Archive for January, 2011

SnoCamp 2011

Posted: January 20, 2011 in Ministry
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SnoCamp 20011 picture by Angel Crabtree

This past weekend was SnoCamp weekend! SnoCamp is our yearly high school youth retreat. I love this retreat. It’s a great way to bring students back into the fold, as well as build stronger relationships with the ones who attend group all year round. We even get new students at SnoCamp. But that’s just its numerical value.

The best part about Snocamp is watching these teenagers connect with God. We are blessed to have a very diverse group. We have students from all walks of life. Some come from very strong, supportive families, others from broken homes. Some are home-schooled, others in public school, some attend private Christian schools, and others go to career centers. We have jocks, preppies, skaters, and loners. The amazing thing, though, is that somehow everyone seems to love in spite of their differences. It’s amazing to see students help each other, listen to each other and respect different opinions. In a world so quick to argue and one-up everyone else, watching teenagers act with respect and caring is truly amazing.

The weekend is our flagship spiritual retreat, but with six lessons over three days, it’s hard to believe that the students will remember everything they’re taught. What they do remember is the relationships. Their relationships with each other, with the leaders and most importantly, with God.

Pressure

Posted: January 8, 2011 in Christian Living, General Life
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Image: Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s a new year and I’m trying to get back on track with life. I know my dedication waned over the past couple of months, and my shell is starting to crack a little. The problem is, I tend to bullishly trudge forward in life with the things that need my attention. I have a handful of things that take a lot of my attention, such as work, ministry, girlfriend… and I push forward with a sense of duty and expectancy.

I sometimes let other important things fall away as my tunnel-vision focuses in on the job at hand. I forget to actually take care of myself, and my effectiveness plummets in return. I let my stress level rise, while my resting time diminishes. The idea of a teapot comes to mind. I sit on the burner, maximizing pressure as I maximize effectiveness. Eventually things get to the point where I have to blow off steam before I explode, but do I ever move off the burner? No way, there are things to do. I can’t take a break. Someone ordered tea and they’re going to get it. Even if it destroys me.

The problem is that I just keep the fire turned on high, and the pressure up. I know I need to turn things down for a while so the pressure will die down. I need to be refilled so I can really be productive, but to remove myself from the fire, even for a while will cause me to lose productivity right now. I can think clear enough to know that I will run out of steam eventually, but people are waiting for their tea. I have a job to do.

Life is a series of decisions. Choices need to be made, and usually, something has to give. Do you feel the pressure? Do you take down time? Do you deal with time in a healthy manner?