Twenty Years on Shear Lake
This week I’m with our two oldest grand-buddies, Kyle Kenneth and Oliver Bruce. We are at Camp Barakel. This week I am speaking here on the shores of Shear Lake for the 20th year in a row. The partnership with the people and ministry of Camp Barakel has been one of the sweetest privileges of my life.
Just outside the speakers quarters on the East Side Camp is a towering pine tree, probably almost 30 feet high. When I first spoke here I took a picture of one of the children standing by the tree. The little child was taller than the tree. When I first came here some of the children were the ages of little Kyle and Oliver. My heart is flooded gratefulness for the goodness of our God when I think of it.
This year my brother Kevin and his family have joined the year-round full-time staff of the camp. Kevin led the chapels and his wife Carolyn played the piano.
Every night when the chapel fills with campers and their songs fill the air my heart is thrilled and I am reminded of what mom and dad would say over and over again when we were growing up: “We just want you to serve the Lord.”
They were right. There is such joy, meaning, and fulfillment in it.
To The Call of the Barred Owl
I month ago I sat down in the evening to make a journal entry. I want to share it with you in this edition of the Bittersweet Farm Journal:
Tonight Hope made dinner. I had worked at the church and worked in the yard. Lois was returning from a trip out of town and we timed dinner for her arrival.
Hope piled the table with BBQ chicken, new red potatoes and butter, slaw and corn-on-the-cob.
The corn was the first of the season, tender and sweet and with real butter and salt and pepper, a delicacy. It’s as if the winter numbs your taste buds and the new corn of early summer awakens them. (Sometimes eating can be idolatry-on this evening it was worship).
After dishes we moved out to the “evening porch” to read while Lois puttered among the flowers.
It is May 29th. A year ago tomorrow I drove into Jackson to meet with the Pulpit Committee for the first time. Now, a year later, we have made our lives among you and live in our little farmhouse right on the border of Summit Township and Spring Arbor Township, were when evening falls we sleep to the sound of the Barred Owl calling from the woods across the road.
June 30, 2018