Youth Digest – 07.16.19

The power of prayer is amazing. I am feeling it. Tanya is feeling it. And I’m sure that little D. H. feels it too. I wonder how he would describe the feeling if he could.

For Tanya and myself, we feel waves of both comfort and peace. We are so grateful for your prayers during this time; your prayers get us through the tough days: when discharge dates come and go, when we drive to the hospital early in the morning, and when we leave late at night. Your prayers go with us and we are so, so thankful for that.

“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” ~ Ephesians 6:18

Join Tanya and me in the continuous, ceaseless, and persistent prayers. We have a loving and gracious Lord who hears our prayers. Let us continue to go to our Lord in prayer for all things.

Blessings,

R. H. Karn

Youth Digest – 07.09.19

We were blessed to hear from Ava Brenneman, Maren Lawrence and Michael Rapp last Sunday morning as they shared about this summer’s mission trip in front of the whole congregation and I love hearing our students and chaperones share their stories about these amazing trips.

This past Sunday was another amazing opportunity to hear even more stories about the trip. Due to the July 4th holiday weekend, there was a smaller turnout for our mission trip report dinner than what we anticipated, but we were able to sit around good food and good folks and share good stories about the trip (some of which I heard for the very first time). Some of the stories were about what we did, but most were about what God did and what God is continuing to do in the lives of LPC’s youth ministry.

There is a mighty power in sharing how God impacts our lives, how learning of Christ’s sacrifice redirects our path, and how the Holy Spirit guides our steps. When we share all these things, we are not only telling stories, but we are paying tribute to how God is alive and working in our lives right now.

My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds,
of your saving acts all day long—
though I know not how to relate them all.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord;
I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone.
Since my youth, God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your mighty acts to all who are to come.
” ~Psalm 71:15-18

I challenge you to do as the psalmist says in Psalm 71: 15 – 18. Share your stories.

Blessings,
R. H. Karn

Youth Digest – 07.02.19

A NOTE FROM TANYA:

There are times in my life that I can look back on and see the hand of God very visibly. I was born with a birth defect that has caused others with the same defect to have little to no arm and missing fingers. I once fell two stories into a gravel driveway and stood up and walked away with a very scratched up knee, but no other injuries. I was also in a small car accident where I did a 360-degree spin and somehow perfectly missed two telephone poles and a massive tree. I feel very blessed to be able to see God in such tangible ways throughout my life, but my most recent experience has made God even more visible to me.

One day, I would like to write out the whole story of Harvey’s arrival, but it will be a very long story and will take me quite a while. But I do want to share with you today some of the highlights and points where I saw God’s hand and felt God’s presence.

If you ask my husband, he will tell you that I cry at almost everything! I am the person who will cry for every emotion and feeling that I have. I have even once cried because I was so hungry. I tell you this, even though it is a tad embarrassing, to express the significance in the fact that I did not cry one time during the stress of this ordeal. I had such an amazing peace wash over me the moment I walked into the hospital on that Monday morning. Peace and calming was the main thing I remember about my time in the hospital. My blood pressure may not have reflected that, but my mind was so calm. I was even reassuring my family and husband that I was fine and everything was going to be okay. I can only give God the glory for this peace, there is no other explanation!

Our little miracle of a son has been doing so well in the NICU, and again, I see God’s hand at work. From the very beginning, Harvey has not needed a lot of interventions. I often have to remind myself that all of the things that he is doing, breathing and eating, he shouldn’t even have to be doing yet, and he is doing both so well! Even right after being born, Harvey has been breathing fairly well. He has needed some help keeping his lungs inflated and was on caffeine at one point to help stimulate him and remind him to keep breathing, but never needed added oxygen to help him breathe. The doctors are now working on weaning him off that extra pressure so that he can soon be able to breathe on his own. He has now been eating real food for just under a week and has been such a rock-star at it, so much so that he had his feeding tube removed yesterday.

Again and again, I am astounded at how often and how vividly I can see God at work in this story but I am also so grateful that I have the privilege of seeing it!

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.~Isaiah 41:10

Blessings,
Tanya Karn

Youth Digest – 06.25.19

FROM THE DESK OF WILL PERRY:

Dear Friends:

As we finish up our first week back, I hope everyone has been able to recuperate and reflect on the trip! I hope that you feel that this mission trip was impactful and helped you grow in faith. However, it is always quite difficult to keep the feeling you felt on the trip sustained after you come home. In order to combat this, I recommend that we keep the energy alive together through group worship.

The Bible strongly encourages worshiping with others as we need each in order to truly grow in faith. In Proverbs 27:17, the Bible says:

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

By checking up on each other, helping each other hone our thoughts, and holding each other accountable, we can truly improve with each passing day.

In the Bible, boats are often used as metaphors for one’s state of faith. The metaphor is accurate in many ways, but one way holds especially true: bigger boats are always better! Worshiping by yourself is like using a lifeboat: you stay afloat, but you get nowhere. Meanwhile, by enlisting the help of others, you can truly get somewhere in your faith. It is with this that I pray that we all find our family of faith. Amen.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
Proverbs 27:17

Blessings,
Will Perry

Youth Digest – 06.18.19

FROM THE DESK OF SHELBY LOUGE:

Dear Friends:

One of the youth group’s traditions on mission trips is a foot washing on one of the last nights. For those of you who are not familiar with the meaning of foot washing, it is representative of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. When we do this activity, everyone gets their feet washed by someone in the group and everyone washes someone else’s feet. The group then prays over the person getting their feet washed. This may seem gross and strange from an outside perspective, but it is one of the youth group’s favorite parts of the trip.

I remember on my first mission trip I was nervous about doing the foot washing. For someone who hates feet, it sounded uncomfortable and a little gross. Once I did it, my view on foot washing changed into thinking it was incredibly meaningful. Every year I watch people new to the group go through the same thing. I enjoy seeing them completely change their opinions about foot washing after experiencing it.

I think the reason foot washing is so meaningful is because it paints a clear picture of what true service looks like. Service in the eyes of Jesus is humbling yourself to the level of a servant and doing whatever you can, no matter how unpleasant or difficult, to help another person. On every mission trip, our youth follow the example Jesus set for us to sacrifice ourselves in order to serve others. It will always amaze me to see our youth humble themselves and spend their time serving and spreading God’s love to other communities and to each other.

 

“Now that I, your LORD and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” John 13:14-15

 

Blessings,
Shelby Louge

Youth Digest – 06.11.19

FROM THE DESK OF WILL PERRY:

Dear Friends:

Within the past couple of days on this trip, we have finally been able to settle down and make a temporary home in the New Community Church. While we are still in the trip’s infancy, God has shown himself time and time again during the trip. In this devotional, I would like to speak about one experience. This past Monday, I was assigned to help the Church carry out their summer superhero themed VBS program. The day was equal parts play and work as we helped New Community Church teach their youth more about how Jesus is their superhero. While I was preoccupied with the tasks at hand in the moment, in reminiscing upon this experience I now see what God was trying to show me. As I grow further from childhood, reminders of the abilities that I once had are ever more apparent. Boundless energy, creativity, and joy come to mind when I think about what I miss the most about being a child. While I may not be able to recreate these traits today, the children were able to teach me something that I can.

In Matthew 18:1-5, Jesus said

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me”.

Faith is what defines us a Christians, and we paint those who are the farthest along in their walk with God as the strongest in their faith. However, what I saw in these children was the strongest faith of all: one stripped of cynicism and doubt. As I have gotten older, I have developed my trust in God as one with reservations. The apprehension that plagues my relationship with God has only grown stronger as I have grown older. What I feel that God is reminding me of with this passage and with the children of Dolton, Illinois is to return to a faith of innocence. A faith where I don’t doubt God and His abilities to help me. It is with this devotional that I pray that we can all develop this faith. Amen.

Will Perry

Youth Digest – 06.04.19

FROM YOUTH INTERN SHELBY LOUGE:

Dear Friends:

The upcoming youth mission trip to Chicago will be my sixth mission trip with this youth group. You would think that after so many trips, the excitement for them would die down but that is definitely not the case. These trips are my favorite part of the youth program and I am counting down the days until we leave for Chicago. By far the most popular question I am asked when I return home is “Well what kind of work did you do on the trip?” And thinking back to all the trips that I have been on; I really do not remember much about the work we did. The memories that always stick out to me are the friends I made, the relationships that I strengthened, and most importantly how I grew in my relationship with God.

As I was thinking about what I could write about in this week’s Youth Digest, I remembered something Pastor Kyle always says during the Honduras medical mission trips. He always says that it is not the medicine or the medical care that is going to change these people’s lives – it is God’s love that we are able to share with them. I think that this is so important to think about going into a mission trip. It is important to work hard in whatever projects we may be doing. However, at the end of the day it is the relationships we make and the love we share in the communities that will really make a difference in both the lives of the people we serve and in our own lives.

As we prepare to leave for Chicago this Saturday, I pray that God will use us to share His love. I pray that God will help us to build new relationships and to strengthen our relationships with each other and with Him.

“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” – 1 John 4:12

Blessings,
Shelby Louge

Youth Digest – 05.28.19

FROM THE DESK OF PASTOR BECKY:

Dear Friends:

Hope you had a great Memorial Day Weekend!  We had a wonderful end of the year party on Sunday evening – as you can tell from the photos!  Many thanks to the amazing Bekah Hiltz, our youth committee, Master Chef Kristopher Steele and to all our super-heroes!

We welcome Elder Mike Kivett as the new Chairperson of the Youth Committee and are thankful that Elder Donna Schomer is continuing to serve with us!

Please welcome Shelby Louge and Will Perry as our summer youth interns, here with us from now through June 30th. They will be sharing in future Youth Digests and will be a vital part of the upcoming mission trip to Chicago.

Please know that Tanya and Harvey are doing well.  Harvey is now 3 lbs., 6 ounces!    Your prayers are supporting them – thank you and keep praying! There is a meal train link at the bottom of this email.

Questions about youth stuff?

For Mission Trip Questions: Email R.H.  or Bekah Hiltz

For other youth events, email me: [email protected].

Blessings,
Becky

Youth Digest – 05.21.19

FROM THE DESK OF PASTOR BECKY:

Dear Friends:

The end of the year is here and we have got great things planned for all Liberty Youth (& Friends!) See below for the scoop. Also, know that Tanya and Harvey are doing well.  Your prayers are supporting them – thank you and keep it up! There is a meal train link below.

Sign up for the Karn Meal Train: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090444A5AF2DA57-karn

Questions about youth stuff?
Email me: [email protected].

Blessings,
Becky

Youth Digest – 05.15.19

FROM THE DESK OF PASTOR BECKY:

Dear Youth & Families:

Please keep Tanya and R.H. in your prayers. Tanya is in the hospital now, and it is time for baby Harvey to arrive – early!
Tanya asks: “Please pray for my dear husband, R.H., that God will give him comfort and peace. Please pray that little Harvey will make a smooth appearance into this world. And please pray for me that my blood pressure will cooperate and stabilize, and that after Harvey is here, I start to heal and get better!”

Please join us in holding the Karns in our hearts and prayers.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you.”
Isaiah 41

Blessings,
Becky