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All right, Darin’s message was very short this week because most of our time at J-180 was used up by the students sharing their experiences at Districts. Because of that, I’m going to do a lot less writing of my own, and encourage more writing of yours. I know it seems like I’m taking the easy way out, but my idea for this blog from the beginning was to be a place where people could discuss and interact more than they could on Wednesday nights. But first, I am going to get my own thoughts out of the way. 

Darin talked about how if you want to get closer to God, grow as a Christian, and strengthen your faith, it’s going to actually require you to put a lot of effort into it. It takes more than just going to church every Sunday and Wednesday. Getting involved in a small group is a great way to get connected on a more personal level with other people, who are learning the same stuff as you. But the biggest thing is just reading your Bible on your own, by yourself, without anyone telling you to.

Reading your Bible can take a lot of pushing to get yourself to do sometimes. I understand that very well. I’m not even going to pretend to be good at reading my Bible daily like I should. But once you actually force yourself into doing it, you won’t regret it. It’s a very refreshing feeling to open up your Bible and study it with no one but God around.

And when I say “study” I don’t mean just read a chapter and be done with it for the day. Analyze the words you just read. Let it soak into your conscience, write down some important verses, and really learn what you’re trying to live for. Being a Christian means having the Holy Spirit working in you. Don’t waste that gift. So long as you let Him, the Holy Spirit will give you an understanding on just about every verse in the Bible.

With such a powerful source aiding you in your studies, why on Earth wouldn’t you take the time to read your Bible regularly? If you don’t have the time, make time. I know of a couple people who don’t have the regular time-consuming activities of sports, friends, school, work, etc. but they get involved with too many different churches and small groups that they wind up not having time for alone time with God. Sounds crazy, right? But it’s true. Sure, it’s great to be in church and small groups studying the word with people but being alone with God is far more important than any church service or group get-together would ever be. You don’t really need to be in more than one small group at a time, in fact I would say it’s a bad idea, because you can’t fully commit yourself to two different groups. Find one that works for you, and stick with it.

Furthermore, I really don’t think it’s a bad idea to take a break from church and small groups altogether if it helps you get closer to God. They can take up a lot of time, and God wants you to have time for him. Yes, church is being with God, but if it starts to become routine, find a way to break the routine, and get your focus off scheduled activities, and back on God himself.

Anyway, most of this Wednesday was just about Districts. I would love to share with you my own thoughts and experiences on the event, but I didn’t go. So, share anything you want to say right here about either districts, this blog, or Darin’s message. HECKYEAHDOIT