Tag Archives: camping

Any love on this menu?

Pr. 15:17:  “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred.”

I have been to dinners/breakfasts where there was some level of tension, although perhaps not pure hatred.  It is always an uncomfortable experience.  No matter what magnificent meal has been prepared, no matter what other company is present, or how pretty the table setting may be, the tension is so heavy that it makes the fork hard to lift.

Our accommodations during our family vacation last week were a nice 8-person tent.  Packing our car as lightly as possible meant that all meals were planned in advanced, dehydrated, and bagged for each day to ensure that they took up less space and were camp stove ready.  We didn’t have anything that would be considered gourmet, but those meals were some of the best of my life.  🙂

Because there were no distractions, we spent our meals playing games, enjoying beautiful views, laughing, and talking about our day and our plans.  Each meal, no matter what we ate, was wonderful.  (Even beyond the fact that everything tastes even better to me when eaten while camping)

I am thankful for a family full of love.  I am also thankful for the reminder that perfection is over-rated.  The most important thing in our lives, outside of God, is relationship.  When we focus on building and growing our relationships first, the menu just no longer matters.  It’s the experience that counts.

Planning some delectable relationship time for dinner tonight,

jamie

Time to sweep!

We went camping last night.  After we unpacked and put everything away this afternoon, our floor was covered in dirt, bark, leaves, etc.  I swept twice on Thursday and once yesterday, but as I was sweeping the mess from today, I commented to my husband that it looks like I never sweep.

That thought kept rolling around in my mind and reminded me of spiritual disciplines.  Yep…ya just never know what God will use to speak to your heart.

If I don’t sweep one day the house isn’t too messy.  No big deal.  If I miss two days, the specks on the floor would become pretty noticeable.  If I miss three days, dirt and crumbs would probably begin sticking to our feet and something just wouldn’t seem right in the house.

Give it a few weeks and the problem would be pretty evident to anyone who stepped inside.  After a year, cobwebs and dust bunnies would have taken over and no one would want to step foot in the house.  Bugs would probably be pretty comfortable in our home and mold would likely be growing on the piles of food crumbs.  Not only would the house look very nasty, but it would also create an unhealthy environment for our family.

Has your mind already created the parallel with spiritual disciplines?  Missing a day of Bible reading and prayer isn’t so bad, right?  We get busy sometimes, after all.  Missing two days?  Specks begin to show.  Maybe a blot of something undesirable gets stuck somewhere and we either ignore it or don’t notice.  After a few weeks of neglecting our relationship with God and others begin to notice.  We may make excuses and think all is fine.  We’ll get around to it soon.

A year without spending quality time with God and the nastiness of sin would show and continue to grow an undesirable, unhealthy new environment for us and for those around us.  Our hearts grow hard and callous towards sin and the garbage and foul grime that accompanies it.  Eventually we’re trapped inside a putrid life that no longer brings joy to anyone…including us.

God’s word and His presence bring freedom and keep us healthy, happy, and pure before a righteous God.  We cannot let business, distractions, laziness, or apathy keep us from our time with God.  A life that is too busy or consumed with things other than God is one that will create a layer of filth all around us.  Truly we reap what we sow.  If we do nothing to grow our relationship with God, then our relationship will wither and our lives will be the proof.

Being intentional about spiritual disciplines isn’t just a good idea.  Like sweeping keeps a home from being covered in filth, our spiritual disciplines keep our souls from the same.  Spending time with God is what makes us sparkle and shine.  🙂

Enjoy His Word today,

jamie

Campfires and salvation

A couple of years ago we invested in our family time commitment by buying some really good camping gear.  It’s a great time that we cherish, where there are no screens in our faces, no distractions from one another…just us, together, on an adventure.  We hope this investment, throughout our kid’s lives, will pay off in great dividends.  🙂  On our first camping trip this year I had the following thoughts and today seems like the day to share them:

When we woke up this morning Donnie made us a fire.  I was enjoying just sitting by the fire, but there wasn’t much wood left for us.  The fire was slowly going out, but I didn’t want that relaxing time to end.  I wouldn’t have it!  Determined, I got up and was scrounging around for any sticks I could find.  I was gathering up even the tiniest little sticks, twigs…anything that would burn.  I was willing to gather up anything just to keep the fire going for as long as I possibly could.  When Donnie laughed and asked why I was doing that I said, “I’ll get whatever I can to keep that fire going.”  The thought that went through my mind was, “I don’t wish that it should perish.”

Well, where did that thought take me?  2 Peter 3:9:  “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise…but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”  As I scrounged around looking for anything, just anything, to keep my fire from dying, from losing that fire time, I thought about The Lord.

Sometimes its hard for us to truly grasp how much The Lord doesn’t want His children to perish.  Satan loves to tell us we’re worthless.  He’s lying.  Just as I desperately searched for anything…anything to help keep my fire alive, The Lord has gathered up and given out everything He could to keep us alive.  Time after time He has given His children provision and opportunity for repentance.  He has been longsuffering from the beginning of creation.  He doesn’t want to lose a single one of us.  Think about my devotion to that one little campfire.  That was Nothing compared to the devotion one has for a child.  God was so determined not to lose us that, after offering every provision He could to try to keep us alive, He even sent His very own Son to die for us.

I will never be able to think on this verse in the same way.  Knowing the effort I put forth for a fire I knew I would eventually abandon, the magnitude of God’s effort for us is simply unfathomable!  How amazing His love for us truly is!  He searches for those who will allow Him to use them to reach all this lost children and bring them to knowledge of salvation and eternal life.  He is not willing that any should perish!  If I can be even a twig for Him to use to keep the fire of eternal life going for all His children, I am willing.

I hope I shared my thoughts clearly enough to make clear the point He revealed to me that morning.  Rewarding camping trip indeed.  🙂

He loves you,

jamie