I love this time of year! I have always loved Fall, but this year it seems especially enticing considering the long, hot summer we have had. I love the feel of the cool, crisp mornings and evenings. I love having coffee or hot chocolate outside. I love making chili and soups. But my absolute favorite thing, is watching the leaves change and enjoying the beautiful colors that Autumn brings. When you stand back and consider the beauty that surrounds us all the time, but especially at the change of seasons, how can we not stand in awe of it's Creator! We are given such beauty everyday, but we so often forget to open our eyes to what is around us. We get so busy and in such a hurry that we fail to appreciate our world. My prayer is that each one of us will take the time, in the busyness of our days, to appreciate what God has given us. "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the works of his hands." Psalm 19:1
I have spent a lot of my day working on "stuff" for our Youth Summer mission trip to Townsend, TN in the Great Smoky Mountains. We are leaving in just a couple of weeks. We will be doing day camps and family evening programs in a campground there and also doing community missions through a ministry called CHARM (Chilhowee Area Resort Ministries) . We went last year and it was a truly awesome experience. Not only was it amazing to get to work with those children and families, but it was such a humbling experience to see our team work together and accomplish so much. We have a great team going again this year. The adults and students on our team have put in alot of time and hard work in
training, planning and practicing so they can be the very best they can be for this mission. I am so proud of all of them. I have been working on so many administrative tasks like rooming lists, schedules for the programs, menus and shopping lists that I was becoming a little detached from the reason for the trip. As I was making the schedule for the day camps, and I was reviewing the titles, I started thinking about the children and how they might react to some of the things we have planned; how they are going to get their feet washed by our students when we teach them how Jesus washed his disciples' feet, how they are going to get sprayed with water when we teach them how Jesus calmed the storm, and especially how they will react when we tell them about how God sent his Son, Jesus, to the cross to die for their sins. Like with so many things in our lives, we get so easily distracted from the true task at hand. The true task for any Christian is to be a disciple maker. Of course, all the administrative "stuff" is very important and must be taken care of, but let's not forget what our true calling is as Christ followers. CHARM's verse is Mark 10:45, "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." and their motto is "Revealing God's love through actions and words." Pray for our team as we finish our preparations for this trip. Pray that we will be united in our tasks, that we will have safe travel and that we will allow God to use us as He wants to. Pray that those families will have their hearts prepared to receive the message we are bringing. My own prayer is that all of us who profess to be Christ followers will not be easily distracted, but focused on what we are called to do.