Saturday, July 21, 2012
Morning has broken here at Pinecroft Camp in Washington state...and in a couple hours the campers, staff, college ministry teams, and I will head out. Will it be a stereotypical camp "high" that evaporates even as the cars and buses leave? Or has Spirit of God done lasting, genuine work here (as opposed to "decisions")? Don't know. But trusting that professed faith and spoken commitments were genuine, and thus lasting...though not easy. (As I tell the campers frequently, if you're Christian life is "easy" I'd question your faith, and at least be certain that something was desperately wrong). It is not about "your best life now," it is about sacrifice, inconvenience, and great joy. Last night I preached on Jesus' view of discipleship from Luke 14.25ff. I urged the teens to let the Bible say what it says. At the end of the message I prayed and said no "heads bowed, eyes closed" idiocy; if God was prompting them, provoking them, pushing them to cross over the line from "typical 'Christianity'" to discipleship...on Jesus' terms...to step out, come forward, read and pray over a "Disciple's Creed" that I had put together, and spend some time in prayer... I then went to the back of the chapel. For several moments no one moved...then one young man went and knelt...and for a half hour or more trickles of students came. There was very little noise; an occasional sound of weeping...cabin leaders and others prayed with, hugged, cried with teens. It was a holy moment. Were some responding to "peer pressure" rather than Spirit pressure? Beats me. As in most things, I'll not let what I don't know mess up what I do know. God worked. Later we gathered around the virtually obligatory camp fire. A few teens shared things that I can not share here; far too intimate, personal, and only for the moment. But I ask you to pray for these teens...leaders...staff...and, yeah, me...as we leave this taste of heaven and go back to real life 101. I preach tomorrow at a church in Idaho, and then fly to Denver, pick up a car, and drive three hours to a junior high camp (at which my daughter is working - please pray also that her expensive camera is found...don't know if stolen/misplaced/whatever...God does). As always, for those of you who support the ministry to which the Lord has called Jane and me in finance, prayer, or both...heartfelt gratitude. With no source of income other than missionary support and any honorariums that come in...your gifts make ministry possible, while your prayers make it powerful.