In case you haven't heard, there's this thing called Omicron that's wreaking havoc on schools as they are returning from Christmas breaks. Some schools have already gone virtual, and others schools are seriously considering it. With even more time in lockdown, the ever-growing crisis of teens' mental health is only going to get worse as they are isolated from their friends and human contact in general (outside of their family). Then, there are the teens that are going to be trapped in toxic home environments. Keep these sorts of things when you're reaching out to friends. Some people enjoy being home all of the time, but others would rather be anywhere except home.
Burn Bright is Passion's latest project. The Atlanta-based worship group's new EP has five new songs like New Thing and What He's Done. The regular Passion singers such as Melodie Malone are featured, but it also includes other worship leaders such as Tasha Cobbs Leonard and Anna Golden. The EP has a focus on having a heart that is on fire for Jesus, hence the title. By remembering what God has done in the past and how He's changed our lives, we can be encouraged that He'll do it again. His glory and beauty should inspire us to give Him all of the praise.
If you're stuck at home and your church is also virtual, one game that you can play is to have your students do a scavenger around the house. The leader of the group will have a list of items in which the others will have to run around the house. One at a time, the leader will read off one of the items on the list, and everyone runs off to find that item in their own house. The first one back to their camera with the item wins that round. You can do as many rounds as you want because your list can be whatever you want it to be. Some examples of different items on your list might be a bottle of toothpaste, something that starts with the letter "J", or even something that is blue and green. You can get creative as you want with it. You can find another explanation of the game and more examples here as well as other games that can be played virtually.
Think of your best friend, the one that you've known for a really long time. Over time, you probably began to adopt some of their quirky words and phrases, pick up particular mannerisms, and develop or grow interests that match the ones of your friend. The more time that you spend with them, the more this happens, even if you're not aware of it. The sanctification process works in a similar manner. The more time we spend with God, the more we become like Him. We start doing what He would do and start speaking like He would speak. This only happens, though, if we are spending time with Him. Striving to become a better and more accurate reflection of God should be every Christian's goal.
2 Corinthians 3:18 - "And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
If you are one of the unfortunate ones that is currently in lockdown, it's not fun, but we do need to try to stop the spreading of the variant. Ultimately, everything is going to be okay. There will be an end to all of this madness. If you are lucky enough to still be a "free" person, reach out to your friends that are learning virtually now. Keep in contact with them and remind them that you're still there for them, even though it may not be in person. A constant presence, even if it's virtual, means the world to people, even if they won't admit it.