Sunday, July 24, 2011

~Summertime Reflections~ :)

Hello all! Hope everyone is having a blessed summer! (I know I am!) :D

This year has been filled with many fun activities such as swimming, volleyball, working out with my brother and friends, dancing, cooking, cleaning, organizing, reading God's Word, singing, playing the piano and violin, (teaching my younger brothers some piano as well,) :) blogging, sewing and more! :D

In June I was blessed with the opportunity to attend a week long camp as a team leader! The first two days were for training and preparing the hearts of the leaders and the rest of the week we were able to invest in the lives of the youth attending the camp by leading small groups. I had never been there before and I was a little unsure of what all might come up during the week as to what questions might be asked...and if I would know how to answer them. But the Lord was gracious and reminded me of a clip from the film "The Prince of Egypt" that tells the story of Moses and how he had felt inadequate in what the Lord was calling him to do, yet the Lord assured him that he would give him the words to speak. HE is our enabler! (You can see the clip here .) The Lord also later showed me these verses...

"Now the word of the LORD came to me saying,

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

And before you were born I consecrated you;

I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Then I said, “Alas, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak,
Because I am a youth.”But the LORD said to me,
“Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’Because everywhere I send you, you shall go,
And all that I command you, you shall speak.“Do not be afraid of them,
For I am with you to deliver you,” declares the LORD.

Then the LORD stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me,

“Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.

~Jeremiah 1:4-9~

I desired to be a willing vessel the Lord could work through and as I yielded myself to Him, He was SO good to encourage me that He can give us the words to say and the wisdom to know what to do and how to respond in every situation that comes our way! He also seemed to continue to present me with situations for me to be bold in Christ! Stretching and growth took place that week and I'm thankful for the work He is accomplishing in my life!
While there, I was also refreshed and renewed in my walk with Him! During that week we were encouraged to daily spend time in God's word and to not just hurriedly read through a chapter, for example, as if to check Bible reading off our list of "to-do's", but to pray and ask the Lord to reveal Himself to us through His word, to listen to His voice and to really ponder and meditate on what we are reading. (Looking up the definitions of words and cross-referencing verses with other verses that contain the same word or theme are great ways to gain insight and a fuller, deeper meaning of scripture!) I love the visual picture of a sponge being immersed in water...that's how our lives should be! We should be so full of the Word of God that we are full and overflowing, so that He will spill over into every aspect of our lives!
A theme verse in our group was Romans 12:2 which says... "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

Here's a couple of definitions from the above verse...

transformed=Make a thorough or dramatic change in the form, appearance, or character of

renew=to make like new: restore to freshness, vigor, or perfection's the verse with the definitions inserted.

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed (Make a thorough or dramatic change in the form, appearance, or character of) by the renewing (to make like new: restore to freshness, vigor, or perfection) of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

If we are born from above and are children of God, we should no longer be looking to the world for the standard as to how we should live our lives, but to God and His word. By reading His word and learning what is pleasing to Him, our lives can be changed from following our own
selfish desires and pleasures and we can surrender to His perfect will. Through Him, we can die to sin and live to righteousness!

That brings me to the theme of the second church camp I attended this summer where I also went as a sponsor! :) At that camp we focused on being consumed by Christ and giving HIM our ALL!

"Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!"
~Psalm 103:1~

Here are a few definitions for the word all...

all=the whole amount, quantity, or extent of, as much as possible, every member or individual component of, the whole number or sum of, completely taken up with, given to, or absorbed by, used up : entirely consumed

1 Kings 15:14b says...
"...the heart of Asa was wholly devoted to the LORD all his days."

That is how I want to be! WHOLLY devoted to the Lord ALL my days! I desire to be consumed by Him, to be so caught up in Him that when others look at my life they wouldn't see me, but Christ that is within me! That my hands would be His hands and my feet His feet...that I wouldn't live my life for myself but for Him and that I would glorify Him in ALL I think, say and do!
One of the songs we learned while at camp was titled "Arrest our Minds" and was referring to us allowing Christ to "arrest" our minds with the vision of Him and that He would be our first love. I looked up the definition of arrest and here is what I found.

arrest=to stop or check, to seize by authority of the law, to catch and keep (one's attention etc.) an arresting or being arrested, in legal custody

At first glance, the word "arrest" might seem like something that would be undesirable...something that would bind us and remove our freedom. But when you apply it to the context of is really quite the opposite! Now, I won't deny that Christ will ask us to put off certain things in our lives that may seem "fun for a season" such as sinful desires, selfish pleasures etc...He will! But in doing so there is freedom beyond all measure! He is able to SAVE us from our sins! How freeing is that??? In Him we can overcome! As Christians, we are His, we are bought with a price! He has redeemed us! He has broken the chains of bondage where we no longer have to be enslaved to sin because He is our deliverer!!! Praise God!!!
While at these camps I was reminded of what great love the Lord has for us! He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for ALL our sins. He did nothing wrong, yet He bore the punishment of our sins for us. What an AMAZING sacrifice! That through Him we might have the hope of eternal life...what a MIGHTY God we serve! He gave His ALL for me...the least I can do is give my ALL for Him. This requires the daily choice to pick up our cross and follow Him, to die to sin and live to righteousness.

May the Lord richly bless you all as we seek together to give Christ our
ALL in EVERY aspect of our lives!

Looking to Him!
~Chloe~ :)

Have you ever heard the song Christ is Risen? It's very pretty and has a very powerful listen click here. ;) Also, I recently purchased some new books that have been encouraging to read in my free time this summer :)...I hope to post about them in the near future on my new stay tuned for the link! ;)

1 comment:

Jacqueline said...

Very wonderful post Chloe! Encouraging and delightful to read. Getting to be a camp leader sounds like a great experience. It also sounds as if your summer is going as incredibly as ours is. :)
Love and blessings,