Rise & Shine and give God the glory, glory…well…Kind of. It is a beautiful thing waking up Junior High Students in the morning. There are locks on the doors, so this task is made even harder. BUT, I’ve found if you just shake their doors by the handle and SCREAM EARTHQUUUUAAAAKKKKKEEEEE at the top of your lungs, it totally helps. We did have to students sleep through even that and they missed breakfast…yikes. Not to fear though, they borrowed some pop-tarts form Eli…and by borrow, I mean consumed…I don’t think Eli wants them back.
This camp is great, because the morning is pretty heavy with serious stuff, then there is a nice window of time after lunch where it’s wild and crazy recreation, competitions, and free time. Then after dinner it’s back to a great mixture of fun and serious. I’ll kind of go through each of the elements and give you a summary of what we did!
The speaker talked about “Prayer” that is not just flippantly added onto a meal or self-centered in nature, but prayer that makes us move with the rhythms of God! How cool is that…to think that we could be so intimately connected to God that our hearts would literally be in sync with Him. That our thoughts, actions, feelings, emotions, etc. would be in-line with what gives God glory.
The speaker explained that when this is happening, when we are connected to God…our prayers go from “God, help ME”…”God, help ME see you”…”God, let ME get something out of this worship time”… “God, I, I , I…Me, Me, Me” all the way to…”God I want people to know you”… “God, I have a kid who sits in my English class that needs you, soften his heart to the things of you”… etc.
It was wet, it was wild, and I don’t think there was one student or leader (except the “brave” ones behind the cameras) that didn’t get wet. It was a lot of fun and I was proud of how our students worked together and encouraged one another.
In competitive rec…GPS manned a Dodgeball team and a Volleyball team. By default, our girls basketball team of Sydney and Savannah won the Championship as well as our guys of Bobby, Eli, Spencer, and Chris (it might or might not have been because they were the only teams). The dodge ball peeps won their first game and lost their second. But they will play tomorrow for a chance to get in the championship. The volleyball team lost by 2 points in their match…a lot of them said it was because Christian was trying to master the art of Karate Chop volleyball. I wasn’t mad…I think it’s good for them to take on new challenges, haha.
Evening Worship/Church Group Time
Last night, Jeff Mangum brought an amazing message from the Old Testament of all places. He went through the story of the first War ever fought on planet earth in Genesis 14. These two sets of alliances faced off for an epic battle….and before it was all said and done the kings and people from Sodom and Gomorrah fled the seen like cowards. A part of Sodom was a guy named Lot, who is also Abram’s (aka Abraham’s) nephew. Now Sodom is a wicked and evil town that is know for it’s sinful nature. In the previous chapter we see Lot pushing the limits of being submerged in complete evil, as he sets his tent on the outskirts of Sodom. Just as if he is seeing how close he can get to evil without “crossing the line” actually “in it”. Sometime between Genesis 13 & 14 Lot has moved smack dab in the middle of Sodom, or has been sucked in by the pleasures and deceptiveness of sin.
Lot was facing what we ALL face everyday…what Paul fought against daily…what these TEENAGERS are smack dab in the middle of: a battle against FLESH and SPIRIT! Are we going to please self and chase after things that will leave us empty? Or will we seek the things of God and let the Spirit lead us to life and life abundantly. It is a choice between DEATH & LIFE, EMPTINESS & FULLNESS, PAIN & JOY, and the list goes on and on.
It’s really not a choice at all. Looking at that list, you know what the logical decision is. So why do we lose this battle regularly? Why is it that we literally have to die to ourselves daily?
Joshua 24:15 (New International Version)
15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
We must choose THIS DAY – TODAY – NOW…whom we will serve. Not when we get older, or when we have a family, or when we are secure in a job, or when we get to high school, or when we ______________. We don’t have to wait. It’s our choice now and we need to know that we can not PARTIALLY SERVE GOD. HE wants ALL of us! Matthew 6 tells us that we can not serve two masters. The Bible tells us to lay down your lives, take up your cross and follow Christ. Not lay down your lives, pick your cross, push the cross while dragging your old life behind you. We must CHOOSE!
Parent Discussion Questions:
- Talk about your HOUSEHOLD – whom do you serve? Make a covenant that your household signs. Here is a sample that your students got this week:
Joshua 24:15 Covenant
- Surrender to God daily. Carefully follow God’s instructions with courage each day.
- Re-order your priorities. Determine what should be part of your life and what shouldn’t. Purify your life.
- Value the eternal. It’s a long haul, so keep your eyes on the real destination and the reward God has in store for you.
- Expect victory! God is with you and will fight for you as you follow Him.
- Talk about the dangers of “pushing the limits” of sin. That it’s the THOUGHT that we have about sinning that surely is sin. It’s hard to step back once you crossed a line.
- It was cool to see how some of the students when asked if they knew someone who was fully devoted to Christ, some of them said my Mom or my Dad. I was AMAZED and BLESSED to hear that come out of their mouth. Know that your kids DO watch and pay attention to your actions…
Talk to them and have an OPEN discussion about how they view your faith and the overall state of your home. Are their godly examples or influences?