My heart of stone was softening up

dscn5634Hi! My name is Nicholas Williams, and I’m a senior at Marian High School. My LOG participant weekend was LOG # 84 (*clap*), and I served on team for LOG #87 (*clap*).

Going into LOG, I was unsure of many things. There was a period in my life where I had many questions, and so I decided to kind of go down a path of self-discovery and spiritual awakening. This was all that it was ― “spiritual.” For a period of time, I was one of those who claimed to be “spiritual, but not religious.” There came a point when I stubbornly settled on a belief of an impersonal and disengaged God. I acknowledged the existence of a God, but did not seek any further relationship with that God, and just moved on with my own ordeals. Eventually, even this belief became nothing but a thing I said. In all honesty, I just simply didn’t care about much; as a result, I began to care less about what I did, despite that all it did was lead me to unhappiness.

I will never forget my first LOG weekend. I was timid. I usually dive into social situations without any problems. This was different at LOG. I had previously experienced a rather unwelcoming, cold, and sterile youth group that made me feel unworthy of God’s love and made me hate myself. So naturally, I moved with caution into this new environment. I easily warmed up to it; as the hugs increased (I’m a hugger), I noticed that my “heart of stone” was softening up. This softening was not due to anybody or anything. It was a genuine and willful act.     (continue reading below)

Special thanks to Nick Williams (LOG #84) for being the first contributor to the new LOGblog series of reflections from LOGgers!  If you would like to contribute to the new LOGblog, please contact Molly Malone or Terry McBride

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item_m_mym15Last chance to order LOG / MYM spiritwear!
All orders must be placed by Sunday, December 4 to be received in time for Christmas.

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joy_logging_cd_outside3Make a donation to MYM during the month of December and receive a free CD of Christmas music.

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Vertical Worship Night – this Sunday, December 4
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Firehouse Campus of Clay Church (17646 Cleveland Road, SB)
Singing – Vertical Time – Sharing – open to all senior highs and LOG alums

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Saturday, December 10 – Cookie Baking for Bashor Home – 9:30am
Saturday, December 17 – Christmas at Bashor Home – 7am
Sunday, December 18 – Christmas Caroling Night – 6:00pm (earlier time)

(all events to be held at Firehouse Campus of Clay Church except Saturday, December 17th party at Bashor Home in Goshen)

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Nick William’s LOGblog reflection continued:

I will never forget my first LOG weekend. I was timid. I usually dive into social situations without any problems. This was different at LOG. I had previously experienced a rather unwelcoming, cold, and sterile youth group that made me feel unworthy of God’s love and made me hate myself. So naturally, I treaded cautiously in this new environment. I easily warmed up to it; as the hugs increased (I’m a hugger), I noticed that my “heart of stone” was softening up. This softening was not due to anybody or anything. It was a genuine and willful act.

I would say the difference between LOG and other retreats I had been on is the Obstacle Circle. I would say that this is what breaks down those final walls between each person involved in the weekend, participant and team member alike. To see and hear the struggles of the people in the circle helped me see that regardless of my baggage and how much I goof up in life, two things will always be true. First, God never ceases to love and have mercy on me, no matter what I’ve done or will do. Second, I will always have people by my side to run the race and fight the good fight with me. Those I have met, and will continue to meet, in LOG are people who I know I can rely on to pick me up and brush me off after I’ve fallen.

Another aspect I enjoyed and appreciated is the interdenominational atmosphere that focuses on what we hold in common. I’ve always held valuable the effort to focus on what unites us rather than on what divides us, either as Christians, Americans, or an entire human family. To me, we are all Christ’s Church; regardless of denomination, we are called to spread the saving love of Christ throughout this fallen world around us. In LOG, I found this bastion of unity, love, and fellowship based in a common love for God and Jesus Christ to satisfy my search for an accepting Christian community.

 I would certainly say that my LOG participant was the first step in the rediscovery of my faith. Had it not been for LOG, I may still be in the rut that I was in before my participant. Through the loving family that I have in LOG, I have learned to recognize God’s ceaseless love for me, and I would say that it was the weekend of my participant that ultimately led me to God. The overall atmosphere of love, acceptance, and interdenominational Christian fellowship that LOG provided served as the perfect environment to be myself, with all of my baggage and shortcomings, while still learning to accept God’s love for me.

This is only a short expression of the goodness that the LOG community has brought into my life. I look forward to the next LOG season, where I can once again witness God’s unconditional love and mercy work in the lives of both the next batch of participants and my future fellow team members. I would like to end by saying: I will continue to pray for you, my LOG family, as I know that we are running this race together, for God’s glory.

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