Core Values: Challenge By Choice

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Core Values: Challenge By Choice

WOW! What a blessing to write a little something about this topic. As I contemplated and prayed about what to write – my heart was saying “our whole life is one challenge met by one choice over and over again.” Challenged by Choice at school, challenged by choice with friends, challenged by choice at work, challenged by choice at church, challenged by choice at home…..


I am an expert on… well, really nothing at all. So, this is just speculation and perhaps my experience over the years. But I think where the rubber meets the road is this: when challenged, what choice will we make? Can we be challenged by the wrong thing? I think so. Can we be challenged by some good stuff? I think so.


I think of some real spiritual heroes in the Old and New Testament. Job, Abraham, Paul, and Peter to name just a few. Each of these men were challenged in mighty ways. They had to make some REAL choices. Not all good ones by the way. So be encouraged, people! But when led by the spirit of God, their choices where life-changing.


Almost every day I ask myself this question. Who will I serve today? Will I serve myself? Or will I serve God? WOW, Talk about a challenge and choice! Proverbs 9: 13-18 talks about folly crying out. Wanting us to listen. Wanting us to come close to it. What will we choose? The challenge of wisdom? Or the challenge of folly? We have a choice to make. John 8: 1-11 is the narrative of the adulteress woman brought to Jesus by the Pharisees who were wanting to stone her. But Jesus tells the woman to “go now and leave your life of sin.” We are not told what this woman chose to do. But Jesus surely challenged her.


I grew up in the 70’s. The culture was radically different than it is now. Many things have changed in the last forty-five years. When we talked on the phone back then we couldn’t move more than 3 feet because that’s how far the cord traveled. Now you can be driving 70 miles an hour down the freeway talking to someone in Tahiti. But… there is one thing that has not changed and that is the human heart. That has been the same since the days of Adam and Eve. The Bible tells us that the heart is wicked apart from the love of Christ. Genesis 6:5 tells us our heart condition: “ … every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.” We are ALL challenged by choice as to where our heart will reside. Will it live in Christ? Or will it live in the world? God created us with free will. Free to choose. Which will we choose?


I received Christ at the age of 18. For the past 40 years, my Christian walk has been one challenge-one choice. One right after another. Everyday. Some wrong choices, some right choices. As I reflect back on some of the “biggies” there is one common denominator. The wrong choices were led by self. The right choices were led by the Spirit of God. When challenged to choose Christ at each intersection of life I find joy, peace, and hope. This HE promises to those who are in HIM.


Lake Ann Camp is a place where thousands of kids have visited over the years. I have heard countless life-changing stories from kids who were challenged every day at camp. They are challenged by the staff, the preaching and the activities they participate in. Lake Ann Camp is designed for the kids to have fun (what kid doesn’t want to have fun?!) and discovery (Who they are, and for what purpose). They are challenged at every turn. What so many of these kids discover is that the choices they make –make a difference in the short and long term.


The entire staff at Lake Ann Camp consider it a blessing to be part of shaping spiritual future for each camper.


-Brad Havens

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