Royal Family Kids Camp Prayer

I was standing in a very familiar place, and yet, with an uncertainty in my heart. I was hesitant; I didn’t know what I was doing, and I didn’t want to make a big mistake. But God knew what I was doing and He never makes mistakes.

It was a few years ago before I attended Royal Family Kids Camp. I was simply assisting with the RFKC check-in on Monday morning. I was nervous – afraid I might do something wrong – yet excited – hoping that somehow God would use me in that time. What I didn’t realize was the big way God would use that time for me.

Into the room stepped three children and a woman, but only two of the children were old enough to go. So, two of the children put on their name tags and t-shirts, had their pictures taken, and then almost forgot to say goodbye. But as they turned back to bid farewell to the woman and the other child, I was blown away with what I saw. That cute little boy was standing in the middle of the room, unreserved tears flowing down his face. He was probably saying goodbye to those dearest to him.

Like him, the children coming to camp will have to say goodbye – to a caregiver, a brother, or a sister. It may be very difficult for them to leave those they know and go to camp – where perhaps they have never been before. Some of the kids may have an easier time because they have attended before and are just looking forward to the fun.

Some of the campers may have butterflies in their stomachs. Perhaps they too will cry. They might not know who will be their counselor or which other kids will be with them in their cabin. For some, perhaps they have no clue what camp is even like. And yet, for others, they are unsure if they should trust anyone at camp especially since their very own parents who they should be able to trust abused or neglected them.

Yet in the meantime, many miles away, another story altogether is taking place as nearly 90 volunteers will be preparing the camp, the cabins, and our hearts to graciously receive each child the Lord will bring to us to care for during the week. Some of us may be rushing around doing some last-minute decorating in our cabins or others might be wandering around seeing the various creative cabin themes. Most of us will be spending the morning in the Word, in prayer and preparing our hearts for the week that God has in store. As we eat lunch in the peaceful dining hall, we may very well also have butterflies in our stomachs. Nervous for what this week will entail, but so very expectant for the Lord to use us in the week.

Specific Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for the children who are too young to go to camp but whose siblings are attending camp. Pray for the RFKC alumni who are too old to attend camp to continue to trust the Lord and hope in Christ even if they are disappointed they cannot go to camp. Pray that God will comfort their hearts during the week.
  • Pray each child will feel very welcomed and loved from the moment they arrive at camp until them moment they leave.
  • Pray for God to prepare the hearts of the kids and the hearts of the volunteers. Pray that He will speak to each of us through the week. Pray He will give us His eyes to see what he sees and His heart for the children. Pray as volunteers, He will break our hearts for what breaks His.

The Moment of Shock

There he stood by the tree. A little boy in his swim trunks, ready and waiting for the short time he could spend in the pool that day. After all, he only had one opportunity each day to swim and this was definitely something that could not be missed. We were at Royal Family Kid’s Camp – a week-long summer camp for abused kids.

Then he looked up and seemingly out of the blue, he yelled a cuss word at me.

“Huh?” I hesitantly replied, uncertain of what else I should say.

Instead of just moving on and forgetting about it like I had hoped he would do, he repeated himself.

A shrug of my shoulders and a smile was the only way I thought how to respond when he shouted out the foul language for the second time. And perhaps that was the best way to react because that little boy stared at me in unbelief. He stood still, eyes glued to me – shocked and confused that the word he yelled at me would cause such a calm response. Unsure of what to do, he stayed motionless for what seemed like several minutes. I imagine many thoughts of bewilderment were running through his mind in those moments. Many thoughts were also racing through mine as I was not confident in how to handle this situation. But then after those few quiet moments passed, without saying another word, he turned and walked away.

I wonder how many times he has said that very same word to an abusive mother who only beat him harder in return or to his deadbeat father who left to never see him again. Though I do not know the details of what this little boy’s past was truly like, I would venture to assume it includes painful experiences I do not even want to imagine and was void of the true love of Christ every human being so desperately needs.

Maybe – just maybe – the way God prompted me to react to his swearing was a testimony to him of Jesus’ unconditional, unfailing love. It is possible that God used this in his life to show him that God forgives him, loves him, and can make his life new again in Christ. Even though I was not able to see the outcome of this interaction with the boy, I can trust that God can turn him to Jesus.

So that’s why we go – to be vessels through which God can pour forth His love on these precious children. It will be hard – I have no doubt – to love them through the frustrating moments during the week only to watch them walk on the bus and wave goodbye. Yet, it will be so very good because we have the beautiful opportunity to be Jesus’ hands and feet to these hurting, broken foster kids He loves so dearly. As we take this week to spend time with these kids, I am confident that God will give us a taste of His heart and use this week to not only change the kids’ hearts, but also ours.

The Sin of Achan

O Israel: you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you. Joshua 7:13

Does anybody know the story of Achan? I recently read about him in Joshua 7. His disobedience towards the Lord cost him and his family their lives. It should not have taken him by surprise though, for the Lord had fairly warned him and all Israel. Joshua and the Israelites were ready to take the city of Jericho under the direction of God Almighty and before they headed in, the Lord gave them a very stern warning. Here’s how it went down.

And you, by all means keep yourselves from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. Joshua 6:18

I love how God prefaced “by all means”. He is practically begging Israel, warning them with love and authority, directing them as clearly as possible to not touch, look upon, consider or even think about taking the accursed things they WILL MOST DEFINITELY find in the city of Jericho. But Achan did not listen. He took a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels (Joshua 7:21). Achan says he coveted them and took them. Meaning, he stopped fighting, which was his sole reason for being there, stared at the forbidden items and somehow snuck them back to his tent. I doubt he continued to fight with such weight now requiring his strength and attention. He shifted his strength in another direction. He abandoned his Godly mission to take for himself the things God had clearly warned him not to take.

God had warned them against the accursed things. Damnable, detestable: that is what accursed means. These things would bring trouble to the camp of Israel. Israel was called to be a Holy people, not damnable and detestable.

After the fall of Jericho, Joshua and three thousand men attacked the city of Ai. The people in the city of Ai were few and yet Israel ran home with their tales between their legs and lost about 36 men that day. Joshua and all Israel were so confused, for had that not just taken down Jericho?

And the Lord told Joshua, “Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, because they have become doomed to destruction. Neither will I be with you anymore unless you destroy the accursed from among you.” Joshua 7:11-12 God always keeps his word.

So Joshua, through the sorting of tribes, families, households and then man to man, brought Achan forward, along with the stuff he had stolen, his sons and daughters, his oxen, donkeys and sheep and all that he had. And Joshua asked Achan, “Why have you troubled us?” And right there, that day, Achan and all that he had were stoned to death and set on fire. I can barely read it. It’s so troubling isn’t it? Not to mention the 36 men who’s lives were lost in the battle of Ai. Thirty-nine families lost their men because of the disobedience of Achan. Whew – tough stuff!

God is powerful is He not? He keeps his word. His Holiness is everything. He will never allow his Holiness to be shared with the accursed things of this world. Are we not so blessed to be loved by a righteous God? How tenderly he loves us while in a breath he could destroy us. Who today is grateful for the mercy of God…

 

 

Justified

Severe thunderstorm in the Great PlainsWhen he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Revelations 8:1

Now there’s a frightening verse. The silence is no doubt alarming, but it’s also who is silent that alarms me the most. What on earth could possibly be revealed that would render the angels speechless?  I mean, haven’t they seen some things?  Allow me to expand on my own question…

Angels have been dwelling with man from the beginning of creation.  Satan is a fallen angel and we see him appear in the Garden of Eden. Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished (Genesis 2:1).  I hope I am Biblically correct in stating that angels have been existing at least as long as man has.  Therefore, they have seen much.

I don’t even know where to start with this; how can I possibly list the atrocities that have occurred since the beginning of time? Violent murder, the drowning of an entire population (minus Noah and family), the plagues in Egypt, Herod killing the baby boys, the brutality of wars, destructive earth quakes and storms, horrific tortures and beheadings, famines and starvation, etc.  Sadly, I could go on and on and on.  Whether from the hand of God or the hand of man, the angels have seen it.  Generation after generation, from the beginning until this very moment, they have first hand witnessed what has taken place on the earth whether in secret or in plain sight.

I recently read Deuteronomy 28:15-68 and I closed the Bible and thought to myself, “God, that’s mean.”  But God swiftly reminded me that He is always justified.  Justified – God is ALWAYS justified in His actions and I think about the Word of God and the judgments in Revelations and the Justified sets heavy on my heart.

Here’s the thing about The Book of Revelations: we need not fear it nor shy away from it because we find it too difficult to understand.  God wants us to know it. I also know that Godly, scholarly men take different views on pre-tribulation and post-tribulation and while I’m hoping for the pre-tribulation (who wouldn’t!), the truth of the matter is that it’s already been decided and what will be will be. If we believe any part of the Bible we must believe the whole Bible and all of Revelation WILL play out and it’s going to include something horrific that has never been seen before.  As previously stated, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. You know what I find interesting?  God allowed them to absorb it.  He too was silent for half an hour.  He wanted it to sink in.  Does it sink into you?

“He is the Rock.  His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He.” Deuteronomy 32:4

Justified.  God is not mean; He is justified in all His ways.

I have two daughters and I find myself staring at them wondering about their lives.  Will they stand righteously in a world that is headed for the ultimate judgments of God?  Because, lets face it, man will have to venture into unspeakable depravity for a loving God to act with such unspeakable fierceness.  Justified – it will be justified. (Psalms 89:14)

My prayer for you, my prayer for my children, family and friends, is that we would wholeheartedly seek the Lord, for there is no other source to weather these times.  There is no other means of salvation for men.  Lord, help us to stand righteously in a world that is refusing to bow the knee.  Help us be the light that shines in the darkness.  Oh Lord, be our courage and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble.  Amen.

Oh, The Flies!

Oh, The Flies!

If you do not let my people go, I will send swarms of flies on you and your officials, on your people and into your houses.  The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies, and even the ground where they are. But on that day I will deal differently with the land of Goshen, where my people live; no swarms of flies will be there, so that you will know that I, the LORD, am in this land.  I will make a distinction between my people and your people.  This miraculous sign will occur tomorrow. (Exodus 8:21-23) 

I grew up in a church all my life.  I attended numerous Sunday school classes and heard the story of Moses and Pharaoh many times, along with pictures depicting the setting. I’ve always imagined the stories of Moses and Pharaoh taking place in a grand hall with Pharaoh on this mighty throne and Moses down below, possibly feeling belittled and outnumbered.  But now as an adult, I read the bible and the truths of these stories grow more grand and powerful.

This particular scene is one to ponder.  Why?  Because as Moses and Aaron approach this time, Pharaoh and his entire entourage are covered in flies, head to toe.  And the LORD did this.  Dense swarms of flies poured into Pharaohs palace and into the houses of his officials, and throughout Egypt the land was ruined by the flies. (Exodus 8:24)

The flies swarmed in.  God poured them into the land and it was noisy, dark and consuming. They had flies in their ears, in their mouths and the noise must have been unbearable. Ever had a fly in your house?  Been to a picnic where the flies just won’t quit?  Can you just imagine them covering your body in swarms along with your house and property? Now I know there was recently a movie about Pharaoh and Moses and I’m not sure if this scene was replicated, but I can guarantee this; no matter how great the graphics were, it could NEVER compare to the actual occurrence – for who could ever equally replicate a judgment from the hand of God Almighty? And there stood Moses and Aaron, untouched.  It is very important that we picture this.  Why? Because God was having it his way – God will always have it his way.

Then Moses left Pharaoh and prayed to the LORD, and the LORD did what Moses asked: The flies left Pharaoh and his officials and his people; not a fly remained. (Exodus 8:30-31)  Not a fly remained?  Not one?  I wonder how many trillions of flies God used for this plague and yet not one remained.  Look around your house or where ever you find yourself at this very moment.  Are there not hundreds of places for flies to hide?  Nooks and crannies, cracks and dirt and trees and cupboards etc…  The hand of God brought everyone, saw everyone and took everyone.  God is AMAZING!

God will always have his way.  We need to know this. We need to read these stories and remember that God is always sovereign.  His word stands above the thrones of man.  This world started with the Word of God and will end with the Word of God.  I’m holding on to it.  I hope you are too.

Free Summer Activities 2015

12 - I Love LAThis summer vacation live it up with the family and enjoy some of the free or inexpensive treasures of Los Angeles and the South Bay. Here is a list of nearby adventures. Grab your kids/family, maybe invite someone to join you and go build memories and relationships.

Kings Harbor Church:
1. Join the KHC Facebook groups to stay on top of upcoming events.
KHC Student Ministry
Moms Inc.
Moms United
KHC Women – Refuge, future Bible studies and opportunities

Local:
1. Watch a movie or attend a concert in the park.
Redondo Beach Pier – movies, concerts
Torrance Parks – movies
Polliwog Parks – concerts
2. Work with wood at Torrance’s Carpenter Wagon program.
3. Join a Summer Reading Program.
Palos Verdes Library – began June 1st
Torrance – begins June 22nd
County of Los Angeles
4. Brush up on your Shakespeare with Shakespeare by the Sea.
5. Get wet at the Alondra Splash Pad.
6. Explore tide pools.
Abalone Cove Rancho Palos Verde (parking is $5.00)
7. Earn a free book at Barnes & Noble.
8. Take time to smell the flowers at the South Bay Botanical Gardens. (free every 3rd Tuesday of the month)
9. Ride a train at Wilson Park every first Sunday of the month.
10. Dress like a cow to get a free sandwich or meal at Chick-Fil-A’s Cow Appreciation Day.

Somewhat Local:
1.Star gaze at the Griffith Observatory. (planetarium tickets are extra)
2.Play with Science at the California Science Center. (parking is $10.00)
3.Brush up on your California History at the Autry. (free every 2nd Tuesday of the month)
4.Volunteer at Amy’s Farm.
5. Be inspired at the Getty Center. (parking is $10.00)

This article, from welikela.com, lists in one location free museums and museum’s monthly free days.

Did we miss a great opportunity you want to share with us?
Send us the info and we’ll add it on the list.