Friday, October 31

Youth Specialties Pittsburgh - Friday

I spent most of today in and around the Labyrinth. Those of us who are volunteering to work there got to be the first participants to go through it this morning before it officially opened. As always, it was great. I think it's really cool how each time I pray the labyrinth something different sticks out to me. Today it was the station called "Outward Journey." "Outward Journey" comes right after time that is dedicated to just spending time with God and taking communion. It discusses the importance of taking that experience with us as we go out into the world and using it to affect the world for God. It sort of matched up with things I've been thinking and questions I've been pondering about the direction for Quest in the next year. The actual convention hadn't started yet, and God was already beginning to speak to me. That's awesome.

After finishing the labyrinth myself, I started working. As a volunteer, my job is to make sure that everything in the labyrinth is running smoothly and to give participants some instructions and answer their questions. Because most people weren't here yet, the morning session was very quiet. It is really cool to be involved in the "Soul Care" department of the convention. Youth Specialties puts an emphasis on giving people the time, space and opportunity to strengthen themselves spiritually.It's awesome to be even a small part of that. The most fun is talking to participants after they are leaving. Many are completely blown away by the experience that they have just had with God. It's great to see God at work in the lives of others. I am so thankful for the opportunity to volunteer and be a part of it.

I worked two shifts in the labyrinth. Between them was the first General Session. It was fantastic. Joe Castillo did some more of his sand art. This time, he used it to tell the story of the Prodigal Son. It was awesome. Check out the link. It'll be 9:20 well spent. Then Starfield lead worship. I love Starfield. I'm glad there here for the first couple of days of the convention. The speaker for the session was Mike Pilavachi. He was great. To me at least, he is a very entertaining speaker. He's British, and since I generally love the British sense of humor, I found him hilarious. He touched on a variety of topics, but the big one was about helping people to grow the way Jesus did. Jesus sent out the disciples and allowed them to make mistakes. Then he made sure they learned the lessons from the mistakes. The lesson for us is that we have to release people before they are ready. People learn to be good by being given the freedom to be bad. To often, we want people to be perfect before we give them the opportunity to try. Of course, then how can they ever be perfect, since they don't have the opporunity to practice and try things out...

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