Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Kinetic Camp 2012 (CAMP VIDEO)

Worshiping the Lord during a night session

It is really difficult to put in words what happened last week, but I'll try. Last week's camp was, in my opinion, the best camp I've ever been a part of. We had a great time during the games. We enjoyed just hanging out during free time. But the best part of the week was the time spent with God.

On Tuesday and Wednesday nights we had worship times like I've rarely been a part of. The students were singing, dancing, and yelling. I believe that all of it was an out pouring of the Holy Spirit.

Lives were changed. On the second night 12 came to the Lord! That's something to celebrate. That usually doesn't happen until the end of the week. When people were surrendering to Jesus that early in the week I knew something special was going to happen.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Many Perils of Traveling to Camp: Camp Creation 2010

The green Ford van: Overheater extraordinaire.

This week I'm going to tell you about all the crazy camp trips we've embarked on. Pretty much every year something insane happened. It should be noted, everyone made it out of these situations alive and healthy.

In an effort to prevent your bordum I won't tell you every little camp trip incident that has ever happened. But I will tell you that in 2008 and 2009 a similar overheating problem occurred. But we just pulled over at a gas station and waited for our van to cool down.

The year was 2010. The van I talked about in the last post was long retired and sitting in a parking spot on the side of the church. We bought a, "New" van in 2008 for our mission trip to Mexico. It doubled as our youth transportation system. This van should have been better than the other one. It was newer and the air conditioner worked... sometimes. Well, it worked all the time, but we couldn't really run it because when we did the van would CONSTANTLY over heat. Time after time we tried to fix the problem, but never could. So we just kept it full of fluids, tried not to get stuck in traffic, and blasted the heater in emergency situations.

We were driving from Mt. Pleasant, SC to Mt. Union, PA. Camp was going to be at the Creation music festival. We were taking a load of about 20 students 11 hours away. It was our longest camp trip yet. For precaution I had done hours of maintenance on the van. We were going to make it to camp without any trouble. I mean we had driven almost 30 hours to Mexico two years earlier! How difficult could this 11 hour journey be? I was so nieve.

Everything was going like kicks and giggles all the way up until Mt. Airy, North Carolina (The town Andy Griffith's Mayberry was based after). The mountains were getting too steep for the old van. The Engine overheated... and by over heated I mean I was afraid the engine block was going to be an actual block of steal if I kept going. I pulled the van off the road, opened the hood and watched the coolant bubble out the radiator. I knew we were in big trouble.

We sat at the edge of the interstate, in a ditch at the base of a man-made carved cliff. We were stressed and out of ideas. This was seriously one of the most stressful times I've ever been through.

We were almost half way to Pennsylvania. I didn't know what we were going to do. I had to get the students to camp, but we didn't have a van, and the guy we found to replace the radiator said it wouldn't be finished for a few days. Our music festival would be over by then. That wouldn't work, I mean, we were going to have some angry students and parents. They dished out some serious dough for this trip (To this day it is our most expensive camp).

Stuck on the side of the road.

All the counselors met together and thought up a plan. Using our Creation camping equipment we would stay at a camp ground, and we would rent cars to take the rest of the trip the next day. I called up my wonderful cousin who works at Enterprise Rental Cars and he got me a discount on two small cars.

We smashed every piece of luggage and food we needed in those two cars and squished students in between it all. It was seriously one of the funniest things I've ever seen. For the rest of the seven hours the students were crammed. A clown car had nothing on us. I looked back at everyone and said, "We're just making memories guys."

We eventually made it to Creation, and we had a blast. We picked up the van and for the first time ever the radiator worked properly. We got home super late. We were all more tired than we'd ever been before, but we were home safely.

This is a verse that I've come to love about God giving us protection, peace, and safety.
Dear friend, guard Clear Thinking and Common Sense with your life; don't for a minute lose sight of them. They'll keep your soul alive and well, they'll keep you fit and attractive. You'll travel safely, you'll neither tire nor trip. You'll take afternoon naps without a worry, you'll enjoy a good night's sleep. No need to panic over alarms or surprises, or predictions that doomsday's just around the corner, Because God will be right there with you; he'll keep you safe and sound. Proverbs 3:21-26

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Many Perils of Traveling to Camp: Camp Unleashed 2006

This is as good as a picture of the van as I could find. It was being used for our Border Patrol Ministry here.

This week I'm going to tell you about all the crazy camp trips we've embarked on. Pretty much every year something insane happened. It should be noted, everyone made it out of these situations alive and healthy.

Though we went to camp in 2005, I don't remember anything too eventful happening. So, I'll start with Camp Unleashed.

The year was 2006. We had the privilege of bringing a small group to camp with Forestville Baptist Church. It was going to be an experience like we'd never had before. Student's would be rocked and the trajectory of many lives would be changed. Camp Unleashed was great.

We had a church death trap van. It was a modified '82 Dodge 15 passenger van that a gracious church had given to us a few years early. It was modified to fit inside the confines of the law. Around that time a law was passed that wouldn't allow any more than 12 passengers on a formerly 15 passenger van. Blah, blah, blah, something about them not being safe, blah, blah, blah. Really, nothing too important.

Dwayne Humphrey was the name of our driver. He had the task of getting us to and from camp safely. We were on our way to camp. We were just at the point where we were leaving the highway and entering onto the interstate. While Dwayne was accelerating up to interstate speed a rear tire exploded. I was driving a mini-van in front of him. I remember looking back at his van in the rearview mirror, and seeing whole van rock form the explosion. In an attempt to get everything under control Mr. Humphrey compensated by swerving all over the road. The front left bumper of the van dipped to the ground as if to catch itself, the back end rocked like a boat in rough waters, and panic was on the face of every passenger. I sincerely thought it was over. The van was going to flip, and I was scared for the lives of everyone along for the ride.

By the grace of God the van never flipped and Dwayne was able to get it under control, slow it down, and pull off the road. We replaced the blown tire with the spare and continued our trip to camp without any more incidents.

On the way home, Pastor Trey was driving this time, ANOTHER tire blew. We didn't have a spare because we had already used it. We ended up being stuck in Walterboro, SC for about 3 hours. We threw all the luggage out of the van and laid on it out in the grass while we waited on the van to be repaired. For one of the first times in camp history I used a now infamous line, "We're just making memories guys."

We DID make it home safe and no animals or students were hurt in the writing of this blogpost.

Oh yeah, and this is just the tip of the iceberg that is our trips to summer camp.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Top 5 Zombie Bible Verses

Let’s have a little fun this week!

Zombies are a big deal these days. They’re on TV shows like The Walking Dead, and they have been all over video games and movies for decades. Games like Plants Vs. Zombies and Resident Evil are top sellers. There has also been a rash of real life flesh eating people recently. I don’t know what’s up with that, but maybe the Bible does. So, in an effort to gather more blog views I’m shamelessly writing a blog about...


5. The Walking Dead
Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life. Romans 6:4

The Bible is full of examples, illustrations, and figurative speech about being dead and brought back to life. This passage is one of those. It talks about spiritually killing off our old sinful self. It’s only after we’ve killed off our old self that Christ spiritually raises us back to life. This is what happens when you make Jesus the leader and forgiver of your life. This is also what immersion baptism represents. Dying to the old sinful self and being raised again in new life. Pretty cool stuff. I encourage you to go and read all of Romans 6 to get the full understanding of the passage.

4. A Dead Army Back to Life
I prophesied just as I’d been commanded. As I prophesied, there was a sound and, oh, rustling! The bones moved and came together, bone to bone. I kept watching. Sinews formed, then muscles on the bones, then skin stretched over them. But they had no breath in them.

He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath. Prophesy, son of man. Tell the breath, ‘God the Master, says, Come from the four winds. Come, breath. Breathe on these slain bodies. Breathe life!’”

So I prophesied, just as he commanded me. The breath entered them and they came alive! They stood up on their feet, a huge army.
Ezekiel 37:7

This is a fantastic prophesy about how God is going to raise up Israel, His people, again. I wish I could have been there. It would have been really creepy, but also really awesome. Again, no flesh eating or anything like that, but it’s a great example of the dead being brought back to life, and this time as an army. An undead army.

3. Back From The Grave
The tombs were also opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. And they came out of the tombs after His resurrection, entered the holy city, and appeared to many. Matthew 27:52-53

There is no denying that Christ’s death was powerful. It shook the earth and opened tombs. Then we also see how powerful the resurrection was. Those who were, “Asleep” came alive again at Jesus’ resurrection and walked out those opened tombs. In the strictest sense I guess these aren’t zombies either. It seems they came to life and acted like normal people. There was no flesh eating happening. What is interesting is their rising from the dead from out of their graves... Maybe they weren’t zombies in the strictest sense, but they seem to at least have a case of the undeads?

2. Rotting flesh, a Plague, and Enemies of the Lord
This will be the plague the Lord strikes all people with who warred against Jerusalem: their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. Zechariah 14:12

This passage points forward to the second coming of Christ. The beginning of the passage talks about all the evil things the enemies of God are going to do to Israel. In an act of punishment God sends a plague against His enemies that causes their flesh to rot while they walk around. Their eyes and tongues will also rot. Interesting factoid: Common punishments of the day included the flaying of skin, the gouging out of eyes, and the cutting out of the tongue. Zechariah points to all this happening through a plague and not with the hands of people. Sounds a lot like the undead to me.

1. Sorry, No Dying
[The locusts] were ordered to torture and not kill... When this happens, people are going to prefer death to torture, look for ways to kill themselves. But they won’t find a way--death will have gone into hiding. Revelation 9:6

A common theme in most zombie flicks is the inability of the undead to die... again. A zombie’s arms can the ripped off, legs can be severed, and they can even be decapitated, but they still don’t die. Imagine a horrendous car wreck where the person CAN’T die. They feel all the pain, but would walk/crawl around for five months without dying. Boom! Zombie. If you combine the Zechariah verse with the understanding that this happens right in the middle of the apocalypse, we get what seems like a real five month zombie apocalypse.

Next time people say that the zombie apocalypse isn’t going to happen maybe you’ll want to point them to some of these verses. I’m going to give you a pro-tip: If you’re a Christian you won’t be a part of the zombie apocalypse. You’ll already be in Heaven. Maybe today’s lesson could be: Become a spiritual zombie through Christ so that you don’t become a physical one.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

What The Rocket Summer Taught Me About A Bad Life

I recently went to a music festival called Creation. Let me give you picture of what it was like. Think about standing on the surface of the sun and then someone hands you a baby. Yeah, it was hot, and we had kids, but it was also AWESOME!

While there we saw the one-man-band named The Rocket Summer. It's front man is a guy named Bryce Avary. I've been following him since Allie and I were dating. This guy is incredible. He has more talent in his emo hair than I have in my entire body.

The Rocket Summer's new album is titled Life Will Write the Words, and in the title track he writes these lyrics,

Life will write the words, but you choose your own melody.
Yes, life has given me hurt, but I choose my own melody.
And sometimes it's that sad, sad song I'm singing all my day long.
I'm just trying, trying to find the right notes.

I absolutely love this line! If you're waiting for life to happen to you, believe me, it will. Life is going to take you out back and kick your butt at some point. It's never fun. Life will write the words. There is a story that you are a part of. It's not always good... just to be honest, it seems most of time the bad out weighs the good. Life can be hard. This is what the Apostle Paul says,

And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. Romans 5:3-4

Through all the junk that happens we rejoice! What? Whatever it is, as much as it probably sucks we are supposed to rejoice in the bad stuff that happens to us. Talk about being freaks. People are going to think something is wrong with you.

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. James 1:2-3

Get this, you are being blessed when life is terrible! Be happy you freak, because that is when your faith is squeezed out.

Even Jesus jumped on the be-happy-when-life-stinks-bandwagon when He said,

Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me... You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even! Matthew 5:11

Listen, life is going to hand out some major troubles, but you get to right the melody to your life story. Are you going to go through life singing that depressing melody or are you going to sing a beautiful praise chorus? Sing the praise chorus, it doesn't make it all better, but it does put your life in perspective.

I'm tired of seeing all these defeated Christians on Facebook. They are admittedly going through some really tough times, but don't tell the whole world how depressed you are.. Why? Because Jesus, James, and Paul said rejoice in your afflictions. Next time something goes wrong praise God. You have victory!