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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Decorations for the Dead

So, SuperC camp ended at 11am; Jacob, Janelle and I came home and later Jane and Janelle's Joe Petsch joined us for a trip to Atchison, Ks to a wondrous Mexican restaurant...afterward we drove to a nearby park (Forest of Friendship or something like that...sort of "we are the world" wanna be?)...but I am allergic to something there so I jumped out and checked out a large cemetery nearby.

Fascinated by cemeterys, and wonder what some of the statuary was meant to portray.

So...guess what? I snapped some pics with my iphone, and here they be:
                             No longer near the grave apparently, just lying in the grass...
                             Wonder how the Kentuckian ended up in Atchison, and why he
                                               died so young...

                                              I give up, why the anchor???

                              Yeah, I'm somewhat proud I caught the lady in cloud silouette...

                                                   So what is she thinking about?

                                  This made me wonder if Mormons have their own cemeterys?

This thing was huge

                          Love the inscription - "Simply to the Cross I Cling"

                                          Can't imagine how much dough went into these...or
                                                  what they mean...
I give up...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

So Grateful...

This Saturday morning I wrap up another week of speaking at a teen camp.

How many does this make?

I hate numbers in oh so many ways. Dates back to my Vietnam listen/read the lies days...

Also because I read the scriptures...which say "about" 5000, "about" 120, and even "about twelve." Yikes! Even I can count to 12! What's up with this?

Perhaps Spirit of God reminding us that numbers are not important, numbers can inadvertently tell lies...and that the Lord lived and died for individuals, not nations, numbers, or statistics...

Anyway, since I'm not a numbers person I don't keep records...but a fair guesstimate is that this is around my 215th - 220th week of camp speaking. What a joy! What a privilege! and, what a responsibility. I try to treat seriously the admonition, "Let not many of us become teachers, for as such we shall incur the stricter judgment."

Last night was good as Spirit of God moved many to profess new commitments to the Lord. Many shared publicly their commitments, from salvation, to surrender and more. Pray as they go back to real life 101 that their disciplined obedience to the Lord continues and grows...

Midland's Super C Camp always has a dramatic portrayal of the crucifixion on Friday night...and last night Janelle and Jacob participated; Janelle as Mary and Jacob as a follower/mourner:

                                    Jacob and his buddy Walt Brown (from Troy, Ks)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Another One Bites the Dust...

Last full day here at Super C Camp in Polo, Missouri.

Thus tomorrow around 11am I will once again pull out from a camp at which I've had the privilege, joy, and responsibility of being the camp speaker.

The Lord first opened this particular door of ministry opportunity in 1978...and I've been speaking at 5-7 weeks of camp each summer since then...I'll let you do the math...

I am so very amazed (and blessed) that I get to do this type of ministry. I'm guessing that is why I get to keep doing it?

As I've written before, I love Christian camps...but also think they can be a dangerous place (for more on this CLICK HERE).

But for the inherent dangers, there are positive things that happen.

Surely no one believes that all the "decisions" recorded at camp (or anywhere else) are legit. Though there are those who feel they must number the "decisions" and those at the altar etc...only Spirit of God knows what is truly happening.

But there are many and varied testimonies of people genuinely coming to salvation at a Christian camp...and enduring/lasting/persevering. Many Christians have had their faith solidified, challenged, complemented and increased at camps.

These little "nibbles of heaven," like any other venue, can be a place where dramatic, though perhaps unseen, things happen. They can be, if misused, places where emotions are frayed and abused, where false assurance is nurtured, where the measure of "success" are "decisions" and "aisle athletes."

But the sanctified-ace-in-the-hole remains Romans 8.28.

And the assurance that His Word cast forth in faith will not return void.

Though that return may take years...decades. I've received communication from excampers who did nothing with what they heard/learned until years later.

And that's cool.

I leave Sunday for Crescent Lake Bible Camp in Rhinelander, Wi. Home for a bit after that, then off to Washington/Idaho for a week...then to another camp in Colorado...then home for a few days before closing out the summer at my 22nd or 23rd (or is it 24th?) consecutive year of "Korean Kamp" near Quakertown, Pa.

And through it all, I ask "What am I doing here?" God could use a donkey..there may be similarities...all I know is that I am extremely, extremely grateful, amazed, and honored that I've been privileged to brag on Jesus at Christian camps for over three years of my life...and I pray for many more years of effective, energized, passionate ministry.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wednesday Evening Sunset...

A quick bike ride after dinner and before preaching allowed me to gratefully view this:

A Walk, Remembered...

Yesterday morning I went for a 4 or 5 mile walk (who counts) down and over country roads surrounding Inspiration Hills in Polo, Mo where I am speaking this week.

I've been here several times over the years; thus saw some things familiar and also some new stuff.

Here's a sampling:
                               This trio displayed friendliness even though I had no carrot

                                       Out side one of the few homes I passed...

                                             Wild, wonderful, and attractive..
                        I assume it is a horse's skull? It is new since last year at a small cemetery that
                I walked by...the head of a catfish has been impaled on a stake at the cemetery for
                                at least 3 years...will perhaps confuse a future scientist?

                                These guys barked and wagged tails enthusiastically, but the
                                          fence made me more than a bit cautious...

Thursday Tozer Tidbit of Truth

Sometimes I goof and don't get one of these posted, especially during the crazy summer..but here's one:

"We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts." —A.W. Tozer

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Polo Report

I know nothing of the sport of polo...except that I think you have to be super rich to play.

I know not why Polo, Missouri is named Polo. Perhaps one day I shall research it.

But we are in the middle of SuperC week at Inspiration Hills camp just outside of beautiful downtown Polo...

It is hot (relief and storms in site), and the Lord is working.

Last night preached on the reality of sexual sin (not "just" intercourse), and particularly pornography. Spirit broke through and we now pray that things initialized last evening continue...

Jacob has been having a blast. Here's a couple photos of him preparing to go on, and after jumping from the elevated platform to the "blob"...
                                                Gathering courage to make the leap...

                         Happened to snap the pic just as he collided with the blob, before it
                            gave in a bit and tossed him back into the air...and then the water

Sunday, June 17, 2012

New is already old...

Remember "Purpose Driven Life" (no matter what your take is)? How about "The Prayer of Jabez"? (again, no need to rant or rave...though ranting maketh more sense) What about "Don't Waste Your Life?" Or even "Radical"?

How quick we are (notice the "we", not "you") to jump on a bandwagon of the book or the teaching that is going to revolutionize the church...and then...well, wait for the next one...

Please understand, I'm not against all books (though I am definitely against some - and don't even bother trying to tell me I'm being judgmental...because I am...I didn't stop at Matthew 7.1...I read the rest of the context).

But when I saw this cartoon it made me think of two things:

1) How quick we are to jump on a bandwagon and then tire and move on to something else


2) How I feel after purchasing something at an electronics/communication store...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ebb...and Flow

Home...for about 12 hours...

Stopped in Phillipsburg, Ks (where Jane and I served for the first couple years of our marriage) Friday and had a surprise sort-of-month-before-her-birthday dinner for my bride with several friends of loooooong standing...great time...

Saturday headed home after breakfast, stopped in Belleville, Ks to visit a store I thought Jane would like...and got there just in time to watch a parade of antique cars...great fun...

The time at Horn Creek, Colorado was phenomenal in many ways...but it is time to tuck that into the "rich blessing" folder and anticipate, prayerfully, heading to Polo, Mo Sunday afternoon for another week of speaking. Janelle will be teen-staffing; Jacob will be my assistant.

Here's a few photos of the last couple days...

                                  "Brother/Sister" from Central Bible College facilitated worship for the week..superb,
               for me, primarily not because of their amazing giftedness, but because they hung with the teens!

                                                View from our cabin on Friday morning...

                             Ethan Rose, who I had as a camper at Phillipsburg TFC back in the day,
                         serves as an intern at Horn Creek and pushed for them to invite me..yeah, I'm
                          very, very grateful and am envious of his hair and beard!
                                     Jaime, drummer with Brother/Sister was phenomenal with all
                                    the campers...and had a huge impact on Jacob...
              Saturday we stumbled into Belleville, Ks just in time to see a parade of antique

              Friday night dear friends hosted a dinner for Jane and provided an early birthday cake:

Friday, June 15, 2012

Colorado Wrap Up

Morning has broken on our last day at Horn Creek near Westcliffe, Colorado.

What a wondrous week! Great teens, fantastic staff, and obviously beautiful place.

Perfect weather.

Great worship band (Brother/Sister from Central Christian College).

Too much to detail, but, well, yes, I did happen to take some photos with my iphone:

                                Jacob and buddy Ethan Rose (from Phillipsburg, Ks; who interned here
                           this year and suggested...strongly...Horn Creek bring me in to speak)
                                   meet "Dreamer" as Jacob prepares to mount up

                                                 "This is cool, Dad!"

                                     My view of my steed, "Patches"...

                                     Scenes from our all-camper hike Thursday...

                 Massive root system of one of too many trees uprooted by phenomenal windstorm
                                 back a few months...

                                     Reactions varied from "Eww, gross!" to "Can I bring it home?"

                                  Some of the gang from Los Alamos, New Mexico
                                             A view of "The Peak"

                             Micah tries to catch his breakfast as Ethan Rose projects pancakes
                                     Worshiping together with "Brother/Sister"...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Worthy Camp Goal

Last full day at Horn Creek, Colorado...great night last night at "Western night." Tons of fun, tremendous "melodrama" by staff, square dancing, night water sliding...but the highlight of the evening...and, on reflection, a highlight of life, was gathering in the enclosed handball court with 50 or so Horn Creek staff and the band from Central Christian to worship. The venue made the sound...well...majestic; almost cathedral like. A few campers joined the impromptu was a holy moment.

Saw this Peanuts cartoon we get ready to head out tomorrow and start another week (at Super C in Polo, Mo) Sunday night...this is a worthy aspiration for anyone involved in camping...Props to Charlie Brown...and to anyone else who makes the time to befriend the loner, the lonely, the hurting:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Colorado Update...

Stunning day yesterday...went for a couple-hour-hike with a staff member first thing, then traveled to the Arkansas River to white-water-raft with the campers, the music group from Central Christian, and Jacob! Had an absolute ball; gorgeous terrain, lots of laughter...didn't risk bringing phone as it may have drowned, but it was delightful.

Preached purity last night to the predominantly junior high group. Never a fun task, but so very necessary as the evil of the last days increases.

After session Jane informed me that Janelle suffered a minor concussion Monday night, but is doing okay. She is serving at God's Mountain and got clobbered by a soccer ball as she tried to block it...thankfully Josiah and Johnny Williams were there to check her out and draw up a plan of action to waken her every couple hours etc.

Oblah dee, oblah dah, life goes on! So glad the Lord loves her so much more than we can!

                                                      Lots of these flying around...

                                   Jacob enjoying climbing wall...

                             Place utilized for rafting...Christian owned and operated; highly recommended