Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Love in Love Week

1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT - Three things will last forever--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love.

Oh, My dear friends,

It is with a humble heart and so much gratitude, that Randi and I write to you concerning the love that is being lavished upon us. High School is often a time where one thinks solely about themselves and only upon what concerns themselves. It is a rarity indeed to find any in this stage of life that would concern themselves with others. We love high schoolers and have such a heart for them, but we know that for so many this is just an "all about me" time in their lives. However, the students at Allen High School have blown us away with their selfless love through something called Love Week.  Love Week is best described on its' website which you can go to here. It is also described here on Allen ISD's website. As you may have seen on one of our earlier posts, back at the end of October Randi and I shared the challenge ahead of us with our YL friends who are in high school. Randi was shortly thereafter nominated by the student body to be the Love Week recipient. It has been reported to me that the nominations that came from the students were overwhelming in number and very humbling in content. Randi says she doesn't believe that but I know what a treasure she is! Once the student body had nominated her, the administration and the IB students (International Baccalaureate) voted her to be the 2012 Love Week recipient. The amazing thing about this is that it is all student led! Below is a picture of one of the purported 10,000 flyers that have been printed and distributed throughout Allen... 

Students even designed the shirts that are being sold. The design is shown below. You can order one on the website as mentioned above. Randi said that she would love it if you would send us a picture with your Love Week T-shirt on!

Even the buttons were designed by and are being sold by the students.

Are you kidding me!? When I was in high school this type of thing was not really even on my radar. I was more concerned about the next game, next event, or worse, the next homework. Faith's fullest expression is in Love, Hope's fully anticipated in Love, and Love is the greatest of these three. How someone in high school might understand that and live it out is beyond my capacity to explain in this post. Randi and I are still in shock. 

Our favorite part about all that the students designed for Love Week is the common theme throughout of John 10:10 which states "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." This is one of our favorite verses and one which we remind our YL friends of quite often. The only thing that has sustained us through and in every new day of this journey has been our relationship with Jesus Christ. To paraphrase John 10:10, Jesus, in an eternal sense, not only adds years to our life, but life to our years! Oh, we are so grateful for the power that He provides, hope that He honors, and Love that He gives. Notice, we are promised that the enemy is coming and has come to rip us off, to steal life, and to destroy any hopes or dreams that we have. I am so glad that the enemy has NOTHING on my God! Perhaps more now than ever, Randi and I know that ABUNDANT LIFE is found nowhere else but in Jesus. That is why even on our most challenging of days as we abide in Him, we can abound in love, because He gives abundant life. Is there anywhere where you are allowing the enemy to rip you off? Or are you experiencing the abundant life? After all, 1 John 3:16 NIV - This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us...

I remember well when Randi was first diagnosed and we told friends about what had come upon us. The response was quite varied from people but for the most part the majority of those with the kindest of intentions flooded us with advice. Although so much of it was helpful, we were already overwhelmed. When we told those in high school, however, they perhaps did not know enough to tell us how to solve our circumstance, they just simply loved us, and they continue to do so. This last Saturday, while Randi and I were out celebrating her birthday, some of our friends in high school went to a YL event at Cowboys Stadium to play flag football against other schools. To our surprise, we got a picture of one of the teams, as seen below. They, as their shirts reveal, were "Team Randi." Some of these are my sophomore boys who I lead in YL. Oh, how they bless our life! I have played on many teams in my life but let me assure you that there is no greater team than Team Randi!

Friends, oh how you bless our lives too. We are continually amazed by the encouragement and love that so many of you have poured out upon us. Philippians 1:3 NIV - I thank my God every time I remember you.

We LOVE you,


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