My Camp Story

Everybody comes back from student camp with stories.  Many of them are funny and some are life changing.  We hope that students and adults have some kind of story about how God has moved in their life during the week.  Often my story has been centered around watching God move in other people and the joy I get from being part of His work in the lives of students.  But this year my story is different.

On Wednesday I led a group of students in a discussion about vocational ministry.  Each one in this small group felt a call to ministry and I was helping them understand that call and know how to move forward.  Near the end of our hour together I told them to explore opportunities that were presented.  You never know how God might use something that you would normally not do to help you get to the place He needs you to be.  So I said, “The next time someone in your church asks for volunteers, you need to raise your hand.  Maybe God will use that to show you something about your call.”  This is counsel I have often given to those in this place in life.

Later that day Gary, our camp pastor, was telling me about the conference he is leading in Rome in the middle of July.  It’s much like what I went to in 2006 in Lebanon where we have training and preparation then spend one or two weeks on mission.  Then Gary told me that he wanted me to come to Rome this July.  So, my thoughts went something like this: 1) there is nothing on my calendar for that particular week, 2) that would be an expensive trip, especially buying plane tickets this late, 3) I just told those students to take opportunities before them, 4) I couldn’t go to Rome and leave Julie at home, 5) that would really be expensive to buy two tickets to Rome this late, 6) I’d love to go, 7) that would be expensive.

Gary kept prodding me and I talked to Julie about it.  We decided that if we could get the money, not likely, that we would go for the conference. 

Camp ended on Friday and we packed up and came home.  Of course, one of the first things you have to do when you get home is check the mail.  What did I find in our mailbox?  A check that would more than cover our trip to Rome!

I showed Julie the check and said, “I guess we are going to Rome.”  It was amazing.  The check was mailed on Wednesday, the day we were invited to go.  I was and am overwhelmed by the work of God as He puts everything into place to be sure we know when He is moving.  So on Sunday we bought our plane tickets to Rome and we leave the afternoon of July 14.  We’ll be back on July 22 and then drive to Brownsville to join the Spring Creek mission group working on the border.

I told Julie at the beginning of the summer that I wanted this to be a great summer for us.  I think it’s living up to my hopes.

5 Things the Last Day of April 2013

1. One more month til Summer and lots to get done.  Every year I ask the same thing as many of you: how did it get here so fast?  I’m looking forward to all the events of Summer 2013, but I also know there is much to get prepared.  We’ve got our ETC Student Camp coming in June.  That’s a huge project every year but the investment of time and energy is well worth it.  I love to see how God moves in the lives of students and adults during the week.  I love being able to see how students grow up from year to year.  It’s also wonderful spending a week with the adults that we have come to know and love over the years.

2. After a one week break, we get our week of Camp Creek here at Spring Creek.  This is a great time with kids, youth and adults.  This will be our 8th year to offer a full day Camp Creek experience to the families of North Harris and South Montgomery county.  VBS fills the morning and then we’ll have about 100 kids stay for sports camp in the afternoon.  There is nothing like Camp Creek to get your blood flowing, your heart pumping and your legs moving.  Oh, did I mention it is exhausting.  But well worth it.

3. After one more week we are going on our Border Town Mission Trip to Brownsville, TX.  This one week trip is for adults and youth and will include sports camp and a building project.  I think it will be good to get back to the border since we haven’t been in about 6 years.  If you’re interested in this trip, we’re having an info meeting this Sunday afternoon @ 4:30.

4. So maybe you heard that an NBA player, Jason Collins, announced he was gay, becoming the first NBA player to do so.  Lots of news organizations are covering this story and ESPN’s Chris Broussard has started somewhat of a firestorm with his comments made after the announcement.  I agree completely with what Chris says and am very happy to hear such a clear, concise statement made supporting fundamental Christian belief.  Watch what he said here:

5. The TEBA Golf tournament was yesterday.  I played on a team that came in first place!  Wow.  We shot the best 4 man scramble score of any team I’ve ever played on.  Not only did we win, but the second place team was made up of all Spring Creek members: Jay, Matt, Mike Bolen and Jim Murphy.  Both of our teams shot a 55 but we won by virtue of a scorecard playoff.  We had a great time and TEBA was able to raise a lot of money for church planting.

5 Things on April Fool’s Day

1. I decided not to post anything today.  April Fools.  hahahahahahaha

2. What a great weekend we had at Spring Creek.  I really enjoyed Secret Church on Friday night.  Jay and I have done this kind of thing before with youth but this was the first time to do it with mostly adults.  Adults respond completely different than youth.  I loved our sharing time at the end as it became clear to most that we need to be better prepared spiritually to deal with this situation if it were to happen here.  And that we must be vigilant to protect our own freedom to worship before it happens here.

3. It’s April now.  That means there are only a couple of months left before summer.  Wow.  Summer is incredibly busy for us, especially this summer.  My parents and Julie’s parents are each celebrating their 50th wedding anniversaries in June.  We have our youth camp in June and Camp Creek in July.  Lots to get done in the next two months to get ready for the summer.

4. Speaking of ETC Youth Camp.  We are looking for energetic, enthusiastic, spiritually growing college students and above to serve on our Posse this year.  Being on the Posse is a great way to spend a week ministering to students.  It’s not the typical ministry you might expect.  It’s hard work behind the scenes for the most part, but it’s highly rewarding as you see God use all that hard work to change the lives of so many students.  If you are interested in joining the Posse go to our website and check out the Posse info there:

5. Finally, as a start to the Spring, I found this Spring Word Puzzle.  Download the pdf file and see if you can solve the words.  Have a great week!