Posted tagged ‘Conversion’

Camp Day, Day 5

July 10, 2015

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                              July 10, 2015

                                            

Dear Parental Units,

Just kidding, Mom and Step-dad! I want you to know that I love you…I really do! My week at camp is almost over, and I’ve made some great new friends. My counselor has been incredible as she has allowed me to ask her hard questions, but she’s also been there to listen to my confusion.

I’ve learned a lot about faith and trusting this week. This morning we  got up WAY TOO EARLY and climbed to the top of the peak behind our camp. I didn’t like the getting up early part, and there were a few times during our climb that I wasn’t sure I’d be able “to get up!”…but I made it And a big reason I was able to make it was because of the support and encouragement of everyone else who was climbing with me. When my thigh muscles were about to explode I got a pat on the back from my counselor and a hand from another counselor helping me make the next really big step.

It made me realize how important it is to have “solid friends.” I say solid because some of my friends back home stand on shaky ground, and they are more like the wind that blows in and out of my life.

When I come back home on Saturday could I ask something of you? I’ve decided to become a follower of Jesus this week. That’s probably something you were hoping for, but I hope you understand that it doesn’t mean I’m going to be all perfect and always doing the right thing. I’m going to mess up royally, and I’m not going to suddenly understand high school calculus just because I’m following Jesus!

But this thing I need to ask you…would you help me in this faith walk? Maybe that sounds weird, but it’s kind of like that climb this morning. I need your support and encouragement to keep going…a helping hand when I’m having those moments when I’m about to tip backwards. I know you go to church and help out in different ways, and I appreciate that more now than I did before this week at camp.

But…I’m sorry to start so many sentences with but…but I need to know that your faith in Jesus is real! I’m not saying it isn’t…but I need you to tell me every once in a while that it is…that it isn’t just something we do because we’ve done it that way for so long.

Even though I like my space from time to time from you, I need you to lead me, to help me deal with my questions about why God does certain things…what happens when I pray and when I don’t pray…help me figure out what God wants me to do in life, what my purpose is?

I hope I’m making sense. My counselor isn’t even making me write this. I’m doing this on my own! If Jesus was thinking of me when he went to the cross I want to try to think a good bit more about them in these coming days.

Thanks for being my mom and step-dad! I know you don’t have perfect lives, but I know you love me deeply…and you paid for me to come to camp!

 

Can’t wait to see you!

Your daughter!

Between The “Want To” and The “Did”

September 11, 2012

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                      September 10, 2012

In a recent Time magazine article (September 17, 2012), Doctor Oz shared some insights that he has discovered about people who want to change a certain behavior or lifestyle tendency and actually doing it! He says that when he hears the words “I know I should…” bright red flags go up.

Without getting to deep in the psychology of change, the five steps to getting unstuck are mentioned as “Pre-contemplation”; “Contemplation”; “Preparation”; “Action”; and “Maintenance”.

But Dr. Oz makes this statement in the article that needs to be trumpeted:

Throughout time, religion has been about not just worship but also life lessons, self-improvement and redemption, with earthly accountability to the community and congregation to help keep us in line…Alcoholics Anonymous was launched in the 1930’s with a 12-step model based on the same idea.”

In other words getting from the “want to” to the “did” requires a transforming decision, and a group to hold you to it.

We call it conversion, but we also need people to have on-going conversation with about the shift in life focus. Conversion is radical enough! To repent and turn to see that you are completely alone in the next step of the journey too often results in “I know I should have” hit-the-wall moments.

Many believers try to go it alone.

It’s an unwise decision! Proverbs would probably label it as a decision made by a fool.

Adam wasn’t made to go it alone, and neither are we. (Let me clarify! That is not a reason for a single person to say “I need to go out and find a spouse!”)

Being a part of a church should offer a level of accountability. Mega-churches do many things well, but I fear the lack of accountability that many of their attenders are drawn to. To be fair, small churches have issues as well. Many times small churches have “ownership issues.” “This church has been in our family for five generations, and, dog gone it, I’m not going to just let Jesus come in and take over Lordship!”

Accountability, a band of brothers, someone to walk the road with me, is a vital part of getting from “want to” to “did.” The days of The Marlboro Man are in the past. Cigarettes kill, and spending too much time with a herd of cattle may only convert someone to being a vegan, not a surrendered follower of Jesus.

It’s interesting that the early Jesus-followers clustered together in groups and called themselves the “Body of Christ.” The Body-healthy moved together, took action, supported each other in phenomenal ways. It does something to you when you realize that some of those gathered in your group might not make it to the next Sunday. Crosses for Christians became a common theme.

We’ll walk together all the way from the ‘want to’ to the ‘did’!

Such accountability without a doubt enabled Paul to say “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)