Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today I am 28 years old. I love my birthday. It makes me feel reflective. And today was just the way I would want to spend my birthday. We had our last weekly meeting of Camp OUTT, so I played outside with a huge gang of kids, sweaty hot, and so much fun! Two kids came to talk to me about being saved today, and though I don't pretend to fully understand the movement of the Holy Spirit, I did what I believe was the best, and prayed with them for salvation. So AWESOME! Only God sees their hearts, but it was special! Also, this afternoon, I read for about and hour the last 5 chapters of The Silver Chair. How exciting! I do not get time, usually to fully read out loud to my heart's content, but twenty-plus kids were absolutely hanging onto every word! If you have read it, you know what exciting parts come in those last five chapters, allowing for the use of some pretty great reading voices!

These are pictures of me with the best present I could ever get for a birthday -- an autographed book from Elisabeth Elliot! I wrote her a letter telling her a bit about how her writing has impacted my spiritual walk, and she signed this book for me, and replied to me with a personal letter as well as a suggested reading list! AUGH! I simply adore reading lists! If you look closely at the top picture, you can see her darling shaky handwriting. I was so thrilled, I wept!

So, another year. And this year, I begin with an intense longing for heaven. For Jesus. It seems to be on my mind more. In what I read, in songs I hear. With thinking about Ed Horn, and others whose lives here on earth are over. Sometimes, though I feel like I am still so young, I begin to think that I cannot take this waiting much longer!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Excellent Classic

Last summer I devoted myself to reading a thick classic, and entirely enjoyed Nicholas Nickleby. So this summer, even though I am trying to read 25 books (as a part of my 100 books this year), I am determined to read another Dickens' classic, David Copperfield. (BTW, blogger does not have up the options for italics right now).

This book is wonderful! I am about 1/6 through it right now, but it is profound and funny, and delightful in every way! Dickens is my new second favorite writer (no one passes up Elisabeth Elliot on the top of the list). I totally commend David Copperfield to you (though Nicholas Nickleby is holding out as better at this point. Of course I have 5/6 more to change my mind!), even if you don't have a lot of time to dedicate to reading. A few pages a day, a chapter or so, is so delightful, refreshing, and worthwhile! And be sure to read a copy that has the original illustrations in it, because they are so precious, and add to the character of the story.

Now, someone just needs to make a movie about David Copperfield that is as great as Nicholas Nickleby!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

A Loooooooong Journey

Here are some pics from our recent trip to upstate NY for Word of Life Camp with our youth group. We had 42 people traveling in 4 different vehicles, which is sort of a rest stop train wreck. You can imagine how long every stop was just getting in and out.

We really enjoyed a relaxed 6 days once we got up there, though. The bottom right picture is a view from our cabin that we stayed in. It was so pretty and serene. What I enjoyed most was sitting on the dock with my feet in clean, clear Schroon Lake, reading my Bible or a good book. I read so much more than I expected to on that trip, and I actually ran out of books (should've taken David Copperfield as a back-up). Word of Life had some pretty good book stores, which I made use of, and continued reading.

One of the biggest benefits for our youth group on a trip like this is the way they all grew together. I was very impressed as they were super flexible and patient with each other on such a looooong drive! Also, it was a good way for the kids who don't come to youth group super often to be able to mesh with the other kids. We have already seen some of the fruit of this -- after 10 days, you really can't be an outsider any more!

I am a little sad thinking that we won't be the youth leaders here next year, in charge of that trip again. Not that I'd be up for it again any time soon, but it was certainly a good memory. I guess we'll just have to see how the Lord will use us after we move to Kentucky!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Camp OUTT over

I am quite behind in finishing up about Camp OUTT, but not because it isen't close to my heart! I wish camp lasted all summer and that I could feel like I was utilizing every breath and every sweat gland to serve the Lord! :) A graphic thought, I know, but so true!
Full time camp has ended, so now all we have is a weekly Wednesday camp, which is such small fries in comparison!
We ended up having a multitude of spiritual talks with our campers, and one boy was saved! It was a wonderful afternoon, in that final week! My co-worker, Christen, had been praying so hard for a kid to be ready, and she felt strongly that this boy (we'll call him B) was ready! We had lots of one-on-one conversations with kids who weren't ready. But you just have to trust Jesus that we planted seeds and tried to be faithful with presenting the word.
Update on Leo . . . we had trouble, trouble, trouble with him, including a VERY strenuous after noon with Daniel (teen helper) and I both restraining him from destroying property, and he was still fighting against us, trying to kick and bite us. It's like when the rage takes over, there is nothing else. He is very loving usually. I have a sore place in my heart each time I think of him, because I feel so bad about how horrible his home life is, and we had to kick him out for a couple of days. But I know the Lord gave us wisdom when we needed it, and He will be faithful to water whatever seed was planted in his heart. (though the haunting thought of him bawling "I wanna come back tomorrow! I'll be good! I have FUN here!" is enough to send ME to tears!

Praise the Lord for His blessings and mercy! I wish I had a hundred summers to have Camp OUTT! Thank you, Jesus for such an excellent and dynamic staff! Christen and Mandy sacrificed so much to help me, and Emily, Daniel, Caleb, Brittany, and Mariah worked so hard without complaint! Everybody should have such a great team as this! Also, Josh and James took a load off us by preparing lessons and trekking over each morning to preach to the kids! It was excellent content on the "Hidden Treasures" -- parables that explain salvation. I loved the way it was evangelistically focused in a new and refreshing way!

So, even though Camp OUTT is not TOTALLY over, I feel a sense of peace that Christ has been present and actively in charge, utilizing this ministry for His glory!