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What I’ve learned from Whitney Houston!


Growing up in the ’80s, I can remember those days when my mom would be cleaning house and playing the stereo so loudly that she could hear it over the vaccuum cleaner.  As I laid on the couch never thinking to help her, I would attempt to turn the TV up even louder so that I could still hear SportsCenter over Mom’s blasting stereo and vaccuum.  Well since then, a lot about me has changed.  I think ( i sure hope) now that I would vaccuum for my mom and allow her to rest. 

But one thing I remember clearly from those days is one of the songs my mom played so loudly.  Its been 23 years (1985) since Whitney Houston put out that great song “Greatest Love of All” and somehow I still know all the lyrics. 

What I learned though comes from the first line “I believe that children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way.”  I agree with this line of the song.  Children are our future.  They are the future of our families, future of our country, future of our schools, and future of our churches.  The things we treasure and stand for now are totally dependent in the future upon the next generation. And I am mostly writing concerning our churches, our faith.  We must, absolutely must, we gotta, we have to, teach them well and show them how to lead the way.  If not, our churches will fall to laziness, half-heartedness, apathy, and indifference.

Over the last five years, God has really impressed this truth upon my heart. Young people are so important.  May we not overlook them. Please do not overlook them or minimize them or underestimate them. Remember, Paul wrote to Timothy encouraging him to “set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” …in his youth.

I hope we believe that children are our future and that you will work to teach them well and let them lead the way.

-J Greene



Thank you!


As 2008’s summer break begins to come to a close, I want to write a special thank you to all of the parents, grandparents, & guardians of all the youth who are a part of our youth group.

Wholeheartedly….THANK YOU!

Thank you for allowing your child to come to our church.  Thank you for trusting us (me) to work with your child.

I, Josh the youth pastor, and we, the whole body of FBCF, do not take it lightly at all the great privilege and opportunity of working with young people.  I see students as very important.  So, I see youth ministry as very important.  All this means that I never see your child as ‘just another kid’, but instead I see your student as an individual, an individual with a story that goes along with his/her life and world. I see them as just as important as anyone else.  I want to see them do well; do well in school, do well at home, do well in relationships, do well in all that they do.

I also believe that your child’s well-being wholly depends upon their relationship with God.  No one can know God personally without coming to know Him through the mediator Jesus.  The Bible explains that Jesus brings us to God by dying in our place.  He took our punishment.  God’s love is so incredible that He will not punish anyone who treasures Christ as Savior and King because Jesus took that punishment on the cross.  I like to use the word substitute.  God substituted Jesus for us in bearing the penalty of sin.

This is really good for everyone, especially your child.  Your child’s well-being is dependent upon them knowing God.  This life, as all of us adults know so well, is full of ups and downs. Sometimes we are good, sometimes we are bad, sometimes we’re sick, sometimes were miserable, sometimes we’re fed up, sometimes we’re ready to give up, sometimes we just can’t take it anymore.

I don’t want your child to deal with all this world offers without a good healthy way to overcome it.

A kid’s involvement with a youth group is immeasurable. Through church, your kid can build friendships with both youth and adults.  Through working with me, your child will learn responsibility and self-worth. Through our steadily growing Youth Group, your child will build many quality friendships with both guys and girls. As your kid grows closer to God, his/her ability to do well in all areas of life will undoubtedly increase.  Beginning with my own, I have seen so many teenage lives truly changed.  I trust your child will have his/her life impacted as well.

Again, I thank you for allowing me to get involved with your child. And I look forward to seeing them grow. . . Grow into a young man or woman, a mature and responsible person, a student with morals and integrity, and  student who knows God.

If you ever want or need to talk to me about anything, please feel free to contact me. I would love to hear from you.  My home # is 368-0083.  My number at church is 368-9053.  And my e-mail address is jcarlgreene@bellsouth.net.



Joy in Heaven


Last night, Wed. July 23rd, I taught the youth on the sweet parable of the lost sheep.  It was good to see this well known text new and afresh.  Its been 2 weeks since the last Bible study blog, we had VBS last week and therefore no youth service.

This passage is in Luke 15:1-7.  We discussed how intruiging Jesus was when He was here on earth.  He was one of those people that everyone wanted to be around.  He made things better.  But He did it differently.  Today the cool people are the ones who attract others.  In schools, the best looking & best dressed tend to have the most people around them.  Jesus wasn’t like that.  Jesus had people around Him because He was so kind, so honest, so genuine, so holy, so gracious, and so fascinating.  We see this in the many places in Scripture where it says people were coming near to Him.  Like here in Luke 15 it says they were all drawing near to Him.

Well, as sinners were drawing near to Him, (notice that Jesus doesn’t have a problem with hanging out with sinners. I told the youth it shouldn’t matter who you hang out with because you should be influencing them. However, if they influence you more than you influence them, then it may be a bad thing. And while Jesus doesn’t mind sinners coming to Him, He also doesn’t mind telling anyone that they cannot be His disciple. see Luke 14:25-33.) So while sinners were drawing near to Him, the religious folks began to grumble.  Upon hearing their grumblings, Jesus tells this great parable of the lost sheep.

You may already know the story.  Jesus asks the rhetorical question, what Shepherd who has 100 sheep, if he loses one, doesn’t leave the flock to go get the one?  And upon finding the one lost sheep, the shepherd places it on his shoulders and rejoices while returning it to the flock.

Then Jesus adds “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Lk. 15:7)

Heaven rejoices!  Heaven rejoices when 15 year olds turn from their sins!  Heaven rejoices when 13 year olds commit all of themselves to Christ.  Heaven rejoices when youth and all people repent of their sins and place their faith in Jesus!

Have you done that?  Have you ever repented?  Has there been rejoicing in heaven over you?



Ready, Radical, Required, Reality


Last night, Wednesday, July 9th the YouthRoom was very intense again for the 2nd week in a row.  It seems to me that God is really working in the hearts of several students.  I pray so.

I taught again from Luke.  This time it was Luke 12:35-53.

This is such a rich passage loaded with good stuff.  As I was preaching, it dawned on me that this could easily be broken up into several good sermons.

Verses 35 through 40 are a wake up call…literally!  Jesus is saying to us that he is coming back soon and we do not know when that will be so we best be ready.  He says, stay awake waiting for Him.  Verse 37 states it so well “Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes.”  I love the word servants, and I love the fact that the redeemed are servants of our Master Jesus.  I asked the youth, when Christ returns, will He find your ready, waiting?  Will you be wide awake?

Verses 41 through 53 are so radical.  They are the Jesus that many people who do not read the Bible are not aware of.  In these verses, Jesus through a parable speaks of the Master (who refers to Him) coming home to find the servants not ready, so he cuts them to pieces and beats them.  Then later on Jesus asks the question “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth?”  Then He answers it by saying “No, but rather division.”  These statements are radical.  Jesus Christ is radical. There is no one like Him. And He can save you.

Right in the middle of these radical statements Jesus speaks “to whom much is given, much is required.”  We spent some time seeking to understand this statement.  We discussed how we have been given much, and so are we doing what is required?  Are we taking what we know & have (the good news of Jesus. His salvation.) and taking it to others?  This is required of us.

Finally, these three things (Ready, Radical, Responsible) are the reality.  That is the truth. Jesus is real and what He says here in Luke 12 is the reality.  We cannot continue to think that He is the god who is not serious about disobedience and punishing sin and hating sin. We must know what he love and hates so that we will grow to love and hate the same things. 

I hope and pray that the youth are grasping the reality of God’s Word and God’s Son.

 



FBCF Youth


JGreene & Adrianne

Us & New HeightsMyrtle Beach \'06Camp Cooper \'06Easter \'08Easter \'07Student Life Camp \'07
DiscipleNow \'07



Dalton Stivers


Dalton StiversDalton is a 16 year old student attending Louisville Male High School.  He will be a junior in the fall.  When he’s not working out, he likes diving into pools and saving kids. He enjoys texting 24/7 and drinking ice cold Propel from Circle K. He also likes exploring the farthest reaches of the world on Google earth.  He plays basketball, soccer, and football when he isn’t in physical therapy. Besides all of this, he loves reading the Bible and getting closer to Jesus.



Emily Stivers


Emily Stivers

Emily is 17 years old and is attending Dupont Manual as a Senior in the Youth Performing Arts Vocal program. She has been involved here at FBCF since 1994. She has two younger sisters who are also very involved in church. Emily enjoys singing, photography, spending time at church, and spending time with her horse. She plans on attending UK to study Equine medicine. Emily has a big heart and interest in missions, and she hopes to someday go to Kenya. She sees her intern position as an opportunity to grow in Christ and teach others.



Brigette Bailey


Brigette Bailey
Brigette Bailey is a 15 year old sophomore and will be attending duPont Manual in the fall. (She enjoys long walks on the beach and personal conversation.) She enjoys being at church as much as possible, and spending time and helping out with the youth. And she also loves Penne pasta. She is hoping that her relationship with Christ, and her relationship with the other two interns will grow by the end of the summer internship. And she doesn’t care what anyone else says about him, Josh Greene is her favorite youth minister.


Summer Interns 2008


Brigette, Dalton, & EmilyGod is at work among the youth in Fairdale, and we are humbled and excited to be a part of what God is doing.  Youth are being saved!  Students are getting baptized. And more and more of them are surrendering all of themselves to the Lordship of Christ. It is a beautiful thing.  With this growth comes some new challenges.  Discipleship becomes more difficult when the numbers are increased.  It is hard to spend 1-on-1 time with a student when there are so many.  It is difficult to invest deeply in their lives when there are so many lives.  For this reason, we decided to create some Summer Intern positions.  The purpose of the Summer Intern positions is two-fold. 1) So that the Interns can assist Josh in making our Youth Ministry better and better. and 2) So that Josh can more intensely disciple and mentor these three so that they may be found ‘sound in the faith’ as we read in Titus.

This summer Josh chose three youth that he felt were eager to serve.  These students possess leadership qualities as well as teachability.  The three of them are followers of Christ who are committed to His Word.  They were excited to accept this Intern position as a step to further maturing in the faith.

Besides putting up with JGreene’s continual teaching, the three of them love working alongside Josh.  The three interns this summer are Emily Stivers (17), Dalton Stivers (16), and Brigette Bailey (15).



Four different things that can happen


Last night (Wed., July 2nd), the YouthRoom got pretty intense.  I preached on the Parable of the Sower from matthew 13.

The Bible often is so clear and precise and easy to understand.  The 4 types of ground, and especially the explanation of the parable in Mt. 13:18-23, is a great example.

With the summer in many ways being ‘the wasteland for teenagers’ that I often describe it as, and us just having returned from camp 2 weeks ago, I felt the need to be quite serious in Youth.

I was. And I think God was working.

Every single time the Truth is preached one of four different things can happen in the hearers.  There are four different ways for them to respond. 

Let us not forget Isaiah 55:10-11 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth, it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

1. One response to the preached Word is none at all.  The hearer is hardly phased at all to the things of God.  They don’t understand it.  Satan snatches it away from their heart. This is not a good response.

2. A 2nd response to the preached Word is short lived. The hearer at first appears to be joyfully accepting the Truth of God but soon will fade.  There is no root to their faith. It is not genuine.  It is like a weed growing in an asphalt parking lot crack. It cannot grow too much and soon dies.  This is not a good response.

3. A 3rd response to the preached Word is unfortunate. The hearer seems to sincerely want the things of God, but following Jesus becomes too hard.  The cost of discipleship becomes too expensive.  The cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke their faith out, and they become unfruitful.  This is not a good response either.

4. A 4th response to the preached Word is Awesome.  The hearer hears the truth, is convicted of sin, embraces the Gospel of Jesus, and responds in obedience. In other words, the Word has changed their life.  Now they better understand the Truth and are motivated to go and live like it.  In this case, their faith and response proves to be very fruitful.  God is glorified when this repsonse is present. This is a great response.

And so, upon preaching through all of that and the youth listening so intently, I ask… which ground are you?  which response do you have to the preached Word?

As Jesus said “He who has ears, let Him hear.”

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