"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

05 July 2016

This Place

Tabernacle
Pine Grove Campground
Saratoga Springs
3 July 2016

Some places bring good memories.  Some  bring unpleasant memories.

Some places leave you feeling nostalgic. 

 Some places leave you feeling like time stands still.

Some places bring out the best in you.......or the worse.....

This place does all of this for me.

This was my church camp when I was a little girl.  The building pictured above was not there while I was a church camper from 1967-1978.  It is currently the tabernacle and has been since at least the early '80s I believe.  But.....it is still so similar to the one that served as "church" back in my childhood. The one "back then" was blue.  I think it is now being used as the dining hall.  

Church camp....for 10 straight days.  How I loved going.  I looked forward to it every year.

My best buddies and I would spend the week in a huge canvas tent...the really old fashioned kind.  Some years there were 3-4 of us, but most of the time it was just me and "Beanie". (her childhood nickname and one of my very best friends).  Here is an image of the kind of tent I would spend 7-10 days in:



This is the place where so many good things happened.  Friendships were made.....and many of them stayed...and thanks to Social Media we are now back in touch.

My first "real"  kiss was at this campground.

My first time spending the night away from my parents was at this campground.

My first time seeing the Holy Spirit move in significant ways was experienced here during the evening services.

And it was here that I accepted Christ as my Savior.  That I felt that pull from the Holy Spirit to walk up that tabernacle aisle, kneel down at the old, wooden alter, and pray the prayer of salvation.  Where I saw numerous friends turn to Christ in that same way.

Singing the age-old gospel songs, camp songs, standard hymns from days long ago.

The organ music spilling out into the pine needle carpeted woods,and hot summer air with the gentle breezes of the balsalm and words whispering "Just as I am without one plea......O Lamb of God, I come....."

It was in this place that I first knew...really knew...that a personal God died for me....to take away my sins....to set me free!!

I celebrate that spiritual birthday on July 12.....it was in 1975 that I first gave my heart to Christ.....

and yes...those next few years had their ups and downs....I did my share of "backsliding"...that term for not putting Christ first, doing my own thing, not really sinking my teeth into Scripture like those early days..........

and it was in this place that started that longing for intimacy with God my Father......

and learning over the years what hinders that...and what helps to find it..............

This place, that I came back to this past weekend to hear a mens gospel group sing their hearts out in praise to our Father.....

this place where old friends meet and hug on each other, and love............

this place where God is still whispering in that still, small voice............


5 comments:

Homemanager said...

Thanks for sharing Faith! You are older than me in the Lord by two years! :D Your testimony made me think of mine. Joy, that He would call even me..it is amazing..thank You, Jesus!

Anonymous said...

I had similar experiences here. I had such deep encounters with God and my friendships are with people that even though I don't see them often, I pick up,with them right where I left off when I do. It holds the best memories of my life. I will miss this place.

Sarah

Faith said...

Sarah, thank you for sharing your experience about Pine Grove, too!! it is truly a special place.

Susanne said...

I'm so grateful for those children's summer programs that teach children about Jesus. I didn't go away to camps but I distinctly remember a VBS type of program my friend took me to that greatly impacted my life.

Melanie Lopata said...

Such memories!! Mom used to take me and we'd stay in a cabin and I loved hanging out at the candy store AND book/gift store!! OH the smells and fellowship and FUN!!!!