I just got home from Camp Colorado 2016.
Four powerful days jammed with living together as God’s family
in a gorgeous environment.
Some wonderful messages were given to the preteens on “Guided By God’s Word.”
Here’s your chance to learn from them.
First, think about all that went into providing these particular messages to the preteens. God directed a lot of circumstances that led to certain men who are Christians, fathers and leaders to come serve at the camp. And each of those men were asking God to inspire them what would be the best message to present that would connect with the preteens. Lots of preparation time guided by the Holy Spirit to be ready for the brief presentation to the camp.
Here we are celebrating God’s Holy Day of Pentecost this Sunday, and that sounds a lot like what happened there. God called people, rounded them up for the big event, and then inspired what He wanted to occur through His Holy Spirit.
And the question regarding both Pentecost and the camp is:
What will we learn from it?
♥ Christopher Pritchard told campers to surround themselves with those who will help them progress and grow.
He shared a thought-provoking lesson about how fleas put into a covered jar after a while will stop trying to jump out, even when the lid is removed. In what ways are we holding ourselves back imprisoned and entrapped by wrong thinking?
♥ Matthew McDonald asked how many had seen the Lego Movie and he noted that when you buy Lego kits, you receive detailed instructions about how to put them together and use them. Similarly, God gives us His Bible. And 1 John 5:3 says He expects us to keep His commandments. We must not lean to our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).
♥ Oliver Hooser asked how many in the group were eight years old. That’s how old Josiah was when he became King of Judah. Unlike his evil father, Josiah did what was right in God’s sight (2 Kings 22:12). When the Book of the Law was discovered, when Josiah was 18, he had it read to the people and led the nation in keeping the Passover. Mr. Hooser said campers must “find ways to listen to God.”
♥ Mark McGarvey shared the true story of Alexander Selkirk who was stranded on an island for 4-1/2 years in 1605-09. Fortunately he had taken a Bible with him and it gave him great comfort and kept up his language skills through reading and studying it. Mr. McGarvey exhorted the campers to “make sure to read the Bible” for its patience, comfort and hope (Romans 15:4-6). Assistant Camp Director Jay Ledbetter added that campers should read the Bible at times when they need God’s comfort and “God often inspires you to the just the part you need.”
♥ Johnny Snyder discussed with campers how to develop the talents God has given, striving to do their best with all their might (Ecclesiastes 9:10) without doing it the world’s way of selfishness, pride and unthankfulness. “There is no joy in competing for ourselves.” He challenged campers to compete God’s way in wanting others to also achieve their best.
♥ Ryan McNeely discussed how “God is continually working with us.” He gave the example of how God continued to develop both Joseph and his brothers after they sold him into slavery but God brought Joseph to be second in command of Egypt so he could serve his family and nation.
♥ Dan Hines exhorted campers to “Always tell the truth. Honesty is always the best policy. This is so you will be trusted and regarded as dependable.” Proverbs 28:13 teaches that “He who covers his sins will not prosper.”
He gave the example of George Washington destroying the bark on his father’s prized cherry tree. When George rightly said “I cannot tell a lie,” his father told him that it was far more important that his son tell the truth than a 1,000 prized trees.
Mr. Hines shared a story about how a coach was proud of his son saying the time had run out on the clock before the apparent winning basket was made—by their team.
Both fathers exemplify how much God the Father also values his sons and daughters being honest.
♥ Mark Holladay talked to the campers about friends and choosing ones who will help you be guided by God’s Word.
♥ I shared the story of when my wife and our two oldest kids hiked Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in the United States. The 5.7 mile round trip is rated to take six hours. The kids would get weary and complain but everybody made it to the top. We would tell them: Rest if you must but do not quit.
Thomas, already a camp leader and a chip off his Dad’s block, helped me demonstrate Jeremiah 7:23-24 that says if you are guided by God’s Word, He will call you His people—his kids—but if not, your moon walk will actually be going backward even though you think you’re going forward.
♥ Hansel New asked campers to put on their godly judgment caps. Then he took them through two judgments in the Bible as an example of how a judgment is a decision/principle that God gives for us to apply to similar situations that come up in our lives. Do we know how to apply the judgments to our modern challenges?
♥ Sam Sweat shared the story of Samuel and how God revealed Himself to the boy by the Word of the Lord. When God called the third time, Samuel did what the campers must do: “You’ve got to listen!” Mr. Sweat humorously told campers that they must not be “licking” at the Bible but must be feeding on it.
Camp Colorado 2016 ended yesterday but these lessons we’re never too old to learn.
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