A lot of people love to go camping! It is true of many in our church but in the summer months it is a “national pastime” for many. Just a side note—in years of teaching a class about the family I would ask what was the best thing that the students had done as a family and invariably it had something to do with camping. This was usually from students who had strong family relationships. Of course, there are many forms of camping. For Vickie, camping looked like Holiday Inn or something like that!
There is another kind of camp that has an impact on lives–Christian camp, like where our teens are this week at the WILDS. Vickie and I got to go see our teens there this week. We enjoyed our visit and overnight stay so much. We got to sit in on a service and heard a challenging message. We got to see the teens in their games and competitions. We got to eat cookies with the teens in the coffee shop. We got to eat a couple of meals there. We even played miniature golf!
It has been a long time since I was the teen at a camp. But I did get to go a couple of times as a teen. So, did it make a difference in my life? I do remember the camp. It was Piney Woods Camp in East Texas. I do not remember the camp speaker. I do not remember the messages that he preached.
And there is something else I remember. I remember that there was a night that week that I surrendered my life to the Lord for full time service. I was 13 years old. And this summer marks 47 years ago that I was challenged and made that decision.
I am sure that I did not know what it all meant. I could have no idea of the implications. I only knew that I wanted to serve the Lord somehow in the ministry. And I have been in some kind of full time vocational ministry since I was 17 years old. The only other job I ever had was to work at Radio Shack for about 2 weeks one summer. And I worked for my Dad.
Of course, it is the grace of God and no merit of my own to be able to serve the Lord. I thank God for the privilege.
But I want to make a point. Young people can make decisions for Christ that last a lifetime!
So please pray for our teens when they are at camp, on missions trips, going to youth activities and all the other venues in which their lives are being touched with Biblical truth. Pray for the parents of teens and children. It is a great challenge to be a parent today with so many things pulling at or against their teens. Take your church directory and pray for each of the children and teens that you see. I don’t have to encourage you to pray for your own children and close relatives but I want to encourage you to keep it up.
Vickie has reminded me many times that it is better to pray and fast for our children before they make wrong decision because most assuredly we would after.
So pray for them NOW! And don’t stop. Remember, God is at work in unseen ways. And they can make good, godly permanent decisions in serving and following the Lord during these years.
Thanks to all those who work with our teens.
And thanks to my youth pastor, Marlin Lance who endured much from me as a teen. Thanks to the two pastors that I sat under as I grew up—Howard Shelton and Jack Bridges. And thanks to a preacher who I do not remember that challenged me to surrender my life to Christ in full time service. And thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift!
Please pray for all our teens both home and abroad this week. And would you take a few minutes between now and Sunday to pray for our church services and for me as well. I look forward to worshipping the Lord together with you on Sunday.
Sunday School | 9:45 a.m.
Worship | 10:45 a.m.
Prayer Meeting | 7:00 p.m.
AWANA | 6:45 p.m.
Have you ever taken time to reflect on deeper questions such as "Where did I come from?" or "What happens when I die?"
God has answers to these questions and more. Visit SomewhereForever.org or call, email or visit us to understand what God has to say about the meaning of life.