Youths and Myrtle Beach.

Water is such an incredible invention. Let’s just say God knew what was up on day two when the waters were separated. Lakes, rivers, streams and ravines alike all have a beauty tied to purpose that is super exquisite. But nothing compares to the ocean.

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to journey with twenty one of my favorite youth personal across the nation to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. And to say that the equipping we received from 3DM was worth the trip is by far an understatement. Our kids came to life in a radical way over the week long adventure. The theme was “Celebrate” and we figured out how to do that well real fast.

Anyone who has been on a 24-hour van ride will tell you that the most fun part is getting off the van. As we went east, the reality of what we were doing set in. We crossed Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina and then South Carolina; each stop growing in time elapsed and caffeine injected. The caravan moved well in sync down the highways making for a smooth ride. The biggest challenge came strictly from time spent within the confines of the vans themselves. Luckily for me, my adoration of road trips paid off and it wasn’t long before we pulled into the La Quinta of Myrtle Beach.

Each day held its own theme and respectively, its own challenges. New city means new map. We had to learn the lay of the land. No sleep on the van means everyone needs rest, but no one wanted to. So obviously you get more tired and go swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. No sunscreen meant burning skin. Everyone looked like a lobster or a near relative of the crustacean. Challenges.

The themes were counteractively transformational. Each day took on a new depth to Celebration through our own Holidays. Tuesday was Christmas. We pressed into the beautiful gifts of Father God. Abba is such a good, good Father that He gives us good gifts. As a team we had the opportunity to press into what it meant to have such a loving heavenly Father. During the day we split into teams and did an ice-cold water give away (while the temperature was a wonderful 100 degrees.) The youths ran all over the beach handing out water and praying for healing in everyone who gave them a chance. The other group went to a homeless shelter and got to pray over some of the broken-hearted people of this earth. The activity of the day became the picture for which we got to recognize the love of the Father. As we handed out water a parallel was being drawn between us and our Father above. We got to give just like the Father gets to give. Not to mention how much joy actively loving others gives us. How much more does our heavenly Father love to give to us. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday was Easter. JESUS! A day of walking through the whole story of Easter, from life to death to resurrection. Pressing into what Jesus gave us in each portion of His story. Through His life, how He gave us a wonderful narrative of how to live our lives, and an example of what it means to walk in faith! Then in His death, how to bury our own burdens and junk, nailing our inadequacies to a perfect sacrifice. And last, in the resurrection! We live again, forever joining with the glory of who Jesus really is. Hearing the radical transformation stories of our youth brought me to tears. Watching ministry happen within the family, and how they love each other well. They have no idea how much they look like Jesus. It’s a masterpiece to withhold. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Or, rebirth day. Thursday was all about Holy Spirit. It was a giant Acts 2 party about the coming of Holy Spirit, and a healing to fulfill doing greater works than Jesus. It was really cool to talk about it in the light of birthdays. It’s almost as if our other birthdays just don’t matter as much as our rebirth-days.This is where our family went nuts. Four days into the trip, we had to switch hotels due to a scheduling issue, energy is dying, the fact that we are going home tomorrow is on the forebrain. But that will never stop the presence of God coming in power! That night, there was a rap concert during which, the Prayer Couch was inaugurated. A place where you can come and receive prayer for anything. Jesus came and brought healing, encouragement, prophecy, peace and joy to whoever was being prayed for! Stepping out in obedience led to deep encounters with the fullness of Holy Spirit. And the best part was that it was a place of ministry where everyone could get involved. Our youths were equipping and teaching on what was going on, dropping prophecy bombs, and loving the other youths! What an awesome birthday. 

We swam. We played volleyball. We shopped. We prayed. We danced. We worshipped. And we loved well. The family perspective that was gained was important. Reflecting back on the trip, a whole lot was received. Nothing more important than the reality of James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

p.s. Check out my new music video! Shepherd Song.