Monday, August 26, 2013

Life Update: Camps 2013

Whew! It's been a long time since I've written anything on here other than that little advertisement for the Living On The Edge sermon. And I think by now I owe you guys an update. So here it goes!

The first camp we took part in this summer was the camp for people with disabilities. It was so much fun seeing some old friends and getting to know new ones. All of the people who came as participants- or campers- were Romanian, but out of the leaders and volunteers we had a little bit of diversity. There were three girls from Ukraine who all spoke Romanian, several people from Britain (most of whom were Scottish and only spoke a little Romanian), and the Luse family minus Rebecca (from America, in case you didn't know, and all speaking Romanian fairly well). Since there were so many people who didn't speak Romanian, Kenneth and I did more translating than I think we have ever done in our lives. Alyssa, mom, and dad would be able to say the same thing except they were only there half the week.

So what did we do other than translate? Well, I was on the projector/power-point for the songs (as well as making it my personal mission to engage as many people as possible in meaningful conversation) and Kenneth played the guitar and led worship. When Alyssa came she took over worship at least half the time. Mom was in charge of a group and Dad taught some of the lessons and helped lead a group. Oh, and Kenneth got to teach the morning devotions one day. Bravo, Kenneth!

So, in all, it was a good week- despite only about 5 hours of sleep a night, a brain that felt like mush by mid-afternoon, and a severe cold both during and after. But, honestly, I feel very blessed by how I was able to serve and how many people there encouraged me in my walk with Christ. Late night meetings of the "Scooby gang" were also an amazing experience. (You know who you are....) Oh, and the theme of the camp was the coming of the Kingdom of God.

On to the next camp. This year we almost didn't have a camp for the youth in our church, but a friend managed to find a camp up in the mountains that we were able to rent, so they had their camp. Dad was in charge of the program, so he chose the theme for the week as prayer. During the morning we had a couple of hours of teaching and small group discussions, then in the evening some more teaching. In between we had lots of relaxation time and even played some games. Volleyball and Dutch Blitz appeared to be the unanimous favorites. (Really? REALLY? Why? Ugh!) The camp had a short zip line, so we enjoyed several trips on that one afternoon, and they also put out a tarp covered in water and soap to slide on. (I'm going to admit it- I failed at sliding on the tarp. In fact, I had an accident that left me feeling bad for several days. I think I'm fine now, but it was NOT fun while the pain lasted. I rocked the zip-line, though.)
Dad and mom were leaders of a group, and I was a leader of another. My group was just girls and they had no problem opening up. (So thankful for that!) Alyssa and Kenneth were sub-leaders in two other groups. Four groups- around 36 people in all. The camp was pretty fun as well as being in God's creation and sleeping in "tents" (shelters). The wasps figured out that I don't mind their presence, so we regularly shared meals. I love watching God's creatures.
So, to wrap this long-ish update up: Yes, both camps were fun, but I think I liked the first one better. Probably because I was needed more. And now I am finally almost rested up from four weeks of perpetually being on the go. (Helped decorate a cake, went to a 12 hour wedding, finished a theology test, etc.) Here's hoping I feel normal soon and am able to get back on my regular schedule.

Have a great rest of the summer, guys. Write more soon,


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Convicting Topic: Is Your God Too Small?

Just a few minutes ago I listened to a message in Chip Ingram's God As He Longs For You To See Him called Is Your God Too Small? Part 2.

And I was blown away.

I've been a Christian for close to ten years now. You'd think my view of God would be better than most. But... to be honest... the "test" that Chip gives at the end of the message cut me to the heart. At best, I could probably give myself a six in each category.

Don't think that I don't see God and don't have a pretty good idea who He is. But do I really have that, "Wow...", blown away feeling when I think of Him? Do I think of Him that much- in all His intricacies and not in basic brush strokes? And can others SEE that?

Chip has convicted me today to spend more time- 180 seconds precisely- before I pray just pondering who God is. Just to sit there and meditate on His awesomeness. So I have a challenge for you, too, but you had better act fast because I don't know how many hours this message is online before they take it down: Listen to Chip's message and then answer the questions at the end truthfully.

You might be glad you did.

PS. If you read this too late and missed today's message, you can download it here temporarily for $0.99 and later for around $1.99.