I don’t engage Facebook, for what I think are good reasons. But for the last several weeks, my interest in Facebook has increased as others have shown me what is “posted” and “shared”. To write with candidness, I grieve the postings of Christians attacking one another concerning the management of the pandemic, racism in America, and convictions about the upcoming election. I find it disheartening that Christians would use a secular, public platform (or any platform for that matter), to attack one another, often without restraint. And I stop to grieve for Christ’s Church. I don’t understand, am dumbfounded by, those who claim Christ, engaging in unrestrained venom toward others. To win the argument, or score my points, or defend my cause is not worth cutting someone’s ear off, or having my own laying in the dust. What damage is done to individual souls, building on sand instead of on rock?
To write plainly, I believe the Bible to be without error, authoritative and trustworthy. As I live under the authority of Christ, I live under the authority of Scripture, whose words form me into Christ’s disciple. Often, this formation is painful, for it calls for repentance and the renovation of my own heart. Sometimes, it is seeing the log when I am surveilling for splinters. When I read the Sermon on the Mount, it is Jesus’ sermon to His citizens. It is about the already and the not yet, the prayerful submission to “Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” It is Christ’s commands found in blessings: blessings of the poor, the merciful, the meek, and the peacemakers. It is for those who thirst for tsedeq, a righteousness that I am helpless to live into without Christ. It is glimpsing the telos here and now, being faithful to the Christ’s reign in all human relationships, in all societal systems, in all cultural mores. It is living in witness to the love of God in Jesus Christ that desires the salvation of all humanity, knowing that the very power of hell is defeated in Christ. Yet, there is so much that tempts our reactions not to live in love and obedience to Jesus Christ. There is so much that can drag us to shameless places that throw off the reign of Christ.
On this side of eternity there will always be the friction and strife borne of sin and evil and simple limited humanity, but in all of this I pray I can know, I have no cause but Christ’s.
In Jesus’ Name
20/20 Vision in 2020
Save the dates!
The World Mission Conference is coming to you through five 30 minute Live Stream events on July 14, 16, 21, 23 & 28 at 6:00pm Eastern time. Registration for this free event will begin next week.
Join us for life-changing storytelling and the latest news and testimonies from IM’s global servants, who will help you see with 20/20 vision that God’s mission is alive and well around the world.
Tuesday, July 14 – Health & Wellness
Kristy Engel (Global Consultant)
Katherine & Wayne Niles (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Thursday, July 16 – Abolition of Trafficking in Persons & Global Slavery and Short Term Mission Engagement
Jeni Pedzinski (Thailand)
Madeline Flores-López (Dominican Republic)
Tuesday, July 21 – Abolition of Trafficking in Persons & Global Slavery, Education and Evangelism
Annie & Jeff Dieselberg (Thailand)
Gordon & Lee Ann Hwang (Japan)
Thursday, July 23 – Theological Education and Health & Wellness
JD & Rhonda Reed (Bolivia)
Kihomi Ngwemi & Nzunga Mabudiga (Haiti)
Tuesday, July 28 – Economic Development and Mission From Everywhere to Everyone
Ann & Bruce Borquist (Global Consultants)
Katie & Taku Longkumer (India)
More information about registration will be coming out here!
Camp Sentinel: June Updates
Greetings Friends of Sentinel,
Following the New Hampshire guidelines Camp Sentinel will be open this summer. Most of our campers are local from New Hampshire and we believe camp is important to support children and families during life. Christian camp and hope are important investments offered in life. Our goal is to continue to offer certainty in an otherwise uncertain world.
We are excited to see you again in the fresh air of Sentinel's 629 acres and a mile of water frontage. Please find our updated health and safety recommendations https://www.campsentinel.org/health-and-safety
Health and Safety Protocols
The safety of all our campers and families is our utmost importance. This summer, we are limiting enrollment for camper weeks and reducing sleeping cabin sizes. Additionally we have extra cleaning protocols in place, we are excited to enjoy more time in the fresh air and outdoor space at Sentinel 629 acres. We will have screenings upon arrival to ensure the health and safety of campers and families. Camp weeks are filling quickly.
As we walk in the confidence of the LORD this summer, we need the help of churches and friends to do ministry together. Thank you for your support! For more information https://www.campsentinel.org/ministry-partners
Sentinel has always been a place of rest and renewal. We are blessed to have 600+ acres and a mile of water frontage to spread out and explore. Fresh air, warm campfires and enjoyment of the beauty of nature. Primitive campsites, Premium campsites (water and electric), seasonal cabins (June & September), premium cabins with kitchenettes (Ad and Manor) and the Wixson Ministry Cottage are open.
Information about Summer Camp
Camp Sentinel 2020
Sign up today: www.campsentinel.org
2020 Walk in Confidence
Words like “be not afraid” and “fear not” occur over 300 times in the Bible. There are many things to distract us in life, causing fear in our lives. When we come face to face with fear, trusting God’s presence, promises, provision and power, we are then able to walk in confidence.
For over 70 years Sentinel has been providing a summer Christian community for youth to build self-esteem, have meaningful connections, develop character, become strong leaders and to discover and explore creativity through the guidance of well-trained staff. We believe that camp is an opportunity for everyone, and we are excited to see you and your family this year! Daily activities include swimming, boating, arts & crafts, team-building games, ropes course with zip line, rock wall, archery, hiking, large group team sports, and many other great adventures. Each evening the entire camp gathers for Vespers which is a time of worship, singing and Bible study. On Friday evenings we gather at a special “red carpet celebration” banquet where campers dress up for a special dinner to reflect and celebrate the week.
Summer Camp programs
Little Adventures: June 28th - 30th
Boys and Girls Session 1: July 5th - July 11th
Boys and Girls Session 2: July 12th - July 18th
Boys and Girls Session 3: July 19th - July 25th
Boys and Girls Session 4: July 26th - Aug 1st
Teen Camp: Aug 9th - Aug 14th
June 8th and June 15th Day Camp
We added two weeks of day camp and you may sign up on this link: https://www.campsentinel.org/june-day-camp (space is limited)
Blessings and see you on the mountaintop again soon!
Kevin Van Brunt "Pk"
Executive Director Camp Sentinel
Sitting in my office, I look over at my clean white board and wonder where my plans went. On the right side of the board is where I note all my Sunday commitments, usually three to four months in advance. The day after New Hampshire issued its stay at home order, I was leaving my office, and my impulse was to wipe the board’s right side. On the left side of the board, I list a yearly calendar of important events and meetings. There are two tentative dates that I have not erased. For the first time in 8 years, my white board is not covered with my hen scratching. It is almost blank. Where did my plans go? Small sensations of grief and disappointment do raise themselves. But even though the white board is empty, I think God has caused some old and new notations to be written on my soul. How tenuous the white board really is, and how foolish to value it so much.
I fear that when I read of 100,000 deaths from COVID-19, all I see is the number, and not see the faces. Faces of people in residential care, in poor neighborhoods, in prison, on reservations, living in homeless camps, suburban homes and skyscrapers, and the faces of those who took risks to care for other people. The goodness and evil of the human state rushes forward in chaotic tones as old as Cain’s question to God. And I wonder how my white board became important.
In Luke 12, Jesus teaches the parable of the man who has such a great harvest he cannot fit it into his storehouses. Elated by the harvest, his wealth, his security, the man decides to tear down his old barns and build new ones. His plans are laid out, maybe on a white board? But the man is not rich toward God, and his plans come to nothing, when on that night his soul is required of him. His plans are erased, and I wonder who inherited the grain? Hopefully the poor. Jesus goes on to contrast the man to the ravens whom God cares for; as the ravens do not own storehouses, they exist as recipients of God’s grace.
Conversations continue at length about what “reopening churches” will entail. Conversations continue about a new world of mission, ministry, and missiology. Conversations about regathering and reunion, reaching the lost, welcoming the least of these, “adapting” to a history changing episode. As I look at my white board, and think of writing names and dates upon it again, I pray as society inches toward “normal”, I can rewrite with a new spirit and in the Spirit. Can I hold the storehouse plans lightly? Have I prayed into self-examination enough, while hunkered down in an upstairs bedroom? Can I welcome Christ as never before, and never ask Cain's question? I pray Christ’s Body can see everyone as Christ sees us, while in a same but different world, ultimately planning for eternity.
In Jesus name,
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