GYC: Day 2
Day 2 is the most intensive day of GYC. Up until Thursday morning, there were no early morning devotions for me. Bright and early at 7AM we were up and seated for the devotional message from GYC Vice President, Justin Kim. In his message, “Wrongly Trained” Kim shared a compilation of all the mistakes/faults of the disciples centered around Luke 9. He distinguished “The Twelve” from “The Seventy” in Luke 10:17 with a three letter word – JOY. “If we don’t do what we need to do now, somebody will take your place – and they’ll do it with joy,” Kim stressed. He went on to disclose the fact that many of us are using Jesus to our own benefit, but He’s so humble He permits us to do so. We do the minimum required and then fall asleep at the point of the message that could be most critical to our salvation. Instead, we should be asking “How can I use all of me to help every person around me?” The point of the message was although the disciples spent time with Jesus, they still didn’t get it. They didn’t get it because they were wrongly trained. Do we get it? Kim urged us to seek out true education, and “Plead, Lord I don’t get it.” It’s only then we’ll experience the joy of the message.
Sometime around 8AM we wrapped up the devotion, and went for breakfast. My sister and I do PBJ in our hotel room until about 9:30AM when it’s time for the seminars. Dense topics flood the schedule. GYC is the place to hear from people with years of experience and wisdom with topics relevant to our day and age. The choices are always difficult. Praise God we have the option of getting the recordings online later. Seminars quickly filled with topics so hot, people were turned away to prevent fire hazards. You had the choice between listening in on Doug Batchelor, Shawn Boonstra, Steve Wohlberg, Ed Reid, and Sam Pipim – just to name a few. You could get a recap on the Three Angels Message from Nathan Renner or educate yourself on how to connect Health and Jesus with Don Mackintosh. Awesome one hour sessions filled the morning and afternoon.
I first opted for Mark Howard’s “White Out: Whatever Happened to the Gift of Prophecy?” He presented the biblical basis for what a prophet is and whether their purpose is relevant today before touching on Ellen G. White. We learned that the bulk of God’s method of communication came through prophetic messages where He used a spokesperson to present His words. Howard broke down the various types of prophets with examples. Finally the take home message, “If Adventists were to receive the gift of prophecy, we might come to the unity of the faith.” The role of prophets including Ellen G. White is to clarify scripture particularly on points of doctrinal conflict.
My second seminar was with Ed Reid entitled “Financial Planning for the Cycle of Life,” and it was very motivating and informative. We discussed the current economic situation and trends here in the U.S. Reid presented interesting stats such as the 1.4 billion earned by credit card companies just on late fees each month. We learned why people get into financial trouble, and how to get out. Reid just published a book that should become available early next year for sale.
In between the two morning seminar sessions and lunch, we had the plenary. GYC Vice President of Evangelism, Chelsy Jourdan shared her testimony, “God, It Makes No Sense.” Before she took the stage, in the “Something’s Happening” segment we heard from EXCEL and Advent Interfaith Initiative. Jourdan’s testimony called for a moving appeal in 3 points:
1) We are living in very dangerous times. It’s dangerous to be idle in your study with the Word of God.
2) God is calling someone for full time ministry, but something has been holding you back.
3) We need to live true genuine Christian lives.
Chelsy’s testimony was like no other. She didn’t have the typical, I left the church, did drugs, lost my brother to the bullet, and found God again experience. She grew up in the church, but somehow her faith dwindled to nothing more than an outward display of inward emptiness. Her career in evangelism became a clock in and clock out mode of existing. Somehow God still used her, and His grace is sufficient to bring those of us with the same “boring” testimony back to the full experience of His purpose for our lives. She urged us to come back to Him – and many of us did.
Then there was lunch, and we were back at the seminar sessions. Jeffery Rosario’s “Engaging the Culture” was my afternoon pick. We discussed the sinful effects of post-modernism defined as the belief that truth, meaning, purpose, and value simply do not exist. We learned that it’s ok to judge – we do it all the time. There’s a difference between judging and judging righteously. Check it out in John 7:24. We looked at some common phrases of the post-modern’s mindset and discussed ways in which to respond to comments like “That’s true for you, but not for me.” Good, practical, biblical stuff.
By this time I was drained, and my cold or whatever I’ve got sent me upstairs to get some rest in my hotel room. Yes, I missed the fourth seminar session. Shhh…
If you hadn’t got the wake up call since the 7AM session or seminars throughout the day, Randy Skeete did everything in his power to make up for it. The evening devotion was entitled “A Heavenly Calling” and it shook young people up. Skeete drew what He called “A Line of Distinction” between the real us and them. He called for a reawakening to the fact that Seventh-day Adventist should be separate and exhibit behavior not equal to others.
Skeete’s presentation was a blunt in your face, reality check. It was the hardcore lashing that boot camp slaps in your face on Day 1, only this was Day 2. “You are alive for a purpose, and if you don’t fulfill that purpose you have no right to live,” Skeete shouted unashamedly from behind the pulpit. We looked at Genesis and God’s intentional plan for separating the light from the dark and the waters above from the waters below. “Some things should not mix…” and with that Skeete called for girls to break up with their non-SDA boyfriends and for guys to go call their unequally yoked girlfriends and cut it off. It was a sit up in your seat, turn your cell phones off, not vibrate – off, don’t get up unless it’s a medical emergency, we’re here to get serious. Just classic, and powerful. There is no way I can replay the tone, message, and depth of Skeete’s message – it’s one you have to experience for yourself. Let’s just say some teen girls left in tears, and some relationships ended via phone or maybe even text message December 18, 2008 sometime around 9pm California time.
GYC is not for everyone. I repeat, GYC is not for everyone. GYC demands those of us who profess to be something we’re really not – to quit acting up and get with it. The sad thing is that in many homes, in many of our churches we live in this fear of being too judgmental or not politically correct at the expense of real honest truth. When the skirt is too short, someone ought to say something. Yes, in love of course. Perhaps we aren’t building the relationships with the brethren as we should so that we feel more comfortable saying what we ought when we know she needs to hear it. Too often we are silent. Well, Skeete pushed the unmute button last night, and I’m not sure everyone was prepared to hear it. Oops, too late – now we’re left with the choice.
Boot camp just hit home.
I heard a rumor last night that sermons are being uploaded right away, so be sure to check out gycweb.org or google around to see if you can catch what’s happening either live on 3ABN each day or the recorded version. God is blessing us, and I can’t help but share the resource.