Saturday, May 17, 2008

JH Ranch - Take III

As most of you know, I am about to embark on my third summer out to the ranch. For those of you that are unfamiliar with JH Ranch, it is a Christian, high-adventure leadership ranch that offers various programs for both high school/middle school students as well as adults. It is my intention to keep you (my GBC family) posted as to what is taking place in Etna, California this summer and how God is working and teaching there.

To most of you, I say both "hi" and "goodbye" in that I have only been in WV for 2 1/2 weeks. New York was eye-opening to say the least. If there is one thing that I feel the Lord has been emphasizing in my life over the past few months, it has undoubtedly been His grace. I don't want these blog postings to be another cliche outlet for someone like myself to paint a "pretty picture" of the Christian life. I'm not going to lie. It's hard, and I'm not simply talking about obedience and the constant, life-long battle between right and wrong. I am referring to those dark times. Those times where you feel alone or even abandoned. Or even those times where you feel that all eyes are on you and then you fail, and yet those eyes don't shift. Or what about those times where you simply feel numb to the world, like it's passing by and while you want to make a difference in some fashion, it's not happening, so you begin to look at yourself and pinpoint all the negative characteristics or qualities about yourself, repent of your sins, and then try again hoping that you won't screw up this time around? It's a cyclical process and when you step outside of this cycle, you get frustrated.

I feel like the Christian life can be like this, and yet I don't think that it was ever meant to be. A lot of times, we adapt this "save the world" mentality where we forsake and even compromise God's power/ability to do so and replace it with a burdensome, oftentimes self-absorbed motivation to appear obedient or even "Christian" in the eyes of onlookers. I can only say this because this has been my life many times throughout the last 21 years.

My prayer for this summer is that we, as a church family, would draw ourselves near to our First Love. Oh that we would yearn for the intense and overwhelming grace that we've all tasted and seen! I pray that we, as Christians, would stop trying to prove to God that we are worthy of His love, because the fact is that we are not. Know that you are loved and desired! And may it be out of a posture of knowing that we are loved by God that we serve those around us this summer.

Thank you all for your continued prayers!


  1. Travis,

    Sorry to hear your phone has no signal! Hope you can find the time to call home somehow! I know great things are in store for you once again this summer. Will keep watch. I hope this comment goes through as I commented on Carries and it hasn't shown up yet! Love and praying for you!Mom

  2. Travis:

    I read these verses frequently one by one and dwell on each one. They have changed the way I think about "Christian living" and what I'm "supposed to be" doing to living "free" in my love relationship with Christ and not worrying about what I look like to others or what I "should be" doing! The Holy Spirit in you will perfect what is lacking. Until I gave up and quit striving with the "doing" and just stood still and let him love me thoroughly, I felt like I was a gerble on a wheel! Christ/Holy Spirit in you makes a difference everyday whether you realize it or not. And the more you understand and soak in who you are in Christ...the more you're behavior will reflect the Truth!

    I am accepted

    I am God’s child. John 1:12
    I have been justified. Romans 5:1
    I am a member of Christ’s body. 1 Corinthians 12:27
    I am complete in Christ. Colossians 2:9-10
    I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:17
    I have been bought with a price, and I belong to God. 1 Corinthians 6:19—20
    I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child. Ephesians 1:3-8
    I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. Colossians 1:13-14
    As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ. John 15:15
    I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ. Hebrews 4:14-16

    I am secure

    I am free from condemnation. Romans 8:1-2
    I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances. Romans 8:28
    I am free from any condemnation brought against me, and I cannot be separated from the love of God. Romans 8:31-39
    I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
    I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me. Philippians 1:6
    I am a citizen of Heaven. Philippians 3:20
    I am hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-4
    I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind.
    2 Timothy 1:7
    I am born of God, and the evil one cannot touch me. 1 John 5:18

    I am significant

    I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life. John 15:5
    I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit. John 15:16
    I’m a minister of reconciliation for God. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
    I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm. Ephesians 2:6
    I am God’s workmanship. Ephesians 2:10 I am God’s temple. 1 Corinthians 3:16
    I may approach God with freedom and confidence. Ephesians 3:12
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

    I am free

    Praying for you,
    Debbie Neese (Adam's mom)

  3. are a remarkable young man with such incite of yourself and others....I am sure you are making great friends and will have memories that you will never forget....we love you and pray for you daily....I'm proud to call you my grandson....Love you, Grandma C.