Awaken to the Journey: Devotion by Gary Morgan

Awaken to the Journey: Devotion by Gary Morgan

 

GaryMorganBlogPhotoGary Morgan does life in Nashville, TN with his wife of 22 years, Johni, his two daughters McKenna (15) and Story (12) and his dog Kramer. Gary pastors Mosaic, a community of faith in urban Nashville. You can check out Mosaic on the web at mosaicnashville.org. Gary enjoys reading, coffee, conversation and laughter. He is an ongoing learner of culture and theology and really digs listening to stories about other’s spiritual journeys

 Awaken to the Journey

Gary Morgan-FUGE Camp Pastor

 

National Geographic and a student’s favorite research site, Wikipedia (which their teachers ask them not to use) describe the movie March of the Penguins, as an award-winning documentary where one can see the story of the Emperor Penguins and how they experience a journey like no other. Thousands of Emperor penguins brave icy winds, freezing temperatures, and starvation in this incredible, true story of the continuation of the penguin life cycle. The penguins travel in single file hundreds of miles, crisscrossing Antarctica under the harshest conditions on Earth.

If you have seen the movie or heard the story, you know it is truly an amazing story of journey, family, love and mission.

There is also an amazing story of a journey written in Genesis 12:1-9. Take a few moments to check it out.

  • What are your thoughts concerning Abram’s journey?
  • What does this mean to you?

 Could we awaken to the fact that God invites each of us on a journey with Him? We too are called to travel with God. But sometimes, we’re too preoccupied to hear the invitation, too proud to consider the request, too busy doing too many things, or even too busy talking. In our prayer lives we spend all kinds of time talking, telling God what we want instead of listening to what He has in mind for us.

So, let’s listen to the words of the Psalmist, “Come and see the wonders of God; His acts for humanity are awe-inspiring.” Psalm 66:5

And to the writing in the Book of Jeremiah, “‘For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration —“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.’” Jeremiah 29:11-12

For the next several minutes, take time simply to be in the presence of God. Relinquish your future to God’s plans. Let God direct what your future will hold.

I know you have thoughts about the rest of your life, but the truth is you have about as much control over your future as you do over the direction the wind is going to blow.

Relinquish the path your feet are going to take AND Awaken to the Journey God has in mind for you.

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.