What I’m Reading: Forevermore

Some of my fondest memories come from the church camp I attended as a child and teenager. It’s the same camp I’ve directed for the last 24 years. I can close my eyes and picture each counselor, teacher, cook, and chaplain.

My chaplain was Eddie. I loved Eddie’s messages as a teenager. Bonnie always cooked for camp. After her death, DeeAnn and a different Bonnie took the job. Stella and Dee were my favorite counselors, though most people chose Bonnie to win that award. Yes, it’s the same Bonnie that now cooks. Joy always taught classes for the girls while Ralph and Lee did the same for the boys. Waldo, June, and Crystal did their part leading worship. And my grandpa, Donald Ray, provided maintenance and led game time to work out all that teenage energy we had as campers.

Many of those who came before have moved on, either through death or age, but they stay in my heart and memories. Each one did their part. They came together with their unique talents and interests and gave faithfully to help the teens of southern Illinois know God’s love. They did so selflessly. Not perfectly, mind you, but God sees the heart. I’m glad we can’t derail God’s plans with our imperfection.

“Mornings like this, Jakob felt this was a little foretaste of heaven – of everyone being of one mind and hearts raised in praise for God’s goodness.” Forevermore by Cathy Marie Hake

When I read this quote from Forevermore by Cathy Marie Hake, it brought to mind all those who became treasured memories of my youth at camp. The scenes she writes of families working together for the benefit of all inspire me. And I guarantee they will open the door on your own memories of times when God’s people worked together for a common good.

That spirit isn’t reserved for harvest. Hope Ladley embodies all it is to serve God wherever He takes you. Her desire to bring hope, help, and healing to those she meets is only heightened by her quirkiness. She is charming and loving and unique. Her outlook on like is one we should all strive to keep.

This was my first book by Cathy Marie Hake, but it won’t be my last. I fell in love with these characters, and I know I’ll return for visits in the future. And thanks to the wonderful story, I’ll also spend some time remembering the times when I’ve gotten a little taste of heaven just like Jakob did.

When have you seen God’s people working together in this way?

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