Sunday, February 28, 2010

Poem From a Youth

Seeing a youth changing dramatically from his/her lost ways is the best gift for us youth pastors. So, I decided to share the story of one of them with you.

I'm not who I was

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Just Words.

"Is there any worse enemy than yourself?

Some one who knows all your weaknessess and flaws, leaving your
life to hang on an empty shelf.

You try to go on living your life's dreams, trying to fill
others false expectations.
Making you want to cry and scream.

You try and focus, but all you can do is compare
yourself to others and notice how useless you can be.

You've made no change here, the universe is only the same.

So why try everyday, if there's that person who is better
than you'll ever be?

You try to unlock your true self,
but you can't find the key.

You finally feel good about who you are, until you step outside
those doors.

You see all these people intimidating your soul,
burning it to the the core.

You don't feel good about yourself.
You never do.

A compliment is like a drug.

You want them so bad, they make you feel so good,
you dream of the day they will actually come true.
It is the Ultimate High.

But then you see that gorgeous person, that original kid you
wish you were.

The high goes away, though you thought you were sure,
and you feel like the only compliments you've recieved,
were only to tease.

You realize that all those things that person's said,
Were repeated words into other's heads."

I just found this poem I wrote around this time last year. It amazes me
how much God has transformed my life since then. The way I used to
think of myself was completely negative. I would have a smile on
my face daily, but I felt no fulfillment in my life.

I would always be worried about what people thought of me,
that I tried to fit in anyway possible. Even if it meant going
against my morals.

I was lost, always seeking attention. It didn't matter if it was
good attention, just as long as I got it.

I had so many problems, but didn't know how
to deal with them. I rebelled, I cursed, I lied, I based all my
decisions on emotions.

I feel so thankful and blessed that God has filled my emptiness.
He has overflowed my life with happiness.

Yes, I still go through hardships, but unlike before, I know that
I have an Almighty God by my side, who will NEVER leave me.
His attention is all I need.

His love is the most beautiful gift. I can't thank Him enough for
all that He's done for me, and for never ever leaving me.

I adore you my God.


Lyli Torneros,
YPG Pasadena, Texas

Friday, February 19, 2010

Who's Got Your Back?

One common thing that I've noticed among youths who come to the youth group is the struggle they go through in order to abandon the friends they've made in the world. This is typical of them.

I tell you, they manage to stop using drugs, they forgive those who hurt them, they begin doing better at school, but when it comes to 'friends' they say, "Ah, I know them for too long. How can I turn my back on them?", or something like, "If I stop hanging out with them then who will be my friends?".

These youths fail to understand that unless they leave their friends behind they won't grow spiritually. Yes, they won't. The Bible says:

"Don't become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That's not partnership; that's war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands?"
2 Cor 6:14 (The Message)

Let me break it down to you for a better understanding. What they literally do is to come to the YPG (light), receive help and guidance and then after that go back to their worldly peers (darkness) because they can't 'live' without them.

Who does that? Who, after years living in darkness, finding the light that brings direction to them, goes back into darkness again? This makes non sense!

Okay. Some youths might say that they go back out there to help them out. I've heard youths saying that because now that they know the truth they should tell their so called friends of the new life they've found. Yes, the same friends who never came to terms with their conversion and their notorious changes.

I question for you: what is easier, for a basket full of good oranges to make the one rotten orange among them good or for the rotten one to spoil the entire basket? You know the answer to this question.

Friends, let's be wise. I'm not being radical. I'm just saying that there's a right time for things to happen. If you've just started attending the YPG now I advise you to pray for your friends in the meantime.

I know God will soon provide a way for you to meet them and invite them to come to the church with you. Get strong first. Leave them behind. It's either them or God.

"Blessed is the man who walks
not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and in His law he meditates day and night."
Psalm 1:1-2 (NKJV)

At the end of the day, who's got your back?

P.S. - Follow up on this message about friendship. There's more coming.

Pr Luke Castro

Monday, February 15, 2010

Where do you stand?

Did you know that only 5% of you will really make a difference? The other 95% are maybe thinking about other things... and this is not something I'm making up. This is real.

Everywhere you look you see people and people, teachers and teachers, lawyers and lawyers, doctors and doctors, etc. People you can count on and people who are just there for the money. This difference applies to all professions.

For example, most bus drivers don't even want to look at you and are rude, but then you are surprised when you find one who is polite and cheerful. There are thousands of football players in the world but only one gets the best player award in the world.

"Did you know that only 5% of you will really make a


There are many names in the Bible (just look through the genealogies in the book of Numbers), but there are only a few you are familiar with - Jesus, Abraham, Paul, Moses etc. Why? Because they are the ones that made a difference. They make up the 5%.

This fact also applies to people's spiritual lives. There are many people in the youth group, many who pray, many who call themselves a 'youth of God', but few who are making a difference - and few will be saved.

So now the question is, which group do you belong to? The 95% who only come to the meeting to sleep or to flirt, or who use the youth meetings as excuse to get away from home, or the 5% who are ready to sacrifice. It's not the teacher, the pastor, your parents or even God who chooses, it’s you - you make yourself chosen.

The problem is that many youths know what they should be doing but they don't act, so they end up in the 95%. What are you doing and what do you want? It’s time to wake up!

"...Now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy." (Romans 13.11-13)

Paul is warning the Romans to wake up from their spiritual sleep - to stop living carelessly, just taking care of day-to-day obligations and forgetting that Jesus is coming back! If at that time Paul said 'salvation is nearer than when we first believed' and he lived such a long time ago, how much closer are we to it today?

Dear friends, make yourself part of the 5%. WAKE UP to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the work of salvation He began. We can't afford to waste another minute, so 'cast off the works of darkness'. Don't give room for your flesh to work. If you could do whatever you wanted right now, what would that be? Most probably the opposite of what God wants because that's what the flesh wants. When you understand the will of God, you make no provisions for the flesh.

Pr Luke Castro