Saturday, February 28, 2015

Caption This #9!

Here is your next picture to caption! This is our cat, Pinto. Have fun! (For those of you new to the blog, here is a quick review as to what this is all about: I give you a funny picture, and you come up with ideas as to what you think the picture should be captioned! In a week or so, I post my favorite caption with the picture!)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hume Lake: 2015!

Ice Skating with other kids from my youth group.
The weekend of January 30-February 1, I went to a Christian camp in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range near Hume Lake. Thank you to all who were praying for this trip—there was no real snow but there was some artificial snow for the tube and snowboard runs but still the trip was wonderful. In last year's post about this camp, I discussed the different activities that Hume has so this time I will focus on the Boxsled Blitz, (See Winter Camp.) Broom Hockey, ice skating and chapel time. Here is a quick excerpt from Winter Camp that explains the Boxsled Blitz:

The “Boxsled Blitz” is a competition between the churches that go up there. The rules are that you have to make a sled out of ONLY cardboard and duct tape. Then, when the tube run is iced over at about ten at night, two to ten people get in the sled and go down the hill and over a jump directly in front of the judges.

Me and the director of the camp. Selfie!
For the first year EVER that our church has participated in this event, we won! We created the coolest looking space shuttle! Even other campers from other churches went out of their way to compliment us. We were able to fit ten of the eleven kids that were on this trip in the sled (including me!). When it was our turn, we literally flew by the judges at 27 mph—just 2 mph below the camp's record! We scored four perfect tens and must have maxed out creativity points! After we took the jump, we barely began to slow; we just kept going and going until the very end of the run! It was super!

Broom Hockey is similar to regular hockey except that you wear tennis shoes, have only four minute rounds, and use a broom instead of a puck. Both our boys' and girls' teams advanced by one round which happened to be the semi-finals since it was a small camp. That too was fun to participate in but I got much more time on the ice when I actually ice skated later on. Also, I was blessed in that more people wanted to go with me this time! This year, I helped 3 people to ice skate and sometimes there were six from our group on the ice at the same time so I had a really fun time doing that especially since ice skating is one of my favorite activities there! (I only fell once!)

Me and two other girls from my group with the speaker.
This year the theme was “Everyday Things” and the theme verse was Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understandings. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” The band was a group of three guys called The Advance. (They have six of their songs on I-tunes for six dollars and I would recommend at least getting their song: “Give Us Faith.”) I really enjoyed their style of music as well as the touching lyrics to the songs. The speaker, Eric, is a youth pastor from Pomona. Each chapel session he explained another part of the theme verse. He talked about how not to get caught up in the everyday things in our life that can pull us away from God but rather to let God become a part of those everyday things. He also discussed how difficult it is to truly trust God and not to rely on what you think is best for your life. When addressing, “In all your ways acknowledge Him. . .” Eric informed the students how to do this by letting their light shine. In the last chapel session, he summed everything up with what it means to have God direct your paths. As I listened to this discussion of a passage that is so familiar to me, I felt very challenged and almost a little discouraged. I really struggle with trusting in God with all my heart. I am so afraid that He will send me somewhere where I will be martyred or face other serious hardships. It was a challenge to me to let go of my fear and trust that He knows what is best for my life.

Have you taken a journey to trusting in God? I would love for you to share it and maybe it will help me to trust God. You can note it in the “comments” section it if you are willing to have it where everyone can read it or, if you have my email you can send it to me.

I would truly value your prayers for me to be encouraged and strengthened and also that I might completely give myself to God and His plan for my life. Also you could be praying for the three kids from our group who surrendered their lives to Christ at the camp and for the others who recommitted themselves to Him. Well, I hope that you enjoyed reading about my time at camp! Thanks for your prayers and for reading! I'm glad that I can share these experiences with you! Enjoy your week!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

St. Valentine

Flowers, candy, red hearts and romance. That's what Valentine's Day is all about, right?” (St. Valentine, The Real Story. By David Kithcart.)

No! Valentine's Day was started to remember St. Valentine—martyred on February 14. There are many ideas about why he is remembered, but the gist of it is this:

Valentine was a Roman Catholic Priest who lived during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Supposedly, the emperor passed a law stating that marrying was forbidden among young people. Claudius felt that if the young men were concerned about what would happen to their families if they died, then they wouldn't sign up for the army. So Claudius felt that the best solution was not to marry. However, Valentine continued to marry couples in secret. Eventually he was caught and thrown into prison where he befriended the jailer's daughter. On the day of his execution, he left a note to her and signed it, “from your Valentine” which would explain why the giving of notes has become a Valentine's Day tradition. St. Valentine believed in love and marriage, that's why he gave his life to go against Claudius's law and marry these young couples.

Next time you think about Valentine's Day, remember St. Valentine, who gave his life for such intangible things of value as love. As a matter of a fact, next time you think about someone that you love, tell them that you love them and appreciate them. Happy Valentine's Day!