Shipwrecked: Vacation Bible Camp

Shipwrecked?  When do we realize we are stranded?  Are we ever really all alone?

The wisdom to navigate life’s inevitable struggles contains the humility and kindness Jesus’ legacy provides in the New Testament.  The Old one is the Torah, and there the prophecies tell of the tales to unfold.  The New one continues to fill the minds and hearts of all who welcome the Holy Spirit’s presence.  It is through this form of hospitality that we arrive at being closer to being holy.  Can we really ever be?  We must strive to be holier as I found out even as I tripped over one of my Senior Tibetan Terriers…

Falling and aiming to break the fall without the ability to stop the second twist of the body that struck the unyielding tile floor, I remember the alarm of a new felt ache drawing and pulsing from hip to knee in a burst like the flame of a quickly struck match.  Not exactly surprised, I was shocked to feel a knife like stabbing in my neck when I instinctively turned to tell my family audience I was okay.

On a walk on Cougar Run with Dandelion and Tumbleweed…

Everyone extended a hand to lift me up, and I looked at the eight arms rather embarrassed by the ungraceful plump pose, and declared not to be touched.  That was wise, so  much better than to jump up without feeling the extent of the damaged body parts that now ached to be soothed.  Thanks be to God, nothing was broken.  Thanks be to God, I sat up slowly with the help of my oldest son’s pair of hands, and then stopped again to evaluate the situation.  The right side bruised without mercy let me know the only way up was to lean to the left…and since I was guided by the pain to know how to finally stand, I did so reassuring the group of stunned observers I was okay.  I looked for Tumbleweed, the sixteen year old mutt that still wished to be by my side, as close as possible to lick my foot, bless his doggy soul.

The point is I didn’t swear.  I thanked God.

The Saltzmans love the Lord… and today is a celebration of sorts…Vickie’s Dad pased on years ago…and on Mr. Bell’s tombstone his favorite verse:
“No eye has seen , no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him”
1Corinthians 2:9

At Camp Springs Baptists Church, Pastor Brother Kevin Windham and his wife Brenda lead us with the good book, our Bible; he preaches, and together they embrace the community of worshipers.  The two bring others two by two, it seems.

I know too well the stepping back from the idea of actually reading the Bible to study and obey.  That dividing curtain of resistance is the very wall that separates all hearts that yearn to be loved and comforted …but on their own terms…certainly not by walking in the discipline gifted us in the Ten Commandments.

We navigate through life with or without lighthouses.  Guideposts in parables are kept at bay while we struggle to finally anchor after each storm.  The deserts, and even the balmy times present in most of our lives, continue to meander with experiences…memories…and the stuff we talk about with friends and family.  The chatter we hear out loud or in our heads rolls like water through pebbles in a riverbed…

I don’t claim to know much more than anyone except that one fine day, the wife of my husband’s cousin, Kitty Bucur, sent me a Zondervan New Life Application Bible that captured my heart and mind and soul with a feast so delicately prepared, I tasted and returned for more, each time helping myself to nurture the parts of me still sore from other falls.

There are humans who suffered more.  Aches are personal like the cross each person bears as I was taught in my Orthodox upbringing.  When I remember the immature response of not wanting to be burdened by the seriousness of the teachings in church, compassion fills me first.  I dare to think it akin to the mercy God has on us.

People who reject delving into learning the lessons written in the Bible, are too young in spirit to appreciate the preciousness of humility.  That separation is what we know on this realm yet the Bible tells us that nothing can separate us from God.  We are so blessed to have a directory for the manual designed to light our path through the forests, oceans, and skies.  Our capability to travel in the bodies that house our spirits from the One mother ship, the Holy Spirit, can be fun, exciting, disappointing, and equally surprising…

Once given a morsel from the feast, the responsibility is taken like the torch carried by Olympians.  There is no going back.  We can stand or go forward.  The choice matters because the unfolding of events depend on the discernment made before the action taken.  It is known by our omniscient God, Creator of heaven and earth.  There is no escape from the truth.  No one can hide the facts.  When He intervenes, peace abides.

On the wall in Saltzman’s home…

FAITH appears in so many forms unscripted and copied for others to see, to learn, to savor.

Charles Lindberg’s gravestone in Hana, on Maui, Hawaii, shares an engraved reminder from

Psalm 139:9:

“…if I rise on the wings of the morning,

and dwell in the in the uttermost parts of the sea…”

And in the Bible, the psalmist David continues:

“…even there your hand will guide me,

your right hand will hold me fast.”  

I encourage you to read the whole psalm…often.

Today I am in Boot Camp and as I heal my butt from the fall, I am nudged to finish writing this blog because I care so sincerely for the glory of the good…

 

I dare say, all of us humans are in Boot Camp.  The work to be done is everywhere because help is wanted, so here I am.

I will treasure the Shipwrecked Vacation Bible Camp t-shirt and wear it often… as I age a little longer.  I cannot recite a verse that I heard or read; I know them in my heart.  I hear the music played and the words sung with love and honesty, and I thank God for His mercy on us, all of us, all over the world.  Camp Springs Baptist Church holds the community in prayer and honors a youth every Sunday.

I realize how blessed the forty-two children who attended the Vacation Bible Camp are as they will remember what was repeatedly advised “Jesus Rescues!”…  In a silent prayer, I asked the Lord to bless all who missed the one week journey for a few hours in the midst of a fellowship gathering in the quiet town of Hemphill, Texas.  With the adults present, there were sixty-five in the group of faithful, smiling souls…all ready to stand up for our Lord.  I hope faith grows because I cannot imagine hope without faith.

Who would have thought that in the downtrodden path far in the woods there could be an offer that glimmers of holy lights sparkling like crystals of rainbow hues from light to darkness?  God is awesome.  His greatness celebrates each life anew from the cradle to the mountain and beyond…  The offer of worship is in honor of God’s hospitality.

Being shipwrecked is the teaching moment.  Each of us can identify the times of knowing the shipwrecked.  Awareness is recognition without delay of shadow imaginings.  The being present in the presence of our Almighty God is the fulfillment of completeness.

Kahlil Gibran, a Lebanese philosopher, wrote The Prophet.  He inspires us to be the friend our friend is worthy of having and discusses love and vulnerability.  It is a masterful gift of words inviting the acceptance of LOVE even as it is to know the pain of too much tenderness…  Was there ever a greater tenderness than the sacrifice of the Son to reconcile each imperfect being to Him?   Can we humbly will to achieve holiness?  Once we know selflessness, we understanding the sacrifice.

We are free in this Boot Camp to straddle, to seesaw, to run, to jump, and walk in the way and of the light of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

LOVE is patient, is kind, and envies no one.

LOVE is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude, nor selfish, nor quick to take offense.

LOVE keeps no scores of wrongs, and does not gloat over sin, but delights in the truth.

There is nothing LOVE cannot face, there is no limit to its endurance.

There are three things that will last forever: faith, hope, and LOVE, and the greatest of these is

LOVE.”

1 Corinthians 13

 


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