I’m back from the high school camp I was preaching at. Thanks to any who prayed. The Lord certainly answered in some very neat ways. I preached on the radical words of Jesus, specifically Luke 18:9-14, Luke 9:57-62, Luke 14:12-14, and Matthew 13:1-23. The kind of things that can turn your world upside down. If you have ears to hear.
A few thoughts about camp:
- We camped at El Capitan State Beach, which is about 10 miles north of Santa Barbara. It was gorgeous and quiet. The campsite is on the cliffs overlooking the ocean, which makes for quite a view. I saw some dolphins the first morning, squirrels throughout the week, and two large 4- to 5-foot snakes on Thursday afternoon. Watching the tide come in on Monday night, all the way up to the base of the cliffs, was a wonder. It would take at least another paragraph to paint it. I also saw stars, which is rarer than it should be for me.
- High-schoolers have so much potential. Every time I stood in front of them (a group of about 60), I felt both the burden and the prospect of their futures. The Lord will use them to impact thousands, for better or for worse, in a normal way or in a radical way, for the Kingdom or for the American Dream. They make massive decisions every day about what they’re going to pursue, who they’re going to fear, how hard they’re going to run, and in which direction.
- Last night, two students made new professions of faith, which was delightful. The messages were hard and in-your-face messages and the youth group is solidly grounded on the Word and has solid leaders, so my prayer is that these conversions are genuine. Only time will tell, and I think that they know that.
- After my last sermon, on the Parable of the Sower, one of the guys came up to me and said that he had been reading the Parable of the Sower during the devotional time that morning. He didn’t understand it when he read it, so he prayed and asked God to help him understand what it meant. Then I got up and preached from the passage that night. Prayer is not in vain.
The next couple weeks will be taken up with a lot of reading for my two just-finished classes, two 15-25 page papers (one on Deuteronomy 6:6-9 and the other a historical biography of Jonah) and a lot of RD preparation work for the coming year.
Again, thank you to all who are kind enough to keep up with our lives and meditations and who pray for us when I post a prayer request. Last Sunday at church a woman told me that her daughter always prays for Judah and our adoption when I give an update. That’s very meaningful to me. Many of you pray for other things that I mention from time to time, as well. Your prayers are offered in secret, and your heavenly Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. My prayer is that one of your rewards will be a measure of encouragement and refreshment from what you read here.