Lake Waubesa Bible Camp

Posts Tagged faith

Fall Happenings and Summer Reflections

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Recent Going-ons

Hello friends!

The fall season is well underway at LWBC. We have had the pleasure of serving a number of wonderful retreat groups, hosting the Movie by the Lake event with the McFarland Chamber of Commerce, and adding a new member to our full time staff team! Crystal Smith has been a dedicated servant to the ministry over the past few years as a counselor and chapel coordinator, and we are very excited to have her join us here. With the Fall equinox being yesterday, I thought it appropriate to reflect upon the summer which passed us by so quickly.

Summer Thoughts

“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

As you may know, Ron was able to take some time for a sabbatical during the summer season. God was faithful in allowing our summer ministry to flourish even though He had given the camp director a period of rest. We flourished because God had chosen an incredible group of young men and women to serve at LWBC this summer. We pray diligently for summer staff members, and God absolutely provided for our needs. Any roles left unfilled early in the spring were covered by the time we began our week of staff training. It is amazing to see how those chosen people went and bore fruit, and I am sure it will be lasting fruit.

 

It is an incredible thing to see the result of your work. In youth ministry it often happens that a young pastor will burn out. Supposedly, the average term for a youth pastor in a church is about 18 months. In the summer camp ministry, many summer staffers work for a summer or two, or three, and then graduate from college and move on in life. They don’t get to see the full impact of their work. I have been blessed to see those children that I counseled for many years and worked alongside with as high school staff, become summer staff members. The cycle of growth is amazing. These rambunctious, fun (and sometimes challenging) kids actually do take some of what we say to heart. They internalize it. Their decisions are sometimes influenced by us as counselors and staff members. They reflect parts of us in their own personalities. They remember LWBC because of the people that God has placed in their lives for a week at a time. I hope the summer staff of 2016 realizes that the hard work they did has been life changing for some of these kids and youth. Praise God, we had many campers become followers of Jesus for the first time this summer, or re-dedicate their lives to Him. God had chosen them to do this work, and to bear fruit. Lasting fruit. And just as I have been blessed to see the cycle over the past 8 years, I hope they will see it as well.
-Jon Becker

Spring Has Come and My Soul Rejoices

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Spring is a transitional season.

It’s the time between the season that I hate most and the season I love most. It’s a time of recovery and anticipation. Sometimes I don’t even realize the oppression of winter on my countenance until it is lifted. Friday March 13th was the first day I really started to get excited about spring. Even though I was exhausted, stressed, and busy; I could not keep the smile off my face. God was so real and so good to me in the moment. God is no less real or less good in the winter. Just as God is no less real or good in times where we ourselves feel cold and lifeless. But the joy I have during the spring thaw (that melts the frost off my heart as well as off car windshields) reminds me that God knows that we as humans are physical beings. And that we need these tangible reminders of His love and provision. We need to see the proof of His promises as the grass turns green again and the leaves start to bud.

“For everything there is a season…”

The word season here in the Hebrew (according to blueletterbible.org, no I have not been to seminary) means: a set time, an appointed time. In other words, there is a set time for everything, and at the appointed time it happens, and it lasts only as long as it has been set to last. This principle is hugely encouraging to me. I don’t know about you but I am much more likely to endure and persevere in something for a set amount of time rather than an indefinite period. It reminds me of the marshmallow test. For those of you who haven’t seen this you can check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX_oy9614HQ But in this experiment children were placed in a room by themselves with a marshmallow and told that they could either eat it now or wait until the facilitator came back and then they could have TWO marshmallows. Now most of the children didn’t do too well with the waiting. Which to me is pretty understandable. I would like to argue that if the children were given a timer set for 5 minutes or even 10 minutes depending on the child the results would have been much different. When the finish line is in sight, when we have our eyes on the prize, it has been proven that humans can accomplish some pretty amazing things. But so often we get stuck focusing on our current circumstances that we forget where we’ve come from and where we are going.

Different seasons call for different responses

Maybe some of you are still in the middle of winter and the hope of spring seems a long way off. Be encouraged! Spring is coming. Look ahead and warm your heart with the promises of scripture: “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5), “He has made everything beautiful in it’s time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11), “And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26) “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,” 2 Corinthians 4:17

Maybe you are in the midst of the heat of summer. You are experiencing blessing and the cold winds of winter are a distance memory. If so take time to look back and remember what it is the Lord has brought you through. It is easy to become complacent and start to feel entitled to the blessings we receive. We may even get to the point of complaining about the very heat that we were begging for in the winter! When this happens we must look back on what the Lord has brought us through and retrain our brains to be thankful daily. Because the summer too will end. We must rejoice while we have the daylight for night is coming.

If you are in Spring like me, it might be time to stop constantly looking back and looking forward and simply be! Savor the sweetness of warmth slowly creeping into every part of your life. In times like these it is so easy to be thankful. It is so easy to find reasons to rejoice. Don’t try to contain that joy.

Experience it. Live it. Share it.

Capture these moments in your memory to fall back on when the days get dark again.

Spring has come! Praise the Lord!

 

The W 2014

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Reflections from our not so wintery Winter Blast retreat.

We finally have snow! Just in time for NOT the Winter Blast retreat. Fortunately here at Lake Waubesa we specialize in fun with or without snow. If you want to see how much fun our 23 middle schoolers and 10 staff members had you can check out our Winter Blast 2015 album on facebook. But we didn’t just have fun playing games inside and out, we also had a blast learning how to experience the inexpressible and glorious joy of following Christ.

Our key verse for the retreat was 1 Peter 1:8 which says, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,”  Through looking at the life of David and His prayers recorded in the Psalms we discovered that true and everlasting joy, despite of our circumstances, comes from a relationship with God. We learned that even in the midst of trial and tragedy we can look for and see the goodness of God. All we have to do is ask for Him to show us and then be ready for an answer that might be different than we would expect. Even when it seems that God is silent we can look at His creation and let the rocks, trees, stars, and waves speak to us; reminding us of His presence, His power, and His goodness.

In this world there are many good things that can bring us joy: relationships, music, sports, possessions. But that joy–that lasts only for a moment–is given to us to point us to the giver of all good gifts. When we choose to seek God, rather than the blessings He bestows, He will grant us the greatest gift of all: Himself. In the words of John Piper, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”  God is the truest source of this inexpressible and glorious joy that has no end.

But how do we seek Him? How do we accept this gift that God is offering? It is as simply as the ABCs:

A – Admit. Admit that on our own we can never live a holy and perfect life, that we will always be found wanting (Romans 3:23).

B – Believe. Believe that in order to satisfy our debt to a holy God, He Himself came down and became fully man while remaining fully God and lived the perfect life we never could. He died for our imperfection and rose again on the third day. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

C – Choose. This one is the hardest and yet most important step. In order to receive this gift of joy and new life in Christ we are required to die. To die to self and so that we might live for Christ (Matthew 16:24). It is a choice to follow, to confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord (Romans 10:9) . But let me assure you. He is worth the cost.

It is our prayer that all the campers that come through our doors will get to taste and see just how worthwhile following Jesus is. We want them to know that Christianity isn’t as much about rules as it is about relationship. It’s more than knowing about God it is learning how to know God. As we look forward to this new year we continue to pray for our campers; past, present, and future. We would love to hear from you as well if you have stories of how your family has experienced the goodness of God at camp or otherwise. Stay warm and enjoy the snow!

 

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