2012-13 Fall Week of Prayer (Live Updates)
Every year South Lancaster Academy holds three weeks of prayers, one in the fall, a student week of prayer in winter, and another in the spring. Today, October 1,2012 SLA is starting their first week of prayer at the Village Church of Seventh-Day Adventists. The spiritual theme for the 2012-2013 school year is Experience Him, and to experience Him we have to know Him, bringing us to our theme of fall week of prayer Know Him.
This week’s speaker is Ryan Simpson, the assistant youth director of the Southern New England Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Chapel started out with a series of songs including; Friend of God, I Could Sing of Your Love Forever, He is Exalted, and our theme song I Want To Know You More by Sonicflood. Junior, Pablo Huerfano, continued with scripture reading from Numbers 13:32,33. Another junior, Brandon Beneche set the tone for the speaker with a personal testimony of how he has experienced God, then concluded with a prayer.
After the prayer the speaker, Ryan Simpson, jumped right in with an icebreaker that when he would say the word “okay” the congregation would respond with “alright”, and vice-versa. The title of the sermon was “Of Giants and Grasshoppers: What Are You?”. Simpson connected the story of a science experiment of 4 monkeys, and his personal journey to the Bible story of Moses and the children of Israel.
The main point of Simpson’s talk was to uplift us and to encourage SLA students by not letting the obstacles in front of us keep us from what God has planned for for our lives. No matter how much people push down and discourage others, this persecution should make Christians stronger instead weaker. No one knows our true character more than God, and if we really knew him we would know that only what he says matters. I am looking forward to hearing what else Ryan Simpson has to say, check back everyday to get a review of what we learned. Feel free to comment either how you have experienced God or how we can know Him.
Today is October 2, 2012, the second day of South Lancaster Academy’s fall week of prayer. Chapel opened with a deep video that showed how we are constantly shoving God aside with earthly distractions. Pastor Nino followed with a question asking “Who wants to know God, and what are the things preventing you from getting to know Him?” Sophomore, Amber Sanchez answered, ” caring for people. When I care about people a lot, I tend to put them before God” Freshman, Loree Drasich, responded to the question with, ” Procrastination. I put other things before God.” After prayer the program progressed with song service that included; We Worship You, Oh Give Thanks, Worthy Is The Lamb, and our theme song.Amber Sanchez proceeded with an opening prayer for the speaker and a personal testimony of how she has experienced God, and has gotten to know him through her friends.
Yesterday we introduced the speaker of the week, Ryan Simpson, and talked about the theme of this week, Know Him. Simpson continued on the same topic as yesterday, “Of Giants and Grasshoppers; Which One Are You?”. Today, Ryan Simpson started out by telling us a little more about his childhood and the tribulations he faced. We learned about his closeness to his identical twin brother, because he was all Simpson had. At a young age Ryan and his brother were sent away to live with their grandparents and aunt. His new life was not easy. Simpson’s grandmother verbally abused him, his grandfather physically abused him, and Simpson was sexually abused by his aunt. Simpson continued by saying how we constantly let how people see us become the outcomes of our lives. Following, an illustration about an eagle and chickens was used. The illustration showed us that we become like our surroundings, which puts boundaries on us preventing us from our true potential, and what we believe we are is exactly what we will become. Simpson connected back to the Israelite story by saying the Israelites forfeited their promise because of how others saw them.
At the beginning of the week Ryan Simpson gave us all a challenge to memorize the text Jeremiah 29:11, ” For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” The first mistake we can make is letting the outcome of our lives be dictated by the perception of others. Since God knows exactly what he is doing and has a plan for each and every one of us, we are all destined for greatness and let nothing especially others get in the way of that.
Over the past three days we have learned from our guest speaker, Ryan Simpson, many things to uplift and motivate ourselves, and ways to know God and recognize the role he plays in our lives. We have learned not to let others depict our futures for us, and that we do not have to be a reenactment of the children of Israel by being so close to our promise and not taking it. He also taught us that who we surround ourselves around is who we become, and if we see ourselves as grasshoppers we will be squashed.
Pastor, Ryan Simpson continued on today, touching on the topic that sometimes we must be broken to be made whole. With the touch of God’s hand in our lives we can be transformed from being worthless, shapeless, and meaningless, to becoming priceless and a masterpiece. Sometimes we break so we can be put back together how God originally intended us to be.
Today Ryan Simpson reviewed on what we have been talking about these past few days. He reminded us that we are all special and God has a special plan for each and every one of us, and to accomplish things in life it starts with recognizing how God sees us. Today, Ryan also told a story about a painter who wanted to paint a begger. The story taught us that sometimes when we try to fix ourselves we end up making things worse. God takes us exactly how we are so He can make us into what He wants us to be. When we hit rock bottom its the only time we start looking up. Just because you may be at the lowest point possible now, does not mean that God is done with you. If you let God intervene, you’ll see yourself rise higher than you ever though possible.
Friday, October 5, was the conclusion of South Lancaster Academy’s week of prayer. Thoughout this week Ryan has taught us valuable tips in life to build our self-esteem, recognize the role God plays in our lives, and how to have tenacity to push through no matter what obstacles life throws at us. We have learned that is we see ourselves as giants we willl be seen that way in the eyes of those around us. Having Ryan Simpson speak has been a real blessing, and we wish him the best of luck for the next journey he embarks on.
Posted on October 2, 2012, in Spiritual Life, Top Stories and tagged 2012-2013, brandon beneche, Chapel, Children of Israel, experience him, fall, friend of God, God, he is exalted, I could sing of your love forever, I want to know you, Know Him, monkey experiment, Monkeys, Moses, Numbers 13:32-33, Pablo Huerfano, Prayer, Ryan Simpson, Seventh-day Adventist Church, sonicflood, South Lancaster Academy, testimony, Village Church, Week of Prayer. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.