AZ Youth Camp is an inter-church ministry which was formed to help students know Christ through His Word. Youth camp provides a Gospel-centered, high-energy summer retreat that explores the Bible and life with Jesus Christ. Our staff places incredible value on the Bible, prayer, and partnering with the local church so that the lives of our youth may be genuinely transformed by the Holy Spirit. Pastor Jason Low emphasized how Jesus modeled compassion towards others and showed compassion for mankind.
Our young adult ministry held a retreat in San Diego, California during Memorial Day Weekend. Our guest speaker, Pastor Bruce Ford, shared on how churches can pass the leadership baton to the next generation and how God brings people into leadership roles. As a group, we can’t wait to see how our spiritual gifts can be used to edify our church and further serve His kingdom.
A while back, I was in a medical lab where I came across an elderly couple with a problem. I quietly listened as they spoke Cantonese to each other about their lack of English skills. They tried to use their telephone as a translator but it wasn’t working well. I knew it would appear strange for me to jump into the mix with me speaking Chinese but, in I stepped! Well, I can simply say that I have two new friends at this point.
Sometimes things don’t go as we have planned. What we think of as a simple trip to an office can become an opportunity to build new understandings and friends. By the time we had managed this couple’s problems in that medical lab, they were asking about my church, what the meaning of “Baptist” was, and other questions related to the Christian faith. I had gone into that office with a book and a plan to read while waiting for the processing required to get my own needs met. However, God had something different in mind as I was privileged to watch His actions bring about a totally different focus for the time there. Had I held strong to my original intention for the morning, I would have missed the blessing intended for those moments with this couple.
Life is more than winning or losing in issues and debates. It is more than worrying about what is convenient for us or what may be seen as unusual/improper to others. Christ modeled a boldness, when dealing with people, that was beyond what most people would see as normal. He was open, free, honest, burdened, clear, loving, firm, and many other things as he focused His life towards the needs of people. Each day, opportunities come our way to impact others around us but how we respond is up to us.
有一次我在加拿大一医疗检验室遇到一对老年夫妇， 他们遇到了问题。 我静静地听他们用广东话说他们的英文不够用。他们试着用手机翻译， 但显然不够。 我知道我用广东话插入帮忙是很奇怪的， 但是我还是加入了！ 可以说从那时起，我交了两位新朋友。
有时，事情会出乎预期的。 一个简单的医疗室检查可以变成交新朋友及了解他们的机会。 在我们解决他们医疗检验室困难后，他们开始询问我教会，什么是浸信会及其他基督教相关问题。 我之前带着一本书进检验室，预备候医时看。 然而上帝有祂不同的想法，而我有幸看到祂在那时那地的焦点。如果我坚持那早上我的原来计划，我就会错过那对夫妇在那时的祝福。
生活不是只在各样事上的输赢。 它永远超过担心什么对我们是方便的，或什么对别人看似不平常、不适合的。 对人，基督以祂的胆识做我们的榜样，祂跨越大多数人认为是正常的。 祂开放、自由、真诚、有担负、清楚、有爱心、确实等等，祂生命的焦点在于人的需要。 每天都有各种影响我们周遭人的机会，是由我们决定我们要如何应对。
Jesus said, “It is not that which goes into the mouth that defiles a man but that which comes out of his mouth.” Then, having heard this, his disciples said to Him, “Don’t you know that the Pharisees were offended by your words for what you’ve said?” (Matt 15:10 – 12)
耶 穌 就 叫 了 眾 人 來 ， 對 他 們 說 「 你 們 要 聽 ， 也 要 明 白 。 入 口 的 不 能污 穢 人 ， 出 口 的 乃 能 污 穢 人 。」當 時 ， 門 徒 進 前 來 對 他 說 ：「 法 利 賽 人聽 見 這 話 不 服 ， 你 知 道 麼 ？」（馬太15:10-12）
For the Jews, the rules tied to dietary intake were many and to eat anything unclean was sinful and to be judged. Yet, Jesus dared to say that this emphasis on food prohibitions was not as important as what was coming out of the heart of the person. He defined the religious establishment’s laws as petty. It was not clothes, rituals, nor customs that were to be valued but the heart and words of the person.
對猶太人來說，和進食有關的規條是非常多； 吃了不潔的食物是犯罪，也要受審判。 但耶穌敢於指出這些飲食的禁忌遠遠比不上從人心裏出來的重要。祂確認那些宗教法例是瑣碎沒意義的。衣著、儀式或習慣都無須太重視，更重要的是人的心和言行。
As we reflect on ourselves and our church, by what standard do we live? Are we more preoccupied with how we appear to others or is our appearance a reflection of who Christ is in our lives? May the Father give us the “courage of Christ” to BE Christian more than just LOOK Christian in the eyes of any who might see themselves as the standard for Christian behavior. Serve Him Boldly!
樣式？深願天父賜給我們 「基督的勇氣」，做一個真正的基督徒，而不只是看起來似有標準行為的基督徒。 我們要 大膽地事奉祂！