Monday, June 28, 2004
When I get frustrated with myself, (my sinful nature), it seems I quit focusing on Christ. I work with teenagers and it seems that my depravity is magnified to me through them. When I counsel them and they tell me about their struggles and what God may have them dealing with at any paticular time I always come back to myself and how I have struggled with that thing or am struggling with it. Mike Yaconelli, once said that spiritual lives are like roller coasters. Up and down, banking and speeding and so on... His statements sit well with me. I feel the same way. Sometimes my life with Jesus is fun and exciting, and other times I am terrified. But that is the way it is with child-like faith. Isn't it? We never know what is going to happen. We get frustrated sometimes too. I do anyway. Mostly, God has been showing me that my frustration comes when I don't trust Jesus for who He is. I don't me what He is doing for me. But WHO He is. I get frustrated with my own means of trying to work it out. Whether it be fighting temptation, or living to please Him. And I see it in the eyes of the youth I am in community with. They ask the hard questions, like, "Is there more to this Christian thing?", "How will I know God's will for me?" and so on. But I realize that I don't need to have the answer to their question sometimes. Sometimes, I need to ask Jesus with them. Figuring out I don't have everything figured out is a good place to be. It helps me trust Him more. And when I do that, He shows me the way. I am therefore thankful for the Word of God and that I can go to it for the answer, namely knowing Jesus. This in turn fills me with His Spirit, and takes away my frustration. "Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God." Eph. 5.17-21
Monday, June 21, 2004
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Well, not Bilbo Baggins. My tale doesn't have dragons or trolls. However, it was alot of fun. We spent the night at the church on Sunday, May 29th, just so we would be ready to go on Monday. BLAH! Never do an all-nighter "lock-in" style hangout event with teenagers the night before you leave for camp. We played Halo most of the night, the boys did anyway. The girls mostly ran around and giggled, while trying to be cool and just annoying enough that the boys would notice them. Meanwhile, sleep was not to be had for Brian the fearless youth pastor. As the sun came, so did the realization that the church was a mess and by now most of the kids were asleep. Mustering all of the energy I could, I started the "we've got to get this stuff on the bus when it comes, wake up we gotta get movin'" pep talks. Rushing here and there grabbing everyone's things to load on the huge bus that was now pulling up in our parking lot. Mr. Jim, the bus driver was a friendly fellow and chuckled when he saw me bringing everything out. As we loaded the bus, the youth's enjoyed a scrumptous pancake breakfast made by moms. So far so good. We prayed inside before rushing out to find our seats. Everyone on the bus? Yep. Do a head count to be sure. Yep, everyone accounted for. Good. Let's go...