We Are The Free!

So. Amazing! I want to see this song and the power of the words filling youth groups, camps and churches across the nation and world!

We are truly the forgiven and freedom generation! Let’s join together and spread the fire that is in our hearts…our fire for Christ will never fade away and we will always give the glory to Him who is above all. Let’s rise up into to world He created and spread the good news! You, no matter your age, are part of the Freedom Generation…LIVE IT!

We are the free, the freedom generation
Singing of mercy
You are the One who set us all in motion
Yours is the glory
There’s a fire in our hearts and it burns for You
It’s never gonna fade away
We are the free, and Yours is the glory

Tell The World That…

Don’t want to stand here and shout Your praise
And walk away and forget Your Name
I’ll stand for you if it’s all I do
Cause there is none that compare to You

Cause all I want in this lifetime is You
And all I want in this whole world is You

Tell the world that Jesus lives
Tell the world that, tell the world that
Tell the world that He died for them
Tell the world that He lives again

No longer I but Christ in me
Cause it’s the truth that set me free
How could this world be a better place?
But by thy mercy and by thy grace

Cause all I want in this lifetime is You!
And all I want in this whole world is You!

Tell the world that Jesus lives
Tell the world that, tell the world that
Tell the world that He died for them
Tell the world that He lives again

 
C’mon, c’mon we’ll tell the world about You
C’mon, c’mon we’ll tell the world about You
Tell the world that Jesus lives
Tell the world that, tell the world that
Tell the world that He died for them
Tell the world that He lives again
C’mon, c’mon we’ll tell the world about You
Tell the world that
Tell the world that
C’mon, c’mon we’ll tell the world about You
Tell the world that
Tell the world that
About You!
 
~Hillsong United, 2005

Best Day In History

There are days throughout history that all of us know. These are days that have had a profound impact on the course of history and have altered the flow of time in ways we could never truly imagine. I would like to briefly countdown the top four Best Days in History, ending with the celebration of one of these days that is right around the calendar corner. Remember, these are my top four days in history, and matter how old you think the earth may be, that is still impressive.

Number 4- Creation. As a Christian, I believe in the Creation account set forth in Genesis. I believe that God created the world from nothing and has created each of us indivually and unique from the rest. And of course we managed to mess it up; we fell victim to the Tempter and sin was introduced into the world and into all aspects of Creation.

Number 3- Christmas. Although celebrated for different reasons, the main idea behind Christmas is the birth of Christ. This is the point in history when Jesus became both fully God and fully man and entered into our world as a baby. It was the beginning of the greatest act of undeserving love throughout history…Christ came to save us from our sin.

Number 2- Good Friday. On this particular day, Christ took the cross upon his shoulders and carried it, for all of us. He took the full weight of the world’s sin upon His own shoulders and offered Himself as the ultimate sacrifice to cover the stain of our sins and wash us clean forever. It was while He hung on the cross that he spoke some of history’s most powerful words, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do…It is finished.” With that, Christ took His last breathe and died, hanging on the cross-having been rejected and beaten by the vary people He had come to save. Now, this could have been the end of the story. Christ could have died and that would have been that…history would have gone on and remembered Him, maybe, just as a guy who performed some cool miracles but in the end was just like anyother man. The good news for all of us, is that this is not the end of the story…not by a long shot.

Number 4- Easter. This is the single greatest day in all of history. Just a few days after giving Himself on the cross for the sins of the world, Christ rose from the grave. In this single act, He destroyed death’s power over humanity. No longer do we have to be afraid of dying, Christ has conquered the grave for us. He has now given us access to eternal life, with Him…and He only asks one thing in return-that we give up the sinful ways of this earth and follow Him. On this special day, we celebrate the life and hope that Christ has delivered to all of us. Easter, the day we remember Christ’s victory over death and the grip of sin, is BY FAR the single best day in all of history.

Amen.

For further reading and understanding, check out the story in the Gospels (the first four books in the New Testement of the Bible).

The Stark Truth…For My Camp Friends & Family

So as some of you know, and the rest are literally about to find out, I spent this weekend at camp. It was one of our Fusion Weekends (a week of camps packed into a long weekend) and was held at the Ranch. Now, before I get to the topic of the post, I would like to briefly talk about the weekend.     

I left for camp early Saturday and got to camp in time for breakfast. The rest of the day was spent in true camp fashion…never stopping. From breakfast, it was on to fireside then camp games followed by lunch and activities all afternoon. It was amazing and it felt great to be back in the swing of things-truly back in the hustle and bustle of camp life. To be able to work and worshiping along side such great people as the camp staff and hang out with campers was truly a blessing and just what I needed. Although I am back home now, completely tired and worn out, I also feel so rejuvenated and refreshed. It’s truly only a feeling brought about by camp, and something that people who have not experienced camp may not fully understand.       

Now I would like to dive a little more into the purpose of this post and how the title relates.Then on Sunday afternoon, after I left the Ranch, I headed up for a quick visit to IslandLake(where I worked for the past two summers as the Recreation Coordinator). During part of my visit, I spent time simply walking around camp, taking it all in. While I was walking and revisiting all the different areas, I was hit with overwhelming feelings and emotions as memories of all types flooded back in to my mind. I have so many memories associated with camp, it seems that literally everywhere I looked I remembered something else. You see, working and living at camp was a life-changing experience for me. As I think about it, I do not think any singular place or time in my life as affected me as IslandLake. The memories I have from camp vary across a wide range and spectrum of emotions and stir up various responses. It was during my time there that I learned, lead, grew and deepened my faith more than at any other place or time in my life. The people I met during my time at camp have changed my life forever, in various ways, and some of them I consider my closest friends and confidants.     

This gets more to what this post is about…the stark truth about my future with Camps. I was really hit by the realization this weekend that I do not know if or when I will be returning to Camps, in any sort of capacity. This may not seem like much to someone who has not experienced something like this, but I assure you that it is to me. As I think forward to the summer, it is strange to think that I will not be returning as a member of Summer Staff. Do not get me wrong, I have a great career job now and enjoy it immensely, but I am still not used to the thought of not returning to Camp. I have gone several times since the end of the summer to help out, and I will keep doing so from time to time, but I feel that even those times are coming to a close. As the summer gets underway, there will be a new staff, a new community, one in which I am not a part of and I do not overly belong. I do not want it to appear that I am intruding in any way on this new and developing community and will base my visits/volunteering accordingly.       

Camp has truly changed my life. From the people I met and interacted with, to the activities and experiences, and everything in between, my life has been altered. I am so thankful and feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to be a part of this environment and I will always remember the times along the way. I am not saying it was all easy or good at the time, but everything worked and flowed together to put me where I am today. I love the mission and drive behind Island Lake and Miracle Ranch and will continue to pray for continued growth and outreach over the years to come. And, should it be according to God’s will for my life, I may just return at some point; for now, I am left with the memories, relationships and lessons from along the way…things I will never let go of and will always remember.     

Here are just a few pictures I took while I was there this weekend. A very small, limited glimpse at Island Lake. Any amount or quality of pictures does not fully give justice to the place. There are more pictures and videos on both mine and Crista Camps Facebook pages, I encourage you to check them out.

Island Lake sign

The main sign at the entrance to Island Lake.

Fire Side

Fireside...The place of so many wonderful experiences...from fun times with fellow staff to watching campers choose to follow Christ, this is definitively hallowed ground.

My favorite view at camp.

My favorite place at Island Lake. Out at the waterfront, looking out over the lake. Such a peaceful place. I have done many devotions and had numerous conversations out at the very end of the dock.

Drum Major

If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. (Amen)

Say that I was a drum major for peace. (Yes)

I was a drum major for righteousness.

And all of the other shallow things will not matter. (Yes)

I won’t have any money to leave behind.

I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind.

But I just want to leave a committed life behind. (Amen)

And that’s all I want to say.

Yes, Jesus, I want to be on your right or your left side, (Yes) Not for any selfish reason.

I want to be on your right or your left side, not in terms of some political kingdom or ambition.

But I just want to be there in love and in justice and in truth and in commitment to others-

So that we can make of this old world a new world.

The words of the late Martin Luther King Jr. May his words and message continue to live on although he has long since passed on.

A Lesson From The Water.

“One drop of water, then another, can become a ripple, a river, a rising torrent… unstoppable…which in time breaks down all resistance to flow free once again to flow towards its destiny…”

This is a quote from a movie I discovered just today on YouTube. It isn’t too terriably important as to what movie it was, but for reference it may help. It’s a fan-made movie based on Lord of the Rings…it’s about the race of men called the Dunedain (and for the record it’s not too bad at all, especially for it’s budget). However, the movie itself is not the focus of this, the focus is rather on the quote. I began to really think about it and a thought began to form in my mind…it went something like this…

What if this quote could be applied to the church?

The water, each drop, represents a life of a single believer. Separated and alone, each drop does not account for much. However, when brought together, something powerful can be produced and serious change can be brought about. Single drops of water come together to form a ripple then a river then a rising torrent. This torrent of water works to break through all resistance and flow. Imagine how much the Church could accomplish if we took a lesson from the water. Let’s the flood-tide that changes and shapes this world in incredible and powerful ways.

Together we can break through any resistance this world tries to erect in front of us.

Together we can join and flow towards the destiny God ultimately created us to reach.

Call it what you will…a flood, a revolution, an uprising…or, what it needs to be: revival.

Drop By Drop…A Rising River.