Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Junior Camp

I am missing Junior Camp for the first time in eleven years!!!!

Eleven years ago, I attended two junior camps for two different sections, three weeks apart, and fell in love with working with young kids! I was the Music Director for section 2 UPCI Junior Camp for 10 years. I have sooooo many wonderful memories of those years and have made some life long friends!!

Memories of playing 007 with a group of people late in the night: fingers in the "gun" position, hiding behind trees, rolling down hills, crawling across the sports field in a skirt, just to sneek up on the "enemy" and shoot them with our finger guns. And telling them, "my name is Bond, Jane Bond". Memories of trash cans full of water being dumped on my friends heads at one in the morning; falling on the ground in front of a group of counselors late one night, and then having them show others the "crime scene" complete with a HUGE outline of where I fell; wrapping a fellow counselor's car with cellophane and caution tape; being the look out while other culprits zip tied the head counselor's shoes and other personal things to her bed, luggage, and such. Memories of long talks with junior staff about making the right choices in life; counseling young ladies after sensitive subjects were discussed in devotions; playing for 1-2 hours during altar call, and watching young people reach out for more from our Heavenly Father. Memories of tiny little boys and girls, 7 or 8 years old, following me around the camp, asking "when will the next choir practice be?", and "do I get to cut in front of the older kids for breakfast so I can be at choir on time?"

This year, no memories are being formed for me but they are for my kids. My dear friend, Holly, sent me pictures of my kids at camp this week. They are there now and I am at home! WAAAHHH!!! This year, the camp is in Jamul, CA. at the Indian Hills Campground. It looks like a really fun place and I hope to be able to go next year.

Here are two pictures of my younger kiddos. I love both pictures but especially the one of Justin in the altar!!!

Justin praying with a counselor.
What a moment! Arms raised in praise and surrender to God!
This one made me cry!

Jessica is the one in glasses.
She is the prettiest blue eyed girl I know!
And mischievous, as indicated by the bunny ear fingers. LOL
This one made me chuckle!

Thanks Holly!! I am blessed by your friendship and these pictures of my babies!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Getting It ALL Back!!!

Driving around while doing errands this morning, I was thinking about God and how merciful He is. A recent service (last night to be exact) brought me to a new level in my walk with God. No longer will I live at the altar of cyclical condemnation, never to feel the victory of sin washed in the blood and wiped from the pages of the Book of Life, to only feel relief for a short while before I run back to the altar to repent again for the same sins. While pondering these things and praising God, a couple of songs came to mind. Here are a portion of the lyrics from each song:
I Want It All Back
Tye Tribbett
(Verse 1)
You may have thought, you won that last round
You may have laughed (cuz) I almost fell down
Maybe you think I give up easy But its not ovah, I got more in me
You thought I stopped, you thought I sat down
But I am standin', you made me mad now!
You got some things, I think you owe me
I've come to get back everything that you stole
I want it all back (repeated 4 times)
Faithful Is Our God
Hezekiah Walker
(Verse 1)
Faithful, Faithful Faithful is our God (repeat 3x)
I'm reaping the harvest God promised me
Take back what the devil stole from me
And I rejoice today, for I shall recover it all
And I rejoice today, for I shall recover it all.
Now, while thinking about these songs, I realized that I disagree with a line found in both songs. Both songs talk about taking back what the devil stole from us. I do not believe the devil "steals" from us, rather, we allow him access into areas that should be off limits and choose to let him have things he shouldn't be allowed to have.
I just read a commentary on the thief that comes to steal and to kill in the parable found in John 10:10 and found an interesting statement that correlates with my thought. The commentator makes this statement about a thief, "He enters not by the door, as having no lawful cause of entry, but climbs up some other way, at a window, or some breach in the wall." Our lack of faith and failure to stay prayed up and close to the Shepherd, causes a breach in our spiritual wall that allows the thief/satan to have access to our lives.
Are we seduced, enticed, lured, bewitched, or even tricked by the lies of the devil? Sure, we are. We are carnal by nature and when we are not prayed up like we should be, we can be enticed by the snares of old satan himself. However, though we may be "tricked", it is our choices that lead us to that place and our choices that determine the outcome of the enticement!
Will I still declare war on satan and the things he took that were by rights only mine and the Lord's? I sure will!!! Will I still sing the songs I referenced in this blog. Yes, I will. Only thing is, I wish I could sing...
"I'm reaping the harvest God promised me,
I'm taking back what I let the devil take from me...."
"You got some things, I think you owe me
I've come to get back everything that I let you steal from me...."
Alas, those phrases don't quite fit into the songs the way the original words do! LOL
But I AM declaring war on the devil and AM determined to storm hell's gates and take back what I gave away in moments of weakness....
my faith when I struggled to believe God really cared about me...
my hope when I felt my sins were unforgivable and heaven was no longer an attainable goal...
my self-respect when I failed to withstand the enticements of the world and satan's snares...
my relationships with brothers and sisters in the Lord that were damaged by my misdeeds...
my musical ability/song writing that were held hostage by the cycle of condemnation...
I am taking back my prayer life, my Bible reading, my walk with God. I want a continual renewal of the Holy Ghost that is attainable only through sacrificing time from reading novels, playing games on the computer, blogging, surfing the Internet, hanging out with friends.
Lord, I want a renewal of Your anointing on my life, on my family, and on my ministry through the musical gift you have bestowed upon me.
I WANT IT ALL BACK!!!!!!!!!!
P.S. I did a spell check and the word "satan" was highlighted as misspelled. I CHOOSE to leave it "misspelled" with a lower case "s"! To me, he is just a small blip that just got smaller because I took back all my stuff that he was hoarding in his lair.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Refreshing Laughter

My last post was somewhat depressing but this one should bring you a chuckle. Thanks to Sis. Deborah J who sent me this via email. I have no idea where it originated but it is quite hilarious.

An elderly man on a Moped, looking about 100 years old, pulls up next to a doctor at a street light. The old man looks over at the sleek shiny car And asks, 'What kind of car ya got there, sonny?' The doctor replies, "A Ferrari GTO. It cost half a million dollars!" "That's a lot of money,' says the old man. "Why does it cost so much?” “Because this car can do up to 320 miles an hour!,” states the doctor proudly. The Moped driver asks, 'Mind if I take a look inside?" "No problem,' replies the doctor.

So the old man pokes his head in the window and looks around. Then, sitting back on his

Moped, the old man says, "That's a pretty nice car, all right... But I'll stick with my Moped." Just then the light changes, so the doctor decides to show the old man just what his car can do. He floors it, and within 30 seconds the Speedometer reads 160 mph. Suddenly, he notices a dot in his rear view mirror. It seems to be getting closer! He slows down to see what it could be and suddenly WHOOOOSSSHHH! Something whips by him going much faster.

"What on earth could be going faster than my Ferrari?" The Doctor asks himself.

He presses harder on the accelerator and takes the Ferrari up to 250 Mph. Then, up ahead of him, He sees that it's the old man on the Moped! Amazed that the Moped could pass his Ferrari, He gives it more gas and passes the Moped at 275 mph and he's feeling pretty good until he looks in his Mirror and sees the old man gaining on him AGAIN!

Astounded by the speed of this old guy, He floors the gas pedal and takes the Ferrari All the way up to 320 mph. Not ten seconds later, he sees the Moped bearing down on him again! The Ferrari is flat out, and there's nothing he can do!

Suddenly, the Moped plows into the back of his Ferrari, Demolishing the rear end. The doctor stops and jumps out and unbelievably the old man is still alive. He runs up to the banged-up old guy and says, “I’m a Doctor.... Is there anything I can do for you?”

The old man whispers,

“Unhook my suspenders from your side view mirror....”

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Troubled on every side by the folly of self-will

The last few days have been days of profound thought, intense prayer, and grave concern .

I have been thinking about people I know who have very recently decided, according to them, to do their own thing for a while. No more church, all its' rules and such for them. No sir, now they will have the freedom to do whatever, whenever, with whomever. Elbowroom to drink until they are so drunk they don't feel conviction when they sleep around on their spouse or significant other. Liberty to dress however they want, totally disregarding the Word of God which instructs us to be modest in apparel. Abandon to listen to or play music that fills their heads with hate, disregard for authority, lustful thoughts and vulgar lyrics.

My backsliding friends don't want to to do without the world and it's pleasures anymore. The strictures of the church and the commandments of the Bible are too much. They don't want to not wear make-up, dress modestly, abstain from alcohol and drugs, forgo the lust of the flesh. That is just too legalistic in their estimation.

The thought keeps coming to me about how inconsequential those little things we, as saints of God, choose to do without and refrain from partaking of are going to be in the scope of eternity. Will choosing to do your own thing and not following the Word of God, letting little things creep in and take over your salvation because you don't want to stand firm in the face of temptation, or thinking that the restrictions of the Bible are too taxing, be worth eternal damnation????

I would rather do without some things that "might" be okay but are asked of me by my pastor not to do. When I make heaven and perhaps find out that I could have done something I refrained from, it won't matter because I will have made it! But to stand in judgement, having chosen to do things I was counseled in the Word or by the pastor not to do, and find out that because of my wickedness God "knows me not" would be a hellish torment in and of itself.

I have been praying for my friends, family, the lost, the church, and myself to make it all the way to heaven where we will hear "Well done thou good and faithful servant." I desperately want to hear those words spoken by our God!! I have shed copious tears for those who, by their own folly, are blinded to the signs of the endtime and the Lord's soon return. I have prayed for wisdom to minister to my children, my family, my friends and those whom I meet along the way.

A phrase keeps resounding in my head.

"Self-willed whims wreak havoc with the health and wealth of a soul."

I know I have allowed my self-will to damage my walk with God in the past but I am eternally grateful that God is faithful to forgive when we repent and TURN away from our wicked self-willed ways. I told someone today, "As long as we are human, we can still be tempted and fall if we are not prayed up and close to our Saviour." I don't want to return to my folly, the vomit of sin (sorry to be so graphic), self recrimination or being far from the anointing of God!! I want my will to be submitted, surrendered, and God-centered!!!!!!

Please, my blogger friends, don't be lax in these last days.
Press toward the mark of the high calling of God!!

Just don't let your self-willed whims wreak havoc with your soul. Stay healthy and wealthy in your soul. Store up treasures, prayers, and blessing in the storehouses of heaven. Make it all the way!

I am praying for you! Please, pray for me! Let's make heaven our home!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Jesus, The Mention Of Your Name: By Donnie McClurkin

What power we can access at JUST the mention of HIS name!! Thank you, Jesus!!