Start the car, put it in gear, now push the gas….

Last week was definately in my top 25 weeks of all time. It started off with a long weekend in Pigeon Forge with Steph’s family and ended up with the launch of a new ministry opportunity that God is starting through some of us at LMBC. In the middle of this hectic week, I got to speak to the youth at Focus. I had to keep asking myself, can this week get any crazier but yet I was having a ball at the same time.
The only down side of it was Steph went on to the mountains a few days ahead of me. With life at my job not so secure at the moment, I didn’t think it was a good time to be taking off so I encouraged her to have a good time and I would be there Thursday after work. Thursday came before I knew it and I had a great drive up just me, God and some really great road trip tunes. I was there before I knew it.
This was the first time in the few trips that I have made with them, that it was cold and rainy. Not a lot of great outdoor things to do when its like this plus Cades Cove was closed so not a lot of family pics like normal (this is usually one of my favorite things to do is take a LOT of pics during this trip). We made the best of it and still got to go to Gatlinburg Saturday night for chocolate covered caramel apples for Steph (this is her favorite thing to do during this trip also).
Once we were home, I knew that I would be speaking to the youth on Wednesday night. I already had my notes together and just wanted to “tweak” them again. Well tweaking took 4 pages and made it 7 pages and I didnt think that I would have more than 15-20 minutes to speak (turns out I ended up speaking for 40 minutes WOW). Taking Steph’s advice, I tried to let it go.
Wednesday night came and so did fear, nervousness, doubt and did I say fear? I had never spoken before a group like this before except for small opportunities here and there but knew that this was something that God was leading me to and I needed to trust Him. The music and game kicked off and I knew that I was just a few minutes away. I took that moment and walked away from everything. I went into one of the rooms off to the side and just gave it to God….

“God, I am so scared. I know this is what You are leading me to do and I know You are with me. Take my fear, take my doubts and let the words that I speak be Your words, not mine.”

And then I walked toward the stage for the very first time to lead a group of youth.

And God took over.

Greg had asked me to teach that night on Respecting Your Parents. Now this is something that I have been taught all my life plus its what we were talking about in class so it was not an unknown subject to me. As a lead in, I had the booth play the song, “Parents Just dont understand” and old rap song by Will Smith that not many of the kids knew. Once I said the very first word….it was all good. It was like God wanted me to take the first step, and then He took the rest. I got a chance to make some people laugh, poke fun at some parents, but also to allow God to speak through me. I have never in my life been so scared one minute, and having so much fun the next. God truely took over like I have never experienced.

I talked about everything from my life with Steph, to Pacer’s and Camaros, Atari’s and Xboxes. I gave one of the youth an actual Beach Boys record because he had brought his bible and had never seen or touched an album before. I used examples in my life, my experiences with my parents and their experiences with their parents to reach a room full of kids and parents.

The next day, I made a comment to Steph that I came off that stage knowing without a shadow of a doubt, that being in youth ministry is what God wants me to do. I don’t doubt it for one second. It has been my passion for a long time, I just haven’t stepped up and let God take over. I had my own agenda and plans for me and speaking to youth was no where in the picture. She then told me this was an answer to her prayer. She had been praying that I would know one way or the other. WOW! More confirmation of what God is doing in our lives.

However, the best part of that night was not realized until days later. One of the parents came up to me on Sunday morning and said that I really spoke to him that night. He told me about his life with his parents and how he needed to work on his relationship with them. This was a parent, not a youth. Here I was trying to reach youth and God used me to reach a parent. God used me to make an impact on someone. Sure a lot of people said that I did a great job, except for the fact that I said ‘bama was 2 states away from there and I dissed on Glee twice. Steph was very encouraging as always. Greg was encouraging and wants me to speak again, but hearing that parent say that the message spoke to him, made the fear, the nervousness, and the doubt, all worth it. It helped me reach a lifelong goal of making an impact in someone else’s life, as many had made an impact in my own life.

But the week wasn’t over yet.

Saturday night was the launch of Refill431. This was a ministry that came out of the floods in our area to reach out to those who don’t come to church. We want to follow the lead of Pastor Blake and instead of doing follow up with people who come to our church, we want to go out into their environment and bring them in. We want them to hear the Word of God through music and fellowship and let God worry about the rest. So a group of us started Refill 431 based on Acts 4:31…

“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”

We set up with the Daily Grind Coffee House in our area to come and play. Danny, Tatum, Allyson and Nate got together on Saturday afternoon. We came up with a play list and took worship to Daily Grind. The place was packed with people. Sure most were from LMBC but we learned a lot about what we can do and how huge this is going to be when we give God the glory, and allow Him to work through us. It was an incredible night and a great end to a busy busy week.

And today, we got a date to go back. How Great is Our God!

Dear God, I cannot imagine making it through last week alone. You walked hand in hand with me as you do every day and You were with me as I stepped out into the life You are leading me and Steph into. I have never been so sure of Your plan for my life. I am so unworthy of the blessings that You have poured out on us but I am so grateful. Help us to always see how You are using us and help us to never lose sight of that. Help me be patient and wait on You. Help me be content and realize that You are all that I need.

Keith