Let’s Go Deeper…Camp 2013

Just a couple days ago I got back from an amazing week. I recently started going to a new church (more on that later, but it is a great place!) and was able to go to camp with the students. I was unsure I would be able to get five days off of work since it is our busy season, so I put it in God’s hands…well, long story short I got the time off and was able to go!

Our church rented a large group campsite at Alder Lake, near Mount Rainier here in Washington. Unlike most church groups who go to an established camp with cabins and the like, our church does everything on our own. We met up a few days before camp to load a U-Haul with tents, grills, refrigerators, bleachers and the like. Then we met up at the church on Monday, loaded into cars and bus, and headed south.

So there we were, 100 students and leaders at a giant camp group site with a week before us…and let me tell you, it was awesome! The week was full, we went non-stop, the way camp should be. From group games (geezerball, capture the flag, four-way volleyball, etc…) to afternoon activities (swim time at the beach, canoeing, inter-tubing/powerboats, rock jumping, etc…) the days were packed. The best thing was, there was still so much more to the day than that.

While the activities and games were a large part of camp, perhaps the most impactful times were when we were gathered as a group listening to testimonies, worshiping together, and learning from our lead pastor about how to go deeper in areas of commitment, love and more. It can often be difficult to put into words times like these. The best way I can put it: God moved. One of the students put it best, he said, “The Holy Spirit was there and was moving during worship.” Students and leaders alike felt God there, each experiencing something different but equally special.

For the week I was a counselor for 7th and 8th grade boys. I shared a tent with 5 guys and we spent the day doing activities and having good conversations. It is slightly ironic, but for the two summers I worked at a camp, I was never a counselor. Heading into the week I was a bit nervous to be in this role, but my nerves were quickly dissipated. The guys were lots of fun and full of energy. We had good conversations, random/goofy conversations and everything in between.

Now that I have been back for a couple days, I have had time to reflect about my time at Alder Lake with North View Church. It has been difficult to answer people when they ask “How was camping?” I guess the best answer would be that it was amazing. For me, I now know many of the students, leaders and parents from North View, the church I have decided to start attending on a regular basis. Not only that, but God did speak to me and I now desire to know Him more…but most of that I am keeping for myself, for now.

In short, it was an amazing week. Students came to Christ and many others recommitted their lives to Him. We had lots of fun with games, activities and skits. I made new friends and had a great week. I look forward to more great times ahead with these people.

Pictures to come…eventually ūüėČ

#letsgodeeper

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G.O.S.P.E.L

A powerful spoken word regarding the gospel. Listen to it, really listen to it…but do not just listen, take it in.

Trying to prove God is like defending a lion, it doesn’t need your help…just unlock the cage.

God

Our

Sins

Paying

Everyone

Life

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. 

Hold My Heart

At different points in my life I find myself connecting with different music, I am sure you know the feeling and have experienced it for yourself.

This song came on my shuffled music this morning.

I know God brought it to my ears as it totally sums up what I have been thinking….

The best news of all? God is close and He does hear us! He has a plan for us, He has never left us…no matter how small you may feel, God is there.

Switch Flipped…Burden Cut

So if it is okay with you, I would like to tell you a little bit about this weekend, but not in the traditional sense…Yes, I had an awesome weekend. I worked a concert, saw a great new movie and experienced a Seattle sporting victory-all while having a blast with various friends….but the weekend was so much more than that! It is so hard to put into words, but I am going to give it my best shot, bear with me.

When I got home late Sunday evening, I felt, well…different- but in a very good way, I assure you! Through everything that had happened over the weekend I felt like God had reached inside me and flipped a switch. It was as though so much of what I have been carrying around had fallen away. I have internalized various feelings, thoughts and emotions that are now gone. To be honest, I felt like Christian in¬†Pilgrims Progress, when he stands at “the place of deliverance.” Essentially, he comes to cross and when the shadow passes over him, the straps of his burden break, and the burden rolls away.

This is really the best way I can try to describe the feeling: it is like my burden has fallen completely away…it is like God reached down and cut it free. As I mentioned above, it is also like a switch inside me has been flipped. I feel my hope in the future restored and my sights completely realigned on Christ and the path He has set before me. Now I am not saying that I was not focused on Christ before, but now I feel it alive inside of me. I have true hope and joy for the future and have been able to let go of so much.

The saying goes “time heals all wounds” but I raise a counter “God heals all wounds…in His time.” Sometimes it takes longer than others, but for the first time in a while, I feel healed of so much. I felt God speaking to me last night, and I now see that I am where He wants me to be in this moment. He healed me in His timing, not mine. He truly does make all things work together for my good.

I may not be totally sure what the future will hold, but I am confident in the plans the Lord has…all He asks is for me to be obedient and to trust and hope in Him…and I do! This weekend was good in so many ways (look out for another post to come soon!!) but for this I am the most thankful. Through the experiences and friends of the weekend, I truly felt God move and act…how great of a feeling is that!

What do you need to turn over to God and give Him a chance to completely heal? I promise you, the outcome will surprise you!

How Many?

How many kings, stepped down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least?
How many Gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that has torn all apart?
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?
Only one did that for me

Oooooh
All for me
All for you.