Friday, June 30, 2006

Sorry, I forgot to post these when I got back....HERE YA GO!

SE Chronicles… - Thursday, June 22, 2006

Oh….wow….am I tired. Just when I think I can’t get any tireder (ok, I know tireder isn’t a word but for me it is what works right now!!), I get even more tireder!!! And then when I think I can’t give any more….God gives me this incredible burst of energy! Sometimes I’m afraid to act on that burst of energy because I’m afraid people around me will think I’m on drugs!!! What gives me the most energy is things like last night… matter how tired I got, live giving….true life giving energy was returned to me through watching as people’s lives changed.

Wednesday night is always special at SE. But last night was different than any SE Wednesday night I have been a part of. First….I loved how it started. We were all sitting there before “starting time” and just started singing…and before you know it…we were worshiping!!! I loved watching as the “old people” came in to this atmosphere of worship. The looks on their faces were priceless. Our worship time together was excellent…at least in my estimation of what excellent is!! Ian’s analogy of Tumbleweeds and Fencepost was very cool and thought provoking. Are we being blown by the Spirit as we spread seeds everywhere….or are we a dead piece of wood, stuck in the ground, trying to keep other tumbleweeds from spreading their seed? Good question. Then came the invitation…a time where in years past so many kids responded to what was going on in their heart. And as we sang the “invitation song”….nobody “responded”. Well, I’ll take that back….I think many of us were responding…just not in the traditional way of coming down front. As we guided the students into their families….I watched as hundreds of kids responded. I saw the tears begin to flow…not necessarily a sign of response but many times it is an outward sign of what’s going on in the heart. I watched as kids confessed to each other and prayed for each other. I counseled with kids as they looked to God for help. While some might have thought, “Oh no, nobody responded!”, the truth is…so many responded…and are still responding to what God is doing in their heart.

It seems to me that we have created some kind of monster with our response times in churches. It’s like you can only “respond” to what God is doing in your life at a certain time on a certain day during a certain kind of song. That is so wrong. What I saw the kids doing all week was respond as they were going along the journey. As we journey, there will be many, many times where we will be responding to God and to the holiness we are called to. I loved seeing that all this week. I loved seeing that last night….I will love seeing it tomorrow. Father, thank you for the gift you gave us last night of “no responses”. Teach us through this that our journey with you is just that…a journey. Not a destination that we arrive at and are never called to more..but a journey where you continually call us to follow you. Give us more of this teaching Father.

Then the baptisms started happening….yeah we had responses!!! Praise God for drawing those to Him. I think we had 5 baptisms last night and two decisions to be baptized when they get home. Awesome. You know…that’s not our primary goal at SE…to get the students here to be baptized….but it happens every year. I’m sure there are deep lessons in that….too tired to expound on it now!!

Then there was the party...Quaker Church is so awesome. They help in so many ways with volunteers and financial support. They pray for us like crazy (including a 24 hour prayer vigil before SE), but the most visible way they help is with Jailbreak (the party). When I first saw what they were doing I thought….”Oh my…this is over the top!!” But the kids loved it. It was over the top!!! The kids loved it, the volunteers at Quaker had fun. Last night in the dorm, someone told me that Jailbreak was “the best dance I’ve ever been too. Even better than prom!”. Then someone said, “It was even better than the FFA dance!” That cracks me up. So…the church of Christ throws a party and kids come away saying it was the best dance they’ve been too!! Too funny! I love this time because it gives the kids time to release….to just be themselves and have fun….with no worries of what others think. Life should be like jailbreak!!

Then in the other room, kids were still responding….we would take a break for a baptism here and there. God was glorified last night.

God, thank you. That seems so small to say…but I don’t have words to praise you right now. Thank you. I love you.



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