Sunday, December 22, 2013

Communion

In classic "Abby" fashion, here I am working on a paper that is due in five hours and I decide now is a good time to blog.  They should pay me to be the poster child of procrastination.  Recently, I have been trying to lean in to passing tugs on my heart or faint thoughts or desires for stillness, solitude and communion.  It is truly beautiful the way that the Lord pursues and allures us to be in his presence.  In the last couple of weeks He has relentlessly laid Hosea 2 on my mind.


“Say of your brothers, ‘My people,’ and of your sisters, ‘My loved one.’
“Rebuke your mother, rebuke her, for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband. Let her remove the adulterous look from her face and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts. Otherwise I will strip her naked and make her as bare as on the day she was born; I will make her like a desert, turn her into a parched land, and slay her with thirst. I will not show my love to her children, because they are the children of adultery. Their mother has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace. She said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my olive oil and my drink.’ Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.’ She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold—which they used for Baal. “Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens and my new wine when it is ready. I will take back my wool and my linen, intended to cover her naked body. So now I will expose her lewdness before the eyes of her lovers; no one will take her out of my hands. I will stop all her celebrations: her yearly festivals, her New Moons, her Sabbath days—all her appointed festivals. I will ruin her vines and her fig trees, which she said were her pay from her lovers. I will make them a thicket, and wild animals will devour them. I will punish her for the days she burned incense to the Baals; she decked herself with rings and jewelry, and went after her lovers, but me she forgot,” declares the Lord“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. “In that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master.’ I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips; no longer will their names be invoked. In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety. I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord. “In that day I will respond,” declares the Lord—“I will respond to the skies, and they will respond to the earth; and the earth will respond to the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, and they will respond to Jezreel. I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one. I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.’” (Hosea 2 NIV)

As I was reading a book for my paper I'm working on I was struck again by a call to rest in the wilderness.

"Come in. Shut the door behind you. It does not want to close all the way. Usually you will have to lean up hard against it. Pressure from the outside threatens to blow it open-and will, unless you get it secured. Have a seat. Or stand. Or lean against something. You can even lie down. You may go to work on whatever. Or you can choose not to. This is your room. Yours... and Another's. The one who gave you life comes here too. The one who thought you up and imagined your leadership and knew you would be reading this page right now comes to this place also. This is where you let God work on your soul. Sometimes the room fills with music. Fresh fragrances heighten the senses, sometimes. Light bathes the experience in a warm glow that gives rise to contentment. You want to stay forever. Sometimes. Yet again you are sometimes startled in here. The entrance of the Other stuns you out of speaking, as if the wind is knocked out of you. What you expected is not what your receive. The agenda is not always yours. You both welcome and fear the intense interest the Other has in you. Sometimes it stinks in here. The stench can be suffocating. Rotting, filthy, putrefying stuff gets dragged out from underneath hell. Stuff stuffed in closets you thought you would never have to open. Stuff that nobody but you and the Other know about. You recoil from the horror of it. You are repulsed. You want to get out of here. But the Other does not turn away. He wades into the mess. He is not put off by having to deal with this. His unflinching presence gives you the capacity to stay in, to overcome shame, to face down the unseemliness. Then, sometimes, nothing happens. Or so it seems. He and you. Like a quiet night spent by the fire absorbed in a book, or like a long drive with a loved one shared without spoken words. Nothing much said. No big agenda. Comfortable. " (A Work of Heart by Reggie McNeal)

Thankful for sweet reminders of His desire to be with me.  Me.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Thank you!

I can't think of a better way to start the holiday season than with the love of each of you on my mind!  I am so pleased to tell you that my personal support of $15,000 has been raised and I am now officially a full time Staff Associate with Young Life!  

Thank You! Thank You! Thank you!

It is hard to express just how excited I am for what the Lord is doing.  If there is one thing I'm sure about it is that He is completely in control!  This is both scary and so freeing.  The past couple months of fundraising have given me such a clear view of God working, both in me and in my ministry.  Each of you played a huge role in that!

If you were hoping to give and didn't beat the deadline for my personal support please consider giving to Jacksonville Young Life.  As I am planting and growing Young Life at Mandarin High and Atlantic Coast High I will continue fundraising from the Southside area of Jacksonville.  (A budget breakdown can be found below along with a link to give.)

Praying that each of you would feel loved and so appreciated in this season!  
Sending a BIG hug,



Budget Breakdown
Actual cost of the start-up of Young Life in Southside Jacksonville.
*Specify "Abby Lynch" in comment when 
giving to Jax YL.* 
CLICK HERE TO SET UP YOUR GIFT TODAY!



Monday, November 11, 2013

the final stretch!

I am so excited to tell you that I am $1,800 away from my financial support goal! 

Many of you have been praying about the amount that you would like to support my ministry with.  I would love for you to make that commitment today! 

My support deadline is this week so please submit your gift or respond to this email with your pledge by Wednesday, November 13th.

It is very important for me to reach my goal by this date in order to receive a pay check at the end of this month.  Thank you to each and every one of you that have already made your commitment and have stood beside me in prayer!



With love and thankfulness,

abbylynch.yl@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

75% Raised!



THANK YOU!!!
If you need more info click HERE or if you would like to be added to my monthly ministry update list please comment with your email or contact me by emailing abbylynch.yl@gmail.com !

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

50% Goal Reached!

Thank you to each person that is on this journey with me! So thankful! Please continue to join me in prayer as I approach my goal!  If you would like to receive my monthly updates please comment with your email!

Visit Easy Fundraising Ideas


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Known

Six months ago, my church had us write out a prayer about where we wanted our hope to be found.  The church sealed these prayers, stuck them on a shelf for six months, then threw them in the mail.  Today I read my prayer of hope again.

"I want to stand free from the pressure of performance and failure.  Take away my idol of others' opinions of me and stand in the love and grace Christ has already given!  Find confidence in him and not in affirmation of others.  Rest in his pursuit of me.  Know the freedom of his love!"

It takes my breath away to feel, in such a real way, that my Savior cares for me.  The timing is perfect.  The words are holy.  Conversations are life-giving.  The hope is tangible.  I am completely known and it is out of this breathlessness that I feel so alive.  He rips me out of my to-do list and fills me with peace.  There is no place I would rather be than in that moment... the moment I get a taste of being completely known and completely loved.  That moment of freedom that has absolutely nothing to do with what I do and everything to do with what He did!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Southside Jacksonville Young Life

Join the movement!

     Since my first visit to a Young Life camp in the 7th grade, Young Life grabbed hold of me and it's been a wild ride!  Whether it was spending summers at Southwind Camp, being a volunteer leader at Florida State University, running Young Life club nights in Haiti or working as Jacksonville's office administrator, Young Life has played a huge roll in my life and my relationship with Jesus Christ.  

     I have never heard God speak so clearly into my life as I have the last couple of years while being back in Jacksonville.  The passion that He instilled in me for Young Life and taking the Gospel to high school students has grown by the minute!  There is something precious about doing ministry where I was born and raised and my heart beats to see Young Life and the insane love of Christ in every high school in Jacksonville.  Metro Jacksonville Young Life is currently reaching students in schools across Duval, N. St. Johns, and Clay County.  This year I will be kicking off Young Life's presence in the Southside area, specifically in Mandarin High and Atlantic Coast High School.  With this movement I will also be filling a full time Staff Associate roll in Jacksonville Young Life!  

     My entire life has been covered and blessed by the love and support of family and friends.  As I move into this new role I would love nothing more than to bring each person along with me.  God has instilled a strong community around me and I'm asking you to join me in prayer and financial support.  In joining full time staff I am responsible for monthly donations of $1,250.  Please pray and consider the amount that you can give monthly.

Need:
Person giving $200/month
People giving $100/month
6 People giving $50/month
10 People giving $25/month

"In His great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls." 
1 Peter 1:3-9

With love,





Young Life doesn't start with a program. It starts with adults who are concerned enough about kids to go to them!

As we introduce Young Life to Southside Jacksonville, join me in praying for the 4,762 students that attend Mandarin and Atlantic Coast High School.

Follow my blog at
to find stories and pics along the way.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hit the Road

My seventh and final week of camp this summer was one for the books!  There are 5 amazing and talented girls in North St. Johns County Young Life that are SO talented that they can almost never make it to camp or other Young Life events.  These 5 insane athletes are starting their senior year at Bartram Trail High School and spend pretty much all of their time preparing for just that.  So, Valerie, my roomy and bestie, decided to create a camp trip that they could all make it to.  Therefor, the creation of 6 days of insanity in a huge RV while covering 2300 miles of asphalt!


Pit Stop: Obviously had to roll through Tallahassee and grab some Gordos and a pic at the fountain!

Stop #1: New Orleans, LA



Stop #2: Chattanooga, TN


Stop #3: Dawsonville, GA





Stop #4: Savannah, GA

It was an amazing and fast 6 days.  I got to walk down Bourbon St., share a meal with some inspiring homeless people, clean up a garden, make some jewelry, see the tallest waterfall in the southeast, jump off a cliff at a place called Devil's Elbow, meet so many great new friends, and enjoy 6 of the coolest people I know!

Battle of the State Line

Second Young Life camp stop of the summer and week number 6 of travel!  If there is one thing Young Life does with excellence it is camping.  The newest member of the Young Life camp family is Carolina Point, located near Brevard, NC and literally sits on the boarder between North and South Carolina... pretty rad! About 40 high school students and leaders from North St. Johns County Young Life had the privilege of being a part of Carolina Point's first summer of operation!  And it was definitely a week of firsts!

The Battle of the State Line was probably my favorite event of the week!  Picture hundreds of high school students from all over the US armed with plastic swords, war paint, and a lot of water balloons.  The state line between North and South Carolina cuts the club room in half and campers were told to go put on their state color. (NC-white, SC-black)  A king for each team was placed inside a circle on opposite sides of camp, the jails were opened, campers were armed, and war ensued.  I am proud to tell you that we, North Carolina, took home the win!

As far as Young Life camp goes... they have got the shock and awe thing down.  The epic zip line course at Carolina Point was no different!

It was an amazing week of firsts but the experiences, vulnerable moments, sweet conversations, and uncontrollable laughs can not be beat.  So thankful for all of the girls that I got to spend this week with and that I get to call each of them a friend! 


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Take the Plunge!

Plunge To Do List:
Wake up at 5am & pick up Mar, Logan, and Emily
Drink Red Bull
Drive 7.5 hours to Windy Gap
Unpack and repack way too little into a hiking backpack
Hike 4 miles up
Enjoy a week of peace, rest, work, love, and vulnerability in His presence!
There's something different that happens at Pioneer Plunge.  It happens sometime between leaving your deodorant at the bottom before hiking up and then trying to resist turning your phone back on after hiking back down.  Distractions are stripped away and leaders/campers are challenged to be vulnerable from the start.

Pioneer Plunge is a sacred place where God breaks barriers and pursues hearts.  While Christ is running hard after us daily, sometimes you have to be in desolation before you see it.  About halfway through the week leaders and campers are spaced out on the mountain with their packs, a hammock, and a tarp for 24 hours.  I did this the first time after my sophomore year of college and had high hopes for how Christ would move this time.  Rain had been a constant thing from the start of the week and it broke for a few hours as we headed out to our spots.  I set up my tarp and hammock and got comfy in my sleeping bag with a book Val had given me.  At this point, I think it was around noon, the rain started... and it kept going.  The overcast sky hid the actual time and it seemed as though the rain would last forever.  As water started rolling down the sides of my hammock my prayers for the rain to stop turned to angry demands.  I couldn't believe that this sacred time was being ruined by such a downpour.  After reaching the point of tears and disbelief multiple times, one of the guides poked her head through the trees.  THANK GOD!  As we talked about bringing the girls in off the mountain relief and disappointment flooded over me simultaneously.

The next morning, as we all compared war stories of our solos, one of the Plunge Guides read the story from Luke about Jesus healing the invalid man at the pool.  This man had been in desolation for 38 years when Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." (John 5:8)  The drastic transition from invalid to healed and desolation to consolation is a beautiful picture of the Gospel.  The Lord acts this out in our lives daily... almost always in ways we would never expect.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Week Only (#4)

"A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home.They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:1-5

I am beyond thrilled that I get to serve such amazing and beautiful people the next 2 weeks at Southwind! Capernaum, Young Life's ministry to people with special needs, is by far the clearest depiction of Christ's love and joy over us. This week, Capernaum campers, high school Buddies and YL Leaders have filled this camp with more cheering and laughter than I have ever witnessed before! 

Here is a peek into club where we played "Pie Roulette" with a huge pan of whip cream.  If the music stops and the pie is in front of the camper they have the choice to pie their leader or themselves... Each camper chose to pie themselves!  Pure joy! (excuse the video quality and my face at the end:)

We have so many areas represented this week that uploading all of the leader pics would take a while... So, here are a few and please be praying for each of these areas by name this week! 

Naples, FL
Orlando, FL
Jacksonville & N.St. Johns Co, FL
Tampa, FL
St. Augustine, FL
Tallahassee, FL
N. Palm Beach, FL
Pinellas Co, FL
Pinellas Co.(urban), FL
Polk Co, FL
N.E. Columbia, SC
Fayette Co, GA
Greater Athens, GA



It's insane to see the camp transform over night to accommodate our Capernaum friends!  Our Capernaum Camp Director for the next 2 weeks, Suzanne, explained this week perfectly...
At home, our Capernaum friends are constantly told, "you can't, you can't, you can't."  Whether that's because life is too busy, it's too expensive, or they'll get too dirty.  When they step off the bus into Young Life Capernaum Camp we want them to hear, "YOU CAN!"  
For example, when a camper in a wheel chair sees the giant water slide for the first time we say, "you can!"  For these two weeks at Southwind a huge cherry picker is brought in to make this possible.  The laughter heard on the slide is indescribable!

 Rickshaws are provided to help everyone get to the ropes course! 



And here are some more random pics from today! 


Marisa is here as a Buddy!!!
And Val!!!  Such a great week!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Faith

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls."
1 Peter 1:3-9

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Week Only (#3)

It's our last Wyldlife week here at Southwind!  Pray for renewed excitement and health for me as we finish this week and prepare to welcome 2 weeks of Capernaum, or special needs, campers!  Thank you for going on this journey with me!
Southwest Orlando, FL:
 Volusia Co, FL:
 Ft. Jackson, SC:
Tri-Co, SC: 
 Fort Benning, GA:
 Anderson,FL:
 Collier Co, FL:
 Sarasota, FL:
 Pinellas Co, FL:
Not Pictured: Harlingen, TX