Monday, January 25, 2016

Resurrection 2016

I am blogging from my warm and cozy bed this morning where I plan to stay for most of the day today.  After spending a long weekend in Pigeon Forge with 48 youth and 11 chaperones, I am physically oh so tired.  Late late nights, and early mornings have reminded this Mom that I am indeed 40 now.  BUT, as tired as my body is, my heart and soul are so happy and so refreshed,  Safe to say the 61 FUMC folks that attended Rez16 were blessed seeing so many youth on fire for God.  It was
amazing because over the weekend four youth gave their hearts to God for the first time ever!! My heart was so full!

I have officially only been on the job a month or two as the middle school youth worker for our church.  The senior high youth worker and I were a litte nervous taking SO many folks to Resurrection.  The idea is great but it requires tons of planning and work.  Then to add to our stress the blizzard of the century was forecasted which then led to us losing our bus driver because of his job obligations here, and we had to leave a day early to miss the snow which led to more money needed, extra planning and work.  Then our hotel called and declared our rooms would not be ready due to renovations they forgot to mention.  UGGH!!  It was so stressful but GOD as only as he can, made a way when there seemed to be no way.  We left Thursday night which gave the kids more time in Pigeon Forge.  The community center in PIgeon Forge has a great and cheap bowling alley that the boys took advantage of.
The rest of us hit the outlets malls of course.  We not only learned about Jesus but we also had some money management lessons as well:) Starbucks and candy outlets are not cheap at all!
Friday night was our first session of Resurrection.  We were all so excited!! The preacher, Fred Lynch was great, and the house band, Belarive provided a great kickoff night.  The preacher preached a powerful message Friday night and surprised us all by giving the kids a chance to come forward to the altar on the first night.  They had the opportunity to come forward to give their lives to God, they could come forward to pray for friends and family, or they could come forward to rededicate their life to God.  Friday night we had several go forward to pray but one of our middle school boys gave his heart to God.  I went forward with him, and to hear that sweet boy pray at the altar asking God to come in his heart for the first time made this youth worker come undone.  It was such a sincere and holy moment.  IT was also so beautiful and symbolic that as we came out of that emotional service, Pigeon Forge was a beautiful winter wonderland.  God truly takes away our sins and makes us white as snow.  Only God could have given us that moment of beautiful sparkly snow to remind us of his promises.
I know these boys are not showing their enthusiasm, but they really were!! Most of these guys were in Mike's room for the weekend.  They were angels and he so enjoyed spending time with them.  Titus' hurt foot kept him from getting in the picture.  This was Mike and Kyle's third year at Rez.  They have made some precious memories each year at this event.
The new LaConte center in PIgeon Forge is wonderful and it was a great venue for Rez.  There is simply nothing like hearing 6,000 people come together to praise God.
The hotel was going through renovations which meant that there was no common area for us to have breakfast together.  So, my room was food central  More speciically, Lynn's bedroom was the eating space!! The girls in our room were wonderful about being dressed and ready before the breakfast bar opened up,
some of our senior high ladies.
This little rockstar had a blast and blessed us all in the process!!
Saturday night was the BIG night because Chris Tomlin was coming to lead worship.  He is simply amazing.  We wanted to get good seats for his conert, so this group of ladies went early to stand in line in the cold for our group.  We were cold and Chris Tomlin's sound check went late which meant we had to wait longer to get in but it was so worth it.
Chris Tomlin is so amazing at leading worship and we were all so sad when his show was over.
The rapper B-Shoc was in the house as well and I not only got a selfie with him but I got in touch with the rapper side of me!!  HA!
All of us.  Sadly Heather and Heath couldn't make it down because of the snow.
The last two years The City Harmonic led worhsip and they surprised us by showing up for Sunday morning worship.
Every year Mike and Kyle take a Rez picture and it was fun to add me in it this year and we all smiled knowing David will be with us next year!!!

Rez16 you blessed us with laughter and memories as you refreshed our souls.  Thank you for giving four youth the opportunity to committ their life to God for the first time ever.  Thank you for challenging us to get strong and that we need to be under-takers for your Kingdom.  None of us will ever forget our time in gorgeous and beautiful snowy Pigeon Forge where we came face-to-face with our Lamb of God yall!

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