Good morning, everyone. Praise God, yesterday turned out to be so much nicer of a day than we’d anticipated. It did rain significantly for a bit in the morning, but it cleared, and the sun came out. The wind persisted, and it was chilly, but you know…. it wasn’t pouring all day.
In Chapel this morning, we learned that Nehemiah Chapter 5 takes a bit of a different turn from the previous chapters. Nate went into detail, starting by asking us how we tell if fruit is ripe. You can’t judge things by outer appearances. Not usually, and usually not accurately. You can’t do much with a mushy, rancid watermelon, even though it looked great and sounded awesome when you bent your ear to it and knocked on it in the grocery store. It’s important to note, that if ever there were a time in the life of Nehemiah (at least so far as we’ve been let into it) where he would be justified (by our standards) in saying “don’t bother me right now, I’m really busy” this would be it. He’s over his head in trying to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem all while being hyper aware of a very imminent threat. So of course, at this exact moment in his life, a few wealthy Jewish leaders show up and take advantage of the situation, taking slaves and large amounts of taxes from the people trying to help rebuild. Nehemiah gets angry. But do you know what he was angry at? Not that he was inconvenienced, or because things weren’t working out the way he wanted them to… No. Nehemiah was angry at the injustice surrounding people being taken advantage of while they were trying to do the work God had set out for them. Nehemiah wouldn’t take it. He dragged those leaders in front of a Priest, and used his influence as Governor to make them give a public oath saying they’d stop doing what they were doing. He basically made them publicly agree to a cease and desist order. It’s enough to make me think — what do I get angry about? Do I get angry when I’m not treated fairly? Or do I get angry when others aren’t treated fairly? It’s pretty clear when we look at the example of the life of Nehemiah that we’re not the ones we should be concerned with. Here’s another way to think about it — what would make God angry? Does God get angry when I have to stand in line too long at the bank? I very sincerely doubt it. But does God get angry when people’s lives are exploited? I’m fairly certain that He does. So if I want to be more like God, that stuff should probably make me pretty angry, too. Nehemiah and his family refused the handouts “owed” to them as the Governor’s family, but chose instead to focus on their responsibility rather than their perceived rights. It’s important to remember that the greatest in God’s eyes are those who serve.
Following Chapel, I noticed many Campers congregating in the lodge. It was great to see those dining room tables being used to their full potential as it was rainy and icky outside. Unfortunately, the rain made the trails and the woods areas very soggy, and so Jared canceled the Beaver Dam hike. Keep a close eye on things, as it may be rescheduled, but I’m not sure about that just yet.
This afternoon, after the sun came out, I ventured on down to the beach to check out the boys only water battle. It looked like fun! The girls who led it looked like they had a blast, but apparently their mustaches washed off in the water. I also got a great shot of how beautiful the day turned out, as well as some boys just having some great fun in the lake. They’re brave, as I wouldn’t be in it when the breeze is chilly, but maybe the water is warmer than the air. Or maybe I’m a wimp.
After dinner, while the ladies were working on a lovely craft (I saw some awesome ZenTangles bookmarks being created. I made another one even though after last week I was certain that I was done…), the girls gathered in the Pine Room for a movie and nail painting. The Youth Pontoon trip to Mag was canceled because we just couldn’t be sure of what the weather would do. The Tuck Shop was pretty quiet when I went down to check on it though, because the Youth congregated in the lower lodge to watch a movie instead of the Pontoon Trip. Check out Jillian working on her bookmark in the very quiet Tuck Shop.
Andrew and Anita gave a wonderful talk on partnership in marriage, and they made some really valid points that I’m sure some day will come in handy for me. I’m not really sure why I went, but it was all very interesting and hopefully my brain will retain it for future. I saw a lot of really engaged listeners (my inner teacher is surfacing….), and I could tell from the insightful questions asked afterward that a lot of you were listening closely and absorbing what was being said. Thanks to all who came out, and a big thank you to Andrew and Anita for ‘letting us into their living room,’ so to speak.
Following their talk, Andrew put on a concert including music from his CD, The God Who Sees [Everything]. If you really enjoyed it and would like to get your hands on a copy, they’re being sold in the Tuck Shop for $15.00. Andrew would probably even sign it for you! If you aren’t coming up here, I believe it’s available on iTunes. Andrew will be here next week as well if you’re coming for third week.
I caught some pictures of a beautiful sunset tonight. It was really nice to see the sun at all today, so a great sunset was just that much bigger of a bonus. I also caught a chipmunk looking at it, too. I wasn’t as close as the pictures would appear, though, my camera has some pretty powerful zoom.