Archive for January, 2011

Like a child

At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom? “For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me.   Matthew 18: 1-4 (The Message)

If you are ever accused of being naive or simple, count it a blessing. God wants you to enjoy life, renewing your mind to childlike simplicity is the best way to start.  Anonymous
Last week at SS we discussed the value of going to God in prayer as a little child would.  Many in the class found that refreshing.  Some attributes of a child are: Dependant on parents, innocence, a teachable heart, curious, receptive, full of wonder, not clouded by cynicism, naive, and simple.   I read the following on a random blog as well.  “Children have big imaginations and big dreams. Children look up to their parents. Children love new experiences and adventures. Children love to laugh. Children smile when they are happy and cry when they are sad. Children are simple and they don’t worry about every disease on the news and every infomercial for the next great thing.”

When it comes to praying as a child those of us who have the joy of working with kids in lock up through Straight Ahead Ministry Bible study often get to experience what that sounds like.  There is no pretense, they pray using language normal to them, and instead of saying “amen” when they are done you might hear, “that’s it.”  As a leader we need to make sure we do not use language that they are unfamiliar with or make our prayers intimidating to them.  God wants us to carry on a conversation with Him, just as we do with our friends and loved ones.  We don’t want to make our praying artificial or dutiful; God wants us to be real with Him.

Father, we are grateful for the freedom to approach you from the privileged son or daughter position.  I pray that we might renew our wonder of that precious relationship.  – Deb Erickson, Prayer Coordinator

January 25, 2011 at 11:15 am 2 comments

Pulling Strings

Last week Angel, our Worcester Aftercare Coordinator, received a call from a kid he used to meet with in a Department of Youth Services facility in the city. It had been three months since the young man’s release and Angel wondered if he would ever see him again. Out of the blue, the young man called, wanting to be connected to Straight Ahead. The problem? He was now living out-of-state.

Angel put a call in to a chaplain in that state to see if he could connect with the boy. As it turns out the chaplain leads a weekly community-based Bible study in the town in which the boy lives. And, as chance would have it (read: the sovereignty of God) the Bible study takes place in a building on the very street in which the boy is staying.

How amazing is that? The boy calls out of the blue from a state that Straight Ahead does not formally provide aftercare. Yet there is a chaplain from the juvenile lock-up facility who is willing to meet with the kid. His Bible study happens to take place in the same town the boy now lives and most astonishingly, on the same street!

Only God could work out the details like this. Our hope is that you will be encouraged by this latest evidence of God’s work behind the scenes. We are!

January 11, 2011 at 1:37 pm Leave a comment


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