Friday, July 24, 2009

It's Over or is it?

VBS 2009 has come and gone. It is all over. We have reason to celebrate. I know of four children who accepted the Lord as their Savior. What a blessing to witness God's love and power.

Teachers stayed late to get things back in order for Sunday. Everyone is looking forward to this Sunday's worship service. I know I have great anticipation for what will happen in the worship service. I know of one young lady who has committed to be a part of our family and will be joining. I know of two more young ladies that recently asked Jesus to be their Savior and will be walking forward to share their news with the church family. I have to admit that I owe great gratitude to Brian Chambers for doing Children's church for me so that I could stay in the service. It didn't take much arm twisting since the message is going to be to women.

Although VBS has come and gone we still have much work to do. We need to follow up on those visitors and salvations through VBS. Those that were saved that are connected with out church we need to disciple. Older women need to teach these younger ladies about walking with Jesus in this new life He has given them. Older men need to teach these young men how to walk as godly men. I know that God has also brought into our midst those who don't know Jesus personally yet and we need to continue to shine light into their darkness.

We still have much work to do. Although we may grow weary in our work we must seek to never grow weary of the work. That is why the family of God is so vital to our good health; we need the encouragemnet, the cheering, the stirring of others.

I want to thank all those who helped make this years VBS great. I know the cost you paid. May GOd richly bless you and may you hear His sweet voice say to you, "Well done thy good and faithful servant."

Monday, July 20, 2009

VBS News

Last night was a wonderful night. I am so thankful for those who volunteered and have for months been sacrificing time, energy and resources to invest in children. I am thankful for those (Pastor Jon, Allen and Kim) who came and prayed in the Prayer Room. I know we owe God's favor on us last night because you sacrificially gave up convenience and bent the ear of our Lord. I am thankful to workers who have sacrificed their own resources to decorate rooms, buy rewards to give for memory verses, food, etc....

Sacrifice seems to be a recurring theme in the thanks given above. Can we really expect to do the Lords work without it costing us something? Does the Lord want it to cost us something? It's easy to give out of our excess, or serve where it is comfortable and convenient. What does God say?

1 Chron. 21:24
And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings without cost.

What cost are you willing to pay? What cost is God asking you to pay? What cost will you pay this week for the lost world that Jesus loves and paid the ultimate price for? He paid the price for you are you willing to pay a price for Him?

Before Him in love

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Last Bit of Camp News

We are finally home after a day of what seemed like all waiting. After getting up early yet again, Hannah, Steph and I took our luggage down to be put into the trailer. when we arrived Devon was walking away from the trailer rather slowly. I opened up the trailer door to a loud scream and boo. Hmmmm, guys I don't scare easily in the morning. They were so disappointed that we didn't even budge. I just said, "Guys help the girls get their stuff in." I did hear that our guys did get one boy really good but only after he had tried to get them first. Want the story ask Dalton.

From Jon's blog you already know the story on the van so I won't bore you with that. I did want to report that the goal for Ridgecrest FUGE was $100,000.00 to send for missions to help the Roma people and the Canadians. By the week we arrived that had received almost $75,000. our week took up around $20,000. Wow! I am so proud of our own youth for their giving. We raised $108.00! Our first offering we took up I gathered $87.00. The next night I announced what we had. They started yelling we need to give more, here is another dollar, two, three....till we arrived at the wonderful number of $108.00. I was really proud of those who truly wanted to give and gave cheerfully.

Now that I am home there is so much work that needs to be done for VBS and then helping Jon get things together and nailed down for the Mission Trip. I do want to finish the topic I started about the battle and how we can teach our children warfare. I am hoping that the silence is because you are all praying and pondering the answers.

Now it is time to prepare my heart and mind for the Lord's Day. Have a great one.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Just A Bit More Camp News

Mega Relay went well....that was a lot of kids doing messy and crazy relays at one time! Out kids did really well. Matthew's face was completely covered with yellow war paint. Wesley had I think red and I think that was a pink tie around Sonny. All of them had some sort of color on them. It was fun to watch and I will just keep Jodi's little secret.

The last night of worship was good, The Holy Spirit was even greater! One of our own prayed to receive Christ! How awesome and amazing is His love and grace toward us. We had a good time during our church group devotions. The youth told their funny stories of the day. I learned that Sonny was using the ironing board to go down the steps? Quinten was taped to the chair and Madison and Jodi were too tired to climb down the hill so they decided to just roll. I am sure there is so much more we all just don't want to know. Laughing with the kids brings joy.

I wanted to talk more about the earlier post but just too plain tired for that now. I am and for home...then it's all on for VBS.

More Camp News

The last full day of FUGE! The kids are all doing their track A while Jon and I are lounging in a lounge. We are going to go and watch Devon play some basketball in a bit.

I have received a few responses about what do we do concerning our young people. How can we make sure they are ready to fight the good fight in the battle that is raging all around them. I have really been pondering this one and asking God for answers. He did answer me yesterday in my QT. Stop. I never grow tired or dull to the fact that I can ask the Almighty God of all and He answers personally and specifically. Wow! Anyway back to the answer He gave me. He said that they need to be able to do four things:

1. Able to bear the shield and the sword
2. To shoot with the bow
3. Be skillful in war
4. Cry out to God in the battle
5. Trust God for the victories

God wants me to ponder what this looks like in day to day living. What does He mean by bearing the shield and the sword....? Help me out here I would love for you to prayerfully ask God what He is saying about these. I will type more later tonight about what God is sharing with me but I really want to hear from you.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Camp News

Another day at the beautiful Ridgecrest. I praise the Lord today for the rain and the soft breezes that came upon us today. It was actually a visual picture of what Pastor Mike had talked about the night before. Unexpected things come that God isn't only fully aware of but in control of and sending our way to test us. Sometimes we get so caught up in everything going our way, the fun way or the easy and wanted way that we don't grow. Change brings growth if we cooperate with God. Hopefully the extra time in Bible study and Quiet Time for our students did just that.

Our youth are not disappointing me, well most aren't. Hannah hurt her knee and Dillan and Wesley trekked all the way from their room to ours to give her one of Kristopher's camouflaged band aids and Quinten's Advil. Dalton and Wesley were very kind in showing all the "newbies" where everything was. The older ones are being kind to the older ones. Stephanie and Mary have been good and helpful friends to Hannah.

Quinten has had a marriage proposal that he quickly turned down. He has enjoyed his Independence. Hannah is healing nicely from her swing injury. Devon is smiling a lot and Jon and I watched him play hard and well at Battle Ball with his team mate Dalton. Dalton is well let's just say girls flock to him like bears to honey. But I am proud to say that he is making guy friends as well. We watched Stephanie play Volley ball against Heather today. Heather as always is making lots of friends. Stephanie has made friends as well and one stalker (don't take too seriously.) Madison and Jodi are stuck to each other's hips! They both are in choir and sang with the choir this morning at the morning show. They will do so again tomorrow and Friday. Mary is doing well and being an encourager to all. Dillan has been a real friend to all with his normal good attitude. He surprised me the first day and ate all the food that was served. Then today he started with the cereal again. Wesley has made friends as well and has been their for the younger ones when they needed him, today he took Matthew under his wing. Matthew seems to be having a good time and thanking God for providing miraculous car rides up the mountain. I heard he was talking to a girl out by the swings last night...just hearsay though. Kristopher...what can I say that he hasn't already said five times. seriously he is doing fine although he was disappointed that he didn't get to go on his overnight backpacking trip. Yes I said overnight. He is hoping that they will get to go tomorrow. Sonny is making lots of friends it is a new one every time I see him.

Tonight Nightlife is the 70's. Jon and I did the real thing so we are skipping out. Actually I am skipping out with Steph and Hannah now. One more full day left. Tomorrow is the big Mega Relay...this is really fun and messy!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Survival is more than something for camp...

I am surviving youth camp yet again. Our youth seem to be having a great time. Today is the first full scheduled day. They have already danced through the AM show, lived through recreation time, learned during Bible Study and Quiet Time and are not living through their individual trek times. Tonight will be the first in-depth worship time and I am really looking forward to it. I am hoping that the light goes on in their souls.

Being surrounded by 1700 kids this week has reaffirmed a lot of what I have feared. The vast majority of this generation of church going youth and their youth counselors are all about the fluff. Before I say more let me affirm that the staff of Fuge (directed by David Neece) is not about the fluff but they can only carry it so far until it lands at the feet of the day in and day out Youth leaders. You can hear it in there fervent pleas to be holy leaders and examples of truth and that in every recreation game there is purpose…to reinforce the truth. I just don’t think it is sticking. I am a people watcher and with so many of my favorite spots taken this week with so many kids I have had to sit in the open to ponder and as I have sat they (the youth) walk by and I listen and watch and see so much I would rather not. Holiness and truth are the last things I have been seeing. I am sure that within the 1700 there are those who really did come this week to grow in faith, knowledge and intimacy with their Lord, but they seem to be few.

It begs the question what are we doing wrong? What is the church doing about discipling our young people, the futures leaders? Does the buck stop with the church or with the home? What are Christian parents doing to disciple their children in the ways of the Lord? I think way too often that the parents are hoping that the church is doing it and that what they get from the church will be enough. IT IS NOT!

I don’t know what the answer is but we need to find it and find it fast. The world they are living in is anti-Christ, anti-home, anti-family, anti-morals, anti-character, anti-responsibility, anti-work, anti-absolute truth, anti-faith, anti-purity, anti-marriage, anti-holiness, anti-authority, anti-anyone but yourself, anti-self-restraint, anti-self control, anti…. They are continuously being indoctrinated by the world they live in and they will become all the things I listed above unless they intentionally choose not to. How can we get them to see and know Truth (Jesus) that they will be Daniels in their Babylon?