Reminders from Bible Camp
I'm in the final week of conference speaking for the summer, down here at Forest Home, a Bible Camp in Southern California with a rich history and legacy as the place where people encounter Christ. My wife Donna came down at the end of last week, stayed with me through the weekend (including our first ever encounter with a large rattlesnake while hiking), and then returned to Seattle yesterday. This camp was the place where, as a Jr. High girl, Donna received Christ. What a joy it was to walk with her to the campfire circle and stand together with her at that significant spot. Later she would tear up with happy family memories and remembrance of her roots as all the campers sang, "How Great Thou Art", the song which is so deeply rooted in Forest Home's history.
For myself, it's both a joy and humbling privilege to stand in the space where Billy Graham stood back in the 50's and declare Christ to the many couples who have come here because this is a place where Christ is declared. God did some profound things in the lives of people last week, and I hope you'll pray with me that He continues to work this week, expecting that His faithfulness and fruitfulness will prevail as we who lead make ourselves available to Him.
Bible Camp is like any camp. There's a zip line, swimming pool, lake, craft house, climbing wall etc. The difference is that instead just KIDS going to camp, and focusing on soccer, or math, or horses, the entire family goes to camp, and focuses on Jesus. There's about 11 hours of direct interaction with the Bible, as campers receive teaching from the word and then break into small groups to apply the truths.
Because of the profound changes I see, I'm sitting here pondering why more people in the world aren't willing to relieve themselves of cooking, cleaning, shopping, internet and cell phone access, all the rest of it for one week in order to, as a family, go deeper with Christ? The truth of the matter is that I can think of no better way for a family (or a couple, and yes there were single adults there too) to invest one week each year. It's a way of calibrating, checking our spiritual compass, assuring ourselves that, indeed, we're walking in God's story rather than our own. People from last week made huge decisions as a result of being here: quitting 2nd jobs to choose intimacy over income; releasing bitterness; renouncing destructive patterns -- all because they showed up and listened for God's voice.
As a result of this, I'm reminded once again of just how important it is to make time in our lives to meet Christ. Yes, the week per year is excellent, and I'd recommend it for anyone. But whether or not you do the week, please, please: CARPE DEIM - seize the day. Make a little time for meeting God in His Word each day, a little time for listening, pondering, understanding. This principle of showing up is enormous.
LET'S HELP EACH OTHER!! Do any of you have resources that you've found meaningful for help in daily Bible reading? You'll find a little bit about both the challenges and fundamental principles of how to read the Bible in my book, "o2". But there are countless other resources out there. What's been helpful for you? Please share both the challenges you face and the resources you've found helpful, because as I've been reminded this week, good things happen when we show up and allow God to speak to us.