The Intouch camp of 2016 was a delightful 3 day adventure. We went to The Quiet Corner, a Christian resort in Masinagudi, Tamilnadu. I love nature and animals. Call me a kid if you’d like but I went bonkers when I saw an elephant. I saw some bisons, peacocks, deers and monkeys too, but the elephant was the cherry on the cake. I had an awkward encounter with a cow. We glared at one another and walked away awkwardly while she moved and mooed.
Through the three days, I’ve learnt a lot, laughed, cried, prayed, fellowshipped, made friends, listened, sang, trekked, danced and played.
Now that the camp is over, I’m sitting in a tempo van that is travelling back to Bangalore. A mild rain splashes on the tempo window and the raindrops glisten and roll sideways because of the wind. My feet hurt from all the dancing. Im unable to sleep, and so I decided that I would remind myself of what I’ve learnt over the last three days.
The theme: Faith. Hope. Love.
Here’s my top 15 pointers, purely out of memory.
1. A Christian cannot grow in holiness. You are either holy or unholy. There is no in-between.
2. A Christian can measure himself based on faith (proved by actions), hope (proved by endurance) and love (proved by labour) – 1 Thess. 1:3. Unlike holiness, you can grow as much as you’d allow yourself to grow in these.
3. Do not major on the minors. Keep your priorities and stay focussed.
4. Have one purpose & aspiration in life- to grow more into the likeness of Christ.
5. Aspiration and commitment must run hand in hand. Christians aspire much, but are committed too little.
6. You cannot prove your love to someone by telling them you love them. Love cannot be defined. It can only be demonstrated. Love labours.
7. The anointing of God is not a replacement to training.
8. In life, you are third. The pinnacle of your focus must be on God. The next focus must be to take your relationship with God and impact people with it. You come last. You are third.
9. Loving-forgiveness is when you are offended by someone, and yet, you seek and hope for nothing but the ultimate good for that person.
10. Faith is brought to life when a man is in relationship with Christ. Faith is made to grow when a man is in fellowship with his brothers.
11. Some Christians just want to lean on Christ and live that way their entire life. Don’t be that Christian. LEARN from Christ as much as you LEAN on him.
12. Faith is proved by obedience, and hope by endurance. Faith and hope work only when they are bound together by love. Love labours. Love isn’t easy. It’s tough. But in love, faith and hope sustain.
13. Love never fails. Love does not gossip. Love does what it can and keeps itself available and ready. Sometimes, love is hurt, but love wins over hatred on any day. Love forgives. Love goes ten trillion extra miles.
14. If the principle of marriage is love, and the bible says that love never fails, why are there so many divorces in the church today? No! Love doesn’t fail. It is people that fail. Marriages do not fail. People do.
15. Even if you’ve failed a trillion times, God does not label you a ‘failure’. You may have failed. But you are not a failure. You are a victor in Christ.
Bonus pointer #16: when you look to find a spouse, look for someone who will respect you and your identity in Christ. Look for someone who will honor God’s concept of marriage.
That’s it for now. I will go home and pull out my notes and intend to write three articles- one on faith, the other on hope and the last on love, this month. Let’s see where that goes
It’s just so sad that I’ve got to go to work tomorrow morning. I wish we had one full day just to rest.
I’m reminded of the old Jim Reeves hymn, “Each day I’ll do- a golden deed! By helping those- who are in need. My life on earth- is just a span. And so I’ll do-the best I can!”
May my hope in Christ produce endurance! Woooooo!!