Over the summer we attended Ryerson Christian Family Camp. It is one of my favourite places to be and we had an absolutely fabulous time. Ryerson Camp is right on lake Erie, near Turkey Point, the staff is fantastic, the family camp program is Christ centred and we love it. If you want to join us next year let me know I and I will get you all the details. All of their summer programs are great but I think I love family camp the most because I am always looking for things for us to do as a family that everyone loves. Sometimes this is a bit of challenge with both a teenager and a preschooler in the house. Family camp is favourite for everyone. This year we talked our friends, the Seppenwoolde family to come with us. We each had a cabin but they were joined in the middle and our kids loved going over to see if they were up in the morning. I am not sure how much Bev, Will and Jenni loved it but I have a sneaking suspicion that they liked it too as there was a lot of giggling going on on. There are many activities during the week like canoeing, low ropes course, swimming, golfing, worship, campfire, bible teaching, and of course sponge wars. As part of the family camp program we were given a memory verse in which the program for the week was based on. The kids got to learn actions for each word to help them remember and even TJ can now recite it. The scripture for the week was Romans 12:1-2.
"Therefore, I urge you brothers in view of God's mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to God. This is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good pleasing and perfect will."
Yeah, I did that from memory so I if I made any mistakes you will have to let me know. I have been thinking a lot about these verses as we spent the week pulling them apart and since then I have been looking at it for some personal application. The line that has stuck with me most is "do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world". I have started thinking about what patterns of this world do I personally conform to? I have been challenged to really think about how do I look different because I love to spend time with Jesus everyday? How is that playing out as I live my life in both the little and the big things. This thirty day experiment is part of the process of helping me figure that out.
Another part is what I am calling my "Fingerprints of God" book. What I have discovered about myself is that I struggle with being overwhelmed with the darkness of this world. When I look around I see so much need, sickness, poverty, so many broken relationships, greed, selfishness and loss. I become discouraged. I forget the ways in which God has intervened in my life and wants to intervene for others. This soul that has been healed by a saviours love and sacrifice still needs reminders that the battle is won and that I know the ending of God's story and it is good. That God's beauty is pushing back and breaking through into our messy, mucky world every day and I need to take notice. So I started writing in a little book five things everyday in which I was reminded of God. Something that reminded me of His character, His love, His forgiveness, His hope, His story. Something that had His fingerprints all over it. I have to admit I had trouble at first coming up with five things. But as the days have pressed on I am now having trouble keeping it to five. In upcoming posts I will begin to share some more of the things I see but for now I will share this. I was reading some different blogs and I was directed to Kindness Girl.
Kindness Girl is a mom and she loves to think of different things that she and her kids can do to brighten their community. Things they can do as they are going about their day. These things don't cost a lot but in them I saw God's fingerprints and it made me smile. She is doing one for the first day of school for kids in her neighbourhood. I actually think she home schools but she and her kids know what it is like to be nervous on the first day and to be walking toward the school. I wish I could see the faces of the kids in her neighbourhood. I want to see the faces of the kids in my neighbourhood. We can all do it. If you can't do this one do something else, start today. It won't cost a lot. Have a peek at her blog post and see what she did. I think I will start today. People walk by my house all the time and I know we have sidewalk chalk in the garage.....oh I can't wait to get the kids up!