Finding Jesus is easy, following Jesus is hard. Surely you do not grow in your comfort zone but when thrown out of it you either grow or die. I’ve worked with several people that were miserable in their job but so comfortable with the routine they have been stuck for years. Inertia is a mortal disaster. To succeed you must keep moving forward.
Godly training is good for all life to come. It’s rather simple in design but often times difficult to carry out. John 13:34-35 A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so must you love one another. By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another. I can only speak for myself but there are many people I know that are almost near impossible to love. They are so annoying or time demanding, or difficult that I often forget this simple commandment.
I’m trying to write this on the bus and it’s just not working. The kids are playing bingo and our new bus driver is horning people waiting till the last minute to get over in this traffic jam. The bus is egging her on to park the bus and kick butt. She’s quite the hoot and a good reminder of why the bus ride is one of my favorite parts of camp. I’ll leave you with the most profound statement from last night.
People do not abandon people they love. They abandon people they are using.
Mole Moral~ Love is hard, hate is harder. A week vacation is little to give up to show love to teenagers.
I wish I could remember how I heard about Salvation Mountain but I don’t have a clue. I told Emily not only were we taking the Southern route home from California but we were dipping down so I could see it.
I read up on it yesterday as we were suppose to visit it then, but yesterday’s flat tire made our plans change. Anyway the guy who created it accepted Jesus into his heart in 1967 while in Vermont. He decided he wanted to build a hot air balloon and worked on it for 14 years never getting it to fly. He then decided to stay one more week to make a monument and weeks turned into months and months into years. He started by taking things from the dump and then fill it with sand, cover it with cement and then painted it. A lot of the time he used too much sand and not enough cement. Therefore, after four years and fifty foot high, it came crashing to the ground. He however was not discouraged and started over with more smarts.
The second time he used adobe clay and straw. He would then paint it. The more coats of paint, the stronger it became. This also prevented erosion. After ten years the mountain had gained notoriety but the area was owned by the federal government. They had issues with a religious monument at the entrance to slab city so hired environmental specialists to run tests and declared it a toxic wasteland. The locals did not agree and donated money and he hired his own and there was zero toxic chemicals nor lead in paint. So the government left him alone.
He lived on the mountain until the age of 79 in his truck.
He lived a simple life with no electricity, running water, technology etc. He used all donated paints on the mountain using the ugly colors for the bottom coats and the pretty ones for the top coats. He went to be with the Lord in 2014 at the age of 82.
Mole Moral ~ The location may have been shaky but it was awesome. Look carefully and you can see me at the top behind the O in GOD. Emily’s idea!!
This was the last morning session and it was a good thing. Getting up at seven in the morning was killing this evening shift girl. Especially being up until midnight or a little later.
The foundation of every virtue is courage which is seriously missing in our culture. It takes a lot of courage to stand up for what is right, or the little guy, or anything out of the norm. How much easier is it to get with the flow and follow the leader than stand out. I guess this goes right along with being real. Often the right thing and the hard thing are the exact same thing. And if we are real honest, the easy thing is so much easier but often leads to not so great results.
Stuart said the way to obtain courage is to love someone deeply and to know you are loved deeply (by God). So the most powerful version of you, is you fully convinced of God’s love. That feeling loved by God has been huge for me! I have taken more risks and had more courage ever since I first experienced it seven years ago. So I am loved and I am braved sometimes. He finished by listing three incredible gifts.
1. We have existence.
2. We have opportunity
3. We are loved.
Mole moral~ I really have no idea about the three gifts so next year I better take better notes. Until then, may more courage and love surround us all.
Stuart started out session five with this statement “Social media, where fools go to feel important.” I found that so interesting and he wasn’t really ripping on social media necessarily. However, how many people define their self-worth by how many likes or comments they get? Although I may not define my self-worth, I am always interested in how many people see my stuff. This blog is a perfect example. It will tell me how many views I have had. Sometimes I remind myself that even if only one person looked at it, it might be just the person that needed to read my crazy stuff that day! The biggest issue with social media is that it allows you to filter your image by showing the best and hiding the rest. Everyone has that one person that they know that spends all of their time doing just that. They project the perfect image and yet most people can see right through it. I will be first to admit that when I am having chaos in my life (and I have had a lot recently) I become quiet. I don’t feel social media is the place to air all of that but I also have no problem putting up the silly side of myself. And as for pictures of me, I have no clue how to Photoshop or edit so what you see is the real (scary) deal!
It is almost impossible to be real if you are living with secrets. Everyone needs to have one person they can tell everything and anything to. I am fortunate to have a person like that in my life. It is also impossible to be real if you feel like you need to be fake to be loved. Say what? If you can’t be who you are but who others think you are supposed to be then it’s difficult to love yourself. It’s also real difficult to like yourself when you don’t think God loves you.
That statement really hit home and caused a flashback to my very first camp, eight camps ago. I never really thought a camp would be better than my first one, but this one blew it out of the water. Anyway, seven years ago for the first time ever I felt that God loved me. It’s hard to explain and most people think I’m crazy but up until that point, I knew in my head people loved me but I couldn’t feel it. Oh it is almost heaven like to be able to feel it. So when Stuart said that I got the goose bumps!
Then he went back to the secrets and he stated people who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. Confessing your sin (secrets) might cost something but concealing it might cost everything. He also reminded us failure is an event, not a character trait!
Mole moral~This session validated me and the fact that I really try to be real all the time. Sometimes my lack of filter can get me in trouble but I’m pretty much my real self all of the time. Watch out world!
Now that the distractions of surgery and the ER have passed and I am back home, I plan to finish up the sessions over the next few days. Session four was Wednesday morning and Stuart Hall was back. He and Jared Herd are tied for my all time favorite speakers. Jared has had a child or two now so I am not sure camp will see him again. However Stuart is older and his kids are almost grown.
Are you known for what you are against or what you are for? Most people are known for what they are against, drinking, drugs, abortion, democrats (just kidding) but not what they are for. Jesus was known for his love and that he came to teach love. This was new to the people of this time because of the religious craziness that was going on back then. They had over 600 crazy laws they attempted to follow to make them worthy in God’s eyes. Jesus came and said love one another as I have loved you. He did not say your ability to change people’s behavior will prove to the world that you are my disciples or that your ability to follow a ton of rules will prove to the world that you are mine. He said your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. Then he started talking about circumcision in a room full of teenagers. That was quite comical but his point was that Jesus made circumcision irrelevant because it was just another one of many rules that was now obsolete. Just like sacrificing a perfect animal for forgiveness of sin. The religious fruitcakes of the time asked what the most important commandment was and the answer was simple, love the lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind, and the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself.
He concluded with love is the most powerful force in the universe and the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. You have to be FOR someone to convince someone. (My notes are lacking here because I cannot remember what the point of that was.) So who will you be FOR? What will you be FOR? Will you be known for what you are against or what you are FOR?
Mole moral~I want to be known FOR helping others, being kind and showing love