Youth Playlists

What’s a Playlist?

A Playlist is a set of activities exploring a topic.  The activities might include reading an article or scripture, listening to a podcast or sermon, watching a video or movie clip. Each month we’ll post three Playlists designed for Children, Youth, and Adults.  All of us will explore the same topic, but the Playlists will be designed for each age group.  You can work your way through the Playlists at your own pace throughout the month.

Remember you can always share your thoughts in the comment section at the bottom of this page.


October Playlist

Amazing Grace

Chad Diegle, Director of Youth Ministries

10/1/20

Parent Section

Hey Parents!  This month we will be taking a deeper look at GRACE and the variety of ways we encounter that in our church, home, and world.  Please feel free to check it out, participate along with your student, ask questions, and most importantly, listen to them if they want to discuss things. My hope for this month is that our eyes are opened to the beautiful ways God’s amazing grace is evident in our lives.    Here is a quick little read that I don’t think our teens will appreciate, but maybe you will!  It includes a few tips on bringing Grace into your own life with a few ideas on just how simple it can be.

How to Show Grace to Others

Student Section

PLAYLIST??? What is that??? = The best part of the PLAYLIST is you can choose your own adventure!  You may select the order that you participate in or even choose to skip something altogether.  Have some fun with it and feel free to share your feedback and thoughts with me.  Here are some examples of what you might see…

DO = Something for you to actually participate in.  Most of the time it will be a meeting. Yes, on Zoom for now.

WATCH = Typically a video that you can check out.  Sometimes it will be a clip from a movie or speaker that works with our theme.

ASK = Questions for you to ask yourself or others.  You may want to talk with others or just ponder them alone.  Up to you!

PRAY = A written prayer that you can use, or you might want to just make up your own!

CREATE = This can be a variety of activities that are very open to what or how you might want to express yourself.  It may include writing, drawing, making something, or taking some photos.

Grace–Underserved

John 3:16-17

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

LISTEN: “This is Amazing Grace”

DO: Join a meeting this week

ASK: Think about or discuss these questions with your family/friends

  • How would you describe the meaning of grace to a friend?
  • Have you ever deserved punishment but received grace? What happened?
  • What behaviors do you have that make you feel you are not worthy of grace? 

What story, from the Bible, comes to mind when you think about undeserved grace?  Think of one other than Jesus dying on the cross!!! =)

WATCH: This is a really cool short film.  It is a story of a father and son who run a bridge for a train to cross and boats to travel under.  The people on the train are unaware of the brutal decision the dad has to make to keep them safe.  Warning, it is a bit sad.  Click the link below to watch.

  

CREATE: Find a picture online (or draw one!!!) that demonstrates undeserved grace being shown.  Consider sharing it with your family or at our weekly meeting.

Grace–Unmerited

Ephesians 2:8

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.

DO: Participate in a meeting

READ: “Because I’m Yours” from Finding Freedom through the Intoxicating Joy of Irresistible Grace by Daniel Montgomery and Timothy Paul Jones

I never dreamed that taking a child to Disney World could be so difficult — or that such a trip could teach me so much about God’s outrageous grace.

Our middle daughter had been previously adopted by another family. I [Timothy] am sure this couple had the best of intentions, but they never quite integrated the adopted child into their family of biological children. After a couple of rough years, they dissolved the adoption, and we ended up welcoming an eight-year-old girl into our home.

For one reason or another, whenever our daughter’s previous family vacationed at Disney World, they took their biological children with them, but they left their adopted daughter with a family friend. Usually — at least in the child’s mind — this happened because she did something wrong that precluded her presence on the trip.

And so, by the time we adopted our daughter, she had seen many pictures of Disney World and she had heard about the rides and the characters and the parades. But when it came to passing through the gates of the Magic Kingdom, she had always been the one left on the outside. Once I found out about this history, I made plans to take her to Disney World the next time a speaking engagement took our family to the southeastern United States.

I thought I had mastered the Disney World drill. I knew from previous experiences that the prospect of seeing cast members in freakishly oversized mouse and duck costumes somehow turns children into squirming bundles of emotional instability. What I didn’t expect was that the prospect of visiting this dreamworld would produce a stream of downright devilish behavior in our newest daughter. In the month leading up to our trip to the Magic Kingdom, she stole food when a simple request would have gained her a snack. She lied when it would have been easier to tell the truth. She whispered insults that were carefully crafted to hurt her older sister as deeply as possible — and, as the days on the calendar moved closer to the trip, her mutinies multiplied.

A couple of days before our family headed to Florida, I pulled our daughter into my lap to talk through her latest escapade. “I know what you’re going to do,” she stated flatly. “You’re not going to take me to Disney World, are you?” The thought hadn’t actually crossed my mind, but her downward spiral suddenly started to make some sense. She knew she couldn’t earn her way into the Magic Kingdom — she had tried and failed that test several times before — so she was living in a way that placed her as far as possible from the most magical place on earth.

In retrospect, I’m embarrassed to admit that, in that moment, I was tempted to turn her fear to my own advantage. The easiest response would have been, “If you don’t start behaving better, you’re right, we won’t take you” — but, by God’s grace, I didn’t. Instead, I asked her, “Is this trip something we’re doing as a family?”

She nodded, brown eyes wide and tear-rimmed.

“Are you part of this family?”

She nodded again.

“Then you’re going with us. Sure, there may be some consequences to help you remember what’s right and what’s wrong — but you’re part of our family, and we’re not leaving you behind.”

I’d like to say that her behaviors grew better after that moment. They didn’t. Her choices pretty much spiraled out of control at every hotel and rest stop all the way to Lake Buena Vista. Still, we headed to Disney World on the day we had promised, and it was a typical Disney day. Overpriced tickets, overpriced meals, and lots of lines, mingled with just enough manufactured magic to consider maybe going again someday.

In our hotel room that evening, a very different child emerged. She was exhausted, pensive, and a little weepy at times, but her month-long facade of rebellion had faded. When bedtime rolled around, I prayed with her, held her, and asked, “So how was your first day at Disney World?”

She closed her eyes and snuggled down into her stuffed unicorn. After a few moments, she opened her eyes ever so slightly. “Daddy,” she said, “I finally got to go to Disney World. But it wasn’t because I was good; it’s because I’m yours.”

It wasn’t because I was good; it’s because I’m yours.

That’s the message of outrageous grace.

Outrageous grace isn’t a favor you can achieve by being good; it’s the gift you receive by being God’s. Outrageous grace is God’s goodness that comes looking for you when you have nothing but a middle finger flipped in the face of God to offer in return. It’s a farmer paying a full day’s wages to a crew of deadbeat day laborers with only a single hour punched on their time cards (Matthew 20:1 – 16). It’s a man marrying an abandoned woman and then refusing to forsake his covenant with her when she turns out to be a whore (Ezekiel 16:8 – 63; Hosea 1:1 — 3:5). It’s the insanity of a shepherd who puts ninety-nine sheep at risk to rescue the single lamb that’s too stupid to stay with the flock (Luke 15:1 – 7). It’s the love of a father who hands over his finest rings and robes to a young man who has squandered his inheritance on drunken binges with his fair-weather friends (Luke 15:11 – 32)…It’s one-way love that calls you into the kingdom not because you’ve been good but because God has chosen you and made you his own. And now he is chasing you to the ends of the earth to keep you as his child, and nothing in heaven or hell can ever stop him…

But here’s what’s amazing about God’s outrageous grace: This isn’t merely what God the Father would do; it’s what he did do. God could have chosen to save anyone, everyone, or no one from Adam’s fallen race. But what God did was to choose a multi-hued multitude of “someones,” and — if you are a believer in Jesus Christ — one of those “someones” was you. God in Christ has declared over you, “I could have chosen anyone in the whole world as my child, and I chose you. No matter what you say or do, neither my love nor my choice will ever change.” That’s grace that’s truly amazing (pp. 81-84).

ASK: Think about or discuss these questions with your family/friends

  • Does good behavior mean you earn good things? 
  • How do you experience unmerited grace? 
  • When have you offered grace to someone that maybe didn’t deserve it?
  • How has God’s unmerited grace influenced your life or the life of those around you?

WATCH: This scene is from a movie called Saving Private Ryan. The story is about a group of soldiers trying to find a man (Private Ryan) and remove him from the war. He has three brothers who have already died, unbeknownst to him, and they want to find him and send him home before he too is killed, leaving his mother without any children.  His reaction is a thing of beauty. Click the link below to watch.

PRAY: Lord, help me to realize that no matter what I do, I cannot earn your love and grace.  Remind me today that no amount of good behavior will make you love me any more than you already do.  Your grace is mine and is unmerited, unearned, and undeserved, but you give it to me anyway.  Thank you, Jesus, for this amazing grace.

Grace–Forgiveness

Colossians 3:13

13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

DO: Participate in a meeting

ASK: Think about or discuss these questions with your family/friends

  • What is the most difficult thing that you have had to forgive someone for?  Why did you decide to offer forgiveness?
  • Is there something that could happen to you that you might not be able to forgive a person for?
  • Why is forgiving so difficult?
  • When is a time that you have been offered forgiveness?  How did you respond to that gift?

WATCH: This is a 15 minute TED Talk from a lady who experienced great pain when her family was killed by a friend of her brother.  Her journey towards forgiveness is a really cool one.  Watch as she explains the difficulties and benefits of her experience with offering grace.

CREATE: Think about three people who have offered you forgiveness.  Find them, thank them, and let them know how much that means to you.  Then, think about three people that you can offer forgiveness to, and then do it!  Call, text, tell them face to face why it is important to you that they know they are forgiven.


September Playlist

Justice

Chad Diegle, Director of Youth Ministries

9/1/20

Parent Section

Hey Parents!  You will find a ton of content that is, hopefully, geared towards your child, but you may even enjoy it yourself.  Some of the content is more difficult to understand than other content.  This month we will be taking a deeper look at Justice and the many layers that that word presents.  Please feel free to check it out, participate along with your student, ask questions, and most importantly, listen to them if they want to discuss things.  Personally, I am still discovering where I stand on the complexities of justice, and I am sure that you are as well.  My guess is that if we listen to the open minds of our younger generations, we can be taught much by their open minds and beautiful hearts.  Let them teach you a bit along this journey.

Here is a quick little read that was published last month on the Desert Cross Faith Formation website.  Give it a few minutes if you are curious about ways to implement some justice in our own home.

Justice at Home

Student Section

PLAYLIST??? What is that??? = The best part of the PLAYLIST is you can choose your own adventure!  You may select the order that you participate in or even choose to skip something altogether.  Have some fun with it and feel free to share your feedback and thoughts with me.  Here are some examples of what you might see…

DO = Something for you to actually participate in.  Most of the time it will be a meeting. Yes, on Zoom for now.

WATCH = Typically a video that you can check out.  Sometimes it will be a clip from a movie or speaker that works with our theme.

ASK = Questions for you to ask yourself or others.  You may want to talk with others or just ponder them alone.  Up to you!

PRAY = A written prayer that you can use, or you might want to just make up your own!

CREATE = This can be a variety of activities that are very open to what or how you might want to express yourself.  It may include writing, drawing, making something, or taking some photos.

Justice: Big Picture

Micah 6:8

He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

DO: Join a meeting this week

ASK: Think about or even discuss these questions with your family/friends

  • How would you explain justice to a child?
  • Is fairness a good synonym for justice?
  • How have you experienced justice/injustice?

WATCH: This video is great, but it does cover some big ideas and uses terms you may not know. Watch it and try to gather what you can. You can always ask questions about terms or ideas that you don’t understand…or just Google it. =)

CREATE: Find a picture online that gives an example of an INJUSTICE (for example: racism, poverty, environmental, gender, religious, etc.). Save the photo and share it with the group next time we meet on Zoom. Think about why that picture stood out to you.

Justice in the Home

Matthew 22:34-40

 34 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35 and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

DO: Participate in a meeting

ASK: Think about or even discuss these questions with your family/friends

  • Who gets to say something is just or unjust?  How did they get that authority? 
  • How do you experience justice in your family? 
  • Where is there injustice in your home?
  • Where did your family’s ideas on justice come from?

WATCH:

PRAY: Lord, help me to see the many ways that I can create justice in my life.  Show me the ways that I am treating others unfairly and give me the strength to change that about myself.  Inspire me to be a light in the lives of others and a messenger of justice in my home, friend group, school, church, neighborhood, city and world.  Amen.

Justice in Society

Matthew 25:34-40

34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’

Justice, in its broadest sense is the principle that people receive that which they deserve; with the interpretation of what then constitutes “deserving” being impacted upon by numerous fields, with many differing viewpoints and perspectives, including the concepts of moral correctness based on ethics, rationality, law, religion, equity and fairness.

*From Wikipedia

DO: Participate in a meeting

ASK: Think about or even discuss these questions with your family/friends

  • Who have you shown fairness to?  Try to not say friends or family…how does that change your answer?
  • When is it unfair for a person to be homeless or in jail?  What are ways we can show justice to those experiencing homelessness or in prison?

WATCH:

WATCH: Watch the movie Pay It Forward.  It is a fun and powerful movie. Check it out again if you’ve already seen it.

CREATE:  Show fairness to a stranger this week.  Be ready to chat about this moment at our meetings.

Justice and Christianity

Romans 12:15-18

15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly;[a] do not claim to be wiser than you are. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

DO: Participate in the meeting

WATCH: Check out this video from a pastor.  He does a fantastic job of explaining justice from a Christian perspective.

CREATE:  Take a photo or write a letter or draw a picture of what JUSTICE means to you.

PRAY: Jesus, you were so passionate about Justice for all humankind.  Help me to live a life that models how you would want me to treat others.  Provide me with the courage to be fair to others, to serve those in need, to fight for equality for all groups of people and guide me to lead others in my service to your people. Amen.



















































November Playlist

Hope

Chad Diegle, Director of Youth Ministries

11/1/20

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