For the First Time…!

July 4, 2014
I Timothy 1:12

(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)

This is a break from the series, What Will The Millennium Be Like?  You see, For the First Time… I missed a blog – last Wednesday’s!  I try to get ahead in writing and scheduling my blogs for posting and have had in the past up to eight scheduled for the future.  But two weeks ago I only had five scheduled ahead.

I agreed to go into our Baptist Camp Carmel for Senior High Week, June 22 through 28 as the Camp pastor.  I hadn’t been there in sixteen years – after finishing a stretch of six years as Junior High Pastor for a week.  At 68 years old – and with a bad back, two knee replacements and generally severe arthritis – I was a bit hesitant to accept this latest responsibility!  But I still have a heart for teenagers!   And not only do I have the heart, I also have a mind that tends to think like a teenager!  The problem is my body can’t quite keep up with my mind!  Still, it was a great week and I participated in an afternoon of tubing down the Youghiogheny River and some other teen events.

I taught a morning Bible study and led an evening campfire each day, all on this year’s camp theme of “We Believe….”  But it is not that we just believe – it is important what we believe!  For instance, in John 8:24 (New American Bible), Jesus told the Pharisees, “You will surely die in your sins unless you come to believe that I AM.”  Too many translations and paraphrases confuse the issue by adding some explanatory word or words, such as the King James Version which says, “…if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”  The added word in the KJV is he!  But Jesus Christ was identifying Himself with the very God of the Old Testament who met Moses at the burning bush in Exodus 3, and told him in verses 14 and 15:

    “I AM WHO I AM.”  And He said, “Thus shall you say to the children of Israel,
    ‘I AM has sent Me to you’….This is My name forever, and this is My memorial
    to all generations.”

And, according to what Jesus said in John 8:24, if you are incorrect in what you believe concerning that Jesus is not fully God – Jehovah God revealed in the Old Testament – then you will be lost in your sins!

Yes,We Believe….”  But all our beliefs must be grounded on sound Bible knowledge and understanding!  And this is what I was trying to get across to my teens at Camp Carmel.

All that to say it was a good week at camp – until Friday!  And Friday wasn’t so bad!  All I had was an upset stomach in the afternoon, which quieted down with some medication.  I came home after my campfire teaching Friday evening, tired out and went to bed.  But by Saturday morning I was very sick and vomited.  By Wednesday, I called my doctor and he told me to go to the Emergency Room and get checked out.  They ran several tests, did a CAT scan with dye and came to the conclusion I had come down with the stomach flu – not terribly serious, but it sure has taken the stuffin’ out of me this week!

This is now early Friday morning and I am writing my blog to be published in about three hours.  But for the first time since I started this project, I missed a blog – last Wednesday’s!  I had used up all my pre-scheduled ones and didn’t have the energy to sit at the computer to write another until now.

I ask you to keep me in prayer.  I am not entirely over this stomach flu, and I want to be tested also for Lyme’s Disease.  But I am doing better, thank God.  And I thank all the folks who knew of my predicament and were praying for me.

God gave me this ministry and I do not take it lightly.  I am reminded what Paul wrote in I Timothy 1:12: “…I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry….”  He put me into this ministry, and He continues to enable me!

I will do my best not to miss another blog as long as I am enabled.

Sincerely in His love,

Chip Norton

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