Shining Jesus’ Light

Jacob and me (Paco the dog)

I volunteer too much! This last week I not only volunteered myself for Vacation Bible School, but also dragged two of my grandsons.


Shining Jesus’ Light

The Guilt

I signed up Lucas, age 13, and Jacob, age 11; they were not pleased with the decision and Lucas complained daily. The worse day was the mandatory meeting the boys had to attend. I was scared to tell them that the meeting was from 1 o’clock to 3:30. Jacob was exempt because he had a prior commitment with Boy Scouts, but Lucas was available. “How long is the meeting?” Lucas asked. “I’m not sure.” I lied. Through the duration of the meeting I received three desperate phone calls begging me to pick him up. Then came the text messages blowing up my phone. “I need to be outta here by 2:30,” followed by, “I want to see my Dad.” Really with the “I want to see my Dad!” As bad as I felt, I responded that he still had an hour to go. I quickly followed with a text that I was ordering Chinese food for dinner and asked him what he wanted. When Lucas responded “orange chicken,” I knew that it was going to be fine.

The VBS Message

Each day of the week,  campers learned a lesson on how to shine Jesus’ light:

–When life feels dark, shine Jesus’ light;

–When people do not get along, shine Jesus’ light;

–When good things happen, shine Jesus’s light;

–When people are sad, shine Jesus’ light; and

–When people need help, shine Jesus’ light.

With each day of VBS,  the complaining became less and less. On the last day Lucas said, “It was fun, maybe I’ll do it next year.” Doing the Lord’s work changes the teen volunteers because for one week they set aside their personal needs and put the needs of others before their own. It’s maturity in the right direction.

Lucas and his crew

It’s In The Bible

How important is it to teach your children about God? It is the responsibility of all parents to guide their children in the direction of serving God. The best advice I can give any parent: don’t ask your children if they want to participate; tell them they must! I’ve heard so many parents say that their kids do not want to participate in any religion classes, or that sports come before God. News flash: you are the boss! And as a responsible parent, it is your duty before God to raise them accordingly.

I agree that children should be involved in other activities such as sports, but God must come first. This is a natural balance that our children need to thrive in life. Parents are the key, and when an example is not set for them, the child falls through the cracks and follows the things of the world.
Staggering Church Statistics

If the parent is not attending church, their children will suffer the consequences.

In an article written by Aaron Earls of Lifeway Research: ” According to a Gallup survey, childhood church attendance does make it more likely for a person to attend as an adult.”

If a child attended almost every week or more, 38% attend church at the same rate today. The percentage starts to dwindle down to 23% if they only attended monthly. And for those who seldom or never attended as a child, only 16% attend frequently as adults.


Raquel, Russell and me

Vacation Bible School (VBS)

Introducing God to a child starts with these wonderful programs. It teaches them to love Jesus in their simple language. Though both of my grandsons were reluctant to participate in VBS, they quickly fell into their roles of leadership. Lucas was a crew leader; he and another boy his age were in charge of  five children ranging from pre-k to sixth grade. Jacob was on the God squad, helping in different activities. Russell and I were part of an adult crew VBS leader. Under our care were student volunteers who, like Lucas had as many as five children they were responsible for.

Setting A Positive Example

At this young age the campers are displaying different personality traits. A first grader in our group was very upset because she felt that another child’s artwork was better than hers. She cried with great disappointment. I pulled her aside and told her that her artwork was just as beautiful and that the little girl’s art is different but as beautiful as hers. Another little boy was non-verbal; his mother shared with us that he recently started to talk. By the end of the week this same non-verbal child was singing and dancing with the rest of the children. We did not treat him any different, but we paid special attention to his needs. This was a great stepping stone for him in becoming more social. I witnessed the difference this made for him – a transition to joy.

1It shall come to pass
    I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your old men will dream dreams,
    your young men will see visions.

The pouring out of the spirit is a special gift given to the agents of God. If you are not serving God, you will miss out on so many special gifts. The teens who helped with VBS were given special gifts and graces to help the younger campers draw closer to Jesus.
Walking in truth is living a Christian life. To live a Christian life is to help others on their journey. We are the “GPS” of the world. GPS gets their signals from satellites, but we get ours from God. Sometimes we need rerouting but we always find our way back to God.

It takes a lot of planning to have a successful VBS. At St. Norbert’s we have plenty of wonderful people who take charge of these tedious tasks to make a successful week. We had over 125 campers  and over 100 volunteers. A special thank you to all who  took so much personal time to give to the Lord. I do not know all your names, but God does. Great is your reward!

My Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for allowing us to participate in this great outreach. Sharon, Teresa, Maricela and Abraham are just a few of the many hands who worked tirelessly for the success of this wonderful program. The Lord looks down on you with a loving smile. Amen.

Related Posts