“THIS MEANS WAR!”
“With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Savior might be carried to the whole world, Messages to Young People.
This quote more often used in the context of education was most applicable recently as it applied to South Louisiana’s Youth Federation. With President Earniesha Lott and her officers and host church Glad Tidings of Slidell, the event was ready to live up to its hype. The captivating theme “THIS MEANS WAR!” based on recording artist Charles Jenkins’ gospel song resonated with youth and adults alike as it formed the backdrop for the colorful flyers, the illuminated stage, the popular blue signature tee and the white “War Time” ones worn by the praise team all reminding us that “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. …they have divine power to demolish strongholds,” 2 Corinthians 10:4.
The federation held in Living the Word International Church in Slidell began with a Friday night chocked full of praise in word, song, and action as youth from Baton Rouge, Covington, Lafayette, Lake Charles and New Orleans shared their God- given talents . We would later learn that our host church was letting us use their facilities free of charge as a way of thanking Slidell’s Glad Tidings for opening its doors to them when their former church was flooded and rendered not usable by Hurricane Katrina. Then it was back home or to a hotel for a quick night’s rest in readiness for the Sabbath service which featured even more of our youth sprinkled with some adults representing their respective areas. This time character presentations and a drama “Now Is the Time” accompanied the praise in scripture and song.
It was Alexandria’s Patrick Anderson, the Federation’s own maestro of music, with the praise team and Hezekiah Brinson, Jr.’s “5 Young Men” of the Westbank Church that contributed to the tone for the divine worship segment. Glad Tiding’s acting pastor Elder Ben Francois provided the welcome and acknowledged Pastor Lawrence Weathersby, Sr.’s generosity in providing their facility at no cost to the Federation. “We praise God for Pastor Weathersby and his contribution. After all, in the words of President Lott, ‘We’re here to worship God and build His kingdom.’” Lott than presented a plaque, Federation tee and $200 to a representative from Living the Word International. A similar presentation was given to youth director and speaker Pastor Tyrone Douglas. Little did Lott know that she was next in line for a gift as her team surrounded her and presented her with their token of appreciation.
“You know how to have church here in South Louisiana,” said an excited Douglas as he began his message. Announcements such as the 2017 National Pathfinder Camporee to be held at Lone Star Campground followed. He began his message with the story of how a football team that declared victory in its own strength was defeated. “We may have the best and noblest of intentions but will lose if we fight the devil with our own intentions. The devil is an equal opportunity destroyer.” Using
Revelation 12 as his frame of reference, he expounded on the battle between Satan and the church. We would learn that because Satan can’t get to Jesus, he attacks Jesus’ followers; thus the need for us to have a real relationship with Jesus. “Praise and worship is not a performance, but a response to Jesus; worship is a rehearsal retelling God’s mercy. Therefore, there must be daily participation in prayer and Bible study because genuine praise requires no coercion. Jesus is my hero. He took Satan on as a man and beat him down. The devil has come to the end of his time,” Douglas exclaimed – to the applause and ‘amen’s ‘from the audience. The remainder of his sermon revealed Satan’s ‘unholy trinity’ and its breakdown and ultimate defeat as reported in Revelation 14 which Douglas stated as the climax of the Book of Revelation.
Following lunch we hastened to the Glad Tidings Church for the community outreach and the concert that would follow. However, Mother Nature and her torrential downpour dampened but failed to thwart our scheduled literature distribution with an invitation to the concert. Many Federation officers along with others did brave the inclement weather and knocked on doors passing out Steps to Christ, The Great Hope and other literature. (Refusing to be defeated, Federation personnel, Pathfinders and others have already planned to return to Slidell the second weekend in December to complete the unfinished job.) The obviously forced indoors concert with Lyle Henderson, Arthur Clayton, Keith Rashad and others followed. Then it was back to “Living the Word International’s recreational facility where entertainment for all age groups kept us occupied well into the night.
Federation President Lott’s assessment of the weekend was summed in “A blessed high time with the windows of Heaven opening wider and wider during my eight years in the Federation. Now that my presidency has been extended for another two years, I look forward to implementing more fellowship and service opportunities as well as promoting evangelism by teaching specific biblical strategies for our youth and young adults. With all that took place this weekend, South Louisiana’s Youth Federation has declared war on Satan as we invite all to enlist in God’s army because we ARE READY!”
Written by Evelyn Edwards
September 25, 2019
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