Salkehatchie 2011

It feels like forever since I have updated the blog. This year’s extended Annual Conference led directly into Salkehatchie back in Spartanburg where I had the privilege of leading devotional times for 50 or so rockin’
youth and adults!  It truly was an amazing week, the ramifications of which I am only beginning to process
now.  Suffice it to say that it never ceases to amaze me what God does when people are willing to unite in his name
to serve the “least of these my people.”

The one aspect of the camp this year that continues to pervade my thoughts is the fact that all of us who participated saw and understood God’s work in a very real way but far outside the comfort of traditional church sanctuaries and fellowship halls.  Salkehatchie is a dirty, grimey, gritty, sweaty, smelly and tiring calling to answer.  And answer it we must.  In the midst of crawling under spider infested houses, baking on the roof of an old mill house, replacing the rotten foundations of an already old house, or building a wheelchair ramp for a man who has had more back surgeries than he can count – in the midst of all the horrible situations in which we find people living in our own back yards we find the sovereign triune God of creation.
And isn’t that just like God?  What are the implications of the fact that God is encountered in a very real way in the grittiness (my word for the week) of homes bordering on being condemned?   I suggest this is where God exists and when we, through Christian service, put ourselves in that position we encounter God.  I am discovering this truth more and more the longer I am in ministry:  that the true nature and presence of God is found in life’s gritty Salkehatchie moments.  What we undoubtedly find when we are willing to go to those places is not the absence of God (how it may appear from the outside) but the very real presence of him.

And this leads to (as I told the campers last week) a discussion on the incarnation.  The reason we find God in those gritty situations is because God first found us in ours.  God came and lived, died, and rose among us that we might heed his beckoning call.

This video here is from the Robbie Seay Band and is a song I have had in my head since I left Salkehatchie yesterday:

I cannot boast in anything But Jesus Christ my God and King
I cannot call this world my home
It’s Heaven that I’m longing for
And in Your presence I am free

Oh, great love
My God and King
Singing, oh, great love
My God and King
We praise You as One
Your Kingdom come
Oh, great love

In the quiet Jesus speaks
I hear Him calling out to me
Oh, all that you hold tightly now
Let it go, just lay it down
And in the stillness I am free
And in your presence I am free

You are faithful
You are faithful, oh God
Faithful

And in the stillness I am free
And in Your presence I am free
Oh, in the stillness I am free

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