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Tuesday at Camp

Good evening, parents! First off, I want to apologize for the lack of pictures tonight. I left my memory card in my laptop and then don’t have the connector cord, so I will have to upload Tuesday’s pictures on Saturday! I did get one tonight of Dayton looking for his cabin buddies ūüôā

Today was another good day here at Camp. Weather was a little warm, but breezy and not as hot as predicted.¬† I met the kids at a breakfast of egg product and biscuits.¬† After breakfast they cleaned their cabins, had flag raising, then an hour of morning free time where they rode the zip line, went down the “black hole” (a tube slide). At 10:45 we had the morning chapel with “Major Mark.” He challenged the kids from James 1:19-20 to be special forces for God like the Marines Force Recon, whose motto is “Swift, Silent, Deadly.” God’s special forces must be swift to hear authorities, slow to speak sinfully, and slow to anger.

Lunch was served of chicken fritters and fries. Personal devotional time followed that, then cabin and camp pictures. Girls had swim time this afternoon while the boys enjoyed all the other camp activities. It was a full afternoon.

Supper was chicken-ish fajitas, rice and cake. They will certainly long for home cooking!

Tonight we heard from Evangelist Hal Hightower, who is here for a  three week period. His message was from 1 Peter 3:10 on how to have a blessed lifeРkeep your tongue from evil, Avoid evil, do good and seek peace and pursue it.

The kids got to bed by 10:30 tonight, so hopefully they will get a good night’s rest.¬† Sorry again about the pictures! I may lose my sponsor job over that one! ūüôā



Tuesday Morning Meditation

Feeling a little under-fueled by the egg product and biscuit, I have found some real fuel in God’s Word! Parents (and others), I hope you won’t mind me sharing with you.

If you are reading through the “Book at a time” Bible reading program, perhaps you were struck by today’s reading from 1 Chronicles. I was especially encouraged by David’s instruction to his son Solomon in 28:9,10 and 20:

As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him He will reject you forever. Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be courageous and act. (9,10)

Be strong and courageous, and act; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished. (20)

I was taught by the Spirit through this on a few levels:

  1. In order to serve God effectively, I need to continue to  seek Him and know Him with a whole heart and willing mind.  Knowing God is not just heart work, and it is not just mind-work, neither is it one without the other. We whole-heartedly and mind-engagedly seek and know God.
  2. When God has called, gifted, and tasked us for serving Him, we need to first know Him, but then act with courage and resolve.  I find myself to be too hesitant and lacking in courage many times when I know God has called me to act for His glory.
  3. When God leads us to serve Him, whether in building a temple in Solomon’s case, or leading a family or serving in the church in our cases, He will be with us and will not fail or forsake us.¬† This inspires and fuels our confidence¬†to know Him more and act for Him.
  4. More basically–David was telling his son this.¬† Am I consistently teaching Grace and Pearson IV these truths with both my actions and my words? Do they see my mind and heart engaged in knowing God and in serving Him without fear?

Have a great day serving Christ!


Monday at Camp!

Welcome to the Homebuilders, I mean, the Junior Camp weblog!  I hope the updates will help you follow what your children are doing this week, pray more effectively for them, and just enjoy seeing and hearing about their week. I also hope you are challenged personally to lead your families more effectively, as you see what your children are learning from God’s Word.

We had a smooth trip, other than the normal rest area being closed. A McDonalds at the next exit was fine, and we made the rest of the trip without ‚Äúincident.‚Ä̬† The kids were great. Loud, but great!¬† We pulled into Camp CoBeAc about 2:20‚ÄĒthe same time as a storm rolled in. Nothing like starting off the week wet.

We got the kids unloaded, through health check (no lice!), and farmed off to their counselors. All the kids are in three cabins‚ÄĒthe girls are all three together and the boys are divided into two groups with 5-6 of them in two cabins. I met their counselors and they seem like great young

Dinner was mostaciolli (however you spell that), cheese-filled bread sticks, mixed veggies and cake. Salad was optional (though not for me).  The evening service followed dinner.

Our speaker is Mark Herbster, long time friend from Bob Jones‚Äô days, and faithful preacher of God‚Äôs Word. He is guised as ‚ÄėMajor Mark‚Äô again this summer. Last summer was a ‚Äúboot camp‚ÄĚ theme, and this summer‚Äôs theme is ‚ÄúBe a Part of God‚Äôs Special Forces.‚ÄĚ I know the kids will profit from his ministry.

He spoke tonight on the theme: God wants you to be a Special Forces soldier for Him that will make a difference!¬† The Text was 2 Samuel 23:8-39, the account of David’s mighty men of valor.

Special Forces soldiers must be willing to accomplish four actions:

  1. Be Willing to Stand Singly (Alone)- The passage gives an account of a number of mighty men who fought even when others fled.
    • We need to be willing to stand alone against evildoers (Ps 94:16)
    • We need to stand alone even when all around are corrupt (Ezek 22:30)
    • We never really stand alone, for the Lord is with us (Ps 118:6)
  2. Be Willing to Serve Selflessly- the mighty man’s goal was not to promote himself but to serve their king and God.
    • We must be willing to lose our lives even for Christ’s sake (Mt. 16:25)
    • We must look out for the needs of others (1 Cor 10:24)
    • We must look out for other’s concerns (Phil 2:4)
  3. Be Willing to Submit Sincerely- Can we say that “whatever God says, that I will do?”
    • We must submit to God primarily (James 4:7)
    • We must¬†submit to Christ as servants from the heart outwards (Eph 6:6)
    • We must have a submissive heart that fears God shown by obeying Him (Deut 5:29)
  4. Be Willing to Struggle Securely- we stuggle, and work hard, secure in God’s help, depending on Him
    • We must trust in God, not our own thinking (Prov. 3:5)
    • We understand a fear of man brings a trap (Prov 29:25)
    • We have peace when we rest in God (Isa 26:3)

This was a good exhortation for me to be reminded about– to be willing to do right no matter who does anything differently. To be willing to serve even when it doesn’t advance my agenda or popularity or wealth. To be willing to submit from the heart and find joy in doing so. To encounter the struggle, but do so trusting in God. Parents, if we would express to our kids when we do these things, we will exemplify our role as a part of God’s “Special Forces” as well– which are really God’s redeemed, grace-receiving, joyful people.

We had a lengthy sponsor meeting afterwards, so I didn’t make the activity. THe kids all said they were doing well, and seem to be doing so. They went to their cabins afterward. I will check in with them at breakfast, and the office knows how to get in touch with me at any time of the night if there are any problems.¬† Thank you for the opportunity to serve your family in this way!

Not to many pictures yet. I will catch some more tomorrow.


Heart of a Shepherd

Homebuilders, and others, I will be blogging occassionally at regarding books I have read, ministry thoughts and other things of general help for my pastoral theology students and others in ministry while this site will remain dedicated mainly to our ministry-specific posts from ICBC.


Huffstutler Brunch and Commissioning

Yesterday during the ABF time we had a sendoff brunch for the Huffstutlers. Thanks to Amy, Greta, and Nicole Sand, the tables were nicely decorated with an African theme. We are grateful the Lord allowed us the last couple of years to have the Huffs as a part of our ABF, and we are looking forward to many years of laboring together with them between here and Kenya!

Last night we had a Commissioning service for the Huffstutler family, where our church family covenanted together with the Huffstutlers to support and encourage them in their work in Kenya. Pastor Doran preached from Acts 13 on the relationship between the commissioning church and missionary. We ended the service with a “right hand of commitment,” whereby the church family expressed their individual greetings and farewells along with their commitment to pray for and support the Huffstutler family.

Dan, Angie, Karis, Faith and Makayla will leave Detroit Friday morning, pulling a uhaul trailer to WI for a week with their families. The following week’s end, they fly out of Chicago bound for Nairobi. They will spend a half-year of language and culture learning in Tanzania with Rob and Kara, then settle into their home and ministry in Nairobi. We bid them Godspeed!


Warning: Four Ways to Exasperate Your Children

Pastor Doran preached his third sermon in the series on¬†“Getting Your House in Order” from¬†Colossians 3:20-21 this morning. It should be up on his sermonaudio page¬†¬†Monday sometime.¬†¬†If you weren’t here, you should definitely¬†listen to¬†it.¬†

Very helpful were his shepherding points of application: Four ways to exasperate or dishearten your children.

  1. Change the rules constantly and do it without any rhyme or reason. (Often changes are based on the mood of the parent)
  2. Set unrealistic expectations¬†based on your dreams and out of touch with their reality. (every parent thinks their child is the next “it,” making them think they are only successful if they achieve “x.”
  3. Focus only or mainly on their failures. (This is particularly a problem for dad’s, who often only focus when there is a problem).
  4. Worry more about what people think of you than about what is going on in your child’s life. (This will lead to your children becoming people pleasers).

Also, from a postive standpoint:

  1. Set wise boundaries and maintain them with discernment. Pay attention to what really matters. Emphasize the one overriding expectation–to love and serve the Lord. ¬†Success is about that, not about achieving something in this world.
  2. Correct your children–don’t criticize them.
  3. Commend them often.
  4. Remind yourself as a parent often that your final assessment is from the Lord. 
  5. Remember that if anything good happens it is of the grace of God. Don’t be a proud parent with all the answers for every child.

May God in His grace help us!


Friday: A Few Good Campers

Today, Friday, Final Day or whatever you want to call it. (Happy Birthday for Matthew Woolard!)  We are headed home, Lord willing, tomorrow!

I would encourage you to take a minute to read a post I made last week: “Don’t Waste Your Child’s Camp Experience!”¬† It has been a busy and fun week, but there have been a lot of spiritual lessons learned as well. Don’t overlook those, for sure!

The testimony service is just finishing, so not a lot of time. Three of our girls’ cabin won “Cabin of the Week.” Congrats to Hope, Marissa and Sydni Alexis! Many of our campers gave testimonies tonight of what God has taught them this week. Praise the Lord!

Food: Biscuits and gravy, nachos for lunch, and Chinese for dinner (egg rolls, rice and chicken).

The big activity today was called “slimefest.” There was soap and water involved, so technically, every camper got a bath today! You will see the idea in the pictures. Kickball with the bases being slip-n-slides with a pit at the end full of water and etc.

We are planning to have the kids bring their luggage down before breakfast and leave between 8:30 adn 9:00. With the camp trying to sell every last candy bar and soda, it takes a good bit of ranching to round everyone up.

“Major Mark” spoke on a Marine theme tonight- “A Few Good Men” from Ezek 22:30: God is looking for you! There are four character traits of people God can use:

  1. Character: Doing what is right when no one is looking  (Ps 12:1; Dan 6:3; Prov 20:7)
  2. Courage: Doing right no matter the cost (Ps 27:14; Deut 31:23; 1 Sam 17:45-46)
  3. Commitment: Doing right even when you are all alone (Phil 1:20; 3:13-14)
  4. Compassion: Doing right with the right heart attitude (Jude 22; Mt 9:36; Jn 4:35)

Amy wrote out some more complete notes on the morning sessions Thursday and today:

Follow Your Commander:  The Lord of Hosts (Tues a.m.)

Fulfill His Strategy:  The Word of God (Wed a.m.)

Fight the Enemies (Thur. a.m.), James 4:1,4

  1. ¬†The Devil:¬† 1 Peter 5:8‚ÄĒbe sober, be vigilant. How do we fight against the Devil?¬† Ephesians 6‚ÄĒthe Armor of God
  2.  The Flesh: Rom 7:18-19. The Flesh is the carnal mind, Rom 8:6-8. The carnal mind wants its own way (we want to blame the enemy, when it is really our flesh). How do we fight against the Flesh?  Abstain (say NO!), Abide, John 15 (cannot defeat the flesh without God), Allow (the Spirit to control). Are you defeating or being defeated?  Are you doing what you want or what God wants?  Say NO to your own way.
  3.  The World: 1 Jn 2:15-16. World=the world’s thinking. God’s Pleasure vs. Their Pleasure. Money or Ministry? Glorify God or self?  Don’t love the world, don’t live for the world!

Find His Victory (Fri a.m.) Rom 8:37

Three aspects of victory:

  1.  The Promise of Victory (Ps 44:5, 1 Cor 15:57)
  2. The Potential for Victory. Three foes we can defeat:  Affliction (Rom 8:35-37), Allurement (1 John 5:4, 1 Cor 10:13) and Adversaries (1 Jn 4:4; Rev 17:14, 20:10
  3.  The Provider of Victory (Deut. 3:22) (Beginning and ending by reminding us about the most important Person in the battle:  our Commander). God provides in five ways:
    1.  He is our Refuge (Ps 46:1)
    2. He is our Fortress (Ps 18:2)
    3. He is our Defense (Ps 5:11)
    4. He is our Shield (Ps 33:20)
    5. He is  our Hiding Place (Ps  32:7)

Praise God for the victory!