Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

We live in a great county. Thus far we are still considered "free". That freedom which we experience cost many families the loss of their sons, their husbands, their fathers, and women who have also served our country in the armed forces. We must never forget the cost of freedom, we must never take freedom for granted, and we must never take it lightly. With gratitude and respect I honor those who have given their lives so that we might be free.

Christ gave His life for our ultimate freedom, and I give Him my heart and soul and life in return. May all I do and say honor Him. Today may petty jealousies and selfish ambitions and foolish pride all melt away as I pledge Him my allegiance.

What has He been teaching me this past week?
  • it is God's approval that I must seek...not those about me
  • everybody needs a friend they can trust...may I be a trusted friend

Turn away from evil and do good. Work hard at living in peace with others. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil. (I Peter 3:11-23)

For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:10)

Trust God:

  • when you are in a cave...a situation you cannot fix or change or escape...TRUST GOD!
  • if your security is based on success, it is fragile
  • if your security is placed in God, even in the dark caves of life you will find strength

Mind Your Mouth:

  • words have the power to build relationships or destroy them

Real Religion:

  • brings heart satisfaction (seeking and finding Jesus)
  • brings us into worship (personal adoration of God)
  • brings us to total consecration (personal giving of ourselves to God)

Wise men and women:

  • seek Christ
  • find and worship Christ
  • give of their best to Christ

We must give Christ the same gifts the wise men gave him:

  • Gold - all things of value (health, money, relationships, strengths)
  • Frankincense - passion from the heart (love and loyalty)
  • Myrrh - those things that bring us pain, sorrow, and suffering

We are in the midst of a terrific weekend here at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp...our traditional "opening weekend". We just came through a week where we had 30 senior adults come for "Work and Win" to help us get the buildings and grounds spruced up for this weekend. We were able to get over 80 acres mowed (in the same week), and the 150 +/- tabernacle pews all polished, plus cleaning down the Dining Hall and Snack Bar and spray washing many of our buildings. The boardwalk to the beach had boards replaced and horse shoe pits were built. A few of the women were busy planting flowers around the grounds.

A month ago we had about 80 teenagers come for a work day and they got our camper cabins and duplexes cleaned out and beds wiped down for a new season of youth camps. We had a crew who reroofed three of our white cabins. Many hands across the age spectrum have been crucial to being ready for the season upon us. We are blessed to have volunteers who care and are willing to give of their time and talents to keep Indian Lake Nazarene Camp looking good and prepared for a whole summer of activities.

This weekend our 150 RV lots are almost full with campers. We had the Climbing Tower and Zip-line opened on Saturday afternoon. Our first service in the Tabernacle occurred this morning. The snack bar and dining hall have been open for meals. I so enjoy seeing families and friends gathering here at ILNC to enjoy time together and to create memories. May they sense God's presence on these grounds, and not take for granted the freedom and safety we feel here. This is a unique place, and we are blessed to be serving God on these grounds. Visit the camp web site at

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Highlights from this week's devotionals, May 15-23, 2010

Sunday afternoons are a good time to take a nap and catch up on any missing sleep from the previous week...especially on a warm day, or a cold day, or a rainy day, or a normal day. I sat on our front porch for a while, reading the Sunday paper, and just about fell asleep out there, listening to the birds, and feeling the afternoon breezes. I finally moved inside to the recliner.

Sunday afternoons are also a good time for me to go back through my journal and see what insights I have gained from my devotionals this week. Just a reminder of what God might be saying to me. These come from Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life, by Chuck Swindoll, and from a little devotional booklet I get called "The Word for You Today". Both of these are listed at the right in my list of books I am reading, for further reference. So, for this week, here are my reminders:

Strive for excellence by: standing on Godly principles; hearing God's Word, recording it and obeying it; and having an attitude that strives for excellence in ALL things...even the seemingly insignificant things.

Anger is a by-product of resentment you have allowed to invade your soul. Spend time with God and allow Him to forgive your resentments, remove your pain, heal your memories, and enable you to love as He loves. Act in love rather than reacting in anger.

We are least likely to prepare for attack in our area of strength. What seems innocent can destroy us. If we flirt with temptation, we will eventually give into it. Our potential can be destroyed if we yield to temptation, but God's grace will still be available to us.

When God gives us a task, He will also give us the grace to accomplish it. He didn't call us to work FOR Him, but WITH Him.

If we don't take GOD seriously, there's really no reason to take anything else seriously. Without Him as our foundation, nothing else really matters when all is said and done. Whoever clings to this life will lose it, and whoever loses this life will save it. (Luke 17:33)

Obstacles move us above being ordinary. Some of our greatest lessons will be taught in the valleys of life.

Jesus was rejected by those living in the world HE created. As He walked this earth, He must have recalled creation moments with His Father. Those nostalgic memories no doubt helped Him through the times He felt rejection from created beings.

A prayer from my journal this week:

Dear Father, I am often concerned about my heart being cold...indifferent, uninvolved. Lord, I need your directions. More than anything I need your Holy Spirit to fill me and cause my humanness and frailties to evaporate. I live to represent and exalt you. Give me strength and boldness and discernment, and wisdom to do just that. Amen.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day 2010

So...what did you do for your Mom on Mother's Day? Card? Flowers? Candy?

My kids didn't do that.

No, this year we didn't do the traditional thing of heading to Columbus to be with one son and daughter-in-law.
This year we didn't even make any plans.

This year...our kids did the planning!! And we just complied!!

They put together a combination Mother's Day/Father's Day trip for us in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Fort Wayne is a "mid-way" meeting point for the Columbus kids and us. They chose the motel (Marriott Courtyard) and paid the bill for two nights, two rooms. Our St. Louis son could not meet with us, but sent a gift card to cover miscellaneous expenses on our trip. We didn't have to plan anything or pay for anything.

We had pizza Friday night at the room, and yakked until midnight. Saturday morning we headed downtown Fort Wayne to Cindy's Diner. This diner can feed the whole world...15 people at a time. It has one counter with 15 bar stools, and that's it! It's the smallest restaurant I've ever been in. They have a special called "Garbage", which we all ordered. It's eggs, onions, ham, and cheese all scrambled together. It was okay, but I really liked the atmosphere in the diner...a kickback to yesteryear.

From there we walked to the Fort Wayne County Library...a very impressive building with lots of things going on. It houses the second largest genealogy research lab in the country. That day they had a special event for bikers...a big display down through the center hall.

On this cold and windy day, we continued our walk around town and located the Fort Wayne Old City Hall Museum. It even had the old city jail in the basement. Not a pleasant place to have had to spend any time. At one time Fort Wayne had the reputation of being the most lawless city in the United States. The museum itself had quite a few interesting exhibits. I guess Johnny Appleseed came out of Fort Wayne or there abouts.

It was a Saturday morning and some of the downtown buildings were closed, such as the Court House, which is a grand structure being refurbished. The city is a mixture of historic buildings and modern buildings...lots of interesting architecture going on there. Our last stop of the morning was at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. That particular day there was a lot of local artists' work for sale. For one who likes to study art, as does our son, the museum was a disappointment.

As we drove out of town, we went by the local minor league baseball stadium...Parkview, home of the Fort Wayne TinCaps. We would have gone to a game that day, as they were playing the Lansing Lugnuts but it was just too cold to sit outside. So, instead, we went shopping at an Ashley Furniture store, which we don't have close to us in Michigan, and then we went bowling. We had planned to golf, but was TOO COLD AND WINDY! So we bowled a couple of games...something none of us do too often. We were lucky to break 100.

After supper at a Golden Corral, where we could all choose our favorite foods, we went back to the motel to play games until after midnight. We played several rounds of Sequence, and then a card game called "Seven".

Sunday morning we slept in and then checked out of the motel and went across the street to this mother's favorite gathering spot...Cracker Barrel. It was Mother's Day, and we had a 45 minute wait to get seated, but all the more time, therefore, to shop and browse the old time store.

Our kids went back home to Columbus, and we headed back to Michigan, taking the back roads...the scenic route. On the way we came across a large complex which caught our curiosity. We stopped to look it over, and a local historian was there who could give us quite a few details about the place. It was a Catholic health spa, built in 1895, run by the Sisters of Precious Blood from 1902-1976. They added to the original building across the years, and there are now enough beds to accommodate 700. A few of the rooms are private suites with private bathrooms. The dining hall seats 200. We did not tour the whole building...just a few rooms near the entrance.

In it's prime the health spa was self-contained. They had over 200 acres, their own farm and 80 head of cattle, and a slaughter-house. They raised all their own food. Many of the original structures, including this barn, are still standing. They have their own power house, if I recall correctly.
In 1976 the Sisters sold this property to a cult called "The Way Bible College". By 1999 the cult had lost most of its membership and could no longer afford to operate the facilities and sold it to the Community Foundation of Noble County, who in turn sold it to a private owner in the following year.
The buildings and grounds stand vacant, waiting for new owners. It's so sad to see such a fine facility sitting empty, wasting away. Surely somewhere there is a purpose and a need for this property and all that it contains. It sits next to Sylvan Lake in Rome City, Indiana. For anyone interested in more details, go to
Anyone reading this blog that has suggestions for our next trip to Fort Wayne, things you found very interesting, please leave me a comment. It's only a couple of hours from us, and I am sure we missed some golden nuggets while we were there. We had a great weekend, though, and we have our sons and daughter-in-law to thank for that!!