the simple truth

Snow on evergreensHello there, dear friends!
As the celebratory season of giving thanks and Jesus’ birth warmly embraces us this time of year, I’ve been prayerfully yearning a simple, powerful desire: Give me Jesus. My mind has been warpedwith a recent love of simplicity, and the truth is, learning the power behind it is anything but simple for my over-analytical brain to do. When one of my students falls out of her chair “accidentally” knocking over and spilling my coffee all over the place during a formal test, Lord, Give me Jesus [grace] When I drive to work 55 minutes late for being early, unknowingly forgetting my classroom keys and lunch but get to see the glory of His sunrise over a silent highway, Ah, Lord, Give me Jesus. [peace] When I am constantly being pounded down by hearing unrelenting bad news of family’s health issues, day after day, Just give me Jesus. [power]
All of these daily common circumstances are always bringing me back to the simple reality ofneeding Jesus, simply because of who He is. In John 14:6 Jesus tells us, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” What is the truth? The truth is Jesus. Who is Jesus? Jesus is the most compassionate, loving, gracious, peace-giving, powerful, and faithful man who ever walked this earth. He faithfully took on our ugly sins, shameful regrets, and broken pieces. He washed us clean, forgot our past, and wholly put us back together on the cross that He died on. The truth is, in everything that we say and do, we are to do our humanly best to become the truth, to become Jesus, even when it seems impossibly complicated to achieve.
What does this have to do with discipleship? Everything. We can claim and proclaim all about Jesus as much as we want so people hear us and so we are doing our “active duty” as an obedient disciple of His Great Commission (Matthew 28:19), but if we are telling the truth without being the truth, nothing we say will be heard. Sometimes we try to dig so deeply into the Word to try and extract truths to gain more knowledge, all the while missing the simplest truth. Sometimes we simply read the Word because we know we should, all the while missing the simplest truth. It’s so simple: Just get Jesus. An aspiring theologian, avid disciple maker, and one of my best brothers in Christ told me this one day: “There is a big difference in knowing something and becoming it. I think it’s a problem with Christianity. We become consumed in our rational and intellectual pursuits of God instead of simply allowing Him to change us into that which reflects Him the most.”
With all of this in mind, I have a simple question for you: Truthfully, what are you doing with knowing the truth?
|Author >> Chelsea| ^^ |Photography >> Cassi|

how I was dumb today–two times in a row!

Backstory 1He drove over to my home studio (aka: my backyard!!) to record tomorrow's scheduled Trail Mix Episode. Being the kind of guy who has sweat glands unleash a river on his brow when in front of a camera, he was just ready to have it done. We set up the camera, positioned him just so in the dappling shade. He worked out his nerves in laughter and fidgeting. I pressed record. His smile into the glass eye of the camera didn't show his worries of the audience mocking him. He spoke with clarity and eloquence. Did the shoot really go so well on the first run? No redos, no bloopers? Awesome.

Backstory5We run inside to download the clip and make sure everything went as smoothly as we thought. Turning the computer volume all the way up, we await his voice. His mouth was moving, but we heard nothing. What is going on? This was the first time using the mounted microphone so I check everything over, making sure everything was plugged in correctly. It was. But, wait? Oh no. It can't be. I never turned the microphone on. No, no, no. I could only laugh at my stupidity. He, on the other hand, dreaded starting over. It was perfect and he was sure it would never come off the same again.

Backstory3He was right. His words tumbled over each other, he misspoke, his thoughts were disconnected. Nothing like the first time. Deciding to take a break, he replaced a broken light fixture in my kitchen. In hind site, probably not the best idea, but Mr. Productivity can't sit still. Having to contort his already achy body in uncomfortable ways to reach the ceiling, he fought to make modern things work in old places. So much for a break.

Backstory2The time came to try again. All went surprisingly well. We go to watch it, thankful to have gotten the video just right. Mouth is moving, no sound. NOOOOOOO. I did it again. I forgot to switch the mic on. UN.BE.LIEV.ABLE. How could I be so dumb He's disgusted with the whole thing at this point, and though trying to make light of it, is disheartened and completely over it! Enough for today!

As I sit here now in the quiet, I wish so badly I could push the undo button on this day as easily as I push it on my computer every day. But I can't. No amount of wanting will offer me such a luxury. So what am I to do? What are we to do when mistakes or life happens?

I don't really have a sound answer other than to say, we gotta let it go rather than harp on it. We must take strides forward. We must receive grace. If we walk in Christ, His grace extends to us continually. Take it!

Backstory4We made plans to try again tomorrow. But today, I am reminded of my great need for His grace. Thankful for such grace. And thankful I am Marty's daughter. He has to still love me, right?!! Who else will be kind enough to help build his character?

Go be smarter than me today!!


Post Publishing Update:

[Note: in case I accidentally made you believe the entire thing was misery, we did have quite a few laughs & chuckles through it all! I'm thankful for the encouragement given! It was nice to know I'm not alone in my mess ups!!]

a perk of camp ministry

Author Journal StoryAs staff of Whisper Mountain Youth Camp, we have the rare privilege of glimpsing a few of the words God is authoring on the pages of His kids' lives. Each story is unique, with differing scenery having its own peaks and valleys, but every story contains the same thread of grace woven throughout its plot. Who writes a better story than the Author of life?

Authoring Matt McFallsWe've enjoyed having a guy named Matt McFalls with us for the past month or so. Talk about a guy who loves to laugh! He's pretty good at causing our sides to ache, but he also works hard (hello weed-whacker!), has great insight and is like the rest of us…in process with His Daddy! 

Who knows how long we get to have him around, but we kind of hope he doesn't have plans to leave any time soon! Today I'm thankful for the faithfulness of the With Us God and the chance to glimpse His work through camp ministry!

Have you seen God working recently? Whether we see or not, we can be confident He is faithful.

girly time ahead

True id prep 1
True id prep 2
True id prep 3
Things are starting to feel a little girly around Whisper Mountain! We are in the final hours of preparation for our teen girls True ID retreat! Details, menus, decor…details! These are just a few of the things filling our minds, hands and time. We are praying that both the local and non-local girls attending will find themselves awash with God's redeeming grace and the mission of living for Him! Will you join us in praying?