Happy Tuesday, parents and families!

Once again, your camper is about to head to Bible Study in their cabin. Would you mind stopping and praying for their time right now?

Today’s Bible Study title is “The Presence of God is: my Confidence in Comparison.”

Have you ever read the children’s book You Are Special by Max Lucado? It’s one of those stories you start to read with your kids, it’s cute and silly and then all of a sudden you’re crying in front of your whole family. Just me? Oh…

The main character is Punchinello, a wooden puppet who lives in a village of puppets who place star stickers on the popular, attractive, successful puppets – and dot stickers on puppets…who aren’t these things. Punchinello gets a lot of dots each day.

One day he meets another puppet who doesn’t have any stickers at all! He’s fascinated and asks “Why don’t you have any stickers?!” His new friend responds, “Well, I go see the Woodcarver everyday! His house is just up the hill there and he would really like to see you!”

Punchinello doesn’t believe it. Why would the Woodcarver want to see him?

Eventually, he’s had enough of the stickers and the weight of what the other puppets think of him. He runs up the big hill and as soon as he knocks on the door…

“Punchinello?!” the Woodcarver called out with his deep, strong voice. 

“You know my name?” 

“Of course. I made you.” 

The Woodcarver noticed all the dots on Punchinello. Punchinello looked down and said “I didn’t mean to get all these dots. I really tried hard.” 

The Woodcarver spoke gently, “I don’t care what the other puppets think. And you shouldn’t either. All that matters for you is what I think.” At that very moment, the words sunk deep into Punchinello’s heart. And a Dot peeled off and fell to the ground. 

You see, I’ve come to the conclusion that the majority of the decisions we make, the way we talk, how we dress, what we buy, the image we portray online, etc. are to gain the approval and applause of others.

My entire life has been spent trying to gain star stickers from others. It was a burden that eventually became too heavy to carry on my own.

My confidence was self-made, crafted by my own perspective of success and approval.

How would you define the word “confidence”? 

When I think of confidence, I see a picture of a socially “cool”, well-dressed, outgoing, outwardly successful person.

But what is the root word in “confidence”? Confide.

And what does it mean to confide? It means to hide.

Our memory verse today is Colossians 3:2-3: “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

I believe in some way or another, we all care too much and too deeply what the people around us think about us. Because deep down, we have made the approval of others our god – for the validation of something we believe is missing in us. 

To cut to the point – only the presence of God can fill that void. And He fills it perfectly. 

Today, parents and families, if you believe the good news of Jesus then you have the Holy Spirit living in you, WITH you! And you can “run up the hill” to meet with your Maker anytime, forever!

He already approves of you. He loves applauding His children. He loves you. He is for you. He wants to be WITH you!

In moments of comparison, will you run to the world for approval? Or will you run to be with your Father?

Today’s Bottomline: it all comes down to Inner Intimacy with God, not Outer Image for others. 

When you seek the presence of God, you hide IN Him – not FROM Him. And you can have the very confidence of Jesus alive in you. And those dots won’t stick anymore.

Draw near to Him this morning.

Have you ever experienced Inner Intimacy — the deep love of the Father to the point that you don’t care what people think about you but only what He thinks? 

Take a few minutes to be silent and still. Think on the truth that God loves you and wants to be with you today. And let those dots fall to the ground.


Announcements:

  • Closing Pickup is Saturday! The Shores’ pickup hours are 10-11am. (We will open the gates shortly before this to receive the early birds.)
  • We will post a video walking you through Pickup later this week on this CampLife app. 
  • If you’ve ever been to a Closing Celebration at Pine Cove, it will look a little different this year. (Good news – you’ll be able to park, walk around, meet your camper’s counselor, take photos, and shop our store!)
  • SENIORS: We will also have a short Senior Send-Off Celebration at 10:30am outside to say thank you, celebrate our seniors, and pray a blessing over them as they head into their last year of high school!
  • If you have any questions or needs, please don’t hesitate to email shores@pinecove.com.