The “Tongues” of Vacation Bible School, 15JUL – #709

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The “Tongues” of Vacation Bible School, 15JUL

You can say that I’m stretching this scripture too far, but I don’t think so… God knows what I mean… and Vacation Bible School-ers know what I mean… The language and emotion of Vacation Bible School is like a “tongue” in that some people get it and others don’t…. So in some small way, it’s up to me to explain what the appeal and purpose of Vacation Bible School is for others, for education and edification of the church…

I could show you photos of VBS-ers, but unless I explain that the GLOW on their faces is from the Holy Spirit, how will you and the rest of the world know that GOD has a plan to use the energy, joy, thrill, and study of HIS children and teenagers to change the rest of the world….

I’m serious!!! Some may think VBS is all fun and games, but this is SERIOUS WORK for the LORD.  JESUS SAID LET THE LITTLE CHILDREN COME TO ME. And that includes the parents, grandparents, neighbors too… see VBS is fun, but it’s most importantly for the FAITH.

I once saw a 5-year-old so EXCITEDLY explaining to his Grandma all the bible buddies and messages – I was touched by the Grandma’s AWE… I was amazed by the Lord’s timing that allowed me to be edified and know He was building me up so I could keep working to do the seed planting work that I do… I needed that too – God’s timing was just right that I saw both the impact of VBS and also the TRUTH that if we are to share the Word with the children, we need our community focus…

A wheelchair-bound special man in our congregation is always THRILLED to wear his VBS T-shirt and support the campers and staff in prayers…. I felt those prayers too, I did. “There are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning.” Clapping and smiles and JOY overflowing is the ACTION of a Spirit that can NOT be denied. Prayers are purposeful. I have another wheelchair-bound friend in a nursing home, Joe, who wears His VBS bracelet everyday…

Recently I drove carefully, but easily, into an impoverished neighborhood. Why? To deliver VBS supplies of course…. I put my ARMOR of God on,  and went to see the oasis of God’s church growing in this real neighborhood, growing the peace in spirit… From hula-hoops to brown craft paper,  trash to treasures of a whole overflowing preschool craft closet – there was nothing more important that I could have flowed and delivered than HOPE… I am not the source – just the conduit – to bring HOPE… the prayer is that the unbelievers will see and say “God is really among you!”

It was not hard for me, I have a Subaru… it was not hard for me to carry stuff in the summer heat or recruit others into helping me carry stuff…. the only hard thing was parallel parking – but it’s a Subaru – you can climb curbs if you have too… Just sayin’…

The surprise of the pastors and hope from the onlookers was NOT for me to see, but for me to EXPLAIN to others… I easily accomplished filling and emptying the cargo area of stuff – but the strength, courage, grace, and time schedules are all a gift from the Lord… He’s got work for us to do, grab your Subaru and go. You can fit a lot of stuff in your Subaru, but it’s nothing compared to the capacity of seeds stored in your heart for spreading… your own glow is purposeful for the Lord to shine, to show up all over your face… VBS does that…

The Pastors and I have connected on Facebook – “Faithbook” – this is a tool – understanding that God Himself empowers us to use tools is priceless… we build disciples with the gifts and tools God gives us…

So today I will help at another church, not running the camp but being present and I will help a 5yr old miracle, survivor of 2 liver transplants,  actually she’s amazingly good to go, I’m really simply helping her mom, who is very ill, by being a relief that her child will be OK. GOD HIMSELF opened this window of opportunity for me to be a servant, helping one sheep is as precious as the 99… I tell you this NOT because I am special, I am not, but because this is the mission of VBS, make disciples and reinforce HOPE that servants are made by God for HIS plan and MOVED by God in HIS timing…

And the teenagers, where else do teenagers get up before noon in the summer? For VBS of course…

VBS is lightning in a bottle, you are only allowed to hold it for a short time. It is a privilege to work for the Lord, we should never forget that… is it a luxury to do VBS, YES! It’s a luxury to sing and dance in air conditioning, to eat cookies, to make crafts. It is a luxury that we don’t have to send these teenagers out to scrounge up food for the family,  work the cotton gins and industrial age equipment with tiny hands, let alone send teenagers to fight wars… we live in luxury,  therefore we risk complacency, we sin in situations of failing to use our resources… fear is no substitute for faith… step out in faith and you will find that God actually made the path of stepping stones. Step up. God has a plan.

Vacation Bible School is seeing teens shouting “Jesus Rescues” – then remembering that affirmation years later when they are in a bind.

Vacation Bible School is also comforting a secretly weeping crying mom who heard the bible messages from the back of the room at the wrap up session and felt them touching and HEALING her broken heart.

Vacation Bible School is for a Grandma handing over 20 bucks to buy pizza for the teens and knowing that the Lord Himself allows her that generosity, the gift of providing…

Vacation Bible School is for the pastor who brings a leaf blower into the fellowship hall to deal with the glitter situation… and for a director who smiles and cries at EVERY single speck of glitter knowing the JOY of camp, remembering and memorializing the friend whose glittering faith will never be diminished.

Vacation Bible School is for RAISING DISCIPLES.

Vacation Bible School is camp. Ooey gooey glue and glitter, dancing, learning,  singing,  living… learning… camp…

If you can feel the energy of kids RUNNING IN CHURCH, then you only have a glimpse of how God needs these kids to bring the bible messages home and to the world…

If you stop to read the scriptures glued to messes of mishmash handful of old crafts, you have experienced spirit-flowing from camp back to you.

I bet those kids speak in explained tongues of Spiritual flows that their parents understand, don’t they? Those parents will hang on EVERY word…  Vacation Bible School is for the Spirit to Spread…

Tap into that energy, interpret the “tongues” of VBS-children from age 3 to 103 and GROW your faith that God indeed has a plan to grow His kingdom, one child at a time…

Have fun…

Have faith…

Save me some glitter…

AMEN

1 Corinthians 14: 6 Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction? 7 Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the pipe or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes? 8 Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? 9 So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air. 10 Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning.  11 If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and the speaker is a foreigner to me.12 So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church.

13 For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding. 16 Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit, how can someone else, who is now put in the position of an inquirer, say “Amen” to your thanksgiving,since they do not know what you are saying?17 You are giving thanks well enough, but no one else is edified.

18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19 But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.

20 Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. 21 In the Law it is written:

“With other tongues and through the lips of foreigners, I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.”

22 Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is not for unbelievers but for believers. 23 So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and inquirers or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, 25 as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”

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