Sunday, July 5, 2020  | 

Keyser, Shannon.jpgShannon Keyser

Bryan High School


What town were you born in? Bryan, Texas

How long have you gone to A&M Church of Christ? My entire life


School/Community Activities:    Figure skating, Kickstart Kids, school newspaper, NHS, Girl Scouts, Piano

Church Activities: Middle School Retreat, Soul Link, Camp Cornerstone, High School Retreat, Winterfest, Uplift, Sunnybrook Mission Trip, Valentine's Luncheon, Paint-O-Rama, Illuminate, G1 Weekend, Trek, LTC, Mega Days Counselor 

What are your plans for the future? I plan to go to Harding University and double major in English and Chemistry.   

What memory of growing up in this church sticks out in your mind the most? It's hard to say one because I've got a lot of good, random memories. I guess I would broadly say playing games with friends. There was Lava Monster on the old playground (rest in peace), sham battles at Mega Days, heated games of Mafia on the bus (because the air conditioner was broken), volleyball-type games at Uplift, and crazed card games to fill spare time. It's amazing how many memories can be made through games.                       

What is your favorite youth group memory? Talking in the Elevator Room at Uplift was probably my favorite, and we would always talk for too long. We would often end up missing part of the evening activity/performance, and once we had to go straight to our dorms because we went so late. But it was always worth it.         

What is your favorite scripture? Why is it your favorite? Matthew 6:25-34, which is about not worrying about the future. I say this one is my favorite because I find myself reading it the most. I get worried and stressed out a lot, and reading this helps me to refocus.         

Who is your favorite Bible character? Why are they your favorite? Other than Jesus? Maybe Peter, because he had a knack for saying the wrong things at the wrong times but ended up being one of the most influential apostles and writing books in the Bible, which is encouraging. I also like Ehud, who used what made him different to his advantage and was also pretty much a secret agent.              

Who has had the most influence on your in your spiritual growth? My parents. We would read the Bible or devotionals every night, starting before I can remember, and discuss it together. They have set an example for me in their own lives and explain "why," not just "what."

What have you learned during the Covid-19 quarantine and by school finishing earlier than expected? I have learned how important it is to not rush around trying to get to the next stage of life, or you're never going to appreciate where you are. For seniors, there are regrets floating around about wishing they hadn't been in such a hurry to graduate. That also means, now, taking advantage of all of our free time to grow closer to family and strengthening our relationship with God.

How would you like others to see you? I hope people see me as sincere and trustworthy. I would also hope I'm seen as hard-working, and thoughtful. I want people to be seeing God behind my actions.  

What will you always remember about going to church at A&M Church of Christ? I will remember how our church always tried to be involved in missions as much as possible - locally and internationally and everything in between.   

One of the most important events in my life so far is...  when my sister was born. I distinctly remember that night (partially because I was feeling nauseous from my six-year-old self waking up at 2 in the morning) and thinking about how things would never be the same. The experiences I've had of having a younger sister have taught me so much that I can't start to list them. I've learned so much about people and about myself by growing up with her that I think I would be a different person without her.

What are some ways you would like to serve God in your life? I've been blessed with the ability to write and enjoy writing fiction. I'm not very good at writing outright Christian fiction, but at the very least I want to write things that glorify God and honor him. Writing based on Christianity can be powerful, as shown by C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, and I think it can be something that can touch people and communicate themes that are difficult for anyone to do by talking.

The world would be a better place if: raisins didn't look so much like chocolate chips in cookies. Also, while this wouldn't solve everything, if everyone saw all potential outcomes of a decision before making it, I think people would think a little harder before saying and doing things (though if people could do this there would likely be lots of unintended consequences!).              

What would you like to say to the younger teens in the youth group? The youth group will be as strong as you make it. If you put no real effort into forming relationships with others or only come to church when you have to, it's going to show in how strong of a community it is. Everyone is connected, not because we share a common interest, but because we share a common faith. This makes youth groups unique and can make them stronger than any other group. But it takes work to make it that way. Monty can't do it for you, and you can't just rely on others. You must work for it yourself. It's not always easy and may take time, but it will be worth it.

What would you like to say/how would you express appreciation to your parents? Thank you for all that you've done over the years. You've given up time and money and sleep to do things for me. I'm particularly grateful for the time. As I've gotten older, I'm appreciating more and more those times you would sit down with me to do things that weren't necessary and you could have used on yourself. Time is valuable, and you have given it generously.

What would you like to say to God? This is a kind of weird question, considering I can talk to him whenever. I suppose I would say thank you for always being there for me and listening to me, even when I didn't deserve to be listened to.        

What would you like to say to our church family? Thank you for all of your kindness and patience with us growing up and getting into trouble around the building. Please remember the 7th-12th graders in the youth group. We're not just the weird, younger generation. We're at a kind of confusing stage where we're trying to figure out a lot of things, and whether or not we admit it, we need connections with all age groups.

What have you learned about God lately? It's hard to say exactly what God is doing in a situation. Sometimes we understand at the end of a situation, but sometimes we will never know. Thinking about how I'm about to leave high school and likely never going to see some of my classmates again makes me wonder about the impact that I've left, and I may never know what it is. But I have to remember that I'm not the only cog in the machine, and God may be doing a lot more behind the scenes than I realize. If I do my best to show God to others and spread his word, I don't need to do everything; God will be in control, like he always has been.             

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