Tag Archive: summer camp

here am i

so this last weekend the beautiful val (now tbsv but hoping and praying she gets over the sickly superquick) and i were uber privileged to be a part of the formerly claremont meths church, now combo churches, camp simply titled ‘Go’

we were meant to be part of a national vineyard youth camp (in bloem) which for various reasons didn’t work out and so we transferred all our guys to the mizpah campsite camp in grabouw and joined with cmc and pinelands meths and claremont congregational and camps bay united (life something something church as they are now called) and a huge amount of truly amazing leadery types including a bunch of people from my past who it was incredible to connect with again

it was a great camp with a lot of energy and fun games and challenges (the two-people-hold-both-hands-while-the-third-person-whips-the-extra-large-shirt-from-the-one-person-to-the-other relay a definite highlight) and personal injuries [took a quarter of my big toe nail off somehow friday nite during a high-paced ching chong cha (paper, rock, scissors) session and then headbutted the ground when diving for an ultimate frisbee long goal (didn’t make it, but did make two others and my team – the teal (it IS a colour) team won that one) and a few other minor scrapes and bruises]

three things stand out immediately:

[1] the one nite we watched a movie called ‘to save a life’ which i had to watch the nite before (all 2 plus hours of it) to assess the cheese factor (quite possibly the best christian movie i’ve watched) and so that i could lead the ministry session afterwards – had a sense God wanted leaders to step forward in front of the campers and identify issues from the movie (suicide, abortion, cutting, divorce, loneliness, rejection) that they had struggled with first or secondhand and was blown away by the openness and vulnerability shown by so many of them – really made a difference in terms of teens responding and i believe God started some huge recovery work that nite (which was early on in camp which was great)

[2] a session we had under the tree which the leaders added into the program cos relationship stuff had come up so much so quickly and so they asked tbv and i to lead a session on relationships so did a ten minute few points and then opened it to questions – and also went back in the afternoon for anyone still wanting to ask questions and took it a little further in the smaller group context – really covered a lot of ground and God was so in that too which was great

[3] the phrase ‘here am i, send me’ from eugene’s last talk just stood out and shouted at me – it should be ‘here i am’ englishly, but i rather like the dramatic effect the ‘here am i’ brings – i know the message, i preach it A LOT, but i’m still really not sure i fully get it… and i returned home with a far huge drive and hunger to really be getting it more.

cos i absolutely mean it, there is no doubt in my mind about that – God, i will go wherever You call me, i will do whatever You want me to do…

the question for me is whether i will hear His voice when He speaks on the matter if it doesn’t look like what i, or we, wanted to hear…

far from God but God from far

so i have been feeling quite far or distant from God for quite a while – for the second half of last year it was cos i was caught up in sin and most particularly time wastage but i sorted that out – confessed and made right with God, and people – just before Summer Camp – and have been trying to get into a place of spending more time seeking God and resting in Him and listening to Him (altho to be fair, i think i still have a long way to go there) and so in one sense it feels like i’ve put everything in place or gotten to the optimal place (ish, comparatively speaking at least) so that i should be hearing from Him and seeing Him, but still the sense of distance prevaileth.

however, last week when i was doing the talk at the school event and the kids were being horrible in terms of focus and attention and just general rudeness (before my talk began) and one of the young guys came and prayed for me a sense of peace came over me and God pitched up and the talk happened but just completely God…

then this Sunday i preached at both services and was uncharacteristically nervous at the start of both for different reasons but also no real reason, and was calling out to God to show up or i would be in trouble and both times He really really did (the evening one started a bit shaky but definitely a sense of God really being in it and bringing it together)…

and so yes i am in a space of being or feeling at least far from God and yet regularly there are these interventions and visitations from this God from far…

i’m guessing there’s a chance He is not as far away as i might like to think at the moment and is simply teaching me an essential lesson of trusting Him and relying on Him and not doing stuff in my own strength (an easy lesson to ‘know’ in your head but how to live?) and that is not a  bad thing – even about next year and the future, there needs to be a complete relying on Him as i don’t have a clue what the next step is.

but i think that’s ok. i know He’s got that one. and me.

arr, so last nite of crew before baptist summer camp 1 (1000ish young people) arrive and my friend Craig Fincham leads a devotion/crew-building moment and confesses some stuff to the team and God who has been loudly whispering (well i have been incessantly converting His calls to a whisper so as not to pay too much attention to them) to me decides this is a moment of truth (MOT) moment to SCREAM at me – okay buddy, choose this day whom you will serve… i knew i had to and it sucked a lot (cos of the impending disappointment and hurtment that i knew tbv would experience and of course – once again – the embarrassment of not being big or strong or real enuff with this thing i’ve been struggling with for most of this last year, or maybe more accurately not ‘struggling with’…

and so i had to (take 2) confess that once again i got caught up in online pokering and while last time i confessed i left a back door which enabled me to fairly easily slide back into it, i knew this time it had to be kill kill kill (which is not easy cos i really enjoyed playing online and it gave me both an escape and an outlet for my competitive vibes) and so i have come home and deleted the software, this time with the knowledge that i cannot start again if… it is gone, finished, and i know that it won’t be a problem again in that regard cos the only reason it was able to become a problem again was cos i left a backdoor…

and so it was tough and it sucked to have to admit to her i’d been caught up in it again, but at the same time it was amazing and incredible and much needed and it really was (again, you’d think i would have learned last time) like getting a huge chunk of my life back again (and time which i need for book-writing so super stoked and excited for everything the time will free me up to be and do) and it was SO INCREDIBLY TIMED cos i knew deep within that as much as i was ready for summer camp and the workshops i had prepared and to serve and so on, that i wasn’t and i absolutely needed that moment to happen so i could stand in front of 1500 young people absolutely compromise free and not hiding my secret sins while admonishing them to be free of theirs.

burden lifted. thank you God. thank you lovely wife for your grace and forgiveness and lack of judgement.

thank you God for 15th chances… help me not to need a 16th… free me from my addictive personality that quickly gets my feet wrapped up and entangled with sin or distractful things which masquerade as not sin.

hebrews 12.1-3 starts with ‘therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw of everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles…’

i have a friend called Roy (or Conrad Roy)

he is one of the new students who was in our church enGAGE this year and is now part of our leadership team for next year

i really like Roy, for a number of reasons:

he says ‘awesome’ a lot. now i don’t like it when people say ‘awesome’ a lot because i personally have reserved the word ‘awesome’ for God cos it seems a travesty when you say ‘God is awesome’ and then ‘that ice-cream is aswesome’ or ‘that hockey goal you scored last night, brett, was awesome’- it’s like you’re comparing God with an ice-cream – so for me i reserve the word ‘awesome’ for God. Roy uses it ALL the time and so it should really annoy me, but it doesn’t. because he is generally just so excited about life and everything in life that i think ‘awesome’ is his way of getting it out. and so his using the word ‘awesome’ is an expression of his zest for life and i LOVE his zest for life.

not only does Roy operate on a ‘glass half full’ way of thinking about his own life, but he will see his glass as full and overflowing and will look across and see your glass (which is smashed and lying on the floor) as half full and then offer you his. Roy has come and helped out my VOB hockey team a few times and is an amazing athlete (possible pole vault contender for next Olympicals) and i am not as good although have probly been playing the hockey of my life this last year and Roy has just been such a huge encouragement on and off the field and really helped me with my self-belief which in turn has helped me play better. in fact he set up my first of two goals i scored this season and was super stoked for me when i samessed him last nite about my second goal.

he is super animated when telling stories, especially bible stories which he starts acting out even without realising i think and is really fun to watch – again just his passion for the moment.

and he is super deep – still young and still a bit loud and can be distractive at times, BUT when he goes into the zone and starts speaking about deep stuff he has been thinking about in terms of life or God or church or sports for summer camp (which he is running – so amped to hang with him!) then he really is a deep thinker and you can see the quality of his realness.

so that’s why i like Roy (or rooi) – red spirited and highly contagious – and a definite leader in the future. And very privileged right now to get to call him my friend…

%d bloggers like this: