The Fight Against

Just a few weeks ago, my family received news that impacted us like no new has before: cancer had entered our immediate family. On November 27th I received the call that my mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Now, I have known other families who have had this tragic news called into their lives, but it is still hard to imagine that it has been brought into my family. I cannot fully remember what I felt in the moment I was told…I remember being in absolute shock and feeling numb that it had happened. In fact, I got into my car and drove the hour and a half straight home to see my mom. We spent some time talking and praying together, with some tears mixed in throughout.

In our desperation and despair, my mom and I did what we knew to be right, although difficult: we turned it over to God. We could sit around forever asking why and trying to blame God for allow this to happen, but what would this accomplish?? When sin entered our world, death and disease entered into humanity, and this cancer is a clear and physical example of this sin and evil. Rather, after my mom and I allowed ourselves a few minutes of pity, we turned it all over to God.

You see, I have total and complete faith that in some way God will use this as a way to bring glory to His name, as well as bring my family closer together. I do not know why this has been brought against my family, and I have prayed to God to not allow me to enter into asking why, for I know that will lead to no good. Instead, I have prayed to Him to give my mom the strength to get through this and to bring people along side her to help her get through this. But more importantly, I have prayed for His will to be done and His plan accomplished.

I pray over this situation every day, and if you feel inclined I welcome your prayers as well. My family is gearing up to face the biggest hurtle we have ever faced together; I know that through the strength that God provides, we will prevail in this fight. We are entering into a period of doctor appointments, referrals , consultations and information gathering as we prepare for the first surgery.

Please join my family in praying over this time. There are so many aspects to something like this to pray for, in addition to God being glorified in some way through this process. Prayers for the doctors, the safety of the surgery  and that the cancer has not spread beyond the lump that was found. God is a miraculous healer, He has shown this time and time again, and I ask now for Him to step in so we can first hand see His power at work.

I seek to surrender this all to God…

He is our Healer…nothing is impossible through Him…

Psalm 23

Thank you for your prayers during this time. 

Encouragement from the Park

So for part of today at Camp, I spent some of my time at the Island Lake Skate Park. During the school year the park is open to the public, as a ministry, on Wednesday afternoons. As it turned out, today we did not have the staff needed to cover it so I went out there to hang out with the skaters…and what I witnessed surprised me.

Here were 10-20 middle school and high school boys who like to skate, and that is there reason for come to Camp. From what I could tell, many of these boys did not know each other previously, have varying morals/ideals that are important to them and only come to Island Lake to skate.

During my time at the skate park, I ended up being encouraged by much of their behaving as they went around the park, trying new tricks, laughing and most of all-encouraging each other in everything. With every trick performed, even if failed, was greeted with encouraging words from the other skaters. If a random bunch of high school-aged guys can encourage each other through skating, then we should be able to encourage each other through everything we do.

I urge you to learn a lesson from the skaters…look for ways to encourage each other through everything!

To Camp. From Me.

 Recently I was doing my evening devotions and I started reading Philippians for what may be the first time, at least in a long time. As I started reading through the first chapter, the following set of verses really stood out to me. You see, I have lately been really missing my friends at Camp and truly wish I was working there again this summer…there is no place I would rather be in the entire world…but I am working to stay true to the path God has placed before me.

Nonetheless, I think about Camp constantly and spent time in prayer for my Camp family and friends, as well as all their efforts with various groups and campers.

As I was thinking about Camp, I came across this verse. It fits what I wish I could say to everyone at Camp. Philippians, a letter in the New Testament, was written by Paul to the church in Philippi. He was imprissoned at the time and could not be with them, so he turned to writing to them in words of encouragement and thankfulness. I may not be in prisson (don’t worry, mom, I’m fine), it almost feels like it-just because I am separated from them. So I too turn to words of thankfulness and encouragement, turning to the words penned by such a great man so many years ago. How true his words still hold.

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completionuntil the day of Christ Jesus.

It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testifyhow I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousnessthat comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

To Camp: Keep up the hard work! I know it can be difficult and tiring sometimes, but I have full faith that you will prevail. I wish you all the best and look forward to when I see you again! You just never know when I may turn up….

Staff prayer at camp….how I wish that was happening right now. Know that it happens in my heart and mind.

Words from Romans

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings,because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope And hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still weak, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wraththrough him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Impossible.

This is a special post to anyone who may be struggling and thinking they are facing a seemingly impossible outcome or future. You may be looking for a job, trying to finished school, dealing with a relationship, or whatever else life may be throwing your way.

I get it, I do. I have been through so many different things in my life…things that I thought I would never get through…truly difficult situations that I thought were impossible. This song has always served as an inspiration for me in tough times, the times that seem impossible. So think about what you are facing that seems impossible…and once you have it in your mind, hit play.

Unsinkable ships, sink

Unbreakable walls, break

Sometimes the things you think would never happen

Happen just like that

Unbendable steel, bends

If the furry of the wind is unstoppable

I’ve learned to never underestimate 

The impossible

Also, a piece of biblical encouragement from Isaiah 40….He gives strength to the weary and increases the power if the week. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.