MainKids Camp Out 2016: Part 2

June 23, 2016

By Dolores Rader, Minister to Children

Camp Out is coming to a close and we are filled with sadness to leave our
friends and this beautiful, beautiful place! It has been such an amazing
camp filled with God’s presence at every turn. Here are a few highlights
from me and then highlights from the boys!

Since worship is our central theme to Camp Out, we have one worship
service each day we are here. On Tuesday, Rachel Moore was our preacher
for our midday service and the girls lead in every aspect of the service
from tolling the hour to singing “Little Lamb” as the offertory anthem to
praying, reading scripture, and ushering. On Wednesday, Suzann Herrmann
and the boys led the evening service at the water. Suzann preached on
looking up and finding God wherever we are. The boys sang Amazing Grace
and ended the service with a joyful “I’ll Fly Away”. As is our tradition,
on the morning we leave, we will have our final Camp Out worship service
outside at the giant cross here at Artesian Lakes. Anna Rader is our
preacher and the camp counselors lead in worship. All of our worship was
based in Psalm 92 this year.

MKCampout2016FWe played at the playground, played capture the flag, hiked, swam, flew
down the slides into the lake, and shopped at the gift shop for candy and
souvenirs. In between all of the fun, we talked about and practiced
different disciplines for personal worship. Amanda Villasenor talked to
us about what the Bible says about personal time with the Lord and how
she practices journaling. We made our own journals and journaled
throughout camp. Emily Westerburg talked to us about the importance of
devotion time and how she and Mr. Trey do this together and separately.
We also talked about ways to ask for prayer from our friends and ways we
can pray when we can’t find the words and when we only want to share our
thoughts with God. We made teeny, tiny prayer boxes, lit candles, and
prayed for each other.

MKCampout2016E

And now highlights from the boys:

I loved everything about this camp. My favorite parts though were playing
with my friends, swimming, free time, and seeing wildlife. –TrevorMcLaughlin

I love camp because we can have fun. My favorite part in camp is the
slides and seeing wildlife. -Ulysses Paredes

I liked naming the wildlife. That is my favorite thing. -Cody Sawyer

I love swimming with my friends and spending time with my friends. For
swimming, I love the slide! -William Fowler

My favorite thing here to do is Circle Time and free time. -Timothy Kutz

Quiet time is my favorite time at camp. -Marco Campos

My favorite part about MainKids Camp Out is hanging out with my church
friends. I love playing tag, swim, and do a bunch of other stuff. -Lee
Fowler


Gathering Stones…Advent 2010

December 1, 2010

After the loss of a loved one or the loss of a job or the loss of a home, the holidays can be a particularly difficult time of poignant grief. Being in community with others can help you cope with the holiday season and the pain and the joy brought about by the traditions associated with this time.  We want to offer you a place to talk about your grief, to learn from others who are grieving, and break down the isolation that death often brings to those of us who are left behind.

We will gather the stones of remembrance and share them with one another. Each lunch will include a time of sharing over a specific aspect of grief. These lunches are open to anyone; particularly those who have experienced a significant loss in the past few years. For more information and to RSVP for a lunch, contact Erin Conaway.

Join us on Wednesdays, December 1, 8, 15, Noon – 1:00 p.m. in LB 204 at South Main Baptist Church.


Grace Remembered…by Amy Grizzle Kane

October 20, 2010

By Amy Grizzle Kane, Minister to Adults

Will Kona remember us? I was worried our own dog wouldn’t remember us after we sent her to four weeks of obedience camp in Brenham. We’d owned her only a month before we knew we needed help training her and found puppy camp heaven.  She loves playing with other dogs, gets to chase chickens every now and then, and is learning so fast she’s at the head of her class. That’s our girl.  So on our way to visit Kona we discussed, not our worry at how she is, but our worry that she had forgotten us.

We arrived and watched with beaming doggie parent pride as they showed us everything Kona learned.  After she had done everything they asked of her, they let her free to come see us.  We were standing with a few other doggie parents and she approached slowly and with caution.  She sniffed the couple next to us with a bit of disinterest, keeping her distance.  Next, she moved towards us.

My heart sank as it was obvious she didn’t recognize us immediately.  I knelt down so she could smell my hand… a quick sniff and instantly the world changed. Her ears and tail perked up and happy wagging, excited jumping, and joyful licking pursued.  She’s not lapdog size, but she bounced between my lap and Sean’s, covering us with happy doggie kisses.  Even after weeks of separation, she remembers us!  A week later, I’m still happy and smiling like a goof, telling everyone who will listen that my dog remembered me.  I know it’s silly and I know she’s “just” a dog; yet, when my dog remembering me brings a smile to my face weeks later…it makes me realize how much that joy multiplies when humans remember each other…and when we are reminded that God remembers us.

There is powerful grace in remembering and being remembered. I wonder who in our lives needs to experience the grace of being remembered?  A loved one who feels taken for granted, a church member in a care facility, an employee who feels unnoticed, a newcomer who feels out of place?  Some of us may think grace is always as big as the story of the Prodigal Son.  Grace, even when it seems “little,” is just as powerful.  Whether someone remembers your birthday or that it was a year ago today you lost a loved one.  Whether a friend remembers and shows up with your favorite ice cream flavor after a bad day or a “stranger” remembers your name.  Take note of when you feel the grace and joy of being remembered and find ways to share it with others.  The hearts and lives we touch, and even God, may still be smiling weeks later.

Give Grace.


Hiding God’s Word in our Hearts

July 8, 2010

By Erin Conaway, Associate Pastor

Sam recently became fascinated with hiding things.  He’s three and a half now and just loves to find the perfect spot for one of his cars or a bouncy ball.  That’s all fine and good until he hides his puppy and it’s bedtime and we can’t find it.  Then the whole house goes into search and rescue mode and we leave no pillow, cushion, chair, drawer, or cabinet unturned or unopened.  I remember being enamored with hiding places when I was little.  There’s just something wonderful about finding a spot out of the way, where one of your G.I. Joe men will fit or where a special Lego creation can rest without fear of being destroyed by a big brother or sister.

Now, I am finding little signs of Sam all over the house.  When I put my shoes on in the morning, there is usually a T-Rex taking a nap in one of them.  A few times I’ve opened my computer bag at the office to find a little alligator or a race car carefully perched just beneath the flap.  Sometimes I open the drawer to get a fork and there’s a dump truck sitting with the spoons.  I love it and know that when this season of hiding gives way to something else, I will miss these little signs of Sam all over the place—maybe even the occasional marble in my shoe.

The Psalmist writes in Psalm 119:10-12:

I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.  I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.  Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees.

I love the idea that when we hide God’s word in our hearts there are signs of God all around our hearts.  When we go to that place in our heart that is overwhelmed with joy and gladness, we find “Rejoice it the Lord always, I will say it again, Rejoice!” or when we visit the place of sadness in our hearts and open a drawer of memories we find, “You do not know what I am doing now, but later you will understand.”  It is imperative that we continue to read and study Scripture, and hide verses in our hearts in various places because we need those signs of God’s presence in every nook and cranny as we journey through life.

innerloopchurch.com


Peace, Hope and Joy in the Midst of Change

November 30, 2009

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let you’re your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

In August, we spent time at the beach.  The day in Galveston was unusual because the water was blue and fairly clear rather than brown and murky.  The pattern of the waves, however, was fairly typical: constantly changing.  We stood in the same place, and the water changed.  Gently rolling swells changed to breaking waves then almost disappeared.   Sometimes the water seemed deeper or shallower, and I’d wonder if we had unintentionally moved farther from or closer to the shore, but neither was the case.  As we stood in the same place, the pattern of the waves and the depth of the water changed.

Sometimes the breaking waves were a fun and exhilarating challenge.  Other times they seemed almost too much.  Their force nearly knocked me down, and their salt burned my eyes.   Sometimes the calm seemed peaceful and a welcome relief; other times it felt almost boring.   Sometimes the depth of the water felt good, even freeing.  Other times it made me feel somewhat unsafe, like we might have wandered out a little too far from shore.

In some ways, life is like this beach experience.  Change is inevitable and almost constant:  part of the nature of things.   Even if we continue to live in the same home, attend the same church, and work at the same job—things change.   Babies are born, children grow up, health issues arise, work and financial situations change, family members marry, and loved ones move away.   Sometimes these changes feel easy, comfortable and joyous; other times they don’t.  Nevertheless, the changes continue.

This Advent, as we prepare for Christmas in the midst of change, it seems important to claim God’s gift of inner peace along with the hope and joy that often accompany it by remembering scripture’s messages:

  • The angels saying to the shepherds, as angels said to others as well, “Do not be afraid…” (Luke 2:10);
  • Jesus saying to his disciples and us, “I will be with you always…” (Matthew 28:20); and
  • Paul in his letters wishing for believers to know the reality and power of God’s grace and peace that he experienced, even in prison.

These messages continue to be as true today as when they were initially spoken/written.  If we’ll let them, they can help us experience peace and hope and joy, even in the midst of change.

May God’s love and presence as expressed in these truths so deeply and consistently permeate our hearts and minds that peace, hope and joy become realities for each of us. Amen.

Linda Brupbacher, an education professor at HBU, is Hart’s wife, Lee and Lori’s mom, and Lauren’s mother-in-law.  At South Main, she is a Bible study teacher, a member of the Fellowship Community, the Pearland and Pasadena South Main at Home Groups, the GO Team and the Spiritual Growth Committee.


Simon the Zealot

July 10, 2009
We have been learning about the twelve Apostles this summer in Wednesday night Bible study. There is plenty of material about some of the disciples (Peter, Matthew, John, Judas) and then there is “Simon the Zealot.” He appears in the text of Scripture only three times (Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15, Acts 1:13). In each case, his name is listed among a group of disciples, “Simon the zealot.” But he is a real puzzle to me: what is a zealot doing among the Apostles of Jesus? 
The zealots were as much a political party as a religious group (then, as now, there are sometimes unfortunately little difference between the two). The zealots trace their history back to a terrible persecution of Jews under Antiochus IV Epiphanes in the second century BC. Antiochus Epiphanes placed an altar to Zeus in the Temple, sacrificed a pig on the altar, made it a death penalty offense to observe the sabbath or to refuse to worship an idol. As you might expect, that kind of brutality evoked a brutality in kind. One the the priests from the Temple in Jerusalem, Mattathias ben Yochanan, and his 5 sons (better known as the Maccabees) put together a guerilla army to fight for God and His people. They won, then ruled Jerusalem from 135-37 BC. As Mattathias died, he said to sons, “be zealous with the law and do not hesitate to give your life for the holy cause” thus giving birth the the “zealot” movement. Later, when the Romans took control of Palestine in 63 BC, the zealots were their nemesis as well. By then, they were known as the “assassins.” They carried knives under cloaks and took great pleasure in plunging them into backs of Roman soldiers. Their hatred grew to include anyone who showed slightest accommodation to Rome. 
 
So what is a “zealot” doing following the “prince of peace”? And how did Simon the Zealot get along with Matthew the tax collector? The short answer is, “I don’t know.” But somewhere along the way, Simon stopped being conformed to the pattern of this world and was transformed by the renewing of his mind (Romans 12: 1-2). I can’t prove this is true, but you can’t prove it is not. I think Simon went to listen to Jesus teach one day, after all someone (with knife under cloak) had to test young rabbi’s words to make sure he wasn’t a Roman lover. I think Simon heard a hope for the future and found a home in the heart of God in the message of Jesus he never knew while holding a knife in his hand. I think Simon found a joy in Jesus he thought was impossible in this world and for rest of his life he was “zealous for Jesus.” That is, he had a zeal to give and share life, not to take it. I think he kept the name “Zealot” as a reminder that people really can change all the way to the heart.
 
Do you know that your life can be joy-filled? I find it incredibly sad that a number of people hardly believe anymore in the possibility of a joy-filled life. I know people who have more or less accepted life as a prison and are grateful for any occasion that facilitates the illusion of the opposite: a vacation, a new romance, a drink. None of these things bad in and of themselves, but, when sought as an opiate for life, we become conformed by this world and not transformed by the next. But we can have joy that does not leave us in sickness, poverty, even death. We can have joy that moves us from the house of fear to the house of love. We can celebrate because Christ is sharing his own joy with us. We can have zeal, not to shed life but to share it. We can be transformed by the mercies of God. Simon was. How about you?
–Steve Wells, Pastor
For more information about South Main, please go to www.smbc.org