What Makes You Awesome!

This post by Kelly Colangelo is reprinted from LifeTeen.com

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I’m not good enough. I’m not strong enough. I’m not cool enough. Nobody loves me. These little voices use to mull around in my brain on a daily basis.

Am I enough?

I remember hanging out with my friends and watching how their awesomeness shined through them. This was a great witness of joy in my life, but left me constantly comparing myself to them. I remember looking in the mirror and staring at myself -something that I didn’t like and having the feeling of shame overwhelm me. I would say to myself, “no one could love me.” And at the end of a long day, just before I fell asleep, I would wonder if I measured up. Was I good enough? Am I sister enough, friend enough, youth minister enough. These three little words, “am I enough” punctured my heart.

But, somewhere along the way, I missed the point of it all.

You see, your “enoughness” has nothing to do with your grades, your friends, what kind of car you drive or how much money you have. Being enough doesn’t change over time. Being enough isn’t contingent upon anything external. Your value is not determined by what you do. It is determined by the simple fact that you are a daughter and son of the Father. You are enough. I am enough.

I’m going to share a little secret. I’m really awesome at Wii bowling, but that doesn’t define my worth or my value. It doesn’t make me enough because I’m super good at a video game. I am desired, pursued and chased after by a God who loves me regardless of my Wii bowling skills. I am accepted and beloved by a loving God and nothing with ever change that.

My heart breaks for the guys and girls who believe they are worthless, who believe they aren’t enough. Scripture speaks truth to that lie: “You are precious and honored in my sight, and… I love you” (Isaiah 43:4).

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Mission Trip: Steubenville Atlanta 2015

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WHAT:

Come join other teens as we joyful proclaim and share Christ’s saving love with others by responding to Jesus’ call “Go, Make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19)

Mission Trip 2015 Flyer

Steubenville 2015 Permission Slip

Medical Form 2015


WHEN:

Wednesday Morning, July 8th – Monday evening, July 13th

We will gather Wednesday morning at Light of Christ then head out to USF Tampa to begin our journey!


COST:

$50 Deposit to reserve your spot on first come first serve basis. We only have 14 spots and as of April 1, 2015 we have only 5 left!

Total cost of mission trip approximately $350


For More Information:

Contact our youth minister

The Secret Weapon of a Teenage Slave

This post by Christina Mead is reprinted from LifeTeen.com

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Story time! Grab your blanket or favorite comfort item (iPhones are not an option).

Ready?

Once there was a teenager. He was happy and young and free and didn’t worry about things like “religion” or “God” or “right and wrong.” His parents were Christian, but they didn’t teach him much about it. And then, one day his carefree life came to a halting stop when he was kidnapped by pirates.

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Yes, pirates.

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No, this is not the story of Peter Pan (but there is a man with a hook later on… weird…)

The pirates took this teenager back to their homeland across the sea and sold him into slavery. As a slave, he was forced to tend sheep for a rich, pagan man.

Now at this point we have 1) a teenager, 2) taken from his home, 3) all alone in a foreign land, 4) isolated in a field all day and night as a slave shepherd.

And you thought chemistry class was rough.

Seriously though, can you imagine being in this teen’s situation? How would YOU react? I would cry. And then break sticks and throw rocks. And then cry some more out of loneliness and sadness and boredom because I’m alone in a field.

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What did he do? How do you handle it when you have no idea if you’ll ever see your home and family again? What keeps you going and positive when you’re isolated for years and years in a field with a bunch of dumb sheep? You need a secret weapon.

This teen discovered one.

During the six years he spent as a shepherd, he experienced a powerful encounter with God and it changed everything for him. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, he chose to spend his time in conversation with God through prayer. Instead of feeling isolated, he chose to remind himself of the presence of God all around him. Instead of feeling weighed down by the pagan culture around him, he lived in the glory of what God has done for us all in the history of our salvation.

These were choices that he made that completely transformed the really terrible experience he found himself in. When he finally was able to run away and escape back to his home and family, he became a priest and then went BACK to the land of his slavery to serve the people there. Who does that?!?

Someone convicted by their love of God, that’s who.

He converted tons of them to Christianity and later he became a bishop (complete with a staff/hook), and the patron saint of their country — Ireland.

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This is the story of St. Patrick.

As a teenager who was dealt a tough situation, I feel like he has a lot to teach you and I. He teaches us that sainthood means choosing virtue in the moments when it’s most inconvenient. It’s also about living every day in the reality of God’s presence and the power of all the angels and saints available to us.

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Yes, Take Me to Church

This post by Christina Mead is reprinted from LifeTeen.com

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I can’t stop thinking about that song “Take Me To Church” that we all hear almost every time we turn on the radio. It’s fascinating that despite our culture’s obvious disregard for religion, there’s still an awareness of the need to worship something, someone… anything, anyone.

The lyrics speak of the “religion of me” and the artist’s idolization of what makes him feel good.

I’m not sure I’m so different. How often have I gone to church every Sunday, only to say the words and make the movements? How often do I miss the object of my heart’s desire in church because I’m too busy entertaining in my mind all the other gods who are asking for parts of my life?

Instead of choosing a death to the world and a life in Christ, I often walk the middle ground of mediocrity.

In the song, the artist speaks of worshipping his lover in an intimate setting. Isn’t that kind of like what God offers us at every altar in every Catholic church? He is inviting us to enter into a divine romance. He offers us communion with Himself; we can be one with Him. We can exchange our sins for His mercy.

We can worship our lover in the most intimate setting — the place where heaven meets earth.

So yes, take me to church.

Because I’ve tried everything else and I’m still empty handed, empty hearted. Read the rest of this entry

The New Year You Forgot About

This post by Leah Murphy is reprinted from LifeTeen.com

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When I was 6 years old, there was a book was on display in the family room. It had a picture of Pope John Paul II on the cover and about 1,000 pages of text about his life inside. And around 11:45 p.m. on New Year’s Eve 1998 I decided that my resolution for the year of 1999 would be to read this book, Witness to Hope by George Weigel.

And I failed. Little first-grade-me did not complete that book in 1999. Let’s be real, what 6 year-old is really going to sit down and read 1,000 pages about Karol Wojtyla’s childhood, his philosophical and theological formation, his battles with 20th century thought and communism, and his commitment to God as the Vicar of Christ?

As unattainable as that resolution was for my little self, it was still a good resolution, as are most New Year’s resolutions. January 1st is a great time in our lives to reflect on the past year and set goals to grow and become better in the next — even if some of our resolutions are a little far-reaching.

In the holiday chaos that takes place from Halloween to New Year’s Eve, it’s easy to miss the fact that our Church welcomes a new liturgical year at the beginning of every Advent season. And just because there probably won’t be a special on NBC with Ryan Seacrest in Times Square ringing in Advent, doesn’t mean you can’t take the Liturgical New Year just as seriously as a regular old New Year celebration!

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Advent is a great time to reflect on our spiritual journey of the last year and resolve to grow in the coming one… like a spiritual New Year’s resolution!

This season provides us with an opportunity to seek and commit to new ways of loving Jesus better in the coming year. It could mean committing to offering your day to Jesus with a prayer every morning, making it to at least one weekday Mass per week, or asking Mary to help you in loving her son by praying a daily or weekly Rosary. You could also commit to getting to know the lives of the saints better, so you can emulate them, as they emulated Christ. Or you can commit to studying your faith more, by reading Scripture, the Catechism, and magisterial documents, or to sharing your faith more by evangelizing and doing good works for others. The possibilities are endless!

But how do we make sure that our Liturgical New Year’s resolutions don’t just slip away from us once Advent is over and we get stuck in a Christmas-cookie-coma?
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