Recently I was traveling from Branson, MO to Vandalia, IL. I had the travel schedule down in my mind. I could drive without stopping, get home around 9pm, catch up on some work, and still get several hours of sleep. Less than an hour into the trip the low tire light came on the dashboard of the car. I got off at the next exit. While putting air in the tire I saw the problem that looked like a nail in the tire. I went to a nearby tire shop but they only did truck tire tires. They recommended a place a mile away behind McDonalds. It was 5 till 5. I thought I was stuck. I pulled into the next shop and three young guys were there sweaty and grubby from their days labor. I stated my problem they said wheel it in. I made small talk as one worked on my tire. All three were busy yet chatty. We had a couple of laughs. The tire was fixed really well. I asked how much, the young man in charge said no charge. What a blessing. These guys stayed late and helped me. Who can I bless like this?
Camp has been a very God filled awesome experience this year. One young man told me after Older Boys week that this was his last year. God always speaks to him during camp. He is preparing to go into the Air Force. He knows God will be with him. A girl spoke with me one afternoon and said I got saved last night. A counselor told me what a great time he had. It was his first year at camp. He has committed to come back next year. The spirit and attitude of Rehoboth Camp may be summed up in this verse. Ephesians 4:16 From Him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part. (HCSB)
The whole body referred to in this verse can broadly mean all the believers in Christ; more narrowly defined it could be the churches of Rehoboth. I am very thankful and proud of our churches. We fit together and are knitted together by our faith in Christ. We support many mutual ministries one which is camp. Camp calls upon many to do much. Camp directors meet and plan year round. This provides a well thought out camp program and theme. The counselors are enlisted as early as possible. Nurses, rec leaders, track leaders, Bible Study leaders, pastors, worship leaders, and kitchen staff are all enlisted along the way before camp begins. The people of Rehoboth work together.
Paul writes in Ephesians that the whole body is knitted and fit together for the growth of the body. This year we had 235 kids register for camp. This was a significant increase of almost 30 percent. Wow!!!!!! We are knit together and fit together by love. Paul writes in this brief verse that he love is the motivation and result of working together. Love is multi-purpose.
Love motivates people to give a week of intense time. Love compels us to work together. Love drives us to share our faith in small groups, with campers, and other counselors. Love also challenges us to do things in humility and with a servant’s attitude. Love must be the foundation of all we do at camp and in our churches. When we bring meals as church family cook and serve with love. A few years ago we had a camper who didn’t want to go home. He hid in the woods for an hour while we looked for him. Finally he came out. We talked about home and why he didn’t want to go home. He was afraid of parents, didn’t eat regularly, and he loved the food at camp. He could eat as much as he wanted. Bless our churches which serve food generously.
A generous spirit drives many to support camp in a variety of ways. Thanks to all who have and are continuing to contribute to the camp and building funds. Thanks for those who have given hours of time for remodeling. Thanks to all who have prayed for and worked hard at the camp. Thanks to all who have given generously for specific items at camp. Camp continues to cost a great deal above the registration fee. We have an unwritten understanding that all kids go to camp who want to go. That means that some kids come to camp and we pay for everything. There is no magic money available. We simply ask the Lord to provide and in turn ask that you prayerfully consider giving more. Our cost for the four weeks of camp not covered by registration and other gifts will be about 20,000. My belief and the way I have led in the past is to spend wisely, all kids go to camp who want to regardless of their financial ability, and God will provide. The camp committee believes that our registration fee is high enough that it could easily discourage some campers from coming. My faith says God provides through the love of many churches.
We are on mission together as an association of churches. Rehoboth churches have been generous for years and I am sure will be generous in the future
I enjoy being around children. I find them refreshing and yes sometimes a bit annoying with their open honesty. Joy and I have been around kids playing T-ball and softball and I am reminded again how important it is to keep an eye on the ball. The ball is pitched, here it comes, the child swings, yet keeps looking at the hand of the pitcher and so misses the ball. The T-ball batter sees the ball on the T and swings with all his might and misses the stationary object sometimes as he is looking not at the ball but at a teammate or the base he is to run to. The difference between hitting the ball and missing is a matter of an inch. The difference between a solid hit and a soft grounder is a fraction of an inch. The older the child the quicker the ball comes, the more difficult it becomes to keep focused on the ball. The whiff of a bat at 5 is usually met with encouragement. You can do this; keep your eye on the ball. Don’t quit. All statements met to cheer on the child. ENOCURAGEMENT is a must for a child and also necessary for adults. We must become people of encouragement.
Scripture teaches us to be encouragers. Woven throughout the word of God are instructions to keep us in the mindset of encouragement. I have found Hebrews 12:1-3 to be one of those passages. Hebrews 12: Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, 2 keeping our eyes on Jesus,[a] the source and perfecter[b] of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him[c] endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne. 3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, so that you won’t grow weary and lose heart. (HCSB) The KJV uses the words compassed about the Message uses the phrase “pioneers who blazed the trail.” Regardless of your preference for Bible translations each translation agrees that we are surrounded by witnesses past, present, and future. These witnesses cheer us on telling us not to give up on God. Share the message of Christ. Keep living the Christian life. Follow Christ. Don’t give up or grow weary and lose heart. Keep your eyes on Jesus. That is correct keep your focus on Jesus.
Life can be tiring at times and we want or need to rest. Jesus tells us to rest in Him. While we are resting keep our eyes on Him. When I keep my eyes on Jesus I won’t grow weary. In my personal walk with God when I keep my eye on Jesus I live with confidence and follow Christ. Fellow believers should be cheering me on, those who have gone to be with Jesus cheer me on as I reflect on how they lived their life. The future generations cheer me on to remain faithful so they will have a model for faith. Each of these generations is telling you and me to remain faithful. Don’t give up. Keep pressing on.
There are two questions kids may ask that make adults uncomfortable: How old are you and How much do you weigh? Perhaps a better question might be what weighs you down or distracts you? Daily schedule? Money? Worry about family and friends? Many many things pull our focus off Jesus onto ourselves.
Remember to keep your eye on Jesus. He will blaze your path, light your way, and keep you from discouragement.
Time is measured in many ways: seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, and lifetimes. I am convinced that God looks at time the exact opposite that I do. I see my days crammed full of things to do, places to go, and people to see. Prayers and prep permeate the schedule. Yet there are times my time takes a sharp curve and God redirects me to a person or situation that he places me in. I find it easy to stay loose and see what God may be up to with me. Time is from the Lord. Use it wisely. In the movie Spiderman Peter’s uncle tells him with great power comes great responsibility. God tells me that my time is his once I become a believer. He tells you the same. We are on mission with God. Go with Him.
Worry is an energy zapper. I have been very blest to not have a big dose of worry. I have had many people in my life which are worriers and the worry seems to rob their joy and zap their zest for life. I feel at times worrying can become habitual like the proverbial dog with a bone chewing, gnawing, and growling until it may devour the bone or it gives up and saves the bone for another day. Jesus shares with us in the Sermon on the Mount that worry is useless. Worry is a lack of faith and trust in God to care for us. Worry steals our joy and has no positive outcome. Peter tells us to cast our cares on the Lord because he cares for us. Wow. God cares for me and you so I don’t have to be consumed just give it Him. Unfortunately I tend to take my cares back from God. Casting them like a fishing line. I read that a fisherman caught a 65 pound bass on a rod and reel. He knew he had a big fish yet didn’t realize how big it was until he jumped in the water, hugged it and carried it to shore. Some are carrying huge amounts of worry around, hugging the worry. Stop it. Cast it to the Lord.