Thursday, July 12, 2007


Another year of family camp is over and we head on to...the next week of camp? Yeah, 2 camps back-to-back, and then I'll take a week "off" (I'll be doing the normal Liberty thing on my off week) before heading to my next camp, AYC.

Actually, I love camps. When I was a kid I went to several each summer. You run around, get absolutely filthy, eat lots of junk food, and rarely shower. You run to the altar each night that the evangelist tells a scary story (I still remember the one about the stake through the foot), peeking under your crossed arms to see who's praying for you and pounding you on the back. After service, you head to the snackbar to stock up on more junk food, especially that hard, pink gum PAL. That stuff was awful. I'm sure my many trips to the dentist were a direct connection to my imbibing of PAL. After your trip to the snackbar, about 10:30 PM you'd head to the steamy, clammy dorms and fall asleep about 1:30 AM on one of those striped, stained mattresses that seem to be the industry standard of your average small-sized campmeeting. You'd wake up the next morning, forego the shower option, and start the day all over again: tasteless oatmeal for breakfast, building forts in the woods, morning service (which always seemed to take forever), tackle football, softball, lots of sweat, and then back to the altar that night (which I'm sure I needed; most of the fights I got into happened at family camp). Great memories.

Now, when I became a teenager and headed for youth camp, it all changed. Now, I was focused on impressing the beautiful members of the opposite sex. All of a sudden I started taking showers all the time, using lots of deoderant, and lots of hair gel. That's probably what happened to my locks. Way too much hair gel and hair spray. I learned some important lessons early on such as never take wear khaki pants after taking a shower on a humid day. It tends to leave, shall I say wet impressions on the back part of your anatomy. I also learned that your glands produce immense amounts of sweat when you even begin to think about holding a girl's hand. And, speaking of which, you cannot be cool when you nonchalantly hold your hand open, knuckles down, (which is a very unnatural position, causing extreme cramping) and sporadically brush it against the girl's hand hoping that she'll catch on that you are making an amorous pass. Very few do, actually. Then, of course, there are the morning sessions (at least at one of the youth camps I attended) that focus on rock music, fornication, and respect for authority. Aggressive softball games in the afternoon, more showers in the afternoon after supper, asking a new girl to sit with you in church, Bible college pre-services at 6:30, evening services, afterglows, and the occasional ringmeeting (nod to Jody). What a great life! Actually, most of the youth camps I attended were great and I loved every minute of them, even the ones that, looking back, weren't so great. God used camp to profoundly impact my life. I gave my life to Christ at HHYC in June of 1991. I've been part of youth camp ministries now for over 10 years and still believe in the purpose of youth camp. In fact, that's why I'm catching a red-eye flight to Pennsylvania from Seattle next week, spending lots of money to get the rest of my family there, putting in countless of hours of prep work, and planning on working 16-hour days. It's worth it. Definitely!

Anyway, after all that, we had a great camp last week with Richard Gremillion and Lucas & Hannah Shrout. Fantastic services, anointed preaching, and fervent worship. Awesome! My kids loved it. They have never been that filthy, ever. Kassady looked like a raccoon each night. She would normally crash during service, with Trey forcing his eyes open so he could get ice cream afterwards. During one service that apparently was taking too long for Trey, he leaned over to Lori and said, "Can the preacher take five so we can get out of here?" Money quote! It was nice to see so many of our friends that we don't see that often the rest of the year. Some of the friendliest people in the world are up here in the northwest.

This week, Liberty is singing at the Nazarene Inter-Mountain District campmeeting in Nampa. Dr. James Diehl is the evangelist and I can already tell that I am going to thoroughly enjoy his ministry. Last night's message was incredible. Just what I needed. Royce is also directing the camp choir and that's a great experience. Last night, which was the first night of campmeeting, several of our friends were at the service and afterwards Dan, Julianne, Royce & Tammy, Marc & Talisha, Duane & Sheila, Aaron & Sherilyn, and Lori & I (along with all of the kids) went out to Applebees. We laughed waaaay too much!

Life is good.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Nouvelle Star

OK, I promise I'm not reverting to one of those bloggers who just post YouTube videos, but this one has to be shared. This guy is incredible!


I subscribe to the RSS feed of a handful of blogs. Recently, two of my friends posted thought-provoking words of wisdom.

Paul Peterson posts on what qualities make up a good friend.

Phil Bishop comments on the temptation to be a people-pleaser (I know all about this one).