God is able.

The theme this summer at Summit Camps is “Poured Out” and it’s based on this verse: “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:38). I guess that whole week I focused on reflecting Christ, that I never really stared at this verse and wondered what it was trying to tell me. In the weeks that we’ve been back from camp, God’s revealed to me that the whole purpose He called me to Bowie for the summer as a youth intern is in that verse.

My last two years of college, I’ve poured everything I have into other people: trying to be a good example, trying to get friends to come to church with me and encouraging my friends with their walks with God. But in all that time, who’s been pouring into me? I have some great friends, don’t get me wrong. It’s hard, though, when we all live in different places. Sometimes you just want to sit down and have a conversation, but it’s not the same over chat or Skype. The friends I’ve made at school are awesome, but it seems like something’s missing. We all have different aims and goals. I’m at the point where I feel like my gas tank is running low and there’s not a gas station in sight. We get so focused on figuring out what’s wrong with us that we’ve taken all control from God and thrown it on our backs. I’m definitely starting to feel the weight.

So here I am in a town I never thought I’d move to and I feel my walk with God getting stronger every day. These students are pouring into me more than I ever imagined. And I’ve gotten some amazing encouragement from Miles & Emily Morrison, the youth pastor and his wife that I’ve been friends with for years. Then all of a sudden – BAM. Curveball. And I was just starting to get comfortable.

All of my plans for next year have crumbled at my feet. My apartment and roommate plan…everything. I didn’t even bother to have a backup plan. That’s so unlike me. After a few different events, I found myself in the church office crying and saying, “I have nothing. I have no one. I don’t have anywhere to live next year.” After God let me have a good cry, He calmed my spirit and spoke through a dear friend.

God hasn’t gone anywhere. He has a plan for me. He has a place for me to live. He has friends for me that I haven’t met yet. I’m a control freak. It’s time for me to relinquish control and continue giving Him everything – even a plan I thought I had already made.

Something big is coming. Oh, yes, friend. God is moving and it’s going to be fantastic. Are you ready?

//I wrote this post last week and kept thinking something was missing – it wasn’t ready to be posted. Well, that’s because this hadn’t happened yet: This last weekend I went home and posted something on Facebook about needing furniture to fill an apartment I didn’t have, yet. That day, I received a leather recliner, a table and chairs, a coffee table, two side tables and my Nanny’s old couch. Praise God, my provider and shelter! Yesterday, I received a call that an apartment I applied for a few months ago and didn’t think I would get has freed up and they offered me a home! Praise God, my provider and shelter! The roommate search continues, but if God wants me to live alone and focus on Him and my school work, then so be it. As long as He is glorified, it’s fine with me!

-Caitlyn

Reading: “A Lineage of Grace” by (one of my favorite authors of all time) Francine Rivers

back and forth and then forth and then back.

If you know me at all, you know that I love music. I think lyrics and melody have a way of transposing ideas into relatable thoughts. I can struggle for a way to put something into words, then all of a sudden I hear a song that invades my brain and speaks for me. Lately, our students here at Agone have been talking about that feeling when you head home from a week at church camp and you’re on fire for God, but over time it begins to disappear: the dreadful “Camp High.”

First of all, I happen to think a Camp High is awesome. That feeling is the Holy Spirit in it’s purest form: living inside a believer. When students get pumped about God, it usually happens at a church camp or retreat weekend. That’s just how things work. But that feeling doesn’t have to be contained in student events, that feeling can happen every day. How awesome is that? We can wake up on June 8 at camp and feel on fire for God, then wake up on September 15 at home and feel the same way. Some of you may have no idea what a Camp High even feels like. This song is basically a definition of that feeling.

There are some lines in this song that I think really highlight that Camp High feeling.

I’m gonna get it right this time/Gonna fight this time/This time I’m for real

I remember when I was a student in 2911 Students and I’d get home from camp and feel like, “Okay. This time I’m really going to change. I’m going to examine everything in my life and see if it really glorifies God. If it doesn’t, then it’s out.” Most of the fighting to follow God is fighting ourselves. The world convinces us that it knows better than we do, we buy into the lies and we battle the Holy Spirit living inside us. I’ve heard a lot of students talk about how this time at camp, everything would be different. Our students really want to change, they want to see the Spirit move in their daily lives. My prayer is that this summer, they’ll see that the Holy Spirit doesn’t live in Oklahoma, but inside all those who believe.

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17

I always start so strong

This is a major one. I’ve seen students get back home from camp and really be changed. Then school starts back up and they go back into their comfort zones. Something truly incredible happened last week at Summit camp with our Agone students. A couple of the other leaders and I led the Ping Pong tract time (which is just where students from all churches can come and play made up ping pong games that we created as we went along). Three junior high boys from another church were calling one of our girl students ugly, disgusting and dirty. The girl pulled me aside and told me the situation. So, long story short, I Jedi mind-tricked them into telling me their names and their church. I informed our youth minister of the issue and he went and spoke to the pastor from the boys’ church. A few days later, the boys broke down during their quiet time and one of them ended up accepting Christ. They were made aware of some situations in the girl’s life and the Holy Spirit really convicted them. I know in my heart that these guys are going home completely changed and that the Holy Spirit won’t easily loose His grip on them. It’s incredible how God uses different situations to bring about His glory.

“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40: 30-31

Before you even know it I’m right back at the start/Doing what I hate and breaking my own heart

This is what students are afraid of. They think that a Camp High is just a feeling that comes from a week of no sleep and fun games. When you think that feeling you’re experiencing is nothing more than just that, a feeling, that’s why it fades away. Students are letting themselves down left and right because they just don’t understand what those emotions are. That feeling can continue throughout the year by daily devotions and finding an incredible joy in the love of the Father. You can’t stop seeking God when you leave camp. As Christians, we  never stop seeking Christ. His love is so vast that we will never understand just how wide and how deep and how long it really is.

“The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him.” Lamentations 3:25

The second that I hear Your Word/I forget what I heard/And go on just the same

This line gets me every time. Our speaker at camp even talked about how we can read a chapter or story in the Bible and our eyes just glaze over. Sometimes when I read a story, I hear “blah blah blah” in my head. It’s awful, I know, but some stories you just feel like there’s not anything more you could possibly get from it, but you couldn’t be more wrong. That’s something the Lord really convicted me with. When I read the story of Esther, I focus on Esther. What about Mordecai? When I read about David, I get caught up in his bravery and love for God, but what about the love that Jonathan shows? There are so many elements in the Bible that every time we read a story, we can get something different if we just take the time to slow down and really ask God to speak to us.

(I love these verses!) “By your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path. I’ve committed myself and I’ll never turn back from living by your righteous order. Everything’s falling apart on me, God; put me together again with your Word. Festoon me with your finest sayings, God; teach me your holy rules. My life is as close as my own hands, but I don’t forget what you have revealed. The wicked do their best to throw me off track, but I don’t swerve an inch from your course. I inherited your book on living; it’s mine forever— what a gift! And how happy it makes me! I concentrate on doing exactly what you say— I always have and always will.” Psalm 119:105-112 [The Message]

My prayer is that our Agone students that just got back from camp and our 2911 Students that are currently at camp will refuse to go “back and forth and then forth and then back/and then round in circles.” Make a stand. Refuse to get caught up in the motions. Seek God every day. He will reward you beyond words, beyond measure.

Have you ever experienced the Camp High?

-Caitlyn

Listening to: The entire Anthem Lights CD. Each song is awesome. It’s been in my CD player for days. My favorites are: “Circles” (of course), “Outta My Mind” (story of my life..I’ll talk about this one soon, I’m sure), “Where the Light Is” and “I Wanna Know You Like That.”