Why Did God Not Touch Me? #4

As a child/young person I knew the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Daniel, Gideon, David…I had heard people say…God spoke to me. I had been taught Matthew 7:7-9 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?”


And so, believing what I had been taught, I asked God to reveal Himself to me.  “Lord, touch me, shake my bed…do something now!”  Nothing!!!  Yes, I was disappointed – confused.  What was wrong with God, or with my relationship with God?    


Now I have a few ideas as to why God did not meet my request.  When Jesus was teaching a large crowd on a hillside, He told the story of the beggar Lazarus who, when he died, went to Abraham’s side in heaven.  And the rich man who continually ignored Lazarus went to hell. The rich man can see Lazarus next to Abraham and he urges Abraham to send someone to earth to warn people.  Abraham replied: “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” Luke 16: 20 -31


The Bible provides many examples of the reality of God: water in the desert, Daniel in the lion’s den…Paul wrote: “For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:18-20


I knew the stories of God’s miraculous “activities” recorded in the Bible.  I had come to believe that our physical world with its plants, animals and people did not just happen.  Deep down I had no question as to the reality of God. 


What I wanted was a personal demonstration by God of His reality.  If God had physically touched me, would I expect God to do whatever I asked?  If God did whatever I asked, would He be God?  And what would happen to my pride?  What would other people expect of me?


I have read about many miracles…and been a part of many miracles…like my going to Pioneer Camp.

I cannot think of one miracle God has done for the sole purpose of demonstrating that He could “do a miracle”.


Every miracle in the Bible was to meet a specific need – Noah/flood, parting of water, Daniel in lion’s den, calming storm, healing people… Through miracles God meets specific needs – and in the process demonstrates His reality. 


As we seek to live as God’s children, as His friends, may we be able to say with Mary: “I am the Lord's servant.Luke 1:38. Our challenge is to trust him through our fears; thank him in our joys.  I do not always meet this challenge, but this does not change the fact that God is real and that God desires to treat each of us as individuals – to accomplish His purposes – while meeting our real needs. 


When God needs to work through a miracle, God shows that He has the ability.   God did not feel the need to shake my bed…and He was right.  Even without the bed shaking I have trusted in the God I cannot see.

God Had Plans For My Future #3

I was 9 and 10 years old when I was a camper at Pioneer Camp, a place I loved, even after 6 weeks each summer.

When I was asked to become the new Director of Deerfoot Lodge, 1982, my father began telling me stories about the camp. He had been on the camp staff (1931-2) while preparing to be a medical doctor on the mission field. DL was just beginning: 12-16 campers each session. My father told me about the program, and he told me wonderful stories about Dad Kunz, the founding Director. Dad Kunz was a very special person to father –who was a teenager when his father had died.

When I became the Director of DL, I had only seen the camp once – on a bitter cold, snowy winter day! The following June I arrived at camp three days after our family had moved to New York from Texas. Jeff Littauer was opening camp – there were no work weekends. The only staff member I knew well was Jeff – who served as Guide leader that summer. I had met Dave Naysmith at his home. Nay had been at DL perhaps 15 years, and he knew the program and the staff very well. Nay helped me select a few good men from the previous summer’s staff – Dean Dover, as head cook, was a key carry-over person! Charlie Karner agreed to come for several weeks to head up maintenance. These staff members patiently helped me get up to speed.

By the time campers arrived I felt very much at home: the program and the organizational structure seemed very familiar to me. The physical setting was very much like I had enjoyed at Pioneer. Soon I learned Dad Kunz had spent several weeks at Pioneer Camp – he wanted to learn the program and organizational structure of an excellent Christian Camp. I was camper in 1948-49. Dad Kunz was there before 1930.

The Lord had prepared me to become the Director of DL…just as he had prepared Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Paul, and many others – before they had a clue how God would use them. Between attending Pioneer Camp and becoming Director of DL God continued to prepare me for DL. I had no clue what was coming.

Moses did not choose his parents, to be put into the river, to be found by Pharaoh’s daughter, to be raised by his own mother and to live in Pharaoh’s palace. When he killed an Egyptian, he did not know that his actions had been observed by a Hebrew, and that he would have to flee for his life to the desert where he lived for 40 years. God knew – and orchestrated Moses preparation to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

Look back on your life. Can you see how God prepared you for what you are doing? Please do not try to figure out how He is preparing you for what is to come! Be confident that if you desire to be In Partnership With God, He is continuing to work out His plan for you.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. Jeremiah 29:11

IPWG: an observation and introduction of “EXTRA”

Observation: Each Monday Morning I will continue to share my story, chronologically, and how I have experienced God working for me, in me, through me. I am now writing the IPWG you will receive in about 12 weeks. As I work, I am observing that my experiences are moving from where I have been primarily the receiver…to where I am primarily one of God’s agents of change.

As you observe this, see if this has not been your experience as well. I know at least one of you is reading the Monday IPWG to their children – this could be interesting for you to point out to them.

EXTRA – an introduction. I have come to realize there are times when I would like to share with you thoughts which do not fit into the normal pattern of the Monday Morning edition of “In Partnership With God. When I do this, the EXTRA will only come mid-week and will be identified: IPWG EXTRA – then the topic…then how many pages the attachment has. Here are two examples of what the “EXTRA” may be like.

1. My e-mail response to a specific e-mail.

“Chief, I wish I could honestly say something like ‘but God is good,’ but this is a hard place to be. Not that I’m doubting, I have seen too much of grace and power to doubt. But I’m questioning, because this isn’t good. It is hard. And it probably won’t end or get easier ….
That looks pathetic to read. It’s where I am- and I covet prayer (the ability to pray) and peace.”

When I include people in a specific way, if there is any question as to whether it is OK with them, know that I have their specific approval to include them in the e-mail – they will have read the e-mail I will be sending to you. An example being that I write about Shelley Schenkel’s brain tumor and eventual physical death.

Here is Bart’s response to my question.
“With certainty! You have clarified the “Big” picture well and the story of my journey fits that picture. Hurting people need to know how (like others before them) to work through tough parts of God’s perfect provision in their life. It’s a journey that always comes before the answers. Bart”

My response to the ache of this Deerfooter is 3 pages – it took many hours to write. It is long – but very much shorter then the 250 pages of “When God Doesn’t Make Sense” by James Dobson. (This book was written in response to a plane accident in which four of his friends were killed – their color picture is the only picture in the book…and the accident is never mentioned. I was a very close friend of one of the four…and knew one of the others). . Philip Yancey wrote 278 pages – “Where Is God When It Hurts?” – the same basic topic. Both are excellent books!!

2. A reality or thought I would like to share, speak to. “The Power of God’s Word” was triggered by my reading an article in the current Leadership Journal (Volume 29, Number 1) – which is published quarterly by Christianity Today. The sub-title of Leadership is “real ministry in a complex world”. I share a personal experience of seeing the Power of God’s Spoken Word when read without comment.

Again, I welcome your e-mail comments – Be candid!
Chief chuck

Summer Camp….a life changing experience! #2b orig.

My mom and dad realized that school was hard on me. I was not doing as well as most kids in the class….though I remember Henry was a much worse reader than I was. I loved to be outside, often playing in the woods behind our home. Occasionally our family went swimming together at the public pool – Dad was able to teach me to swim quite easily.

Mom and Dad, realizing what my interests and abilities were, registered my brother, Dick, and me for Pioneer Camp in Port Sidney, Ontario, Canada. It was a boy’s camp on a private lake. Dad drove us up to Pioneer where we were campers for six weeks – I was 9, Dick was 11. We returned the next summer for 6 more incredible weeks.

It was at Pioneer that I swam my first mile – and learned the different swimming strokes. This was where I learned to canoe, and worked almost daily toward perfecting the canoeing strokes. Nine years later I was the canoeing instructor for Honey Rock Camp in Wisconsin, and co-taught a canoeing course for Wheaton College.

As my skills grew, so did my self confidence. Frequently I would be taken out of rest period to help set up for the water Olympics and to help in other ways. Over and over again I remember feeling special…

But there were some tough experiences too. One night I had diarrhea…rushed out of our tent, down the platform stairs…and felt the….sliding down my leg inside my pajama bottoms. I took care of the mess myself, and was very glad my counselor never woke up. It was a night I will never forget!

One summer my counselor’s name was Mitch. I remember him teaching our cabin that we were to put on the whole armor of God. He taught the lesson with flannel graph and as Mitch put the armor on the soldier, we talked about the significance of each piece of armor. Today Deerfooter’s sing: “O Fight the Good Fight Likes a Soldier, put on the whole armor of God! The belt and the breast plate and helmet, the shoes and the shield…”

Ephesians 6:10-18 provide a summary of the means Christians have to fight the evil powers of this world –
the evidence of which we see around us, often find living within us.

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground…

  • Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist
  • With the breastplate of righteousness in place
  • Your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace
  • Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one
  • Take the helmet of salvation
  • The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God
  • And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests….be alert and always keep praying for all the saints.”

The Bible verses we learn as children impact us throughout our lives. What verses do you remember?
What verses can we help our children learn? Perhaps learn ourselves? Here are a few good ones:

The Lord’s Prayer – Matthew 6:9-13, John 3:16-17, John 10:10, Ephesians 2:8-10, II Timothy 3:16-17
I Corinthians 10:13, Joshua 1:8-9, Psalm 1, Psalm 23, Psalm 100, Psalm 119:9 & 11

(Remember…perfect memorization is not nearly as important as understanding the meaning of the verse. If I had been required to learn each verse perfectly, I would have failed – and hated Scripture memory)

I was the Struggling Little Boy #2

I was the boy that needed a tutor to be able to pass 5th and 6th grade. My parents did everything they could to motivate me….and I tried, O how I tried!

I still remember doing an extensive report on Switzerland for my 6th grade teacher. With my parents help I received information from the Swiss Department of Tourism – beautiful pictures, maps, and lots of information. I worked my tail off, with help from my parents. I received a B- for my work. Why bother working so hard? I could have gotten a C, ok, maybe a D…without spending hours and days doing my very best work. Yet I continued to try to be a good student.

I knew I was not doing well in school – and my dad knew I knew that I was not doing well in school.

And every so often my father would take me in his arms and say: “Hang in there son. I flunked fifth grade, and I made it”. My dad was a medical doctor and a member of the Wheaton College Board of Trustees. Dad never quit believing in me…until he died at Deerfoot Lodge in 1988.

Were you a child like me? Do you know a little boy or girl who struggles today? Does he have a mom or dad who hugs him…and encourages in him? Even if they have such a parent, your affirmation will have a tremendous impact upon the child, particularly if you repeatedly show your interest in them.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there. Matthew 19:14 -15