Winterblast youth retreat testimonies

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Youth pastor Anthony Palandro shares his impressions of the previous weekend’s youth retreat — Winterblast 2020 — by emphasizing two questions that the keynote speaker had posed:

  • What if the best possible picture you can paint for your future falls short of what you are meant to experience?
  • What if the story you are writing in your mind, what your life is going to look like, is less than what you are ultimately going to experience?

Then several of the youth who participated shared: Joey Garrett, Caleb Messenger, Emma Young, Rick Ciccone, Belle Rossiter and Byron Jones.

Worship songs, led by the youth, are on this YouTube playlist.

The forgotten gift — 3

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The physical gifts we give and receive can be pleasing or disappointing. But no matter what they are, Pastor Anthony shares, they are temporary. The best, and most important gift we can receive, is salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Click here to view the video that Pastor Anthony shared early in his message.

Songs we sang in worship are on this YouTube playlist.

Here’s “‘Twas the Night After Shopping”, the dramatic presentation written by our own John C. Moyer:

’Twas the night before Christmas and no one was napping.
We were all overwhelmed with our holiday wrapping.
The stockings were buried under ribbons and bows.
Would we finish wrapping in time? Only God knows.

The children stacked boxes both this way and that.
At one point, our mom bubble-wrapped the cat.
While Dad with his tape gun secured things with ease,
the piles grew higher under the tree.

“We need more gifts!” Dad cried, “We need more stuff!”
“Surely,” says Mom, “isn’t this stuff enough?
“You shopped all the sales. You shopped late. You shopped early.”
“Never enough!” Dad said, “And don’t call me Shirley.”

“You’re addicted to shopping,” Mom says, disappointed.
“Not addicted,” says he, “I’m shopping anointed!
“Now, go get the car and we’ll make one more round.
“There must be toys left at the new mall in town.

“There’s no more time,” Mom says, “Shops are shutting their doors!”
“That’s just the first closing. There will be two or three more!”

When outside the house, a truck stopped with a squeal
Mom ran to the window shouting, “Hey! What’s the deal?”
The driver grunted and groaned, not moving so quick.
It was our UPS favorite, good old St. Nick.

No longer jolly, St. Nick looked haggard and sore
as he exited his truck with boxes galore.
“So many deliveries,” he said, “for so late in the game.”
He threw all the boxes, calling each one by name:

“Here’s Macy’s and Amazon! And more from that place!
“Sears, Walmart, Home Depot and hardware from Ace!
“I could build you a tower, way up to the sky!
“What is all this mess?” he asked. “How much did you buy?”

“I’ve got fifteen more boxes—It’s never ending!
“Did you give any thought to the message you’re sending?”
Dad says, “I bought cards showing a church and a steeple!
“And lots of good stuff for my favorite people.

“I bought new sneakers for Kevin and a new bass for Dan;
“Six different horns for Bob because he is the man;
“Table cloths for Connie, a jigsaw puzzle for Rick;
“There’s a whole bunch of gift cards—please take your pick.

“There’s a couch for Scott, Uber Eats for the new guy,
“A laptop for Jill and a scooter for old Guy;
“New lights for the kids’ room, if they didn’t break;
“Plane tickets to Italy? That must be a mistake.”

At this point, Nick moves to the wall of presents and dismantles it.

“You’ve got it all wrong!” says Nick. “The real gift is love
“Sent as a baby from our Father above.
“It’s not about stuff and going into debt.
“We celebrate Jesus! We must never forget!”

“It’s not all these presents that we should be craving.
“His presence is priceless and His grace is lifesaving.
“Share Jesus’ love,” he said, “With whomever you meet.”
And he sang “Silent Night” as he drove down the street.

A light in the darkness

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When we shine a light into the dark, onto the thing we fear and we thought was going to hurt us, fear is removed. We are now celebrating Christmas, the birth of Jesus, the Light of the World. When we let that Light shine into our lives, it brings joy and freedom from fear. Message delivered 12/1/19.

Here is a YouTube playlist of the songs we sang in worship.

Saturate testimonies

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Pastor Anthony, just back from the 2019 Saturate conference at Elim Bible Institute, shared about the importance of testimonies:

  1. Always be ready to share your story
  2. Listen to other’s stories
  3. Don’t just share your conversion experience, but tell of the goodness of God since then.

Then, several of the N3C youth who participated in the conference shared their experiences.

The songs we sang in worship are in this YouTube playlist. They were:
Unstoppable God | Elevation Worship

See A Victory | Elevation Worship
God of All My Days | Casting Crowns
Defender | Rita Springer
Do It Again | Elevation Worship

Serving God well

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Pastor Anthony Palandro says three keys to being effective servants of God are do it to bring glory to God (not to make yourself look better), train yourself for godliness (because storms will come and you need to be prepared), and don’t give up (because nothing you do for the Lord is useless or wasted).

Songs we sang in worship can be heard on this YouTube playlist.

Welcome, Pastor Anthony Palandro

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Anthony Palandro, N3C’s new associate pastor, shares his first message with us on back-to-school Sunday. In it, he uses three main points with the hope that the youth in the body will be encouraged to know they can be the difference-maker for their generation.

First is “you are enough.” Even if you feel inferior or depressed or afraid, you have everything you need in knowing Christ.

Second is “you are planted where God wants you to be.” God created you in his image, he knows everything about your character, and he has a plan for you.

Finally, surround yourself with the right people: Christians, people who are going to have your back.

Follow this YouTube link for the songs we sang in worship.