We started off early today with breakfast and worship. We visited King Asa again in 2 Chronicles and looked at how he persisted, even after the threat of war came. How through a visit from a man named, Azariah, King Asa's fire to stay focused on God was reignited and he began to not only work on just his kingdom, but he began to "clean house" and remove the idols from the areas that his country took over. He stayed persistent even when the enemy raised his head. He kept going. We talked about how focusing on God and being persistent will pay off. That even though hard and challenging times will come, we can be ready for whatever comes our way.
After morning worship, Summer Shull whipped up some of the best grilled cheese sandwiches we have ever had and we chowed down and had some great conversations. We then loaded the bus and headed to the go-kart track for some friendly, competitive racing. We had a ball! We cheered each other on and they laughed when I was spun around by a person who will remain anonymous! HA! We then jumped back on the bus and headed to Gatlinburg for a day of window shopping and maybe a few purchases of trinkets and ice cream. A threat of a storm brought us a cool breeze. We headed back to the cabin and put on our swimsuits and hit the pool while supper was being cooked. It was fun watching them play together and just be kids. Shout out to Lauren Costner for being so kind and playing with a little girl on a float. She kept that girl happy and having fun! I am just so proud of each of them. Their hearts are so precious and truly tender. They want to do good and be good. I stand in awe of how God works in their lives.
After a quite impressive feast, we jumped in for our last night of worship. We spent one more session in 2 Chronicles, but this time we met King Jehoshaphat, King Asa's son, who ruled over Judah after King Asa's death. Jehoshaphat was a king that others looked up to. He continued his father's practices of removing idols and other gods from the land of Judah and from lands that they took over. He continued to strengthen his army and he began to make sure the people of Judah and surrounding nations we taught about the civic, ceremonial and sacrificial laws. He was building a nation that was unified. Because of his continued focus on pursuing Godliness, God rewarded him and blessed him. Other nations and rulers sent him gifts and feared him. He was building and leaving a legacy, but a legacy that was pointing to him, but to God. He was making an influence for God. We finished the night talking about how our influence can single-handily change a person's future for the better. How we can plant seeds and be an influence for Jesus. so that our legacy will also point to him and only him.
It has been a great week! Tomorrow we will hit up Dollywood and will return home very late. We will let you know when we are on the road home. Thank you for your prayers. Please continue to pray for safe travels. Thank you for trusting us with your precious gifts and letting us love on them, learn from them, share with them and most of all, spend time in fellowship with them. They are each great kids and I am so blessed to be able to lead them.
We love you.