This is going to be a longer post tonight. We arrived home today from an incredible week at teen camp. So, if you're busy, please come back later. I want you to be able to read this all at once. (if you care, if not, read on my peeps)
I've never been to a teen camp before, not even when I was a teenager. Well, I take that back, I went to band camp. Not quite the same thing. We talked about tuning and pitch, not salvation and grace. So, this was all a new experience for me.
There are so many things I want to share, and now, while it's all still fresh in my head. This week was an amazing experience for me. I can't even describe it.
When we started out, our group of kids were just 11 kids who knew each other, some are siblings, or brought friends but there was no cohesiveness to the group. We left Sunday, and I'll say I was pretty anxious about getting to know some of these kids. There were girls that I hadn't ever really talked to, and now I had to hang out with them and make sure they had a good time for a whole week. If you know me, I'm not a conversationalist when you first get to know me, so this had me pretty much freaked out.
So we get there, and meet our cabin mates. Most were from Oklahoma (it was their state camp, after all), but there was a small group from Houston. Apparently our churches hang out quite a bit at these functions, but as we're the newbies I didn't know it. So, we became the Texas bunch and pretty much did everything with them the whole week. Luckily for us, they didn't smell too bad. No, I'm kidding. They're quite a group of awesome people. There's Rosa, in particular, the servant hearted, creative, woman of God, whose laugh has the frequency of a jet engine. We're going to be like Laverne and Shirly, or Abbott and Costello, maybe. She lifted me up this week, and I can't thank her enough.
This week, I worshipped like nobody's business. I have to be honest, it's been a while since I've connected in this way. On Tuesday, I was struggling with this. I just couldn't get my head there. So, during my quiet time I just flipped open my devotional bible and here's what it said for me to read...
Praise the Lord
Praise God in his sanctuary, praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power, praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the clash of cymblas, praise him with resounding cymblas. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
This just shook me up. Not only was this just a random "i'm going to just pray and flip open the bible to what God wants me to read" moment but here it was staring me in the face. I have to recognize what and who God is, and respond to it. I got smacked up side the head, and I liked it. Sometimes, we're all just waiting for God to come down and say "hey, look it's me". We don't have to do that. All we have to do is just take a minute, look around for Him, and he's there.
So, here I was, ready to worship in a big way. They got Michael Boggs for worship this week, and it was exactly what I needed. If you can, check out his myspace. He's good.
I'm going to talk about what happened for the kids this week, but my words really won't do it justice. You're going to read it and say, "wow, that's really awesome for them", or "cool", but there's nothing I can say that'll be right for the way it was.
I saw fragile friendships develop. And I know God planted those seeds himself. It had to be Him. They prayed together, and I'm sure shared more than just air space. It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out now that we're home.
I saw a student (that does read this blog) behave as an example of the Christ's light. He stood up in front of 100 or more kids and spoke of the Body of Christ. He made them think, and taught them. I'm so proud of him, and I hope he knows that he shines for God.
You know how sometimes, when people are let down one time after another, after another, they build of a giant wall around their hearts? And for some teens, no one expects anything good out of them, so they just don't even try. I saw God break down walls this week. When you are worshipping and you hear God's voice in your head saying "Pray for him, Pray for him" and you know exactly who he's talking about with no idea why you know? This is life changing, people. And then you watch this kid go from a guy who cuts up and talks and texts during worship, to a guy who closes his eyes, and gets down on those knees to tell God something you know he so desperately needs to say, you can really just not even contain yourself. My knees were shaking, and I spent quite a bit of time just awestruck. I've been moved. And I can't go back.
I'm hoping that if you want details, you'll email me. This is just a brushstroke of the picture I can paint for you. It really was a time that I will never EVER forget.
Silly posts about camp to come later.
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