Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ha Ha Tonka

Last Friday, my three brothers and I joined a group of guys and went camping down at Ha Ha Tonka State Park. The first night, we cooked hot dogs and hamburgers and roasted marshmallows around the fire.

When everyone was finished eating, Carl and I and next Mark and I played the guitar while everyone sang. Afterward, we all went for a night walk and explored the road. It was neat to walk and talk in nearly complete darkness except for a few flashlights. Oddly enough, all across the road, there were glowing insects (larva or worms or something).

It was so pretty there. There was a spring with green-blue water. There were also many places to climb. There were hundreds of steps climbing here and there.

We found a natural bridge that you could drive a truck under. We all climbed on top of the bridge.

My brothers, Michael and Daniel, came and had a great time! They have always loved camp-outs!
Here we are driving back to our camp site after a long hike.

We had to hike around this canyon in order to reach the castle. Here we are on the other side looking across.

It was long hike and everyone was tired, but it was a lot of fun!

Visiting the castle was a neat experience, but it was also sort of ironic. As we approached the castle, we kept seeing couples coming down. We wondered just how many couples got engaged here. They all jokingly warned me to not go and see the castle! I just told them that I was taken already! :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Blessings of Work

"If anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in a quiet fashion and eat their own bread. But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good. Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!

2 Thessalonians 3:10b-13, 16

Call me crazy, but it is a great blessing to be really busy. It CAN even be a blessing to be so busy that you wonder how everything will be completed. This can be a blessing when the Lord is your source of strength because you can recognize that He is the one who is getting you through. From my perspective, if I am willing to work hard, be diligent, and do my best, I do not think that it is unreasonable or selfish to ask of God to provide the strength, focus, and even skill to complete my tasks well. God is very concerned with all that we do. I believe that He can and will give us strength when we ask of Him. I had never thought about it this way before, but in the previous verses, Paul says to "not grow WEARY OF DOING GOOD." I always assumed this was only referring to doing kind deeds, but I think Paul is more talking about how we work. If the Lord is our strength, why should we grow weary? Paul goes on to request peace continually for the people in every circumstance--even when busy and when working.

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and I am helped." Psalm 28:7

2 Thessalonians 3:1-3, 5

"Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified...and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ."