Tuesday, July 27, 2010

But if not...

He separated darkness from light.
He governs the day and night. 
Creator of both land and sea. 
The bringer of life says, "let it be". 
Lord of heaven and earth. 
Through Him all things find worth.
Father of all nations and kings.
For Him all creation sings.
My God is able to keep me from harm.
My God is able to steer me from danger's arm.
My God is able to lift me when I fall.
My God is able to break down all walls.
My God is able to keep the path clear.
My God is able to protect the ones I hold dear.
My God is able to carry me on eagles' wings.
My God is able to do all things.
But if He does not, may His name still be praised.
But if He does not, above all others may He be raised.
But if He does not, upon His name I will still call.
But if He does not, He is still Lord of all.
My God is able to do all things.
But when He does not, do I know He's still the King of kings?

"Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, 'O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazzing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O King. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.'"
- Daniel 3:16-18

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Over the River and Through the Woods

...to Grandmother's House We Go. (Or to the Teen Challenge Site...)

If I was Sadie I would have all kinds of great pictures to illustrate the awesomeness that was this weekend. But alas, I am not so I will just have to paint a picture for you with words :)

Yesterday almost the entire staff left the lovely city of DC and I drove them all out (soccer mom style in the mini van) to my grandparents' house to celebrate my birthday. My grandparents' house is about an hour west of DC and sits on 10 acres of land. They have lived out there since before I was born and it was always one of my favorite places to go visit growing up. I could not have asked for a more perfect place to celebrate with family and friends yesterday. You can ask anybody on staff and they'll tell you that this job is awesome and they couldn't think of a better way to spend their summer. But, it's also exhausting. And you don't really get to do the whole summer thing of relaxing. So having a few hours where we could leave the city, go swimming, pick berries, go fishing, shoot a bb gun, eat chicken and burgers right off the grill, and just truly enjoy each other's company was incredible.

I love those moments where parts of your life that seem completely separated from each other just mesh together - and yesterday was one of those. My coworkers/friends from this summer, who have been a huge part of making this summer as awesome as it's been, came out to my grandparents' house to hang out with my family and a dear friend from school met us all there. It's so easy to compartmentalize these different parts of my life, especially when I'm so focused on one of them at a time. But when these different parts come together I feel like I get to experience a little piece of heaven. When people who ordinarily would have no reason to all be together come together for a common cause. Yesterday it was to celebrate my birthday, but underneath all the love that I felt it was also a gathering of believers taking time to celebrate God and the incredible work that He has been doing in each of our lives this summer. I could not have asked for a better birthday, spent in the company of so many loved ones and in the middle of God's awesome creation.

Now it's about time for another week to start. Staff meeting starts in less than an hour and groups will be here in about 4 hours. And Steph and I get to head out into the middle of the woods once again. But we're not going out to a place that's familiar to either of us. We're heading out to the alternate housing site that's been out of commission for all but 2 weeks this summer. The housing site that's not even in DC but out in Maryland. The one that has a gravel driveway in the middle of the woods. The one with the bathroom that caught on fire last weekend. Yup. I'm going to live out there this week. With Steph. I'm not sure who thought that was a good idea. Apparently God did. I mean, He's orchestrated everything so well this summer that I have no choice but to trust that He has something incredible up His sleeve for this week. Just like this past weekend, there's really nothing other than God that could bring a youth group from Greenville WI and two random girls from Pennsylvania and Massachusetts to a house in the middle of the woods outside of DC. God has a little bit of heaven to show us as we travel over the river (not really) and through the woods (very literally) to serve Him this week. And I can't wait. :D I'm sure I'll have stories to tell from this next week - be prepared!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


You know how sometimes you have those moments, or days, or even weeks where you just wish you could hit the pause button and take some time to figure things out and get everything back on track? This summer has not been one of those times. At least I didn't really feel like I needed that pause button. God had other plans. It's about 2:20 on a Wednesday afternoon. I should be out at VBS or working with one of our other kid sites. But I am sitting in the staff office, on my computer, blogging. I didn't feel like I needed a week off. But that is what happened.

Last Thursday when Jason came by for my site visit he mentioned that the number of serving groups was going to be smaller than expected and there would probably be one host who would serve as a "floater". He said that it was down to either me or Steph who would be floating around, helping out around Star and filling in for anybody who needed/wanted a break. Turns out neither of us got assigned to a group so we're both on call this week.

I wasn't really sure what this week was going to be like and wasn't really sure that I was going to appreciate this break from hosting a group. Monday and Tuesday weren't bad at all. We got to tag along with the big group from Michigan for dinner Monday night and VBS yesterday afternoon. We also got to sleep in yesterday and help Kristen around the office. Yesterday evening we had what I like to call "forced bonding" with the entire staff - which really isn't as bad as it sounds because our staff is awesome. Although we did have to write "poetry" round robin style. That was interesting. So my first day and a half of floating wasn't bad at all - in fact it was actually quite enjoyable. And then today happened. And Steph and I have been at Star all day. Except for those 30ish minutes when we walked across the street to the laundromat to wash sheets, towels, and blankets. I was not terribly excited about staying at the building today to clean and do more office work.

However, in the midst of everything I was reminded of a verse that I used to think about all the time. "Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Be still and know that I am God. Essentially working from 5pm Sunday to 10am Saturday does not really allow for a lot of time to be still. Don't get me wrong - God has been revealing Himself in some amazing ways through all the busyness. But God also knows me very well. And He knows that as much as I protested and didn't want to take this break I needed some time to just be still and know that He is God. So for this week, God pressed the pause button for me. Because He knows me better than I know myself.