Every day at thousands of community centers, high schools, middle schools, juvenile institutions, coffee shops, and local hangouts, YFC staff and volunteers meet with young people who need Jesus. We are rural and urban and we are always about the message of Jesus.More
See how God has transformed Levi's life through YFC in Spokane's "West Central" neighborhood.More
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In Dan Wolgemuth's new book, you'll find yourself inspired by Dan's ability to connect The Almighty and His divine plan with the fragmented occurences of life.More
Desmond is our three-year-old grandson. He is everything a three-year-old boy should be. I experienced the unconstrained reality of this over the extended Thanksgiving weekend. Particularly when Desmond and his four-year-old cousin, Graham, are together. Rough and tumble doesn’t quite cover it. With both of these young men I’ve observed a growing fascination with super-heroes [...] Read More
On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves… (Mark 11:12-13a) Have you looked closely at those little stickers that cling to [...] Read More
On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves… (Mark 11:12-13a) Authentic and humble followers of Jesus bear fruit. We do this [...] Read More
A photographer took magnifiied pictures of snowflakes with a special camera that captures intricate details of every flake.
Click here to see the USA Today video interview that includes some amazing pictures taken by Russina photographer, Alexey Kljatov.
Story source: usatoday.com. Photo by Alexey Kljatov.
Psalm 51 (NLT)
1 Have mercy on me, O God,
because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
blot out the stain of my sins.
2 Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
3 For I recognize my rebellion;
it haunts me day and night.
4 Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
and your judgment against me is just.
5 For I was born a sinner—
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
6 But you desire honesty from the womb,
teaching me wisdom even there.
7 Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Oh, give me back my joy again;
you have broken me—
now let me rejoice.
9 Don’t keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit[d] from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
13 Then I will teach your ways to rebels,
and they will return to you.
14 Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves;
then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness.
15 Unseal my lips, O Lord,
that my mouth may praise you.
16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.
You do not want a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
18 Look with favor on Zion and help her;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit—
with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings.
Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.
What does God's Story teach us about being whiter than snow?
It helps to know that Psalm 51 was written by David after the prophet Nathan confronted him about his adulterous affair with Bathsheba. David was truly sorry for committing adultery with Bathsheba and for murdering her husband to cover it up. He know that his actions had hurt many people. But because David repented of those sins, God mercifully forgave him. No sin is too great to be forgiven!
(Adapted from The Life Application Study Bible Study Notes)
How can I connect today's God's Story scripture to My Life?
Do you still struggle with a sin from your past? Maybe something you can't seem to forget? Or maybe a sin that still creeps back into your life from time to time? Or maybe you struggle to accept the truth that God can and will forgive any sin. Make Psalm 51 your prayer, asking God to make you "whiter than snow."
Read Psalm 51 a few times this weekend. Commit some of the verses to memory.
How can I connect Today's Story, God's Story, and My Story to Others?
With most of the country talking about snow, even if you aren't it's a great conversation starter. When you hear a story about the snowfall somewhere in the country, bring up Today's Story about the snow flakes. Show some of your friends the video. Tell them what it feels like to be "washed whiter than snow."
Do you have a friend that follows Jesus but still struggles with letting go of a past sin? Talk with them about today's God's Story scriptures. Remind them that God has cleansed them from their past and forgiven them fully. Even if there are lasting consequences from that sin, they are still "washed whiter than snow."Read More
At least six inches of snow is on the ground outside my house, and more continues to fall. We have been hearing for the last few days about the arctic storm approaching as news stations and weather apps have sent out numerous alerts. Along with the weather predictions come the warnings of how to be prepared for single-digit temperatures and icy road conditions. It definitely made me think more carefully before I left the house this morning. Not only did I bundle up with extra layers, but I made sure I had water, snacks, an ice scraper, and plenty of gas in my car. Just in case anything happened between my home and my destination, I wanted to be prepared.
Luke 7:27 (NIV)
This is the one about whom it is written: ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’
What does God’s Story scripture teach us about being prepared?
It’s amazing that God used prophecy hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth to tell the Israelites that he was coming. Then, God used John the Baptist, who was the subject of this verse, to prepare the people for the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Being prepared for this snow storm made me think about how we prepare for Christmas throughout the Advent season. We plan parties and try to focus on giving, but if we don’t prepare our hearts to remember the amazing reality that God came to earth for our benefit, then the true wonder and joy of Christmas is lost.
How can I connect today’s God’s Story scripture to My Life?
What are you doing to prepare yourself to celebrate Christmas? Does your church light the candles of an Advent wreath each Sunday? Do you read the Christmas story, a little at a time, over these next few weeks? Does your family have any traditions that help you get ready to celebrate Jesus’ birth? Find something – an Advent book, Bible app, or online Advent calendar – that will help prepare your heart to celebrate Jesus as you look forward to Christmas this year.
How can I connect Today’s Story, God’s Story, and My Story to Others?
Ask a friend about their Christmas traditions. Share some of yours. Tell them why we spend time preparing to celebrate and what you are doing this year to prepare your heart for Christmas and the true reason to celebrate, which is Jesus.
Pa. museum tells blind visitors: Please touch!
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Angel Ayala has never been a big fan of museums. Blind since birth, the high school student says the exhibits are so sight-dependent that he can't enjoy them.
But he's making an exception for the Penn Museum, an archaeology and anthropology center that offers touch tours for the blind and visually impaired. Ayala can now feel the eroded limestone of an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus and the intricate hieroglyphs on the statue of a pharaoh.
"When I touch things, it's my version of a sighted person's eyes. It tells me way more than a person describing it would ever," Ayala said.
The institution, which is part of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, began offering the tours last year in an effort to make their extensive collections more accessible. Museums should serve the community at large, and that includes the unsighted as well as the sighted, said program coordinator Trish Maunder.
"Just because a person has low vision or can't see, doesn't mean that they're not completely interested in culture or learning about ancient artifacts," Maunder said.
Most major U.S. metro areas have at least one museum that offers some type of hands-on experience, from touching objects with bare hands or gloves to feeling replicas, according to Art Beyond Sight, a group that makes visual culture accessible to the blind and visually impaired.
Such accommodations began well before the Americans with Disabilities Act and have increased as museums "have transformed from institutions that house objects to institutions that work with audiences," said Nina Levent, executive director of the New York-based art organization.
Museums that don't offer tactile tours often have personal or audio guides for the blind. But Levent contends that developing touch components can benefit a wide range of visitors, including children's groups and students with learning disabilities.
"I'd be hard-pressed to think of an audience that does not want to touch," Levent said.
The Penn Museum has held hands-on tours twice each Monday - when the building is otherwise closed - for the past two fall seasons.
Ayala's recent visit came during a field trip with about a dozen classmates from the Overbrook School for the Blind. The students got to feel a quartzite likeness of Ramesses II, a black basalt statue of the goddess Sakhmet and two stone coffins. Smaller reproductions of the pharaoh and deity were available for those not tall enough to touch the tops of the statues.
Students sanitized their hands before feeling the pieces, which were pre-selected by conservators. Though thousands of years old, the artifacts shouldn't be damaged by clean fingers and a light touch, Maunder said.
The free tours include a classroom lesson on how Egyptians prepared a body for burial. Students jiggled a gelatin mold of the brain - which is removed during the mummification process - and handled facsimiles of relics found in tombs. They also felt ancient linen, smelled scented oils and touched a reproduction of a mummy.
Overall, the museum is engaging with nearly 250 blind or visually impaired people this fall, up about 32 percent from last year, Maunder said. Educators are already planning next season's curriculum on ancient Rome.
The response from participants has been encouraging, said docent Austin Seraphin, who is also blind and helped develop the tour.
"Everyone seems really happy," Seraphin said. "We asked them to fill out surveys and reportedly we've been getting universally positive reaction. The one complaint we get is that students wish it were longer."
Story and Photo from Associated Press
Luke 2:8-10 (NLT)
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared amonth them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them. they were terrified, but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you good news that will bring great joy to ALL people."
Luke 19:10 (NLT)
"For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost."
Wht does today's God's Story scripture teach us about who God came for?
Have you ever taken time to think about the "all" referenced by the angels in the Christmas story? It is easy to forget that little word when so much is going on at Christmas, but it is important that we don't miss it! The angels clearly reminded us that Jesus came for the all! You and me, our family and friends, and enemies and adversaries. Jesus came for ALL! He clearly states it later in Luke when he says, I came to seek and save those who are lost. In that one statement, He reminds us that we all need Him, because we are all lost!
How can I connect today's God's Story scripture to My Life?
When you think of the Christmas story, pause and think about the all mentioned there. Don't rush through it. Stay there a while and remind yourself that you are a part of the all in that story. Jesus' birth, death, and resurrection are all a part of the reason we are here today. Take time to say "thank you" to Jesus for His sacrifice today!
How can I connect Today's Story, God's Story, and My Story to Others?
I've always hated being told, "don't touch"! It's not easy for me to refrain because I want to see it and feel it! I cannot imagine being blind and being told not to touch something! Especially at a musuem because how else would they be able to understand and see the objects? In today's story, we read about a musuem that says come and touch! We want you to be a part! We want to make our stuff available for all! Not just those who can physically see, but everyone. Just like that musuem making their art available for all, Jesus' birth, death, and resurrection made salvation available for all! Use this story to open a conversation with your friends about all the angels spoke about and how they are a part of the all! Remind them that Jesus came for them and why that's important!Read More
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