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March Women on Mission

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In the World today—

We hear a lot about “being relevant” today.  New styles, new experiences, and new technology—that’s what the world needs.  Yet here we are discussing something that started more than 100 years ago.  Still  we hear, “Pray for North American missions” and “Give to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering.”  Can we never “check this off” and say, “Done!”? 

We look at our part of the world, North America, to find the answer.  It starts in  our state, our city, our neighborhood.  We can study census reports and news articles about population, religions, denominations.  We can also open our eyes.  Where do we look?  What do we see?

In our neighborhoods, we see the elderly, the lonely, the disabled, the affluent, the jobless, and the overwhelmed.  Where we shop, we see the stranger, the handicapped, the sorrowful, and the socialite.  We see people from all around the world who are now our neighbors.

Too often, in too many faces, we see hopelessness.

Our hearts help us know the answer: “No!”  While there is one person who doesn’t know about His love, who hasn’t seen that love in
action, who hasn’t heard and understood His message, we are not “done.”

Nothing is more relevant in our world today than praying for and giving to the work of sharing His love, beginning where we are.  The dates for the 2015 week of prayer are March 1-8.

The North American Mission study is Wednesday , March 4, following the noon lunch in the Fellowship Hall.  Envelopes for the Annie
Armstrong Easter Offering and prayer guides will be provided Sunday, March 1.  Ask God to guide you in your giving.

Women on Mission will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, March 9 at the church.  All our ladies are invited to join us for a time of study, prayer, and fellowship.

March 2015 Student Ministry

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CHAOS - March 13 - 15

Retreat is almost here!! Get signed up today by clicking here.  At the time of writing this, there are less than 10 spots left.

We’ll be looking at how we are to celebrate and enjoy God (specifically His Character and Who He is) and what He has done. We’ll also be looking at how we ought to enjoy and celebrate what God is doing in others through community. And our last large group session will cover what celebration looks like in the midst of suffering.

A HUGE THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS MADE DONATIONS TO THE YOUTH FOR SCHOLARSHIPS! YOU ARE SUCH A HUGE BLESSING TO ME AND THESE STUDENTS!

 

E-Cigarette Use by Teens on the Rise

I came across this article by HomeWord.com and felt like this is something parents should be aware of for a couple of reasons: one, it is a possibly dangerous habit that may lead to experimenting in other areas, which is what the article below addresses; however, I think a second and more important reason to be aware of this is that God has designed us to find our comfort and peace in Him. As we look to other sources for peace and comfort, it often causes our hearts to stray and we begin looking for fulfillment in created things rather the creator. So I hope this leads to Gospel-centered conversations with your student regarding how they deal with stress, frustration, and hurt.

 

While teen cigarette use has declined by half since 2000, parents should be aware that three studies released in the fall of 2014 point to a significant rise in e-cigarette use by teenagers. An e-cigarette is a device that turns nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals into an inhalable vapor. Many e-cigarettes are designed to resemble tobacco cigarettes, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. A study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that nearly 12% of high school students and 3% of middle school students have tried e-cigarettes at least once, and 4.5% of high school students use them regularly. The 2014 Monitoring the Future survey raises more red flags, finding that 8.7% of eighth grade students had used an e-cigarette in the previous month. The numbers for previous month use by 10th graders was 16.2%, and for 12th graders, it was 17.1%. Finally, a study of 1,900 ninth and tenth grade teens in Hawaii found that 29% of these had used e-cigarettes.

 

Why it matters:

• Adolescence is a season of experimentation for teenagers. With the rise of popularity in e-cigarette use by teens, it’s likely that teens will face increasing temptation to experiment with them. A teen’s closest friends are extremely influential during these years of experimentation. Parents should be proactive to know their child’s friends, as these provide a window of understanding into your teen’s values, behaviors, and temptations.

• Nicotine is an extremely addictive drug, and one of the most heavily used addictive drugs in the United States. It activates brain circuitry that regulates feelings of pleasure and provides the body with a “reward” sensation. Both cigarettes and e-cigarettes are nicotine delivery devices.

• Currently e-cigarette manufacturers are unregulated in the U.S., and many e-cigarette products are made outside of the country. Because of the variety of manufacturers and products, it has been very difficult to determine what chemicals other than nicotine are contained in e-cigarette vapor. These chemicals may or may not be harmful to the human body.

• E-cigarette use may or may not be a better alternative than smoking tobacco. Science is clear on the dangers of cigarette smoking to health but has not yet determined the scope of risks found in e-cigarette use. Research has not yet determined whether e-cigarette use is a gateway to smoking tobacco.

 

Much Love,

Mark

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