WHO WE ARE

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WHAT IS THE RIPTIDE?

The Riptide was created by a group of high school students who love Jesus and want to spread His word. This blog consists of student testimonies, devotionals, music playlists, reading list and so much more! Everything you see on our page has been written and curated by a Ripple Effect student.

 

"PUBLISH HIS GLORIOUS DEEDS AMONG THE NATIONS. TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THE AMAZING THINGS HE'S DONE." (psalm 96:3)

We as a body of Christ have been called to spread the word of God. If not us, then who? Our generation has been given an immense power through our schools, social media and the other campuses of our lives to infect others with the love of God. We want to create a Riptide in the lives of those around us. Our mission can be boiled down to three main goals: 

 

OUR GOALS:

  1. To create community

  2. To give hope

  3. To lead people to Jesus

Will Champagne

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I get invited to parties all the time where I can go smoke and drink and these people are cool and super nice people, but they’re also not doing the right thing- and that’s where I know that I’m living my life through Christ. I no longer have that desire to go and do those things, because I’ve given my life to him.

My family has gone in and out of houses, from couch to couch. We had big time financial issues- especially when I was younger. Just recently I got into a really toxic relationship, and instead of revolving myself around God and the bible and letting that control my life, my center concentration was this girl. I let her control my life and that lead me down several negative paths that got me into serious trouble. One day, about two weeks after we broke up, I was crying in my room and I thought to myself- I have no one to turn to. I felt like my mom hates me, and I had no friends to turn to, because I gave everything up for this girl. Who do I turn to?  So I started to pray to God that night and trying to get my life together. After a month of praying and trying to do right, God just kind of took over. He’s been there ever since.


I felt like if I was going to rely on God, I’m not just going to only put in partial effort or give him only some parts of my life, but keep some to myself and live it how I want to. I was like- I’m going to do it your way. I’m going to give my whole life to Him and let Him control it.

I’ve always said that I love God and believe in God, but I’ve never felt it like I have these past four months. 1st Corinthian 13: 4-7 talks about the love we’re supposed to have for each other and it has influenced me so much. One of my young life leaders told me to replace one of those words with Jesus, and that just shows how much Jesus loves us. The fact that he died on the cross for us and that he can forgive, gives us the power to forgive and love others, just as he does for us. It’s overwhelming honestly, because he loves us so much.

Just be nice to people. Don’t slam a bible at them- build a relationship with them. Then if they ever need someone to come to, they know they can trust you. They can have somebody. That's how I show God's love.



Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
— 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

God is Love

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Christianity is constantly seen as something that lacks compassion and acceptance for those who don’t believe. These things can be seen in many Christians’ actions and attitudes which are then misconstrued as the character of God. In reality, God is misrepresented all the time because of people who wrongly interpret God’s love for what it is.  Love that will always pick you up when you’re down, love that will never leave you feeling lonely, and love that will always appreciate you for who you are. Believing in God is all about love, because He is love!

 

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. - 1 John 4: 7-8

The whole point of being a Christian is to embrace the grace of God which forgave all the wrongs we’ve done and giving us a fresh NEW LIFE! We can live free knowing the constant mistakes we make don’t burden us any longer because Jesus took all the guilt and regret from our sins that weighed us down and lifted us up! How you can embrace His grace and love is to live life with the purpose of spreading joy and love so everyone can feel the warmth of Jesus uplifting our broken spirits, making us new. Every single person in the world has struggles and many have to deal with those struggles alone. But with Jesus on your side you never have to feel alone again

 

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved. -Ephesians 2 4-5

All in all, love is what everyone needs and God provides for that need unconditionally. Many make assumptions about God and Christians but the reason this happens is because they don’t know who God truly is and what he is all about. Unless those who believe in Him show who he is by preaching not with just their words but with their life, people will never know God for God but only what others portray Him to be. Sometimes you are the only Bible someone will ever read. So who will you write God out to be with your life?

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
— 1 John 3:1

[NATALIE ATENTO]

Alanne Francis

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Something I would share with other High Schoolers is to just keep going. Everyone faces struggles and we’re all gonna have ups and downs, but keep going through everything. Know that God has your back.

My family has always been Christian, but we didn’t go to church. We only went for special occasions and with other family and friends. I struggled with anxiety a lot when I was in elementary school, and my counselor actually recommended that I go to church. So I tried Port City and I went to Fuse right after sixth grade. My small group leader introduced me to everything about God and I accepted Jesus into my heart. That was the first moment I was like “Wow, this is so awesome. I want to be apart of this and I want to have God in my life.”

My anxiety was a difficult thing to go through. It started in Kindergarten. I have a twin brother & in preschool we were always together, but they started to separate us in elementary school. So I went from always having my mom or my brother around, to being by myself.  Elementary school it was just a struggle. I cared about other people's opinions of me and just what I wore. I would plan what I wore every Sunday and have it all laid out. That ties into perfectionism, which is something else that I’ve really struggled with. I tried to be perfect in everyway, but that’s impossible because Jesus is the only one that’s perfect- I can’t ever be close to perfect. That’s something I continue to struggle with, but I’ve accepted now.

I would encourage other High Schoolers is to just keep going. Everyone faces struggles and we’re all gonna have ups and downs, but keep going through everything. Know that God has your back. Simple actions and consistently being kind has a degree of the Christian values. It’s a lot easier when you’re in school, since religion is kind of a topic people avoid. Smiling and being positive really helps. Inviting people to go do things with you and slowly start talking to them about God.

 

Be adamant about your faith. Don’t let society or peers influence you in your decisions because it’s so easy to just go along with a different crowd or just act a certain way when you’re around certain people. Be continually strong in your faith and always let that show because that’s the biggest part of who you are and that's what's going to follow you into eternity.

[Kylie Slater]

[2.27.18]

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
— Colossians 1:17 (NIV)

Zach St. Pierre

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I feel like I’ve had clicks before, I know the first Fuse I went to was a moment in my life when everything changed. My biggest moment was with Geoff- I started doing counseling with him and actually started moving away from all the depression and darkness. I hated everything and everyone- that changed a year and a half ago. That’s my big ‘when I met God moment’. That’s when I started to actually believe for myself. I started going to church because that’s what I believed and that’s what I needed to do. I didn’t just go because it’s what my mom wanted me to do.

For the longest time, I would just roll my eyes at everything. I hated God. I hated everyone, including myself. I realized that’s not how the world works and that’s not how, or who, God is. It’s a hard realization to have at sixteen. I just knew that I had never seen anyone at the church or anyone who claimed to know God, be hateful. No one here is hateful. Everyone is happy, even when things don’t go their way, even when they have every human right to be hateful. It’s just not in them. God isn’t hate.

My dad left me when I was seven. I didn’t see him for nine years and it was actually a month and a half ago when I saw him for the first time. For the longest time, I didn’t rely on my faith at all to get me through that, because I was just angry. It just gave me another reason to be angry at the world. But recently when I talk about it to people, they don’t understand why I’m not angry, because I’m never mad at him. I think the reason is, there’s no point in being mad. It doesn’t do anything for me, it doesn’t do anything for him and more importantly, it doesn’t do anything for God to just be angry all the time. My father left my mom I and have every right in the world to tell him he’s terrible and never talk to him for the rest of my life. It doesn’t do anything for me.

I think it’s a really good opportunity to tell people about forgiveness when they ask why I’m not angry. I believe in forgiveness and I believe that we’re called to forgive people. Forgiveness is almost never about what the other person either did or did not do. Forgiveness is almost entirely about you and God. It has almost nothing to do with the person who wronged you. It’s giving up any hatred you have and giving it away to God. It’s saying “this is what happened, God, I forgive this person and what they’ve done” and doing openhandledly. That’s the reason you don’t see a lot of hate in the church. They know how to forgive and not hold resentment in their heart. And that’s hard and I don’t do that all the time, but I’ve shared that with several nonbelievers and they’re just blown away by the fact that I’m not angry.

 

Missions do something in your heart. Anyone can go and build a house for widows in Guatemala, believer or non-believer. But there’s something about God calling you to go to a completely different hemisphere that changes things. About a month before I went to Guatemala, I was freaking out. I didn’t know why out of all the humans in the world, I was going. I didn’t think I was right to go. And then I got all the money I needed to, and about every step of the way, I’ve been smacked in the face to go. Just go. Everything just unfolded the way it was supposed to. Right before I left, I was just like “I see what you’re doing God.”

I came home with a different appreciation of the world. There’s so much more than the American culture I’ve been raised in. There’s life and family, giving and receiving. Everything was out of goodwill and family, and it’s a big deal to be called someones family. They’re really rich there. Not like American rich- they don’t drive cars, most of them don’t have shoes, most of them don’t have houses. But they’re happier. It’s weird to see that they’re living the opposite of what we’ve always been told- that money, cars, and things will make you happy. But there content.



Whenever I was in church, I would just roll my eyes and never pay attention because I was just angry at God. I didn’t want to be there. There are kids that sit in Ripple Effect and talk to their friends and roll their eyes and there’s nothing I can say that will stop them from doing that, but I hope one day they realize that you can’t just roll your eyes at everything. I did that for the longest time and it doesn’t work at all. Just care about whatever situation you’re in, whatever people you meet. Care about church, as cliche as that is. You don’t have to be grown up to care.



 

[Kylie Slater]

[2.27.18]

How I walk through & understand John 4

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The Woman at the Well Made Simple

One of the biggest struggles with people coming to Jesus is the idea that he’s old-fashioned, hard to get to know, and totally unrelatable. But Jesus is just as approachable as the guy in line with you at Port City Java! (I mean we all know his favorite coffee shop is He Brews... sorry, too corny?) ANYWAY! One thing I do to make the stories in the Bible more comprehensible, more applicable, and more modern, is imagining Jesus as a Millennial. I know it's weird, but stay with me- it'll all make sense soon.


Jesus is represented in the Bible as a revolutionary man that said no to the status-quo, even when everyone around pushed him to persecute and condemn those he loved. One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the story of the Woman at the Well, that can be found in John 4.


In the story we see that:


1. Jesus talks in a metaphor. "Everyone who drinks this water (the well) will be thirsty
again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst (eternal life)..."
(v.13).
Highlight this verse in your Bible, it’s a moral of the story kinda verse. We tend to not read past this verse, BUT it gets better if you do! Jesus was definitely not appreciated during his time. He was a poet. Only Jesus spoke like this, and he definitely would be the Instagram caption king: "the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life"... like wow (insert
dramatic waterfall picture of your vacation to some tropical island). The point of this verse is to illustrate the ever satisfying life that is received through Jesus, because we are humans and we crave the feeling of fulfillment. Too often we try to find that in things that look pleasing to the eye but are detrimental to the soul. God sees our struggle and wants so much more for us than the emptiness. 


2. Secondly, I love how ‘not all there’ the Samaritan woman is. Jesus is trying the be all "I am
the Messiah" without having to write it in the ground, but eventually he gives up and
just looks at her (with what I imagine as a little bit of Jesus sass) saying "I, the one speaking to you- I am He." (v. 26). Sometimes I feel a lot like this woman. I try to struggle through my own problems, not seeing the purpose of the problem, letting myself get so stressed and frustrated that I eventually scream "What's the freaking purpose of all this!!!". That’s when Jesus approaches me, looks me in the eye, and vigorously shakes me screaming back, "It is me!! I'm the reason and purpose!" We all need to have this spelled out to us sometimes… and more often than we’d like to admit. Jesus is that friend who isn't afraid to call you out, he wants to put you on the right path and walk through all the craziness with You.


3. Now we've gotten the part where the disciples show up from Sychar (the town where they went to provide some food for Jesus), the disciples tell Jesus “hey we've got the food you wanted please eat,” but Jesus replies: "I have food to eat that you know nothing about" (v. 32). Wow, okay if this would be said to me, I would think Jesus was either hiding snacks or really hangery- but then after reading on, we realize he told the same message he told the Samaritan Woman: "My food is to do the will of Him who sent me... Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest" (v. 34). Everything he says has a purpose and a message behind it, and some of what he says isn't meant to be literally, but read in a way that will paint a picture and have a lasting impact, rather than being told “Hey so do God’s work because if you look around there's a lot to be done”. I mean which would you prefer to hear?


4. Lastly, I love the following Jesus attracts. One moment he's talking to the woman
at the well, then he tells her the story of her life, explains that he is the Messiah, and next
thing you know, the whole town of Sychar shows up because of an outcast woman and her testimony (She had five husbands and now lives with a man she isn't married to), people were brought to Jesus literally and spiritually. Then as the closing of the story goes, "We no longer believe just what you said [the woman]; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know this man really is the Savior," (v. 42). Jesus wouldn't Catfish us, he is who he said he is and loves us
like he said he would love us. There's no "if's" or "but's" about it. As cheesy as it sounds at times, the message is all too real: Jesus loves us and all of our weird and messed up lives. No exceptions. He provides us with all the outs when we feel trapped and wouldn't leave us thirsty or hungry for answers. He is the Well and the Harvest, all we need to do is come to him.

 

 

 

EXTRA STUFF///

Reading the Bible can be difficult at times but it is important to try and struggle through even when it seems impossible. Some ways to make it a whole lot less intimidating is to find a version you understand (I use NIV), you want to make sure you understand what your reading so figuring out the style of text you want is very important. Next, go to a coffee shop with some friends and have a Bible study (caffeine and christ is always a good combo). When you’re in a comfortable environment surrounded with friends it just makes it that much easier to dive in and understand the word. Lastly remember the reason for reading the Bible. Reading the Bible helps us understand God’s word and intentions for our lives, it is a blueprint for life with a Christ like foundation, and a map directing us when things gets rough. The Bible is the ultimate Christian Google or Yahoo Answers but the only way to access it is to sit down and make time to read.

 

[STEPHANIE FULLER]

 

 

 

FUSE '18 SESSION NOTES

SESSION 1

  • Illusion= the capacity to be fooled or deceived.

  • Humans need to put meaning to what they experience

    • Western culture creates illusion & doubt

  • What makes Jesus so special?

  • The gospel is the stunning announcement that God wants you & accepts you! You have meaning & worth!

  • We often search for meaning in a world of illusion & doubt.

  • We think that becoming Christian is the finish line.

    • Following Jesus is only the start!

  • John 3

  • You are a deeply spiritual being trying to figure out how to be the best version of a human being as possible.

  • Jesus didn't come to make bad things better, He came to make dead things alive.

    • When you're dead in sin, Jesus makes you alive in Christ!

  • Colossians 2:13

    • "At one time you were dead in your sins. Your desires controlled by sin were not circumcised. But God gave you new life together with Christ. He forgave us all our sins."

  • Your sin doesn't make God angry- it breaks His heart because it has broken people & it has broken you.

    • Sin has broken your relationship with God.

SESSION 2

  • Romans 6: 1-11

  • We have the power through Jesus to not be selfish.

    • Sin doesn't have power over you anymore.

  • "Count yourselves dead to sin, but alive in Christ"

    • Romans 6: 11

    • "In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus."

    • You are dead to sin- count yourself that way. Live like you are spiritually wealthy, not bankrupt.

  • There is no power in positive thinking unless what you're thinking is true

  • In the moment, it doesn't feel like God can handle it.

    • If you think that sin has control, it will.

    • If you know Jesus has the power, it will be true.

SESSION 3

  • Romans 6:10

    • "The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God."

  • You are alive in Jesus!

    • Live like you're alive

  • Learn to think of sin as a separate entity from yourself & you will learn to identify with Jesus more than your sin.

    • Sin is not you & you are not sin

  • It's you & God against your sin. You are in Jesus.

  • Romans 6:13

    • "Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness."

  • You are no longer a slave, so why are you acting like one?

    • You have victory! Your sin is not you & you are not your sin.

  • You have the same relationship with sin that Jesus does, because you are in Jesus.

  • When you create the weather in your life, you forfeit the right to complain about it raining.

    • You are the one acting like a slave- not God.

  • Run to the freedom & grace & kindness of Jesus.

  • Nobody will ever love you the way God does. That's an impossible standard to meet.

SESSION 4

  • We think we know people & we label them.

    • Who has the right to label someone?

    • Labels are invisible powerful things.

  • Who has the right to label YOU?

    • Don't allow people who don't know you, to label you.

  • The one who created you is the only one with the right to label you.

    • Why would you disregard what God says & hold on to earthly labels?

  • 1 Corinthians 6:19

    • "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;"

  • God owns your body. Honor Him with it.

    • Your body is the temple of the holy spirit.

  • When you accept a label from someone, you give them power & control over you.

  • You can be an incredible version of yourself, but a horrible copy.

SESSION 5

  • Emotional isolation has as high of a risk factor for mortality as smoking.

  • Loneliness= the want of intimacy

    • Intimacy= to be known & to know someone completely

    • We all want to be known completely, without rejection.

  • God didn't design you to go through life alone.

  • Your relationship with God is personal, but not private.

  • God didn't design you to go through life alone.

  • Luke 17:4

    • "Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”

  • If you're not losing friends, you're not growing up.

  • Do the people in your life point you towards God?

    • Does anyone in your life know your weaknesses?

    • Do they point you towards hope?

    • Do they point you to a life with no regrets?

  • In order to be incredible, you must surround yourself with incredible people.

  • If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

SESSION 6

  • Christianity is not a list of chores.

  • You have the desire to live a wild life because you have a wild God.

    • Your heart is a map of God.

  • We misunderstand real life.

  • If it’s predictable, it's not wild.

  • Romans 2:12

    • "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

  • Deciding to commit to a system that's already in existence is boring.

    • Not wild, different or better

  • Take a walk on the wild side! Stop trying to be life others.

  • You will never become the best version of the person God created you to be, until you take a walk on the wild side.

  • Matthew 7: 13-14

    • “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

FUSE '18 Setlist

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Worthy of Your Name/ Passion 

Only Wanna Sing/ Hillsong Young & Free 

Who You Say I Am/ Hillsong Worship 

Tremble/ Mosaic MSC 

Build My Life/ Passion 

Let Go/ Hillsong Young & Free 

When the Fight Calls/ Hillsong Young & Free

Reckless Love/ Cory Asbury

Love Won't Let Me Down/ Hillsong Young & Free 

King of My Heart/ Passion

Holy Ground/ Passion 

No Longer Slaves/ Bethel Music 

Grace to Grace/ Hillsong Worship 

Not Today/ Hillsong Worship 

Sons & Daughters/ North Point InsideOut 

Real Love/ Hillsong Young & Free 

What a Beautiful Name- Y&F Remix/ Hillsong Young & Free 

Resurrecting/ Elevation Worship 

Glorious Day/ Passion 

This is Living/ Passion 

What a Beautiful Name/ Hillsong Worship