Full weeks and a stretched soul

Much has happened since my last entry.  The continued family vacation was followed up by a scrambling week of preparations for the summer camp we took our teens to and last week I was at the beautiful Forest Home for a spectacular week-long summer camp where 21 of our teens joined hundreds of others.

Here’s a video of the High School camp:

The experience was a great one for our students.  For many of them it was the first time they have really connected with God in a personal way.  For a couple of the guys in my high school group this summer they decided to follow Jesus, which is a total 180 from the life they’d been living.

I felt challenged by the God this past week at camp too.  Sure there was the mondo face flop (it was supposed to be a belly-flop for our team), cheering like crazy for our team in competitions, and dancing…alot (side note: if you don’t know me– I can’t dance, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.  Now our group has even named one of the terrible moves I do “The Micah”.  Someone would say “let’s do the Micah” and they’d do this terrible dance involving pointing both arms up with index fingers extended.  “The Micah” is not very smooth.

Besides all that, the theme for the camp has continued to challenge me.  We discussed being salt and light in our culture.  It’s something Jesus told his disciples they were. I’m struggling with this because I feel like I’m at a potential crossroads in my life where following Jesus may take a different and more authentic reality in my life.

The big idea is that while our relationship with Jesus is extremely personal, it is not individual.  If I am truly following Jesus then I have to go where He goes, and this means more than an inward journey to self-enlightenment.  Journeying with Jesus means that I embrace the concept that I am salt, that I am purposed to preserve the world around me.  I am invited to be the love and life of Jesus in the world around me, and following Jesus in this way affects everything.

Suddenly every decision is an opportunity to be salt and light…every day and choice matters. What I eat, say, and wear. Every person I meet, dollar I spend, conversation I share, movie I watch, candidate I vote for, and graphic I design is an opportunity to worship God.

It also reminds me that Jesus seemed to love certain types of people in a special way.  Children, the poor, the outcasts, sinners, widows, and sick seemed to have a special place in God’s heart.  What do we do for them?  How does our decision to follow Jesus change how we respond to these people?  And at a personal level, Bethany and I have been talking about adopting lately.  We both feel like God has opened up our hearts to want to open our lives up next to a son or daughter that has no mom and dad, and be that mom and dad.

I think adoption is close to God’s heart. He talks about taking care of orphans.  What’s more, every Christian is adopted by God himself.  The actual process of adopting a child seems huge, expensive, and frightening right.  Having said that, it seems that our hearts are both set that this is a place that Jesus is walking us to, and we are both eager to follow Him closely.

I have so much more to say, but this is probably more than enough for now & It’s raining outside, which is quite beautiful, so I think I will just lay back and enjoy it now.

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