Thankful for Election

I had a discussion last night with a few other counselors about the regrets you have at the end of the week, the nagging “I could have done more” thoughts. The “maybe my kid could have gotten saved if I’d just said the right thing.”

Since we know the importance of our mission, we take it seriously. And when we don’t see the results we so dearly crave, we often feel like we failed.

But we’ve had a few testimonies this year that struck us bc of their relevance to this issue. Ones like “I got saved this week. This is my third year coming to camp, but it finally clicked this time.” What a wonderful thing, right? But the fact that it took three years means that there were two years of counselors feeling like they failed. But they didn’t. It was all in God’s timing.

The problem is, we don’t know which kids are going to have that testimony and which ones won’t ever come back to camp, church in general, or God.

The great news is, we don’t have to know that!

I’ve been studying Reformed theology for a while now. And of course predestination, one of the 5 components of TULIP, comes up a lot and is heavily debated in Christian communities. Last night, I finally realized why God talking about “the elect” in the Bible is so reassuring:

He doesn’t need us!! We staff remind each other over and over that WE don’t save the campers. We lead them to Christ and let Him do the work in their hearts. We’re here to pray and talk with them and help them understand what He’s leading them to do.

But if that human being is one of God’s elect, he or she (aren’t you proud of me, Mom? I didn’t use singular they) WILL be saved! Maybe not at camp, maybe not now, but our actions cannot change their eternal destination for better or for worse. God has already planned out if and how they will be saved. If we slack off and don’t let Him use us, then He’ll use someone else. And that’sOK! We want God to use us bc it’s a beautiful thing to see a child come to life in Him! We want to be a part of that process! But He doesn’t have to use us. He might just use us to plant the seeds.

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.

-1 Corinthians 3:6 ESV

That verse gave me a lot of comfort last year, but the doctrine of election is giving me even more. And joy!

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last–and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

-John 15:16 NIV

It’s not me out here trying really hard for God, it’s me living out what God has called me to do. It’s showing His love in everything I do and say. I’m His servant, and I know that He has me here for a reason. He has a purpose for me. I’m not flailing aimlessly, trying to prove I can love somehow.

Romans 9 talks about this too.
Actually, there are a lot of scriptures on this topic. So, here’s a link to a good list of them.

I’d like to hear thoughts, or just “mmmmm”s. Either way, it’s nice to know that I can’t make or break a kid’s salvation. Someday, I hope he or she can look back on my influence and say that I helped them positively and showed them Christ, but that’s it. God is the potter, I’m only a tool.

And I’m just fine with that. πŸ₯°

Sydney (or, as my girls called me last week, Sweetart)

J-SALT fam

The rain came down / And the friends came / Together

The power of piano / And paper airplanes / Thank you, Sarah / Paul

The dining hall / Is now my home / And J-SALT / Family


I don’t like how WordPress formats my poetry in the excerpt for the posts, so I’m trying a new format…

This poem was from the prompt “A Storm”, and I wrote it in Camp Gilead’s dining hall after cleaning up with the rest of the junior counselors, who were working as kitchen staff during Teen Week. The usual kitchen staff are SALT members (Service And Leadership Training), so we called ourselves J-SALT (Junior Counselor SALT). There is a piano in the Hall (don’t ask why), and our SALT leader, Paul, and the lovely Sarah, the nurse’s assistant who helped out whenever she could, played us some lovely piano pieces. It was a really sweet time, so I pulled out my poetry prompt journal to try to express what I was feeling.

Camp is officially over, and I’m trying to reclaim some sort of normalcy before I start school on Monday Hopefully I’ll get some more posts written and all that jazz. πŸ™‚

Squid

What I Learned In 2017

That’s a really cliche clickbaity title, but it was going to accurate.

I was going to write a post about how I grew this year and what I learned, but then Mrs. Dawnlizjones wrote this post on INSPIRATION with an ATTITUDE, and I realized that her main theme was going to be my main point! πŸ˜† So, I’m gonna just let you read hers, and then give a recap of my year.

From INSPIRATION with an ATTITUDE

After a painful, drama-filled beginning of year, I felt like a terrible human being. When I was offered a chance to work at a Christian summer camp, Camp Gilead, I jumped at it as a chance to follow God’s will instead of mine.

That was the greatest decision of my life because I grew SO. MUCH. over the span of just a few months and cultivated friendships that are still bearing fruit.

Due to camp, I drove two hours on the highway multiple times after only having my license for a couple months… My mom is still confused on how she ever let me do that, haha.

I became a lot more independent and responsible this year — you can ask my mom. I’ve gotten gas by myself multiple times, run errands for my mom once in a while, and drive myself and my sisters around very often. It’s been cool to have that level of freedom. πŸ™‚

I had had my own room at the beginning of the year, but I moved in with my sister after camp. Sharing a room is harder than I remembered, but we’re working on it. πŸ™‚

At the beginning of the Lunar year (in the fall), Jews around the world read a section of the Torah each week, starting in Genesis. My family started doing this too this fall, and I’ve gained soooo much knowledge and perspective on the first book of the Bible (we just finished Genesis) because we’re watching some videos in conjunction with each week’s parsha (portion in Hebrew). The videos are non-Messianic, but Rabbi David Fohrman is an incredible teacher with incredible insight into the Torah. Often, we discuss his videos and say, “If only he knew the rest of the story! What he could do with the New Testament!” I can’t wait for Exodus!

My family also joined GCHFA this year, which is the culmination of my childhood dreams: playing in a band and singing in a choir. The fact that it’s with other Christian homeschoolers is just the coolest thing ever. Our Christmas concert went splendidly, as did our assisted living facility outreach the week after. Yay!

My mom got some pics… πŸ™‚

I know that there are more things that were relatively important this year, but also that I’ll only remember them once I publish this, so I’m not going to sweat it. Regardless, it was a really good year, and I’m excited to see what God has in store for 2018.

Happy New Year!

-Squid

{summertime}

http://wp.me/p1qd32-j9

My friend Emily was a Senior Counselor this summer at the same camp that I worked at as a Junior Counselor.  She just wrote a post detailing her thoughts on this summer, and it is highly worth reading.  I echo so many of her sentiments, and her heart for God shines through it beautifully.  Soooooooo go read it.  Now.  Good job. πŸ™‚

Squid

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