Consuming Fire Recap Video

The most talked about moment of the Holy Spirit always comes from the scriptural account of Pentecost. Where the Spirit came down like tongues of fire upon the terrified disciples, and that fire consumed their fear and weakness, empowering and emboldening them. They left that upper room fearlessly proclaiming Jesus as Lord, converting thousands, performing miracles, facing down persecution, and doing it all with awe-inspiring hope and joy.

That same Holy Spirit was there at the beginning as God’s breath stirred the waters of Creation (Gen 1:2). He was there to respond to the courageous “yes” of a teenager in Nazareth (Luke 1:35) and changed the course of human history. He was there when Jesus promised His followers that the Holy Spirit would be with us today and forever (John 14:16).

The same, exact, unchanging, ever-faithful Spirit who transformed the first Apostles, showed up in an incredible way this past weekend during our Life Teen Fall Retreat called “Consuming Fire”. Almost 50 of our teens and 20 leaders spent three days in the beauty of Prescott exploring the glory of the Holy Spirit. And what an amazing experience it was!

There were deep moments of healing, forgiveness, spiritual awakening, prayer, and adoration. Teens who had never experienced faith in a meaningful way came face-to-face with God and took first steps toward personal relationship. Teens who already have an intimate relationship with the Lord opened themselves more fully to the ways He is calling them to be bold and trust in Him. I firmly believe that the Holy Spirit has world-changing plans for our St. Thomas Aquinas youth. Like with the disciples at Pentecost, His fire is consuming their fears and giving them the ability to be miracle-workers in their schools, families, and beyond!

I humbly thank you for your prayers and support of our youth ministry. Please continue to pour out your prayers for these teens and CORE Leaders as the Evil One attempts to dilute the experiences of an amazing retreat. See the video recap below and tons of pictures are to come!

God bless,
Andrew

Relentless Father

Our theme of “Relentless Father” for our 2018-19 year has been absolutely wrecking my prayer life. I am finding myself reevaluating the whole way I view “fatherhood”. So often, we see fathers as how the media portrays them (often bumbling idiots) or how our own experience with our fathers can be less than perfect. This can make us mistakenly cram God the Father into a box that is far too small and limited for how amazing He is.

Jesus instructed us to call God “Father”. Not “Creator”, not “Mighty One”, not “Lord” or “Salvation”. All of those are true…but they’re not the name that His Son gave us to use. It’s like refusing to call your in-laws “Mom & Dad” after you get married and they request it. Sure, using Mr. and Mrs. So-and-so is proper and right…but it’s impersonal and the relationship that God wants with you is anything but! Formal, impersonal relationships never get deep or dirty…and God DESIRES a relationship with you where you can trust Him with your mess.

How do we know that Jesus wants our relationship with God to be so open and vulnerable? Because when He said “Father”, he used the word “Abba”. The connotation in “Abba” is more like in English the way young children use “Daddy”. It’s personal and loving and vulnerable. There are so many ways that we can call out to our dads…and so many meanings of that call to “Daddy”…the video below is taken from a commercial, but I think it is a good reminder of how we can call out to our Father. I challenge you to do so in your prayer life today. We have a Relentless Father…and you’ll never believe how much He is loving and pursuing YOU…right now.