50 Years at Lake Agape: Cumulative Overpowering of Love

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Today is day 37 of our 50 Years at Lake Agape and countdown to the start of Camp Meeting. Click here to read other articles. Email blog@delanco.org to contribute.

When people talk about beginning a relationship with Christ they typically identify a sermon message, conversation or particular event that drew them to the Lord. For me there was no event, sermon or crisis; it was simply the cumulative overpowering of love I received from folks at Delanco.

The outpouring began with Mary Boughton being willing to pay my way to attend Camp Meeting. I had no idea what I was in store for, but was willing to go. Once reaching camp I was amazed by the unashamed expressions of genuine love that I received by so many of the people there. I remember Darlene Huntley and Pat Gunning working in the hot kitchen, but always with much joy and smiles on their faces; Connie String being genuinely interested in getting to know me; leaders like Rev. Farrell, Rev. Rich Nichols and Jack Howard who had enough faith and trust in me to extend an invitation to come back and serve on staff the following weeks.

Frank Brown’s unconditional love and commitment to sharing Jesus with the guys in the dorm was a powerful testament of what a life surrendered to Jesus could reflect. Roy and Sue Lauter brought a zeal and powerful testimony of Christ’s love that has impacted my life to this day.

So it really wasn’t any event, moment or sermon that drew me to Jesus. It was the love of the community of faith as a whole that allowed my heart to be softened and Christ to enter in. They reflected what it meant to have Jesus in your heart through selfless service; exuberant joy and sharing unconditional and certainly unmerited love with so many. God wrapped his love around me through these and many other saint’s physical arms, warm smiles and compassionate words of wisdom.

These were certainly an amazing cloud of witnesses to me. I hope that I have been able to emulate and say thank you to these saints through teaching and sharing what it means to live in authentic community with the many servant leaders God has given me the privilege to shepherd at Asbury University and through New Hope. Though in genuine humility they would all say it’s not necessary, they were just following God and not doing anything special.

Community begins with one heart being surrendered to and following after Jesus. From that place who knows how many others would be impacted for the Kingdom. I am thankful that I was caught up in that outpouring.

Join us at camp for the Lake Agape 50th Anniversary Dinner on Saturday, June 6, at 5 p.m. Click here for more info.

Advent Devotion: Be Still And Know

 

Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God”

Advent is a time of renewal and preparation for Christ’s coming and this best happens as we each create space in our lives for God to move. However, in our hurried, fast paced and often out of control lives, especially this time of the year.

We here in the U.S. want what we want and we want it yesterday. Sadly, for Christians this same thinking applies to our spiritual lives. We have a microwave mentality when it comes to growth and a deeper life with Christ. We often think our relationships with Jesus should happen at hyper speed and our lives blessed accordingly. But, the Lord in His wisdom doesn’t often work like that (at least not in my life!).

Real authentic growth only happens as we take the take to be still and silent with God. For me this season of late fall and winter has always been a great time of quiet. Even amongst the hustle and bustle of gearing up for Christmas there is a stillness that is there if we take a moment to experience it.

I love long quiet walks in the snow through the woods where no one has been in a while. It is as we finally get a little quiet that God can speak to us about all those prayers we’ve been sending up and help us make sense of the journey we’ve been on. My prayer for all of us is that we would all find times to be still and silent with God, so that He might speak to our hearts. What a great chance to experience Christmas in a new way because we’ve been listening to the Lord speak to our hearts.

The second half of this verse often gets left off “I will be exalted in all the nations, I will be exalted in all the earth.”  Wow, what an amazing promise. As we are still before Him and grow in our personal relationships he uses us to touch the world. So if you want to be a world changer for Jesus stop striving so hard and be still.

Check out our Advent Devotion book available online.

John Morley is a long time friend of the camp who lives in Kentucky and works at Asbury University.