Sunday, July 24, 2011

VBS 2011

Northwest Bible Church VBS 2011 - PandaMania Kids & Crew

Three weeks ago today, the Northwest Bible Church VBS crew swept their way out of Westwood Elementary as the 2011 VBS season came to an end.  Just days before, the gym, classrooms, hallways, and playground were filled with the joyful sounds of 260 kids and 125 volunteers building friendships and growing in their relationship with Jesus.

VBS week has been my favorite week of the year since 2004, when I first started directing.  Before that, I didn’t know the first thing about VBS.  I had never attended one as a kid, and never been involved as an adult.  But hey, I had the skills necessary to organize a fun week for kids, right? J  Over the past 8 years, I’ve learned the program doesn’t succeed as a result of my own skills and efforts; it has everything to do with God’s amazing work happening right before my eyes!  Now I spend less time “working” on VBS stuff, and more time on watching Him work.  Yes, God uses us to be the hands of feet of His work, and I am continually grateful for the efforts of so many who serve, but ultimately, it is all about Him.

One of my good friends was not able to volunteer at VBS this year, but she wrote something during the week that that touched my heart. Here is what Sonja had to say…

“You know when the Bible says wherever your treasure is there your heart will be also? Today from the hours of 9am-12pm I was here (at work), but I wasn’t; I was emotionally and spiritually at Westwood Elementary School where Northwest Bible Church is having their annual VBS program. This is the 1st year that I have been in the state that I will not be able to participate and help, which is just weird. There is something about VBS that gets all of us who help out so pumped up. I don’t know if it is the opportunity to invest in the next generation, or if it is being around like-minded believers, or if it is just having fun with kids, which reminds us about the faith that we had when we were a child.

 I’ll bet as you walked around Westwood today you would have seen smiling faces everywhere; the kids don’t care about whether the music is perfect or the lighting is set up or if last year’s decorations were better than this year. All the kids know is this is the highlight of their summer. A chance where they can be a kid and be loved for being a kid.

Today as I sat at work entering in some information on a computer, I walked myself through a day at NWBC’s VBS, and you know the great thing? I wasn’t even there but my attitude was lifted immediately as I thought about the kids playing, learning and being loved on. There is something about a child being a child that liberates us adults from the ordinary routine of  this life, and reminds us of the faith that we were meant to embrace.”

Spending a day with children at VBS and witnessing their excitement to learn of God’s love makes it easy to see why Jesus told people that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like children!  Childlike faith is something each of us should strive for! 

Although it’s still summer of 2011, my mind is already moving ahead to VBS 2012, and I can’t wait!  The opportunity to serve God’s children is by far one of my greatest joys, and I am blessed to be a part of His work!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Holding On

Life can change in an instant.  So many things affect our path, and now and then, something big comes along that takes us by surprise.  This past week was Vacation Bible school at NWBC.  VBS is easily my favorite week of the year in ministry.  The lives of kids and leaders alike are changed, and I love to be a part of it.  But this year, I had an unexpected surprise… 

Monday at VBS I got a call from our family doctor, saying that a recent test result was abnormal and Carson needed to get in to the hospital for an ultrasound right away.  Monday evening we got in for the ultrasound, then saw our doctor again on Tuesday.  By Friday, an appointment at Children’s in Seattle showed that Carson has numerous kidney stones, and the function of his kidneys was in question.

Recently when I’ve been talking with people about Keith’s disease, I often comment that I’m thankful our boys are healthy.  I think it’s almost come to the point where the health of our boys has become my security, my hope.  This morning I was hiking, and I caught sight of a squirrel.  He jumped and scrambled along the small, flimsy branches of about 6 trees before finally jumping to the solid base of a large tree.  He reminded me of how I sometimes look for security in the wrong places before finally landing back on the solid hope of God.  It’s easy to turn to earthly things for our security…money, friends, even family,   but our hope, and our security, can’t be found there. 

Psalm 62:5-8 “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.  Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”

When, in the future, my earthly tendency leans on the world and not on my Heavenly Father, I pray that I’ll picture that crazy little squirrel, scrambling around for something solid, and eventually finding it.  I’m sure the next time, he leapt for the solid tree a little sooner, and I hope I’ll do the same.   

Carson the Great at Children's Hospital