU have to choose to be committed to becoming a disciple of Christ.
As much as i love you and want to see you win i cannot grow you, teach you, listen to you, encourage you or serve you until YOU take a step in the direction you want to go.
I am not asking you to be famous for your faith.
I am not telling you that you are wrong.
I am not going to stop loving you.
I am not saying you won't make it.
I am not disappointed in you.
I want YOU to hit the call of God on your life.
I want YOU to be fully devoted disciples of Christ.
I want YOU to go further than you ever have.
I want YOU to change the World.
I want YOU to access the Power of God.
I want YOU to WIN!
not only do i want it for you, but i BELIEVE it for you!
Walk out what you say you believe.
Dream bigger than you thought possible.
Worship until you have no voice.
Pray until it's affective.
Run towards Heaven.
and don't forget:
Oneighty. I LOVE YOU,