For those of you who don’t know, Forest Home is literally my second home. In the Forest. Hence the name “Forest Home.” This past weekend I was blessed to visit this home and be renewed by the beauty, fellowship, worship, and overall message of college briefing. I’m new at this blogging thing, and so I don’t have any cutely-edited photos of the mountain sunsets or hip snapshots of my daily morning coffee (though I’m working to get better at documenting these things. Well, maybe not the coffee. That’s just overkill). However, I’d like to give you an insight into how this weekend affected me.
1) Jesus is not limited to the New Testament.
If you haven’t seen this video, please watch it immediately: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGFtfqgBQkM
Okay, let’s be honest… I cried the first time I watched this. Never before had I seen the Bible as a series of people and events interwoven over thousands of years that whispers one name: Jesus. The Bible isn’t a story with disconnected chapters; it is a narrative that illustrates the relationship of God and His people and how it all leads up to the life and death of Christ. There is no chasm between the Old and New Testaments; God’s plan for our salvation through His Son echoes in the words and decisions of the Old Testament heroes. Yeah, talk about a new way to read the Bible!
2) Christianity is true and it is provable.
I’m not going to spend hours typing out the arguments for this statement, but I will leave you with a few points. For more information, research the works of Dr. Craig Hazen, who is a Professor of Comparative Religion and Christian Apologetics at Biola University, and who was the speaker for the weekend. He’s rad. (#1 and #2 are his points. The others come from a dreamy, sincere conversation between the other college students from my church, our leaders, and I.)
- Jesus is one of the most attested facts of ancient history
- The resurrection is the only possible explanation for Jesus’ death and return based on the twelve known historical facts concerning the resurrection (listed here: goo.gl/ZzWjFj)
- Our human longing for justice, peace, and a “happy ending” is met in scripture
- It doesn’t make sense to describe pleasure or anything good without describing God… If we were just made to survive, why do we have pleasure receptors or the desire to do good in this world and find a deeper meaning in life?
- Christianity matches how the world really was and is
3) As much as we wish to always hold onto the glorious feels we experience at church camp, that isn’t realistic.
We are human. We will undoubtedly go home to our families and our homes and get lost in new seasons of Netflix and the boatloads of homework that we should’ve been doing instead of watching Netflix. We will value things more than our Creator and care more about whether the cute barista is one day going to be our spouse. We will be so buried in our lives that we begin to doubt the One who offers us lives of freedom, because even though we are weak, He is strong and loves us despite our inability to trust in the Savior of the world. If we take time to call on Him and renew our hearts through worship and fellowship, He promises to meet us where we’re at and put us back on the right track.
That, my friends, was a glimpse into my time at Forest Home. I’d 1000% encourage anyone to attend any camp they can there, because it is an amazing way to be refreshed and renewed in a Christ-centered environment. Plus there are ridiculously delicious milkshakes. And a zip line. And a lake with kayaks and a blob. What is a blob, you might ask? Blob, noun: Something you have to see at Forest Home to fully comprehend. Context: “I saw the blob today.” #vagueanswers
Congrats if you’ve made it through this post. I’ll get better at this, I promise. I like you a lot and I hope to be able to brighten your day again sometime (because hopefully I did it today.) If I didn’t, then my name is John and I’m a Jungle Cruise skipper with an arsenal of corny jokes that still manage to be funny every time.
When we see glimpses of Jesus’ love, it really is a dear old world. 🙂
P.S. Keep looking out for more posts about Jesus and crafts and friends and fun things like succulents. You’re the best.