MONTHLY ARCHIVES: May 2009
This is how we are sure that we have come to know Him: by keeping His commands. —1 John 2:3
WHEN YOU SAY you’re going to do something, do you keep your word? What about when a friend asks you not to tell something he or she shared with you? When you think about those questions, you probably come to the conclusion that keeping your word is important.
That’s because it is. Doing what you said you were going to do proves trustworthiness and responsibility. Keeping your word to others displays loyalty and love. Not keeping your word makes you a liar.
Before you take offense, that’s what God calls people who claim to know Him but don’t obey His commandments. Today’s Scripture passage says those who know God keep His commands. And those who say they know Him and don’t do what He’s said, well, those people are liars.
Your relationship with God isn’t just about emotion. It’s not all about going to church or being in the youth group. The evidence that we know and love God is that His Word affects our desires, thoughts, and actions. In other words, Christians obey God. His desires should make a difference in our lives. Is this true for you?
Even though you’re a Christian, sin is going to enter your life. Those who trust in His death on the cross as the payment for their sins have the promise of forgiveness. They confess their sins and turn from them.
The difference between Christians and non-Christians is that Christians truly hate sin and desire to please God. Even though Christians are imperfect, their lives should showcase a pattern of obedience. Does yours?
Answer these questions for yourself: Do I believe Jesus is who He said He is? Do I love other Christians? Do I hate my sins and long to obey God? Do I desire to follow God’s commands? If not, talk to a trusted Christian parent, friend, or pastor.
In order to avoid another lie about whether you have a relationship with God, read 1 John 4:19–5:5.
God, help me to live a life that pleases You. Help me to keep Your commandments and desire to bring glory to You. Forgive me for the times I fail.
Read This Passage: John 14: 21-26
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.” —John 14:26
NO ONE LIKES to be left alone, especially in a dangerous situation. And in this life, it seems like the people you love are always leaving. So imagine the disciples’ thoughts as Jesus announced that He was going away. Even though Jesus and the disciples had faced opposition during His earthly ministry, this core group must have had a sense of confidence and security because they followed Someone who could walk on water and raise the dead! But now, here He was, announcing that He was leaving to go to His Father. He wasn’t going to be there with them anymore; He was leaving. And they’d be all alone.
Jesus knew that He was going to send the Holy Spirit to His followers after He ascended into heaven. In today’s key verse, He pointed out that He wasn’t leaving them alone to do His work on earth. They wouldn’t be orphans (John 14:18). He was sending the Holy Spirit who would gently remind them of His teaching and help them better understand it in light of Jesus’ death and -resurrection.
The point is, like those early disciples, we too can have confidence as we face a world that either ignores or opposes the gospel. Christ hasn’t left us alone to figure things out all on our own. He has given us His Word and His Holy Spirit, which means that we never need to feel afraid or alone. God is with us.
So when you feel alone and forgotten in this crazy world, seek the Holy Spirit and allow Him to remind you of God’s teaching, truth, and love.
When have you felt utterly alone in this life? How would it help to turn to the Holy Spirit? How has God taught you to rely on Him in these lonely moments?
Read Galatians 5:14-26 and see what the Holy Spirit’s work in your life should look like. Are you allowing Him to work in your life?
Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit and enable you to follow His leading.
Some of you have asked the question, “Who is coming back on staff this summer?” Well, here you go!
Our returning central staff are as follows:
Marva Rawlings, Nancy Cothran, Janie Belue, Debbye Skaggs, Lizzy Peterson, Catherine Green, Kelly Lipscomb, Sarah Knowles, Caroline Knowles, Joe and Jackie Holley, Casey Caldwell, Rachelle Feitig, Becca Taylor, Lyndsay Cogdill, Abby Postma, Brooke Waddle, Nichole Laher, David Marsh, and Mark Vining
Our returning counselors and JETS are as follows:
Jessica Crosby, Emma Robbinson, Ansley Harper, Jennifer Griner, Susan Lesser, Anna Clare Pierce, Caroline Fortson, Tiffany Rozier, Taylor Pierce, Lauren Anderson, and Allison Hedge.
Our new staff (central staff, counselors and JETS) are as follows:
Elizabeth Puckett, Tori Cole, Gerry Touchet, Megan Rentz, Courtney Sloas, Emily Roesch, Melissa Gunter, Clare Berlinsky, Susan McNamara, Keri McGinnis, Liz Hardee, Sarah Owenby, Machelle Wells, Jamie Van Den Berg, Mitzi Farris, Carol Hamrick, Ashley Sutherland, Keaghan Glassmyer, Janel Filbeck, Jessica Williams, Casey Boyd, Robin Clark, Caitlin Weeding, Kristin Wolfe, Paige Skilton, Katie Correll, Dee Dee Dillard, Jordan Calamas, Jenn Debrecht, Becca Kelly, Brandi Anderson, Ragan Story, Chelsie Snow, Leslie Pitman, Jessica Hyman, Meghan Wakeling, Catherine Sheehan, Sarah Henning, Grace Nelson, Andrea Arts, Cathryn Thomas, Alexis Coryell, Mary Jo Sandy, Cassie Curtis, Laura Edwards, Jessica Nutter, Amelia Markham, Anna Harrison and Kevin Graybeal.
Many of our nurses and office staff are returning as well.
We are so excited for you all to get here! Only a few more weeks till the first session!
A house is built by wisdom, and it is established by understanding; by knowledge the rooms are filled with every precious and beautiful treasure. -—Proverbs 24:3-4
IN OUR CULTURE, it’s pretty easy to get caught up idolizing the wrong people. Stories and info about celebrities, musicians, professional athletes, and larger-than-life personalities fill the pages of magazines and are all over the Internet. We want to know about the details of their lives and crave more information.
Life always seems to be going well for these modern-day heroes, many of whom either ignore God or intentionally break His commandments. However, this is just an illusion. True success and fulfillment aren’t measured by dollars or popularity, and eternity will prove this.
The desire of our hearts shouldn’t be wealth or fame; we should long to know God and live by His wisdom. Only this brings true and lasting happiness. All other pursuits will prove to be foolish when we meet Christ on the last day. When we envy others, we sin against God by not trusting that He wants what is best for us. It’s as if we are saying, “God, what you have provided isn’t enough. I need __________ to make me happy.”
The Christian’s joy and peace is found in conforming his or her thoughts and actions to God’s perfect, loving design. It is God’s Word that gives true wisdom so that we are able to live life as He intended. For those who have put their trust in Christ, the Father has “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). How could we not be content with that? That’s the point of today’s key verse. When we put our focus on Him, we find real contentment.
Take a look at your life. What do you focus on the most? Is it God and the things that matter to Him? Why or why not? Make a list of people and things that take up most of your time and thoughts. Where are you envious? What is taking the place of God in your life?
Read Matthew 6:19-34 to see how to deal with envy and worry.
God, I will only know true contentment and understanding when I invest my life in things that matter to You. Help me start living out this truth today.
The New Zipline Tower is complete, which brings us another step closer to being ready for all you campers and staff! Check out the pics below.
We’re in the home stretch now!
“Instruction from Your lips is better for me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” —Psalm 119:72
IF SOMEONE WROTE you a check for a million dollars, what would you do with it? You can probably think of several things: a sports car, a giant flat-screen TV, or maybe a shopping spree in some of your favorite stores.
If you’re like most people, buying God’s wisdom did not immediately come to mind. Of course, you can’t purchase anything from God, but if you could, would it be worth a million dollars to you to receive eternal truth?
Believe it or not, in today’s verses, the psalmist said that thousands of gold and silver pieces would not be as valuable to him as instruction from God. Yep, you read that right. God’s instruction was more important to the psalmist than -millions of dollars.
When we view life from an eternal perspective—God’s perspective—obedience to Him and a relationship with Him are worth far more than a car or a TV or anything else we can buy here on earth. If there is one thing that ought to capture our attention, it’s what the Creator of the universe has to say. He made us, put a plan in motion to save us, and He wants to live in relationship with each one of us forever. He doesn’t want us to walk around confused and unfocused. He wants to give us insight on how to live priceless, focused lives.
God primarily does this through His Word. Like the psalmist, we ought to seek God for “good judgment and discernment” (v. 66). We, too, should find our delight in His instruction (v. 70), and this will sometimes mean enduring affliction (vv. 67,71) in order to learn truth. Is God’s Word this valuable to you? Dig into His Word and live like it!
Consider fasting from entertainment or something else you enjoy to devote more time to God and His Word.
Read the first chapter of 2 Chronicles and see how God rewarded Solomon’s desire for godly wisdom above all else. What have you been focusing on rather than God’s wisdom and commands?
Consider praying through a stanza of Psalm 119 like verses 33-40 to grow in your love for God and His Word.
One of the New Skills we’re adding this summer is digital photography! It’s been talked about for a few years and is finally here. No need to bring your own camera to this skill, we’re providing it for you. The picture shows the type of camera you’ll be using in this skill (and some of the accessories). You’ll learn how to make good pictures great! It’s well on the way to becoming a favorite (judging by skill sheets already returned to the office). So sign up today before all the spots are filled!