We need each other
Margy and I spent a month in a secluded and immensely beautiful section of the Willamette National Forest in Oregon. This mountainous region is covered with Douglas Fir and Cedar trees with the smell of Christmas in the air year-round. Just outside of our cabin was the rushing McKenzie River. As a native of Oregon, I was in heaven.
From there we headed southeast to Florida where we stayed in a condo nestled in a “bedroom community” near Orlando. Here is where this story gets weird. In this bigger city, we felt more at home and safer than being in Oregon, one of the most beautiful places on earth. Upon reflection, I think it comes back to the idea that man was created for connection. Margy and I studied the Word, read great Christian books, and enjoyed being with God and each other. What we did not have was a connection with other people. We learned that we not only needed God and each other, we need people in general. We cannot neglect that truly we need each other to get through this life.
God Works Through His People to do His Work
This principle also reinforces one of the reasons why Lake Ann Camp is so effective. Our team is fully committed to the idea that God works through His people to do His work in hearts. Know this, Lake Ann Camp is about connection – first with our Creator God and then with each other as we “spur one another on for love and good works.” (Hebrews 10:24) Trust me, the Lake Ann difference goes beyond our commitment to God’s Word and great chapel worship. Those are vital elements, but just like baking a cake; putting flour and eggs in a bowl does not transform those ingredients into a cake. It also takes sugar, salt, and baking soda and other essential ingredients to bring them all together. I am thankful that the people who make up Lake Ann Camp are such wonderful role models and colleagues in this great work.
God accepts and appreciates all the different ways through
which man chooses to express their worship toward Him
Allow me to expand this thought for a moment. Imagine that you were God for a Sunday. Factor in that you are omnipresent and your presence is welcomed and expected in every church and in every country of the world. Now wrap your mind around the multitude of cultures and cultural styles of worship that you would have to assimilate in order to receive the praise of your people. Every Sunday but one, we attended a Bible-believing church on our 14,000-mile journey. Each church had some basic tradition that was similar to others but at the same time, each church had its own way of expressing adoration and devotion to God.
One Sunday, it struck me how accommodating God is and at the same time how much we are not. God inhabits the praise of His people and yet, being people, we all choose to communicate with Him in ways that are familiar to us. In the end, God is in heaven, grateful for our acts of worship no matter what the form. We struggle sometimes at Lake Ann as our churches are as varied as the ones Margy and I encountered. Be assured of this, if you are struggling with some of the choices we are making, God inhabits praise and this camp is committed to making much of our God even if we express it in ways that may seem unfamiliar to some of our people. Please know that we love God and desire to honor His name above all else.
Sabbatical Take-aways that Will Impact Your Campers this Summer (Part Two), was written by Ken Riley, Executive Director at Lake Ann Camp and Retreat Center.