Friday, July 24, 2009

Crashing Waves: In and Out of the Boat

This morning I've been asked to share a bit about white water rafting. An expert in that - I am not. But what I can share about is my experience with it and about hearing from God while on the water and in it.

It was a gorgeous afternoon as we headed down to the river. There was excitement in the air. And there was also a bit of fear. I had a couple of individuals with us and back in G-town that were not excited that I had decided to go white water rafting with some of our group. They didn't think that white water rafting was some thing that I should do because of my past major health issues. When one has been paralyzed from the neck down, even after being completely healed... it is natural for some fear to remain that it might happen again. For the record here, I do not live life's moments in fear of that.

As Dick, Travis, Parker, Jan, Ed, Katy, Will, and this silly woman were in the boat, I knew it would be an experience unlike any thing I had before. And that was spot on. From the first moment of getting in the boat until we docked and got out, I heard clearly from God. Some I can share... the rest will have to wait for now.

There were parts of the water that were classified as 3's. Meaning they were stronger waves and required more paddling. If the people inside the boat didn't listen to the guide - real trouble could be had. The guide was there to say, "Three forward strokes all together now!" or to say, "The water here is calm. You can get out of the boat and float or swim if you want." Will was a wonderful guide. He knew the water well because he had spent a good amount of time on it, in it, and studying about it. It was also obvious - he knew how to listen to it.

In the moments of calm water, I was able to take in the scenery as we were passing by it. Some of the sights were rocks, trees, grassy spots, people fishing or just standing by the edge trying to figure out if they should put their toes in the water or not. I could not also help but take in the mountains that could be seen from the water as well. The sky was the picture perfect blue and the temperature out of the water was just right. In the water was freezing cold until ones body got adjusted to it. And when the time was right, I got out of the boat.

As I was in the water, that's when I heard God speaking to me more than when I was inside the boat. During the many years I was ill, Psalm 118:8, was truly laid upon my heart - "It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man." Yes, I trust in Jesus who was a man. But don't miss the fact here that Jesus was and is Lord. He is just as much that today in my life as ever before. Man may say, "Don't get out of the boat!" But my Lord's Word is also very clear.... whom do you say I am? And in whom are you going to trust? He can see what I cannot. He knows all things. I only know what I think I know... just like what I say about any and all doctors too. Only God is God. And wow... talk about being thankful for that.

I could have decided to not get out of the boat. I could have said that Will didn't know what he was talking about and that the water there might not be safe. But I heard clearly, "Get out of the boat Camey!" And so, I did.

So, dear reader, let me ask you this moment....

Whom are you taking refuge in?

Who do you trust in?

And if you were to hear, "Get out of the boat!" - what would you do?

Life's moments are to be lived during the stormy waves as well as in the calm clear water. And worship can take place during each one of them.

There is no Guide like God.

As always, dear reader, you've been prayed for.

Much love,

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Here I Am To Worship

It's hard to believe that we've been back in Texas for a week already. It seems in many ways like just yesterday we were in Idaho. As I was awakened again Monday morning at 5:00 a.m. to pray - I immediately thought about & prayed for 3 guys whom will always remain a part of me. Let me share with you just a tad about Bryan, Tyler and Patrick.

Tyler's sister, Kayla, showed up that first morning in the park. Within the first couple of minutes - it was like the two of us had known each other forever. Tyler started popping in and out upon watching his sister and some woman in the park. Tyler is thirteen. At first glance I thought perhaps he thought he was too cool for what we were doing to join us. I was wrong.

Tyler not only joined us... he told Bryan (14) about what was going on at the park. About the fun we were having & about talking about God/Jesus. Then Bryan told his cousin Patrick (14), who also lives with him, about it. They could not help but want to come to the park to see what was going on each day. It was as if they were being drawn there. And they were.

The picture is of them is saying, "JESUS!" at the top of their lungs at the end of a song we had been singing. They flung up their hands right there in the park knowing full well that at any time some of their friends and neighbors might walk or drive past or see them from out of their windows. They didn't care about it. They were worshipping right there in the park. And it did not matter who saw them.

On Friday night, when we had our closing big event in the city park... they all showed up early to spend a bit of time with me. Knowing how crazy things might become, we went ahead & said our "See ya's" and got in more hugs. As I put my arms around each one... I told them to not forget how much God loves them and keep seeking after Him each day and that I loved them too. I also promised to write and send pictures of our time together. (Yes, I have tons more pictures of Idaho left to download.) After I was done with what I whispered in their ears, they each said almost word for word the same thing to me - not knowing what the one before them had said.. That I'll let stay between us and God.

What I can say is this.... Cool does not mean the same thing to all teenagers. And I'll never be in a park again without being reminded of time spent worshipping God with them or their hugs.

Nor how they yelled out "JESUS!"

They were also just some of the ways I heard God speak clearly during our time in Idaho. Talk about being incredibly thankful.

How long has it been since you truly worshipped God?

Does it matter who might be around & what they might say?

Worship can take place any where at any time.

As always, dear reader, you've been prayed for. And it was dangerous!

Much love,

PS: May your faith in God be willing to yell out loud even when being quiet.