Friday, July 17, 2009

In the God Zone

I missed my Dad last night. He went to heaven about 5 years ago. Last night was our denominational assembly on the district level (aptly named District Assembly), a gathering of all the area churches which takes place once a year. The evening services are always rich with good music and one of the leaders of our church speaks.

Last night was the ordination service where they give ministerial credentials to men and women giving their life in service to the church. It is a sacred time and always a teary-eyed time for me. They have a choir made up of ministers, and to look at those men and women, knowing the sacrifices they made to get there, the sacrifices they make on a daily basis to be the spiritual leaders wherever God has placed them touches my heart like nothing else.

I missed my Dad because he was a minister. He would have been among those on the platform last night.

Watching him, I was able to see first-hand what it means to give your life to the church. Sometimes it brings unexplainable joy, sometimes it brings earth-shattering pain, but no matter on which end of the spectrum he was...I always saw a satisfied soul, in the "God Zone", doing what he was called to do.

That's what we all should strive for. To be in the God Zone. That place where we are fully-surrendered to God's plan for our life. That's the place of total contentment, abandoning self to live life in the middle of God's purpose for us.

No other place will do.

No other plan will fit.

No other god gives us complete peace.

The cool thing about it...God gives each of us something different, a unique fit for our skill sets and abilities.

We ask? He show us.

We seek? He whispers His direction.

We follow? He leads us there.

To the God Zone.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Camp Report

I got through the camp speaker thing. It was such a fun experience, and a great stretching exercise for me. There was this one precious moment by myself, in my very nice room at the campground, where the Holy Spirit really spoke to me about what I was to speak about the next day. It was a different direction than what I had prepared for, but I really felt the presence of the Lord and the words poured out of me as I was writing.

I have been focused on prayer in my own ministry for the past few months. I wanted so badly to incorporate prayer into camp, and as I was preparing, I just hadn't felt any real direction other than speaking the whole week about Daniel, and his experiences with prayer.

But I told the kids on Thursday morning that I wanted them to spend some time listening to God. I went into a little detail about the different ways we have used prayer in children's worship and at the end of the service asked them to go out of the chapel and by faith, listen to hear the voice of God, come back into the chapel sometime during the day and write down what they had heard.

The responses were a little overwhelming for me. I was expecting a few of the kids to really get it, and most of those to be girls...but in the next 30-45 minutes, both girls and boys poured back in the door and came to the altar where paper and pens were ready for their responses.

Here are a FEW of them:
...I love MY Jesus My Savior. He gave me a new perspective on life AND he told me sometimes we have to let things go and move on.
...Have trust in your faith towards me. Be faithful towards me. I always know your name and I'll never let you go.
...Go share his message.
...Believe in me & love me.
...I know. (that one got to me!)
...I am always here for you, and I will help you be strong.
...He said, "I love you, I have plans for you, just do whatyou know is right."
...He said he loves me and I shouldn't leave anyone out.
...He said to never stop being myself.

So needless to say, the Lord really met these kids at camp. These 2 boys came up to me, and said, "Ms. Mary, we know you told us to pray by ourselves, but me and my friend here were finished praying, and we came around a corner, and there were these other 2 boys standing by a truck, and we just stopped right there and all joined hands and said a prayer together." WOW! Boys! Praying together!

I'm so excited about how the Lord worked, and I totally and completely give God the glory. I am such a weak vessel, and it is not me and nothing I did on my own!