Tag Archives: Family

Camping and God

Ever since high school I have loved camping and backpacking. I did not grow up with a family that did either of those things. In many ways I guess that it is strange that I ending up loving camping. I thank my wife for introducing me to this world, along with my field studies teacher Mrs. Slate.  Never the less, I love being outside. Yes, one could stay in cabins and consider themselves outdoors and “camping”. However, camping for me is a tent, propane stove, flashlights, lanterns, bug spray, and sleeping bags. There is something about the air you breathe when you are tucked away at a campground. The atmosphere and the company you share while camping is most likely the single most unique thing I can think of. Inside a campground everyone there becomes family. Everyone invites each other over to their fire to share marshmallows and fellowship. If you forgot ketchup for your hamburgers, just ask the people in the site next door.

All of these are the reasons that my wife and I were anxious and excited about getting our daughter into camping. We love it so much that we would be devastated if she did not enjoy it. Like most things in life, the only way for us to find out if our almost four year old liked camping was to jump right in. So, as a surprise for my wife and daughter I got a camp site at Monte Sano State Park. I got everything setup and ready to go and then told them to meet me up on the mountain at the park. It didn’t take long for me to know how my daughter was going to like it. As soon as she climbed out of the car, her face was in full amazement. That is when I knew, she was a camper. The weekend went well and she didn’t want to leave when we had to pack up. This is now going to become a family tradition. (I love those)

While I am on camping, I want to share with you the last thing that, to me, makes camping great. To camp normally means that you leave many of the “comfort” items you use at home, well, at home. You get to shed the pull of your cell phone, the hum of the air conditioner and stand in the presence of God; after all, it is His creation. Spending time outside in the middle of nature is like getting a big hug from the Almighty. The clarity of His voice is something to be marveled. The sound of all the creatures that He created just so this whole planet could work the way it is suppose to still amazes me. Out here is where God lives; outside is where God does His greatest work. For me it is almost impossible to hear God through all the clatter of my every day. I need times like these to remember exactly what it is God has called me and also my family to do.
I encourage you to go camping. Especially if you find yourself lost and in need of some words from God. Turn off your smart phone and leave your laptop in its bag. You don’t need those things to get closer to God. Being surrounded by God is the best way to hear His still small voice. Come and let God fill you up so that you can go back to your everyday refreshed with a new purpose and direction.

Love

This month’s theme for the ChristianWriters.com blog chain is Love.  To be honest, I wanted to delve into Agape Love or God’s Love and show how and when it is used in the Bible.  However, I ran out of time to finish up the research.  So, I will be posting about that when I get some more time. For now, I will talk about another gift of God, and that is those that He surrounds you with that love you; your friends, family, and your spouse.  Ultimately, we still understand this love because of the love we know and feel from God.

A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you the way you are.  I couldn’t find who is attributed with saying that, but it truly represents God’s gift of friends.  I will say that I don’t have too many close friends.  Some might say, including me, that I spent too much time on my career and on me to develop close friendships.  However, I have one or two that I know do all the above for me.  Most times you don’t find friends, friends find each other.  That is one of the mysteries of life.  God will always put the people you need in your life at the right times.  If you look back on your life and all the things you have gone through you will always find that God had the right people surrounding you in all cases.

Christopher Lasch once said, “The family is a haven in a heartless world”.  I come from a large close-knit family.  This has provided an almost endless pool of people that not only care about me, but care deeper than a friend could.  There is something about knowing that you are tied to someone not only as acquaintances go, but by blood.  Remember this, God gave you your family, you were not able to pick them out.  So, from the beginning there is a divine nature of family.  You see, no matter what happens, these people will be there for you.  Even when circumstances do not allow for a close relationship with family members you will always care for one another.

Soul mates are people who bring out the best in you. They are not perfect, but they are always perfect for you. No one knows exactly who uttered those words but in my experience, it couldn’t be more true.  God has blessed me with a woman that is everything I can’t be, so, that I don’t have to be.  She truly is the reason I get up and get motivated everyday.  Not only does my wife fill the spouse roll in my life she is also my best friend. I am not a trusting person, but yet I maintain an unwavering trust in her.  Which is good since a true soul mate’s connection to each other defies most logic.  (It is also very cliché when put to words).  When you find yourself lost in this type of relationship all you can do is praise God for His hand in your life.  I pray almost daily that more people in the world allow God to show them their mate.

With all the love God surrounds us with, how can someone not believe in the power of faith?  How do you see the good that “magically” appears in your life and just toss it up to coincidence?  That is where my prayers need to be focused.  They need to be focused on those that don’t see God’s power in the love that He has surrounded them with.  Perhaps, if they could feel and see that love, we wouldn’t have the amount of violence we do.  It might sound crazy, but are you going to limit His ability to give peace?