A Glance Homeward

IMG_1930About a month ago I watched with eager anticipation as the leaves here in southwest Michigan turned brilliant orange and gold with a little red mixed in here and there. The fall season seems to last longer here than in New England but it’s more spread out with each type of tree turning with significant gaps resulting in a more gradual and thinned out spread of the fiery treetops. There is something about the fall that turns my heart to glance homeward.

It starts with missing the charm and beauties of my small hometown nestled safely in the valley between our two mountains. Then my affections quickly shift to the joy of remembering all the dear friends who I’ve had the privileged of doing life with over the last three decades. At this point, joy mingles with the deep ache of longing as tears remind me that Home is far greater than this sojourner’s geographical location and even deeper than my family and friends.

Home is what we’re all working toward–both in eternity and the excitement or seemingly mundane of today. Our hearts are always in pursuit of our true Home (Ecclesiastes 3:11). One that is guarded by the shalom that Jesus bought with His blood.

Home is also the present reality of my King and serving in and for His Kingdom.

By the freedom that was purchased through our Redeemer’s sacrifice, we have the ability to truly LIVE right now with an abandon and fullness that this world cannot fathom (John 10:10b; Galatians 5:1).

So, when I catch myself longing for home or the ideal of home, these truths are where I set my heart and sights.

A Quick Update from a Longwinded and Unlikely Blogger

IMG_1910

Hello my faithful friends and patient readers! It has been far too long since I’ve put thought to keystroke here. I’m excited to finally have time and mental energy left in the tank to jot you a quick update from Michigan.

I thought that, once Summer Family Camp was over, things would start to slow down here at Life Action Camp. But wow, I had no idea the scope of what would come my way. The camp management team has given me the new title of Project Manager–a position completely new to the camp, myself included. So in the midst of our various fall events and retreats, I’m working nonstop to observe, learn, dialogue, brainstorm, research, develop, innovate, and implement new organizational ideas and/or processes. I don’t think I’ve ever loved a job so much… or been so exhausted!

One of my biggest projects is media development. I’ve just received a very cool dual platform laptop to enable me to engage in graphic design, procedure development, administrative tasks, and on and on. As a result, a chunk of my time each week is spent taking online training courses so that I can learn several new and powerful programs (to both the camp and myself). This is all with the hopes that I can help utilize our media and technology in such a way that it propels the Gospel forward and isn’t a distraction and/or a hindrance.

I’m also serving on the CREW (our young adult volunteer program) Management Team, helping to standardize and streamline our policies, procedures, and communication. This is, by far, my favorite part of camp. There’s just nothing like serving, training, counseling, teaching, and building up the next generation of God’s Kingdom! Over the last couple months, we’ve taken a fine-toothed comb to our application process and refined a lot of our procedures. We’re also spending a lot of energy planning out the many CREW activities and weekly teaching sessions that are geared specifically to these young adults.

It’s really quite remarkable what it takes to pull off ten straight weeks of Christ centered family camp with 13 full-time staff and 60+ young volunteers! I am so excited to be in the midst of God’s work here and already can’t wait to see what we’re able to accomplish during the winter months as we prepare for another incredible summer watching God transform lives, prepare and equip families, and strengthen His Church!

Trust Without Borders

Tide Walk

I’ve learned a lot over the last couple months as I’ve had to hit the ground sprinting into full-time ministry at the Life Action Camp.

I’m finally beginning to wrap my head around the vast sea of details that my position encompasses. I’m learning to juggle more roles and tasks than ever before. I’m also discovering new ways to organize and process data to produce helpful tools and visuals. But above all that, I’m learning who and what this is all for and just how deeply I need my Savior in every moment of my day and in the smallest seemingly insignificant detail, task, or conversation.

Each day as I spend time interacting with the CREW (our young adult volunteer staff), working out the tech and transitions of a session at the Tab, sneaking in one last background or powerpoint on the presentation computer just before things go live, discussing an unexpected scheduling conflict, figuring out the work assignments or housing for the following week, or just sitting and sharing a meal or coffee with a fellow Kingdom traveler, I’m learning that if God is not invited in and my heart is not continually in tune with His, all the details, relationships, and tasks mean nothing. I’ve never felt more stretched and out of my league but I’ve also never experienced so much joy and communion with my Savior.

On a broader scale, however, God has been teaching me about this seemingly crazy Kingdom life He has called me too. He is gently revealing areas in my heart and will where I need to surrender and step out and watch as He provides and cares for us.

Quitting my job to move to MI before I was fully funded with the understanding that I cannot be considered officially full-time until I’ve reached at least the 100% goal of my funding, has been one of the hardest steps of obedience I’ve ever had to take. But my God has met every need with abundance! Each step I’ve taken, though unsure and unable to see what my feet would find, has proven secure. In the midst of a rolling sea, my feet have found the Solid Rock and my faith has been stretched beyond anything I’ve ever imagined.

I’ve been a little out of touch with popular worship music these days and am increasingly thankful for our band at the camp. One of the songs our worship team has lead us in this summer is the ever popular, Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United. When I heard it for the first time six weeks ago, my heart was deeply convicted and strengthened at the same time. It has since become my theme and my prayer; that I would be obedient and sensitive to the leading of the Spirit to the point that, “My trust is without borders,” and I would be able to “Walk upon the waters wherever [He] would call me.”

If you haven’t heard the song, I’ve included the YouTube video for you to listen and copied the words below. It is my prayer that it encourages and challenges you as much as it has me!

God bless!

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)
by Hillsong United

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine