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)