ADVENT DEVOTION | WAITING FOR A GIFT

What was the best Christmas present you remember getting? Was it a video game, bicycle, doll or cell phone? Do you remember your excitement and joy when you opened the present and saw that gift that you wanted so much? Do you still have that gift? Maybe you asked Santa for it or begged your parents to get it for you. You waited in anxious anticipation for days or weeks for Christmas morning and that special gift that you were sure to get.

When I was 16 and 17 and 18 I wanted my own car. I was sure my parents would buy it for me. So for three years every Christmas morning the first thing I did when I woke up was rush to my bedroom window and look out to the driveway. I was sure there would be a car sitting there with a big red bow on it just like in the TV commercials. But every year I looked out and there was never a car. I had very good parents who took care of me and gave me many gifts, but that car was never there on Christmas morning.

Israel also waited in anticipation for many years for a special gift. They had been promised a Savior and they expected God to deliver on that promise. But when Jesus arrived as a small baby born to insignificant parents they rejected him because he wasn’t what they were expecting, wishing or hoping for. So they never acknowledged him as the savior God promised.

How do you react when you don’t get exactly what you want or were expecting? If you remembered  the best Christmas present you received can you also remember your biggest disappointment, the present you never received that you had hoped so much for. Maybe even prayed for?

Whether it is an anticipated Christmas present, a new car, a job promotion or other earthly desire we often find ourselves disappointed in our expectations. But we will never be disappointed in God’s promises. God truly knows what is best for each of us and what we need. If you commit your life to him and accept the greatest gift ever given, Jesus as our Savior, he will provide all your earthly needs and prepare a heavenly home to spend eternity with him.

This Christmas season focus on the gifts and blessings God has given us and not on any earthly disappointments you’ve experience. God Bless.

 

Eric Ulrich has served Delanco Camp as a Board of Directors Member, President for a year, and many years of his current position of Camp Treasurer. 

Lent Reflection: Sacrificial Giving

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“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son…” -John 3:16

“…that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” -Luke 24:7

“And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.'” -Mark 12:41-44

God gave his only son to the world to teach us, guide us and ultimately die for us. Jesus gave his life for us so that we might be forgiven and receive eternal life. A poor widow gave every penny she had to the church. These are true examples of sacrificial giving. How often do we give sacrificially of our possessions or of our self? Do we feel good if we give a 10 percent tithe, even prouder if it is of our gross pay and not the net amount? Do we boast and praise ourselves if we give above that, maybe 12 or even 13 percent? I’m not belittling the giving because if you are tithing or giving beyond that is a good thing. But Jesus was never concerned about the amount given but the spirit in which it is given. God is more concerned about our heart than our bank account.

Most of us are very blessed with material possessions including a home to sleep, food to eat and a list of things too numerous to count. There are millions of people in the world who strive for just the most basic of possessions that we take for granted. They would be grateful for enough food to fill their stomachs today. Most of us have refrigerators and cabinets with enough food to last us weeks. They would be thankful for a basic shelter and perhaps some form of heat and running water. We want a home with multiple bathrooms, air conditioning and usually more rooms then we need.

All these things in our world today make it difficult to understand what sacrificial giving is. Is sacrificial giving living with only a 42″ TV instead of a new 60″ that we really want? Is it only going out for a pizza and renting a movie from RedBox instead of going to Outback and the AMC theater?

I’ve often struggled in my life with where to draw the line on giving. Do I give 10 or 20 percent if I’m able or do I try to give it all and live a life of bare sustenance? I believe that God wants us to enjoy life and enjoy good things. But it all boils down to where your heart is. Do you give sacrificially as Jesus gave to us or do you hold back?

Prayer: Lord thank you for all the blessings you give us and please help us to live a life of giving, sacrificial giving as Jesus taught us. Giving that is not measured in dollar signs but measured in how we express our love for you to those less fortunate than us. Amen.

Eric Ulrich is a past president of the camp’s board of directors and is currently serving as the treasurer. Image via CreationSwap.

From the president: A look back at 2012

2012

I have been honored to serve as president this past year of Delanco Camp Meeting Association. I want to thank all the people who have worked so hard to maintain the ministries of the camp this past year, especially our board of directors, weekly program directors, the many weekly program volunteers, committee chair persons and our camp caretaker CJ Caufield.

We have been blessed by our faithful financial partners and this year saw two very successful fundraising events, the Annual Dinner coordinated by Linda Dugan and the Polar Bear Plunge spearheaded by Mike Ralph. We continue to explore opportunities to strengthen the financial base and support of the camp ministries. We have entered into an agreement with a new nonprofit organization, Sooy Place Conservation Corp, to aid us in the maintenance of our buildings and grounds and we are continuing to seek buyers for part of our land that is not used for camp functions.

This year also saw the adoption of new camp bylaws, which bring us into legal compliance and also provide for more functional leadership. Thanks to many faithful volunteers we continued to see projects completed on the camp grounds, including new dining hall windows, a revamped camp entrance and parking, a rebuilt swim platform, repainting of the Retreat Center and tree and brush removal.

We entered 2012 in a minor financial crisis but thanks to the dedication of so many volunteers and cost-saving measures that were implemented we are finishing the year in the black with no indebtedness. But the future continues to hold financial challenges for us as we struggle to maintain aging camp facilities and still provide a quality camp experience at a minimal cost. Next year you will see a renewed emphasis on camper scholarships as we seek to steer our fundraising efforts to directly support the ministries of the camp and create more opportunities for new campers to experience Delanco Camp.

Your financial support of Delanco Camp and our ministries is more important than ever. I ask that you prayerfully consider becoming a financial partner of Delanco Camp. An investment in the ministry of Delanco Camp is an investment in people. People who have a desire to fix their hearts and minds on God; encouraging every person to discover a relationship with Jesus Christ – changing them from the inside out, so that God can bring out the best in each of them; and together, impact the world.
God Bless and Happy New Year.

In God’s Service,

Eric Ulrich

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