Big Lake Community!
We are so happy to be able to share something so dear to our hearts with you.
In recent years, the Big Lake staff have published devotional books for our community. This year however, we have created year-round resources for you. Here you will find exercises, devotions, and challenges to grow your faith in God.
Our hope is that these will help you in your faith journey.
Thank you for being a part of our Big Lake family.
Keeping you in our prayers always,
The Big Lake Staff
If you have any questions or concerns in this area, please send your email to email@example.com.
John 1:3 “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”
In 2016, I decided to take RAD Rock Climbing. I had never done RAD before, and I had never done rock climbing. I was super excited to get closer to God that week at camp—and that is exactly what happened. We ended up traveling to Smith Rock State Park to do our climbing. The whole place was magnificent. A small river flowed through beautiful orange and red rocks. We ended up staying the night at this place called “The Property.” One night, we had worship during a sunset. The sky was clear, but was filled with an orange, red, pink, and purple glow. It was one of the most beautiful sunsets I have seen. On top of that, “The Property” was on a huge hill that overlooked a valley. I could see the Three Sisters, Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, Mount Washington, and Mount Saint Helens. The sunset painted the mountains an array of colors. It was such a tremendous moment. Sean Chiasson, the RAD Director at the time, was playing his guitar and singing a worship song. I could not have asked for a better moment. I then realized that God shows himself through nature, and that he created this beautiful world because he loves us, and we should appreciate his creation more often. When we spend time in nature, we are spending time in God’s love. His nature is an actualization of how much he loves us.
By Brandon Hughes
- Think: How do you see God’s love through this sunset? Why does God create such beautiful sunsets?
- Challenge: Find 3 ways to show your family that God loves them through nature today.
- Journal: What is the most beautiful place you have ever been? How did you see God there?
- Read Genesis 1
- Create a piece of art from things in nature that remind you of how much God loves you. (sticks, dirt, moss, etc.)
I made the team. Finally. I hadn’t made the basketball team. Ever. I had always been too short, too small, and not good enough. It was game day. Nervously, I sat on the bench until the coach called my name. We were up by 15 points! I didn’t really want to play, because I didn’t want to mess up in front of my friends, my coach, and everybody else I knew. But I went in anyway.
Upon entering the game, I was passed the ball. As the point guard, it was my job to run the plays and take the ball down the court. I did exactly what the play said to do – dribble down, stop at the free throw area, and hand the ball off to my teammate for a layup. But it didn’t go this way. You see, they had figured out the play. Their shortest player, who was around four feet tall, picked the ball away from me, and took off towards his own basket. I was furious–I didn’t want to look bad! So I sprinted after him, probably with a crazy look in my eye. I lept–high. I grabbed the ball out of the air with my elbow, a massive block.
Then, I landed. For some reason, everyone fell silent. They were staring at me as I began to try to get up, and failed. My knee had popped out, and I was in shock. My parents, both nurses, rushed out to help me. My team struggled as they worried about me. When I hobbled back out with a swollen knee, they picked things back up and won the game. After every game, my team did a victory lap around the gym. I was bummed, because I couldn’t run. As I waited for them to get back, I saw one of my best friends, Nick, walking towards me. He picked me up and carried me around the gym. As I high-fived the fans, tears welled up in my eyes.
Sometimes, people show God’s love by giving gifts, by saying nice words, and by giving hugs. Other times, it is by helping people get back up when they can’t. My friend Nick showed me love in a special way that made sense only when he did it. It can be hard to find these opportunities to show God’s love to others through helping, but if we are on the lookout, these types of things happen way more often than we expect. Showing God’s love can be easy, we just have to look for opportunity.
“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:7
By Hayden Sherrill
- Think: How can we support each other in love? How does this picture capture that concept?
- Help carry someone through a hard day today. Show them that you love them. Perhaps do something extra fro them so that they can take a bit of a break.
- Write about a time that someone helped you achieve your goal. How did you feel loved through that situation?
- Read 1 Corinthians 13
- Create an all pen drawing about a time someone made you feel loved.
The Bible is one of the most amazing books ever written. It has been bought, sold, stolen, copied, and read–more than any other book in the history of books! But I’ll be honest, sometimes when reading the Bible, I am tempted to skim over various passages that don’t seem so important. Things like genealogies and numbering tribes and armies can become tedious and boring to read; it’s like staring at the dashed lines in the middle of the road–they pass by with nothing apparently interesting to offer. So, I ask myself: “What does the numbering of the tribes of Israel or the dividing of the land have to do with me? Maybe it was important back then, but what does it mean for me today as a non-Jew living in 21st century America?”
I’d like to suggest to you something: I’ve discovered time and time again upon searching for an answer to this question. Every single passage of the Bible has some relevant meaning for us today and tells us something about the truly amazing character of God and his undying love for us.
For example, we read in Numbers chapter one an account of the tribes of Israel:
“The Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tent of meeting, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, ‘Take a census of all the congregation of the people of Israel, by clans, by fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, every male, head by head.’” (Numbers 1:1-2).
The chapter then goes on to list the tribes and their numbers and can make for some dry reading. But it’s especially in passages like this where we need to ask: “What can this tell us about God?”
A renowned French medieval rabbi known as Rashi asked this question long ago. He explains that God enjoyed counting the Israelites because of his special affection for each person. This is to say that the census is a reminder that the children of Israel are not just a collective whole–a mass of indistinguishable clones. No; it is a nation of individuals. Each person has a face, a name, a story, and each of them matter to God.
Moses and Aaron counted them according to their “generations, by their clans, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, head by head” (Numbers 1:20). This gave every Israelite the opportunity to tell his name and be counted as an individual who mattered.
Furthermore, there’s a question asked in Jewish literature about Adam, the father of all humanity: “Why does all of humanity descend from a single human being? To teach you that whoever destroys a single person is regarded as if he destroyed an entire world [of people] and whoever saves a single person is regarded as though he had saved an entire world” (b. Sanhedrin 37a).
In other words, they reasoned that each person is as valuable as Adam, the first human being. No one is simply a number on a page. Even more so, the same discussion about Adam points out that every person is a unique individual with different interests and abilities that may be used for good in the world:
“[Adam was created] to demonstrate the greatness of [God]. If a smith strikes a coin from one mold, they all look identical, but the King of kings [made] every man in the image of the first man, yet not one of them is identical to his fellow…” (b. Sanhedrin 37a).
We all matter to God. The world was created for each of us to live in and thrive in, to change it and improve it for the better good of everyone. From God’s perspective, we are not a nameless number, or faceless crowd of people. Each person is unique, special, and loved. God cares for you personally. Your concerns are His concerns, and He wants the very best for you.
By Bezi Lizzi
- Think: What is the smallest, yet most beautiful thing you see in this picture? How is God shown through that thing?
- Challenge: Go outside and count 25 small things that matter. Share 3 of those things with someone.
- Write: What is a detail in your life that you see God caring about.
- Read Joshua 2
- Create a geometric drawing or painting that reminds you of how God loves you–even in the details.
LIVE BRAVELYCONTENT COMING SOON!
WORTHYCONTENT COMING SOON!
WONDERCONTENT COMING SOON!
YOU BELONGCONTENT COMING SOON!
RESILIENCECONTENT COMING SOON!