Turning Away from Sin

“Therefore this is what the LORD says: ‘If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me.'”
Jeremiah 15:19

Read through the book of Jeremiah, or really any of the Old Testament, and you might get the idea we serve a vengeful God.

Whenever the Israelites sinned, whenever they did wrong, whenever they made a mistake, didn’t sacrifice the correct animal, forgot to celebrate a feast, touched a dead body, reaped all of their field instead of leaving the edges for the poor, didn’t wash their cup or their hands or themselves correctly, or even just looked in the wrong direction, God would punish them.

It seemed they were always doing something wrong.
Even in this portion of Jeremiah’s story, the children of Israel had messed up again. They refused to follow God’s command, began neglecting the poor and the widow and the orphan, turned their back on God and started serving other gods.

So God promised to punish them.

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Czech Youth Visits Ignite Monmouth Gathering

This week, Ignite played host to one of the young men we’ve ministered to during our annual mission trip to the Czech Republic.

Adam Hlavka, of Dolni Tosanovice, Czech Republic, made a detour after a mission trip to New York City to come visit us in Monmouth. He is one of the young men we met on our first mission trip to Czech in 2008, and has stepped up to serve each time we’ve returned. In his own words:

The American team led by Jason Vana in summer 2009 changed my life immensely. He brought a couple of young people over to Czech and I honestly never felt more interest than from them. Especially Jason invested in my life a lot. Even though I spent only like two weeks with him he got to encourage and support me as no one before him.

Read more about the impact we’ve made in Adam’s life.

Adam had the opportunity to attend our Ignite Monmouth gathering, visit with students who came on the 2009 and 2011 mission trips, hang out on campus and even witnessed to students who have some of the hardest hearts towards God – and saw breakthrough happen in their lives.

It has been an honor having Adam visit our group, speak life into our students, and share about the impact we are making in Czech.

Then he prayed this:

It was an amazing opportunity to have Adam visit and pray for us this week, and an incredible mark of the ministry we are doing around the world.

This is why we go to Czech: to see young people like Adam encouraged, equipped and walking into the call God has on their lives.

Learn more about our trip to Czech and partner with us to impact young people, like Adam, for Christ.

Encounter Retreat Food Donations

Ignite needs your help!

Every semester, Ignite hosts an Encounter Retreat, where students are able to get off campus, disconnect from homework and work and stress, have fun and encounter God. These retreats allow students time to get into the Word, worship God freely, pray, spend time in silence and build relationships with fellow Christians at other schools.

The retreat fee is $40 per student and that only covers the cost of the retreat center. Food and scholarships (some students are not able to pay the $40 retreat fee) are not included in that price.

That’s where you come in!

Ignite is looking for churches and individuals who are willing to donate food or money to help offset the cost of the meals for our retreats. Donations range from a few dozen cookies or pancake batter to spaghetti noodles or bread.

[one_half]Food Donations:

To donate food for our retreats, click the button below to send us an email with your email address and phone number. We’ll send you the list of food items we need for the retreat.

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[one_half_last]Money Donations:

To donate money towards food or scholarship costs, visit our Donate page and make a General Support donation and put Retreat Food or Retreat Scholarship in the Comment line.
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Contact us with any questions!

Ignite Lent Book is a Hit!

Our 2012 Lent book was a smashing success!

Each year for the past four years, Ignite has put together a Lent devotion book filled with daily scripture readings, artwork, poetry, small devotions, reflection questions and activities to help students and other individuals face their inner darkness, focus on Christ and experience a true resurrection in their life.

In the past, we would email copies of the book to our students and include it in the Ignite Newsletter. This year, we upped our promotion of this book, and have seen a record number of downloads from all over the world.

The numbers are still being crunched, but as of Tuesday, February 21, our Lent Book was downloaded in 12 different states and three different countries!

We even had churches and individuals feature our Lent book as a resource for others to download.

ChangePoint Church in Anchorage, Alaska led the charge by highlighting Ignite and our Lent book in their church’s blog post about Lent, complete with a direct link to our site for church members to download the book. A church in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada copied and distributed the Lent Experiential Calendar in their church bulletins and made the Lent Book download link available to their congregants. Thomas Mason, Jr. from Virginia also featured a link to our Lent Book on his blog.

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Get Your Copy!
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Part of the mission of Ignite is to equip and resource individuals to passionately pursue Christ. Our “He is Risen” Lent Book is just one of many resources we provide to help you grow in your faith. View our current resources and check back for our upcoming Fuel resources, weekly devotions to help you encounter Christ every day!

Romania 2012 Mission Trip

Ignite and Vintage21 Church are gearing up for our Romania 2012 Mission Trip!

Ignite President Jason Vana and Vintage21 Church Administrator Brodie Clark will lead a team of students and young adults on the trip of a lifetime to Bucharest, Romania. Ministry details are still in the initial planning stages, but will include outreaches and a retreat geared to university students.

Trip Details:
  • Dates: October 8-16
  • Cost: $2,100*
  • Ministry: Outreach and Retreat
Application Requirements:**
  • Must be over 18 years of age
  • Must be a committed follower of Christ
  • Must submit completed application and risk/liability forms
Application Deadlines:
  • Trip Application: April 1, 2012
  • Risk/Liability Statements: April 1, 2012
  • Passport Application Deadline: May 1, 2012***

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Financial Deadlines:
  • April 1, 2012: Non-refundable deposit of $100
  • July 1, 2012 : First payment of $1,400
  • September 1, 2012: Last payment of $600

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The Romania mission trip is part of Ignite’s commitment to see God move throughout the world. This will be our first mission trip working in Romania.

Asterisk Notes:
* Cost is tentative and may change due to flight costs.
** Must be 18 years of age or older, provide signed risk statement and release of liability forms, and be approved by the mission team leaders.
*** Apply for your passport at any Post Office or Circuit Court Clerk Office. Cost is roughly $120, requires your birth certificate, driver’s license and social security card.

For more information or questions, contact Trip Leaders: Jason Vana or Brodie Clark.

Lent Deeper: Facing the Darkness

“Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
James 1:15

Tomorrow starts the season of Lent, those 45 days before Easter where many Christians take time to reflect on the power of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection and prepare themselves to experience new life.

It’s a season of introspection, a season of reflection, a season of preparation and repentance as we journey to the cross and resurrection of Christ.

And it all starts by facing the darkness within.

We all have it. That one sin, that one struggle, that one area of darkness that we just can’t seem to conquer. We pray about it, set up boundaries to avoid the temptation, go to counseling, prayer circles and even set up accountability to tame the darkness within, but still stumble.

We’re flawed.
Warped.
Broken.

And we know it.

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He has Overcome

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

I love Christ’s bluntness.

After explaining one of His parables, promising restoration, and telling His disciples that God will give them anything they ask for in His name, something we all like to hear, He drops a bomb.

In this world, you will have trouble.

It was something the disciples didn’t want to hear.

They believed their Messiah was going to give them an easy life. They expected Him to show up, overthrow their Roman oppressors with their taxes and laws and persecution, and restore Israel to its former glory. They had visions of being His right-hand men, helping to rule and reign in this new kingdom, while enjoying the financial benefits of knowing the man in charge. Not to mention, Jesus just promised they would be given anything they asked for.

Following Christ was going to guarantee them an easy life.

We tend to believe the same.

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He Knows the Plans

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11

There seems to be a belief among many Christians that God’s plans for us are always good.

He’s going to make us wealthy. He’s going to give us jobs that we love. He will bring peace and harmony into our families. He will always answer our prayers, bring us that husband or wife we’ve wanted for years, give us the most well behaved, smartest and perfect children on the planet. He will help us start the biggest church, launch an effective ministry and help us write a best-selling book. Everything we do will always succeed, always be going up and to the right. We will have minimal hardships, always be happy and will prosper in the way the world describes prosperity.

The plans God has for us will lead us into a nice life of purpose, direction and happiness.
At least, that’s what we want to believe.

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