Monday, August 30, 2010

Even If!!!

After camp every summer our church lets the kids take over the service on a Sunday for a youth led service. This year we kept the Jr. Camp presentation fairly short. We shared a short slide show of pictures from camp and then Matt, Mark & I each shared some things with the congregation. The youth pastor shared a short message about the week the Jr. & Sr. High kids had at camp. His message is still sticking with me and I know it’s because I need to hear it and let it work on me. His message was on the passage in Daniel about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego before they were thrown into the fiery furnace. When confronted by King Nebuchadnezzar they told him they believed God was able to save them from their fate, but even if He does not, we want you to know that we will not serve your gods. Brian asked us to think about our “even ifs”. Wow! I definitely have some even ifs that I have let come between me and my God. God is a big guy, He can handle little ol’ me being mad at him. But I shouldn’t EVER put conditions on my love for Him. What if He did that to me? Surely I would never measure up, because I screw up time and time again. But I have let my fertility, my living situation, my husbands’ lengthy unemployment all become points of contention between me and God. I have said in my head and my heart “If God really loved me, then I would get pregnant, have my own home and a gainfully employed husband.” But I can’t put those conditions on Him and He doesn’t put them on me. I need to come to a place where I don’t let ANYTHING come between me and my love and worship of my Savior, my King, my God. Do you have things in your life coming between you and your relationship with God? Will you love Him “even if” things never go the way you want them too?

Summer Camp at Victory Ranch

I haven’t written in my blog for a long time. I have had a lot going on. I had tons of work to do in mid July to get ready to take a week off of work July 25 – July 31 to take a group of 20+ 3rd thru 6th graders to camp. It was a great week! We went to a new camp this summer since our old camp is no longer offering a local summer camp. We went to a place called Victory Ranch in Moreno Valley. There are things I missed about Centri-Kid, but mostly they were the modern conveniences of staying on a beautiful college campus vs. going to an actual ranch for camp. At Centri-kid I had my own room in our cottage, we had air conditioning, three full bathrooms, our porches, full kitchens and refrigerators. Ahhh, those were the days! But the kids really longed for a camp that was really “camp”. They got that at Victory Ranch for sure. When we arrived at camp you drive down a dusty road and encounter a cow pasture, horse stables and all the aromas that accompany cows & horses. We stayed in cabins with swamp coolers, we had invasions of biting red ants, we played games that the kids loved but the parent in me found disgusting or dangerous. The game “rhino snot” is forever engraved in my memory. Our clothes smelled so horrible after a week of sweating, playing with food, mud, riding horses, etc. We got home on Saturday late afternoon and on Sunday at church all the parents talked about how bad the laundry duties were. But it’s been a month since camp and the kids still want to share with me every chance they get about how much fun they had at camp. I am so grateful to have a job where I earn a lot of leave and am able to use my leave to take this great bunch of kids to camp each summer.