Monday, August 20, 2012

Why High Power Soccer Camp for 15 years?!

Highlights of High Power Soccer Camp 12@Grace

About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”2 Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. 3 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. 4 So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.5 “And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.

Sharon and I were sitting down this weekend realizing that we have been involved in leading and participating in High Power Soccer Camp for 15 years between B.C. and Ontario and loving the joy and laughter that it brings and then there is Soccer Sunday, an opportunity for parents to see what we’ve been up to all week as well.  One of the things that has absolutely grown on us and the kids is “spontaneous melodramas” where we get the children and coaches to act out the stories of the Bible.  If you have heard these stories before as children growing up, it might have been on flannel graph! However, this is live and unexpected action.  We want people to hear these stories again with the awe and wonder of a child!  These are not fairy tales, these stories were actual events of ordinary people who had extraordinary faith in God to believe that Jesus can forgive sins, that He can rescue, that He wants us to know the Father’s love. It is my prayer that a Soccer Sunday will override our complacency and the attitude of "been there, done that," even though we may have. It is a part of us that we should never lose. It enables us to maintain our humbleness and enthusiasm.

I want adults to listen with humility as well as to how we can enter the kingdom of heaven.  It was so much fun to see my neighbour Suka and his wife, who are Sikh background, jumping with us and singing songs about Jesus as they checked out our camp this week.  It was also great to have 13 children sponsored from a neighbourhood group in the city who camp and the openness of Muslim parents to allow their children to participate in a Christian camp.  As I talked with parents it reminded me of the power of invitation.  The kids absolutely loved the camp and didn’t want it to end.  When I asked if they would come back next year, I got a resounding yes!  As I spoke with parents, two families said they would attend Soccer Sunday, but in the end did not come.  It was disappointing; however, the encouraging news is that seeds were planted and God is working in hearts.

Childlike faith is also entering into the place of confident and believing faith.  It is the belief that when we call out to him he hears us and He also speaks to us though creation, through His Word and through His still small voice that speaks to our hearts.

It was just over a month ago that we were only at 16 campers and it was my son Rylan who woke up one morning and told me that God told him we were going to have 60 campers.  So, when we had 78 campers, I asked him what was that all about….he told me God can always do more!!  Gotta love it!

Martin Luther said the faith that results in being declared righteous before a holy God is like the hand of the beggar reaching out to receive a gift. Before God, we're all beggars. The Lord Jesus offers us the gift of eternal life. We must receive his offer by the faith of an empty hand that offers nothing in exchange.

Jesus turned everything upside down. Those who appeared to be the least likely candidates entered God's kingdom before those who thought they would be first in line.
How do you explain tax collectors understanding the truth before religious leaders.
"I think Jesus meant we have to come to him like a child," says Amanda, 11. "We don't have to say special words. We need to be like a child and not talk fancy.

I read this and really liked it…

Fancy words, religious rituals and clerical garb may impress people, but they don't influence God. He sees the heart. God knows we can deceive ourselves into believing we're good enough to make the grade for heaven by our good works. Jesus is trying to send us a wake-up call when he said simple, childlike faith is needed to enter his kingdom.

Jesus came to Earth to tell us about a loving Father and a kingdom in which righteousness and justice prevail.  He came to offer us a permanent solution for sin through His death on the cross.  He secured our forgiveness and as a child in humility we are called to accept it, believe it and receive it for ourselves.

God give me faith to see through the eyes of a child that nothing is too hard for you.

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