Heard the Latest about Higher Ground?

For those of you who don’t know, Higher Ground Encampment is a free Bible camp for teen girls in Sedalia, CO.  It began in 2009 and is sponsored by the Bear Valley church of Christ.

For those of you who are already familiar with Higher Ground, I wanted to share a couple of things that are new:

  1.  Higher Ground is under new directorship.  Beginning last year, Christy Swackhamer, mother of three girls and a diligent student of the Word, took over as director.  She did a great job and will continue to do so.  This year, Melody Sawyers, mother of three boys and the most hospitable woman you’ll ever meet, will begin serving as a co-director.  Teri Autrey and I will still be involved.  We are both serving as counselors this year and I will continue to teach Bible-marking.
  2. Higher Ground will be held earlier in the year.  Typically we’ve had camp in late July/ early August.  The dates for this year are June 24th-30th.  We are already accepting applications and Christy tells me they are rolling in!
  3. Higher Ground is at a different location.  A couple of years ago, the facility we’d been using was put on the market.  We had to find other accommodations, which was no easy task since we had to find something reasonable enough for us to continue to offer this camp for free.  We now meet at the Roundup Ranch (located right next to our original location).  Because it is a much smaller facility, Christy said we can only accept a maximum of 50 girls.

For more information about Higher Ground, and for a link to the online application, click here.

Please join me in praying for this effort, for the staff, and for all the girls who will be a part of it this year.  It will be a special week of spiritual growth, fun, and building or renewing friendships.

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Revive Me #32–Light Up Your World

Revive Me, Week 32– A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord

Light Up the World

This year’s theme at Higher Ground was “A Dark World Needs Bright Lights,” but it’s easy to get discouraged when we think in terms of the whole world.  It’s big, dark, and seemingly determined to reject God.  There are some simple ways, though, that we can light up our world.  We can make a difference in all the places we are this week…our homes and our communities.  And imagine the difference it can make when  we’re all lighting up our own little corners together!

We can light up our world by smiling.  Such a simple thing, really, but what an impact!  I have to remind myself that my face doesn’t naturally fall into a joyful expression.  Instead, it looks rather annoyed, or “long,” as someone recently pointed out.  But I know many who are smiling every time I see them.  It lifts me up, and makes me want to smile in return.  I imagine all who come in contact with them are blessed, simply because the joy in their heart is reflected on their face (Phil. 4:4; Psa. 16:9; Prov. 10:28).   I can smile more.  Surely I can do that.

We can light up our world by having a positive outlook.   You probably know someone like this.  Their life isn’t easy, but you wouldn’t know it from their words.  They talk (and post) about the good in life, and the Source of their blessings.  They keep looking up.  Their trust in God permeates their attitude and demeanor.  Because of their serenity, others are drawn to them, and want to know the secret to their peaceful confidence.  How are they living brightly?  Their lack of pessimism and complaint stands out, and points the way to Christ (Phil. 2:14; 4:11).  If being optimistic helps others see Jesus, what does my grumbling do?  I need to remember that.

We can light up our world by encouraging others to see the Word.  I’m thankful for the people in my life who do this.  Their posts contain Scripture.  They turn their life experiences into  teaching opportunities.  They remind us why we’re here, what the Bible has to say, and how we can make it real.  With all of the worldly messages swirling around us, I am especially grateful for those who combat it with glimpses into the eternal, hope-giving Word.  We can never get enough of that.  They shine by turning simple, daily rituals into opportunities to plant the Seed (Mark 16:15; Psa. 96:3; Rom. 1:16).   What if each day I look for at least one way to share the Word.  Will it make a difference?  Oh yes.  God’s Word is living and powerful (Heb. 4:12).  All I have to do is remember to help others see it.

None of the three ways I’ve mentioned involve money or a great deal of time.  There’s no fear of embarrassment or persecution, usually.   It’s just letting God’s love shine through the darkness in simple ways.

Suggestions for the Week:

  1.  Smile.  Smile at your spouse and your children.  Smile in the checkout lines.  Smile in traffic.  Smile instead of scowl.
  2. No complaining, grumbling, mumbling, or sharing aggravations in the office, at the ball field, or on social media.  Just don’t do it, at least for this week.  Remember, your goal is to light up your world not sound like your world.
  3. Share, post, or tweet each day something about God’s Word.
  4. Become a name-dropper.  God’s name, that is.  In your casual conversations, look for ways to insert ways that God blesses, protects, and strengthens.

Read it.  Memorize it.  Live it.

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