Wednesday, September 03, 2008

There Are No Guarantees

I was counting on Dwight Fite and Hurricane Gustav to neutralize Bryant's clear-cut advantage in Salt Bowl '08.

It didn't happen.

Bryant - 36; Benton - 12


Fresno's first Chick-fil-A opens in 15 days!


Facebook has changed my life.

No, really, it has.

On a lark several weeks ago, I signed up a Facebook account. One of our college kids, Ashlyn, challenged me to a friends competition on Facebook. What I didn't realize is how many long-lost friends I would reunite with via Facebook.

What has been most amazing and rewarding is the number of ex-Camp Barton'ites who are now in full-time ministry. I am amazed at how many products of Saline County (1985-1995) have devoted their lives to ministry. There are Preaching Ministers, Youth and Family Ministers, Education Ministers, Marriage and Family Therapists/Counselors that run the gamut within church staffing positions. Some of these guys I'd totally lost touch with, but Facebook has been like an ongoing reunion, bringing us back together and allowing us to sharpen each other through chats and message postings.

Frankly, I'd like to recommend a Camp Barton reunion. Who wants to put it together?

Nevertheless, as I think about the influence of so many guys from Saline County in ministry, I also think back to others who attended the same classes, the same summer camps, the same Vacation Bible Schools, the same Bible Hours...and have left the faith of their youth.

Why? Why did some who were exposed to the same environments and same experiences walk away from the faith that grounded their childhood?

The sad reality of life is there are no guarantees. That is what scares me most about being a daddy. I have come to realize that there are parents of my peers who did it right -- they raised their children to love Jesus, the offered them the same learning and serving experiences as those of us who've devoted our lives to ministry, and now those parents are hanging onto a Proverb as they parent their own prodigal. A prodigal that was and is my peer.

The Facebook reunion with long-time friends has only heightened my resolve for those who, for whatever reason, have walked away from Jesus.

Is there a guarantee for faith in children? Is there any fool-proof method for raising faithful, God-honoring children who mature into spiritual, Christ-like adults?

And, what can those of us who've held onto the hand of Jesus do for our long-lost friends who've let go?

Who's up for a Camp Barton reunion? A reunion that brings together the strong and the weak; the faithful and the fallen. A reunion that seeks to restore and revive and renew. Who's for it?