I spent the week, Monday through Friday, as a camp guide (also known as a counselor, however they chose the word "guide" to convey to the campers that we are there to serve, mentor, challenge, learn from and help them wherever they and we see the need), located in an old mining town called Deadwood, at Kamp Kinship. The camp I staffed at was for the 3-6th graders.
Every evening God spoke in "a still small voice" through the tender praise of His little children, and the passionate please of His servants (pastors, other guides, leaders, worshipers).
"You are my pearl of great price..."
'El Shaddai is my Savior;
Poppa, my Father;
El Roi, my God...
They are one and the same.."
Words similar to these echoed in my mind...
"God, oh God, clear my thought! Let me say nothing
but that which you desire me to say."
Anxiously, I plead to God, clear my thoughts! I felt this prompting to write out the words I was hearing in the form of a Bible study, which He then asked me to present to my campers later Monday evening.
Two key statements that had repetitively overwhelmed my thoughts that first evening of camp are:
"God invested in pearls..." (Matthew 13:44-46)
and "God is in love with you!"
By the second evening, I was literally overwhelmed at how amazing God is when we "let Him loose" in the midst of children. Meaning, we don't put Him in a box, restrain Him (give Him a time limit, geographical limit, word or musical limit, etc.)
God is above words!
Sometimes He reveals himself in such simple incomprehensibly humongous ways - a part of who He really is - that the only thing we can do - the now overwhelmed, physically incapable of handling this without some sort of miracle human beings - is weep!
The strongest people I met that week were
the ones who wept first!
Wednesday morning brought buckets of rain.. Something I, a very strange person, generally enjoy. However, when you have only one pair of pants, one pair of walking shoes and no rain coat for the entire week in 55 *F weather, one has a tendency of abhorring the weather man... or in my case, the bringer of cold, wet clouds.
Despite the horrors of prairie weather, realism slapped me in the face.
These people are the kingdom of God!
Right here! We - us... Children of the Almighty, saved by Jesus Christ, the Lord - are the Kingdom of God!
Does this not send chills down your spine? You... me and you, my friend, my family in Our Lord, are the Kingdom of God!
.... no pressure or anything =)
Thursday was a day of gathering together many thoughts...
When Christ found just one pearl -
small percent of all the people,
from the beginning of time until now -
one fraction of all living -
He gave everything for the price
of that one pearl!
We had a lot of found pearls that week.
WELCOME TO THE FAMILY KIDS!! :)
A song that came to mind was "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye (scroll to end to read the lyrics)
God is so passionately, head-over-heels
(This is pretty much self-explanatory)
Another interesting (reprimand) from the ever beckoning, compulsive (yes, God does call for perfection...), Righteous One:
When you can do more...
This is also self-explanatory... But please let me explain myself and why I found this so revolutionary (although I understand it probably is not to many of you).
God has given me the gift of leadership.. Yes this does sound very self-righteous, I understand.. *sheepish grin*...
I have been told by many people that I am a natural leader and that if I see something needs to be done I need to just do it.
However, I also have a "person pleaser" streak in me. This does not bode well for leaders, since, generally, as a leader they are called to go where other have not.. do what other will not.. And I think Mother Teresa basically sums it up:
"A sacrifice to be real must cost, must hurt, must empty ourselves.
The fruit of silence is prayer,
the fruit of prayer is faith,
the fruit of faith is love,
the fruit of love is service,
the fruit of service is peace."
Perhaps this doesn't seem relevant to you. However, I have seen in life is that the best leaders are generally those who are willing to take risks first (before their followers, before other leaders even). They are willing to lay their life down on the line for what they believe in.
Looking at leaders of the past (Mother Teresa, William Wilberforce, Leslie Unru, Star Parker, the Apostle Paul, and even Jesus), each of these leaders have gone through (and will continue to go through) scrutiny, persecution and negativity from people around them. They cannot be phased by what other people think about them if they are to accomplish what God has laid on their hearts to do.
If one is to lead they must:
get over themselves
Get over other people
And get over what they don't understand about God.
On Thursday morning, I wrote this in a journal a friend gave to my for my graduation
"My Reflections/ Noted for:
Public school sucks the innocence out of you:
One has to make decisions they probably aren't ready to make.."
Note: This is an opinion of mine, which I have come to due to many camps, traveling, jobs and a few internships I have participated in.
Innocence is different from virginity or "plain ol'" purity (which is not at all plain in our day and age!!!).
Innocence, in Websters 1964 dictionary is defined as:
"Freedom from sin, evil or guilt.
Freedom from knowledge of evil.
Freedom from guile or cunning;
Incapability of harming, injuring or corrupting.
Innocuousness, harmless, inoffensiveness,
simplicity, purity, sinless"
There are few children who were innocent. There was a constant pecking order of who was "higher" on the totum pole, and few kids who didn't care and who truly displayed innocence and protection of that innocence. The very few that I saw there who truly captured an innocent heart were always the first to pray, the first to encourage others, and the first to just stand up and do what was right, generally speaking.
As you can see, over the week I have learned a lot of new things, and truly tried to grow deeper in my walk with the Holy One.
Now, I'm on the journey of better understanding my role as a woman and as an Ambassador for Christ - a created being of Yhwh, an ezer, a friend, a student, a teacher and a disciple.
Woman, as created by God are:
Image bearers of Him - El Rio
Warriors of the God of the Angel Armies
Comforters, (sisters, mothers) of El Shaddai
Encourager's of Emmanuel
and in all things, seekers and defenders of Truth!
- the Living God, His Son and the Holy Spirit
God is big! HUGE! Yet, He is right here, right now, with us.
This, in my mind sums it up:
"Where were you? Do the eagles soar at your command?"
"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength..
They will soar on the wings of/ like eagles..."
Job 38-40 and
Meaning: Where were you when the eagles were taught to fly? But if you hope in me, then you will soar on those wings, of the eagles..." ~ Love God
:) Isn't that so cool? Go ahead, read it yourself, dissect the discussions, research it and come to the conclusion and conviction that the Spirit of the Lord of Hosts brings to you! :)
God is... MORE!
Than you could ever imagine!!