Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sacred Discontentment

There is this concept I've been learning about over this past year about churches and church-goers called "sacred discontentment". As citizens living in a society of consumerism and finding what pleases us most, we have sadly turned church into an act of consumerism. As Americans, we literally will "shop" for that church that has everything we've ever dreamed of having in a church.
A feel-good message
Rocking children's and youth programs
Pews or chairs (depending on your style)
Hymns or contemporary songs
Friendly, outgoing people

But there is a flaw to this thinking. God - our perfect, wonderful Creator - created church. But He is using imperfect people to run His church. Yet, we as imperfect people expect perfection in a church. See the problem here?

This has made the concept of church not about outreach, but about swapping people who already know Christ, and entitlement. There is a major flaw here.

A Feel- Good message won't always make you happy. Especially if it is calling out a flaw we have as humans. We may leave convicted and challenged instead.

We are to be a Christian body that comes to church to learn, but also to learn and GO do work.

“...We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up." - I Corinthians 8: 1b

Don't let our mindset of entitlement and consumerism feed into this sick view of church. It is not how God intended it, and it isn't how we are to gain a mentality of going out and creating disciples.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I've had heavy yearnings lately for the Bible camp I used to work at. Summer is obviously surrounding me from all angles, and that makes me long more for those blessed years I had working in a Christ-centered community for a Christ-centered purpose. I know I have opportunities all around me to do that where I am now, but the atmosphere will never have that same feeling.
I miss the seclusion of being on summer staff in a "bubble" we would call it. 
That atmosphere was certainly a wonderful example of Christ's many parts working as one body. The support was always right next door and when something exciting happened, everyone in your "bubble" would share in that excitement. Same goes for those grieving times and hard times. My closest friends where those I made while working at PLCBC. Many of us have been married and in each others weddings, we still will make it a point to see each other if we're in town, and reminisce crazy times at camp - like the crazy flu that plowed through camp one year, and the memorable days  of camp life. 

Working with the kids and families that came in and out week after week was a whole other blessing within itself. Sitting and talking to families and kids during their time with you is such a priceless opportunity that I probably took for granted more than I know. I gained so much insight and advice on life from mothers, father, grandmothers and grandfathers. And when I was able to encourage a kid in my cabin, that showed me just how capable of God's work I am.

I can't express enough how much I grew while in staff a Portage Lake. I never would have pictured myself opening up as much as I have. I never pictured myself being an adult leader and example. But God has surely done amazing things in my life since my time there. I have now entered this new, amazing chapter in my life, however. I guess that means the next step is to be a family camper. =)

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Friday, July 6, 2012

Psalm 139:14 Collage

This is a GREAT activity to do with teenage girls! I used to unify my cabins of girls together as a camp counselor with this activity.

 (Example of my simple collage - you can definitely do more!)

All you need is:
Colored letter-sized paper
Glue stick
Magazines (appropriate)

Have girls chose whatever color paper they want. Have them write in the middle of their sheet (leaving room around the edges for cut-outs)

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful; I know that full well." - Psalm 139: 14 (NLT)

From there, give your girls time to look through and cut out things they like, or that help explain who they are. Have them glue their cut-outs around the verse they wrote on their sheets.
I had each girl hang up their collage by their bunks and told them it was a reminder that God created us all differently and beautifully. This is a great activity to remind us about acceptance of each others' differences.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Music Review: Lecrae


Ok, so I must say that I have probably reviewed Lecrae's music in tons of different places, for tons of different audiences.
Over time, Lecrae has become one of my favorite artists. When you hear Lecrae, you don't hear beat-around-the-bush, cheesy Christian music. Lecrae is upfront, real and blunt in telling it like it is. Quoting scripture and real-life issues in ways that don't offend and don't use profane language is one of the best qualities of Lecrae's music.

I love hip hop/rap music, however, I HATE profane hip hop/rap music. I find Lecrae to be the best alternative to all the other crap out there tainting our society. You won't hear any F-bombing, woman-bashing, abusive lyrics here! Instead, you'll treat your ear and soul to positive, inspirational words that gives you a care-free feeling of being a Christ-follower, but a deep conviction for doing something about it.

Parents: This one is a winner. Though you may not always be able to tell exactly what the lyrics say, I can guarantee you that Lecrae doesn't create any worries about it. Check out lyrics to specific songs by searching the web for any lyric database.

Here are some from one of my favorites from Lecrae's song, "Chase That (Ambition)":

"But history repeats itself, evil's what it is.
Cuz Lucifer was cast away for doing what I did.
Created by the God who spoke the earth into existence,
Instead of chasing the Father's glory, he was chasin' his.

He lies to us all, told Adam he could ball.
"Why you followin' God when you could go get it all?"
I'll tell you what's better, or better yet worse.
Chasin' your own glory by doin' the Lord's work.

So holla if it hurts, but we were made for greater.
Our greatest satisfaction is making His name famous.
So if we're never named among the greatest,
They don't critically acclaim us,
Ain't nothin' to be ashamed of, we gave it up for the Savior."

This is a great alternative to all the crap our society has to offer. Avoid the Eminem and Kayne. Give Lecrae a try. It's all about your mindset, and Lecrae puts it into perspective for you.

Get a taste: Click here to listen to "Chase That (Ambition)"

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