Wednesday, June 13, 2012

{Linky Party}: My Story

It was a hot August day in 1988. I was 10 years old and had somehow decided that I was gonna go to Children's Camp with my church.

I was a shy child, never even been away from home. I'm sure my parents were in complete shock, thinking I had lost my mind.

But they let me go. And I am forever grateful that they did.

Does this picture not scream summer?! This is me on my Uncle Jim's horse, Joker. This is how I spent my summers as a kid. In a bathing suit. On a horse. At my Me-Ma's house. Seriously.

You see, it was on that summer day in late August, the 20th to be exact, that I asked Jesus into my heart. In one moment, my life was changed forever. My eternity was sealed. It was the most important decision I will ever make. The greatest day of my life.

I had been to church. I was a regular in Sunday School. I had heard about Jesus. I knew all the answers.

But it was in that moment, on the last day of camp, when I realized that Jesus died for me. I came face to face with the fact that I was a sinner and as a result, I could not have a direct relationship with God and spend my eternity in heaven with Him because it was impossible for my sin to coexist with His holiness.

But with GOD all things are possible. {Matthew 19:26}

A sacrifice had to be made. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.

But not just any old sacrifice. A perfect, spotless one.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. {Romans 5:6-8}

He took my place. My place.

It was as if a light bulb went off in my head. There was a stirring within me, the Holy Spirit prompting me as I walked down that long aisle, straight to my friend Debi, who happens to be my dear friend to this very day. She was even apart of my wedding and her son was apart of my sister's wedding. What a special bond we have, one that will never be broken.

I told her of my decision and she prayed with me. The next words out of her mouth I will never forget as long as I live.

The angels are rejoicing in heaven. They are having a party right now in your honor because you just made the best decision you could ever make.

I can still see the spot where we sat. Right outside that little old chapel on that beloved camp ground.

A few years later my other sister would ask Jesus into her heart at a GA camp on those same grounds. And several years later I would meet the love of my life at a camp there too. It is a place my family has been many, many times throughout our lives. A place where many have entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ because someone took the time to start a camp there all those years ago. I myself have since had the opportunity to lead children to Christ as a counselor there.

Now you can understand a little better as to why I have such a passion for recreation ministry! What an easy, non-threatening way to build a relationship with people who would otherwise never step foot inside the doors of a church or Christian camp ground for that matter. But once you get them there, they are one step closer to entering into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Now it's your turn. I am challenging you to share your story on your blog before the summer is over. As soon as you do, come back here and link up your story for others to read. If you do not have a blog of your own, simply leave your story in the comments section.

You never know who is reading your blog that does not know Jesus as their personal Savior. You have been given the perfect platform. Why not use it for His glory?

If you are reading this and you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ or are not sure what that means, please read this and feel free to contact me at I would love to talk with you.

Happy Summer, friends! May God be glorified through our online presence, now and always!

 erins photo

About the Author: Erin Vick Franklin is the founder and director of Worthy of the Prize. Erin has a BBA in Marketing and Management from TCU and a Masters of Christian Education in Church Recreation from Southwestern Seminary. She is a published, award-winning author and poet. Purchase her book Worthy of the Prize Sports Camps: A Church's Guide to Implementing an Effective, Community-Reaching Christian Sports Camp to be used as an outreach tool for your church or mission organization. Erin is the wife of A, a Worship Pastor, and a work-at-home-momma to 2 crazy little boys, a and e.

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