Today was beautiful . . . mostly. The weather was great all day up until the evening challenges when the rain decided to descend upon our camp like a wall of water. Even in the rain, the campers still had fun, though. It’s amazing how little it affects the life here at camp!

Rain

The weather for the rest of the day was great though: perfect for tubing and swimming because it was fairly warm and humid. The lake was perfect for cooling off today. Amara and her campers enjoyed tubing (especially because they fell off a few times).

Tubing

One constant here at camp is the game of four-square. Today it didn’t matter if it was raining hard or if there was sunny blue sky – there was always a line at the four-square court.

Four-Square

The speakers of the week, Craig and Molly Sanborn, spoke to us tonight about what it means to be loved by God. Now, this is a huge topic, and one which could not be covered in one chapel, but they did a good job of using personal stories and the Bible to point out some evidence of God’s love for us.

Craig and Molly

As you go about your day today, don’t be focused on the things of this world. Know that God is on His throne, and that that is the place upon which our hearts and minds should be fixed. Go today with the knowledge and hope of Jesus Christ’s authority, and reach a dying world in need!

– Warren

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What a day! It has been moving to see how the campers are responding to the truth of the Gospel and desiring to make changes in their lives because of that truth.

It’s also been fun to see how eveyone has been enjoying the snippets of good weather we get. Swimming hasn’t been too prevalent this week (except the first day) but some campers are still out there even with the cooler weather.

Raft Jump

A big part of today’s activities was the dodgeball tournament. Campers got dressed up and had fun whipping playground balls at each other. And I’ll admit, I had fun watching!

Dodgeball

Themed dinners have been the order of the week, and tonight’s theme was Asian food. We used chopsticks to eat, and had a Chinese man (who’s visiting our camp for the week) taught us all how to use them.

Chopsticks

The game tonight was a water relay, which included a bellyflop leg of the race. I pity the people who had to go in the water, as the weather was cold and drizzly, but that’s just how it goes sometimes.

Bellyflop

As I leave you for the night, I’d like to mention the theme of tonight’s chapel. We talked about what it means to be a lukewarm Christian. Lukewarm Christians say they want to follow Christ, but do nothing to work towards that goal. They want to help those in need, but only insofar as it doesn’t cause them any real sacrifice or suffering. Jake Minell challenged the campers and now I’m challenging you to examine your life – where are there places where you aren’t living all out for Christ? Where do you find yourself compromising your holiness for comfort? And what are you going to do about it?

I encourage you to look to the Cross and what Jesus did there. Keep your eyes and heart focused there and you’ll have a harder time being a lukewarm Christian.

– Warren

One of the most encouraging parts of Senior High week is all of the deep conversations that we as staff can have with the campers. I was able to talk with a few of my old campers today (that’s right, I used to be a counselor!) and it was so good to hear how they are looking towards God in their lives outside of camp! I know that these deep conversations are happening all around camp, especially due to the chapel times with Jake Minell. He’s been discussing the issue of suffering in our lives all week, and how the Christian life isn’t marked by constant happy times and perfect circumstances, but rather by a desire to follow God in both the good times and bad.

Jake Speaking

All week, we’re having themed road trip dinners. Yesterday, we went on a culinary road trip to Texas, and tonight, we crossed the border to give our tastebuds a road trip to some Mexican fajitas. Of course, what’s dinner without a little music? Or costumes?

Mexican Night

The highlight of the day came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags. It came in the form of a surprise concert by the band Eleventyseven. The campers loved this new addition to camp. The following two photos are from the concert.

Eleventy Seven

Eleventy Groupies

Have a good night, and don’t forget to give God the glory for His work!

-Warren

One of my favorite aspects of Senior High camp is that everything is insanely busy, but it never feels that way. I can’t believe that this has been only one day, but I’ve never felt rushed either. It’s such a fun week!

This year, we’re revisiting the past during our morning chapels. At camp, we used to have a missionary come every week to discuss missions. This week, we’re having a different missionary come every day to talk about their experiences and the reasons for missions. Eva Brandes shared her passion with us this morning.

Eva

Another thing that we’re bringing back during Senior High week is tubing and water skiing. We don’t have the boat at camp this summer, but this week, Mr. Mades is letting us use his. I loved having the chance to go out in a speedboat again! Tubing today was fantastic because it was quite wavy.

Tubing

Tonight, we played my favorite camp game: Clue. This week, the staff went all out to make their costumes as Disney characters be the best they could be. Characters from Monsters, Inc., Tarzan, Mary Poppins, and the Emperor’s New Groove all made appearances tonight.

Clue

Immediately after playing Clue, we all gathered in the Chalet for a coffeehouse time. We played card and board games, had live music, and of course, we had the chance to get some Turtle Bay Coffee Company espresso. I’ll not complain about a chance to relax and hang out with friends – old and new.

Coffee House

I have just one prayer request for tomorrow: that God’s truth and love would overflow over the barriers that many of these campers have put up.

– Warren

Every year Senior High camp is a little different. Different speakers, games, campers, and staff all contribute to the change. This year, the change is amazing! I can’t remember a senior high camp when the campers got so engaged so early on. Having Jake Minell as a speaker definitely helps. He wasted no time tonight in presenting truth. The theme of this week is not so much the happy, good times that we have on this road trip called life, but rather the bumps, breakdowns, and sufferings that we’ll be going through as followers of Christ. Jake’s ability to speak from recent, personal experiences makes his chapels so much more accessible, too.

Jake Minell

Today’s adventures began with a picnic as cabins. As always, the food was incredible!

A Picnic

The campers are each in a cabin and each cabin is paired with another cabin to form a team. During team time tonight, the cabins chose names, created a cheer/way to introduce their team name, and started working on their AirBand competition. More details to come about that particular event.

Team Thriller

Because of the theme of this week (which has been a theme I’ve been learning in my life this summer) and because of a recent event in my life, I’m going to take a few sentences to write some thoughts about suffering for Christ, and how it is not always pleasant to follow Jesus, but it is always good. I have been looking for a teaching job (outside of camp) since January, and I haven’t had any luck. I prayed that Jesus would be in control, since I knew I would jump on the first opportunity that arose. Since January, I’ve sent my resume to over 45 schools around the world, none of which responded back positively. And every time a rejection came, it was really frustrating and difficult to deal with. But I knew that God’s will is more important than my own, so I chose to wait on God (not an easy thing to do, let me tell you). Just as I was about to despair of getting a job for the fall, I got a call from a principal of a school in Nigeria, offering me a job for this fall. After all the suffering I went through, God was gracious and provided for me! But the suffering needed to be there. In your life, if you are suffering, know that God can use it for good. It’s not always in the way you expect, or with the timing that you desire, but He knows what’s best. Don’t forget that truth!

– Warren

Today was a beautiful day! The clouds were spectacular and billowy, and I couldn’t help but anticipate the day when Jesus will come riding on the clouds. What a day that will be!

Clouds

During game time today, the campers played dodgeball, which is always fun. It’s fun to be in my position because I can walk along the dividing line while balls are flying on all sides, while nothing touches me. It’s kind of a fun feeling :).

Dodgeball

Chapel tonight was focused on the gospel message. Steve Hanson spoke about how Jesus Christ is the only way to get onto the narrow road. He and his wife Laura have been really engaged in the life of camp, and they are doing a great job of forming relationships with the campers.

Steve and Laura

The evening ended with a carnival for the campers where they dunk their counselor, play Hailstorm, get their faces painted, or many other activities.

Carnival

In staff devotions this morning, we discussed the story of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham was called by God to sacrifice his only son and even though it was so difficult for him to do, he went to do it anyways. He valued his relationship with the Lord higher than his relationship with his son. Thankfully, God saved Isaac and the sacrifice was simply a test of faith. What is the “Isaac” in your life that would be hardest to sacrifice? And if God Himself called you to let go of it completely, what would your response be? These are very convicting questions, but very healthy questions to ask. They reveal our true desires and priorities. Jesus should be our highest priority and our truest, most passionate desire. Take the time to think critically about your life and if what you value is standing in the way of your relationship with God.

– Warren

Today was a wonderful day here at Camp Lebanon, even though it rained a bit and wasn’t the warmest. I know the kids still had a blast, though. This morning the campers were engaged in learning various skills around camp. They learn two skills a day, one of which is canoeing. Since it was windy today, the campers had to practice on the dock, but it looks like they enjoyed themselves.

Canoeing

Every week of camp is different and every group of kids is different. This week, the kids are a bit squirrely, but  they’re pretty good at getting quiet when they need to be. They also dearly love to laugh, as evidenced by this next picture:

Laughing

Morning and evening chapels have been opportunities for campers to learn about who Jesus is and what He’s done for us. Each chapel begins with a few silly songs and a few serious songs, all of which are intended to give glory to God. The camp Barefoot Band has blessed us with their music during these times.

Barefoot Band

Steve Hanson, the speaker of the week, spoke tonight about how life is like a road trip. He gave the campers an opportunity to think about where their own road trip has led them and is leading them. I love that they are already being challenged with self-reflection and its only the first day! Pray that God would open up hardened hearts.

Chapel

Tomorrow night, Steve will be sharing the Good News of the Kingdom. He will need prayer as will the campers and counselors, so as you read this right now, I encourage you to pray that God would let the truth of this life penetrate the campers hearts: namely, that we are all born into sin, and none of us is worthy of heaven. But God sent His Son, Jesus, to this world to die on a cross and cover the sins of His own, so that whoever calls Him Lord of their lives will be able to call Him their own Father. Pray that these campers would call Jesus Lord!

– Warren