2015 FCA Leadership Camp Update and social media frustration…

IMG_3655Friday started off bright and early for us hear at the 2015 FCA Leadership Camp.  Students were all gathered by 7:30 for a time of exercise and prayer to start the day.  From there they were able to have both time to go get breakfast and also take time for their personal devotions.  It was awesome walking around the campus here at Campbellsville University and see so many of our FCA students alone with their Bible studying God’s Word and spending time praying to Him!

From the quiet time we went to our morning chapel session where we were once again blessed through the praise and worship music.  Seeing students who normally are more self conscious about what people think of them openly lifting praises to God is a great thing to be a part of.  The morning speaker challenged the students on how the only way to live an Undefeated life is to live for Christ!  After the morning chapel service the students spent the next couple of hours either in team competition or in their Huddles doing small group Bible study!  Erin and I really enjoyed watching our students compete against each other in dodgeball!

Before lunch the students had a team building session where they were taught about how to share their faith and impact their schools for Christ.  Today they will actually be having another team time and get more training that they will be able to put into practice right away.  Please be in prayer for our students as they take what they have learned at Camp this week in team training times, chapel services, huddles, and in fellowship with fellow student believers and go out into the local community and do door to door evangelism!

During the afternoon on Friday the students had lots of fun activities to keep them busy.  More games were played and our girls especially got into “Tubemania!”  One of the best parts of Friday afternoons for the students and families here is free time where you can rest, play basketball and other games, and even take advantage of the large indoor pool.  My daughter was thrilled to be able to go swimming with “her teenagers.”

Friday evening was packed with lots of fun and lots of training.  The students were treated to a Christian illusionist who uses magic tricks to share the love of Christ.  Everyone from my little kids, to our teens, to Erin and I enjoyed watching all the slight of hand and tricks the illusionist used and seeing how he was using his gifts for Christ.  From this treat we dived right back into evening chapel with a great time of praising God and hearing from our speaker about how we can effectively share the Gospel. Our speaker definitely holds no punches when challenging our students about what a true leader for Christ looks like.

As far as camp goes it was a truly great day and watching our students interact and grow has been extremely encouraging.  Especially on a day where as a follower of Christ their has been so much frustration and discouragement.  I don’t want to get into the whole SCOTUS debate over the decision that was made on Gay marriage today.  Most anyone who knows me knows what I believe and my sadness at the court ruling and state of affairs in our country.  What saddened me most as I looked through various forms of social media today was so many “Christian” friends celebrating the SCOTUS ruling.  Friends who once would have said they believe in the Bible as God’s Holy Infallible Word, now celebrating something (sin) that goes directly against God’s Word.  As I read so many of these people putting up the hashtag “Love Wins,” I grew even sadder and more frustrated that people have forgotten true Love won over 2,000 years ago when Christ laid down his live for our sins, took a punishment we deserved, and rose and conquered death and the grave.  Doing so to show love and forgiveness to every sinner.  Today was not a Love issue at our forefront it’s a sin issue, and thankfully we have a God who’s Love has already won and we can share that with anyone caught in any sin.  We can’t be wishy washy Christians anymore scared to take a stand and openly showing on social media we don’t know what we believe as we spew out praise for things that clearly goes against the Word of a God who loves us so much.  We have to be solid, we have to be ready to show love and share God’s good news, to take a stand when necessary, and to know what we believe and why.  And that’s why last night I didn’t go to bed depressed over the day’s events.  Because I know that right now over 500 students are here at FCA Leadership Camp praising God, learning about who He is, being trained to to know what they believe and why, and trained in how to share this uncompromising Love to all they come in contact with.  May we be as diligent and bold for Christ as they are!

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2014 FCA Leadership Camp – Day 1 Update

IMG_3178Greetings from Campbellsville University!  Yesterday, we arrived here with 8 middle and high school students, our teacher sponsor Ms. Napier, and the whole Owens family.  This is by far the largest group we have ever taken to camp and so we were super excited to get here and get our students plugged in!

Camp was kicked off with a great time of worship that was followed by the students being introduced to IMG_3168their huddle leaders.  These are college age students who are not only going to be leading our students in games, but also small group times and devotions.  From the kick off our students were thrown right into an afternoon of games.  The best was tube mania where we got to watch several students battle it out tug-o-war style over inner tubes!

After a delicious supper in the dining room it was time for buzz groups.  The students were able to attend a variety of classes on issues like dating, purity, defending your faith, evangelism, and leading worship to name a few.  I went to the worship class, because a couple of our students went there.  While I don’t have any musical gifts at all, it was encouraging to see these students excited and asking questions about how they could be worship leaders!

IMG_3174After buzz groups the students came back to the chapel for the first chapel service at camp.  The students were once again led to worship Christ through some amazing music.  They were also encouraged through the testimony of a division one softball player and a skit that showed the futility of trying to get to God on our own.

IMG_3132The camp speaker shared with the kids tonight about what it truly means to be All In for Christ.   He let the students know the Lord wants all of us for all of Him.  Before they can ever serve God they have to be committed to giving their all to Him.  It was a great opening message for the students to hear this week.  As they begin to get training at camp to impact their schools and communities for Christ they need to be reminded that they must first make sure they are All In in their relationship with Him.

Today is another busy day, so please keep our students in your prayers!  God is already working in their lives and we can’t wait to see what he is going to do this week!

 

it’s not about me…

worshiphandsIt scares me to write this post, as I realize I might sort of sound like the angry old curmudgeon yelling for the teens to get off my lawn, but it’s something that has been on my mind for a few days.  Last week when I was attending the missions conference at Moody, I was truly blessed by the messages, plays, songs of praise and worship,  and various other forms of worship.  Part of the experience that really blessed me was just be surrounded by so many who were passionately praising God with all their hearts.

In the midst of one of the times of worship there was a kid a few rows ahead of us that caught my attention, and unfortunately held it for quite sometime.  My wife says I have a problem where when I get perturbed at someone, I tend to stare a hole through them and hope they see me so they will realize how ridiculous they are.  I found myself doing this with this kid as he was purposefully dancing like he was at a night club rather than in a worship service.  He wasn’t just raising his hands in praise, but was full on cabbage patching, doing the sprinkler, and even the dreaded “Dougie” during slow praise and worship songs.  The intention was pretty clear as he was trying to get his buddies and all those around him to watch him.  This boy wanted attention and I found myself distracted and slowly getting upset.

This boy was an extreme example of what so many of us do in times of worship.  We forget about who we are worshipping and why we are worshipping them.  The purpose of our hearts gets mixed into how we feel in the moment and/or what reaction we get from those around us.  I am not a proponent of any one time of music being plaid in a service, just look at my iPod and you will see everything from country, to rock, to pop and my taste in worship music is just as varied.  I am not opposed to people who are more animated in their worship.  I personally don’t raise my hands that often, but don’t have a problem with those who do.  If you are a worship leader don’t think I am not into worship because I’m not clapping, I am sad to admit it, but I just have no rhythm.

My point of all this is, we always need to stay focused on Christ in our worship.  Make sure that He is the real reason we are praising no matter how we do it.  If we are not we are distracted and more than likely a distraction to others.  We need to encourage our brothers and sisters to openly praise God and not distract them from worship.  But, what do we do if  we find ourselves in a service and their is a college kid doing the “Dougie” in front of us?  I defer to the example of my mother.  As we were leaving the service, my mother saw the young dancer and went up to talk to him.  Part of me was petrified that she was going to give into the “Spirit of Smack” that I had.  My mother went up to the young man and said hi and then asked him what his name was.  She then caught him off guard by letting him know for the rest of the school year she would be praying for him.  Mom didn’t tell the kid how out of line he was, or chew him out at all, she just committed herself to praying for him.  He didn’t know why, and might have been left a bit puzzled, but now their is a very Godly lady from Kentucky praying for him.  So, when you find yourself either being a distraction in worship or growing upset at someone who is a distraction, pray!  When it’s you pray that you will stay focused on Jesus.  When it’s the other person, pray that your heart would be right.  Pray for that person, we don’t know what’s going on in their life that might be affecting their actions, so pray for them.  Not that they will just realize the error of their ways, but pray for their heart and relationship with Christ.  And let’s be pray warriors and remember it’s not about us…

FCA Leadership Camp Day 1 Update…

students singing praises to Christ during our opening Chapel service @ FCA Leadership Camp

students singing praises to Christ during our opening Chapel service @ FCA Leadership Camp

Greetings from Campbellsville, KY where we are attending the 2013 Fellowship of Christian Athletes Leadership Camp at Campbellsville University.  After a lot of fundraising and much prayer from many of you we arrived safely at camp on Thursday around noon.   The students were really excited to get registered and find out where they would be staying and what huddle teams that they would be competing with and doing small groups with this week.

During Thursday afternoon the students competed in various competitions outside on the sports fields here at Campbellsville.  The favorite game as usual was “Tubemania” where the students basically play a version of  Tug-o-war with inner tubes.  They also kept busy playing versions of flag football and ultimate frisbee.

The highlight of camp so far has definitely been our Chapel time.  The worship band has been excellent and really connected with the students through they way they have led them into a time of praising God.  A football player from the University of Louisville came and shared his testimony about how he learned to trust God instead of thinking he was #1.  Our main chapel speaker was excellent as he spoke with our student about how in our faith in Christ we need to be Relentless.  He talked about how we need to be relentless in courage, relentless in not shrinking back from sharing Christ, and relentless in being bold for Christ in all we do.  As he spoke from Hebrews 10, you could really feel God working in the lives of the students.  During the closing music several students went forward and you could tell that God was working on their hearts.

Please keep praying as we continue with camp today and for the rest of the weekend that our students will be open to God’s leading.  Pray that as leaders we will gain wisdom and a deeper passion to work with our students.   God is faithful and He is working!

FCA Leadership Camp 2012 – Day 2

2012 LCHS FCA Leadership Camp Students

Today was another great day here at FCA Leadership Camp at Campbellsville University.  Things got off to a rocky start for Erin and I as Maeven decided waking up at 3:30 am and not going back to sleep was a good thing.  Thankfully she got a good nap in later in the day!

In this morning’s chapel time the speaker talked to the students about Esau selling his birthright to Jacob.  He compared how Esau felt a temporary hunger and sold some thing precious to try and fill that void to how we are hungering for Christ and try to fill the hunger with whatever this world has to offer.

After the morning service the students went off in their huddles for both small group time and competitions.  They competed in everything from basketball, softball, volleyball, various other sports, and yes “tube mania!”  While the students were busy during this time I attended a class with other adult leaders where we had a Bible study and prayer time for your huddle groups.  It was definitely a very encouraging time for me!

Maeven decided to sleep through lunch and so I walked across campus to the campus Chik-Fil-A to get lunch for our family.   The sun was so hot on the way back I ignored the burning sensation on my arm.  Turns out the chicken was so hot that through the bag it actually blistered my left arm.   Ouch!!!

During the afternoon the students attended a session on how they were going to share their faith in the community on Saturday.  Following that session they had more competitions and then some free time where they could play, swim, or sleep if they wished.

Strong Man breaking a baseball bat

After supper tonight we all attended a strong man show, where a weight lifter showed his strength on the bench press, tearing phone books, breaking bats, ripping apart full pop cans, and twisting frying pans!  He then shared with the students about how they could use their athletic abilities to reach others for Christ and how sometimes that’s not easy because people have messy lives.  Yet even with the mess we must still show them the love of Christ!

The evening chapel service was once again a blessing.  The praise and worship team led a great time of praise and really helped focus the students for the testimonies and messages they heard.   The speaker talked to the students about having the mind of a leader.  The mind of the leader sees what God can do in a situation and knows what dreams God gives them.  The mind of a leader proclaims and says what God wants him

evening chapel service worship service…

too.  And lastly the mind of a leader seizes the opportunity that God gives him.

It’s been a great day and hanging out with our students I can tell that they are enjoying themselves and that God is doing something powerful in their lives.  Keep praying for them and for the rest of our camp this weekend!   Also, pray that burning foods will stay away from me!!