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Saturday, June 28, 2008

It's Campmeeting Time!

Our family enjoyed a week at our annual camp for the Heartland Conference -- Beulah Grove. It was a week of work, fun, and spiritual challenge. My kids love campmeeting -- all the friends and fun and the children's services. My husband and I like to spend time chatting with friends from across the conference we don't see often. We all take a turn working in the kitchen, cleaning bathrooms, etc. We traipse (that's a mom word, isn't it?) across the lawn to the shower and accumulate an unbelievable amount of laundry. We stand in lines for food and pray around the altar. We listen to God's Word preached and sung. We thank God for a camp that means so much to our family. It's a week we wouldn't trade for anything.

Our workers this year were: Paul Pierpoint and Daniel Stetler, Singers -- Marc and Melodie Sankey, Youth Evangelist -- Randy Brown, and Children's Worker -- Christina Black. Each was a blessing to us.

Now we're gearing up for Youth Camp!
We were packed going and coming!
The beautiful shady side of the tabernacle.
The setting is rural.
My lil' slugger, Stewart.
Kaley and friend, Evie Marie.

On the Campground

The tabernacle.
Inside the tabernacle.
Kaley and friends, Allison and Breanna.
Autumn made it to 1st base.

Dwelling in "Beulah"

Cottages on the campground.
Kaley and friend Allison.
Ashley taking a turn at kitchen duty.
The children's play area.
The Wilcox tabernacle.

Fun Times at Camp

Kaley singing in the children's program.
The teenagers playing volleyball.
Camp dining room -- a new one is on the future building plans!
The delicious salad bar.
My family enjoying a "Beulah Burger" and nachos after church.

Camp Pics

The cabin we're buying and working on.

Having fun after camp is over.

The children's program -- Sunday morning.

What the kids do between services.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Core of Life

I read today of another case of corruption. A judge was found involved in the same kind of obscenity as a case he was currently presiding over. Not that this is anything new. We have recently been deluged with a sickening flood of new stories about fallen high-profile citizens.

One begins to doubt, to question "Is there goodness in anyone? Are all destined to fall?"

The Scripture answers that. "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."
(Romans 3:10-12 )

The proof is before us in living color -- what God says is true. The inner core of man is not good. We forget that to our hurt. Sooner or later, despite all the accomplishments and good deeds a man accumulates, what is inside will come out. It may be small, it may be dramatic. It may affect only him; it may affect a nation. It will shock; it will amaze; it will disappoint. As yeast causes the dough to spill over the bowl, so the inner sin of man froths over the boundaries of his life, its rising tide not stemmed by position, relationships, or achievements.

That's why the message of the Bible is so right, so life-giving. When the Holy Spirit is in control, life cannot be ruled by the depraved nature. Self and its corruption is dethroned, led away to be crucified so that the life of Christ may reign supreme.

Christ offers a way of escape from the decay of sin. We don't have to be overcome and dominated by wanton affections. We can depend on Him for minute-by-minute, life-giving guidance. He delivers from bondage; He snaps the noose Satan has placed on our necks. He gives us His righteousness, and anything good about us is only His life living out in us. The vessel is common; the Life inside is divine.

We are all steered by our inner compass. Some profess to have no Master; they are atheists. Others proclaim a spirit guide; they are occultists. Christ's followers confess that they have surrendered all they are to the One Who died for them and are being led by the life-giving Spirit of God. And this is true life; a surrender -- first of sin, then of self. And in human weakness, His strength is made perfect. O God, enable me to keep my surrender strong.

"And if Christ be in you..........the Spirit is life because of righteousness." (Romans 8:10)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Oh, those Great Lakes

"By the shores of Gitchee-gumee, by the shining Big Sea Water..." so begins Longfellow's lyrical tale of Native Americans on the Great Lakes.

There is an indescribable wonder that wraps around those who behold these great pools of fresh water.
Gray mist.
Rough waves.
Jagged rock.
Biting wind.
Lake Erie.
History and beauty rolling in with those crashing breakers.

My parents and youngest brother came for a visit. We spent a misty day at Lake Erie -- ferry rides, historical museum, souvenir shops, lighthouse, and a bit of rain. The sun didn't shine. There was an ethereal quality in the air. The hardy few (around 400, the park ranger told me) who weather the island year-round embrace the lake and it's capricious moods. The sweeping winds are forever at work, changing the weather forecast, keeping the residents guessing. There's a reason for the term "lake effect." We discovered that this week. It was a day for sea-going men -- you could almost imagine them waving a calloused hand in farewell as the shore grew distant and the mist swallowed them up. I don't long for the sea as they, but I think I understand it's mystical hold on them.
Me and my girls on the shore of Lake Erie.

Walking on the rocky shore by the lighthouse.

Marblehead Light - my parents, brother Danny, and my kids.

Autumn; gazing at the water.

Kaley on the wind-blown rocks.


The whole crew poses on South Bass Island in the village of Put-In-Bay.
My dad and Stewart on the ferry.

Me and my good-lookin' man.

On the island with the monument in the background, commemorating the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812.

Where is Kaley going?

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