The last few weeks have also been filled with a quick succession of a variety of activities. If I elaborated on each one, this post would be of such a length that it might become discouraging. Therefore, I shall simply hit the highlights.
The beginning of April found me on tour with the Symphonic Wind and String Ensemble. I'm not sure when I have been more blessed to be with a group of young people. These individuals took tour seriously. When it was time to pray, they prayed, and God heard them. Our services, as well as our devotional times on the bus, were blessed with a powerful sense of God's presence. Our tour was characterized by a oneness of purpose and heart. It was incredible. But we also had a tremendous amount of fun as well. What a great combination! Below are a few random shots from the tour. I have many more, but they would take a long time to post!
Staying with some good friends in Roanoke, VA.
One of those really funny moments.
Even the child didn't escape unscathed.
It didn't seem to take away his taste for ice cream, however.
He even got to run the sound a bit. He was fascinated!
I also happened to be on the best crew. I appreciated their serious approach to the whole "recruiting" thing.
Anyway, a good time was had by all.
Last week ushered in IHC - a whirlwind of activity in Dayton. I really enjoyed myself this year, and, as always, it was good to have even those "drive by" conversations. I really loved reconnecting even briefly with many special friends.
On the heels of IHC comes VIP Day. This signals lots of work (white glove room checks, etc.) as we put our best foot forward for visitors. It really went well this year. I appreciated the mix of good information, good clean fun, and a stirring challenge to trust God fully with our lives. I think any young person that attended VIP Day is better for it - whether they end up at GBS or not. One especially big highlight was a bloopers video played at the banquet. It was a knock-off from the video showcasing the different divisions and programs GBS offers. I believe that it showed that, along with our quest for excellence, we can also laugh at ourselves (an important attribute). If you know any of the GBS faculty, you might enjoy it. Just search for "GBS" and "bloopers" on You Tube or God Tube.
This week we had our Spring picnic, Academy music program and all night lock-in (probably too much within a 48 hour time period). However, all went well. There were no major injuries. (One wouldn't expect to have major injuries at an academy program, but you can't be too careful. Tripping over a bass drum can cause head trauma.) I also judged science fair projects for the first time in my life. I have discovered that I'm a bit of a hard grader. Who knew?
In closing (she said in a pastoral sort of way) let me share with you something I came across in my devotions this week.
Give ear and hear my voice,
Listen and hear my words.
Does the farmer plow continually to plant seed?
Does he continually turn and harrow the ground?
Does he not level its surface
And sow dill and scatter cummin
And plant wheat in rows,
Barley in its place and rye within its area?
For his God instructs and teaches him properly.
For dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge,
Nor is the cartwheel driven over cummin;
But dill is beaten out with a rod, and cummin with a club.
Grain for bread is crushed,
Indeed, he does not continue to thresh it forever.
Because the wheel of his cart and his horses eventually damage it,
He does not thresh it longer.
This also comes from the LORD of hosts,
Who has made His counsel wonderful and His wisdom great.
At first blush, this may seem like just a little aside on farming. However, I was struck by something a bit deeper. I am humbled and grateful that the God who knows exactly how to harvest grain, dill, and cummin in a way that will produce the best crop without damage knows me. He knows just how much threshing I require before I am damaged by the cart wheel. He knows that, left inside the husk, I would be of no use to anyone. But when the rough exterior is smoothed away by a creative variety of methods, I can bring flavor and nourishment to those around me. I love that! Truly "His counsel [is] wonderful and His wisdom great"!