Saturday, August 1, 2015

Family Camp

I had the privilege last week of preaching at Family Camp at Mount Carmel Bible Camp near Alexandria MN. What a great place, deeply rooted in the Word of God -- both meaning Jesus as the Word and meaning the Bible as the Word. 

It was fun to be at Mt. Carmel in part because that camp and Calvary share some great DNA. There's a common spirit between the two places, a desire to see people transformed by God's Word, drawn deep into relationship with Jesus. One of the greatest things about Family Camp at Mount Carmel is seeing all generations -- from infants to wheelchairs -- and all kinds of definitions of family, from singles to parents and kids to grandparents to multiple layers of cousins -- sharing camp together. It's fantastic to see six year olds and sixteen year olds enjoying age appropriate activities, young adults and octogenarians digging into Bible passages together.

John Bjorge, a pastor from Seattle who has deep Minnesota roots, was teaching last week on the Old Testament book of Daniel. It's been a very long time since I did any in-depth study of Daniel, and John really pulled out some great applications to today. He's such a good teacher that he takes very deep ideas and truths and applies them in what look like very simple ways -- but when you start to chew on what he's saying, you realize just how challenging these ideas are!

I served as preacher last week. Family Camp at Mount Carmel includes teaching time in the morning for the adults while the kids have age-appropriate programming, then scads of free time with optional structured activities in the afternoon (think fishing, ropes course, waterfront, soccer, naps) and a whole-camp worship time in the evening with occasionally a talent show or other special event thrown in. It's fantastic, relaxing, renewing time. I preached during the evening services on John 9 and the story of Jesus healing a man born blind. It was great fun to see how the Holy Spirit coordinated themes between John's teaching on Daniel and my preaching through John 9. Lots of common themes!


This short video clip is worth pondering. If we had to define love, what would it look like? Brene Brown points out that our temptation would be to romanticize it, to make it "rainbows and unicorns" because we're afraid of the real, vulnerable-making power of love. Great stuff to think about!