40 Days - Day 7

Hey Students!

I am Kyle Witt. I am 17 Years old, and I go to The People’s Church in Spring Hill. I would like to tell you some things about me.

First off, I want to start by saying I'm not good at typing; so, please give me a break. Now instead of starting at the beginning of my life, I want to fast forward to age 11. When I was 11, I went to church, but I was only going because I was told to go. I knew there was a God and all; I just didn’t really follow Him like I really should have. Like today, being a Christian wasn’t really cool where I was from. Well, fast forward a little bit more to December of that year when my step mom was killed by a drunk driver, and instead of doing what I should have and taken it to God's feet, I turned away and blamed Him for it. I was ashamed of God because I thought He had purposely set out to destroy me. Which, as we all know, is not true.

James 1:2-3 (New International Version)
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

At the time, I had no idea that God could do so many great things through a bad experience. Fast forward even more to age 15, October 24th 2005, when yet again another person that I loved died in a car wreck, but this time I didn’t blame God. In fact, I tried getting back in the church, and about that time the youth group in Spring Hill was started. I went to the first youth group meeting, and two days later I went to Texas to visit family. The entire time I was there I wrestled with whether I should go back to this youth group or not. Well I prayed for the first time in a long time and asked God to just give me a sign; I needed Him to show me the way. Well one night a friend invited me to his church, and as we were driving, I looked out my window and noticed his tire was flat. As we pulled over to check it, a women comes out screaming, “help me, help me, my husband is very weak, and he has fallen. I cannot help him up.” So we run inside to help this man off his floor, and go back out. I stopped dead in my tracks: the tire was full. If that isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is. Needless to say, I did go back to youth group and went to my first winter retreat that year where God pulled my heart to a direction I never thought I could go - youth ministry. I suddenly have this burning sensation inside to spread God's Word to young people. I went from lost to found, from ashamed and abandoned to unashamed and loved, and I tell you all of this so that no matter what you go through good or bad, no matter whether it’s cool or not to be a Christian, never ever be ashamed of God because He loves you. His Word gives you power. If you only get one thing out of this, please let it be this: we are products of the most loving being ever! We are children of God, and no matter where you are or who is around you, please just spread that feeling and love. Don’t be ashamed of God. This verse is something I cling to tightly; I pray these words affect you like they do me.

Romans 1:16:
16I am unashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

God bless you all,
Your brother in Christ,

Kyle Witt


40 Days - Day 6

I love me some Friday Night Football.

To be specific, I love me some Independence High School Friday Night Football.

Allow me to set the scene for you:

- Four hours before the game, it is evident that our school has turned tailgating into an art form. We marinade our steaks, grill savory vegetable-and-shrimp skewers, stir up some mean chili and make enough of everything to go around.

- Two hours before the game, spirit paint is taken out and everyone starts "paintin' up" for the team. Not a face is left untouched.

- One hour before the game, music is blasting, adrenaline pumping and the student fans are squishing into the stadium. Noisemakers and drums are distributed. Everyone watches out for the team to come in. Then, we hear an all-too-familiar voice bellow,

The students are jumping. Cheering. You can literally feel the bleacher stands dip beneath your feet.
Once the game starts, everything is a blur. There are cheers, chants, songs and even dancing. The focus is on the team and only the team.

Because when those Friday night lights kick on, suddenly everyone in the stands is family.

So as I sit here on the first non-football Friday of the school year and reminisce at the greatness that is tailgate season, I begin to wonder,

"What would life be like if our youth group could be as dedicated, as passionate, as loving, as UNITED our football fans?"

Then, a certain prayer comes to mind. One that Christ himself prayed, and one that I want to echo today:

"I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me" (John 17:21-23 NLT).

I pray our youth group would begin to pull together and become a unified family. I pray that in these weeks leading up to Winter Retreat, we would gather and commit to preparing ourselves for what God has to do, just as fans get ready for the big game. I pray that in that unity - that love - that we have for God and for one another, others can't help but be blessed.

Nina Coyle


40 Days - Day 5

"Wilderness and desert will sing joyously,
the badlands will celebrate and flower—
Like the crocus in spring, bursting into blossom,
a symphony of song and color.
Mountain glories of Lebanon--a gift.
Awesome Carmel, stunning Sharon--gifts.
God's resplendent glory, fully on display.
God awesome, God majestic.

Energize the limp hands,
strengthen the rubbery knees.
Tell fearful souls, "Courage! Take heart!
God is here, right here,
on his way to put things right
and redress all wrongs.
He's on his way! He'll save you!"

Blind eyes will be opened,
deaf ears unstopped,
lame men and women will leap like dear,
and the voiceless will break into song!
Springs of water will burst out in the wilderness,
streams flow in the desert!
Hot sands will become a cool oasis,
thirsty ground a splashing fountain!
Even lowly jackals will have water to drink,
and barren grasslands flourish richly!"

-Isaiah 35:1-7 The Message

Our God is a God of rest and renewal. He brings love and replenishment with every breath He breathes into His children. As we approach winter retreat, pray for an awakening of His love and power to take hold of our hearts. Pray that there will be permanent change, and springs will shoot up in the wilderness where there has been no water.

Remember there is nothing that can separate us from His love - no sin too wide for His arms to reach past and no insecurity too deep for His truth to uproot. Pray we will become utterly desperate for our King, and we will not be satisfied by anything less than who He is. He has been preparing us for a renewal - a fresh breath, an eye-opener, a time of healing. Now is the time to seek Him for who He is in this dry desert. Let Him repair you and once again and fill your voice with song. Open your hands and let go of the ruins of the past, and let Him begin to rebuild you in your desperation for His presence.

Olivia Brunson


40 Days - Day 4

Well… as some of you may know, Winter Retreat is about prayer, and I am honored that I got the privilege of writing this.

So, I am here to ask you, “HOW do YOU pray?” I really want you to think about that. Like, what does praying mean to you?

Is it, “Dear God, I really like the way that you made the sky, and thank you for my food. I love you. Amen?”

OR, “Father God, thank you for all that you do for me. Thank you. I love you so much, but God I have to tell you the way things played out with my girl friend sucked so much. I can’t stand life right now at home, with friends, at church, at school, at work, and the list goes on… I have to be honest with you; it is hard for me not to doubt that I am capable to serve you in a way that could be pleasing to your eyes, ears, nose, or mouth… You are really going to have to help me out here because I cannot make it alone… I need your grace. I love you Jesus.

OR, “Father God, You AMAZE me. I love you.”

Well, the fact of the matter is that it doesn’t matter to God at all! So, you’re either like duh! Where is this going, or um ok? Then, what was all that I just read?

I simply wanted to point something out. I wanted to point out that God doesn’t care what we pray. All that matters is that we are praying. The Word says to “never stop praying” (1 Thess. 5:17 NLT). We are called and commanded to pray constantly. So, will we pray?

There is a song by an older Christian artist called Eli. The song basically talks about this man who died and went to heaven, and when he got there, he was walking down the streets of heaven as the houses kept getting smaller and smaller. He gets to his house and asks God, “Why is my house so small?” God replied by saying, “That was all the wood you sent ahead of you.” So, all of that to say, I am going to ask you guys not to only pray for what happens at Winter Retreat, but I ask you to also pray for what will happen before Winter Retreat. Let’s bring a lot of wood so that God can build whatever He has the plans for.

Nathan Tinius


40 Days - Day 3

Hey friends!

My name is Marlee Richmond. I'm 14 years old, and I go to The People's Church in Spring Hill. I'd like to share with you a little bit about my life.

I've had a lot of struggles growing up. When I was 3, my mom left my dad, my little sister, and me. When I was 6, my dad remarried an amazing woman named Stacie. She's made me happier than I've ever been, but it took time. God helped me make some incredible changes in my life. I learned that being strong isn't something we can do on our own. The strength we have comes from God.

I've recently discovered that God's been trying to speak to me all along. I just never took the time to listen. When I prayed to Him one morning, asking Him to tell me what it was He wanted me to do with my life, I immediately thought about the Bible. I got my Bible and turned to Psalm 105:1-5. The Scripture reads:

Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles and the judgments he pronounced." - NIV

Those verses really helped me to know that I get the chance to tell others of His wonders, His grace, His mercy, and His love. If you're a young teenager like me and you haven't figured out what God has planned for you, just ask Him. He will answer you, but you have to be patient. Remember...you are loved.

Keepin' the Faith,

Marlee Richmond


40 Days - Day 2

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
James 1:2-4 NLT

The writer of James doesn’t say to “count it all joy” only when things are going great. He’s not saying that you need to be happy all the time, but too often our prayers consist solely of our wants, needs, and complaints. God loves it when you come to Him with your problems. He delights in blessing, but He is not just a vending machine that shoots out happy endings every time we ask. In fact, there are times when it will seem like He’s not even listening at all. “Count it all joy,” James says. Not because life is perfect or easy, not because you’ve gotten everything you want, but because God is Great. In the midst of my trials, heartaches and failures, He is still moving, and I am blessed just because of His presence. So as you begin to pray for Winter Retreat, look past the “now” and remember what God has done in your life and the lives of others. Remember who He is and rejoice!

Emily Wall


40 Days - Day 1

O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
-Psalm 63:1 NIV

As you find yourself from day to day,
drudging through the ordinary and the plain,
remember that God is just a prayer away
with a bucketful of water that refreshes,
a bucketful of water that renews life
and teaches your soul how to thirst and long for Him again.

I pray that as this 40 days of prayer kicks off that you will be renewed by a bucketful of renewing water from heaven and that every single person coming to this retreat will experience it right along with you. Maybe those around you won't get drenched like you, but they will get splashed and start longing for more. Pray that God will be earnestly sought after in this dry and weary land where there seems to be no water.

Christina Vickman

Yea, you found us!!!

Hey Peoples!
So, like, starting today we're going to pray until Winter Retreat, and this is where we'll post the prayers and all that good stuff. So, you'll wanna check this blog every day. Please feel free to comment and add to prayers and stuff.
You rock my face!