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‘Step into greatness’

Triennium preacher tells young people to resist envious ‘haters’

July 22, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.

As a young girl, the Rev. Debra Matthews was inspired to "step into greatness" at a Stillman College step show. The young adults who were performing weren’t much older than the thousands of youth gathered at the Presbyterian Youth Triennium here this week.

Matthews told the several thousand Triennium participants not to doubt their ability to influence people and change the world. Don't settle for mediocrity, but realize that the enemy will tempt you along the way, she said.

The scripture reading for July 21 Triennium worship was not read so much as it was acted. Young adults told the story of Jesus' 40 days in the desert, during which Satan tried to tempt him with promises of food and power.

We will also be physically tempted, Matthews said. Whether it's with food, drugs, alcohol or other substances, the enemy will try to distract us from greatness, she said. The enemy will also offer power and prestige, banking that we’ll take the short cut to greatness. But we must not succumb to such temptations, Matthews said.

"If you're going to be great in God, you must be full of the Holy Spirit," she said.

And this fullness can make others attack. When other people see your strengths, it makes them realize their own weaknesses.

"I think we call them haters," Matthews said, to cheers from the youth.

But it's important to remember to step into greatness for God and to do all things for God’s glory.

"If you're doing this for your own glory, then reap your rewards now because you ain’t got nothing else coming," Matthews said.

During the two-hour worship service, youth also participated in energizers, listened and sang along with a band and watched a live game show based on the Triennium's covenant.

  1. Maybe you should say "start the discussion is you are positive and affirming of the article". I made a comment here yesterday that was initially posted. I see it has been deleted. My comment was critical but not outrageous by any standard. My comment wasn't earth shattering or of any special note. Are we not limiting other viewpoints being expressed by our denomination's press? If you want comments---then accept the positive and negative. If you don't want comments then don't ask for them.

    by Matt Ferguson

    July 24, 2010

  2. If this is an accurate report, it seems the youth who cheered the statement ""I think we call them haters," Matthews said, to cheers from the youth." are the very thing they are condemning in others by their cheers----hating others who disagree with them as they label them. Sad but oh so often true for the not-yet-adult (teens) and too often true for adults. And sad how often speakers so often pump this generation up with false ideals of how great they are (as opposed to those older generations). Better to challenge them to go out and do great things as they follow God so such things might be said of them by the generations who will follow them.

    by Matt Ferguson

    July 23, 2010

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