Update: 4 May 2021

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we had a time of prayer. Some of the prayer items shared were:

  • The ongoing pandemic
    • Even with the recent vaccine rollout increase, are we still setting our sights onto the Lord? Are we looking to Him for His purpose?
  • Health and safety
    • We prayed for the physical and mental health of many brothers and sisters. We also prayed for continual safety during the pandemic.
  • Youth Weekend Conference
    • We prayed for those who are organizing and facilitating the conference, and for the Lord to show the speakers His Word.
  • The start of our study of "Why Do We So Gather"
    • We prayed that the Lord would guide us through our study, and that He would show us the purpose of our gatherings.

This week we will be starting "Why Do We So Gather". Please read through the first section titled "Why Do We So Gather" (Page 1 and halfway down page 2) in preparation for the meeting.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details

The Youth Weekend Conference is now open for registration, with the deadline on May 9, 2021. Please be before the Lord regarding whether you should be attending. For those who wish to attend, please visit the YWC Registration Page.


Update: 28 April 2021

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we concluded our study of the book of Job. During our time, we looked at the Lord's response, Job's final response to the Lord as well as recapping some of the things that we have learned from the book as a whole.

  • After the Lord showed Job His greatness, Job acknowledged his own limited view of the Lord's plans and repented.
  • We often have a limited view of the things around us, as such, we should always bring things before the Lord instead of solely relying on our knowledge and experience.
  • Even though we may not see clearly all the things that are happening around us, we shouldn't be scared or hesitant to ask God for answers because He is willing and wanting to show himself to us.
  • Things may not always go smoothly, but we can take comfort in the fact that the Lord knows our situation and He has put us there for a reason.

This week we will be having a time of prayer, please spend some time to consider what the Lord has placed on your heart to pray for.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details

The Youth Weekend Conference is also now open for registration. Please be before the Lord regarding whether you should be attending. For those who wish to attend, please visit the YWC Registration Page.


Update: 21 April 2021

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we studied through Job chapters 38 and 39. We summarized the different responses by Job's friends to his circumstances and introduced God's response to Job's pleas. Some of the things discussed regarding God's response included:

  • The Lord's response can be summarized as pointing out the lack of understanding by not only Job but also his friends.
    • The two chapters contain many allusions and references to animals. While they serve to showcase the scale of the Lord's plan, they also serve as an analogy to the disparity in understanding.
  • The Lord's response did not directly answer the points brought up by Job and his friends. Would we have been satisfied/comforted by the Lord's response?
    • For some, it was very comforting that we can place our trust in God's understanding and not our own limited understanding.
    • Job and his friends spent the last few chapters rationalizing about the circumstances that he was under. Since they did not have context to Job's situation(Job 1:6-12), they became more frustrated the more they tried to figure things out.The Lord then reveals that there is a lot more going on behind the scenes and to trust Him.

"However, Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though they could by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone" - Romans 9:31-32

A theme throughout the book of Job is the importance of faith and trust in the Lord. When we encounter problems, our own strength becomes a stumbling block due to our initial response being to work it out with our own understanding. Although we might initially prefer trusting in ourselves, as we realize that we are being taken care of by a loving God, we grow closer to the Lord as we open up to His plans.

This week we will be continuing our study of Job. Please read through Job 40-42 in preparation for the meeting.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details

The Youth Weekend Conference is also now open for registration. Please be before the Lord regarding whether you should be attending. For those who wish to attend, please visit the YWC Registration Page


Update: 14 April 2021

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we studied through Job chapters 5 and 6. We spent the time discussing Eliphaz's response to Job's situation. Some of the main points that were covered were:

  • The things Eliphaz said seemed to be true, however God still condemns him
    • The points that Eliphaz had were correct, however they were out of context for the situation.
    • Eliphaz blames Job for the predicament that Job is in, and tells Job to repent. However, from chapters 1 and 2 we know that it was not Job's fault.
  • How do we know when things are right or wrong?
    • We need to be wary when deciding when things are right. Eliphaz considered his opinion on the situation as true(Job 5:27) even though he was very wrong.
    • When we make decisions, it is important to hear from the Lord first. We should be searching for the Lord in everything we do, and looking for His Word.

This week we will be continuing our study of Job. Please read through Job 38 & 39, and listen to the song "How Great You Are".

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update: 07 April 2021

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we had a time of prayer. Some of the things we prayed for were:

  • What we should study after Job.
  • The upcoming Youth Weekend Conference preparations.
  • The new quad-mester for the high school students as well as the end of the semester for the university students.
  • The ongoing pandemic and lockdown.
  • The mental and physical wellbeing of many of our families and friends.

We ask that everyone continue to keep these things in your prayers.

This week, we will be continuing our study of Job. Please read Job chapter 5 in preparation for the time.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update: 31 March 2021

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we studied through Job chapter 3. As an introduction to Job's lamentations, we discussed several points including:

  • Job being blameless before God: While Job does curse the day of his birth, we see that he does not ever curse God. We also see that while he wishes he had not been born, this is different than wishing to die.
  • Difference between a lament and a complaint: We discussed how the core emotion behind a lament is grief and sadness (from an appreciation of what was lost) while the core emotion behind a complaint is irritation and injustice (from an entitlement to what we think should be given). Lamentations are often necessary and encouraged in the Bible (in fact it is one of the books), but we should be careful not to turn a lament into a complaint.
  • Gratitude in our lives: Despite what we are given from the Lord, it can be difficult to not focus on what is wrong with our lives. Often we try to use our own strength or look to worldly solutions and when they fail, we feel worse than before we started. However, being reminded that the Lord is our foundation and having faith in His plans can help us.

This week we will be having a time of prayer. Please spend some time and consider the things that the Lord has placed on your heart to pray for.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update: 24 March 2021

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we studied through Job chapter 2. Some points that were discussed were:

  • Do we have faith that the Lord has a perfect plan for us?
    • Job had his family, possessions and his own health taken away, yet he still held fast to the Lord.
    • When we are put in hard circumstances, it is easy to complain or get upset. However, since we have faith in God, we can be certain everything that happens, good or bad, happens for a reason.
  • Instead of relying on our own understanding, we should be seeking out the Lord for His.
    • Even though Job's friends had good intentions, they ended up being unhelpful due to them insisting on their own understanding.

It has been a year since lockdown first began! Even though we are now more accustomed to the "quarantine life", it is still important to remember that the Lord has placed us in this situation for a good reason. Continue seeking out the Lord for what He wants to show you, and what is to come.

This week we will be continuing our study of Job. Please read chapter 3 and chapter 5 ahead in preparation for the time.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update: 17 March 2021

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we began our study of the book of Job. We talked about the character of Job, as well as our awareness of the spiritual battle that's going on around and within us.

  • Job was blameless before God
    • Blameless does not mean sinless, rather it defines someone who is devoted to God and hates evil.
    • His character was pleasing to God and God trusted him.
    • Even in all of his loss, Job continued to trust and worship God, recognizing that the things of the world are temporary and are the Lord's to give and take away.
  • How aware are we of the spiritual battle that is happening?
    • Do we see that we are the battleground and that it's not just a battle against the enemy but also our old selves?
    • Do we see this battle as an opportunity for us to stand for God?
    • Especially in these more monotonous days of lockdown, we need to be even more aware of the ongoing battle.

This week we will be continuing our study of Job, please read chapter 2 in preparation for the meeting.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update: 10 March 2021

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we had a time of prayer and fellowship. Some of the things that we covered included the following:

  • Mental and Physical Health: Given the current pandemic, we prayed not only for the physical safety of brothers and sisters but also their mental well-being. Coming onto the one-year anniversary of the pandemic, we might feel isolated and lonely, so we continue to pray for the Lord to become our strength where the world could not.
  • School/Work: We also prayed for the continued perseverance of all those in school and work. With many finalising their plans for a summer job or in the midst of projects and midterms, we prayed that the stress and struggles of school and work would not distract us from the Lord and that we can always seek Him if overwhelmed.
  • Future Plans: We also prayed about the future plans for the youth group. As we enter into our last planned Bible study, we have the opportunity to consider what the Lord would like for us to study in the future, whether it be another book in the Bible or something different. As Toronto enters the Grey zone on March 8th, we also have the opportunity to consider in-person meetings and changes to our current format.

"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God so that He may exalt you at the proper time, having cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares about you" - 1 Peter 5:6-7

As a reminder, the Lord invites us to cast our anxieties onto Him because of His love for us. It is common, especially during these uncertain times, to be anxious and doubt ourselves about our future. However, as we humble ourselves and openly reach out to the Lord, He answers us. Sometimes we might not like the answer at first, but we can be comforted in knowing we can place our burdens on Him as we move forward and that we are never alone.

As an example of one who constantly looked to the Lord despite his worldly circumstances, this week we will be starting the Book of Job. Please read chapter 1 in preparation for the time.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update: 03 March 2021

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we wrapped up our study of 1 Peter by reading through chapter 5. Some of the points we touched on were:

  • Who do we consider an elder?
    • When we hear the word elder, we usually assume older in age. However, an elder is often someone who has more experience, or has a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord.
  • How should we be acting towards those around us?
    • We should care about everyone, "...not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be" - 1 Peter 5:2
    • We are elders to some, but we are also junior to others. We are to be an example to those who are junior to us, but also be willing to submit ourselves to our elders.
    • "In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another" - 1 Peter 5:5
  • The Lord is sovereign over all, including all your anxieties and stresses
    • No matter what we have going on in our lives, we can turn to the Lord and He will give us rest. "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" - 1 Peter 5:7

This week we will be having a time of prayer. Please spend some time and consider the things that the Lord has placed on your heart to pray for.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update: 24 February 2021

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we read 1 Peter chapter 4. During our time together, we had the opportunity to fellowship on what it means to love one another and why we need God as well as why we suffer as Christians:

  • What does it mean to love one another?
    • Having a forgiving heart, for "love covers a multitude of sins" - 1 Peter 4:8
    • We are told to serve one another in love. " Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms." - 1 Peter 4:9-10
  • Why do we need God?
    • We are imperfect, but we have a hope in God for perfection as He has lived the perfect life and has set a perfect example for us.
    • In all that we do, we are to "...do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen." - 1 Peter 4:11
  • Why are we called to suffer as Christians?
    • We suffer because we are Jesus' disciples and the world is not our home. Just as the world rejected Him, it will reject us.
    • The suffering is to refine us so that the parts that are not of God will be burned away leaving behind a life that is everlasting.

This week we will be finishing our study of 1 Peter, please read chapter 5 in preparation for the meeting.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update: 17 February 2021

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we read 1 Peter chapter 3. During the time, we had a chance to discuss what is means to live Godly lives and touched on some of the following points:

  • 1 Peter 3: 15 - "be ready to give answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have"
    • We discussed not only how we should be preparing, such as reading our Bibles and praying but also being honest with ourselves about why we follow the Lord and having that dialogue with the Lord.
  • 1 Peter 3: 9 - "Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing"
    • We discussed how it can be difficult to respond to unfair treatment with blessings rather than evil.
    • Similarly, 1 Peter 2: 18 "submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate but also to those who are harsh", we are reminded that our conduct and reactions are not for the people but as a testimony to the Lord.

This week we will be studying 1 Peter chapter 4. Please read through the chapter to prepare for the meeting. Just a reminder that this week we will be using the new Zoom ID.

Zoom ID: 416 733 0475

Password: 217217

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update: 10 February 2021

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we had some time to catch up with each other as well as some time to pray together. A few prayer items that were mentioned were:

  • School: As some schools are starting new quadmesters/semesters and university students are heading into midterm season, things may ramp up. May the Lord still take priority in our lives even when life is busy.
  • Pandemic: As the pandemic continues, are we looking for the Lord? What have we been doing during this time? Also, as the lockdown restrictions loosen up and schools reopen, we pray for safety.

This week we will be studying 1 Peter 3. Please read through the chapter to prepare for the meeting.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update: 03 February 2021

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we continued our study of 1 Peter. During our time together, we talked about our calling from the Lord and how we should live:

  • What does it mean to be in a Holy, Royal Priesthood?
    • Holy: we are called to be set apart for the Lord's purpose
    • Royal: we are called to be His and to share in His heavenly kingdom
    • Priesthood: we are called to be ones that worship Him and do His good work
  • We are to live as testimonies of the Lord's life in the world.
    • "Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us." - 1 Peter 2:12
  • We were reminded that even though we may face injustices for being Christians, we should always follow Christ's example, for our inheritance is ultimately in heaven.

This week we will be having a time of prayer, please spend some time before the Lord and think of some things you would like to bring before Him in prayer.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update: 27 January 2021

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we started our study of 1 Peter. We started with some context of the book, then we went through the first chapter. Some topics that were touched on were:

  • The Lord allows all things to happen for good reason
      Everything, including the pandemic we are currently going through, has been planned carefully by the Lord. Are we looking to Him for what is to come? Is our faith in the Lord?
  • What does Holy mean?
      To be Holy is to be set apart or consecrated for the Lord. Do we remember that we are His people? Do our actions reflect that we are set apart for the Lord?
  • Being sober and alert
      It is easy to go about our lives, not paying attention to the Lord or what He is showing us. Our true inheritance rests in the Lord alone.

"All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever" - 1 Peter 1:24-25

This week, we will be continuing through 1 Peter. Please read chapter 2 in preparation for the time.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update: 20 January 2021

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we had a time of prayer and fellowship where we reflected on the past year and what the Lord has shown us in addition to praying for the new year. As a review of what was studied, here are some of the books we covered to help remind us of what the Lord might have shown us:

  • Ruth: The importance of obedience and that the Lord has redeemed us.
  • John: What is our response to miracles? Is it one of complacency or worship?
  • Romans: Being called into a living work and the difference between outward works and those of the spirit.
  • Nehemiah: Doing God's good work and serving His plan instead of our own.

Even though last week was a dedicated discussion time, it doesn't mean prayer and discussion should stop! We should continue to consider what the Lord has shown us during this time. As we enter a second year of lockdown and this "new normal", are we being patient and spending this extra time with the Lord? However patience does not mean idling. Are we also urgently seeking out the Lord?

"Therefore, since we also have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let's rid ourselves of every obstacle and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let's run with endurance the race that is set before us" - Hebrews 12:1

It can be difficult continually being uncertain about the future and not always "feeling" like we did in the past, but our relationship with the Lord is a marathon. The way we run our race might have been different but our goal is still Christ. Let us have faith. Instead of relying on ourselves, seek the Lord no matter how much the times may change.

This week, we will be starting 1 Peter. Please read chapter 1 in preparation for the time.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update: 13 January 2021

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we finished our study of the book of Ruth. In this last chapter, we talked about the redemption of Ruth as well as how the Lord redeemed us.

  • The Lord called Ruth and Naomi back from Moab. Similarly, He is always calling us back to His side.
  • Just as how Boaz was willing to bear a cost that others wouldn't bear to redeem Ruth, our Lord paid a price that no one else could or would pay to redeem us from our sins.
  • It was only through Ruth's obedience that Obed, Jesse and David came to be. Similarly, it is only through our obedience to the Lord that His Kingly Life can live through us.

This week, we will be having a time of fellowship and prayer looking back over the past year and what we've seen from the Lord as well as looking forward to seeing what the Lord has in store for us. Please spend some time to think about what He has shown you over the past year in preparation for the meeting.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update 41: 06 January 2021

Dear Youth Group,

Happy New Year! Thank the Lord for His grace through 2020, and we pray for His guidance as we head into 2021.

2020 has been a difficult year for everyone. School and work has moved online and in-person social contact has been severely limited. As we continue on through the pandemic, have we become accustomed to the "lockdown life"? There's nothing wrong with that, but have we stopped searching for the Lord and the purpose of the time that we are spending in lockdown?

A simple question to ask yourself: "What have I learned during the pandemic? What has the Lord been trying to show me?"

Many people are looking ahead to 2021 and hoping that everything will be solved. With the COVID-19 vaccine beginning distribution and administration, people have begun looking to the vaccine as their hope. But where do we place our hope? Are we looking towards Jesus, our rock and our shield?

  Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
  Look full in His wonderful face,
  And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
  In the light of His glory and grace.

Last week, we did not have youth group. Instead, we joined the rest of the congregation for a New Year's prayer meeting. Some of our prayer items as we start 2021 are for His continued safeguarding through the pandemic, our walk with the Lord and for His will to be done in the New Year. This week we will be finishing the book of Ruth. Please read through Ruth 4 in preparation for the time.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update 40: 31 December 2020

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we continued our study on the Book of Ruth and focused on the obedience of Ruth. We went through chapters 2 and 3, which talked about the meeting of Boaz and Ruth in the field and threshing floor. Some of the points covered included:

  1. The Lord provides: Gleaning is an entitlement of the poor to collect leftover crops from farmer's fields and what Ruth and Naomi did to feed themselves. This is a reminder that regardless of our circumstance, the Lord provides for us and will comfort us when we are in need.
  2. The Lord is in control: The Lord guided Ruth to Boaz's field and allowed Boaz to hear of the many things Ruth had done for her mother-in-law. Ruth did not know that her obedience would bring these things but had faith the Lord would be in control.
  3. Obedience in our own lives:
    • Obedience is based on trust and while we might not understand why we need to do things, sometimes we need to take a step of faith based on that trust.
    • What is our attitude as we obey? One full of complaints at all the struggles we endure or amazed at all the blessings the Lord has provided?

As the pandemic continues on (Nearly 3000 cases per day in Ontario!), how has our attitude been towards our walk with the Lord? The Lord placed this in our lives for us to learn something! If we are feeling hopeless or lost, are we reminded that the Lord provides for us? If we have become complacent in our walk with the Lord, are we reminded who our King is, and who we are to listen to and obey?

This Saturday we will not have a youth meeting. Enjoy the break! Instead, we hope the youth will join the New Year's Prayer Meeting on Friday January 1, 2021 @ 7:30 PM. Please reflect on the past year, on the many blessings and hardships that the Lord placed in our lives, as well as the upcoming year, that we may be those who are willing to hear and obey Him.

To join the zoom meeting, please go to : New Year's Prayer Meeting

Meeting Number: 882 094 7530

Password: 217217


Update 39: 24 December 2020

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we continued our study of the book of Ruth. During our time, we read the rest of chapter one, regarding the return of Naomi and Ruth to Bethlehem. Some of the things that were shared were:

  • Naomi returned to Bethlehem after the Lord provided food for the Israelites after a long famine.
  • We see how determined Ruth was to go with Naomi, leaving behind her life in Moab.

As we consider our own lives, a substantial famine could be the lockdown due to the pandemic. Recently, schools have been shut down until January 25, 2021 and it has been announced that entire province will be shut down December 26, 2020. What have we learned during this famine in our lives? Have we been idle, defaulting back to "what we normally do", or are we seeing the food that the Lord is providing to us?

Looking ahead, we may feel hopeless and lost, but even in these challenging times, the Lord never leaves us without something to cling on to. We will see that even one like Naomi can have her hope renewed! Even though the Lord is allowing us to go through these difficult times, the Lord's plan is simple: for us to have more of Christ!

This week we will be continuing our study of Ruth, specifically on the topic of Ruth's obedience, please study chapters 2-3 in preparation for the time. If you haven't read through the whole book yet, we encourage you to do so, as it is a short read (4 chapters) and provides a lot of context for consideration.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update 38: 17 December 2020

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we started our study through the book of Ruth. The theme for the week was "The Disobedience of Israel". Some things that were discussed were:

  • Why was there a famine in the land?
    • As time went on, the Israelites grew complacent and forgot about the Lord. The Lord was using the famine (among other ways) to get the Israelites' attention.
  • What were Elimelech and his family doing in Moab? Why were they there?
    • Elimelech spent many years running away from the famine in the Promised Land instead of turning to seek the Lord on the matter. How often do we turn away from the Lord when He is trying to show us something?
  • Is there a famine in our lives?
    • When we consider our own lives, do we see a famine? Are we taking the time to consider what the Lord is trying to show us during these trying times, or are we chugging along like nothing is happening?

This week, we will be continuing our study of Ruth. Please read through Ruth chapters 1-4 in preparation for the meeting. We will be focusing on "The Obedience of Ruth", so look out for this theme as you read through the book!

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update 37: 10 December 2020

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we had a time of prayer, where we brought forth some of the things that have been on our hearts. Some of the things that were brought up were:

  • Safety during the pandemic, both physical as well as mental.
  • Perseverance in the Lord and not drifting away in these more isolated times.
  • Guidance and strength for school as the end of the year approaches, especially with regards to exams and tests.
  • Guidance on if/how the bible study times should be changed/restructured.
  • The Lord's continued work in the Gospel friends.

We ask that everyone keep these things in your personal prayers and continue to pray for them.

33Be on guard! Be alert(some manuscripts say "alert and pray")! You do not know when that time will come. 37What I say to you, I say to everyone: "Watch!"
- Mark 13: 33,37

This week, we will be starting our study of Ruth. Please read Ruth chapter 1 in preparation for the meeting.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update 36: 03 December 2020

Dear Youth Group,

"Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." - John 20:30-31

Last week, we finished the Book of John by going over the death and resurrection of Jesus (chapters 18-21). Some of the main points that we touched upon included:

  • "Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?" Instead of fighting or even hesitating, Jesus chose to accept the will of the Father knowing the pain He would endure. A reminder for us to similarly embrace the will of God.
  • "but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm." The events of this world might seem to be because of man but in fact they are God's will. A reminder that our promise is in the Lord and not in this world.
  • As followers of Jesus, we are most effective when we listen for Jesus and obey His Word.
  • Jesus' love and grace will always welcome us back to Him.
  • Jesus calls us to His table "Come and have breakfast".

This week we will be having a night of prayer. Please spend some time to consider what the Lord has placed on your heart. Some things to remind ourselves include:

  • The COVID-19 Pandemic and the health and safety of the most vulnerable.
  • Our own walk with the Lord, that we might be in a constant relationship with Him during these hard times. Pilate himself gave in to the pressure of the people and fear of Caesar, let's pray that we persevere in the Lord.
  • School and Work, that we might not get discouraged but seek strength in the Lord.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update 35: 26 November 2020

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we continued studying through the Gospel of John. We spent some time talking about the Passover, as well as how Jesus prayed for His disciples.

Some of the things we discussed were:

  • Jesus serving the disciples (John 13)
    • Jesus came as a servant to the people.
    • He came as an example for us, to learn to serve one another.
  • Jesus' comfort (John 14-16)
    • Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit as our guide.
    • Even though the world around us may seem hectic, the Lord has a purpose. We just need to continue to seek Him and see what He has for us.
  • Jesus' Farewell Prayer (John 17)
    • As a farewell prayer, it was meant to not only petition the Father on behalf of the disciples in anticipation of Jesus' departure but also as a model prayer during times of uncertainty.
    • Key points touched upon in the prayer included thanks for the completion of His work and petition for "His own" to be not of the world, to be sanctified in truth, to be united with themselves and to be united with Christ.

This is also a reminder to pray continually during the week, especially with concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. With the rising number of cases and the uncertainty of school and work, we need to be sure that we are hearing what the Lord has intended for us to hear. Our comfort is in the Lord and not in the world.

This week, we will be finishing up with our study of the Gospel of John. Please read till the end of John (chapters 18 to 21) in preparation for the meeting as well as any questions that you may have.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update 34: 19 November 2020

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we continued our study of the Gospel of John. During our time, we talked about the story of Jesus healing the man who was blind from birth and asked some questions in regard to miracles and how we respond to them.

Miracles
  • What are some miracles in our lives? If there isn't anything that sticks out, why might that be?
  • Are we looking for a specific kind of Jesus, one that gives the miracles we want?
Response
  • Do we grow complacent in our walk with Jesus and pursue worldly things instead?
  • Can we relate to the blind man's response and testimony to the Pharisees?

Some of the things we discussed were:

  • The Pharisees failed to see the man's blindness as anything but the result of sin, causing them to be blind to Jesus' sign.
  • The parents of the blind man were too focused on their fears of the Jewish leaders to acknowledge what Jesus did for their son.
  • The blind man's response was one that is decisive and immediate "Then the man said: 'Lord, I believe.' and he worshiped Him." - John 9:38

This week, we will be continuing with our study of the Gospel of John. Please read John chapters 14-17 in preparation for the meeting.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update 33: 12 November 2020

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we had a night of prayer where we shared about how our weeks went and prayed for some of the following items:

  • School/Work: We prayed that whatever might cause our lives to be busy, we would continue to be reminded of the Lord and find our strength in Him.
  • Thanks: We gave thanks for the opportunities the Lord gave to show Himself throughout the week and for the simple act of worship.

Even though we may have these prayer meetings, we should also be reminded that prayer should be done continually and throughout the week. Given the recent rise in COVID-19 cases we should also ask ourselves what the Lord wants to teach us and what we should be doing as believers? Something to consider is now that we are almost a year into the pandemic, have we become accustomed to quarantine life? Or are we still searching for the Lord?

This week we will be reviewing John 4-10 and possibly going through the Passover. As a reminder, we were asked to consider the following questions during the week to help focus the time:

  • What are some examples of us experiencing that Jesus is not only God, but also Christ in our lives?
  • It seems the Jews are very reluctant in accepting Jesus and that there are even divisions in how reluctant they are. Why are the Jews seeking to kill Jesus and how does this apply to our lives?
  • Since we see that Jesus responded to the Jews in many ways, are we actively looking to hear from the Lord for His response and direction for us?

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update 32: 04 November 2020

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we studied John 3-4, as well as quickly going over John 5-10. We discussed what our response should be upon hearing from the Lord.

We considered:

  • The three different responses from different people to Jesus' message
    • Nicodemus: Took everything literally and questioned Jesus about his teachings
    • The Samaritan woman: Asked many questions, but did not hesitate to tell everyone about Jesus
    • The Roman official: Did not hesitate at all and believed what Jesus told him
  • Who do we relate with the most? Do we often question what the Lord tells us, or do we take that step of faith and believe?

Some questions we asked you to consider over the week were:

  • What are some examples of us experiencing that Jesus is not only God, but also Christ in our lives?
  • It seems the Jews are very reluctant in accepting Jesus and that there are even divisions in how reluctant they are. Why are the Jews seeking to kill Jesus and how does this apply to our lives?
  • Since we see that Jesus responded to the Jews in many ways, are we actively looking to hear from the Lord for His response and direction for us?

This week we will be having a time of prayer. Please spend some time to consider what the Lord has placed on your heart as prayer items.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update 31: 29 October 2020

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, during our study of John chapters 2 and 3, we discussed:

  1. Jesus turning water into wine is a sign of the new and better "wine" that He was bringing to us.
  2. We often focus on signs and things that we can see instead of looking deeper into what the Lord is saying to us.
  3. Jesus came for us even though "He knew what was in each person" - John 2:25

"But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God."—John 3:21

As we come to the end of another month, we ask everyone to consider some questions that have been discussed:

  1. Have we grown closer with the Lord?
  2. Are you seeing everything is centred around Jesus?
  3. Do you see more of your need for Jesus?
  4. Are you doing everything Jesus is asking you to do?
  5. Have you been bringing your questions to Jesus?

This week, we will be continuing with our study of the Gospel of John. Please read John chapters 3-4 in preparation for the meeting.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details

As a reminder, remember to set your clocks back 1 hour after the meeting on Saturday to go back to standard time.


Update 30: 22 October 2020

Dear Youth Group,

This week, we will be studying John Chapters 2-4. As a review, here are some questions from our Study of John Chapter 1 that we asked you all to think about:

  1. Do we know the promise that God has given us? What is required of us to obtain it? (John 1:1-18)
  2. What is our response? How do we prepare and live our lives in anticipation of Jesus's call? What did John the Baptist and Nathanael do? (John 1: 19-51)

Please think about how God has answered these questions these past couple of weeks and we encourage you to read over John 2-4.

"Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."—John 4: 23-24

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update 29: 15 October 2020

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we did not have a youth group meeting due to the Northeast Christian Conference. However, there were many messages from the speakers that we encourage you to listen to. You can find the recordings on the NECC website.

This year's conference theme was "Christ Our Coming King", and the theme verses were:

"Behold, your king is coming to you..."
Zechariah 9:9 (NASB)

  "But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord."
1 Corinthians 15:57-58 (NASB)

Some general points from the messages were:

  • We have a coming King, but He is right here today.
  • Do we know the King, and are we bond servants to His Kingdom?
  • We need to hear and listen for the King's will and act out of obedience to Him.
  • We need to learn to let go of the reins and let the King lead/serve us as well.

This week we will have a time to share about the messages from the Northeast Christian Conference. To prepare for the time, we encourage you to listen to a few of the messages.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update 28: 08 October 2020

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, we started our study of the Gospel of John. During our time together, we talked about how God has called us to be His children, as well as our response to that call.

We considered:
  • Why did Nathanael change his tune so dramatically?
  • What does "Seeing is Believing" mean?
Key points raised during our fellowship in the Word:
  • Being in the absence of light fosters a relationship with the darkness, even though we know that it negatively affects us
  • Nathanael and the other Disciples were able to believe because they were ones who were searching for the Lord

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
John 1:9-12

Since the Northeast Christian Conference is happening online this weekend, we will not be having our Saturday Youth Group meeting (no meeting Saturday, October 10, 2020). We encourage you to spend some time listening to the messages. For those who have not registered, they will be streaming the messages on YouTube.

Next week (Saturday, October 17, 2020), we will be having a time of sharing from those who attended. Please listen in on 1 or 2 of the messages to help prepare for the time.


Update 27: 30 September 2020

Dear Youth Group,

"Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."—John 4: 23-24

Last week, we had a time of prayer and considered the many things that were on our hearts.

Some things that we prayed for included:

  • Thanks: Despite the pandemic, we considered ways we could be thankful for the opportunities given to us from the Lord.
  • School: As many of us have started this new school year, we prayed for safety, guidance and wisdom to navigate the ever-changing situation.
  • Illness: We prayed for those who were sick and unwell and that they may find strength in the Lord.
  • Gospel Friends: We prayed for the new gospel friends that have been brought to us, that they may also come to know the Lord and His Love.
  • Next Week's Bible Study: We prayed for the brothers preparing for the bible study concerning the Gospel of John, and that it would be according to the Lord's will.

Please continue to pray for the above items and any other things in the future. This week we will be starting the Book of John. Please read through John 1-4 as preparation for the time.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update 26: 23 September 2020

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, in our study of Romans: 12-15, we fellowshipped on the practical aspects of loving one another.

We considered:
  1. What does Love mean to you?
  2. What do we struggle with the most when it comes to loving one another?
Key points raised during our fellowship in the Word:
  • The law of the Lord is summed up to one law: Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8
  • Only through the Lord's love, can we learn to love.
  • It is not our place to judge each other based on our own experiences. A stumbling block for one person may not be a stumbling block for another.

As the first week of school has gone by, lots of good and bad things have happened. Have there been any difficulties, fears, worries, or even good news that have come up? No matter how our weeks went, we are so blessed that we can turn to our Lord and give up our burdens to Him in prayer.

For the coming Saturday, we will have a time of prayer. Please spend some time to consider if there are any prayer items that have been placed on your heart.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update 25: 17 September 2020

Dear Youth Group,

Last week, in our study of Romans: 6-8, we fellowshipped on the difficulties of walking a path of righteousness in the Lord, be it the temptations of the flesh, or simply the busyness of life crowding the Lord out of our hearts. But even when we feel overwhelmed, we can take comfort in knowing that the Lord is always beside us and we can never be separated from Him.

We considered:
  1. What does it mean when the Bible says "slaves to righteousness"?
  2. What draws us away from the Law of God?
  3. What does it mean to live by the Spirit?
Key points raised during our fellowship in the Word:
  • Us being "Slaves" to Righteousness is us being an extension of the Lord, not just something to be commended.
  • We tend to tunnel vision on the things in front of us and forget to seek the Lord's strength and guidance.
  • Even though our flesh is weak, we have the Lord beside us, walking with us through thick and thin, every step of the way.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8: 38-39

For the coming Saturday, we will be continuing through Romans. Please read through Romans 12-15 in preparation for the time.

To join the zoom meeting, please refer to: Youth Group Online Meeting Details


Update 24: 10 September 2020

Dear Youth Group,

Since we are no longer physically meeting in person due to the pandemic, we have set up this online meeting for youth who would like to attend. The Zoom meeting happens weekly on Saturdays at 7:30pm , starting off with a time of worship, then some time studying the Bible.

Zoom ID: 499 351 2850

Last week, we studied Romans 1-3. We discussed the sinful nature of humanity, and how our righteousness comes from faith and not works.

"This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Romans 2: 22-23

We considered:
  • How do we discern if our works are only outward or from the Spirit?
  • Now that we know we are justified by faith and not by works, what implication does that have on how we lead our lives?
Key points raised during our fellowship in the Word:
  • The law is not forfeit.
  • Righteousness is a continuous walking with the Lord beyond just being set free.
  • Works for the sake of ourselves will be often draining and tedious.
  • "Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law" Romans 2:31

For the coming Saturday, we will be continuing through Romans. Please read through Romans 5-8 in preparation for the time.

To join the zoom meeting:
  • Go to https://zoom.us/join.
  • Enter the Zoom ID (499 351 2850) and click join.
    • If you already have the app, it should ask you to open Zoom.
    • Otherwise, click "download and run Zoom" and run the Zoom installer.
  • You can join with or without video.
  • Please select join with computer audio.
  • Please join the meeting at 7:25pm so that we have as few interruptions as possible.
  • During the meeting, keep your microphone muted unless you are praying or sharing.
  • Also, don't forget to let your parents know that you are attending the meeting!

Update 23: 02 September 2020

Dear Friday Night Youth Group,

Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, "Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
Deuteronomy 30: 11-14

These verses were part of a sermon to the Israelites by Moses shortly before they were to enter the Promised Land. Up to this point, they had been wandering the wilderness for forty years with the sermon addressing the need to observe the law and to follow God. Yet at the end, Moses offers comfort that despite the challenges they had faced and the challenges they will continue to face, they will always have the Word. He reassures them that it will not be far away or difficult to reach but within our hearts so that we may follow. After coming off a period of struggle and before a time of great uncertainty, the Lord offers the Word as a light and a cornerstone and only commands us to follow.

This is similar to our current situation. With COVID-19 and all the events of 2020, we may have become distant from God. With the absence of in-person fellowship, it may feel like a forty-year wander in the wilderness, not knowing when or if things will return to normal with even simple acts of worship such as prayer or reading the Word becoming difficult and forgotten when by ourselves. We may be weary from the quarantine and uncertain of the post-pandemic future, always asking "When will we return?" or "Who will give us sermons?" and feeling further and further from the Lord.

However, the Lord reminds us that the Word is not far away (despite the social distancing) and it isn't something that is difficult to do. He isn't asking us to follow what was done before. All He is asking us to do is look within our hearts and to follow. It is a comfort to know that what we are given from the Lord is readily accessible, but it is also a calling from the Lord to choose to seek His Word. Given the pandemic, what will our response be? Is it to dwell on external excuses or is it to simply come before the Lord and obey?


Update 22: 26 August 2020

Dear Friday Night Youth Group,

That day when evening came, He said to His disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to His disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!"
Mark 4:35-41

For some of the disciples, the waters were their place of livelihood. This was where they practiced their craft, a place they knew like the back of their hand. So, it wasn't until that familiarity was broken, turned upside down, that they called to the Lord in a panic, asking for deliverance, and the Lord delivered them.

Our current situation can be described by many words, but the word "squall" (a sudden and violent gust of wind/localized storm) is a better description than most. COVID-19 is a pandemic that came up out of nowhere and is sweeping through our lives. It has disrupted many of the things that have come to be seen as constants, be it going to school, going to work, or even just being able to meet together to worship. Now, even as we look towards the new school year that's about to begin, we know it's inevitable that there will be more storms ahead, perhaps ones even more violent and sudden, testing and trying our relationship with the Lord, trying to knock us down.

But just like when the disciples called out to the Lord, He is there with us when we call out to Him, even when it feels like He is asleep. When we accept that all our strength is not and will not be enough to weather the storms ahead, do we know that He is with us, holding us close and watching over us, keeping us through the squall?

  When darkness seems to hide His face
  I rest on His unchanging grace
  In every high and stormy gale
  My anchor holds within the veil
  My anchor holds within the veil

  Christ alone cornerstone
  Weak made strong in the Saviour's love
  Through the storm He is Lord
  Lord of all

Cornerstone © Copyright 2011 Hillsong Music Publishing


Update 21: 19 August 2020

Dear Friday Night Youth Group,

"Ontario has unveiled its plan to reopen schools across the province, announcing that elementary school students and many high school students will return to the classroom full-time in September" (Ontario unveils plan to reopen schools in September).

Going back to school is difficult — there are so many things that will grab at our attention and try to pull us away from the Lord. Perhaps you are worried about how online or in-person school will be, or it could be planning for what will happen after high school. Maybe it's what you will be doing at university. Often our first response is to try to find a solution on our own, to ask a friend, or to "Google it". But shouldn't we be looking to Christ Jesus who has the perfect plan, Christ Jesus who is sovereign over everything?

6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7


Update 20: 12 August 2020

Dear Friday Night Youth Group,

We just wanted to pass along an update to the online conference opportunity. Please pray together with your parents and see if this is something you should be a part of.

Dear Saints,

We are glad to announce that online registration for the Northeast Christian Conference will begin on Saturday Aug 22 at 9am ET. Please mark your calendar. Online registration is REQUIRED for all participants, including children (age 2 and up).

The conference website has also been updated with additional information. Please visit:

www.northeastchristianconference.org

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact: northeastchristianconference@gmail.com

May the Lord bless you.

In His Name,
The Northeast Christian Conference Managers


Update 19: 29 July 2020

Dear Friday Night Youth Group,

"And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn't see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you."
John 14:16-17
https://www.bible.com/72/jhn.14.16-17.hcsb

The Summer Youth Conference is typically held on the first week of August. The Lord has used this time over the years to turn hearts back to him, to illuminate changes that are needed, to renew our walk with him. With this year's Summer Youth Conference cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lord must have purpose in this.

If you were planning on attending the conference for the first time this year, what did you hope to gain from your time there? Has there been the thought that there must be more to life than just being "online"? Do you know the Lord is desiring to meet you just where you are?

For those who have attended the conference before: What causes our hearts to become calloused over the year(s)? How do we end up feeling far from him? It is unlikely that this happens overnight. Perhaps it is the busyness of our lives—pulling our hearts in too many directions for us to focus on him. Maybe it's a case of "familiarity breeds contempt"—where instead of beholding the Lord with wonderment, we have taken an "I know him already" stance over time.

Whatever it may be—we are probably more forgetful and weaker than we would like to admit. We all need times of reset and renewal. Did you know that the Lord has already prepared a Helper for us—especially for such times? A Counselor who will be with us forever—the Spirit of truth?

Has the pandemic this year helped as a reset for you to press closer to the Lord each day? Or do you need another more severe reset—a time of renewal that you may have been looking forward to for the first time, or found in past years at the youth conference? Did you know that the Lord has already provided you with the Helper that you so need? He who has shown himself so real to you in past conferences has given you his Holy Spirit who "remains with you" and who is "in you".

  Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit, show us Jesus anew
  Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit, teach our hearts to be true
  Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit, O come Gentle Dove
  And prepare us for a touch of His love

If you're unfamiliar with the tune (Holy Spirit © 2010 Dana Congdon's Mother), we have included it here:  MP3 or YouTube


Update 18: 22 July 2020

Dear Friday Night Youth Group,

We just wanted to pass along an online conference opportunity. Please pray together with your parents and see if this is something you should be a part of.

www.northeastchristianconference.org
2020 Northeast Christian Conference
Friday, October 09, 2020 through Monday, October 12, 2020

Christ Our Coming King

Behold, your king is coming to you...
Zechariah 9:9 (NASB)

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus
Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always
abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

I Corinthians 15:57-58 (NASB)

Speakers: To Be Confirmed

Dear Saints,

The Lord has led us to hold another Northeast Christian Conference from October 9th to October 12th, 2020. The conference this year will be held virtually. Given the current situation, there will be no in-person meeting at Harvey Cedars, New Jersey.

Information regarding the 2020 Northeast Christian Conference is now available on the conference website at:

www.northeastchristianconference.org

Please check this website for the latest information regarding the conference. We will update the website with additional details as soon as they are available.

Online registration is REQUIRED for all participants, including children. The date when online registration begins will be announced later. (We are currently targeting late August). More information on registration will become available in the coming weeks.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact: northeastchristianconference@gmail.com

May the Lord bless you.

In His Name,
The Northeast Christian Conference Managers


Update 17: 15 July 2020

Dear Friday Night Youth Group,

Hymn 715 Count Your Blessings (Johnson Oatman Jr., Edwin O. Excell)

 1. When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed,
  When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
  Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
  And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

  Refrain
  Count your blessings, name them one by one,
  Count your blessings see what God hath done;
  Count your blessings, name them one by one,
  And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

 2. Are you ever burdened with a load of care,
  Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
  Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
  And you will be singing as the days go by.

 3. When you look at others with their lands and gold,
  Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold,
  Count your many blessings money cannot buy,
  our reward in heaven, nor your home on high.br/>

 4. So amid the conflict whether great or small,
  Do not be discouraged, God is over all,
  Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
  Help and comfort give you to your journey's end.

In the Bible, Josiah was one who did what was right in the eyes of the Lord (surprisingly since it was recorded that his father did evil in the eyes of the Lord). He became king when he was eight years old, and in the eighteenth year of his reign, Josiah made sure the money collected from the people were used for the repair of the temple of the Lord. It's interesting to note that it was while they were repairing the temple of the Lord, the Book of the Law was found.

"When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes." 2 King 22:11

Having a Bible to read, is one of the greatest blessings God has given us. It may not sound like a blessing with Josiah saying in verse 13, "Great is the Lord's anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us". But what a pitiful state we would be in, not knowing any better, doing only what was right in our own eyes. Have we found what a blessing reading the Bible is?


Update 16: 08 July 2020

Dear Friday Night Youth Group,

  TO KNOW HIM(c) 1964 Word Music, Inc. CCLI License No. 246083

  To know Him, to know Him,
  Is the cry of my heart.
  Spirit, reveal Him to me.
  To hear what He's saying
  Brings life to my soul.
  To know Him, to know Him alone.

  To know You, to know You
  Is the cry of my heart.
  O Jesus, Your face now I see.
  To hear what You're saying
  Brings life to my soul.
  To know You, to know You alone.

In April, we were challenged with some questions:

  • How have we spent our time with the Lord this past month?
  • What has He shown us in His Word?
  • Have we brought our thoughts and feelings back to Jesus in prayer?

Now that two months have passed, how have we spent our time during the lockdown? How has it changed our perception of the Lord in our lives? Have we come to realize that our Lord is bigger than these global events? Bigger than the problems we face from day to day? Is He the firm foundation that every aspect of our lives is built on? Has He become the one indispensable voice that we need to hear from every day? These may seem like broad questions, but the reality is when we learn to find Him at the end of all our questions, and the answer to all our concerns, then the prevailing storms of life no longer become the thing that sway us, rather we learn to recognize them as reminders to press on, into Him because there is still more of Him to see.

Yet, just as we see the positive case numbers dropping for some areas, we hear about the potential for a second wave. In fact, relaxing restrictions too early has other areas already experiencing the resurgence in drastic spikes of new cases. Just as we think we can move forward as a society, the thin veneer of our forward-thinking civilization cracks. The foundations on which we've built our aspirations crumble. Our day-to-day reality has shown us that we simply cannot predict the future.

May our Lord find those who are truly seeking Him to understand the times and to know what we should be doing. May our response now be not the mere performance of religious duty, but to truly know Him. To know that He is larger than the troubles in our lives. To know Him as the One who redeemed us at a great cost. To know Him in a way that we can say that He is our God, and we are His people.

Jeremiah 32:38 They will be my people, and I will be their God.


Update 15: 01 July 2020

Dear Friday Night Youth Group,

  BLESSINGS, PROBLEMS - Dana Congdon

  Blessings, problems, triumphs, tragedies
  Are all designed to bring us to the Lord
  Laughing, crying, good times, misery
  Are all designed to bring us to the Lord

   The Lord works all things together for good
   To those whom He loves, He shows His design
   'Til we all see Jesus as the centre of our lives
   And bring everything to His throne

  Struggles, freedom, failures, victories
  Are all designed to bring us to the Lord
  Friendships, heartaches, farewells, longing hearts
  Are all designed to bring us to the Lord

Looking at the news from day to day, you might think we are starting to see an end to the pandemic. It seems like we're close enough to breathe a sigh of relief as businesses begin to slowly open again, even splash pads and water parks have re-opened. Although we can't say for certain that the pandemic is ending, a lot of people are acting like it has already ended, which has been surprising—many who are ignoring social distancing. The facts are, "This pandemic is only over for people who don't survive it" and if we're not careful, "busyness" begins to consume our lives again. As the lockdown protocols are lifting—we thought people would have more sense to care for one another, respect social distancing with free will after what we've gone through and appreciate a simpler way of life, but we're observing a lot of the opposite in the news.

Before we jump in to join everyone else in relaxing with the gradual return of the creature comforts and "norms" we have come to miss, let's pause for a moment and consider how the Lord is bringing us through an unprecedented time. A continent was on fire, the Raptors became world champions, a virus broke out and stopped the world, civil unrest over inequality has rippled through the world, the price of oil dropped down to lower than some of you have ever seen, March Break was extended, education delivery turned upside down, how you work needed to be re-invented from home, virtual celebrations (birthdays, weddings, funerals, graduations), your personal right/freedoms were restricted, etc.

With all these events that the Lord has permitted happening, it's almost easy to become numb to the chaos, but amidst all this there is much that the Lord is looking to gain in your life. We were given an opportunity to pursue the Lord personally in God's chosen social circle of our immediate family.

  Philippians 3:10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

  1 Peter 4:13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.


Update 14: 24 June 2020

Dear Friday Night Youth Group,

Deuteronomy 6:18 "And thou shalt do what is right and good in the sight of Jehovah, that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest enter in and possess the good land which Jehovah swore unto thy fathers."

1 Kings 15:5 "because David did that which was right in the sight of Jehovah, and turned not aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Urijah the Hittite."

There's a phrase that keeps popping up in the accounts of the Kings and Chronicles:

  "And he did what was right in the sight of Jehovah..."

A quick search on biblegateway.com reports that the phrase occurs 21 times in the Bible. It is equally important to note the contrasting records (60 references) in the scriptures of "And he did what was evil in the sight of Jehovah". Ultimately God's opinion is the only one that matters. Sometimes we worry so much about what others may think or feel, with peer pressure dictating our responses.

With the school year finishing up, this is the time when we encourage the youth to seek the Lord on how we should be spending our time. Especially this year where many events that parents would have scheduled for us are no longer running, it is prudent to consider how we will spend our "free" time. Will we be engaged in activities that are "right and good in the sight of Jehovah"?

This question shouldn't become a heavy burden, nor should it paralyze us from living because we are constantly worried that we may not be "right in the sight of Jehovah". Recall that even Queen Esther went before a king where she had no assurance of whether she would come out alive. She did not know if she would find grace before him, and if she would be pleasing in his sight (Esther 8:4-5). We who are His have an assurance that Jesus alone does what is right in the sight of Jehovah. In fact, our only standing before God is the righteousness of Jesus substituted for us. So, over this summer vacation time, despite there being no organized physical youth group meetings, even the absence of Christian activities such as Christian conferences (CFC - cancelled, Israel Study Tour - cancelled, WCC - cancelled, WCCC - cancelled, SYC - cancelled), we pray you will continue in Him.

Continuing in Him can be discovering more of His righteousness! Here's a simple suggestion on how to spend your time with Him: Try memorizing the names of the books of the Bible, in order! And as you recall these "Titles", a good question to ask the Lord is "What are you saying in these books?" For example, Lord what were you saying through "Amos"? What do I learn about you from reading your Word? How does this apply to me?

May the Lord have young people who "do what is right in the sight of Jehovah".

1 John 2:28-29 "And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him."


Update 13: 17 June 2020

Dear Friday Night Youth Group,

Matthew 26:26-30 New International Version (NIV)

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body."

Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom."

When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

There is no doubt of our sincerity and devotion to following our Lord's every commandment. There has been much pressure to resume our meetings. Even to simply resume meetings and move them online while restrictions have been placed on physically meeting together. Yes, we do have the technology to do that. But instead of simply "resuming" and conducting our meetings just as we always have, but now online, perhaps the Lord is recovering the simplicity of remembering Him. Why do we have a time called, "The Lord's Table"? What is the Lord saying about this through His scriptures?

  It happened "While they were eating".
  Jesus took bread.
  Gave thanks.
  He broke it and gave.
  "Take and eat"
  Jesus took a cup.
  Gave thanks.
  He gave.
  "Drink from it."
  Only one hymn was sung.

Have we overcomplicated our remembering of Him? Has this time apart recovered the simplicity of our faith? We hope there is a clearer understanding why we remember Him as physical gathering restrictions begin to ease up allowing us to physically gather to remember Him again.


Update 12: 10 June 2020

Dear Friday Night Youth Group,

Colossians 3:11 New International Version (NIV)

11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

"Effective Friday, June 12, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., the province will increase the limit on social gatherings from five to 10 people across the province, regardless of whether a region has moved to Stage 2. Additionally, all places of worship in Ontario will also be permitted to open with physical distancing in place and attendance limited to no more than 30 per cent of the building capacity to ensure the safety of worshippers." Government Ontario

As COVID-19 restrictions seem to be ending and we are all allowed to go outside our homes, go back to work, even go back to meetings, then what? Has anything changed? Of course, the obvious, people have gotten sick and died, but what effect has that had on you? Being Christians, we all agree the Lord was in control this whole time, but what was He doing by allowing this? What have we learned and heard from the Lord concerning these times of isolation? How do we go forward? Are there any changes necessary? Do we just go back to the way meetings have always been conducted? Who is the 30 per cent that will be allowed to gather physically? Do we now move forward to meet online so that no one is "left out"? Think of all that work required to make some of the online meetings possible, and then to have it all taken away! We need to hear directly from the Lord for Him to really be all, and in all.

Someone shared with me a question: "What is your endgame?" In other words, at the end of this pandemic, we went through it, survived it, and what was the point of it all? Has there been an increase of the awareness of Christ in you? Have you experienced that He alone is the source of true living waters? Have you discovered that true fellowship is found with Christ alone? And if we do come to the end of this pandemic and are allowed to meet again, how has the Lord spoken to us, what has he shown us in these times of isolation that will change how we conduct ourselves and even our meetings? Will there really be increase for the Lord? Or have we just been so busy trying to replicate what we had before? Seek that which is above! We hope through this time there has been an increase of Christ in you.


Update 11: 03 June 2020

Dear Friday Night Youth Group,

Matthew 6:5-7 New International Version (NIV)

5 "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words."

Some history:

  • 2011 TDSB rescinded a ban on cell phone use by students in school.
  • In 2013, the board added Wi-Fi connectivity to all 240 of its schools. It also introduced a policy that encourages students to bring cellphones and tablets to school.
  • Then, in November 2019 The Ontario Government again placed a ban on the use of cell phones in Ontario classroom. What did they learn after the 8 years of allowing cell phones in the classroom? Education Minister: "The fact is...there's a lot of distractions out there...so our aim is to keep kids focused on the subject matter, retaining knowledge and applying it in life." Ironically, this same Education Minister announced today (June 03, 2020) "Access to high-speed Internet is foundational to our young people's success in learning, working, and innovating, today and into the future."
  • On April 17, 2020 the Ontario Government has partnered with Rogers communications and Apple to supply 21,000 iPad devices pre-equipped with free Rogers LTE wireless data, to homes of families in need. You might think, "Wow that's fantastic!", but is it really? Is that how we measure a "family in need", by whether they own an iPad?

With the cancellation of this year's Summer Youth Conference, it is good to reflect on God's purpose for the conference. It might be interesting to note that in 1999 we also had a year where there was no youth conference. A pause to seek the Lord in His direction for these times. And a big change in more recent years was the removal of electronic devices. Now, we are not against electronic devices, but we quickly found out the absolute hold these devices had on the youth. The first night has typically been the most difficult. In fact, some parents even objected that they could not be in contact with their children (which was not true since they had contact numbers to Redeemer University and Conference Administrators, and they had given their signed consent to abide with conference rules). Some youth even came up with ways of circumventing the conference rule by bringing two devices, one to hand in to the room leader, and the other....

We continue to pray and hope that the youth saw the value of putting away distractions. For the conference, we asked you all to put those devices away so that the week would be spent focussed on Jesus. The first night was always the hardest, but many found that it was quite possible to live without their devices! We were encouraged to take out an actual hardcopy of the Bible and read it, instead of flicking through a bible app. Now that you are not at a conference, do you still have those quiet times with the Lord? And now the world is fiercely demanding your time to be on devices, even giving you free devices, we pray you recognize the battle for your attention.

Jesus taught the disciples: But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

In the Secret


Update 10: 27 May 2020

Dear Friday Night Youth Group,

If you missed it, or would like to hear the recordings again, here are the recordings from this past weekend's virtual Youth Weekend Conference.

Link to recordings


Update 9: 20 May 2020

Dear Friday Night Youth Group,

Update: 2020 Summer Youth Conference

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We have been praying for this year's Summer Youth Conference and wanted to provide an update. With the Lord firmly on His throne, we will not be hosting a Summer Youth Conference this year. Not only has the Lord supplied His Word abundantly, but He also gives us abundant time to unite His Word with Faith. To exercise, experience, live out and work out, and more importantly to work it deep into us. Perhaps this is the Lord's reasoning for a sabbatical.

  • On May 19, 2020 the Ontario Government ordered that all Overnight camps in Ontario will not be permitted to operate in the summer of 2020. We are still in an extended state of emergency in Ontario which "prohibit organized public events and social gathering of more than five people, effective immediately... Organized public events include ...communal services within places of worship."
  • All publicly-assisted post-secondary institutions in Ontario have cancelled in-person classes and events. Redeemer University's campus - including outdoor recreation facilities - remains closed to the public, to students, and to non-essential employees.
  • As travel restrictions are still in effect: All persons entering Canada - no matter their country of origin or mode of entry - MUST isolate themselves for 14 days if they have symptoms of or confirmed COVID-19 or quarantine themselves for 14 days if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19.

We do thank brothers and sisters for their past and ongoing support for the youth through prayers. May the Lord really get what He is after during these times.

in Christ,

SYC Administration

Hebrews 4:2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.


Update 8: 12 May 2020

Dear Friday Night Youth Group,

Update: 2020 Christian Family Conference

Brothers and Sisters,

Since Longwood University notified us that all summer conferences would be cancelled this year, we have considered several options for the 2020 Christian Family Conference before the Lord.

We have previously posted on the CFC website the possibility of a virtual conference with livestream messages and possible virtual fellowship and prayer groups. Later, we sent out an email requesting prayer for the Lord's will concerning the possibility of just having our speakers provide online messages concerning the burden we believe is from the Lord - "I am doing a Great Work". We stated that we would let you know our decision as things became clearer.

As we have been praying before the Lord and hearing from different ones, we have concluded that there will not be a virtual conference or messages provided regarding the burden.

However, we do believe strongly that this burden is from the Lord for this hour we live in. In view of that we will wait before Him for the possibility of this burden being next year's theme, if He should tarry, and if that is His will.

We thank you all for your prayers, participation and support that has made the CFC possible for His service.

In His Hands,

Conference Coordinators


Update 7: 08 May 2020

Dear Friday Night Youth Group,

Hymn 156 Since Long Ago At Bethany (Please sing before reading.)

Link to Hymn Found Here Adapted by Watchman Nee from Horatius Bonar - Traditional Irish Melody

Usually we don't get a chance to sing this hymn. Probably because of the length... 7 verses spanning 3 and a half pages of our hymn book. But since we all have time now, it might be good to mention what a beautiful hymn this is. I wonder if our brother wrote this during his time in prison.

The hymn describes his yearning for our Lord, and for Him to return.

I remember when I first learned this hymn, I could not sing the words, "Yet day by day and year by year I've waited..." - stopping because I knew it was not true in me. And thinking I could only sing, "Yet today and just today I've waited". How sad that made me feel. I didn't want to sing words that were not true of me to my Lord. It was to my shame that I could not sing these words.

At the end of a Lord's Table meeting at a Family Conference, I remember thinking that "I have not yet laid my eyes upon this Jesus who I am remembering!", and these verses from the hymn resonated in my heart: "Despite Thy joy, there still remains a sigh; When I feel most content, the silent yearning... To see Thee face to face becomes an uttered cry."

The Lord has awakened a longing for Him to return. Slowly, as it became real the day by day turned to week by week... and week by week became month by month, until today I realized He has changed it to year by year. So often we are so discouraged at the beginning and forget how faithful He is.

To countless tears and countless fervent pleading, by Thine appearing haste to make reply. Oh may Thou come, the echo of the ages, Come, come and answer now this mighty corporate cry! Has this time being still awakened a yearning for His coming again?

Acts 1:9-11 New International Version (NIV)

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."


Update 6: 01 May 2020

Dear Friday Night Youth Group,

We just wanted to pass along an online conference opportunity. Please pray together with your parents and see if this is something you should be a part of.

Wed, Apr 29, 2020, 7:35 AM

YWC 2020 is Back! New Date & Registration

Dear Saints,

We hope that you are all staying safe and doing well. We want to give thanks to the Lord that after much prayer we have been given an opportunity to still be able to host the conference this year. The conference will be held on May 23 - 25 and it will be hosted virtually.

We know that the format is different and new, but we hope that we can still gather together as brothers and sisters and have worship with the Lord together and to fellowship on the topic of walking with the Lord.

The messages will be livestreamed and recorded to everyone who is registered but if you would like to participate in the discussion group please mark the boxes on the registration forms. The last day to register will be May 10th and the amount of room we have is limited so please do not delay in registering for the conference.

The schedule and the registration is available on:

http://cbmyouth.org/ywc2020.html

In Him,

Andrew, Colin, Leon, & Timothy (2020 YWC Coordinators)

Geoffrey Pittman is also inviting youth to join their online youth meetings.

Subject: Sign's of Life series through the Gospel of John (online youth meetings for this season)

Hey youth workers & parents!

We've been huddling together on zoom with the Richmond youth recently, reading the word, and praying together with our little crew here. But after weeks of that, and requests from some others to join us, we prayerfully thought it best to do something more purposeful and invite any youth who would like to join. The details are all over this site: youthcrew.org (and attached).

We'd love to have help, we'd love to coordinate, and if you're busy with what's going on locally there, we'd love to pray for each other. We're burdened for our youth in Richmond as well as all over. We share this burden with you.

If you're working with a group and would like to join in, you could still lead your local group in the discussion and prayer after the short word. We especially do not want to replace anything happening on a local level. Now is the time when our youth need persona shepherding attention. And if you'd rather use this as a side option that they could tune in and watch the messages, that is okay too. We have discussion questions for each time and feel that if it's possible to have some fellowship after the word, it's the best.

Peace to you,

Geoffrey & Katherine (with the Richmond youth crew)

pic1.jpg

Update 5: 24 April 2020

Dear Friday Night Youth Group,

Please read John 4:1-42.

John 4:23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in the Truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

  • How have you spent your time with the Lord this past month?
  • We hope you have had time to spend in His Word, so what has He shown you in His Word?
  • Have you felt alone, anxious, even confused? Have you brought these thoughts and feelings back to Jesus in prayer?
  • Has the Lord met you this week, even during a "downtime" when you might not have been "actively" seeking Him?
  • Have you spent time to worship Him?

John 4:42 They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world."



Update 4: 17 April 2020

Dear Friday Night Youth Group,

Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.

Do you find it interesting that before the COVID-19 restrictions were set in place, we studied God's word on a matter of someone who was also placed under restriction? The firm decree was that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except king Darius, was to be cast into the den of lions. It is wonderful that the Lord prepares us for events before they occur! A living example of one living under restriction.

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. Notice, this time he didn't make the decision known to his companions. He didn't consult flesh or blood, he didn't hold an online meeting, when he was found, Daniel simply was praying and making supplication before his God. This was his custom since early days. Perhaps the Lord is desiring to develop this custom in you.

Follow Jesus' example. Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35) After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray. (Mark 6:46) For you to develop a prayer life when no one else is around to see it.

Today we are under a restriction that we cannot physically gather. What if tomorrow, the internet goes down making virtual gatherings also impossible? Do you have this connection established? Thankfully, currently you are not isolated from family members, but even parents will die and leave us. Our hope is that you are connected to the Living God, that you know whom you have believed in if you ever find yourself alone, even in a den of lions. Attending meetings, singing hymns, even reading the bible can just be "customs", it all hinges on the reality of your relationship with Jesus Christ. You are saved by grace, not by attending meetings. There is such a movement for others to shepherd you, but only Jesus can say: I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me (John 10:14). Our prayer is for the youth to follow Jesus only.


Update 3: 09 April 2020

Dear Friday Night Youth Group,

There are times when we read through the Word, and we come across stories that just seem impossible.  For instance, when you're reading through Joshua and the battle with the Amorites where the Sun was stopped over Gibeon and the moon over Aijalon, the whole imagery sounds like nothing short of a miracle (Joshua 10:12-13).  

As we go through life, inevitably the Lord shakes things up and brings us into situations where we become aware of how much we need Him.  Whether that means grappling with family matters, social matters or even thinking about applying to University, the need for the Lord to give direction becomes incredibly apparent.  Sometimes, during those instances, we even come to the realization of how busy we have become, praying even that the Lord would just stop the world-even for a moment, so we could have some time with Him and really hear from Him ourselves.  

I don't know if we've come to understand how unprecedented these times really are.  As we look around, the world has literally come to a stop.  The fabric of how we used to function as a society has been completely torn.  Our expectations of school and work have been shifted, with some even having had work being taken off their plate for them.  These really are unprecedented times, and it is possible that something like this may never happen again in our lifetime; to see the world grind to a halt as it has now.  

As routine begins to settle in, and as we become accustomed to a different way of living, would we remember that the very first instance of fellowship was between Adam and the Lord.   Our Lord, first and foremost, is looking to meet you.  He has allowed the world to come to a stop so that He could meet with you.   Take hold of this opportunity and squeeze every minute out of it.  For all the things that you are going through in your life right now, your worries and your concerns, the Lord is keenly aware of it all and He is waiting to have fellowship with you.  

He knows how much we miss seeing one another, and as He prompts, the hope is that you have reached out to see how each other is doing.  But in the same vein, would we also have taken hold of this impossible moment and met with Him too.  And when we do get to physically gather again, would we really realize how sweet, and such a blessing it is to do so.  

As an encouragement, a song for you to consider the lyrics of as you spend some time with Him.


Update 2: 03 Apr 2020

Dear Friday Night Youth Group,

Praying you are getting lots of opportunities to hear from the Lord in these days when we must stay at home. Even though many of the other meetings have moved online, the youth group will not be having online meetings. We hope you naturally have been in contact with and fellowshipping with one another. Do not think that fellowship occurs only during "meetings". It is strange to force family members (parents and children) in the same household to be simultaneously logged into different meetings while avoiding the real "FaceTime" that the Lord has given our families during the pandemic.

The Lord must have lessons for us to learn as we are physically apart from your peers, but physically together with your family. Praying you all are hearing directly from the Lord Himself.

Continuing to pray that His will is done.

He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10 (NIV)


Update 1: 26 March 2020

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

Dear Friday Night Youth Group,

This is an update and encouragement during the times that we are facing now. As many of you know, with the rapid spread of COVID-19, our government has declared a state of emergency and has ordered that all non-essential services cease temporarily. In a way, our Lord has made the “Be still” aspect of the verse very real for us, but let's remember that the verse does not end there. He reminds us that He has a purpose for this time of being still in our lives and in this situation. Even though we are not able to physically gather as a youth group, for the time being, take this as an opportunity not just to relax or catch up with work, but be reminded that in the stillness He is God. He is to be exalted among the nations despite the fact that, for now, we are living relatively isolated lives.

As a further update, we will not be attending the Youth Weekend Conference this year, as the border has been closed to non-essential travel. We should recognize that we have been very blessed to attend conferences and to gather together! Although we do not have these opportunities right now, our Lord has not left us nor forsaken us. The God who has met us at meetings and conferences is the same God who desires to walk with us daily. Our Lord has not stopped wanting to meet with us. While today is still today, we encourage you to carve out some time each day, dust off your paper Bibles, and see what He's trying to say to you.

Until we get to meet again, please review the chapters we’ve studied together from Daniel and read ahead. Reflect on how the Lord may have prepared us for this situation through our study of Daniel.

Stay safe, stay healthy,

The Lord be with you until we meet again