This morning, after my “walk-run,” I sat down on a picnic table in the shelter house for some “quiet time.” Part of it was easily reflective – there’s the snack shack, where ice cream was in great demand during The Gathering. There’s the table, where Dr. Jim Diehl had a cheeseburger every night after preaching (and yours truly had a milkshake every evening but one – what a great week!). There’s the new “gaga ball pit” that became an instant hit for “the kids.” There’s the dining hall – delicious dinners every evening. Everywhere I looked, a memory: corn hole tourney, morning devotions, people coming from their cottages and RVs.
Of course, there was “the tabernacle.” What great services!!! The mornings “Holiness … The Journey Outward.” Paul Mils’ words about Jesus having compassion “when he saw the people” and that “you can’t see if you aren’t looking” will stay with me forever. Pastors Thompson, Dennis and Bullock equally effective. The great evening services with our talented worship teams from across the district. People told me that Dr. Diehl came just for them … and then would relay how they were impacted, even changed. Powerful, meaningful, extended times of prayer at the altar. The wonderful ordination service and District Assembly lead by Dr. Graves. The spontaneous Myanmar project (we already have three dorms spoken for, $3,000 in cash donations for scholarships and others wanting to know what they can do!). The passion of our missionaries, the Armstrongs. The blessed hymn sing.
It is fascinating to me how moments become memories. We experience the moment, and then we relive it again and again through our memories. Often this can be painful, if the experience was difficult. But just as much when the experience is happy, life-giving … or best yet, an encounter with the Living God.
I trust your summer will have many happy moments that become happy memories. Vacations. Ball games. Family reunions. Picnics. Live in the moment. Then enjoy the memory.
We have more coming here at the camp ground. District Children’s Camps are later this month and in early August. Pray that these camps will be anointed … that many children will have a “moment with God” that becomes a lifetime experience and memory.
Together … with God … we can.
(Oh … since some want to know … counting nightly offerings, church offerings and pledges, more than $88,000 was received at The Gathering! The most in a long, long, long time!!!