Hi Swamp Bloggers!

I hope you're having an awesome start to your week. Registration for summer camp is OFFICIALLY OPEN!! You can now sign up for summer camp. And, for those who are interested in serving, you can apply to be a counselor, teen worker, kitchen worker, or nurse. Visit our website to learn more and register before spots fill up.

Also, Congratulations to the winner of our video contest: Marcela Cabrera! We are so happy for you. Thank you to everyone who made a video entry, and be on the lookout for more contests in the future.

Transformed

Lately, I've been thinking about the process of transformation. It is a process every living thing must undergo, whether transforming from a baby into an adult or from a caterpillar into a butterfly. Yet, it can be one of the most difficult processes to endure. Transformation tends to be painful, and exposes what a person is truly made of. Romans 12:2 talks about the process of transformation in our spiritual lives:

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."

This scripture is not very descriptive of the endurance it takes to be transformed in our minds, yet we know how difficult it can be. Transformation can push us to our limits, and make us feel like our efforts are pointless when we begin to experience pushback.

Yet, with God transformation always proves worth it. We can always expect great results when deciding to be transformed spiritually, because God controls every step of the process. He will never give us more than we can bare, yet he will not hold back from giving us what we do need to be transformed into the image of Jesus.

Who Are You in the Face of Adversity?

I found this parable a while back. It's called "Carrot, Egg, or Coffee: Which Are You?" You can read the whole story here if you would like. The gist of the story is that a daughter is confiding in her mother, telling her that life is too hard and that she wants to give up. Her mother creates a demonstration to teach her daughter a life lesson.

The mother heats up three pots of water and puts a carrot in one, an egg in the other, and some ground coffee in the third. After 20 minutes, she takes the pots off the stove and asks her daughter to taste and feel each one.

The results are that the carrot is soft, the egg is hard, and the coffee is delicious. Her mother explains that the boiling water is the trials of life we all face.

  • The carrot is someone who goes into the trial strong and unrelenting, but with pain and adversity is weakened and begins to wilt.
  • The egg is someone who begins with a soft, malleable heart, but over time hardens due to the pressure of the water.
  • And, lastly, the coffee is someone who actually changes the circumstances that bring them pain. They become something even better as a result of the pressure and the heat.

This story may come off a little bit cheesy, but it is definitely relevant. We get to determine what attitude we want to have throughout our trials and that determines what kind of transformation we experience.

Note: None of us is stuck as an egg or a carrot, we can all be the coffee bean if we choose to be. It is possible with God's help to be more changed than we could ever think possible.

I hope this story has inspired you about overcoming difficulties and being transformed more into the image of Christ. At camp, we have talked so much about the image of God, and seeking to truly know that image and be that image. I pray that you may know that the difficulties you are facing in life as God's follower are not punishments, but rather ways he is seeking to make you more like Him.

Even though the transformation process may seem difficult, God will honor your efforts to be transformed into his image. You are already on the verge of becoming something even more beautiful and holy than before.

Until next week! Thanks for reading...

Much Love & Respect,

Julie