Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Highlight #1: Kids Kamp


Need I say more? I remember praying at the beginning of this year and praying specifically for what I would do ministry wise this summer. I had no idea what the Lord had planned but I literally had to let it go and place it in His hands. Little did I know, he would answer every prayer I prayed and blow me away with the summer of a lifetime. I got to spend three months in Birmingham, Alabama serving as a Kids Kamp director at Shades Mountain Baptist Church. For those of you that know me, you know that I love camp ministry and I was so amazed with how the Lord gave me the dream job through this ministry. I can’t begin to put into words how much I loved this summer and how much the Lord did not only in my own personal life, but in the lives of so many kindergarten through sixth graders as well. I got to teach Bible study every day, train and manage staff, plan activities, work alongside incredible leaders and mentors, go on field trips, and the list goes on and on. I literally loved every single aspect of all that I got to do. I loved my experience so much that I am currently at Kids Kamp to work at their Christmas Kamp, and will also return for Spring Break Kamp in 2012. And the best news, I have already accepted the position as director again for Kids Kamp 2012. God blew me away with Kids Kamp 2011, and I can’t even begin to imagine what He has in store for 2012! I am so thankful for Kids Kamp and the lasting impact it will ever have on my 2011 year.

I have tried to put the things that took place in order of how much each has meant to me, and Kids Kamp quickly comes to mind as the highlight of this year. I think this will be what I remember most about 2011. One of the coolest things is I will get to continue to see the fruit from what took place at Kids Kamp 2011. Working at CentriKid camps for three summers prior to this one taught me so much, but one thing that sticks out to me most is: “Ministry works best in the context of a relationship.” I really got to see this come to life this summer. For ten weeks straight, I got to build relationships with kids from so many different backgrounds and home life. While I feel like the children were impacted through our kamp, I can’t help to forget how much they impacted me. I built and established so many relationships with children this summer and loved each and every one of them. If you were to walk in my bedroom at home, you would quickly be able to see that! It has been evident to me how powerful those relationships truly are as I have been working at Christmas Kamp for the past two weeks. It was such a blessing to come back and see some of the kids I was with all summer, and to see that they hadn’t forgotten me. It’s cool too, because for some kids, I didn’t necessarily feel that we built the strongest of relationships, but that they still remembered me and even some things I taught them this summer.

I could write on and on about Kids Kamp. It is literally something that has changed who I am, grown me spiritually, and will be something I will never ever forget. My 2011 has been the highest of highs because of Kids Kamp. Enjoy some of my favorite pictures from this summer…

Holding Open His Door,


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Looking Back on 2011

As most of you know, 2011 is coming to a quick end. As I have lived these last couple of days of this year, I have had some time to reflect and think back. 2011 was filled with so much for me. I learned new things. I built new friendships. God opened new doors. I experienced high times. I endured hardships. So many things took place in 2011. I made a top 10 list of experiences, lessons learned, and highlights from this year. As we approach 2012, I will blog about each of these. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy and get ready for my top 10 from 2011.

Holding Open His Door,


Sunday, August 14, 2011

My God is Faithful.

On Wednesday of this past week, the kamp leadership team sat down to evaluate the summer of 2011. We were all a little anxious about the process, not knowing things that would be said or how to realize and improve upon our weaknesses. So, we started the session in the proper way: reading the Word, reflecting on the summer, and prayer. We were asked to jot down some ways where we saw the Lord's faithfulness throughout the summer. We knew that there were things we would change for next summer and look through some new options, but before we could do that, we did the most important thing in realizing just how faithful Jesus was to us this summer.

As I began to think of the things I would write on my paper, so many memories came to mind. I thought of specific instances where I saw the Lord at work, intentional conversations we as a staff had with kids, and new brothers and sisters in Christ I gained. My first thought was of how the Lord was faithful in bringing me to Kids Kamp. I immediately revisited Proverbs 19:21 and how the Lord had used that verse to bring me to this new ministry opportunity. I then thought of so many kids who had hard situations of their lives: kids coming from broken homes, kids dealing with suicide in their family, kids who don't see Jesus on a daily basis. I thought of the opportunities I had to minister in these situations. I got to love kids through these times and give them just a small glimpse of the Savior's love for us. I also thought of the new friendships I got to build with my staff. I loved each and every one of them and I am so thankful to have met people who have such a passion to serve the Lord in all that they do. I know that these are friendships that are just beginning and I can't wait to see where the Lord takes them. My final, and probably my favorite thought, was of the kids who started their relationships with Jesus for the first time this summer. The Gospel was at the forefront of everything we did, and it was awesome to see Him push me out of the way and become the Savior of these kids lives. That is truly what this was all about.

It was such a blessing to reflect on how the Lord was faithful this summer. He wasn't just faithful some of the time, but He was faithful for all 12 weeks I got to spend in Birmingham. Be looking out for future blogs, as I introduce you to some of the kids and staff I got to meet and minister to this summer! For now, enjoy some of my favorite snapshots from the summer!

Holding Open His Door,


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

And she persuaded us.

I recently began reading the book of Acts. I have lots of favorite verses in this book and I had heard a lot of great things about it. So, I decided to dig in. Little did I know, I would fall in love with the book and never want to put my Bible down!

The book of Acts is simply amazing. The book holds the stories of what took place after Jesus had risen from the grave and ascended into Heaven. It tells of the disciples call and mission and records their struggles, journeys, and victories. I guess what I enjoy is that the book of Acts is in a sense how we are supposed to live our lives. Jesus is obviously physically not here, but He has called us to do his work...and that is what this book shares. It has encouraged me so much and challenged me to live my life for Christ, just as the disciples and apostles did.

When I think about the book of Acts, one word quickly comes to mind: BOLDNESS. Every time I pick up my Bible to read the book, I immediately think of that word. I am sit in utter amazement at the boldness the people back then possessed. In so many situations, they knew they would be punished for sharing Jesus with others, but it did not stop them. They simply continued to share Him with everyone they encountered, regardless of the possible consequences. My prayer has been this: God, give me the boldness those people had. I want to badly to have that kind of boldness in my walk with Christ. I want to share Christ with each and every person that I encounter. I may get rejected, picked on, made fun of, or shunned, but I still want that boldness. The disciples in the book of Acts perfectly display what it means to be bold in our faith, and my hope is to have that same boldness.

One verse that I really love from Acts is this:
"The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name." Acts 5:41
Wow. That verse really needs no explanation. I sit in amazement just thinking about this verse. And again, I pray for the same exact attitude. Rejoicing and suffering just aren't two things that go together. But, yet in this case, it makes perfect sense. They walked away rejoicing, happy, glad, that they even were counted worthy to suffer for Christ. I think we need a little more of that in our every day lives. My prayer is that I live my life rejoicing every single day because I have been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.

The last thing I would like to say is what has come to be one of my favorite set of verses in all of Acts. I was reading the story of Lydia. Paul, Silas, and Timothy are on a journey to share Christ with people. They happen to come across Lydia who is at the river, and they began talking to her. "If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And the last line of this story says it all : "AND SHE PERSUADED US." I get so excited when I read this part of the story and God is like screaming at me through this verse...I love it. I love the fact that in the short time that they spoke with Lydia, she did something that pointed every single bit of glory to the Lord, and she persuaded them that she was a believer. I feel like every word she may have spoke, every action she may have done pointed straight to the fact that she was a follower of Christ. This is what I want my life to be. I want every single interaction that I have with anyone to persuade them that I am truly a Christian and a child of God. I hope to persuade people that it's not about me, but all about Him. I hope that He gets all the glory in my words and in my actions. I want people to be able to say: AND HE PERSUADED US.

If you can't tell, I have fallen in love with the book of Acts. As I continue my journey through the book, I will update more on what I am learning and what God is doing through this! Thanks for listening friends!

Holding Open His Door,


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Proverbs 19:21

I was reading my previous post in which I gave you a top 10 list of updates going on in my life. It's funny because one point read, "I am ready for this summer." When I wrote that, I had no idea what I would be doing this summer, I just knew I was excited for what the Lord had in store. Well, now I know what I will be doing this summer, and I simply want to take the time to share this story with you. I want to share with you how powerful scripture is in our every day lives is and how awesome of a plan God has for my life.

As most of you probably know, I have spent the past three summers working for CentriKid camps. Again, as most of you know, I love camp with all of my heart and it will forever be something I love. When I finished my summer this past year, I automatically I would return for my fourth summer. But I began to realize that it was all about me and what I wanted to do. I went through this period of my life where I just began to refocus on Christ and relearned that it's all about Him and what He wants. I began to pray each day that He would reveal his plan in what I was supposed to do concerning my summer ministry. I will be real honest...throughout this time, I became really confused and struggled with what God had planned for my journey ahead.

I remember one specific day I had where I got so upset about everything. I was not only stressing about my summer, but also dealing with the conflict of having to make future school decisions as well. During this time, the student ministry I work had all been reading through the book of Proverbs. I had not read my Proverb for the day, and so I decided what better place to go. I specifically began reading the Proverb in search for even the smallest of encouraging words. I remember reading it online and scrolling, and scrolling, and scrolling...and then I found it. I read:

"We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God's purpose prevails."
Proverbs 19:21

I found my answer and my solution to my problem. It was then in that very moment that I reliquinished all control of any plan or purpose I have tried to make. I completley surrendered my future to the Lord and had become happy of whatever He would send my way.

Little did I know, the very next day, He would send something. I got an email from a camp friend, asking for suggestions for people that we may know to work camp. She specifically needed a male director. I was simply curious about the position, so I remember thinking, "This may be something I'm interested in." Long story short, I spoke with my friend, sent in my resume, and was later offered a phone interview.

One week later...I was offered the position as a director Kids Kamps at Shades Mountain Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. And yes, I accepeted!

I know that this is what the Lord has had planned for me all along. I am so excited about this new door he has opened and can't wait to watch Him work in big ways this summer. In the end, His plan prevailed! And that's all that matters.

Holding Open His Door,