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Archive for June, 2010

Wave Time

Typical summer day in Florida. It rained. Which of course changed our camp plans for the morning for outdoor recreation. Nevertheless, resilient teenagers and creative youth pastors came up with a way to pass the time. Pics are on my facebook page of game time with 300 teens in a small room. It was fun.

Thankfully, the rain stopped for the afternoon and us inlanders made our way to the beach. You would’ve thought we’d turned five year olds loose in a candy store. The surf was up, but that didn’t deter the youth. In they went to try the waves. It was a lot of fun to watch (and play in too) as some waves topped seven or eight feet.

Camp is a time to let Jesus’ Spirit hit us in waves. We run to the camp experience like teens to the surf. And, if we dive in, Jesus will soak us in worship and scripture. Keep praying for our students to have a great week.

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Beach Front

Today, after a very long drive, I arrived at Beach Camp with our Youth from FBCP. Although I look forward to a great week, I’ve already had a good time just traveling 700 or so miles with these guys. They practice Christian grace and community really well. (I think it is a great reflection on their parenting and their youth pastor, Scott.)

Our location, Laguna Beach Christian Camp, is right on the beach. The sand and surf are beautiful and the weather matches them. What a great ministry idea for a camp.

Now, all the groups have gathered and we’ve had our first evening of worship together. It’s a good frontside to the week already. Please pray for God to move among the students (and leaders) in a mighty way.

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Worth It

Mary J. died yesterday after 94 years of living.  Her life was lived like the Bible says you should, and of course she followed Jesus.  In fact, she followed Jesus so well, that even though she passed away at an age that usually prescribes a small funeral attendance, I predict our church building has a good crowd on Saturday morning for her funeral.  Mary was such an encourager. At 90, when her hearing was pretty much gone, she said to me after one sermon, “I couldn’t hear a word you said, but I know it was good!”  I hope you can be here as we gather and thank God for a life that pointed a lot of us toward Jesus. She would want us to know it is worth it to follow Jesus.  Mary is really living now.

This Friday evening, my daughter, Hayley graduates from High School.  Nearly two-hundred of her peers will have on their cap and gown and hear that it was worth it to learn all they learned over the past 12 years (how to color and do algebra).  Some will take the treasure of their education and invest it in good living.  Some will go on to further education.  Some will begin their work careers. All that good.  Some, however will toss the future to the wind like they will their mortar board cap.  Each of them is worth so much to God.  I hope they learn that soon if they don’t already know.

Tonight, I got a phone call from a young man I’ve been trying to reach for years.  He’s in his mid-twenties now and suffice to say, he’s done lots of living out of God’s will.  The main focus of our conversation arrived when he asked me, “I’ve been away from church for a long time now.  Is it okay if I come back?”  While getting misty-eyed, I told him that Jesus said a father had a son that was gone for a while too.  When the father saw the son coming home, the father ran to the son and hugged him.   I told the young man, he should expect a similar welcome.  Jesus went on to say that the father said,

‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.  Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”  (Luke 15:22-24 NIV)

So, my phone caller and I had a little celebration and look forward to another to come as we talked about what Grace really is.  All these years.  All these prayers.  Now, I see it was worth it.

I also believe it will be a celebration Friday night as we proud parents cheer on the grads. All the nights helping them learn math.  It’s gonna pay off.

I know it will be a celebration Saturday for Mary J. who has heard, “Welcome Home. You were worth it.”

And so are you.

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