As today was my day off, I went to no events. I sat with a book, and I read. I did take some pictures of my own from sitting in the Muskoka Chairs, but thank you to everyone who provided me with details about the day as well as pictures from some of the events.
This morning in Chapel, Nate started with an illustration about a mama duck and her ducklings in the parking lot of a church, surrounded by fascinated people who created a human barrier, protecting them from harm, especially by the cars who were coming in and out of the parking lot, dropping their children off for daycare. They were shielded. Nate went on to talk about how Nehemiah, in his life, was faced with two very powerful weapons of our enemy: fear, and doubt. The great thing about that fact is though, that with God, anything – even doubt and fear, can be used for redemptive purposes. We were asked — how should we respond to doubt and fear? Our human instinctive reaction is to seize up and not do what we know what we should… well, usually anyway. Our instinct is to just not do things that we doubt. If you missed it, ask Nate to tell you the story about the FBI Agents, the Psychiatric Hospital, and the pizza place. There were officials looking on at the work that Nehemiah and his group was doing, and they would plant doubt into Nehemiah’s heart. That wall isn’t strong enough, it won’t keep us out, are you going to make sacrifices to your god in there? All jeering questions that Nehemiah had to face from his scoffers. See… Satan is the father of lies. He uses them to distract us from remembering that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead now lives in us by His Spirit. Once we remember that we have that power, Satan doesn’t stand a chance.
What does Nehemiah do when he’s faced with doubt? He prays; and then he moves ahead with the work he knows he must do, in spite of the jeering from the officials. So the officials turn the heat up. They plot to rise up against Jerusalem, so Nehemiah prays, and then he posts guards at every access point. He tells his guards not to be afraid of the threat around them because God would protect them. Our response to fear and doubt should be like that of Nehemiah — Pray, then Act. But like most things, we really stink at this when we go at it alone. If you’re feeling fearful and try to do whatever it is you must do alone, you’ll likely fail. Go to someone and ask for support from them. Ask them to pray for and with you. It’s that support that holds us together.
Today there was a great desire for the rock climbing and low ropes course. We apologize to those who didn’t get a chance to go today. Please bear with us as we sort out some staffing concerns in order to run these courses safely and fairly to give as many people a chance to use them as possible. The Youth also got a chance to head out this afternoon for some team building, which is always great to hear about. Thanks to Sandy Martin for loaning me her camera’s memory card with some low ropes pictures.