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The series finale of our 3-week Dear God series in high school ministry was tonight – this week we crescendoed with a message answering a pile of questions on the purpose of life and a bunch of “why” questions. Doug did a super job wrapping up the series and kicking off the Global Soles Project as well. On stage we had:

  • A tub of water representing a perfect earth, which we dropped in some green food coloring to represent sin nature
  • A robot that represented God giving us free will, not creating us robots
  • Screencaptures from Ice Age 2 showing us what Heaven is NOT like
  • A refurbished Xbox 360 to show how we can be born again to a new life with Christ

The music was amazing, solid videos, really a powerful end to the series! I was excited in talking with Jason that the series spiritually arced over the conviction of sin (week 1), Jesus as Savior (week 2) and the lordship of Christ (week 3). So strong!


Dear God Series Video

 —  March 14, 2008 — 7 Comments

The series video for this weekend as we wrap up Dear God.


Dear God Booklet

 —  March 11, 2008 — 13 Comments

We just landed on the questions for a little resource we’re putting together for the end of the Dear God series. Talk about some tough questions! We’ve got some work to do answering these, eh?

  • Is it OK to ask questions?
  • How was the Bible compiled?
  • How do we know the Bible is reliable?
  • Is there right and wrong?
  • Why do good people suffer?
  • How do I deal with regret?
  • What’s heaven like?
  • Will there be people I know there?
  • How could a loving God send people to hell?
  • Are Catholics Christian?
  • Does purgatory exist?
  • I thought Jews were God’s chosen people. Are they Christian?
  • What do Buddhists believe?
  • What do Hindus believe?
  • What do Muslims believe?
  • What do Mormons believe?
  • How do I get to heaven?
  • What about people who have never heard about Jesus?
  • Are there animals in heaven?
  • Why do I need to be baptized?
  • Do we still have to tithe?
  • Isn’t homosexual love still love?
  • What does the Bible say about abortion?
  • What should we believe about stem-cell research?
  • What are angels like?
  • What is the Trinity?
  • Where are dinosaurs in Genesis?
  • If someone commits suicide, can you go to heaven?
  • Why are drugs wrong?
  • Why are there inconsistencies in the Bible?
  • Why should we “fear” God?
  • Who created God?
  • Some churches say if you know God, you should speak in tongues? Why don’t we?
  • How do I share my faith?
  • Who do people raise their hands in worship?
  • What does the Bible say about evolution?
  • Did Judas go to heaven?
  • Why do we go to church?
  • Is going to a party but not drinking OK?
  • Is cussing wrong?
  • Is it OK to masturbate?
  • Is it wrong to date?
  • How far is too far?
  • Why should we wait until marriage?
  • Is killing in war considered murder?
  • Does God create one single soul-mate for you?
  • Why am I on earth?
  • Do babies go to heaven?
  • Is it OK to date a non-Christian?
  • Why does God not answer all prayers?
  • What’s our responsibility to the environment?
  • What’s hell like?
  • Why does God destroy entire cities including women and children in the Old Testament?


Dear God – Week 2

 —  March 9, 2008 — 3 Comments

Just finished week 2 of the Dear God series – our service mainly focused on the afterlife. We answered student’s questions about Heaven, Hell, other religions and how to get to Heaven. It was very interesting to sit in big church this morning and hear Pastor Rick on the very same subject. Watch his message here live this afternoon or click the “current series” tab in the coming days to watch it in the archive.

Next week Doug comes with the finale of Dear God, taking on a stack of questions people asked about the purpose of life and how to live a successful life in God’s eyes. We also started work on a small booklet that answers 50 tough questions, which should be done the week after Easter. We finished the list of questions Friday, so I’ll post them here when they get entered into the computer. This has been a good series for HSM – we get a bit of a break with Easter and a guest speaker, then we jump into a series on gifts and a series on sex. Should be a great Spring!


Final Look for Dear God

 —  February 10, 2008 — 7 Comments

deargodfrt.jpg deargodback.jpg

Here’s the final look for the postcards we’ll start to distribute for Dear God – the entry-level weekend series we’re doing in March. Lots of potential!


Dear God

 —  January 29, 2008 — 5 Comments


Here’s the title slide for an upcoming series in HSM – we’re calling it Dear God. I think it really works!

The concept is that students can write their questions to God down on a postcard we print, then drop it in the mail and we cover the topics and begin to answer their questions during the crowd program on the weekend. Can’t wait for this one!


A practice I have recently begun is writing letters to Jesus. If you’re anything like me, taking a time of silent prayer can be tough. It’s quite strange because, well, I like to talk. I think the trouble comes because sometimes prayer feels like I’m talking to myself. I’m probably doing that most of the time anyway, so it should feel normal. For some reason it can be hard to articulate thoughts and prayers to God. Though He already knows what I want to say, what I am going to say, and what I truly mean with what I’m saying. He knows more about what I am going to say than I could ever imagine. Therein lies the problem: all these thoughts run through my head and distract me from the purpose behind what I am doing.

This is where the letters come in. I write letters to Jesus to keep me focused in my time of prayer. I thank Him for things He has done in my life. I ask Him for things I want, or write questions I have for Him. I not only get to think about what I am writing, but the process of writing itself is enough to quiet my mind and allow for open communication with my creator. The purpose behind the writing is to be able to spend a significant amount of time with Jesus. Whatever it is that gets written down doesn’t really matter. It’s about spending time with Jesus in a way that allows for intimacy with Him.

There are a few huge benefits from writing a letter to God. First, it allows for reflection. You can look back on the letters of prayer that have been written and see to which ones God replied with a yes, and which ones He replied with a no. You can see how certain prayers affected your everyday living, or how the effect of a certain situation turned out. You can look back and see growth through the letters you’ve written. Another great benefit is that there is no grade. You can write whatever style, grammatical structure (or lack thereof) that you see fit. If you want to write 1000 words in one sentence or paragraph, do it! If you’re more comfortable writing in a specific style such as MLA, APA or Turabian it is entirely up to you. This is helpful because it takes away the need for perfectionism. It’s a letter to a God who created all styles, fonts, colors, types, words or anything else you could come up with; He gets it.

I chose letter format to help personalize my interaction with God. This is an excerpt from a letter I wrote, “Search my heart Lord and bring out Yourself in me. I am not, but I know I AM. Words that until recently never really sunk in. I know that I have issues with pride… This is my biggest downfall. Fortunately, you redeem, restore and renew. This means that I still must work at it, but ultimately your strength is what changes those things in me.” Being raw and genuine with the Lord has made me feel completely new, but that’s not to say writing a letter to God doesn’t come with a few challenges also.

The one challenge in my letters so far has been, “How does God respond?” Where is there room for Him to speak into it? I haven’t found the answer to that yet but, it is entirely up to Jesus. Whether He chooses to inspire you to write a specific prayer down, give you an audible answer, or miraculously type something out for you, I can’t say for sure. I can say, however, that God is in the business of answering prayers. If this can be a way for you to connect with Jesus in an intimate way as it has been for me, then that in itself is a reward worth having.

Travis Lodes is the Student Ministries Intern at Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in Englewood, CO. Feel free to leave comments or email him at

Don’t you wish you could send a letter to yourself when you were 18? I do. I would have many things to say to myself like finish Algebra in college and there are other fish in the sea.  Still, had I finished Algebra and easily moved on from a first love, there are no more important things than the next five.
Dear Young P31Wife,
  1. You have a Savior. He was sent here to give you life. No, not some unattainable gift like the lottery. No, not given to someone famous and more worthy. Me. He was sent here for you. Ransom paid. No matter what you you done. Sent here for you to give you life.The very living God who walks before you in every single thing you do. Yes, Young P31Wife, you have Jesus. He is there right beside you waiting for you to call out to him. Call out.
  2. Jesus loves you. Not the Jesus you see on those pictures that really never made you feel anything or the generic Jesus that is some unattainable figment of imagination that comes with a side of bland religion. But, the Jesus that lives and breathes and walks beside you. The Jesus that wept for his friend Lazarus. The Jesus that raised him from the dead. The Jesus that sweats blood and cries out for His Father. The Jesus that forgave murders, thieves, and adulterers. The Jesus that will love and comfort prostitutes. The Jesus who I know will love you when no one else in our sin sick world will. He is real, and He loves you.
  3. Rely on the Holy Spirit.  This is vitally important for your survival! Allow yourself to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus called him the Counselor and insisted on His importance, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26). He will teach all things and remind you of everything Jesus has said! Do not rely on your own empowerment, rely on the Holy Spirit. He will get you through hard times in a way that no earthly person can. Young P31Wife, He will sustain you.
  4. Go to church. Reach out to those who are in love with Jesus like yourself. Go to church with them. These people will pray with you and for you. They will hold you accountable. They know how valuable you are, because they see you through Christ lenses. They love Christ and you and worship. You have a family at church that is waiting for you. Young P31Wife, yoke yourself with other followers and go to church together.
  5. Be a blessing. Help someone. Be a leader. Work in Awana. Go on a missions trip, as many as you can. Look at the able body that you have and give. Give for Jesus. Help poor people. Help kids. Work alongside other believers. You will see with your own eyes how Jesus changes lives with His Word and His love. Learn that you are a wife of noble character by being a blessing to everyone around you.
PS. I love you. You are loving and kind and stunning. Your life is filled with joy, grace, and mercy. You are going to repsect and honor your husband. He surpasses your expectations and is completely devoted to you.  Your children are beyond any beauty you have ever known.
I love you.
Meredith Wiser is The Plumber’s 31 Wife. Here’s what she says about herself: I am a Jesus-loving, stay-at-home mama to three babies, and married to one amazing husband who happens to be a plumber. My heart is to encourage women to grow closer to Jesus through my journey to be a Proverbs 31 wife.