Taste and See

It’s been a crazy, crazy summer. So once again this post is going up later than usual, but I hope it’s worth it :). 

We’ve been looking at goodness this month and there have been so many good moments at camp… And also too many bad moments. But the number one thing that keeps running through my head comes from Psalm 34:

Taste and see that the Lord is good

When the summer gets rolling full speed and time escapes me everyday, I usually hit the snooze button in the morning and spend less time with Jesus. At first, it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but then days go by and seeing the goodness of God dwindles a little more each day. Now, that doesn’t mean he isn’t any less good, it simply means I am making an idol out of my desire for sleep and putting it above my need to taste and see how good God is. 

This post is short because my off period is short, but I hope you take time to truly taste and see how good God is. Dive into His word. Start in one of the Gospels and look to see who Jesus is and what he has done. As you look for God’s goodness, you end up seeing it all around, even when life doesn’t look good. 

Love you friends! 

Christi

GUEST BLOGGER: OMG

I’m very pleased to introduce you to our next guest blogger. It’s my brother Ben! Ben is an incredible young man, and has always been one of my favorite humans on the planet. Yes, I’m totally biased. I am excited for you to read his post! – Sarah

If you were to listen to a conversation between two people, I would bet that it wouldn’t take too long for you to hear the phrase “Oh my God!” used in some form — whether it be “Oh my God”, “Oh my gosh”, “Oh my goodness”, or just plain old “OMG”.  This is one of the most frequently used phrases in our vernacular, and, in my opinion, one of the most interesting.

To further explain why this phrase interests me so, let’s examine one particular form: “Oh my goodness”.  Many people use this form so that they don’t use God’s name in a negative way, in order to abide by the law God put forth in the Second Commandment.  While this is admirable, I don’t think that using this form completely succeeds in keeping the Second Commandment.  Sure, ‘goodness’ is not the Lord’s name.  However, ‘goodness’ is God embodied in a single word.  God is goodness, and goodness is God.  Substituting ‘goodness’ for ‘God’ changes nothing, because there is nothing in this universe that better exemplifies ‘goodness’ than God.

Words and the way that we use them have always been interesting to me.  I’ve found that most of the time, we don’t fully understand everything that we say.  Sure, we know definitions and things like that, but, when we look closer, our words can mean a lot more than we think.  So next time when you’re shocked or surprised by something, think about what words you use to express it.  Goodness may seem worldly, but it’s actually not.  It’s the perfect embodiment of our Savior in just one word.

Until next time,
Ben

Find our guest blogger on the internet:
instagram: @benjamakosy
snapchat: @benjaminstephen
twitter: @benstemak

When Bad is Actually Good

Hey friends!

First of all, SO sorry this post is a couple days late. As you know, both Sarah and I work at summer camps and the past few weeks I had no real access to a computer with working wifi and my time has been incredibly limited. So, here is my post, late on a Saturday evening.

This past week I drove a little over 200 miles from one camp in WV to serve at my churches missions week back in PA. This is my second time helping at mission week and I knew from previous years that this week is quite possibly the hardest week of the summer…but this week was so much harder than I ever expected. Yet, in the bad times, ultimately it was all so, so good.

Brief explanation of mission week…we take our youth group to a camp that runs a day camp through an organization in a close by city. The kids who come to this camp come from incredibly hard backgrounds and their family life is usually messed up in ways most of us may never understand. Our youth become the kids counselors for about four hours during the day for a day camp program where we teach them about Jesus, play games, have free time, and simply invest time and love into the kiddos. Once the kids leave, we continue the week with a regular summer camp for our youth. I hope that made sense.

Camp life is beyond exhausting on every level. This past week was my fifth week working in a camp environment and it was the absolute hardest seven days of my life. But they were also some of the best. I’m beginning to see that the bad times in life are actually really good. Between putting out fire after fire, solving conflicts, leading discussion groups when my cup is on E, and fighting alongside the highs and lows of camp life with youth and leaders, I could easily say this was at times a bad week. But it was actually one of the best weeks because I was stretched into a place of utter dependence on God and relied on prayer to make it through each day.

I wish I had a more lengthly post to tease this out more, but alas, it’ll have to wait until next post. For now, know that your bad days are actually good because God works all things for our good.

~Christi

Badness Levels

The opposite of good is bad, so does that make the opposite of goodness, badness? When I think of the word ‘badness’ I think of the scene in Lilo & Stitch where Lilo pulls out the piece of paper and draws a scale of Stitch’s badness level. Let’s just say it’s not very good.

So I started thinking. What if that’s how God measured our sins? He pulled out His big red pen and filled in a diagram that would display how full of sin we are. That wouldn’t be very good either. But when God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, that level went way down. It became nonexistent. Our badness levels became full blown goodness levels.

Now that’s not to say we’re by any means perfect. In fact we’re far from it. We sin, and constantly fall short of the glory God has intended for us. But we are so richly blessed in the fact that “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8b God knows we are imperfect. He knows we fail. He knows all of our sins and shortcomings, yet he still loves us. He still chooses to forgive us. Even at those times when we think there’s no hope left for us. God still loves us, and will continue to forgive us.

Until next time,
Sarah

P.S. Sorry this is short, summer season means camp season which means a lot less time spent sitting behind a computer!