I need to kill about 20 minutes before I head out to church, so thought I would try to get my blog done this week before church. It's been a terrific week. We had 225 campers and workers in from Chicago Central District Church of the Nazarene this past week. This group returned to us for their second year, and we so enjoy them being here. They are quite organized, and clean up after themselves...always putting equipment away and keeping the grounds clean. Plus, they just seem to appreciate being here.
They come to us on four large chartered buses, and when they leave we stand there waving goodbye, almost with tears in our eyes because we enjoyed having them here, and hate seeing them leave. We look for them again next year!! We had only one day of severe weather in the middle of the day, so they switched their cabin time and chapel time to the afternoon, and had their outdoor activities after supper. Worked out well, and everyone got to use the zip line and do archery.
This weekend is our annual "Eagles' Wings" biker group....motorcycles. They are a group that keeps decreasing in size each year...a group of only 25 or so. But they will use the tabernacle for their morning service, and ride their bikes in to the altar. They are a good group, but I've chosen to check out another church this morning instead of joining the tattooed group. I am on a quest to find a church that is Spirit filled, and where I can sense God is at work. I so enjoyed the family camp meeting services we had this summer, and it only makes me hunger for more of Spirit anointed services.
My four cats that were neutered, spayed, and given rabies shots (Cole, Marley, Shadow, Smokey) keep coming around for food and water and to lounge on the porch or play in the yard. That's the only cats I've seen for quite a while, after having 12 on my porch last winter. However, this morning two new kittens (obviously weaned) showed up...another totally black one and totally gray one...they are smaller replicas of Cole and Smokey. Haven't seen them before, so I wonder if someone dropped them off? Or are they Emmy's babies? I sent four of hers to animal control a month or so ago, and I haven't seen her since. But these would be about the same size as the ones I sent off would be. I hate to hurt animals, or see them hurt. I hated sending the four kitties to an unknown destination...probably cat heaven, but we just can't keep that many wild cats on the grounds. People complain. But I guess I now have a reputation for being the cat lady.
We made our fall get away plans this past week. Going to do something totally different for us. We are going to take the train from Kalamazoo to Shelby, Montana, where some Canadian friends will meet us and take us to their home four hours north, and an hour east of Calgary. We'll spend a week with them, and then return by rail. It's a 32 hour trip, and I'm counting on it being a pretty time of the year to travel through the north. It will be a very nice break from the camp grounds, and well deserved after a busy, hot summer. It has been much warmer this year than the past few years.
Let's look at my devotional reading highlights from this past week:
The Word for You Today:
1. "God Will Fulfill His Promise": between praying for a miracle and getting one, you'll be tested you'll grow, and you'll learn to trust God more than you thought possible.
2. "Use Your Authority": When Jesus died and rose from the dead, He took away the devil's power and said, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me (Matt 28:18)...so go in His power and strength and name and you will reinforce His defeat over satan.
- God's laws are perfect. They protect us, make us wise, and give us joy and light. God's laws are pure, eternal, just. They are more desirable than gold. They are sweeter than honey dripping from a honeycomb. For they warn us away from harm and give success to those who obey them. But how can I ever know what sins are lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. And keep me from deliberate wrongs, help me to stop doing them. Only then can I be free of guilt and innocent of some great crime. May my spoken words and unspoken thoughts be pleasing even to you, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer! (19:7-14)
- Who may climb the mountain of the Lord and enter where he lives? Who may stand before the Lord? Only those with pure hands and hearts, who do not practice dishonesty and lying. They will receive God's own goodness as their blessing from him, planted in their lives by God himself, their Savior. (24:3-6)
- Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are his wisdom and knowledge and riches! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his methods! For who among us can know the mind of the Lord? (11:33-34)
- And, so dear brothers, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living sacrifice, holy---the kind he can accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how his ways will really satisfy you. (12:1-2)
- Don't just pretend that you love others, really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of good. Love each other with brotherly affection and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy in your work but serve the Lord enthusiastically.
- Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and prayerful always. When God's children are in need, you be the one to help them out. And get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner, or, if they need lodging, for the night.
- If someone mistreats you because you are a Christian, don't curse him; pray that God will bless him. When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share their sorrow. Work happily together. Don't try to act big. Don't try to get in the good graces of important people, but enjoy the company of ordinary folks. And don't think you know it all!
- Never pay back evil for evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honest clear through. Don't quarrel with anyone. Be at peace with everyone, just as much as possible. (12:9-18)
- Pay all your debts except the debt of love for others---never finish paying that! (13:8)
- ...love your neighbor as you love yourself. Love does no wrong to anyone. That's why it fully satisfies all of God's requirements. It is the only law you need. (13:10)
- You have no right to criticize your brother or look down on him. Remember, each of us will stand personally before the Judgement Seat of God. For it is written, "As I live," says the Lord, "every knee shall bow to me and every tongue confess to God." Yes, each of us will give an account of himself to God. (14:12-12)
- For, after all, the important thing for us as Christians is not what we eat or drink but stirring up goodness and peace and joy from the Holy Spirit. (14:7)
- It is a wonderful heritage to have an honest father. (20:7) (I agree with this whole heartedly. My Dad was a person of utmost integrity. His word was his honor, and lying nor deceit had any part in his life.)