Speak Slow, Speak Life

Well, we have returned back to the daily grind that is not camp.  For many of our teens, that means sleeping in, hanging out with friends, and relaxing.  For others, it means school, work, and family.  In either case, our students have been thrust back into life; life away from camp, life off of the mountain.  This week of camp was outstanding.  Not because of anything that people did to make it great, or bad, but awesome because of the awesome God we serve.  We had all sorts of issues this camp.  Some of the staff was not as engaging as we have been used to.  The trip up was exhausting.  The same thing can be said for the return trip.  This group going up to Ridgecrest was a group of students and leaders going to camp, but it did not seem like a family.  That would change by the end of the week.

We took 21 students and 6 leaders.  20 of the students were Christians, and one was not.  Our leaders consisted of a senior pastor, a youth pastor, a future pastor, 2 parents, and a young lady chaperoning her first youth trip.  Everyone had a different story, a different struggle that they brought to the table.  By the third night, we would all understand that, even with our differences, we were not alone in our struggles.

This week, we were in the book of James.  James 1:19-21 states “19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”  These verses rang through on the third night of camp.  We saw a video that said we were to speak slow, speak life.  It was a hard video to watch, but we all knew that we have hurt others, or ourselves, with our words.  We knew we had to get rid of some of our “moral filth” in order to speak life.  That night we shared for about an hour. We had students and leaders talking about their hurt and sadness that have come from failing God with our actions and words.  The growth seemed to take place when one by one, leaders and students admitted to failing God in similar ways to a person who shared their struggle.  That night, we seemed to become a family again.

By the way, I left out the best detail of all.  I told you in the beginning that we went up with 21 students, 20 of whom were Christians.  Here is the best part of the week:  WE CAME HOME WITH 21 CHRISTIAN STUDENTS!!!!

Remember, even when the events of our world don’t seem to line up with what we want, we are still called to be Christ to this world, so Speak Slow, Speak Life!

 

Stepping out in Faith,

 

Derrick Whiteman