Sunday, July 09, 2017

A Beautiful Sunday Morning in the Ozarks

It looks like another hot, sunny day in the Ozarks -- perfect for a morning motorcycle ride to church!
I'll be back at First Baptist Chadwick this morning.

This morning I'll be sharing from the story of the minor prophet Jonah.
Jonah's story comes to mind since we (or at least I) often need to be reminded to get out of God's way and let God be God. Whether we get judgmental about ow we think God should treat others or we decide that we can handle situations just fine on our own, we (again I) tend to take credit for the work done through us or make excuses for not doing the work the way we are directed to do it.

In spite of some interesting set backs this past week, it turned out to be a pretty good week. I'm (slowly) learning to trust myself less and rely on God more when things happen that could be perceived as major setbacks.
On my way to Grand Oaks camp this past week, I lost my pack off the back of my motorcycle. I didn't realize it until I was almost to my destination. I backtracked to the last place I knew I had it (gas stop 75 miles back on the highway) and began to look in the ditches for my stuff. The only thing I found were the table stands for my magic stuff -- no backpack, no magic case, no bedroll.


And I was still booked to do a magic show in a few hours, a hundred miles away from where I was!
I made a stop at a nearby Walmart and picked up a few things -- soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, some clothes. ... and some items with which I could put together a magic show!

The show was simple and only used everyday props that you can buy at your local supermarket -- ropes, cards, rubber bands, paper clips, napkins, etc.
The message was also simple (it always is) -- God loves you. Jesus died for you.

There is a part of me that really hates going to kids' camps. This night was to be the last night of camp. In the morning, the kids would be leaving for their homes. If this camp was typical of most camps (and I'm sure it was), there were many kids that were going back to some pretty crappy situations. For far too many kids, camp is much more than a week of fun -- it is an escape from life.
Sometimes, the week that we get them for camp or the one or two hours they spend in our churches each week are the only times they feel like somebody loves them.

Losing my stuff would be a poor excuse to miss an opportunity to share God's love with a group of young people. In the end, the method is far less important than the message. And the messenger is just that -- a simple servant with a message from the King.

The response was pretty good. There were lots of kids that spoke with cabin counselors after the evening program and I received some positive feedback from the camp directors and other adults.
It's pretty humbling to have to substitute your professional props with simple stuff and incredibly amazing to watch God work with simple tools and simple people.  We can get pretty full of ourselves and think that we are doing so well at what we do that we forget about the great God we serve.

As often as you can, share the simple message:
God loves you.
Jesus died for you.

John <><


Mike said...

Time for that trailer.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

You made a great save despite a big setback, john! I think it's nice to do shows for those children.