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!