Archive | June 2013

Camp and Tear-Filled Water Balloons

Reflections of the past week are full of so many thoughts and emotions I hardly know where to begin.  It was a hot week at camp with a couple water balloons filled with tears thrown in.

Studying the Beatitudes and Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount really challenged us to check our ‘tudes (attitudes). I don’t know how anyone could return home without a deeper understanding and desire to make some personal changes.

I was especially challenged with the Lord’s Prayer.  Our speaker acted out a dialogue between himself and God. As he was praying, God kept interrupting with comments and questions. This illustration was to prompt us to seriously think about our prayers. Some questions I have asked myself are:

When I pray…
Do I really esteem God as Hollowed or Most Highly Honored?
Am I more concerned about myself than others?
Do I seek my will or “Thy [God’s] will” to be done?
Do I genuinely forgive others in the same way I want God to forgive me?

These questions definitely are causing me to pause when I bow my head.

Now for the water balloons filled with tears. Early in the week with camp not yet half over, I received two texts alerting me of not one, but two family tragedies.  The first was that my son-in-law’s Mother had a stroke, and the situation was very grim. She has not even celebrated her 50th birthday yet! The second message declared my cousin and baby both died due to complications with childbirth. This dear girl leaves behind a husband and two small children.

My heart breaks for these families, and there was and is nothing I can do except pray.  This was my opportunity to practice what I was encouraging my Jr. High girls to do. Always go to God first! Then if you need to do something or talk to someone, go. Too often we run to our friends first, but God wants to be the first one we take our troubles to. Pray, I did! With the reminder that life can be snatched so quickly, I was all the more diligent to make sure my camp girls understood that Jesus came to save the lost, and we are all lost to sin until we accept his forgiveness and let him be Lord of our life.

Although the past week had some tear-filled water balloons thrown, God is still the same yesterday, today and forever. May He be glorified!

 

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What’s Your ‘Tude?

Today was filled with Bible Camp preparations. There is most of a week left before camp begins, but Grandson Will is coming to visit tomorrow and staying until I leave for camp. Therefore, I was trying to get as much done today as possible so this Mema can play the rest of the week.

The camp theme is “What’s Your ‘Tude?” and the scripture focus is from Matthew 5, the Beatitudes. As I studied the devotions for each day, I began to really get excited. Do you remember what the Beatitudes are? They are the verses that begin with “Blessed are the…” Any way, I just know God is going to be transforming lives next week.

Have you been around young teenagers lately? I love that age, but it definitely has its struggles with attitudes. They just don’t quite know where they fit in sometimes. One day they want to be treated like an adult, but the next day (or minute) they just want to be a child. They want to be popular, athletic, musical, liked, included, and the list can go on. Often this age is very self-focused. They also are very energetic and thrive on the attention of older teens and adults.

Next week will be fun-filled, action packed, and life changing. As we study God’s Word, learn what it means to be poor in spirit, meek, hunger & thirst, merciful, pure in heart and peacemakers, and then apply it, we will want to change or adjust our ‘tude.

By the way, what’s your ‘tude?

Handpicked

One of the patriarchs of my church challenged the women to not go on  vacation from studying God’s Word this summer. She said just because our calendar & schedule changes, does not mean we should just put God on a shelf. He doesn’t take the summer off and neither should we! As children reprimanded by Momma, some of us have dove right in to a study on David. “Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed” by Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore, and Kay Arthur is one that will cause the student to go deeper in study and relationship with God.

Today, I realized I better get started on my homework or it won’t be done by Lesson #2 on Monday. Week one, day one assignment focused on the fact that we are hand picked by God. I’ve known it, heard it, read it before, but the assignment taking a closer look impacted me differently than ever before.  In John 15:16 Jesus says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you”. So many times I have thought more in terms of I chose God; I chose to follow Him. Which is true I did, but he chose me first. That may be a bit confusing so let me give an illustration. Think of recess at school, the organized game of the day is kickball. Before the game can begin, we must choose teams. So the captains begin choosing who they want on their team. When I am chosen by Captain #1 to be on his team, I have an option to say “yes’ to his team, or say “no way” and head to the merry-go-round instead. The same is with God. He chooses us to be on his team. The realization that He handpicks us has a much greater impact than the simple idea that my response is to follow him.

According to Acts 13:22 we are told that David was a man after God’s own heart. Just as God chose David many, many years ago, He is still choosing men, women and children who desire to honor and serve Him.

God has handpicked you! How will you respond to Him?

My Transformation Tuesday

I keep seeing posts titled Transformation Tuesday. I’ve seen baby-to- teen pictures, before and after dramatic hair changes, stories of the transformation of a large weight loss, DIY projects, and the list goes on. Well, today while I was doing some of my own do-it-yourself makeovers I decided I may as well share my own transformations.

This first one only took about 10 minutes, and most of that time was finding my supplies. Instead of throwing away a couple pillows which had gone flat, I stored them in the closet with a some repurpose ideas in mind. Today was the day to pull them out and stuff them in an old muslin dyed and stamped dog food sack. This combo teamed well to make a cushion for my red metal chair on the patio.

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My next project was the corner cupboard that used to be home to bath towels in my pepto-bismol pink bathroom. Since the bathroom has been gutted and getting its own transformation, I will no longer be using the cupboard there. Instead, I’ve removed the glass doors, and painted it navy blue with white wash insides. This will be relocated to my sewing/guest room to display family heirloom quilts.

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While these have been fun projects, what has really been on my mind this Transformation Tuesday are the words of Romans 12:2

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 NLT

How many times do we try to change all by ourselves in our own power? I have  so many times and failed miserably. Also as women, we let negative thinking dominate too much and often compare ourselves to others.   This verse specifically tells us to let God transform us by changing the way we think. When we let him do this we are promised that we WILL learn to know God’s will which is good, pleasing and perfect. Now that’s what I call a transformation!

Take this Transformation Tuesday challenge and expect great things. Have a Wonderful Wednesday.