Kids Camp Day Three – Start of Stretch

OK, we just finished day three of kids camp, and it was incredible. I had 26 fourth graders back to have fun and to learn more about trusting God. Today specifically, we talked about “treasure.” Our verse today was from Matthew 6:21: “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” It was awesome to see kids professing the need to put God first in their lives before all the other stuff like video games, trampolines, dogs, TV, etc. I heard we had around 665 kids again today. What an experience.

I just got home for a quick shower and half hour break before heading back over to the building for Stretch. I have the privilege again this year to lead the games team. It should be a blast. We have laser skirmish, a “puke” machine, a maze, hoops, a huge video game room, and inflatable maze, volleyball, table games, … I’ll let you know more later. I gotta run.

Until the next post….

Kids Camp Day Two – Trusting God through Lives Obstacles

Today at Kids Camp we continued with the theme of trusting God. Specifically, we talked about how we can trust God throughout the obstacles that comes our way. Our verse for the day was Joshua 1:9, “Be strong and brave. Do not be frightened. Do not lose hope. For I will be with you everywhere you go.”

This afternoon at work, I received word that the wife of a college friend had just started treatment for breast cancer. We also have a neighbor friend who is battling breast cancer, and the 3 1/2 year old daughter of a college friend is also battling cancer. It’s not necessarily easy to explain to 28 fourth graders that these are the types of obstacles they may face in life.

These examples provide a reminder of how important it is to establish a strong foundation in Christ, so when these types of obstacles come our way we can “be strong and brave” knowing that God is always with us everywhere.

Our pastor, Brian Jones, wrote a book (Second Guessing God) that speaks very frankly about this subject matter. Trusting God even when life hurts can be a hard thing to do. This is a great read whether you’re going through a tough time or not.

(By the way, Kids Camp today was awesome! As mentioned above, my team grew by seven members. We had a blast!)

Until the next post….

Kids Camp Day One Thoughts

Today…

I woke up at 5AM. Spent some time in the Message. Got the kids and myself ready and heeded out for the first day of Kids Camp Adventure Island. I spent the morning leading 21 fourth graders all over the place to play crazy games, do a craft, and to sing and learn at big group and team time. Today’s theme was Trust God. And the first for today was “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

After sending 21 kids back home for the afternoon, I buzzed home for a quick shower and change, so I could head into the office for 4 1/2 hours of work. Sometimes we need opportunities like the one I had this morning to remind us that God still has a plan for us in our own places of employment. It’s always interesting to get the reaction from my co-workers and colleagues when I tell them how I am spending my vacation time this week.

Tonight, when I arrived home, I said hello to my wife as she cruised out the door for drama practice back at the building. When this is all over, I’m sure we’ll get to spend time together again, but these past few weeks have been crazy between all of Leanne’s busy hours at church and my crazy project demands. Another reminder that Proverbs 3:5 needs to be just as true in my life as it is for 21 fourth graders and the rest of the 700 or so kids who came to camp today.

Tomorrow, I’ll do it all over again. It will be exciting to see what God has in store for the new day.

Until the next post….

Elderly Wisdom

The other day, I was reading in I Kings 12 about a mistake made my King Solomon’s son, Rehoboam. After his father died, he became King of Israel. When confronted with an issue that could divide the kingdom, he chose not to listen to some of the older, wiser elders who had helped his father rule so wisely. Instead he decided to listen to what the young men had to say about the issue. As a result, Israel was split into two kingdoms – Judah and Israel.

Sometimes it’s easy to miss out on the wisdom of those around us who are older and wiser. And it’s easy to be swayed by the popular opinion of our peers.

I know that I have gained in wisdom from the likes of people like my parents, my parents-in law, my grandparents, my pastors, my bosses, and other people like Wes Kennedy, Bob Lewis, Stan Douglas from Grace Community Church.

Who is this person in your life?

Car Shopping

This weekend, Leanne and I decided it was finally time to trade in our old vehicle in exchange for a new one. While I absolutely love the thrill of driving a new vehicle, I could certainly pass on the whole shopping and negotiation experience.

In the process of this whole thing, I went to three different dealers, and I heard some of the same lines from each of the dealers… “Are you ready to make a deal today?” “If we get this for you, is it a deal?” “We’re no pressure here at [so and so dealership].” “I guarantee that you’ll get this best deal here at [so and so dealership].” Do they have these salespeople trained well or what.

We did end up getting a new vehicle, and we said goodbye to our mini-van of six years.

One of the biggest highlights of this whole thing was a bit of parenting delight. The kids were with us for 3 hours at one dealership in the morning and 4 hours at another dealership in the afternoon. They were unbelievable. We received comments at both dealerships that they had never seen kids so quiet and well behaved. This was true! Hopefully, we won’t be doing this again for a while.

Until the next post….

Pray Without Ceasing

Today was not necessary the most fun day in the world. I started today knowing that I was heading for a big meeting at one of my projects – a meeting where heads could role. Before I went to bed last night, I prayed that God would allow this potentially volatile meeting to go well and to be effective in bringing closure and completeness to this project.

Well, this morning, I entered the meeting and left three hours later with a significantly sized do-to-list. Was I feeling a bit overwhelmed? Perhaps. But there really wasn’t any yelling or screaming at this meeting.

Upon reflecting on this during my ride home from the office, I realized that God had answered my prayers. I believe the meeting was extremely constructive and positive towards moving closer to finishing this challenging and interesting project. What a cool perspective. Now, I have to get back to work tomorrow….

Until the next post….

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates

This line from Forest Gump puts my day today in perspective.

This morning, I started the day with a four mile run and a bowl of Life cereal. My day started out like a cup of hot chocolate – not too bad.

I came home tonight after a “rough” day at work, a day where life seemed kind of like a chocolate stuffed with Exlax.

Tonight; however, things turned around as I was treated to a rousing game of LIFE with my two wonderful kids. Despite being the games loser, I had a great time just spending time with two people who could care less about how much I can help them with their project. This was a great way to top off my day – more like a chocolate covered caramel.
If you haven’t had the chance lately, take time to play a game with your family or friend.

Until the next post….

Duct, Duct, Goose

Sometimes, I feel a little bit like Tim “The Toolman” Taylor

Last night, I arrived home from work to hear that it was a little warm upstairs. I ran down to the breaker to make sure a breaker hadn’t tripped; I went outside to make sure the condenser was running; I went upstairs to feel for cold air at the diffusers; and I poked my head up in the attic to see if anything looked funny. Besides, a few of the diffusers not blowing any air, everything seemed alright. The space just seemed warm.

Being in the engineering field (specifically in the HVAC controls field), you’d figure I’d get right down to it and get it fixed. Not so fast, I went downstairs, ate dinner, played a game with the kids, put them to bed, watched some TV; meanwhile, my brain is spinning. What could be causing this heat?

I decided to poke my head up in the attic one last time before hitting the sack at 10PM. It was then that I noticed that an entire branch of the ductwork had buckled and separated. Should I fix it now or wait until tonight? You guessed it. After dragging my tools up stairs, dodging the rafters, sweating off a few pounds, and putting my carpentry and HVAC skills to work, I finally came down from the attic at 11PM to a cooler upstairs. Oh what fun…

Until the next post (or Jon “The Toolman” incident)….

Helping out at Camp

Yesterday, I attended two training sessions. The first was for our church’s Kids’ Camp Adventure Island – kind of like a vacation bible school on steroids for kids 4 years old through 5th grade. The second was for our church’s Stretch Get Out of the Box Camp – a night time camp for middle school students.

I’m excited to be involved in both of these camps. For one, I know that I will have a real blast playing with the kids. Secondly, it’s awesome to be involved in activities that really help to make an eternal difference in our community. And finally, I love the chance to connect with other adults who are getting outside the box to help out.

I think the other things that is cool about these events is that it gives me a chance to give back. I was extremely blessed to experience all kinds of bible schools, summer camps, youth retreats, etc. thanks to wonderful volunteers like Ray and Joann Rivera, Dave and Nora Kennedy, Ken and Kathy Shumate, Bill and Elaine McFarland, and Pete and Janice Dearstyne (just to name a few).

I’ll let you know how it goes….

Until the next post….

D.C. Talk

Last week, our family took a mini-vacation to Washington D.C. We had an unbelievable time exploring the capital together.

One of the highlights was a visit to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. This memorial which was built in 1997 bases tribute to FDR and his actions throughout his four presidential terms.

Throughout the memorial there were FDR quotes carved into the walls. Here are a few that I thought I would share for you to ponder:

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

“We must scrupulously guard the civil rights and civil liberties of all citizens, whatever their background. We must remember that any oppression, any injustice, any hatred, is a wedge designed to attack our civilization.”

How is America living up to this today? How are you and I living up to this today?

More on our trip to DC to come….

Until the next post….