Am I Where HE Wants Me?

Dear Friends:
I am sorry I have not written the blog in a few days, but travel and Christmas made it difficult. I am back at the camp preparing for the New Year’s weekend now. We’re never sure how many youth will come, and we’ve not encouraged youth to come this year because of the loss of Eight Gables—-which has been the “hub” of these weekend celebrations for 25 years. But I received the email below from a camper that came to the New Year’s celebrations for many years as a child and it reminded me that my purpose is to faithfully share the gospel and not get too caught up in the immediate results.
Hi Dean! 
Merry Christmas!! I have been reflecting on the meaning for this season a lot lately, and I frequently come back to the fact that the Vineyard introduced me to what it is all about. I just wanted to let you know that your ministry has made a huge difference on my life, and I remember my times at camp as some of the happiest times ever. I hope that you are doing well! As always, please let me know if you need volunteers or help around the camp. 
Prayers for you, your family, and the camp.
This was a simple message, but it came the same day I prayed to God for a little encouragement and a reminder that I am still where He wants me. And of course that’s what ministry is all about —-“Am I where He wants me?” My challenge is often to interject myself where I want to be or to stop or bring about what I think is proper.  The great danger I face is not in committing evil things (although I am perfectly capable!) but of doing “good things” that stand in the way of “God’s things”—-i.e. the BEST thing. Sometimes I find myself saying that I will NOT permit this difficulty or heartache to happen to someone that I care about only to find out that I got in the way of what God was orchestrating in that life for His purposes!
The answer of course is wisdom and discretion! And God promises this to me if I stop and ask for it. 
I hope to pick up these little musings of mine on a daily basis again now. Thank you for the kind things many of you have said to me. I feel, at times, like St. Augustine “confessing” his errors and clumsy mistakes, but if this helps anyone reading I am happy to oblige.

Dean Barley

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