Category Archives: August 2023 Chips

Encountering Light

Encountering Light

This summer the theme at Lake View Camps is “Be the Light.” So I have been contemplating light and darkness a lot lately.  One scripture I have come to appreciate more deeply is Ephesians 5:8

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light—

It is not just that darkness was in us, or that now we have the light in us, it says we WERE darkness and now we ARE light in the Lord. Amen! What a transformation has occurred through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus says it this way in John 8:12,

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”’

I need to hear Jesus say this sometimes when I get down from battling self-doubt and sin, or from seeing how evil hurts so many people in our world. I need a light. We need a light. The whole world NEEDS a light. Jesus. Jesus is the light of the world and if we follow Him we can experience new life.

Another thing I have done this summer, ever since Pastor Kent taught the staff on his passion for poetry, is write some poetry of my own. I have written some about fishing.

Set the hook, you’ve got a bite
Adrenaline pumps

Another is remembering sitting with my dad on the porch or dock of a lake cabin we rented for the week for family vacation. We were up before everyone else, drinking coffee and telling stories.

Smell the coffee brew
Creaking dock, smell wormy morn
Tell stories; miss dad

The poetry brings me back to the light of Jesus because I have been trying to reflect on the Bible while writing poetry. I was thinking about the man born blind that was healed by Jesus and my own spiritual blindness when I wrote:

Useless, lightless eyes
Looking, seeking, desperate
Groping in the dark

I think that captures the helpless and hopeless feeling of despair I feel at times without God. Then when we first encounter light it can be overwhelming.

Bewildered, blinded
Caught off-guard, confusing light

Blinding, burning light
Too holy and pure for me
Exposed, pathetic

Light purifies, that is why sometimes the light of Jesus makes me feel exposed. However, His light is good and His work in me, though painful, brings health and healing.

Warm, comforting light
Melts a soul frozen in pain
Son’s heat like spring thaw

Jesus’ love is light that brings healing to my wounded soul.  I need Him to thaw me and make me warm enough to be able to love others in His name. Ezekiel 37 tells of a vision God gives the prophet of a valley of dry bones coming back to life. This is the meaning of the vision:

11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’”

This is the hope we have too! That through faith in Jesus Christ we can go from dead in our sins to ALIVE in Him! Just as the stone was rolled a way, and Jesus rose from the grave, we too are born again into the family of God.  While this is a beautiful truth my heart still ask God this question:

Purifying light,
Plumb this foul, festering corpse
Can these dry bones live?

God’s answer to me and you from Ezekiel 37 is a resounding, “YES”!

Steve Poole
Director of Youth & Young Adults

What did you think of this article? Did you laugh? Cry? Learn something new? Let Steve know below.

    Rinse. Wash. Dry. Repeat.

    Rinse. Wash. Dry. Repeat.

    Rinse. Wash. Dry. Repeat.

    Rinse. Wash. Dry. Repeat.

    There are sometimes where the daily rhythms of life feel so mundane.  Like breakfast dishes.

    Do you have a morning routine?

    I wake up, turn on the coffee pot, and while the water is heating and that first cup is brewing, I empty the dishes on the drying rack from last night’s dinner clean-up.

    I sit down to enjoy my coffee and open the Bible app on my phone and read until my kids slowly wake up and wander down into my quiet space.  Then, it’s time for breakfast, and more dishes.

    Rinse. Wash. Dry. Repeat.

    We get everyone ready for the day—diapers, clothes, hair, teeth and shoes.

    Sometime shortly after this, someone starts asking for a snack. It doesn’t take long for the word to spread that mom is dishing out the good stuff and everyone else becomes convinced they need a snack, too. More dishes. Only this time I let the dishes sit, because I know come lunch time, there’ll be other dishes to address.

    Then lunch. Then dishes.  Then snacks. Then dishes. Then supper. Then final dishes and a grand cleaning swoop before bedtime.

    It’s amazing how much of my day is spent addressing dish clean-up!  But there is a rhythm to it that if I stick to the rhythm, I don’t get overwhelmed.  If I let things pile up, the task feels too big, too time-consuming.

    I heard recently from a preacher about his frequent and favorite daily prayer times.  They go something like this:

    “Lord, help.”

    That’s it.  His day is sprinkled with this short prayer.  About to write an email? “Lord, help.”  Making a phone call? “Lord, help.”  Losing patience with the kids? “Lord, help.”  It’s a rhythm of constant engagement with God.  It’s not a two-to-three hour time slot (though his prayer life contains those, too!) but a short prayer that reengages his heart back to God in the midst of the mundane.

    Another prayer he uses is, “Holy Spirit, show me more.” Short and sweet and sprinkled throughout the day.

    I love this approach. If I were to pile up all these little prayers into a giant prayer time, it feels a little like letting my dishes pile up —a giant task that I just don’t want to tackle. My brain says it’s too hard! But five seconds throughout the day? No problem.

    While we should have goals to expand our spiritual lives and times of devotion, getting to that point can often feel like a giant mountain.  I genuinely WANT to be a person who prays for hours on end, but getting into that rhythm will take some practice. Can I start with a simplified rhythm? YES!

    Rinse. Wash. Dry. Repeat.

    Just because my musician brain is fully at work right now on ‘rhythm,’ here’s what I think my prayer life looks like and COULD look like:

    Leah Carolan
    Director of Worship & Media


    Did you enjoy this article? Did you laugh, cry, or learn something new?  Let Leah know.

      Praying From the Heart

      Praying From the Heart

      I’m reading a memoir right now entitled My Father Before Me. The author honestly recounts his father’s troubled life and how it impacted him. He looks without flinching and then tells us about it. It is powerful. As I read about ordinary family events that often went wrong, I could not help but feel empathy.

      Reading these stories made me wonder how God might feel when I talk to Him about the ordinary events in my life. Does God want to hear the nitty-gritty of my daily routines? Does God share my joy or grief? Does God empathize with me?

      As we’ve grown in prayer this year, I must admit that I still have more questions than answers. Prayer, on the one hand, is a simple conversation with God, on the other hand, it connects us with God in mysterious ways.

      Our value of being authentic people helps us when we pray. We pray honest prayers from the heart and God listens and responds. When we talk to God we tell it like it is and then listen – that is really all we need to know.

      Keep praying from the heart!

      Kent Landhuis
      Pastor of Teaching & Leadership

      P.S. Special thanks to prayer champions and mentors praying for the next generation. Your prayers matter!

      Did you enjoy this article? Did you laugh, cry or learn something new? Let Kent know.

        Artificial Intelligence in Ministry

        Artificial Intelligence in Ministry

        Recently, someone posted pictures on social media that an Artificial Intelligence generator created based on scripture. The pictures were amazing and thought provoking.

        That made me consider what AI would write for my chips article this month. I thought it would be interesting to ask the AI Generator to “Write three paragraphs on the value of Christian Friendship.” What you see below is what the AI bot came up with in a few seconds.

        Friendship is a bond in love through reciprocity, mutuality, and holiness. Friendship is essential to the Christian life for the church because it is a fruit of godly virtue, a gift of God’s grace, and a way of grateful obedience to God’s law. An essential aspect of Christian discipleship is friendship. Christians are called to love their neighbors as themselves (Mark 12:31), and friendship is one way that Christians can fulfill this commandment.

        Friendship is important because love is greatest. God is love, and He is glorified by Christians who love wisely, rightly, and well in holy friendship. This love promotes the peace, purity, and unity of the church 1. The Lord knows there is value in earthly friendship, as well as fellowship. One place in the Bible where God tells us why having a good friend is important is in Ecclesiastes. There, we are told something simple but very profound: two are better than one 2.

        In conclusion, friendship is an essential aspect of Christian discipleship that promotes peace, purity, and unity of the church. It is a bond in love through reciprocity, mutuality, and holiness that Christians can fulfill the commandment of loving their neighbors as themselves. Friendship is important because it glorifies God who is love and it builds us up and helps us grow 3.


        What are your thoughts on using an AI generator in your ministry?

        Lindsey Ungs
        Connection & Communication Architect

        Did you enjoy this article? Did you laugh, cry or learn something new? Let Lindsey know.