At the ROCK these last few weeks... we are excitedly awaiting/getting ready for summer camp! Last week we got all of our stuff moved from our youth building across town to Trinity church where we have our summer camp. Whenever we get to moving it all it really makes me realize: "Man, we have a lot of stuff!" We filled up our whole bus and a van with all of the gear we need for the summer, and thanks to an awesome volunteer group were able to unload it all too in one day! I've continued stopping in at the daycare to spend time with the little guys there and working on connecting with a couple of junior high boys that come to our program stuff. I'm actually planning on having one of them play drums for our song time that I lead in the mornings at camp this summer; so we'll be meeting once a week to practice for that.
One of the things that God has been teaching me lately has been the importance of keeping consistent conversation with Him as a part of my day-to-day life. I've been reading the Bible in Philippians, and in chapter 4:6-7 Paul writes: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." While these last couple weeks have still been busy, they have been much less schedule-packed than the month and a half before when I was traveling a lot along with working at the mission. I wouldn't go as far as to say that I had 'stopped praying' or anything like that during that time; but my moments of really being still and just chilling with Jesus were hard to find. The last few weeks I've been able to take some serious time aside to spend in prayer for the many things going on in my life, taking time to be in prayer for many of the kids in the youth program, as well as some of the guys around the mission that I've been getting to know. I tend to do most of my ministry work in the afternoon into late evening; so I've had the luxury of starting to take a long chunk of my mornings to be able to wake up slowly, be still, and take any and all of the worries and burdens on my heart to God before I hit the day. It has been such a blessing to see what those verses in Philipians say ringing true: "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus"
"Sacred Spaces: Meditations for Common Places" by Matt Will. While I won't declare it as an end-all "hey this is how you have to pray" solution, the book really had some good thought provoking things to say; as well as some very cool ideas of practical ways to spend time being still to both share with, and listen, to our Almighty God.