Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sunny Days and water coolers

This week, we are at Wake Forest. Now, just to "connect a few dots" as my camp director, Brad, always says, on Friday morning we let Estes Park, Colorado and on Sunday afternoon, we arrived at Wake Forest in Winton-Salem, North Carolina. So here we are- two hours ahead and 50 degrees warmer. Now that we've cleared that up, I will tell you this:

Some of us are sick. Most of us are drained, but some of us are sick. There is just something about 50 degrees and really gets to your head- literally. So, as we woke up for our first full day of camp on Tuesday morning, we walked a little slower and talked a little less as we pulled ourselves to the rec fields. Morning rec went well. There is always room for improvement, but it went well. After wrestling a bunch of 10-year-old soccer players for lunch, we refilled the water coolers and headed back to the rec fields. Now, somewhere between 12 and 1, the sun got a little hotter. It is summer though, and really, it was no hotter than normal; or so I thought. It was a hectic day of recreation, and afterwords, our heads were sort of spinning, and we were all ready for a nap. But here's the thing-

Somewhere in the midst of running out of water and upset students, we forgot about the rain that threatened our rec earlier in the day. We'd also forgotten about the prayers we'd sent to the Man, asking him to hold off for just a little while, which is exactly what he did. It did not rain. The sun stayed high and the ground stayed dry, we just forgot what a blessing this really was.

It is so easy to forget the requests we make and to lose sight of the blessings in the midst of chaos. Here's the thing though- God is constantly blessing us, but often we are too selfish to realize it. A small problem today caused us to lose sight of a greater blessing over all. (It's not easy moving 300 panicked students into a gym)

I hope you might be encouraged to step back, in the midst of frustration and panic, and thank God for the way He is always providing and never failing. Don't get so stuck on certain problems that you cannot see certain blessings.

I love my job. I love the 20- something people I wake up and serve beside every single day, but mostly I love that God has given me the opportunity to be a part of something greater than myself. I am so thankful for the way He is constantly providing, and for the way His hand is always supporting us.  We serve a mighty, mighty God. Sometimes, we just need to remember that, and count even the small blessings.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer time

As you know, I am on the road with Student Life this summer. We eased into camp last week at Louisiana Tech, with only 2 squads of 100 kids. This week, we took the plunge and are serving 900 7th-12th graders in Estes Park, Colorado. Now, just so you have the correct mental picture, when I look out my window I see snow covered mountains, and this morning, as we made our way to the rec field, it was probably about 40 degrees. Let me tell you, coffee in the middle of summer time is rare where I come from. (unless it's iced of course!) But anyway, none of that is what I wanted to tell you.

I wanted to tell you about how unprepared I've been feeling. Satan has been attacking me in so many areas. I have been really struggling with missing Corey, but this shouldn't be a struggle because it's daily life for us. Also, he's been really attacking my confidence in what I'm doing. Sometimes I feel so unprepared and unsure of what I'm doing, which is not at all the case!

I tell you all of that, to tell you this...

God is everywhere. He's in the mountains that surround me. He's in the laughter of the students at recreation, and he's in the hearts of my teammates. His love is overwhelming, and sometimes I don't even realize it. I take for granted the greatness of God, and in my own selfishness, sometimes I fail to realize his love and his grace. I fail to realize why I am in Colorado 1,000 miles from everyone I hold dear, and even worse, I fail to realize the unfailing support and love and joy and strength I have in Christ. Today as I was standing in front of 200 middle schoolers, trying to tell them about being bold in their faith, I realized that I need to be bold in my trust. I need to stand firm in the fact that God has a plan and a purpose for me and the fact that I would not be here if it wasn't where He wanted me. 

As I watched the students run to free time after rec, I realized that the privilege of serving Christ is greater than any doubt or any lonliness or any hardship we might face. The thought that I might be telling some 14- year- old boy exactly what God wants him to hear, and even more that God is using me  to do his work and share his message, is greater than anything in this world. There is no greater honor than being used by Christ. We have to have confidence in that. We have to pray that Satan would be bound from us and that God would dwell in us and use us as his instruments. Satan attacks those who are working for the Lord, and that is where our feelings of incompitence come from; that is when we start doubting ourselves or our goal, and that is when we forget our purpose and lose sight of our faith.

Stand firm, believers. God has great plans for you. Allow him to use you.