Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Lehr, North Dakota Camp Meeting: June 8-15, 2008

After more than thirty years, Carol and I are very grateful to be invited again to Lehr Camp Meeting. Today many people believe the usefulness of the camp meeting has passed. They consider it an old mode of operation that needs to be put to sleep. We strongly disagree. Instead of allowing the camp meeting to die, we should renew our efforts to bring it to new life. Far from being a dried relic of the past, camp meetings still provide the opportunity for many people to hear the message of Salvation and Scriptural Holiness.

Conferences drawing thousands of people are going on almost constantly all over the nation. At these conferences people spend thousands of dollars on admission, food, lodging, and the materials offered by the promoters. At these conferences people sit all day long listening to speaker after speaker, several days at a time.

At the Lehr Camp Meeting this year you won’t pay a steep admission charge, and no one will ask you to buy hundreds of dollars worth of materials. No, you won’t be worshipping at the Ritz-Carlton twenty floors above the city streets, but then you won’t have to pay their price. The food won’t be steak or lobster. But your experience at camp meeting can definitely change your life.

As children, Carol and both I stayed in a (wooden) tent with our grandparents at South Union Camp Meeting ( established in 1872 and located in central Mississippi. We can remember camp meeting days at South Union when we had to haul the water from the spring, and the floors under the open Tabernacle and in the tents were sawdust. We also remember the sight of altars covered with people seeking God and lives being changed.

As Carol and I grow in years, we become more convinced that our parents and grandparents gave us life's greatest treasure: a Christian home. Now, our prayer and passion is that we will be found trustworthy of offering that advantage to our children and grandchildren.

We believe that the God of the Scripture, the God who displayed His glory in the great camp meetings of the past, is the same God we worship today. He has not changed. He is no less able to turn the heart of a nation today than He was 100 years ago! All the social and political evils that threaten to be the undoing of our world today, all the false religions that vie for the allegiance of men – these are no match for our God. He is willing – yes, eager – to manifest Himself and His saving grace to this lost, prodigal planet. But first we must have a revived church. And a revived church consists of revived individuals.

The psalmist said, “You who seek God, let your hearts revive” (Psalm 69:32). If you will seek Him with all your heart, you can be assured that He will restore, renew, and revive you. One person, one family, one small group, one church, one camp meeting – no matter how “insignificant” – that is committed to seeking the Lord can become a part of the “awakened giant” that God will use to spread His glory and the fame of His name throughout the world.

As we seek Him with all our hearts, our prayer is that God will reveal Himself to us in fresh ways during Lehr Camp Meeting 2008; that He will revive our hearts, and that He will be magnified in and through our lives.

Buddy & Carol Smith

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