Friday, June 13, 2008

camp lee, starbucks, and the FBI.

For the past few days, I've been part of a youth retreat at camp lee, in Anniston, AL. While here, I read a book I have been wanting to read, but never seemed to have to time for. This morning, while sitting at the local Starbucks (who knew there would be one here?) I finished a book called "The Heavenly Man", the true story of one mans journey to love Christ in China. Unbelievable. The testimony of how God was and is working in the hearts of His Chinese children. Humbling and exciting. 

Yesterday at Starbucks, I was reading and saw at least 5 armored vehicles, with blacked-out windows, and boxes, antennas, and UFC-look-alike agents within 100 yards of me. One staked out at Arbys, McDonalds, one behind Starbucks, one on the highway nearby, and one across the road at a hotel. I confess this peaked my interest. What's up with that many agents in Anniston? I also confess that when I left, I followed them.... but quickly remembered I was not actually a law enforcement office. Just a curious guy who secretly thinks those are pretty cool jobs to have. I turned around, and went back to Camp, where I ate a fantasticly mediocre lunch in the mess hall with new friends.

At camp, I've been walking through the story of God, from before Creation to the Eternal throne, trying to shape these young minds around a bigger story than their own. A couple nights ago, I spoke on faith from Hebrews 11:1 -- the call to focused confidence in Christ,in things we hope for and the assurance of things unseen. 

All the while, I'm reading the incredible story of faith in people's lives who have NOTHING but trust in the things they hope for. More thoughts on this another time. 

Last night, I shared on worship, responding to the worth of God in our everyday living. I came back to the verse in Colossians 1:16 -- being made by Him and for Him. Personally, I've been learning the necessity of my mind "being renewed" because without renewal, there is conformity to the world. It's the subtle, less visible conformity to the world, where I'm growing more sensitive to God's Word. Like so many other times of growth, I crave for the renewal of my mind in Christ -- and I know one way I can respond to the worth of God in my life -- is by agreeing I increasingly need His truth in me. 

"As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Abide in my love" - John 15:9


ericka b said...

That's my hometown!!! (and yes, we now have a starbucks. didn't appear till long after I was gone though, dang it.) Glad you got to experience the madness where I grew up (ha)...Camp Lee is 5 minutes from my house!

Enjoying reading your blogs (didn't even know you were blogging! Just found you!) and being reminded of the awesome truths you've taught me through GCM. So much of your messages, april's sharing, and study 1 has shaped my identity, my relationship with God, my life, and my relationship with the man I love. Thank you for investing in me Matt! Excited to get to read what God's doing in your lives.

Love you guys!

ericka b said...

ps- if you want to check out my new blog anytime: