Ever have those days where things just seem to come into focus really well? Yesterday was one of those days for me. It was a really great day, but at the same time, very revealing and, well, focusing.
Camie came home from church camp on Saturday, full of fire for Jesus. She re-dedicated her life to Christ on the 2nd night they were there, July 28th, 2004. I am so freakin' happy for her, and proud of her! She had such a great time at church camp. She made so many friends, had a lot of fun, and learned so much about her relationship with Jesus. To have all my daughters decide for themselves that a relationship with God is important, to whatever depth they take their faith, is absolutely bedrock important to me as a father. To know that I've done what I can to help give them something in their lives that will be helpful and nourishing, is about as great a reward as I can have.
So yesterday I go to church. I missed choir for the first service because Camie and I were late, and since I have a cold left over from my camping trip, I wasn't planning on singing anyway. The Sunday school lesson was about something near and dear to my heart: Am I actually following Jesus, or do I just know about Him? Goes back to my argument about cultural-Christianity vs. Biblical-Christianity. Am I actually having a relationship with Christ, following his teachings, praying, reading, and genuinely striving to let Him be first in my life? Or do I simply KNOW about Jesus, what He taught, what He said, the things He stands for? I know a lot about Jesus, but I am sometimes guilty of not following as closely as I should. Anyway, it was an excellent discussion in class, and really got me to thinking.
Later, before worship service, Kevin (our music leader) asks me you want to sing with us this morning? I had a been a part of the music team before I started working Sundays, and I miss that ministry so much. I couldn't barely talk, much less sing, but YES I wanted to sing with them, so I said you bet. What a blessing! There is, for me, nothing like the ministry of encouragement through music. Music can sometimes touch a person in a way simple words or preaching cannot. To be a part of that, with a purpose for God, is so fulfilling for me. That's a part of what Jesus was talking about when He said, I bring you not just life, but abundant life!
Abundant, fulfilling, purpose-filled LIFE!
In the evening my church drama team did the final performance of their play "The Ready Room". I cried and snot ran down my nose and everything... LOL. It's the story of four angels, Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Urius, watching the history of the Israelites leading up to Jesus, through a mirror in their office, or "ready room". This room is where they wait for their orders from God to go down to earth and do whatever it is God told them to, like Gabriel announcing births, or Urius guarding the entrance back into the Garden of Eden with a flaming sword. All the while they are watching the history of the Bible unfold, waiting for the fruition of "The Plan" that God has put together to save these poor, pitiful humans who can't seem to do anything right. It was funny most of the time, but as the angels helplessly watched in the mirror as Jesus was crucified, the entire tone of the play changed. To watch these angels, these nearly all-powerful messengers of God who have acted throughout history to intervene in the affairs of men with messages from God, as THEY watched the crucifixion unfold, was just un-nerving for me. Here they were, fully able in an instant to swoop down to earth and put a stop to Jesus' suffering (seen the Passion?), but for lack of an order from God to strike, they could only watch, horrified. Not understanding "The Plan" until is was done, the angels were in anguish thinking the humans had just killed "the chosen one" they'd been waiting for since time began.
Talk about powerful stuff. My words do absolutely NO justice to the power the play had for me. It's one of those things that need to be experienced. Like God in one's life. You gotta experience it to understand it, and you gotta want it to experience it. God reveals Himself to those that seek Him. Anyway, the play was another "focusing" moment yesterday.
After the play, my kids and I went to dinner with Lisa and her crew over at Coco's, and that's a whole separate entry begging to be written. We had a blast, with the restaurant staff actually playing pranks on our kids and what-not.
There's some other things which don't rate posting in a public journal, simply because they affect more than just me, but the entire day was clarifying for me. Many things in my life became crystal clear.
The importance of my spiritual life.
The importance of my family.
The importance of friends and trust.