Monthly Archives: August 2016

SUMMER CAMP 2016 RECAP FOR ADULTS (PART 4)

Note: This is the fourth in a five part series on devotionals for adults from CentriKid camps. See part one for more information.

 

STATION 4:  Peace Through encountering God’s presence

One of the biggest detractors from peace in our lives is fear. Every one of us has some sort of fear or worry that creeps in our life each day. It might distract us from our work; it might keep us up at night. You may have fear related to your kids. You may have fear related to your health or your well-being. You may have fear that you will never accomplish your dreams. Whatever the cause or whatever the situation, fear has the power to take away our peace, our happiness, and our hope.

Fear might cause us to have a negative and false view of ourselves, especially when we compare ourselves to the “perfect people” around us.  Ultimately, fear causes us to lose sight of the overwhelming, perfect, and constant presence of God at work in our lives.

Read the following passages:

Psalm 23:1-6, Isaiah 30:18-21, Deuteronomy 31:6, Isaiah 41:10

In Scripture, Jesus directly says 21 times to “not be afraid” or “fear not” or “have courage” or “take heart.” God knows the concerns of your heart and He is battling them on your behalf.

Below is an eye chart. Can you read all of the letters on the chart?

 

Eye-chart

 

Now, read the list of worries below. Count how many of the following are known to worry you:

 

  • Safety of Kids
  • Not reaching my goals
  • Being appreciated
  • The future
  • Job security
  • Acceptance
  • Not making a difference
  • Making the right decision
  • Exhaustion
  • Money
  • The future

 

Try looking at the eye chart again, but this time, take a step back for each worry you had. Did the poster look as clear as it did when you were up close?

 

Each of these worries represents a fear that we all may have at some point in our lives. This eye exam is a reflection of our lives.

The point in this eye exam is more of a test of faith than a test of our eyes. When we look at life through the lenses of fear, our view becomes distorted and not filled with peace.  You must constantly strive to view life through God’s spiritual, corrective lenses so you can see clearly and realistically.  You have the freedom to choose not to focus on your fears, but to focus on God. The steadfast peace of God’s presence is stronger than any fears or challenges that are holding you back.

Read Psalm 121 this week as you continue to focus on the peace of God’s presence casting out your daily fears.

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SUMMER CAMP 2016 RECAP FOR ADULTS (PART 3)

Note: This is the third in a five part series on devotionals for adults from CentriKid camps. See part one for more information.

 

STATION 3: Peace Through Trusting God’s Purpose

Grab a sheet of paper and write out some of the labels of responsibility you have in life. (Ex. kids minister, mom, boss, pastor, brother, child of God, etc.)

 

Looking at each of the titles that you carry on a daily basis, do you consider yourself to have peace about where you are in life?

Think back to a few years ago. Were any of these titles part of your goals and dreams?

Many books, sermons, and discussions have taken place around “finding the purpose for your life” and finding “God’s calling for your life.” While these are meant to be motivational, we often end up stressed about our current circumstances and our future callings. Our God promises us that He will never leave or forsake us. He can provide peace about the purpose for your life.

Read the following passages:

Proverbs 16:9, Psalm 32:8, Isaiah 26:3, Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 85:8

Some of you are here right now questioning about whether or not you are where you are supposed to be. It is not a bad thing to question where God has you right now, but you must ultimately trust His plan above all else. If you want to have absolutely peace about your life’s calling, you must first have absolutely trust in God’s purpose.

Take some time to pray about where God is leading you in your current situation in life, both personally and professionally or maybe even at school. He may be calling you to make a change, or He could be calling you to stay right where you are. He alone can reveal His purpose and provide the peace to make a decision.

After you pray, write down a few thoughts or phrases related to your goals and where you feel that God is leading you right now on the sheet of paper you used earlier. Now the challenge is to cut a hole big enough in the paper to fit yourself through.

Is there any way? This is like our life when we try to force things or plans that are not aligned with God’s purpose. They just don’t fit!

Now, try cutting the paper like this. We must trust God to mold us and change us so that our thoughts and goals match with His. When we are trusting God’s purpose, we can have the peace that we will always be right where God wants us to be.

SUMMER CAMP 2016 RECAP FOR ADULTS (PART 2)

Note: This is the second in a five part series on devotionals for adults from CentriKid camps. See part one for more information.

STATION 2:  Peace Through God’s Word

Where do you find “the truth?” Do you find truth in what your peers say about you, with what you read on social media, or possibly even your own thoughts? Each day, we are faced with hundreds of statements and beliefs all claiming to be the truth.

With so many different distractors clawing for your attention, the truth could be difficult to discern. As a follower of Christ and child of God, you must always seek to find peace in the unchanging Word of God.  It is vital that we set apart time to read, meditate on, and internalize God’s Word to learn more about what He wants to teach us in order to find the truth each day.

Read the following passages:

Psalm 119:105, Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4, Hebrews 4:12, Psalm 119:162

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Let us imagine that the pictures of soil above are symbols of a life full of the Word of God, and a life absent of the truth of God’s Word.  Some pictures show us what it is like our lives when we set our focus in finding truth in infallible Word of God. The pictures with dry sand is like our lives when we allow the things of this world to fill our lives with stress, filth, and lies.

James 1:21 says, “Therefore, ridding yourselves of all moral filth and evil, humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save you.”

Imagine a seed. Ask yourself in which soil you desire to have your life rooted. Do you want your life to be planted in the enriching life-giving soil of being rooted in God’s Word, or in dry, barren soil absent of the ultimate truth of God?  Which picture represents where you’re at and where you want to be?

Pray and ask God to give you the desire and opportunity to daily read His Word, meditate on His Word, and internalize His Word.

Summer Camp 2016 Recap for Adults (Part 1)

A couple of weeks ago, our kids attended CentriKid summer camp, and it was a blast! You can see pictures and a recap of what we did in my previous blog post. Each day, we discovered more about the unseen power of the armor of God and learned how we can be bold with our visible faith.

Like last year, I wanted to share with you some of what we covered in our adult gatherings. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting parts of devotionals from those adult gatherings we had at camp. This way, you can experience just a taste of the great Bible content CentriKid has to offer for adult believers. (Note: If you want to experience the craziness of camp, including OMC, let me know and we’ll sign you up as a chaperone for next year!)

 

STATION 1:  Peace Through Jesus

Begin by reading Romans 5:8-11.

In this passage, we see that by nature, we have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Our sin has separated us from having a relationship with God, but because of His great love for us, he proved that he loved us by sending His Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross while we were still sinners. A relationship with Jesus Christ brings ultimate spiritual peace between our sinful nature and the perfect Heavenly Father. All other peace is secondary to the ultimate peace through Jesus.

Grab a sheet of paper, or open up a blank word document on your computer. Spend some time in reflection of your life by writing down as much as you can about the topics in each section.

1) What was your life like before Jesus? Where was your focus?

2) What do you remember about becoming a Christian? Do you remember how you felt?

Go ahead and answer those questions before continuing.

 

 

Ephesians 2:14a says, “For He is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility.”

More than likely, you have experienced tension and hostility related to your spiritual life.  Despite our shortcomings and sin, God never stopped loving us. In fact, He desires to be with us and provided peace through His son Jesus. We must continually focus on the peace that Jesus Christ has brought between our sin and the love of God.

In the story of the woman and the well, Jesus tells the woman that he is the living water.

John 4: 25-26 says, “The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (who is called Christ). When He comes, He will explain everything to us. “ I am He,” Jesus told her, “the One speaking to you.”

Like the woman at the well, we often spend our life looking to the future hoping that Jesus will one day fix thing. However, Jesus has already provided ultimate peace for us through his sacrifice, and He is pursuing you right now. You don’t have to be “ready” or “spiritually mature” to experience the peace of Jesus, you just must choose to follow Him freely. Because of the saving grace of Jesus, we are not called to remain stagnant in our faith, but to rest in the peace of having a relationship with Jesus. Because of this peace, we should intentionally set our sights on a life glorifying Him each day.

With the peace of your relationship with Jesus in mind, spend some time in prayer asking God where He is directing your future. Is He leading you to step up in your faith? Is He simply asking you to focus more of your time and energy on Him?

Go ahead and spend time in prayer now.

 

After you pray, add one more question to answer to your paper or word document:

3) How would you describe your life today? Is it calm, busy, or some other descriptor? Is that a reflection of the current status of your relationship with God?

Write down your thoughts now.

 

Finally, we’ll end this part with this…Where do you sense God is leading your relationship with Him? The question is not whether or not God wants to be with you. Instead, the question is, do you want to be in the ultimate peace of Jesus’s love?

CentriKid Camp 2016

We’re back from camp! This summer, we studied the passage of Ephesians 6:10-20 and learned how the armor of God is powerful and real, although it is unseen. Using the idea of airplanes, we learned that God is with us during life’s turbulent times.

The theme of the week was called Unseen. Each day at Timber Creek, we focused on an aspect of the armor of God. The beginning of our week was designed to help campers discover and understand elements of our faith that are unseen. Mid-week we made a shift to discussing how to make our faith visible with boldness as the things of God are not meant to remain unseen.

Here’s a look at what we did:

Day 1: Unseen Strength: Campers learned that we have sinned and it is that sin in our lives that makes us weak. However, we can be made strong through Christ and the power that He gives to each of His followers.

Day 2: Unseen Truth: We know that we are strong in the Lord because of the Truth that he has shown us through His word. By looking at Jesus in the wilderness, we were able to see the power in the Gospel truth.

Day 3: Unseen Peace: As a follower of Christ, we must have Peace to know that God is always in control. Campers learned the story of Paul in jail and how even in that time he was able to share the Gospel with his jailer.

Day 4: Visible Faith: When we trust God, we obey Him with Faith. Faith is the connection between our truth and our actions. When our lives are rooted in Christ, we are able to produce strong faith.

Day 5: Visible Boldness: When the Gospel of Christ is a part of our lives, we are able to carry it with boldness to our family, friends, and anyone who we meet. We looked at how some of the disciples carried the good news of Jesus to people and the power that the message had on those people.

Thank you all who helped us get to camp, both financially and through prayers. We had a great time as you will see here!

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