AMBASSADORS FOR ZION
Walk with the Lord
By Marci Damon
I remember looking back on my life at all the many different times and different people that I have walked with down the sidewalk, down a hallway, or down a trail. I remember being a little girl and walking with my friends to school. We wanted to be together so we would walk next to each other, instead of one behind the other.
No one wanted to be the one that had to walk behind the others, so we would walk arm in arm, down the sidewalk. We would bunch up and walk so close together so that we could squeeze as many of us as we could onto the sidewalk. I remember when I was dating, how we would walk, hand in hand. I remember helping at Vacation Church School and holding the hands of little kids as we would go from class to class.
What do all of these have in common? I wanted to be with these people. I wasn’t satisfied to walk by myself, to be left out, and I certainly wasn’t satisfied to walk behind them. I wanted to be with them, next to them, even hold their hand! I wonder if I want that same relationship with the Lord? Do I want to be with Him, next to Him? If I walk next to Jesus, what do I need to change in my life,? What do I need to remove? What do I need to add? If I were to walk with Jesus, would He ask me to do something that I might be too afraid to do? Do all these concerns make me want to be by myself instead of with Jesus? Or, do I want to do whatever it takes to walk hand-in-hand with Jesus?
Walking with someone is personal. It implies a relationship that is familiar, even cherished. Is my relationship with Jesus a personal, treasured relationship? Is He my best friend? Am I willing to do whatever my friend, Jesus, wants me to do? Jesus is standing with His hand out-stretched, waiting for us to take hold of it and walk with Him. He knows that things can be difficult and that we can get upset, or discouraged, but He is still there. He has said that He will walk with us anywhere; we just have to take His hand and follow Him.
As I thought more on this idea, I pondered, what does my best friend, Jesus, want me to do? He wants me to walk with Him each day, so what do I need to do? If it is something really big or really hard, will I be able to do it? As I kept thinking about this, a thought came to me: keep learning, keep trying, keep improving, and keep growing. Don’t get discouraged, keep trying each day to be a little better, and don’t give up. Don’t give up!
I remember as a kid walking with my dad and stopping to look at something while he kept walking. I would hear his voice, "Come on, Marci," then he would turn around with his hand outstretched. I would come running up to him and grab his hand and then we would continue on. I believe that is what the Lord does with us. He turns around and says, "Come on, catch up to me," with His hand outstretched for us to take.
Jesus doesn’t want us to get sidetracked with things that can slow us down and keep us from walking hand-in-hand with Him. What sidetracks me? Being too busy with "stuff" (music, video games, TV, etc.) that I don’t pray, or study my Scriptures, or go to Church? Being too afraid that I am going to fail that I don’t even try to change and do better? Being selfish and only thinking about myself, instead of remembering that there are other people who need my prayers, my help, even my smile? I hope you know how much Jesus would love to walk with you, hand-in-hand, every day of your life. He is waiting with His hand outstretched. Will you take it and walk with Him.
Testimonies from Senior High Camp
Keilah Zahner’s testimony:
I had the privilege of being at both Senior and Junior High camps this year. I got to know what it is like to be both a camper and part of the staff. After being at both camps, I would have to say my favorite part about camp is the actual ride there. The reason being, the closer you get to the campgrounds, the more you feel God’s Spirit pouring into your heart. When those front two wheels of the car touch the campgrounds, God’s Spirit just hits you. It is very overwhelming; there’s a lot of joy and calmness that comes over you.
This year, at Senior High Camp we got a bunch of rain! It rained every day but the last couple of days of camp. At first, I thought the rain was going to ruin the week. But by the middle of the week I realized that it was just God bringing us closer together. We weren’t scattered everywhere around the camp. We were all together the whole time, allowing us to get to know each other better, and to see and be a part of everyone’s testimonies. Because of the rain, there was a stronger bond between all of us. When the last day came, I cried like a baby. It wasn’t necessarily the people I missed, but it was the Spirit I was going to miss. I was camp sick! I just can’t get the same Spirit at home like I can at camp, so I cried every night until Junior High Camp.
I was so excited to be going back and this time around I was a "counselor in training." I couldn’t wait to see the kids experience the same Spirit and joyfulness that we had at Senior High Camp. I was privileged to see them grow spiritually and accept Jesus Christ in their lives. The night that David Patrick shared at campfire, I couldn’t help but cry. That same Spirit I had been missing for a week came back and filled my heart. Not only did it fill my heart, but it also touched some of the junior high kids. I was so blessed to be there when the kids experienced the Lord and the Holy Spirit. I just can’t wait to go back next year!
Sarah Bass’s testimony:
I look forward to Senior High Camp every year and it brings me joy that I can’t explain when I reach those campgrounds. But this year, when we got to the campgrounds, I had this feeling that this year was going to be different, that something was going to happen that I wouldn’t forget. The first two days of camp went well, as they usually do, but this time we had a lot of rain which was keeping us inside and keeping campfire inside also. Campfire is my favorite part of camp, not just because of all the fun and good songs we sing, but because I have had all my great experiences at campfire. Sunday’s campfire went very well, but Monday’s was out of this world. Monday night we watched "God’s Not Dead," one of my favorite movies, but this time I was paying attention to everything that was said.
After the movie, we were asked to stay in our seats. I felt the Holy Spirit was there with us, and I was certain something was going to happen. Richard Paris, Dan Keleher, Terry Patience, and Corwyn Mercer began offering special blessings to whoever wanted them. As I sat there, I had this urge to go up every time someone was done with their blessing, so I decided I would go up for a blessing. But as I was sitting there, I thought, "I will wait until there’s a long pause and then I will go up." Well, pretty much every one had gone and I was sitting there talking to God in my head, saying, "Okay, I know you want me to go up there, but please let Corwyn bless me." As I was repeating this in my head, there was a pause in the people going up and I felt this push on my shoulder. As I was walking up there, I had this feeling I was going to get my wish. As I walk up there, Corwyn and Terry came forward to bless me. I felt the Holy Spirit as they blessed me; in fact I was shaking. I was still shaking when they finished and I knew the Lord had just spoken to me through these two wonderful men. I stood up and hugged both of them, and also hugged Richard and Dan.
Again on Wednesday we had campfire inside because of the rain. Campfire was amazing as always, and when it came time for testimonies I felt I should share about my father. I didn’t think my sharing about my dad was important, but then I again felt this push on my shoulder which was telling me go, and I thought at that moment that if no one cared, I knew there was definitely one person who cared, and that was God and He was telling me to share. So I shared about how my father drinks and smokes all the time, and that the past two years he completely left my life. This year it hit me hard because I realized I didn’t have a father anymore, and I just thought that, since God took him out of my life, I didn’t deserve a father at all. About a year ago, my mom met this man named Geoff, and I now call him my stepdad. As I was sharing, God let me know that I did deserve a father and that’s why he brought Geoff into my life.
After I shared my testimony, I felt this big weight come off my shoulder. I didn’t have to worry about my real father anymore, and God had taken care of me. After campfire, Richard let me know that God is my real father, that He cares about me, and He will never leave me like an earthly father might. Richard also told me that one day God will find me a wonderful husband, I will be his princess, and he will take care of me. Corwyn grabbed me and told me basically the same thing Richard did, and at that moment I felt God was trying to tell me something - and I got the message!
I will never forget these wonderful experiences I had this year at camp because they are unforgettable to me and now I know God is my true father. He is marvelous and can do anything and I thank him every day for everything He has done for me. There is a saying from the movie "God’s Not Dead" and it is "God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good." That statement is true and God proved that to me at camp this year.