Resting in the Fog - by Chandler Scoggins

Posted by sam

One day this summer, I made the crazy decision to go on a sunrise hike with my friends. It was my day off, and for whatever reason I was in the mood for some early adventure. So, instead of trying to catch up on some much needed sleep, I gave into my FOMO hoping for some sweet views and memories. The hike was an hour drive away, so we had to pull out of camp gates at 4:30 AM just to make it on time. In that moment, I decided it would be the last time I do anything at 4:30 AM. We take off on the Blue Ridge Parkway blasting some music and working on our second cup of coffee trying to get in the mood.  

About 15 minutes in, we notice that the road starts to get REAL foggy. Turns on the BRP are pretty sharp at some points, so we have to slow down so that we don’t fly off the side of the mountain. Aside from that, things are not looking well in terms of optimal sunrise viewing. I keep trying to get glimpses of the sky, but can’t even see ten feet over our heads. Nevertheless, we are determined to see a good sunrise, so we press on. As we continue to drive, there are moments where the fog lessens, and other moments where it is thicker than mud, so we essentially have no idea what to expect when we get to this place. About ten minutes out from where the hike starts, the fog disappears, and me and my buddies get hype. The sky is slowly changing colors, and it seems as if we will get that picture-perfect sunrise.

We finally pull up to the parking lot at the base of the hike, and my heart immediately drops. The summit is absolutely entrenched in fog, and any hope I had of enjoying this sunrise went down the drain. Not only that, but the trail leading up to the top is also covered in fog. I get out of the car, and it is pretty evident among the faces of my friends that no one thought this hike was going to be worth it. Yet, for some reason, not a single one of us hesitated, and we made our way up to the summit. 

I wish I could say that we got to the top, and waiting for us was this unreal display of God’s beauty and creation. That would have been wild. In fact, I think we got up there and it seemed less clear than when we had left. In every direction we looked, fog was there, waiting to mask the view we so eagerly wished to take in. It was a major bummer. In the moment, I was pretty disappointed because I felt that I had dedicated time and effort and sleep to witness God go crazy in the sunrise, and I was being rewarded with just bleak nothingness. 

The main reason I share this story is to highlight the lesson I learned in the midst of the fog. I think we, as followers of Christ, get so caught up on praising Him when its comfortable for us. Or when we can easily stand up and say “Hey, look at the awesome things God is doing in my life”. Rather, we need to learn that the same God who paints the sky with brilliant colors also covers mountains with a thick fog. And at most points in life, if we are being honest, we are in the midst of that fog. There is no clarity in those moments. In fact, it usually seems that the more we search for a way out, the thicker the fog gets. It becomes hard to remember where you came from, and which direction you’re heading in. 

But, just because the fog exists does not mean that God is not in control. The trail up the mountain that leads to Him still persists, and that is all we need. Even more so, the work God is doing in us and around us is also present. It’s just shrouded by the fog that He has placed there Himself! There is nothing we can do to get rid of the fog in our lives, and that is a beautiful thing. When we begin to realize that there is nothing we can do to move the fog, we free ourselves to praise Him for who He is, even in the midst of confusion. There is a peace that comes from realizing that not only is that all we can do, but it’s also all we are called to do.. Because of the death and resurrection of Christ, we have nothing else to do in life but praise Him and bring glory to Him forever. There is no aspect of earning an opportunity to sit at His feet, no checklist we have to mark off for the day. Just open arms eagerly waiting for us to step out into the fog that He has so graciously placed in our lives. 

A.W Tozer writes in a book titled The Pursuit of God the following words: “We can exaggerate about many things; but we can never exaggerate our obligation to Jesus, or the compassionate abundance of the love of Jesus to us. All our lives long we might talk of Jesus, and yet we should never come to an end of the sweet things that might be said of Him. Eternity will not be long enough to learn all He is, or to praise Him for all He has done, but then, that matters not; for we shall be always with Him, and we desire nothing more.” 

I mean, I could sit in this paragraph for the rest of my life, and still not get over it. This is our only job in life. Glorify Him and take delight in the fact that He loves us and cares for us, and that we are able to enter into his presence. Regardless of circumstances, He still controls the wind and the waves in our lives. 

I’ll be honest, I don’t know what the past few months have looked like for you. But, I’m sure that frustration, confusion, heartbreak, anxiousness, and probably anger has been present at some point. It definitely has been in mine. In no way, shape, or form, did I think this was how 2020 was going to play out. But God did. That’s what is awesome to me. Nothing going on right now has surprised Him, or caught Him off guard. He is still the same loving and good Father that He has always been, and will continue to be. 

Whatever is going on for you right now, I want to encourage you to sit in His presence and praise Him for who He is – a good, good Father. If God is displaying His glory in you right now, shout it from the rooftops! If it seems that you have been drenched in confusion and frustration for months, or even years, there is praise to be given yet. 

We did get a sunrise that morning after all, and I mean, it was beautiful. I think it was even more enjoyable knowing that God was the one who made it possible for us to see. I can’t promise that you will see God’s promises for you come to fruition in your life time. I just can’t. You might get the sunrise you are waiting on, you might not. Yet, God is still God. His goodness and sovereignty will never change, and His love for you is never failing.


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Daily Challenge: Hollywood Ron!

Posted by sam

OK friends! Maybe you’ve been following along with the daily challenges on social media, or maybe you’re new to this (watch previous challenges here: Quarantine Challenge Compilation). Either way, it’s time to join the action! Today’s challenge is unlike all the others before. Here’s what we want you to do. Take the photo below (of Ron’s magnificent face) and photoshop it onto a movie poster or scene from your favorite movie! Then take your edited photo and post it on social media. Be sure to tag us so we can share it with the rest of the Camp Family! Bonus points if you can change the title of the movie to make it Ron-themed.

Scroll down to the bottom to see some examples! If you’re not tech-savvy and don’t know anything about photoshop, simply save the face below to your computer and then use a free online photo editor, like canva.com or picmonkey.com and get to work!


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As You Go

Posted by Karah

PAUSE

Reflect on what you’ve learned about Jesus’ resurrection over these last few weeks. Keep those things in mind as you read today’s devotion.

• Quickly list some of the truths you’ve learned as you studied the narrative accounts of the resurrection the last few weeks.
• At the beginning of this series, we studied Jesus’ promise that He would be betrayed, put to death, and raised again. How should these truths affect the way believers live?

Read Mark 16:14-18 in your Bible.

“Then He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.'” —Mark 16:15

• Underline the words “go” and “preach” in verse 15.
• Highlight the phrases “all the world” and “the whole creation” (v. 15). Why is it important that disciples not leave out anyone when sharing the message of Christ? Explain.
• Record what Jesus said about the two different types of people in verse 16.

Now, read Matthew 28:16-20 in your Bible.
• List the four commands Jesus gave to His followers (v. 19-20).
The word go can better be translated with the phrase as you are going. This small difference carries huge implications. Yes, God calls us to go on mission trips, but He also calls us to make disciples as we go about our normal routine.
• Record the promise Jesus made at the end of verse 20 in your own words.

RESPOND

Understanding that the God who has all authority on heaven and earth will be with us as we go is a great comfort to believers. His presence within us, the Holy Spirit, enables us to make disciples. He goes with us and gives salvation only He can give.

• Meditate on what it means that the Holy Spirit dwells within us, enabling us to do God’s work.
• Journal a prayer of thankfulness to God for His constant presence and help in your life.

BEHIND THE STORY

The instructions Jesus gave in both of today’s passages are commonly referred to as The Great Commission. The word commission here means an instruction or command. Though Jesus spoke these commands directly to His 11 disciples, they weren’t a one-time deal. Believers are still called to go, make disciples, teach, and baptize in His name. How will you obey?

THE POINT

Jesus commands us to go and share His message with others. He promised to be with us as we go.


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No Nonsense

Posted by Karah

PAUSE

Turn off all your electronic devices and prepare to spend some time alone with God. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to learn new things through today’s Scripture.

“Returning from the tomb, they reported all these things to the Eleven and to all the rest.” —Luke 24:9

Read Luke 24:9-12 in your Bible and think through the following.
• Record the differences between Peter’s and the rest of the disciples’ responses to the women’s testimony.
• Verse 12 says Peter “ ______ __and ______” to the tomb. Why do you think he reacted this way?
• At this time, the testimony of women was highly disregarded. When the disciples heard their story about Jesus being resurrected, they thought the women were babbling nonsense. What are some things that cause us to disregard others’ testimony today? Why?
• Peter raced to the tomb to discover the truth for himself. How did his actions support the importance of testimony? Explain.

RESPOND

• Believing that Jesus was resurrected is crucial to the Christian faith. How would you explain the resurrection to someone else? Practice what you would say in the mirror.
• Ask God to bring to mind a few people in your life who don’t believe Jesus rose from the dead. Jot down their names in the margin.
• Look back over your list of names. Prayerfully consider how you can share Jesus’ love with them this week. Ask God to give you the opportunity and courage to speak.

BEHIND THE STORY

Throughout the Gospel narratives, Peter was shown as a passionate and often impulsive person. He jumped out of the boat to walk on water, cut off the ear of a high priest’s slave during Jesus’ arrest, and denied Jesus three times at His trial. In today’s passage, Peter displayed his passion yet again , evidenced by his immediate reaction to the women’s testimony.

THE POINT

Followers of Jesus should share the good news of His resurrection and what that means for us.


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Bribes and Lies

Posted by Karah

PAUSE

Reflect on your actions and words from this week. Ask God to reveal any sin and then ask Him to forgive you.
• The women obeyed the angel’s command to go tell the disciples the good news that Jesus had been raised from the dead. For followers of Jesus, this was terrific news that caused great rejoicing. However, for those who opposed Jesus, this created a problem. Why?

Now, read Matthew 28:4, 11-15 in your Bible.

“After the priests had assembled with the elders and agreed on a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money and told them, ‘Say this, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole Him while we were sleeping.’” —Matthew 28:12-13

• List the priests’ actions upon hearing the guards’ testimony.
• What did the priests’ reaction indicate about the importance of Jesus’ message?
• What plan did the priests devise in order to quiet the news of Jesus’ resurrection?

The priests didn’t want the soldiers to admit that Jesus had been raised from the dead because that would have affirmed His identity as the Son of God. So, the priests who had sentenced Jesus to death bribed the guards to lie.

RESPOND

• How would you have responded if you were one of the Roman guards bribed by the priests? Journal your thoughts.
• Have you been asked to lie before? How did you respond? Record your experience in your journal.
• Consider this: The truth of Jesus’ resurrection was so powerful that the Jewish religious leaders bribed elite Roman soldiers to lie about the occurrences outside the tomb. Ask yourself: Do I understand the powerful message represented by the empty tomb?
• Look back at the previous question. Ask God to continue to help you understand the truth of the resurrection and what it means for you.

BEHIND THE STORY

The Roman soldiers were the most elite of the military. Being caught sleeping on the job was punishable by death. The description of verse 4 in today’s passage implies that the guards actually saw the angel, so it is unlikely that they were asleep when the stone was rolled away. Rather than holding firm to the truth that they saw an angel of the Lord roll away the stone blocking the tomb, they risked their lives with a lie crafted by the religious elite. If anyone asked, they would say that Jesus’ disciples stole the body while they slept.

THE POINT

The truth of Jesus’ resurrection gave hope to believers, but caused fear among the religious leaders.


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