Friday, July 1, 2016

Lightseekers 2016 - The Finale

We stayed up too late and got up too early to pack our stuff before breakfast. The camp picture was taken and our last time of worship happened in the chapel. Karla wrapped up her Jen Barrick story with her video describing her story and how God is using her tragedy for His glory. We collected over $500 in offering today to bring our camp scholarship fund to nearly $1000. But most importantly, Jim reminded that Jesus has sent us into all the world to preach His Gospel because others need to hear about Him and ultimately He is the One Whom we serve. We serve Him by telling others how they can be in His family.

We ended our camp singing "There is no one like You...there is no ONE LIKE OUR GOD." There truly isn't and we serve Him.

See you all next year.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Lightseekers 2016 -Thursday Night

It was another wonderful day at Lightseekers; it was nice and hot which made the pool seem even better. Some campers and their leaders took a hike over to Jenks Lake, a few got lost but were found pretty quickly by some other Christians who showed them the way. This is so like our walk with Christ, sometimes we lose our way and God sends someone along to set us straight. More on this in a bit.

Karla continued her story about Jen Barrick. We found out that Jen recovered from her coma but had to learn to do everything all over again, like she was a little child. In time, she was able to do many of the things she used to do but she was still left with a lot of permanent damage to her brain and body. Still, God honored her desire to serve Him with all her being by allowing her and her family to found a ministry that partners with Joni Eareckson Tada's ministry to reach those who have suffered debilitating traumas.

Jim continued his message about trusting God using Proverbs 3. The key passage is found in verses 5 and 6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart;  do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take."  Our own thinking (like the hikers who were lost in the woods) can be confused or even downright wrong and disobedient. But when we trust God after seeking His way, He provides the direction we need in our lives.

This is why we have Lightseekers Camp: to help campers discover who God is, who we are and then help campers learn to trust Him. It's not the end yet, we have one chapel to go. Continue to pray that God will touch hearts.

Lightseekers 2016 - Thursday Morning

We had soooo much fun last night in the Night Game!!! All the campers were grouped in teams, searching for clues in the dark, using only their flashlights to light the way. They had to avoid "Selfseekers" and had to be ready to tell of deeds of righteousness when asked. The Ninja Masters won but everyone was safe and all had a good time. We sang campfire songs and then went back to our cabin.

This morning after our "Egg McMuffin" breakfast, we had two special guests musicians join us for chapel worship, Amira and Isaiah, who played their violin and viola along with Miss Karla's band. Isaiah and Amira are very talented young adults who will be playing at the Disney Concert Hall next month. It was great to rock out to Jesus with them.

Jim talked about today's theme - Trust and Obey. He asked the campers the question, "How can you say that you love God if you don't obey Him? Believe (which is really trust) is an action word. He shared the chapter from which our theme verse Joshua 24:15 is taken. After the Israelites had crossed over the Jordan and entered the Promise Land, Joshua in Chapter 1 had given them a charge to be strong and courageous. After the land had been completely conquered and settled, Joshua, near the end of his own life, called all the people together at Shechem and reminded them of how God had set them free from the Egyptians and brought them to this land. He challenged them to honor God "and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone " (24:14). The people promised to serve Him wholeheartedly (if you know the Bible, you know how well they kept that promise) and set up a marker to remember their covenant with God. Joshua warned them that they were accountable for following their agreement to serve and obey Him alone. 

When we begin to follow Jesus, we begin to learn to obey Him. I can't say I'm following Jesus and still be happy with lying, cheating, or disobeying my parents or teachers. We need to put our belief into action - not just words. This message isn't just for children, but also for the adults. We too need to follow Jesus with all our heart, but even when we mess up on that, Jesus is there, ready to forgive and restore. More on that later...

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Lightseekers 2016 -Wednesday Night

Tonight runs a little different than the other nights of Lightseekers Camp. Yes, we have chapel and chapel fun, but it also turns a bit more serious. Karla continued her missionary story about Jen Barrick. (You can read about her story here.) We had been left with the cliffhanger of Jen in a coma after suffering devastating injuries from a car accident. Although she awakened finally after several weeks of deep coma, she was unable to speak or think much except to pray or sing songs to God. We'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out more.

Jim spoke about the woman healed from her bleeding problem (Mark 5:24-34). She had faith that merely touching the edge of His garment. She touched it and was immediately healed. Jesus realized that He had been touched by her even though the crowd was pressing all around. His compassion towards this woman who probably both frightened and embarrassed by Jesus calling her out, was demonstrated by how He addressed her: “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” She was not only healed of her physical suffering, but he offered her spiritual healing as well. This same healing of our sins is offered to us. Jim invited the campers to know the ABC's of salvation - Admit your sin, Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, Confess that Jesus died for you and that He is Lord. He invited them to come forward to talk with a leader and a good many did this evening. We sang a song of rejoicing for those that gave their lives to Christ.

The evening's not over, we still have the campfire and the night game, but I bet devotions are going to be pretty awesome tonight. I can't wait until tomorrow....

Lightseekers 2016 Day 3 - Morning Beauty

We woke this morning to a beautiful, clear day. The rain is gone and the kids are excited about going to the pool later. Breakfast was great -pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream, sausage links. 

Afterwards it was morning chapel where Jim continued to ask Whom do you serve? Yesterday's theme was about being humble and today's theme is about being honest. Both are very much related as Jim pointed out - we are humble when we are honest about Who God is (just as we've discussed the previous two days) as well as when we are honest about who we are. We think that we can do things on our own, without God's help, but that sort of thinking can lead to disaster. Sometimes it is hard to follow Jesus and understand what He is doing. Even Jesus' disciples struggled with this after seeing some pretty amazing things like Jesus feeding 5000 or Him walking on water. Some, in John 6 deserted Him. "Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?” Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.  We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God." When we are honest with ourselves, we realize that we cannot serve Anyone else, not even us.

Following chapel, we went to Walk the Talk -our small group application time. Today's question was asking what did you sacrifice to come to camp? Many said their electronic devices, their family, their pets, their favorite blanket or stuffed animal. Following Jesus also demands sacrifice. The kids were challenged to think about what would they be willing to give up to follow Him seriously.

Unit time came after and now it is time for lunch. I'll blog more later but you can see more pics at the Facebook page.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Lightseekers 2016 Day 2 - PM Happenings

Today it rained, and it rained, and it rained, right at lunch time. It was a downpour and flooded our craft area. Big rolling thunder. What to do? But then the sun came out and we pushed the waters out of the craft area. Free time continued as normal and everyone got to do what we wanted to do. Jim spoke tonight from the book of Job, chapter 38.
"'Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:
 'Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? Brace yourself like a man,
    because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them... 
Who created a channel for the torrents of rain? Who laid out the path for the lightning?
Who makes the rain fall on barren land, in a desert where no one lives?
Who sends rain to satisfy the parched ground and make the tender grass spring up?
Does the rain have a father?  Who gives birth to the dew?"

After God answers Job back for two chapters, He asks Job this question,
“Do you still want to argue with the Almighty?   You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers?” Job 40:2 (NLT)
Job is completely humbled because God has all power, all knowledge, all authority and is present in every situation, even when we've done it wrong. Job and we can never find fault with God, even when we don't understand what he is doing in our lives. 

Additionally, God is loving and merciful - He didn't wipe out Job for his questions, but dealt with Him firmly, yet kindly.  Not only is God merciful, He is also gracious,so much so that He sent His Son to die for us and offer us eternal life. With a God like that, One who controls even the wind, rain and thunder, is it too hard to answer, Whom do you serve?  He is the One we can trust and surrender ourselves to.

Lightseekers 2016 -Day 2 am

Our campers had good night's sleep and were raring to go for breakfast (eggs, hash browns, coffee cake, yogurt). Chapel was fun, the campers were really rocking the house with "Sing and Shout", "Everyday" , "Since I Met You Jesus" and everybody's favorite, "The Fruit Song."

Jim continued to talk about the "Omni's" of God - how He is omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), omnipresent (all and ever -present). Because He is all these things, He knows and sees all, nothing about us escapes His view. He also knows exactly how this week will be; He has put just the right campers and leaders here in the place to hear from Him this week. It is an awesome thing to realize that God planned everything just for His purpose and that we each have a role in fulfilling that.

After Chapel we had Walk the Talk within our unit groups and then off to our Unit Times (either pool, games or crafts). Now it's almost lunch and it's raining, but even the rain is wonderful because it is so warm outside. The rain helps make it cool and it the forest smells so fresh now.

More later...