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Y Pray for those with chronic and terminal illness that they may learn to live and cope with their conditions. Y For Cathy Smith who is struggling with mental illness and is participating in an out-patient treatment program at Ramsey County Hospital. Y Pray for Jennifer’s neighbor, Jenna Undersander, who was just diagnosed with cancer. Y Pay for world peace! Y Pray for Kate, friend of Sally Leitch, who is on bedrest. Y Steven Van Meter, son of Kevin & Pam Van Meter, who is serving our country in Afghanistan. Y A.J. Pratt, wife of Gwin Pratt. Gwin is the pastor of St. Luke Presbyterian Church. A.J. is suffering from a serious disease. Y Pray for Jerry Hermsen’s brother, Vern, who is in a home for Alzheimer’s. Y Pray for Jerry Hermsen who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Y Pray for Diana Zile-Young, friend of Ivers, who is better but still struggling with alcoholism which is destroying her liver. Y Pray for Rose Tendoh to find a job with God’s guidance. Y Pray for John Thiessen as he lives with cancer. Y For Bobbie Pearson, friend of Gloria Ivers, who’s suffering from cancer. Y Pray for Beverly Dols, John Iver’s sister, who suffers from lung cancer.
Y Pray for David Schwartz (friend of George & Dianne Black) as he is suffering from cancer. Y Pray for Ward Sessing, member of the Presbyterian Church of the Way, who is in the final stages of cancer. Y Pray for Donna McCullen, wife of Ken McCullen, who is suffering from cancer.
This devotion was used when D.J. Jeremiason came in 2011 to Chain of Lakes. It still seems appropriate for us in 2013. Pastor Paul This past Sunday we celebrated Camp Sunday. Camp Sunday is a reflection of our commitment at Chain of Lakes to children and youth ministry. Attending Camp is a wonderful and unique way for youth and children to grow in their faith. The Bible has all sorts of stories about children and youth. This week we are going to read six stories. These stories don’t give us a prescription for how to do youth and children’s ministry. However they can teach us how to value youth, support youth, and equip youth to be disciples. Enjoy! Comments about the devotion can be Emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org Monday, April 8 Read Acts 20:7-12 We all probably have had the experience of Eutychus, which is falling asleep in church. We can imagine how this happened. The story shares that there were many lamps in the room where the group was meeting. The room probably became warm.
Eutychus wasn’t captivated by the talk Paul was giving, and he fell asleep. As a congregation we have an obligation to create an environment where children and youth don’t fall asleep during worship or other activities. We can read in the story the harm that happened to Eutychus because he fell asleep. Though children don’t die a physical death when they become disengaged from a community, they do suffer harm. Today as you pray, pray that we at Chain of Lakes Church can create an environment where children and youth become fully alive. Pray that no child or youth will fall asleep or become bored during their participation. Pray that the children and youth at Chain of Lakes can become the people that God desires for them to be. Tuesday, April 9 Read Jeremiah 1:4-10 Jeremiah was one of the most important prophets in the Old Testament. He testified to the nation of Judah, pleading with them to come back to God. Unfortunately the nation didn’t heed his pleadings. Jerusalem was destroyed in the year 587 and the people were taken into exile. Jeremiah was only a youth when God called him to be a prophet. We don’t know Jeremiah’s exact age, but most people think he was a teenager. Think about the trust that God had in youth as God was willing to call a young person to bring God’s word to the people of Judah. If God can trust Jeremiah to be a prophet even though Jeremiah was quite young, we in the church can learn to trust youth. How you think we do at Chain of Lakes in trusting youth. How are we doing at living out our Core Value of “Investing in Future
Generations.” Today as you pray, pray that we can continue to trust and develop youth, just as God did when God called Jeremiah to be a prophet. Wednesday, April 10 Read 1 Samuel 3:1-19 Once again God called a young person to ministry in this call story of Samuel. Samuel was a young person, the son of Hannah. Samuel had no idea that God was calling him in this story until Eli—Samuel’s mentor —recognized what happened. Without Eli’s guidance, Samuel would not have known exactly what was happening to him. As a congregation we play the same role to youth and children that Eli played to Samuel. Many times youth and children need adults to help them see what God is doing in their lives. Take a moment to reflect on a youth and/or child at Chain of Lakes Church. How do you see God working in their life? What are some gifts that you see that youth and/or child exhibiting. Would you consider writing a note to that youth/child today? As you pray today, pray that you can be an Eli to this youth/child. Pray that God will help you nurture that young person to become a complete child of God. Thursday, April 11 Read Luke 18:15-17 The disciples were upset at the beginning of this story because of the way that children were viewed. Children were valued for their economic potential. They were seen as less than human; in some cases they were viewed as property. For Jesus to bless children—and even infants —was quite a counter-cultural act by Jesus.
Consider these last two verses that Jesus said to the disciples, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” Jesus was encouraging his followers to receive the Kingdom with the awe and curiosity of a child. How well do you view faith with such awe and curiosity? Today as you pray, pray that you can receive the Kingdom like a child. Friday, April 12 Read Mark 9:33-37 In this story Jesus turned around the understanding of what it meant to be great. Imagine in your mind Jesus giving the disciples a lecture on what it meant to be great. Greatness in Jesus’ mind didn’t have anything to do with money or power; instead Jesus said greatness involved becoming like a child. He encouraged the twelve apostles to welcome children in his name. “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.” How are you doing personally at welcoming children into your life? How many relationships do you have with children and youth? Today as you pray, pray that you can welcome a child/youth from Chain of Lakes into your midst. Today pray for that child/youth. Ask God for ways you can support the youth in that person’s journey of faith. Saturday, April 13 Read Luke 2:41-52
This is one of the few stories we have of Jesus as a child. We don’t have much information about Jesus between the time he was an infant and when he started his ministry as an adult. It’s clear from this story that Jesus was quite a precocious teenager. The story shared that the leaders in the Temple were quite amazed at Jesus’ understanding and answers to questions he was given. This story is an example of how teenagers can have quite a deep faith. Their age need not prevent them from having a developed relationship with God. As you pray today, pray that we can develop the type of church at Chain of Lakes where teenagers can develop a mature faith. Pray that the teens at Chain of Lakes will become disciples who impact the world.
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