Hell in a hand basket!
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose HOPE is in the Lord. Jeremiah 17:7
Maybe it’s just a Kansas thing, but growing up I often heard older people talk about the woes of the day and it would very often be followed by the phrase, “It’s all goin’ to hell in a hand basket.” As a kid, I wasn’t even sure what a hand basket was! Then I watched The Wizard of Oz, and when Elmira Gulch showed up on her bike with a basket to take Dorothy’s dog Toto away, I figured out what a “hand basket” was! Among the things on the list of woes were teenagers. It seemed older folks didn’t have much hope in them.
This past weekend I had the privilege of chaperoning two busloads of high school students from our area to a conference at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. We joined more than 2,000 others Friday evening in the university field house and the atmosphere was like a rock concert. Kids clapping and singing their guts out, passing beach balls above their heads all through the crowd and forming human trains and running through the aisles...ELECTRIC is the word that came to mind. (It’s ok if you need to take an aspirin before you read on.) But here is the amazing part, it was praise and worship music…these kids were going crazy for their Faith! Their love of the Lord is what brought them together and fed their frenzy! I was awestruck about 30 minutes later when all those teenagers dropped to their knees on the bleachers and hard gym floor in complete reverent silence to pray, praise , worship and adore the God who had created them! I watched teenagers laugh, pray, weep, and scream with delight as they drew closer, dug deeper and became more connected to Jesus! I’m not sure I even have words yet to describe what I was so blessed to be a part of this weekend. I went to help, but left with more HOPE than I can even describe.
On the 7 hour drive home, I thought about that “hell in a hand basket” phrase and realized that if those teenagers were goin’ somewhere in a hand basket…it sure wasn’t where the older folks from my childhood thought. To be quite honest…we’d all be lucky to climb in the basket with them because they’re goin’ somewhere alright, and based on what I saw this weekend, I wanna go too! The Steubenville Youth conferences will reach more than 40,000 teenagers this summer…talk about setting faith ablaze! This is the generation that will design, construct, operate, manage and decorate the nursing home I’m gonna live in! They are also the generation that is going to renew the spirit of the church and they will do it well!
In a world where bad news is pretty easy to find, today’s verse from the Prophet Jeremiah is the key to settle our troubled hearts. HOPE in the Lord is our comfort! We get worried and anxious about the woes of the day and we forget that our blessings will spring from the trust and HOPE we place in the Lord. Those teenagers I spent the weekend with get it! They renewed my hope because their faith is alive, real and contagious!
A seed to plant: Hope is rooted in God’s plan. Pick three things from your “I’m worried about” list and pray specifically for each one to be blessed by God and then replace the worry with expectant hope!
Blessings on your day!
7/2/2012 07:18:15 am
After the seven hour bus ride, many of those young people attended a rosary for Trent Bengel in his backyard. I feel honored and blessed to be in this community!
7/2/2012 08:06:05 am
Thanks for reminding me about hope....the Catholic Church in our neighboring town (Kentwood) was just destroyed by a fire on Sunday morning. This has been very devestating to the entire community who have attended this 50 year old church, many of whom my husband and I know well. Please keep them in your prayers and I will continue to replace my sadness with hope that God will strengthen their faith and our parish's faith as we work to support them through this loss and transition
7/2/2012 08:07:30 am
Just what I needed to hear today. Thanks!
7/2/2012 09:33:01 am
Enjoy your blog, and your wit, you roll them into a message that makes you think, and I thank the Lord for the faith that my parents installed in me...it is so enjoyable to read. Keep it coming!!
7/2/2012 10:11:59 am
Thank-you Sheri so much for sharing! I was so blessed to be able to spend this past weekend with the people I love and inspiring people like you who helped me realize so many things and drew me nearer to God. You are truely an inspiration to me. Not only did you take time out of your busy schedule to go on a religous retreat with a bunch of crazy kids (hehe), but you also left behind something that's priceless on each of our hearts, an understanding in our faith. I enjoyed having you as our group chaperone and getting to hear things from you that never made sense when anyone else said them, but made TOTAL sense hearing you say them. You have a gift from God being able to make the impact that you do on people. Thanks again, and may God bless you!! --- Tawni =))
7/3/2012 03:21:45 am
Sheri - Yes it was a truly rewarding experience, spending the weekend with these kids who, by watching their faith in action, inspired me to try and bring some of that "fire for Christ" back home. My Mom was telling me recently about a program she saw on TV that made her so mad - it was two people who were going on & on about how Christianity is a farce and how in 50 years it will have died out. And how by that time, if there are any believers left, they will feel foolish for believing in a God who doesn't exist. I told my Mom, these people certainly don't know about Steubenville and the youth of our time, and how passionate they are about their faith! These kids are our future, and I pray that these conferences will explode across our country, inspiring more & more teens and waking up the faith of us "older generations". Thank you, Sheri, for being a great "roomie"!
7/3/2012 08:17:43 am
7/3/2012 04:28:51 pm
Thank you so much for your words and for letting Jesus use you to spread His message. Much love from Va Beach!
7/4/2012 01:31:13 pm
Greetings! Thanks for pointing the way to your beautiful blog. I love the good thoughts you are bringing forward here. I've had similar experiences with my teens living out their faith life, and it is amazingly hopeful. I really love this line: "This is the generation that will design, construct, operate, manage and decorate the nursing home I’m gonna live in! " How true it is. Thank God we can trust in that! I do believe there is a renewal of faith on its way. Well, it's already here actually. We are going to be called to martyrdom and sainthood. Get ready!
10/5/2013 07:30:36 pm
I had no idea it was so easy to create a free blog here at Weebly, thanks.
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