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!