Lessons Learned from 5th Graders

Written by Juli Camarin on .

Lessons Learned from 5th Graders

A friend shared a wonderful story from a recent Children’s Sunday School class. The day’s Bible story was John the Baptist; the scene was prison. John was discouraged so the class was tasked with writing letters to him in lockup.

They talked about Jesus; imagining they were there to see the things Jesus had been doing. They witnessed His miracles, saw Him heal the sick; restore hearing, give sight to the blind and even saw Him raise the dead...

Then they wrote to John to encourage him

Preparing My Heart To Finish Well

Written by Juli Camarin on .

Preparing My Heart To Finish Well
“Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come” (Psalm 71:17-18)

Recently, I was able to join in a celebration of a dear couple who have been in ministry for over thirty-two years. They have been faithful with the mission and calling the Lord has given them. Although I’ve only known them a little over a year, they have become dear to me so it was a fun time of reflecting and celebrating their service to the Church.

Throughout the celebration and the months leading up to it, I couldn’t help but think about what it takes to finish well, because the finish line is only a very small part of the entire race. Being mid-race, I’ve had my fair share of failures. I’ve quit, I’ve disqualified myself, I given up many times but I’ve also had seasons of running well and being faithful to the course before me. Through it all, I’ve realized that the only way to reach the finish line is to run well during the entire race, especially when it’s long and hard…

But what does this look like for 2014?

Peace To Those On Whom His Favor Rests

Written by Juli Camarin on .

Peace To Those On Whom His Favor Rests

Reading through each gospel account of Jesus’ birth, my all time favorite has to be when the angel appears to the lowly shepherds because is unlike any other account recorded. This account reveals the heart of God in sending Christ into the world as a baby. The angels reveal something quite amazing to this group of shepherds. It’s so easy to get caught up in the story that we miss this important message. In fact, I believe this is the true message of Christmas, one we should celebrate all year long, not just at Christmastime.

Here is the Account From Luke 2

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified” (Luke 2:8-9)

Notice the shepherds natural response was fear. However, the angel replied to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:10-12).

Give Thanks in All Circumstances

Written by Juli Camarin on .

Give Thanks in All Circumstances

Last night I went to the annual Thanksgiving Service at our church. I didn’t want to go. In fact, I wanted to be anywhere but there. I had been struggling all afternoon with hard emotions bubbling right under the surface facing today’s Thanksgiving holiday. For most, it’s a time for families to come together. For me, it is painful. I know I am not the only one who feels this way during the holidays.

The pastor taught on these verses…

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for your life in Christ Jesus” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18).

God’s will for your life and mine, is to give thanks in everything. These words hit me hard. To give thanks in the good times, in the hard time, in the sad times, in the happy time and even in the midst of the holidays that are difficult. His desires to have a people with grateful hearts. 

Knowing the Precious Words and Thoughts of God

Written by Juli Camarin on .

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11)
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11)

I’ve known this verse since I was young, and even memorized it growing up. However this verse has taken on a whole new meaning for me. Instead of knowing God’s Word simply for a checklist to live by, instead what I’ve found is an understanding of God’s nature and kind intent toward me. I see His heart, I know His will, I understand His lovingkindness and I have a revelation of His grace.

I know this is what David meant when he wrote this famous psalm. David was a man after God’s own heart because He understood God’s purpose and love for him. Because of this understanding, when he messed up, He knew God would forgive him, so He was the first one he ran to. David knew these things because he spent a lifetime hiding the precious words and thoughts of God in his heart.