The Value of Encouragement

Written by Brandon Edwards on . Posted in Youth Minister

motivationimage web

In the summer of 2011, I left a job that I loved dearly. It was one of the hardest things that I have ever done in my life and it affected me in a very profound way. I loved the work, I loved the teens, and I loved the church, but it was not a good fit in a lot of ways. I was left extremely dejected and, honestly, very hurt.

The day after I left my job I loaded my family up and moved to Texas for the foreseeable future. I went to get away, to spend some time with family, and to spend some time in thought. My brother-in-law offered me some work in the oil fields and I took him up on the opportunity.

Invitation vs. Information

Written by Brandon Edwards on . Posted in Youth Minister

youreinvited artwebThere are a few men who truly inspire me in ministry. They are men that I look up to and aspire to be more like. They are men of principle. They are men that work hard for the Lord. To me, and many others, they are spiritual giants. Over the next few weeks, I want to share with you all some of the valuable lessons I have learned from these men. Who are these men?

Dale Jenkins. David Shannon. Terry Edwards. Earl Edwards. Howard Bybee. Jeff Jenkins. Scott Harp. Noel Whitlock. Neal Pollard. Dan Winkler. Mark Blackwelder. Jesse Robertson. Billy Smith. Matt Vega. Eric Lyons. Kyle Butt.

And so it begins.

Family history

Written by Brandon Edwards on . Posted in Youth Minister

familyhistoryRecently, I decided to do a little family project. I spent some time on the ancestry.com website researching my family history. After a few phone calls to family members, I found out a whole lot about my family. I found my grandfather's enlistment forms for World War II, my great grandmother's birth certificate, and my great-great grandfather's marriage license (all photocopies of course). It was intriguing to find such incredible pieces of my family history.
There are stories about the Edwards through the years. Supposedly, over 140 Edwards fought in the Civil War – 138 for the North and 2 for the South. We have ancestry that runs back to King Edward (thus the Edwards name) and also a notorious pirate. Honestly, I'm not sure which one of those is better. I also managed to find out that on my mother's side we are related to President Buchanan. Not even sure I knew that there was a President Buchanan.

Silence

Written by Brandon Edwards on . Posted in Youth Minister

silenceThe Way of the Righteous and the Wicked

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” Psalms 1

Change Your Mind

Written by Brandon Edwards on . Posted in Youth Minister

facebookThere are days where I spend a lot of time on Facebook. Now, some of you might think this to be a waste of time and I agree. There are some days where it is. Other days though, it is a great place to see how people are doing, catch up with old friends, and to encourage one another.

Each and every day I try to write something positive on Facebook. Sometimes it is a scripture from the Bible, and sometimes it is just my random thoughts. I am amazed how many people read these posts everyday! But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised in the end. With all of the bad that there is on Facebook and the Internet, providing a source of positivity is a good thing. So, I keep doing it.

However, I have learned one incredibly important lesson about social media and the online world. There are a thousand and one things to argue about with someone.

Finding The Good In The Bad

Written by Brandon Edwards on . Posted in Youth Minister

workbusyThere are days that I sit in my office and just think. Seriously. I just sit there and think for hours. I always look like I'm doing something and usually I am. I may be typing, writing, reading, or surfing the net, but my mind is always running at a thousand miles an hour.
When I am at home I typically have a book next me that I am reading, a computer that I am on, a TV program that I am watching, and possibly even a phone conversation going at the same time. I honestly do not know how I can do all of these things at once, but I can. This issue has always caused me to not test well or even have the greatest grades in the world. My mind has always roamed and had, well, a mind of its own. I have had quite a few people tell me that I may have ADHD throughout my life and sometimes I agree with them but other times I do not. But mostly, I feel that I have been blessed by this "curse."
Some look at this craziness and think that it is just that, craziness. I choose to look at it and think that God has given me a talent.

Ask A Question

Written by Brandon Edwards on . Posted in Youth Minister

officeAnnoying sound. Dream stopped dead in its tracks. No more annoying pig flying around his house. Must have been a dream, he thinks to himself. Annoying sound. Annoying sound again. A sleepy hand reaches over and hits the snooze button on his phone. A few minutes pass by before the annoying sound kicks in again. His hand reaches out again and types his code in slowly to unlock his iPhone. Groggily he brings his phone close to his face, and without really looking, he turns off the alarm.

Read Like You Mean It

Written by Brandon Edwards on . Posted in Youth Minister

psalmswebartI have spent a lot of time reading the Psalms lately and many things have struck me about these writings. I have loved seeing the difference between a Psalm of devotion, a Psalm of love, and a Psalm of lament.

As I have read through the book of Psalms, I have found myself reading them differently than before. In fact, I have been reading through them out loud. In doing this, I found myself not being able to read them without looking for the energy and passion found within them. So many of these Psalms are written with passion and desire and we often read them as if they are devoid of feeling.

I have heard and seen many people read the scriptures with no energy, passion, or feeling. They read it as if it is dead and gone. It is a finite book that has no meaning.

I wonder how many of us do that each and every day?

A Call to Prayer

Written by Brandon Edwards on . Posted in Youth Minister

temple webThe loud call to prayer rang through my ears and through the boat I was currently on. I was heading to my room to grab my Bible and suddenly the “call” could be heard everywhere. I remember walking by the ship’s gift shop and seeing the gift shop worker kneeling on his prayer rug praying. So many stopped and prayed during this time and I had grown accustomed to seeing it over the past five days. Egypt had a way of making the unaccustomed seem so normal to a stranger.

The Feet

Written by Brandon Edwards on . Posted in Youth Minister

road1 artThe sandaled feet walked slowly along the pathway. It was a long, dirty pathway that was well trodden by the feet of the thousands of daily mourners. These feet dragged a bit and were devoid of energy. They were dirty, sweaty, and worn. They were the feet of the weary, the hopeless, and the tired. Such a dreary walk for any man or woman to have to make.

Suddenly, the feet stopped. The pathway was still long and weary but these feet had arrived at their destination. The feet shuffled and suddenly seemed very nervous. They stepped back. They tried to move forward but something seemed to be wrong. Muffled voices spoke quietly and quickly.

Suddenly, like lightning, the feet rushed forward into the dark tomb only to find it empty.

The tomb was empty!