Friday, July 30, 2010

Youth Camp 2010

Sunday through Wednesday (7/23 - 7/28), I attended our church's youth camp as a leader. Here are some highlights and a few pictures.

Every morning I automatically got up early enough (5:30 - 6:30 is my normal wake up due to car-pooling or kids) to spend some quiet time reading the Bible and writing in my journal. I found these stairs on the side of the building, so I could be by myself but not have to walk too far either.

<-- the stairs

the view from where I sat-->

On Monday morning, I had enough time to also go for a run around the entire complex, which is fairly large, very hilly, and at an altitude of 6250 feet. There is also a very long length of stairs that I jogged up, leading from the lake to our cabin. I would estimate it to be at least 5-6 stories high. Through the 3 day duration of the trip, I must have gone up and down these stairs at least a dozen times.

<-- view from the top

view from the bottom-->

On the way back from my morning jog, I ran into many of the kids heading down to the lake with Jason (another leader). I joined them, and since I was sweaty from jogging anyway I jumped in the lake from the L-shaped dock on the left and swam back to the beach. In doing so I was the first one in the water on the trip.

pictures of the docks

We had a couple of worship and speaking sessions each day. Several times they were held at this outdoor amphitheater that had a spectacular view of the lake as a backdrop, as you can see in the pictures below.

Special thanks to Phil and Gentry for leading worship the whole time!

Packing up to head home.
Bryan was gracious (and patient) enough to be in charge of the packing and trailer towing.

On the way home we stopped at a park to eat a brown bagged lunch.

As you can see in the pictures below, the park had dozens of geese and squirrels mooching food from sympathetic and easily entertained people like us.

<-- aggressive geese

friendly, but fenced in squirrels-->

The kids seemed to have a great time and many responded favorably to the messages and encouragement that was presented to them. It was also truly an enriching, rewarding, challenging, and humbling experience for me as a leader.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day by Day

The available work at my company has slowed down dramatically lately. There are numerous people that I have talked to who are coming off of projects but are not sure if there is anything new for them to do. As for me, I am on a project until at least September, maybe later.

One thing that God has been showing me lately though, primarily during the occasional quiet times spent with Him in the morning, is to focus on living one day at a time.

With that focus comes the realization that at this moment in time I have a house to live in and food to eat. I have a job to go to and my family and I are pretty healthy (aside from an occasional cold). Both cars are currently running and the bills are getting paid. I am blessed beyond what most of the world experiences, and certainly well beyond what I deserve.

This day is the day that the Lord has made.
I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Work Witnessing

The bad news is that I only logged in less than half a day at work today. The good news is that for the other half I was a) participating in a weekly discussion/prayer meeting with a couple of co-workers in the morning, b) playing 3-on-3 full-court basketball during lunch (and a little beyond), and finally c) having a >3 hour discussion with a co-worker about almost every possible aspect of Christian apologetics after lunch.

He was visiting our facility from San Jose, trying to get some work done in the same closed lab as me. For the most part we had the room to ourselves, although we were interrupted briefly a few times by other co-workers coming in and out.

I have actually talked to him for quite a long time before, over a year ago I think, maybe even two. Nothing came out of it before that I was aware of. He already believes in God, but is skeptical about everything, and I mean everything else regarding not only Christianity, but all religions. In fact, he's even skeptical that there is a supernatural, spiritual world period. Especially one that occasionally crosses over and has an effect on the physical one (miracles, etc).

He's a really good thinker though, and while it made for a long and difficult discussion, I love that kind of deep rooted questioning and doubting. Not only because it challenges me and makes me think deeply about my own faith and what I believe, but also because it reminds me of myself before I became a Christian (and still sometimes now too).

Like the previous discussion, maybe nothing significant will arise in my friend's heart/mind/spirit out of this one either. But maybe some of the ideas/words from before softened his heart, if only just a little bit. And maybe this one warmed it up some too, just a little bit more. Of course, only God knows, but it wouldn't surprise me if He is just working on my friend's heart a little at a time - slowly, but surely.

I don't know the ultimate outcome yet. But whatever it may be, I can take satisfaction in just representing my faith honorably and hopefully convincingly. And as far as work goes, it's a good thing that I clocked in extra hours last week, because it looks like I'll need them now:-(

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Too Busy to Bond with Thy Neighbor?

I was talking briefly this evening to my neighbor Joe, across the street. I ran out of room in my green waste disposal bin and after filling his up too, he offered to take the remainder of my tree clippings to the dumpster at his business.

When I dropped off the two big yard bags later, he was sitting outside letting his two little white dogs enjoy the fresh air. I thanked him and chatted for a minute before heading back home. But before I could turn around, he asked me if I wanted a beer and/or a cigar.

I politely declined, explaining that while that sounded good, Amanda and I were going to try to exercise (to a P90-X video). The kids were in bed, and time is of the essence. It's already a serious battle to get our butts in gear. But the longer we delay, the harder it is to get motivated. I thanked him for the offer though, and suggested maybe some other time.

After I went in the house though, I thought "Life is so darned busy, and it's so hard to just stop and bond with people. I should have taken the opportunity to spend some time with him." Exercising together is really important to me too though. One idea would have been to ask him if he wants to meet outside in an hour or so. Or I could have asked him if he was going to walk the dogs again before bed so we could hang out then.

Anyway, I'm really glad that Amanda and I worked out. We pushed through the whole hour and it felt great and rewarding. I'm just bummed that I had to sacrifice the opportunity to spend some time with my neighbor to do it. I do, however, pray that the opportunity will arise again soon, perhaps under better circumstances next time. Or maybe I'll make the effort/invite next time.
counter stats