stories, lessons, and a lot of nonsense

baggage full of failure

We have a new summer plan: teach every other YG week, and have an on-campus activity on the in between weeks.  With all of the crazy stuff we have going on for the summer (Father’s Day, workcamp, fourth of July, workcamp celebration…and that’s just the next 4 weeks), this lesson series should last most of the Summer.

Tonight, we started our Baggage series (*ht with a lesson on overcoming our failures.  Much of the lesson came from Steve Somers, one of our youth leaders, who shared his testimony.  It was in interview format.  I’m just going to paste the transcript to that underneath this video, which we used to start the service.

Q: What was life like during high school?

A:  During high school I was a good kid.  I didn’t drink or smoke, got good grades, played sports and never got into trouble.  I got heavily involved with the church my girlfriend at the time was attending and was eventually asked to be the Associate Youth Leader by the person who was a mentor to me.

Q: Where did you see some of this stuff changing in your life?

A:  After I graduated high school, I started drinking in social settings.  The youth leader was eventually let go by the lead pastor on terms that were less than amicable.  That lead to me leaving the church as well as a few students from that youth group.  What followed was alot of misplaced anger and frustration with the church and God, and me turning to alcohol and partying to fill that void.

Q:  Where did that lead you?

A:  It led to me wanting the Rock and Roll lifestyle.  Partying until morning and losing all my inhibition.  I did things, shameful things that I never thought I would do, including one night stands and driving drunk.

Q:  Ultimately where did that lead?

A:  January 30, 2007 started out like any other night.  I shot pool at Playtime Billiards on Tuesdays, so I went to my pool league.  While at pool I had a few beers with my team and friends and of course shot pool.  After league was over we all decided to go to another bar.  At the bar I had a few more beers and shot some more pool.  Just before closing we decided to go to a party.  On the way we stopped at the store to grab more alcohol.  We arrived at this party and I lost count of how much I had to drink.  I remember stumbling to my car in the snow and getting in.  I started my car and pulled onto the road.  I was driving home going down Sprinkle Road at roughly 5AM when tragedy struck.  I was swerving due to the intoxication and struck and killed someone riding a bicycle.  In a split second my world, the world of my family and the world of someone’s family I didn’t know was turned upside-down.  I was given roadside sobriety tests which I failed miserably and a breathylizer and was placed under arrest.  I was first taken to Borgess Hospital to have my blood drawn and then to the Kalamazoo County Jail to sober up.  I was released for a year and a half and then on May 12, 2008 was sentenced to 1 year in county jail, probation, and fines.

Q: You went to jail, what happened?

A:  More importantly though I accepted Christ into my heart.  It wasn’t an immediate though.  I started reading the Left Behind Series and got very interested in the Bible and His word.  That’s where I came across John 3:14-21.  Finally one day in a Bible Study, I accepted Him and salvation.

Q: What did God teach you, what has He brought you?

A:  He taught me its ok to fail and fall. He taught me that no matter my short comings as a person, He loves me anyway.  He’s brought me some of the greatest gifts I could ever ask for.  Close friends who I would be there for no matter what, a better relationship with my family and with Him, my beautiful neice, and the most amazing woman I could ask for.   As terrible a tragedy as my accident was, its given me some of the greatest things in my life.

Here are the verses for the night:

One final note: Steve announced to the YG tonight that he has decided to go to seminary (my Alma Mater) and has been called into full time youth ministry.  I couldn’t be more proud of my friend.  God’s brought Him a long way and plans to take him even further.


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