February 2015


The Truth Shall Set You Free

Brian and I spoke at a lunch club today on the imperative topic of why Jesus died… Not only that, but we felt it was also necessary to pair the gospel with the strong evidence we have historically in proving the death and most importantly, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Everything hinges on the resurrection. Anybody can claim to be the son of God, but if Jesus came back from the dead, then He is who He says He is.

After the bell rang, a 13-year-old atheist came up to me and said,

“Morgan, what you said was very convincing. I’m going to have to stop coming or I’ll start believing!!!”

Ha!! It about knocked me over. All I could say in that moment was, “Thank you Jesus.” Please be praying that the seeds planted this afternoon would take root!!

In Lee Strobel’s book, “The Case For Christ,” he says, “In light of the avalanche of evidence, I decided that it would require more faith to maintain my atheism than to become a follower of Jesus Christ.” Jesus said, “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” That’s our story and I pray it becomes the story of the 30-50 young people that we meet with every week at Ian Ramsey Academy.

Marriage: Conforming into the Image of Christ

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!!!! Romans 8:28 – “And we know that for those who LOVE God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” …I know that this is not one of the more popular verses about “love” shared on Valentine’s day, but I wanted to point out the beauty behind it within the context of marriage. The goal of everything that God does in His providence and for His children is to conform us into the image of Christ, marriage included.

When you think of the image of Christ, what are some characteristics that automatically come to mind? Three qualities that stand out to me are His unconditional LOVE (complete love; no conditions), His MERCY (not giving what IS deserved; deliverance from judgement), and His unending GRACE (giving what is NOT deserved; extending kindness to the unworthy).

So, here are some questions: How would we ever learn unconditional love if we were married to people who met all of our expectations and conditions all of the time? How would we ever learn mercy and heart felt compassion if we were married to people who were never difficult with us, never failed us, and never sinned against us? How would we truly learn patience and long suffering if we had spouses who were never slow to acknowledge their sin or ask for forgiveness?? How would we ever learn how to extend grace and pour out favor if we were married to people who were always deserving of every good thing?

Marriage is one of the greatest instruments of sanctification because it gives us the opportunity to be more like Jesus every day. We are married to people who do not meet all the conditions, so that we learn unconditional love! We are married to people who need mercy so that we learn to give it! …And thus we become like the God we worship. This friends, is one of the most beautiful parts about committing your life to someone forever.

Matt Chandler said, “In forgiving and loving our sinful spouses, we begin to understand on a much smaller scale what it meant for our holy God to forgive and redeem us.” I pray that we are more intentional in loving our spouses unconditionally. We worship God for His unconditional love, mercy, and grace, but we sometimes demand that our spouse live in such a way that they not be in need of it. By God’s grace, we are capable of this supernatural love, but we must be utterly dependent on the power of Christ to do and be what He has called us to do and be, especially in our marriages.

I am so incredibly thankful for a spouse who loves me unconditionally… even on the days that I do not deserve it! Happy Valentine’s Day! :)

(Inspiration from Paul Washer sermon mix)

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Ian Ramsey Lunch Club!

YFC has recently partnered with the Ian Ramsey Christian Union and we are delighted to not only be in a new school this term, but also to have started a weekly lunch club. Our team was in the academy every morning last week hosting assemblies and spreading the word!

We wanted to take the time to thank everyone for praying on behalf of the school assemblies last week because those prayers proved powerful and effective! We were nearly speechless when 40 or 50 young people showed up on Wednesday to the recently launched lunch club. Our team had to improvise and split up the younger students from the older students simply to make enough room!

It absolutely blew us away and we wholeheartedly believe that God is doing something very special here. Please keep tomorrow in your prayers as we begin a series of teachings…ultimately the gospel. Tomorrow Bethany and Rachel will be speaking on the topic, “Who is Jesus?” Brian and I will be teaching the following week on, “Why did Jesus die?”

Thanks again for praying!!

Locking Arms

We meet every Monday morning with our gap year team members and other youth and kids workers across the Tees Valley! Here is a great capture of Brian leading us in worship yesterday. #LockingArms #GospelDream #YouthForChrist

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Developing the Body of Believers

How many parts of your body do you want working? All of them, right? If parts of our body aren’t working, then we don’t feel healthy… This is true of our physical body, and it’s also true of the spiritual body of Christ. Why are we content to limp along with only a very small minority of God’s children involved in God’s Work? The church must be intentional in developing ALL of God’s children to reach their full potential. Perhaps the greatest challenge in reaching the world is the challenge of developing the body of believers. While the church must be in the business of preaching the Gospel, it must also concentrate on the mission of developing the saints.

Mentorship Program

For the past five months, we’ve been going into North Shore Academy as YFC volunteers. Over the last term, we sat in classes, doing the best we could to assist the teachers where needed. While we were thankful to have a presence in the school, we certainly craved the opportunity for more intentional relationship building.

We are thrilled to announce that God has answered this prayer and opened an incredible door through a mentoring program that has launched due to the relationship built between North Shore Academy and Youth For Christ. This kind of trust was undoubtedly formed through the seed planting of the YFC workers who came before us and volunteered in North Shore every day for years.

This week we started mentoring in groups and one-on-one!! How exciting is that?! The academy’s head of disciplinary hand-picked the students who she felt needed mentoring the most. We will be meeting with them every week. It is an amazing privilege and also a great responsibility. Please be praying for the young people that God ultimately paired each of us with this year. Thanks!