Friday, September 3, 2010

Lakeview 2010- Day 5

Our final day in Lakeview! So sad, no matter how excited we were to get to San Francisco. I don't think there was a single one of us that really wanted to leave. VBS was wonderful, and meeting the kids parents and families at the hot dog lunch was really special. If we are blessed to go again next year, a lot of these kids will have grown so much we won't recognize them! Father, grow them like crazy and keep them close to You all the days of their lives. Our Bible Point the last day was "God's Word is for EVERYONE" and that couldn't be more true. Psalm 119:90 says "Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth You created." As we helped the children memorize that verse, I am praying that our teens hid it in their hearts as well. May their lives always reflect the faithfulness of God.

We survived! We conquered! And we were rewarded! San Francisco, here we come!

Such a beautiful drive through the Vineyards in Napa Valley. It truly was breathtaking. We were able to visit with a dear family in Christ who let all 17 of us stay at their house. We played some more mafia, laughed until our sides hurt, and got to spend a day traipsing around San Fran, eating food, seeing sites, and even took a boat ride and tour of Alcatraz. We did lose one kid, but we got her back, so it's all good! (It truly was one of the most terrifying moments of my life- long story- but God was good and protected her, and someday I will be able to forgive myself and look her mother in the eye again. Thank God it was only for a few minutes, or else I might have gone ahead of you to live with Jesus- death by panic attack!)

Never making a mistake would be so nice, but not even close to realistic. The best thing about this trip was being able to be real with one another. Nerves got frayed, frustrations flared, but not once did we forget to be gracious to one another. Not once did we take for granted the opportunity to love someone else. It was awesome. Too often I think that living like the Heroes of Faith- Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah, Rahab, Mary, even Paul- is totally unattainable. That somehow, they had the hookup and could do it "right" because God gave them an extra dose of "spirituality". Or maybe they just were less of a sinner than I am. But God reminded me that "special super powers" wasn't the key. We all want to come to God perfect- all fixed up and never sinning, so that He will hear and answer our prayers. But at the end of James 5 we are told to pray with passion- and BELIEF, just the way we are. To confess our junk and believe that God would do great things, and expect it because it is all for His glory. I know that with my head, but when it comes to praying that way sometimes I chicken out. If I am honest, I know I don't really think God will answer my prayers because I am too "bad".
Here is the awesome thing that James 5 told us: "Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops." James 5:17-18
Read that again! Elijah, prophet of God and the BOMB DIGGITY as far as Heroes of Faith- and God calls him "a man just like us"! I so pray that gives you hope tonight! No matter what, God loves you and wants to answer your prayers! It might not look the way you expect it too, but I can guarantee you, His gifts are not ever going to be something you want to return! A long week of sleeping on a couch surrounded by teenagers, a strange small town in the middle of nowhere, Cup of Noodle lunches and sleep deprivation sounds like a bummer. But when I think of all God did in Lakeview in our hearts and through our labors- I KNOW He was answering prayers and blessing me like crazy. I so hope you let Him do that for you too. I love you. God bless you!

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