Monday, September 24, 2007

The WILDS

TJ and I visited the Wilds Christian Camp in Brevard, NC this weekend with some very good friends. Words cannot describe the sense of renewal and refreshment we left with on Saturday evening. It was evident that the Lord used various situations this past week to prepare us for this weekend, and coupled with the preaching we received, we left better prepared to lead lives pleasing to Christ.

Pastor Dan Brooks of Heritage Bible Church in Greer, SC preached several messages on love from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. I have read, been preached to, and even taught this passage several times prior to this trip. However, Pastor Brooks applied this message in a different, more appropriate way, and both TJ and I were convicted of sinning against each other in various ways within our marriage. Basically, Pastor Brooks preached the concept of living the gospel each day, not just the day of salvation. Now, if you are not saved, this won’t make much sense to you. However, if you are saved, it’s basically turning to the One who loved first: God.

It was because of God’s love for us that we are saved and find mercy and forgiveness at the Cross. When we are tempted to be bitter, irritated, etc. with others because we feel we have been wronged, we are to remember how God loved us. God is patient, God is kind. God does not boast. God does not rejoice in iniquity but rather rejoices in truth. God never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). By replacing the word ‘love’ with God in the above verses, we get a better picture of what the Lord requires us to do. Remember how broken you were when you got saved. You admitted your wrongdoing and accepted the forgiveness Jesus had to offer. God requires us to have that same repentant heart daily, and to extend it to others as He has extended it to us.

We also had plenty of time to reflect on God and His goodness. This time alone with the Lord allowed for us to make some decisions in our lives. One major decision I made over the weekend was to have more children now. I had always planned to have more but wanted to wait until I was finished with school. I have 1 more year to go (only 8 classes!) but the Lord has really been convicting me to have more in His time, not mine. Some verses used to convict me are Psalm 127:3-5. These verses compare children to arrows, and blessed (happy) is the man whose quiver is full of arrows. I haven't shared that with anyone, as most people in my family think I am crazy to want 4 or more children. We'll see what happens. Now that I've agreed, I may not be able to get pregnant again or it won't happen for a while. I don't really care; it's more of a heart matter between me and the Lord. The important thing is that I am willing to submit to God's control over my life instead of me trying to control it. I can't really describe it- I hope it makes sense.

Along with the preaching, we had plenty of free time to enjoy ourselves. Probably the most exciting time for me was the Giant Swing (see the pictures). It is 75 feet in the air, and is AWESOME! We also went on a hike, rode the “land trolley” and enjoyed coffee equivalent to that of Starbucks. The food was wonderful and the time spent with friends even better. TJ has promised me a return trip in February for a Valentine’s Day retreat; I can’t wait!