I accepted the Lord as my Savior (by accepting that He died on the cross for my sins, that I am a sinner and there isn't anything I can do to earn salvation for myself, by believing that he is the Christ, and then by calling upon Him to come into my heart and save me from my sins and myself) when I was 5 years old on the top bunk of my sister and I’s bunk bed with my Dad praying with me. I was raised in a Bible believing home with God fearing parents that taught us how to live for God. As I grew older I made a choice to rebel against my parents and God, going far from what I had been taught. I emphasize the word “chose” because these teens are choosing to go to a Bible camp with other young teens and sit under the preaching of Gods word and that should be an encouragement. I wish I had made that choice at their age instead of rebelling.
In 2005 after 10 years of believing I could control everything in my life and walking away from God and my parents love and advice, I made a different choice. I chose one Wednesday night to go to Treasure Valley Baptist Church by myself. I knew where to go because my parents had taken me there when I was younger (Proverbs 22:6 - Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.) I sat hidden in the back, not really looking at anyone. The pastor began to preach and started with Jeremiah 33:3 (Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.) and I don’t know what he said after he read that verse - God was bringing me back to him, my heart was breaking. I find it fitting that so many years later on the day I am going to give my testimony that Pastor Swenson preached out of that same passage.
Not long after that as I was driving down the interstate (a drive I know that God took over the wheel), I cried out to him saying, “I can’t do this anymore on my own. My life is yours. Please help me!” Imagine how much easier this would have been had I never made the choice to walk away.
Over the next year I began dating Mike (my now husband). One night we were having a discussion about God, in which I was trying to tell him what I believed, I said something I had never said. I told him that God came first in my life and if he couldn’t accept that then I was going to have to walk away.
Fast forward to today. I have been blessed with what I do not deserve. I have a loving husband that serves the Lord. I have two beautiful children that never thought I would have. I have a wonderful relationship with my parents.
Camp is not just for kids and teens. Every message preached can be applied to an adult’s life too. I was convicted by many of the messages. One in particular about what it is to be a true, godly leader will help me just to be a better mother as well as a leader. I am so very fortunate to have had the opportunity to see the changes in our teens, both on their faces and in their actions as they listened daily to the messages. The preaching was honest and true and the spirit shared between everyone there was refreshing.
During one of the messages, Numbers 32:15 was read (For if ye turn away from after him, he will yet again leave them in the wilderness; and ye shall destroy all this people.) These teens are our next generation of Bible teachers, Preachers, and Christian moms. If we are not faithful to God, and they do not remain focused on God, then what about the next generation? They need to learn to lean on God to make decisions based on faith and not just on sight like I chose to when I was younger. Life is so much fuller when you are in the will of God. There is a peace and security that can’t be found otherwise. Thank God he loves us and takes us back even after we have gone astray. He loves us even though we are unworthy.
My hope and prayer is that these teens lives will be lived in a way to be a blessing to others as they serve God. I Peter 2:15-16 (For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.)
If ever you want to know how I came to accept Christ as my savior, please contact me or read the verses listed HERE.