TELL THE NEXT GENERATION / Feb. 2021

TELL THE NEXT GENERATION / FEB 2021

A NEWSLETTER ESPECIALLY FOR HELEN FBC YOUTH PARENTS: Feb. 2021
YOUTH LEADERS: WEDNESDAY NIGHTS WITH HELEN FBC YOUTH
———— Please remember to pray for your Wednesday Night HFBC Youth Leaders ————
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WEDNESDAYS: Pizza is served at 530pm
& our Games, Bible Study, Worship, & Small Groups are from 6pm till 730pm.
*Daniel Redding is our new “HFBC Youth Ministry Intern for 2021”. Daniel is currently considering and praying about pursuing full-time vocational youth ministry. Lauren West will become Lauren West Redding on April 24th. Pray for them as their wedding day is fast approaching. Lauren is currently assisting with AWANA at HFBC as well. Daniel & Lauren are a dynamic couple with an amazing testimony.
**Dalton Gore is also “Interning” with HFBC Youth Ministry. Pray for Dalton as he nears his TMU graduation date. Dalton will graduate in May of 2021.
We are blessed with an amazing team of Wednesday Night Leaders. Our greatest hope for the middle school & high school students at HFBC, is that each student would be “forever-changed” by the love of Christ. Pray for each leader as they faithfully present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to our HFBC students week after week. Also: pray for each leader as they faithfully live out God’s grace, mercy, & peace in the world.

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MARK THOSE 2021 CALENDARS IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY

February 26-28 – Freedom Weekend (Retreat in place of DNOW) at Strong Rock Deadline for STRONG ROCK RETREAT sign-up is February 14.
April 5 to 9 – Spring Break HFBC Youth Mission Trip (Gulf Shores / Orange Beach, AL)
c. June 12-19 – HFBC Youth Leadership / Mission Trip (location TBA)
d. July 12-17 – HFBC Junior High Week & July 19-24 HFBC High School Week @ Woodlands
e. June 21-26 Surge 150 Youth Music Camp (Toccoa, GA) Contact Angie Gant for more info. https://gabaptist.org/events/surge150-music-camp/
f. FYI: Our TBA Mission / Ministry Trip will likely partner with http://www.ocoeeoutreach.org or https://www.etowahbaptist.com
PS – Contact Jeff for additional details on any and all of the above-mentioned opportunities.

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KNOWING JESUS, THE ESSENTIAL TEEN 365 DEVOTIONAL (for 2021)

In 2021, I’m challenging our students to utilize the book: Knowing Jesus, The Essential Teen 365 Devotional. My prayer is that through the use of this simple devotional book (a Lifeway Resource), your child would grow in their faith in Jesus. Much of our HFBC Youth teaching emphasis at our February Strong Rock Retreat and expanded teaching throughout 2021 on Wednesday nights will center on the tremendous benefit of personal one-on-one time with God through personal Bible Study and Prayer. If your student doesn’t already have their copy, please stop by the HFBC Youth Ministry office, and pick one up for them. This is a free gift from HFBC to your child. We love them dearly. Thank you for the privilege of partnering in ministry with your family through HFBC Youth Ministries. In Christ, Jeff Ford ( email: jford@helenfbc.org ) call or text: 706.809.**** / or call office # 706.200.1965

Photos: Daniel Redding (with his bride-to-be: Lauren), Trista Blankenship, Candice Wood, Dalton Gore, Natalie & Jeff Ford, Jacob & Abbey Booke, Keith Wade, Will Myers, and Amy & Michael Whitlark

Tell the Next Generation / January 2021

TELL THE NEXT GENERATION / JANUARY 2021

A NEWSLETTER ESPECIALLY FOR HELEN FBC YOUTH PARENTS

Our Next Big Event: HFBC Youth Retreat at Strong Rock (Feb. 26-28)

This month is a time of preparation for our first ever Helen First Baptist Church Youth Retreat at Strong Rock. The dates are February 26, 27, and 28. The retreat is open to all 6th through 12th graders. Our hope is that God will move in a mighty way in the lives of our students and their friends. Please be in prayer for your child and all those that will attend. Our retreat will feature: Worship, Bible Study, Team-Building Activities, A Climbing Wall, Archery Range, Canoes, Fishing, and tons of fun. A deposit of $20 is due  on February 14th: Valentine’s Day. Total cost is $85 per student. Partial and full scholarships are available. Parents with two or more students in the group receive “sibling discounts”. If your child is planning to go, please get me their t-shirt size A.S.A.P. 

Here’s their website so you can explore Strong Rock Camp + Retreat for yourself: www.strongrockcamp.com . Contact me with your questions about this special event. Please pray for me and the other adult leaders as we prepare for this potentially life-changing weekend in the lives of HFBC Students. 

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2021 HFBC Youth: More Dates to Remember

a. February 26-28 – Freedom Weekend (Retreat in place of DNOW) at Strong Rock

b. April 5 to 9 – Spring Break HFBC Youth Mission Trip          (Gulf Shores / Orange Beach, AL)

c. June 12-19 – HFBC Youth Leadership / Mission Trip (location TBA)

d. July 12-17 – HFBC Junior High Week & July 19-24 HFBC High School Week @ Woodlands (not a certainty… dates-wise, but these are our requested weeks… official dates will be announced soon…) 

e. FYI: Our TBA Mission / Ministry Trip will likely partner with www.ocoeeoutreach.org or https://www.etowahbaptist.com 

TELL THE NEXT GENERATION / Dec 2020

 TELL THE NEXT GENERATION

A NEWSLETTER ESPECIALLY FOR HELEN FBC YOUTH PARENTS / Dec 2020

I was probably about 11 or 12 years old. We woke up on Christmas morning. I put on my brand new blue flannel P.J.’s that my Grandmother had given me the night before at our Christmas Eve family get together. I rushed into the living room to look at the wonderful gifts I would be opening and playing with. And there they were. My brother and I tore into a few gifts. I was so excited. Greatttt! I got the robot that transformed into an evil insect people eater. That was just what I wanted. Alright!!! I got the camouflage pants. Now I could hide in the woods with my neighborhood pals and be virtually undetectable by my brothers crew of friends. We could bombard them with pinecone grenades and they’d have no idea where we were. O.K. I got some black socks to wear to church, hey! I could wear these with my camouflage pants to increase my invisibility. 

In the midst of my present opening, as I began to run out of presents to open, I began to watch my brother dig into his stuff. Hey! He got the camouflage pants too. Now he would be hiding out in the woods too, and terrorizing me and my friends as well. He got the black socks too. No robot that transformed into an evil insect people eater, instead he got a hand saw for fort building. Maybe I could borrow that from him sometime. Pretty soon all the gifts had been opened and he and I began toying with our new gifts. It didn’t take long for me to figure out how to convert my robot into an insect. After all I had about a dozen other robot toys that were a lot like it. As my brother and I looked around the opened gifts we both began to get a strange feeling.  And we began to ask that question that semi-spoiled kids ask on Christmas – Is this it? We made eye contact with a little bit of a puzzled look on our faces. I began to ponder the past years of Christmas mornings. Last year it seemed like we had gotten a lot more stuff. Didn’t we?

I think there are many people in the world. People that are asking that same question my brother and I were asking. They don’t ask with words. They sometimes reveal the question through the decisions they make. Through their lack of hope and meaning that translates in the way they live their lives. They’ve gone all their lives and now they want to know – Is this it? Is this all life has to offer? Is this all I’m going to get out of this life? These people are those who haven’t experienced the Hope, the Peace, the Joy, and the Love that we have been offered through Jesus Christ. They feel like they should be getting more out of their lives, they feel like something is missing, they are left puzzled unsure of why they aren’t getting more. Like me at age eleven thinking to past Christmases, they think back to times in their life when things were different. When things were better. But they have no idea how their lives can be different.

My Dad began to sense his twelve and thirteen year old’s confusion that Christmas morning. He knew we felt like something was missing. So he spoke up. “Guys, I think there is one more gift to open. It’s down in the basement. My step mom urged us to put on our new Christmas totes – those cool thick socks with the tread on the bottom. We ran like wild horses to the basement to see what gift awaited. It was the greatest gift I’d ever gotten. A GO-CART. A fire engine red, single seat, 5-horse power, Go-cart. What I thought was going to be a big let down sort of Christmas was actually the best Christmas ever!We as believers are kind of like my dad in my wonderful Christmas memory. We know where to find the greatest gifts. The Hope, the Peace, the Joy, and the Love. The greatest gifts are found through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Let us share the greatest gifts : the Hope of Jesus 

ISA 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called

         Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Let us share the greatest gifts : the Peace of Jesus 

LK 2:13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

  LK 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest,

    and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

Let us share the greatest gifts : the Joy of Jesus

LK 2.10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 

Let us share the greatest gifts : the Love of Jesus 

JN 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Let us share the greatest gift: Jesus. 

2CO 9:12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND AMEN.  (from Jeff Ford, December 2020)

TELL THE NEXT GENERATION (NOV. 2020)

TELL THE NEXT GENERATION (NOVEMBER 2020)

A NEWSLETTER ESPECIALLY FOR HELEN FBC YOUTH PARENTS

WHEN YOU CAN’T GO PAINT THE TOWN – PAINT A PUMPKIN

The pandemic has placed limits on many of life’s regular activities. Besides Freedom Weekend 2020 (back in February), this year has been filled with mostly “low-key” HFBC Youth Events. For the most part our camp experiences, conferences, & mission trips have been put on hold. The lack of activity can be pretty discouraging at times; however, we continue to press on at HFBC to provide meaningful ministry and fellowship opportunities for the next generation. Thank you for praying for us as we seek to make an impact in the lives of HFBC Youth.

2020 MANTREAT – A CAMPING ADVENTURE TO REMEMBER

A youth pastor friend of mine (from Lakewood Baptist Church in Gainesville, GA) extended an invitation to our youth group to join them for a Guys Retreat at Long Mountain. It was a unique and exciting event. We brought 7 students from HFBC youth. The boys participated in a number of really exciting “track times” (such as knife throwing, archery, and fishing). The two day retreat was a slippery one, but we definitely rose to the challenge of camping in the rain. We were really blessed by this partnership with Lakewood. If our friends at Lakewood BC extend the invitation to take part in 2021, we will be sure to join our brothers in Christ once again. Special thanks to chaperones: Brandon Meeks & Michael Whitlark, for joining me for “Mantreat.” The Bible Studies and Worship Times were amazing! God really blessed our HFBC young men and all those that participated. 

COULD YOU OPEN YOUR HOME TO HFBC YOUTH in 2021?

With Covid the simple and safe answer to this question may be NO. That is understandable. We want to be safe. We want to keep you safe, and we want to keep our students safe; however, as the world starts to get back to normal, please keep my question in mind for 2021. Some of the greatest moments in our lives in youth ministry (as students & as leaders) have occurred in the homes of church members, parents’ homes, and youth ministry advocates’ homes. We welcome students into our lives, and one of the best ways to do that is to first welcome them into our homes. 

HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS HAVING FUN WITH PUMPKINS ON TRISTA’S PORCH

Trista Blankenship is one our faithful youth ministry volunteers. Her husband Paul and I meet on a regular basis to discuss our families and how God is working in our lives. I am blessed to call Trista and Paul my friends. Please pray for the Blankenship Family and all the individuals and families that support, encourage, and minister to HFBC students. It takes an HFBC village.Thank you for partnering with us in prayer to make a difference in the lives of teenagers at Helen First Baptist Church. Your prayers make a real difference in the lives of our students. 

HFBC YOUTH PARENTS NEWSLETTER OCT. ’20

TELL THE NEXT GENERATION

A NEWSLETTER ESPECIALLY FOR HELEN FBC YOUTH PARENTS

I’M WITH THE BAND

One year ago, I gathered at a Wednesday night HFBC fellowship hall table during at suppertime with the four young men (Evan, Titus, Bryce, & Ben) from the photo below to discuss a band name. We asked the question, what do we call ourselves: the neverknows, sycamore, the preacher boyz… What’s in a name? The guys decided on our band’s name: The Jesus Freaks. I favored their pick because it reminded me of the dc talk song of the same name. Before Covid-19 interrupted our band practices and worship leading opportunities, we added an additional member: Christy (another vocalist not pictured above). This “band” of Jesus Freaks have been one of the greatest personal youth ministry blessings of this past year. Before the pandemic interruptions prevented our ongoing progress, the band would faithfully gather before our youth meetings each week to prepare songs and (maybe more importantly) prepare our hearts for worship through student led devotionals and prayer time. It was a sweet time of fellowship, discipleship,  and musical progress that I have truly missed over the past several months. Please pray for us as we attempt to “get the band back together” with our HFBC youth praise band. May God be honored and praised through our student musical efforts at Helen First Baptist Church. 

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SILLY HALLOWEEN FAMILY TRADITIONS

October 31st. This is a unique day on our 12 month calendar. As the father of a teenager, I have really enjoyed spending time with my daughter, Jorjanne, in front of the television during the Halloween season. We both enjoy scary movies. I’m not sure why. Some people enjoy them, and some people hate them. We enjoy them. Some are silly (see: Gremlins). Some fall into that wonderful category – they are so bad they are good (see: 47 Meters Down). Most of them are downright lame; nonetheless, watching scary movies has always been a tradition that my teenager and I have enjoyed together. What are some of your Halloween traditions? Trunk or treat at HFBC, dressing up, hosting a gathering of friends, visiting a haunted house, bobbing for apples, carving pumpkins: there are so many options. As a “recent empty-nester”, let me encourage you with this word: treasure the holiday moments and memories (even Halloween). Your middle schooler and / or high schooler will not be under your roof for many more Halloween seasons. Treasure the moments and make some wonderful memories. We are entrusted with the privilege and blessing of time with our teens. That time can go by so quickly. My wife Natalie had a great idea several years ago during the start of Fall. She purchased paints and small canvases for the our little family of three. Each of us painted one canvas. I think I had seen the Halloween novelty Christian t-shirt online that read: Jesus loves me so much it’s scary. I proceed to paint those words on my canvas pairing it with the outline of a jack-o-lantern. Jorjanne and Natalie both opted for a more artistic subdued fall scenic expression on their canvases. This year I asked Natalie where my “Jesus loves me so much it’s scary” artwork was. She said it was in storage in the basement. I think I’ll go get it. It’s a little silly piece of holiday decor that reminds me of our time together as a family (when we were all under the same roof). Time is slippery. Treasure the time with your teen. Make some wonderful memories in 2020. 

Excavate.my.painful.past.to.get.to.You

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EXCAVATE

You have given me a new heart

You have changed my desire

Your Word is my road map

Your Word is my guide

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I’m growing up, I’m growing strong

I’m seeking Truth as the day is long

I’m going down, down to the roots

I’ll excavate my painful past to get to you

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With new ears I’ve learned to listen

With new eyes I now can see

Your Word is my road map

Your Word is my guide

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I’m living proof, a life that’s changed

I’m turning from all selfish gains

I’m going down, down to the roots

I’ll excavate my painful past to get to you