Disillusioned.

Disillusioned.

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Today’s post comes from Rachel Trammell. Rachel has worked with FUGE as an SLA, staffer, camp director, intern, and a full-time office staff. Currently, Rachel lives in Nashville, TN where she works for Justice & Mercy International, a faith-based organization that aims to make justice personal for the poor, orphaned, and forgotten of the world. Rachel loves being outside, the Georgia Bulldawgs, traveling new places, and, maybe most of all, CAMP.

The town I grew up in had a vast, magical place called Dixieland Fun Park. Once in a while, I would get to visit Dixieland for a friend’s birthday party, an end-of-the-softball-season celebration, and the like. The fun at Dixieland seemed unending: a putt-putt course, water raft races, a zip line, a huge arcade. I couldn’t imagine more fun in one place.

Sometime in high school, I went with a few friends to the Fun Park with the intentions of playing putt-putt. It had been years since I’d been to Dixieland, but I definitely had a pretty clear picture of what I remembered the Park to be.  When we arrived, I was stunned. “What HAPPENED? This place is a dump,” I thought. I soon found out, though, nothing had happened. Dixieland had always been like this. A tiny mini-golf course, a few arcade machines, and a murky pool.  Here I was, totally disillusioned by what I had once thought to be so true.

The very best news of our lives is this: Jesus is NOT disillusioned by who we really are. He did not go to the cross thinking He was sacrificing His life for some pretty good people. He knew then, and knows now, the depths of our sinful hearts. He was fully aware of the ways we would fail, dishonor, and ignore Him. Yet “for the joy set before Him, He endured the Cross” (Hebrews 12:2). This, friends, is news worth banking everything on; that the all-knowing Savior would know us deeply, and still choose to call us His beloved. Tim Keller, a pastor in New York City, puts it this way, “But to be fully known and truly loved, is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything.” It’s true. We have a Creator who knows us better than anyone ever will, while loving us more then anyone ever could.

How different would our lives be if we daily remembered we are truly loved by Love Himself? What freedom is found for those who live in this truth!

Everything I Need to Know I Learned from FUGE

Everything I Need to Know I Learned from FUGE

Melissa and family Melissa Crosby lives in South Asia with her husband and three children.  Melissa is from Nashville, Tennessee.  She served on staff at M-Fuge Charleston 2002, M-Fuge Jacksonville 2003, M-Fuge Nashville 2004, and Centrifuge Panama City Beach 2005.

 

Last week I found myself quoting something I learned years ago while working at Fuge summer camps.  I started thinking about all I had learned during my four summers working for the Lifeway camps.

1. Always own at least 10% of the problem.  At least that much is your own sin, probably more.  Coming into a disagreement with this attitude will help diffuse the situation better and will help you come to a resolution quicker.

2.  Everyone you meet is on a journey with God.  Your goal is to determine where they might be and help them get one step closer.

3. Always be on time.  It might cost you a dollar.

4. A good leader handles a lot more problems than you will ever know about.  Your support and kindness goes a long way to encourage them, even if they aren’t able to tell you.

5. When you stick a group of strong, young, single believers together in such a close setting, someone is going to fall in love!

6. Fuge friends are friends for life.

7.  There are Fugers all over the world doing amazing things for God.  Having worked Fuge connects you to an amazing network.

8. Once a Fuger, always a Fuger.  Unless you got fired for some reason.

9. Working for Fuge provides you with all the bags and jackets you will ever need!

10. Saying that you worked for Fuge gives you an instant credibility.

I’m so thankful for that chapter of my life and for the memories!

Help My Unbelief

Help My Unbelief

katiejprof

Today’s guest post comes from Katie Johnson, a FUGE staffer who most recenly served as a Bible Study leader at North Greenville University in 2013. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Theology. Katie loves spending time with family, North Carolina in the fall, and Tarheel basketball. 
 
 
 
And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’?” All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:23-24

Webster’s defines belief as this: a feeling of being sure that someone or something exists or that something is true. We place belief in so many things: we believe our car will start when we turn the key,  a chair will hold us up when we sit down, a roller coaster won’t break when we get on. We place our trust in family and friends, but the one thing that all of these things have in common is their tendency to fail. It may not be often but nothing of this world is perfect.

In Mark 9 we find the story of a father asking Christ to cleanse his son of an unclean spirit. I will focus on the statements made by these two men; one by Christ and the other by the father. The father says to Christ, “if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us”. Christ is surprised by this, it’s as if He was saying, “If I can, are you kidding?” How could he doubt His ability to heal his son and the power that Christ had? He had been displaying it in that area for over a year, but sometimes that’s not enough. We have seen the power of Christ in the Word and in the world, yet we doubt His ability and control over our lives countless times. We are so independent that we believe we can try to take care of things on our own rather than going to God first. The father cries to Jesus, “I believe, help my unbelief”. What an honest man. He believes in Jesus, believes in His power but admits he has doubt. God has never expected us to have perfect faith. There is always going to be some doubt mixed in but Christ assures us that, “All things are possible for one who believes”. So don’t be afraid to admit your doubt to God, He already knows. Confront it, face it head on and ask God to remove it.

Listen Closely

Listen Closely

haleybiopic

Haley Lavergne participated in the Student Leader Apprentice (SLA) program for two years: 2012 in Nashville, TN and 2013 in Glorieta, NM. She is currently studying at University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In her spare time, you will find her outside in a hammock immersed in a good book or creating art with various mediums.

 

“Welcome to SLA, where questions about the future aren’t allowed and getting thrown outside of your comfort zone is guaranteed.”

Although I wasn’t greeted with these exact words when arriving at Glorieta, they certainly sum up my experience. I arrived asking the Lord to move in mighty ways and left in awe of how He exceeded my expectations. Being quiet and being a friend to listen and encourage was the trend for the entire two weeks. It sounds small because I am a small part of what God did. He doesn’t need me but He chooses to use me. What a beautiful God we serve.  I was given the opportunity to watch God use something as simple as truly listening, in such a huge way as He began to heal hurting people. All the while, I had a front row seat listening to fellow SLAers, staffers, campers, site friends, and most importantly: the Lord. I was continually taken back by our innate desire to be heard and known. It was simultaneously: overwhelming, wonderful, powerful and humbling. SLA’s focus on service leadership taught me how truly listening and serving the people in front of me are crucial.

James 5:16a says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” I think much of the healing James talks about also comes from listening. I learned that that’s where ministry happens: in intentional moments packed with sincere love and genuine care for God’s people. Jesus took the time to not only heal people’s physical needs, but He took care of them as human beings with the desire to be loved. He saw desires to be seen, accepted, and deeply known. It went beyond physical healing. He went deeper to care for emotions. He loved past the surface. He loves deep and He loves well. I learned about that at SLA and it is something I am grateful to say I’m still learning.

Do Unto Others

Do Unto Others

Marci Coleman

Marci Coleman is the author of today’s guest post. Marci currently resides in Memphis, TN, where she is working on a degree in Worship Leadership at Visible Music College. She will graduate in the spring of 2014. Marci is a talented singer and guitarist and is beginning to work on an EP. She has worked two summers with MFuge, at Mobile in 2012 and Ridgecrest in 2013.
Philippians 2:1-4 speaks of looking to the interest of others and to consider others better than yourself. What exactly does this look like? I’ve heard this scripture many times before, but until I experienced it in a unique way, my perspective has been completely changed.

One afternoon I decided to go to a Taco Bell drive-through to order a cheap burrito, like every normal college student does. I was home that weekend visiting family, and was familiar with the cashier, who had seen me multiple times before. I had always been a friendly “drive-through customer” to her and she had always served me with kindness and a smile.

As I pulled up to her window to pay, I sensed gloominess from her. I didn’t want to impose on her private life, and especially through a drive-through, but I immediately asked, “How are you?” It was such a unique sensation, but when I asked her this, I could feel the Holy Spirit prompting me to make conversation with this lady. She responded with a sulky, “I’m okay.” So, then, I bluntly asked her, “What’s wrong?” She had no problem with pouring out her troubled soul to me—a death in the family, taking care of her own family, managing her work schedule, and not having enough time to herself. She ended with, “I just need a break. I need strength to get through.”

To be honest, I was a bit shocked that she felt so comfortable telling me these things. It took me a second to grasp what was happening. I responded sympathetically, and told her I would pray for her. I got her name and assured her that she would be prayed for. As I drove away, I immediately started to re-encounter our conversation and wondered if I had said the right things.

At first, I regretted not saying more about the Hope and Strength of Christ. But I couldn’t dwell on what I didn’t do or what I should’ve said. I realized all it took on my part was to listen, to encourage, to look to the interest of others, and to humbly put a cashier’s life situation before my cheap burrito. And that speaks more volume than I can even imagine!

Let us put on the attitude of Christ, having the same love, and seek out those in need! The world makes more sense when it’s not about us. We all need to be reminded that people are truly suffering and going through some hard times and they are ready to talk! We must be ready and willing to listen, even if it is through a Taco Bell drive- through.

May God bless our conversations!