Every year for one full week, we go to Family Camp. We make special trips to the store for those unique items that you only need when camping, we pack up clothing, towels, bedding, bug spray, flashlights, food, etc. The vehicle is loaded and the road trip begins, with the excitement of getting away from it all and just relaxing!
The awning goes up, the lawn chairs come out, the cleaning begins 🙂 The electricity and water get turned on, gas levels checked, hammock gets hung, fire gets started. The 5th wheel’s sides bulge as we transfer what we need inside.
Friends and acquaintances are milling around, all with the same excited expectation on their faces – the pool is full of happy splashers, bicycles wobble all over, children’s laughter can be heard in the distance, muted conversations abound. Ah, camp!
Soon, the place will fill with teenagers, and the beat of their worship will throb through the grounds. Mornings bring campers to seminars with coffee in hand, children ride their bikes to where their own sessions begin, the pool gets tidied up for the first phase of morning swimmers to jump in.
Long, lazy afternoons are spent sleeping, reading, visiting, putting puzzles together, a nice swing in the hammock, children on the playgrounds or in the pool, young couples sitting under a tree, sharing new romance, men off fishing or swinging a golf club.
After meals cooked over the grill or eaten in the dining hall, we wander to the Tabernacle for worship. The choir is finishing their rehearsal and if you get there a bit early, you get to hear it twice! The band tunes up their instruments, the speaker arrives and confers with the master of ceremonies. Ushers are lined up. Campers file in, some trying to make sure that their little ones have made it to their proper group locations. The camp bell rings, and service soon begins. As we stand to our feet to sing out to our King, His presence joins us and as the special singing moves our souls, He rejoices. When the speaker brings the Word and admonishes us to look deep inside ourselves and not worry about the others in the building, it becomes personal – God and I! Oh, Spirit, move me!!!
Evenings are spent by the fireside, roasting marshmallows and chatting with friends, joyful laughter before we hit our beds – a full day, worth every moment of the seclusion from the outside world.
Can you imagine a full week of this? Could your vacation be any wiser of a choice? Could your children find better, lifelong friends anywhere else? Can you say that you don’t need time away, or a refreshing from God? Can you afford to miss out on what happens down at the altar every night, watching those precious young people step forward to cement things down with God, or possibly, even as YOU make your way down to the front to tell God your hearts heavy burden?
Even though generations of families have come to our camp for years, we began when our sons were young. It was a safe place for them to ride their bikes all around, fish and hunt for crawfish in the creek, make lifelong friends and learn more about God. A place that they knew we would set aside each year, shut ourselves off from the outside world and just commune with God, nature and friends. We have worked hard to make sure that our sons could be at camp, sacrificing much to make it happen. Now our sons are grown, yet they love to come back.
I love the mornings on my deck, Bible and coffee in hand, watching the sunrise over the treetops. God speaks to me there in that quiet place, letting me know that He is pleased that I am there. The week will go by quickly, campsites will be closed down, campfires snuffed out, vehicles packed back up, and all will head home, but what God will do in this place over these 7 – 8 days will stay with us for the rest of the year and before we know it, a new week of Family Camp will be upon us! Are you ready????
At once they left their nets and followed him.
Song of Solomon 2:10
My beloved spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me.
Mark 6:31 – 32
And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
“Hear this, O Job; stop and consider the wondrous works of God.
The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!”
O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul.
Listen, you heavens, and I will speak;
hear, you earth, the words of my mouth.
Let my teaching fall like rain
and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants.
I will proclaim the name of the Lord.
Oh, praise the greatness of our God!
He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is he.
…know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay … until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.