Thursday, June 25, 2009

grandparent's lament

Well, cousin's camp has come and gone...and I am tired and relieved...and missing them already!

It was truly a great week as we battled the elements--some tricky weather--and a family tragedy (just prior to our leaving). Stillw e were confident God wanted us to go!

So, loaded down with our luggage (above and behind us), squeezed into a nine passenger Yukon (thanks to son, Tim) and with valuable cargo--Sage, Kyle, Eden, JJ, Zeke, Julianne, and Nate-- we headed off for Lake Tahoe.

The trip there was punctuated with stops for windy road induced-nausea, nature's relief, and stretching legs. Pizza was the evening meal fare and orientation.

Monday-Thursday were full days with breakfast, morning walk with grandpa (while grandma had quiet time), Bible lesson and singing (remember the camp song?), memory verses, crafts, lunch, afternoon activity--we explored Fallen Leaf Lake and swam in the icy waters of Sand Harbor--and evening meal, videos, games--even a Talennt Show. "Lights out" was at 9 (when they actualy went to sleep remains a mystery) and there were sounds of life every morning as early as 5 a.m.

We also had a camp store and they used tickets which they earned through cleaning their area, helping one another, memorizing scripture, behaving well, serving willingly, etc. Grandma and I spent several months selecting gifts that would motivate their participation (does it sound like bribery...or extrinsic motivation?)

We headed home Firday morning singing the camp song, reflecting on special memories and remembering some of the lessons we had learned.

Our house looked oawfully good when we headed up Cakifornia Drive but within a few hours it was mostly quiet. We took an afternoon nap.

When we awakened, it was even more quiet.

And today, we miss them even more.

That's a grandparent's lament!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

cousin's camp

In a few days Beverly and I will take seven of our eleven grandchidlren--ages 5-12) to our timeshare in Lake Tahoe and "spoil" them!

We want to invest in our grandchildren some unforgettable memories. They all have super Christian parents and come from great supportive environments. Still, we hope we have something to add to their lives that will affirm what they probably have already been taught and learned.

Our theme is EXPLORATION EXPPEDITION, and we will be exploring our Creator through His Word, His creation through field trips and hiking challenges and our own creativity through craft projects each day. I have written a camp song and I thought I'd share the words below (to the tune of "I may never march in the infantry...")
"I'm an Explorer for Truth"

First verse:
I'm excited to see bugs and wildflowers
Waterfalls and mountnain towers
Sunshine and morning showers,
I've discovered God in His creative powers,
I'm an explorer for truth.

I'm an explorer for truth
I'm an explorer for truth.
I will search God's Word as I start the day
Walk in His perfect way,
Choose what I do and say,
I will share my heart as I come to pray,
I'm an explorer for truth.

Second verse:
I'm enjoying searching God's holy Word
Looking for things I've heard
Having my heart assured.
I've discovered believing God is not absurd,
I'm an explorer for truth.

I'll give you an updated account of our adventure when I return in a week...

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

bits and pieces

I have missed blogging for a few weeks due to a couple of events of some importance to me--enough that I will draw attention to them here.

I attended a pastors' conference at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois and was encouraged and uplifted after four days of listening and learning.

As a listener, I focused on taking in the Word and benefitting from the wisdom of others. As a learner, I owned a spirit of teachability and am seeking now to apply some of things I heard.

I participated at a men's retreat in the foothills of Northern California with about 35 guys from our church this weekend. I was not the leader so I got to be a participant and a "pray-er".

As a participant, I sat with the men and sang with them, worshipped with them, competed with them, ate with them, laughed and cried with them, and slept with them. As a "pray-er", I had the privilege of sitting with a few of them one-on-one and sharing with them the hope of God's Word and the help of the Holy Spirit.

I later returned to a church burglary, a volatile situation where someone reported a church incident to the local police, a death, and a reports of declining church income.

I reluctantly had to put on my pastor's "hat" and go to work, but the bits and pieces of ecnouragement and enrichment I found at the conference and retreat have kept me focused on God's goodness and inexhaustible resources.