Monday Motivational - Teaching our Campers to be Rooted!
Welcome to another Monday Motivational! Our first camp officially started today and we are in the full swing of things. All of our counselors and staff are full of energy, and ready to show each camper the love of Christ! Our theme for this summer is “Rooted” and we are taking every opportunity we get to teach them about the importance of being rooted, and whom it is they should be rooted in. We have a great week ahead of us and I wanted to offer some ways for you to partner along side us even if you are not here at Camp with us.
With our goal being to teach every camper how to be rooted and who to be rooted in we need lots of prayer! It is no easy task to make sure that each camper hears and understands what we are trying to teach them. Please partner with us this week in praying for these things specifically:
This week is full of girls that come from the inner city of Knoxville. That means that most, if not all, are very far out of their comfort zones. We want to make sure that we make camp as pleasant and productive as possible before they go back and it wouldn’t be possible without your help. Thank you in advance for your willingness to serve along side us. Your prayers are a driving force of encouragement to all of our staff and counselors while they are here sharing Christ with the campers!
Monday Motivational – Children are on the Horizon
Welcome to our last Monday Motivational before our summer program starts! My hope is that I will be able to continue these throughout the summer, but other obligations may cause us to miss a week every now and then. Best case scenario things will go on as usual with our Monday Motivationals, worse case scenario I will be limited to just the occasional update of how the summer is going. Either way, keep us in your prayers and keep your eyes open for what comes your way during our summer season because I can’t wait to share with you how God is working through Camp Ba Yo Ca this summer! For this weeks post I want to share with you guys the same thing I shared with our CIT’s, Counselors, and Staff at our pre-summer meeting.
If you are one of the above mentioned summer workers hopefully you haven’t stopped reading because refreshers, even if only a week later, are still helpful! At our pre-summer meeting we went over the traditional preparation topics such as getting ready spiritually, physically, and mentally. These are great tips for all of us though. How many times do we find ourselves completely unprepared for whatever the next season of our life will be? If the answer to that question is not frequently then you are a far better human being then I am. I typically find myself with a mindset of “I will wait to prepare myself until I know what I am preparing for”. That just leads to me wasting perfectly good preparation time in the present. Our time here on this earth is far to valuable for us to wait until we are in a season to train for that season.
James 4:13-15 says, “Come now, you who say “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”. As children we all thought we would live forever, but as we age and gain a little insight it becomes very clear that our life has an expiration date. In the bigger picture our 75+ years we have here on this earth are a mere blip on the timeline. This means that we must take full advantage of what little time we do have. Here comes the challenging part though…How do you convince children to skip over all the bad decisions they are going to inevitably make and start using their time purposefully now?
Trust me when I tell you the answer to this question is that you can’t. We are incapable of showing them that life needs to have more purpose than just earthly accomplishments. However, we can offer them a relationship with someone who can! Our goal at Camp is to create an atmosphere where these relationships are started, nourished, and deepened. It takes Christ to give purpose to a life. That is why everything we do here at Camp is intentional and points our campers, counselors, and staff in a direction that they can experience Christ.
The children are on the horizon, and the time has come for us to welcome them into the fold just as Christ did. Please remain in prayer for us during the summer. Days will get long, nights will get short, bodies will get tired, but our purpose will never waver. This is going to be an amazing summer and we can’t to experience it with you!
Monday Motivational – In the Process
Welcome to another Monday Motivational guys! I hope that those of you wrapping up your school year are doing so with conviction and integrity to finish strong, and preparing for a great summer. I hope that those of you not being held captive by the school calendar are also preparing for a great summer. In my personal opinion there is no better time than summer time—unless you’re an adult with an adult job and adult responsibilities. As a kid summers were the absolute greatest. Sleeping in until you felt like getting up, eating junk food in place of real meals until dinner when your mom forced you to eat real food, causing chaos with all the other neighborhood kids, going to the pool or lake or beach, and best of all…going to summer camp! Kids really don’t know how great they have it. And that ends my tangent on how great summer was as a kid because that actually has nothing to do with this week’s topic!
For this weeks Monday Motivational I want to talk with you guys about something my Sunday School class went over yesterday. Before I get too far into it I want to give a quick shout out to David Powell (my Sunday School teacher) because although I had previous knowledge of what I am about to share with you, I would not have been able to explain it so clearly without him doing so for me yesterday. We did a study of Colossians chapter 1 and a large portion of yesterday’s study was focused on Salvation and Sanctification. These two things are very closely related, but also very different in their own meanings and application. David broke down salvation in the following way: Step One – I was saved on (date of your salvation here) , Step Two – Today I am still in the process of being saved , Step Three – Someday I will be completely or fully saved. I love this breakdown because it shows our journey.
Step one is a clear picture of our starting point. The moment you placed faith in the action of Christ on the cross to redeem you from all your sins, you were saved. Step two tells us that the life we live after step one is a process in which we are striving to be more and more like Christ and remove ourselves from a life that has sin in it. Step three tells us that someday we will be fully saved and completely free of sin. The good news of step three is that we will someday be free of sin completely, while the bad news is that the someday being referenced here is not one on this earth but rather one post death. So where does Sanctification come into play? Glad you asked!
Sanctification is taking place in step two. As a born again believer we are in the process of it. Sanctify means to make holy, set apart, or free (remove) from sin. If we are in the process of sanctification, what does it look like? Galatians 5:16-17 says “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”. Galatians 5:25 says “If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.”. It is impossible for us to sanctify ourselves, but sanctification does require us to surrender to the influence and guidance of the Spirit.
As believers we are in the process of sanctification and are working towards step three of someday being fully and completely saved (completely free of sin). This process only works if we surrender to the Spirit and “keep in step with the Spirit”. Make sure that your desires are being created out of the leadership and desires of the Spirit in your life and not out of your fleshly desires.
Monday Motivational – He Came To His Own
Hey guys and welcome to another Monday Motivational! It is crazy how quickly summer is approaching. Daily I think about how much still needs to be done before we start our summer program but rather than getting discouraged about there not being enough time or people to get it all ready, I am always encouraged by what God has in store for us this summer! I am grateful that we have staff and counselors that were receptive to His call and will be partnering with us this summer. With everything going on lately I have been reflective of how obedience seems to be a little easier when you don’t have time to second guess what’s going on. Does that ever seem true in your life? When things are moving at a slower pace you have more time to over-analyze and second-guess the instructions you are given. This is what we will be talking about in this weeks Monday Motivational.
A few weeks back in my Thursday night bible study we were looking at John 1:1-18 and there is a specific verse that has stuck out to me ever since. Verse 11 says, “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.”. A little bit of context for this verse; John wrote it about the early stages of Christ ministry and the people who were “his own” were the Jews who had all of the Old Testament Prophets and literature to prepare them for Christ’s ministry, yet when He actually started “his own people did not receive him”. How could this be right? Is it even possible to be told your whole life that something very specific is going to happen and then when it does you don’t believe it? Sadly, it is very much so possible. The same thing essentially happens to us every time that we question His guidance and direction that He is giving to us in our lives.
When we start to place our faith in the saving gospel of Christ we are welcomed into the fold and become His people. We are taught at an early age that a critical part of the journey to sanctification is obedience and receiving the call and guidance He puts in our life. When we decide to do things our way, for whatever reason that may be, we are taking a stand against the instruction of Christ. How is this any different than those who Christ came to and chose not to receive Him? There is no difference, and whether we do it intentionally or not the fact still remains that we do it. I am not sure about you guys, but it breaks my heart to know that Christ comes to me with instructions of how to handle situations or how to prepare for what is next in my life, and even though I know He only has my best interest in mind I still do not receive His instructions. So how do we better prepare ourselves to receive Him when He comes to us with instructions?
It is a simple answer, but difficult in application. John 1:12-13 says, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”. Our flesh and our human understandings (limitations) but be removed from the equation. Through placing our faith in the name of Christ and believing in His sacrifice we become “children of God” that are “born…of God”. This is what Paul is talking about in 2 Corinthians 5 when he says we become a new creation in Christ, and in Romans 12 when he says we must be transformed by the renewal of our minds.
Christ doesn’t just come to us once so that we may place our faith in Him and then never bother with us again. He continually comes to us through the Spirit with instructions on how to live our life. Are you going to be like His people who He came to and they did not receive Him, or will you be receptive to the instructions He gives you and live them out faithfully?