Thursday, September 15, 2005

Hurricane Katrina Relief

Like most people, I followed the news of the desperation of the American South following the recent hurricane. We talked about our options as a church and we decided that we wanted to do something more tangible than just take a "special offering". Giving money is certainly one way to be compassionate, but it can also keep an unhealthy distance between the giver and the receiver.

We contacted a local ministry called "Loving Hands" that was working with Buckley Air Force Base to provide clothes, toys, and food to the displaced families arriving in Denver. We spread the word and spent a week collecting donations.

I asked Camron, our Compassion Ministry Leader, when he was going to drop the donations off because I wanted to go with him. He said, "Oh, we're not dropping them off. We have too much. They're coming to pick it up with a moving truck."

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:16-18.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Labor Day Trip

Last weekend, we had another great camping trip, this time at Long Scraggy Campground just outside of Pine, Colorado.

It was a relaxing and bonding time for us all, especially for the four families who joined us for the first time. We had great weather once again, and the kids had a blast-- especially around the nightly campfire, roasting marshmallows:

On Sunday morning, we had a fun service in the camp's outdoor chapel that was built into the rocks. Here you can see the people beginning to congregate:

We had a top notch worship team:

One of the songs we sang was "The First Place", written by my good friend Matthew Westerholm. I ended up giving a message based on the lyrics to his song, which he based on Colossians 1:15-20.

Jesus, the perfect picture of the unseen God
Maker of things we cannot comprehend
Wisdom, the earth displays Your strength and beauty
Sovereign, yes every throne knows You are God

Every inch of this universe belongs to You, oh Christ
For through You and for You it was made
Your creation endures by the order of Your hand
So You must have in all things the first place

Victor, over sin and death You've triumphed
Firstborn, You've shown us life beyond the grave
Bridegroom, we long for You in expectation
Jesus, Your church rejoices to proclaim...

After the service, everyone relaxed in their own way. Some folks hiked, some napped, some read books, and some of us went fishing. I'm not much of an angler, but it was great to sit by the river and pretend.

And even though I didn't catch any fish, I did add another thing to my "things to do before I die" list: kayaking.

Oh, the wonders of God's creation. What a privilege to live in Colorado and to be a part of God's growing family.