Today begins another week of summer camp that we promote and invest in kids going to. This week it is the Middle School and High School going to Tri-State Camp in Missouri. If you have been around our church for any amount of time you know we are crazy about camps. We invest about $2,000 a year into camps from our budget. I have the privilege of being the Camp Director for our 8-13 year olds for the past 17 years!! We have 5 Board Members from Junior Camp who are members of our church and 2 Board members on the Tri-State Board. We invest both monetarily and time wise into camps.
So you may be wondering why? Why so much time, energy, effort, and money for summer camp? Why is it a big deal every year?
Two words: impact and influence.
As a pastor I am always looking for ways to have the maximum impact and influence into the lives of our students. We have them only a few hours every week and that is if they come both Wednesday Night and Sunday Morning. That is not a lot of time to have impact and influence. Now, we use that time effectively but it still doesn't leave a lot of time.
Summer Camp is different. Students can unplug and leave the environment of home behind. We get them for many hours not just a few. And we have a chance to impact and influence them. And that influence and impact can change a life.
Just this past year I received a call from a camper who remembered a conversation at camp over 10 years ago. That conversations opened a door and it was remembered 10 years later!! When is the last time you have seen impact and influence like that.
So Thank you!! Thank you to those of you who give every Sunday. You make camp possible. We couldn't do it without you. Thank you to those who go and serve. You give up a week of vacation when you could be sitting on a beach somewhere you are at camp serving. May God give you great blessing for your service. Thank you to those who serve on Board and help plan camp every year. You commit a lot of time to make camp work.
Please pray for those at camp this week. Impact and Influence is at its maximum level this week. May God do great things in the life of the campers and staff
1 Corinthians 15:53-57
This is the passage of Scripture which flood my mind on this morning after. The reality of loss sinking in. Death is a topic we would all would like to skip. But when the reality hits your family the subject becomes unavoidable. It is in those moments you know what your really believe and what your foundation is built on.
Jesus told a story of two men building a house. One built on a rock and the other on sand. BOTH men faced the storm. The rains came and with the downpours came floods. However, the foundation became the difference. The house on the sand crashes and breaks and is destroyed. However, the house on the rock stands. It is not destroyed but survives. The rains hit it hard and flood waters pushed against it, but it remained!!
The scriptures you read above supply some of the foundation to which our family has built upon. A foundation that includes truths like: Humans are eternal because we were made in the image and likeness of God. This means everyone lives forever somewhere. Humans were supposed to live here forever but sin forever changed that. With sin came death both spiritual and physical. God did not leave us alone to figure out our sin. He sent His one and only son to come and walk in this broken, fallen world. He died the death we deserved and Rose Again for our salvation conquering sin, death, hell and the grave!! Putting your trust in Jesus brings assurance that your sins are forgiven and eternal life has started. When you breath your last here eternal life continues in the presence of Jesus: 'to be absent from the body and at home with the Lord'. All these truths have formed a foundation in our family
Irene's sickness caught all of us by surprise. We had no idea and neither did she how sick she really was. But to be told you are facing death is a hard thing to hear. However, she knew her Savior. She trusted in Him. Jesus rose from the dead!!! Death was not something she feared.
I am sure she saw it in her mom who 17 years ago she stood at her bed and watched her breath her last. She saw someone who trusted Jesus and death was not to be feared.
Foundations are everything. And when the storms come you find out very quickly what you have built on. Today is not an easy day. Sorrow and grieving is not taken away but it is understood as offering a farewell to someone knowing you will see them again.
Jesus Follower, Husband, Father, and Pastor and trying to keep those in the right order....