Category Archives: Spiritual Director

Charlie Says… November 2010

As each FootSteps weekend approaches, my mind cries out, “Oh, no! Not another FootSteps weekend! It’s so hard! A weekend away from the family, a weekend of minimal sleep, a weekend of teens asking difficult questions.” Then, as I pull into the church parking lot and see all of the cars and walk into the building and hear the raucous laughter and then… “Charrrrrrrlieeeeee,” I smile and think, “Okay, Satan, you lose again!”

Bottom line: it’s hard! It’s hard to do ministry. It’s hard to proclaim Christ. It’s hard to remember the names of over fifty teenagers. It’s hard to put your love for Christ into words that non-believers can begin to understand.

For our teens, it’s hard to commit a whole weekend, get off of work, miss sports practices, not text for 48 hours, expose your commitment to Christ (or lack thereof), and talk to total strangers from schools from all over the region.

I believe it is supposed to be hard. All relationships are hard. And that’s what we talk about at FootSteps: a relationship with God.  There is anguish, wailing, and gnashing of teeth; arguments, compromise, compassion, forgiveness; and, most of all love.

But that’s what makes the relationship valuable.

It’s really, really worth it! God wants us to hold up our end of this relationship. He is already on board! He is loving us and blessing us. He is waiting for us to respond.

On our weekends, we offer suggestions for this response. We look at the Word of God in the Bible. We discuss what His Word means in our lives. We sing and worship…a lot! The candidates have the opportunity to talk with other teens about the role God has in their lives. We try very hard to demonstrate God’s love through the actions of the teen team.

James 2:26 tells us that “…faith without action is dead.” FootSteps is all about action! We challenge the candidates to live out their faith lives with action. To become involved with their church and youth groups. To make decisions with God in mind. To worship authentically. To live life with purpose!

FootSteps can be many things to many people. For some, the weekend becomes an opportunity to renew a faith that has been dormant. For some, it gives a chance to share a vibrant faith with others. And for others, the weekend is a turning point in their lives as they experience God’s love for the first time.

See ya next weekend!

Charlie

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Charlie Says… August 2010

My church is doing a sermon series about Moses. As is common for me, I started to think how the lesson pertained to the students who come to FootSteps.

God revealed Himself to Moses only after he had been stripped away of all earthly titles and honors. Moses had been elevated to great power in Egypt. He was respected among the people of that land. But after he killed the Egyptian and fled to Midian, he was a “nobody.” He had to start all over. He had to make a new life in the desert. That is when God spoke to him from the burning bush.

Could it have been that Moses was too busy to hear God in Egypt? Or did God just wait until Moses was removed from the “good life”?

Whatever the reason, let’s look at Moses’ response: “Here I am!” I love that! God’s voice speaking from a burning bush in the middle of nowhere and Moses says, “Here I am.” He was ready to serve. He had questions and fears, but he was ready and willing to serve.

After God explains His plan for Moses, Moses asked the greatest question: “Who am I?” Isn’t that the question many of us pose when asked to obey and serve? Who am I? How am I ready to follow God and serve? It’s like we expect some formal training from God before we can live in His path and proclaim Him to others.

I think that life itself is the training. We are constantly learning about God. Sometimes it’s weekends like FootSteps. God’s love is exhibited. We see our peers doing the work of God. Sometimes it’s just a realization that we’ve strayed from God and the commitment to redirect.

FootSteps allows the candidates to be “stripped away” of the outside world. No cell phones, iPods, video games, or watches. On this weekend, they aren’t athletic heroes, valedictorians, most or least popular, or rarely noticed. For this weekend, God (through His people) shows love and concern for all.  FootSteps allows the candidates to help answer the question, “Who am I?” They will see teenagers in action for God. They will observe students just like them empowered to serve others.

God’s answer to Moses? “I will be with you.” At Footsteps, we try very hard for all to feel that God is with them.

Footsteps can be many things to many people. For some, the weekend becomes an opportunity to renew a faith that has been dormant. For some, it gives a chance to share a vibrant faith with others. And for others, the weekend is a turning point in their lives as they experience God’s love for the first time.

See ya next weekend!

Charlie

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