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!

It’s Gonna BE Good

It’s Gonna BE Good

 

Is the church just a building where you go on Sundays? Is it a social club where you fellowship with others and have fun? Is it too predictable? Is the church of today what was intended when the church was first formed 2,000 years ago? What does living as the Body of Christ in an unbelieving world look like? This summer at FUGE, we will learn more about God’s call on our lives to BE the church to the world around us.

First, students and adults will look at our call to BE His. We will consider what it means to be called a son or daughter of Christ, and the specific implications that has for believers. Before we can serve the Body of Christ, we must understand the freedom and power that comes with being His alone.
During day two of Bible study, we will examine our call to BE last. Over and over in Scripture, we see Jesus lived a life that was in service to others for the sake of bringing glory to the Father. He was the most sacrificial of servants and the most generous of givers. He calls us to live in a way that mirrors that same attitude of great humility.
BE real is the central idea on day three of Bible study. Looking at the early church in Acts, we will discuss the necessity of authentic community within the Body of Christ. There is great freedom and growth to be found when we are willing to be real with one another about our faith.
Finally, day 4 of Bible study considers the call of Scripture to BE bold. In His time on earth, Christ was clear about our calling as the church to be disciple makers. Because of who we are in Him, we have the power to speak His name and live out the Gospel with boldness.
We believe Christ is calling the Church to BE deeply generous, genuinely humble, and relentlessly committed to Himself.  Our prayer is that this study opens the door for students, adults, and staff to pursue the Biblical picture of the Church and to live in authentic community with one another.
See you this summer! It’s gonna BE good.
Help My Unbelief

Help My Unbelief

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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.

Enough is enough.

Enough is enough.

Twenty months ago, I was on the other side of the world kneeling on a scorching metal roof, hammer in hand, overcome with emotion and asking God lots of questions. I was in Sanyati, Zimbabwe, leading a team that was helping to install a new roof on the HIV/AIDS wing of  Sanyati Baptist Hospital. It was late in the week, and the roof was nearing completion. We’d spent that morning inside the hospital, looking into the eyes of those who we’d spent all week laboring on behalf of. We knelt next to rickety hospital beds and prayed with the HIV positive, most of whom had no idea if they’d live to walk out of their hospital rooms. We begged God for healing:  both for restoration of bodies, and for a revival in  souls. “Jesus, come,” was the cry of our hearts.

But, after a weighty several days, I felt defeated. There was too much to do,  too many dying, not enough doctors,  too few resources. In a few days, I was going to return to my embarrassingly comfortable life in the US. The difference I was making seemed minuscule compared to the reality of the issues I was facing. “It’s not enough” played over and over in my mind. Then came the reassurance of the Gospel itself: it is not up to me. There is something that is relentlessly true both in the poverty of Africa and in the poverty of my own sinful heart: the grace of Christ has nothing to do with me, yet it is mine to enjoy.

So, in spite of my limited resources, my finite knowledge, my self-seeking tendencies, and all my other excuses … God is working.  He is working in Africa, and He is working around the globe. He is restoring communities, healing the sick, growing churches,  mending families, bringing hope.

Yes, there is much to be done. He has called the Church to step forward in the name of the broken, sick, and hurting. So, yes, serve your neighbor. Go to the nations. Support missionaries. Speak out for the oppressed. Pray for revival. Marvel at Jesus’ sacrifice.  Make redemption the theme of your days and the Gospel message the absolute focus of your life. It is the most important thing you could ever do.

But let us not become overwhelmed  by what’s before us. The task is great, but our Savior is greater. Let’s not forget what was already finished on the Cross. Let’s rest in the all-sufficient work of Christ. 

sanyatiroof  sanyatiteam