Thursday, September 25, 2008

Summer in a Nutshell

Well, summer is officially over and I’m about to go home for three months. The summer was full of ups and downs, but overall I think that things went pretty smoothly, and I was definitely stretched in a good way. Maybe I'll expand on these some in the future but if not, here is my summer in a nutshell...
Here are a few highlights of the summer –
  • Making new friends and building relationships with both the new and returning summer staff.
  • Surfing with Dave and actually being able to stand up!
  • Rescuing Micah’s goldfish from the milk that he poured into the fish bowl.
  • Kayaking for the first time – we started out from Santa Cruz harbor and then paddled out past the boardwalk and the wharf.
  • Hanging out in San Francisco with Jeffrey and Keegan.
  • Using a nail gun (check that one off the bucket list!)
  • Helping and watching the cave and pyramid evolve into the awesome set that we used for our programs.
  • Getting to go shopping for program stuff including a trip to my favorite store, Toys R Us.
  • Getting to be in Rachel and Seth’s wedding in WV in July and the roadtrip out with my mom.
  • Watching Simon (who is from England) learn how to drive an automatic on the opposite side of the road in the middle of San Francisco.
  • Snipe hunting - sorry guys :)
  • Realizing I know the road well enough I can easily drive up the canyon without my brights on.
  • Reading through Spiritual Leadership again.
  • Working on the ropes course which allowed me to have more interaction with the campers.
  • Beckie, Erica and the Burton’s coming up to visit.
  • Going to the lake and hanging out with church friends on the boat, and attempting to wakeboard for the first time.
  • Getting permission to drive the golf cart - finally!
  • Getting rescue certified for the ropes courses.
  • Hanging out in the library parking lot mooching off the wireless internet.
  • Finding out that the coffee shop at the bottom of the hill has free wireless internet (hence this post)!
These are some things I’ve been thinking about lately
  • At the college and career Bible study, we’ve been going through Proverbs. A couple of weeks ago it was about money and they asked “if money was not an issue what would you buy?” All I could think of was a time last semester where I had realized and written that I want to live simply and never be slave to my possessions. I think part of this stems from Midwest culture as opposed to the California culture I’ve been living in for the last three years, but maybe it’s more my personality. I also wonder if this gets harder as you get older and acquire more stuff? I guess I’ll find out!
  • This weekend a couple was asking me about the fire and every time I talk about it I am reminded of God’s grace, protection, and His faithfulness, but I don’t remember and think about it nearly as much as I should.
  • This is the first time I’ve been here long enough that I forget how beautiful it is here and I don’t like it.
  • Finding a biblically solid and healthy church is difficult, and I realize that there will never be a perfect church, but how much imperfection is ok and at what point do you decide that moving on to a different church may be best?
  • We went to Vintage Faith Sunday night and Dan Kimball preached on spiritual gifts. There were a couple of points he made that really impressed me. First, I liked that he pointed out that just because you think your strongest "gift" is not evangelism, it doesn’t mean that it removes your responsibility to share the gospel. And not just the gift of evangelism, but in other areas too where there is a need and you can meet it even though it might not be your main spiritual gift. The second point that I liked a lot was that he explained how a pastor or shepherd is not just the person who gets up and preaches on Sunday mornings, but that a pastor is someone who intimately knows and teaches a smaller group of people. In a large church there is no way that the head pastor can know each person in his congregation deeply, so this is where others step up and lead a smaller group, get to know them and become their shepherd. I think this is a biblical concept that many churches are missing today.  So often we put it on the head pastor to shepherd the whole church, but that's why we need to be involved in a smaller community of believers, and why going it alone just produces bitterness toward the church.