This past weekend consisting of the Bristol Cross race and then my church's fall youth retreat, Camp Your Face Off, was one of the best weekends I've ever had!
Sorry that some of these pictures have instagram labels on them. They are cropped out on my phone and laptop, but for some reason, they still appear on this blog and I cannot get them off! If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!
This is Jay preaching the Word of God to all these students and leaders!
Jay preached on Galatians 1:1-9, 10-24 on Friday and Saturday morning. My favorite verse from this section (although I wasn't there for this session) is verse 1:10. "Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." As I am such a competitive person, this really applies to my life. I am so motivated right now to serve The Lord, but I am also so determined to perform well. Many times not just well, but the best. If I truly want to be a servant for Christ, I have to put my own desires behind me to fully do His work. I must not worry about what others think of me. God knows my heart. He is eternal! Life here on earth is not worth my worry. One day I will have the ultimate reward in heaven.
Saturday night was on Galatians 5:1, 16-25. Something I learned in this section (although I had heard the Fruits of the Spirit many times before) was that it is singular-fruit of the Spirit. They all go together. This is also the main message I refferred to in my previous blog about a sleepless morning and blessings. I love hearing this part: "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit was is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want." (verses 16-17) "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desire. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." (verse 24). I am a daughter of Christ! His Holy Spirit is within me! By living by His Word and trusting in Him, I have power to stand up agaist sinful desires. My conscience keeps me accountable; I can feel when there is something I should do. God is always walking with me; all I have to do is completely trust Him. He gives us freedom from our sins!
Brooks Gray, the contemporary worship leader at FBC Morristown, leading worship in the building at Harrell Park.
One of our just graduated guys DJ Gibson has amazing photography skills! Instagram @darnellgibson
Sunday morning's session was where all the leaders shared what they had been learning.
Erin is our intern in the youth ministry at church, along with attending college. She always has challenging and encouraging things to share! I like how she said that our sanctification is an ongoing thing; we grow in our faith continually. She also read the verse Ecclesiastes 3:11. "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end." This passage is headed A Time for Everything. God works in us daily to teach us more from His Word. Whenever we are convicted, we have to use it to draw us to repentence, not condemnation. We are given freedom! But we must be sure to not fall back into slavery, but to use this freedom to walk by the Spirit.
The first challenge of Sunday afternoon's amazing race: eat a jar of baby food fed to a member of the team by 2 other teammates, while wearing panty host over his or her head. But wait, there's more! This person also has to wear a diaper the entire race to keep up with all the "trash" from the events!
A gorgeous moment captured by another member of our youth group.
Meet Rob. He invents all this crazy stuff. A kid at heart, here he is joining in on "thrickball," leading his team to victory Saturday afternoon. We couldn't ask for a better youth pastor.
Friday night's bonfire
Some plain and chocolate chip pancakes flippin' on the giant skillet! Nothing better than fresh-prepared, over the fire pancakes to wake up to after the first night of camping! All thanks to our dedicated adults.
Poor Lindsey, Rob's wife, is such a trooper hauling their little girls to all these events.
Can't be outside with the guys of our youth group without a little football.
What Tyler shared on was a great way to think about Galatians 1:10. It says that if "I was still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." That made me think, well, that means when I am trying to please people, it makes me unable to serve Christ. Christ or people. I must choose.
My tentmates! Tori is our college leader, then there was Julia, Roxanna, and me. This was taken right after we woke up!
Tori's soon to be husband was also a leader. Logan used an analagy with their relationship. At first they were all focused on "well you can do this and you can't do that," and it just frustrated them. However, they realized as the love between them grew, they weren't doing things to please each other because it was a rule, but because they love each other and want to make each other happy. This is also how our relationship with God should be. We should please Him becuase we love Him, not because we have to. "It's not about the rules, it's about the relationship."
Girls gotta have their Enos. I've never been in one, but from this angle, it looks quite relaxing.
The most beautiful place to have breakfast and quiet time. Overlooking the lake.
After I got myself together from being so stressed in the tent this early morning, we got ready for breadfast. Sitting here I found even more great verses and how they could apply to my life. In Equip we had been doing book studies a chapter a week, and the next week was Hebrews 4. It is titled A Sabbath-Rest for the People of God. How convienient considering this was a Sunday, the "traditional" Sabbath day. Yes, I was here at Camp Your Face Off, totally different from any day. (I am a big routine person, and this was not routine!) This was an opportunity God gave me to rest and grow. Once I got home, I found that God also gave me plenty of time to do the things I needed to do at home, too.
My Sunday School teacher Patty has to bring her little puppies with her to enjoy the fun, too!
All the fun just makes us want to dance.
Left: Tessa Middle: me Right: Kristen
Tessa is such a creative girl! She works at a little art place and takes amazing pictures. She even designed this year's fall retreat logo! Visit her blog!
Another Amazing Race Challenge: "Capture that jump"
This was my team!
I was also the one to wear the pumpkin helmet through the entire race. This is comical though, because I absolutely love pumpkins! This was carved using only ink pens.
Our final meal was burgers grilled on those big skillets that were shown earlier. They were amazing! The adults got super crafty and even homemade French fries too!
I don't have a photo, but Saturday night they made fajitas or taco salad with chicken or steak and sautéed veggies! I am so thankful that we have such hardworking leaders and adults to help us have such great weekends like this!
This was my first of 3 chunky brownie and ice cream sundaes. Yes, I splurged.
A final thing that I heard this weekend that I want to share was from a leader in our youth group I don't know too well, but she is so sweet! This goes along with the singular Fruit of the Spirit. When she said this, I totally thought that I do this exact thing. We can't pick apart the Fruit. Often times, we desire the individual qualities of the Fruit according to our own success. My motivation for the Fruit should be my longing to please God, not so that I can be successful. I should be motivated because I am greatful and thankful for the love He has for me.
Why am I/are you pursuing Jesus?