“But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it for the full price. I will not take what is yours and give it to the Lord. I will not present
burnt offerings that have cost me nothing!”
–1 Chronicles 21:24 (NLT)
Hello there, friends! I’d really like to get to know you better, so here’s an idea: let’s go camping!
Now you may be saying, “That sounds crazy!” But I hope you’ll give it a chance. The world won’t stop if your cell phone is out of service for a day or
two. Have some fun for once, and sleep out under the stars.
Oh, don’t sound so horrified. I’ve done it a few times, and it’s exhilarating. All I ask is that you keep an open mind before dismissing the camping experience
out of hand. I’ll even tell you what to expect.
There are the many joys of spending time alone among the giant trees, as nature forms a cathedral in the cool and lush forest. Or, you may choose to work
up an appetite by going on a hike with someone you love. Then, if that’s not enough, coming back to the tantalizing smells of a delicious
can’t be beat. It’s a great way to start the day, and it’s far from boring. After
spending more time in the forest and listening to the melodic sound of the birds as they call to one another in the branches of the trees is a really beautiful
Thank you for agreeing to come! I’m sure you won’t regret it.
Now that the day’s over, doesn’t the smell of dinner cooking over an open fire make your mouth water? It sure does for me!
Nodding, you sigh and listen halfheartedly to a constant stream of chatter from the other campers.
“I can’t wait for the best part!” they say. “It’s always so much fun to roast marshmallows after
and tell tall tales and ghost stories around the fire. Another great way to spend the
is by playing games late into the night.”
“What was that campfire game we played when I was a kid?” someone asks.
Another voice replies, “Telephone!”
“Oh, right, that was it! Maybe we’ll end up playing that tonight.”
Someone gets up and jabs you with their elbow. You just grunt, looking as though you lost your last friend. Still oblivious to your feelings, your fellow
campers tell you to relax, and they say that dinner should be ready in a few minutes.
While you’ve
through everything last night, you can’t wait to get home, and you are more vocal as the next
dawns. Thanks to yesterday’s hike, you have sore muscles in places you didn’t even know existed, and you really don’t want to move. So when you hear a
loud noise, you groan and close your eyes.
“Get up!” A fellow camper nudges you with his toe.
“The sun’s not even up,” you yawn. Moaning as you struggle to your feet, you croak out, “What’s going on?”
“Come on, slow-poke! Packing can be fun, especially if we all work together.”
“You guys go ahead and have fun then,” you mumble. “I’m not a morning person.”
Despite your protests, you find yourself helping break up camp, and you are more than thankful when the camping trip is finally over.
If you had to stay behind and substitute a frozen dinner instead of experiencing that rugged and satisfying smell that makes your stomach rumble as it
wafts through the camp, you can take comfort in knowing that things aren’t always as romantic as they sound. If you’re glad to be sitting by a microwave
instead of a crackling campfire, you’re not alone in the way you feel, my friend. That is why more and more people are turning to glamping.
Glamping, which is short for “glamorous camping”, began in Europe. Some people want to combine a rustic setting with all the comforts of home.
I never understood glamping until recently. Now, though, I’m rethinking that. To me, camping was camping, and if you wanted comfort, you would stay in
a hotel.
One thing that brought the concept of glamping to the forefront of my mind was our recent move to a new apartment. Let me tell you what I mean. We had
been looking around for a place to live for quite some time when a friend told us about the apartment we ultimately moved into.
“This is perfect,” I thought. But when it came to settling in, I wondered if I had been correct in my assessment. When we couldn’t find anything we needed
within the mess of boxes we’d brought with us, we felt like we were roughing it, and for the first time I understood the concept of glamping more fully.
Let me ask you a question that will express what I am trying to say better. Have you ever sat in central air-conditioning while trying to eat soup with
a plastic fork?
As I turned this and other experiences over in my mind, I started thinking about the relationship between glamping and my Christian walk. I had to ask
myself, “When my faith puts me in an uncomfortable position, am I willing to stand alone?”
I realized that I often took the easy way out and tried to blend into the woodwork. Oh yes, I spoke out when it was safe, but what about when there was
a price to pay? What about the chances I had to testify within my Christian service?
Jesus told me that if I was going to be His disciple, I had to deny myself, take up my cross on a daily basis, and follow Him. So when the difficulties
of the last few months came to a head, I did some soul-searching. I realized I have a tendency to pad my cross, so I can carry it more easily. In response
to this revelation, I coined the term “gospel glamping”.
We take the cross much too lightly during our everyday lives, but in the Roman world it was a symbol of death. It did not mean any kind of difficulty in
life. The cross was the electric chair of that day.
Jesus simply meant I am to walk in such a way that I put Him first in everything. But the problem comes because you and I can’t say no to our sinful desires
on our own.
“So,” you ask, “what do we do then?” Here’s your answer: We draw on Christ’s power so that we can live as more than conquerors.
Instead of making up rules and regulations, the second part of a crucified life comes with being alive unto God. To live the abundant life which Christ
promised, I need to rely on Him on a moment-by-moment basis. I have nothing to offer a holy God, and I am weak and unstable. So, I need the stability of
the Rock to support me in the wilderness of this world.
Living this way is like breathing. Simply exhale, and confess your sin to our holy Father. Then, inhale as you agree with His Word, while asking Him for
the strength and power to live above your circumstances.
The Bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. Therefore, all of us are guilty of gospel glamping at one time or another. Christ
is calling us to a better life, and we can either come to Him on a one-time basis as a last resort, or decide to follow Him in a closer way.
Scripture tells us that we who know Him are being conformed into His image. This means that we have a choice to make today, my friend. Do you and I want
to live a lifestyle which supports gospel glamping—a lifestyle that would rob us of Christ’s best? or do we want to realize that we are living in the wilderness
of this world, and bring Christ into the camp of our lives in a new way?
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Tuesday night Bible study. These studies are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 712-432-6498. When prompted, press 1 for live chat rooms, and we’ll be waiting in room 31. You can press pound to bypass our friend Sharon’s intro message once you’ve entered room 31. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.