Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The sky is blue, water is wet, and divorce hurts your health

I'm browsing around the Internet this morning and I stumble upon this gem. I find it fascinating when secular writers stumble across something that affirms what we as Christians already know to be truth. If all truth is God's truth, then a secular person can stumble across some of it with out understanding the depth of what they have found.
Many will recognize that divorce affects those around it. However here is proof that our actions affect our bodies. We are holistic people. God gave us a body, a mind, a spirit, and relationships. They are all interconnected. There are consequences for sin, and those consequences will impact our entire self.
I find it fascinating that the study is aimed at how does remarriage affect the health. When two become one nobody can separate that, therefore that bond is irreplaceable. I do think God works all things out for the good of those who love Him. I also think that my God is more powerful than divorce. This study does not take into account the spiritual aspect of healing. Therefore I do think that God is able to restore and heal two people from whatever their past is.
In contrast being in a healthy relationship can and does have positive impacts on our health. What things can we be doing in our relationships to increase our health? What would it look like to minister to your family with the same fervor and intentionality as you would an unsaved friend?

Friday, July 24, 2009

From the Pit

While we are on the topic of ga-ga. the story begins last Friday, I'm in the pit, after a number of campers pleaded with me to join. I'm jumping, I'm dodging, and I am actually doing quite well at staying in and I think I got about 10 campers out. When I swing for the ball as a camper dives for the same ball.
In slow motion, I hit the ball, hit his hand and followed through right into his face. Suddenly, he collapses to the ground holding his face. First, I wonder how bad he is doing. Is he Okay? Then, I begin imagining the news headlines "camper blinded from camp director in ga-ga pit." Finally, I help him from the pit, make sure his injury is addressed by our health officer.
Fortunately, I believe besides the small gash below his eye, and a slight black and blue eye, he lives to tell the story. I did follow up with his mother when she picked him up, and they both were very forgiving. And even asked about which camp he should sign up for next year. But it reminded me that what I was intending to do was win the game, and instead my competitiveness in the pit got the best of me.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Is Ga-Ga the new Four Square?

Ga-Ga
vs.
Four Square
There is a semi-new phenomenon in summer camping. It is called Ga-Ga. No, not like Goo-Goo Ga-Ga, or even Lady Ga-Ga (if you don't know who she is don't worry. You're not missing anything). Ga-Ga as I learned from a college students best friend Wikipedia, is an Israeli form of dodge ball.
Grace has a brand new Ga-Ga pit thanks to our Sowers.
Maybe it is just the hype of a new activity at camp, but the four square courts looked pretty barren yesterday compared to the herd of kids in the Ga-Ga pit.
So here is my attempt to logically and rationally break down Ga-Ga vs. Four Square.
Number of Players:
Four Square is sort of bound by its own name, four-square. There is something to be said for the number four. It does allow for perfect squares.
However in Ga-Ga there is potential for unlimited number of participants. The capacity is only limited by the size of the pit. It is conceivable to have an all camp Ga-Ga pit.
Advantage: Ga-Ga
Ease of Play:
Four Square is old school. We're talking about Chuck Taylor's, Afros, and Turtle Races. The rules however vary widely by location. Grace Adventures is unofficially the capital of "Clean Double Hits" however you might play singles, dirty doubles, black magic, or even body language- black jack. Further more is the inside line out? How about the outside line in? This is getting complicated. That's just the rules, once the game gets going it can get pretty intense. I'm talking about between the legs, behind the back, Tiny Tim's and more. Not to mention, slams, power bombs, and trick shots (Can you tell I grew up playing this game).
Ga-Ga is supposedly from Israel. Do you think Jesus played Ga-Ga? The rules are simple. Hit the ball at some one. If it touches you below the waist your out. Don't play it twice in a row, and be the last one standing. Basically kill or be killed. Pretty simple.
video
Advantage: Ga-Ga
Safety: Both games are played with a round ball. One on asphalt or concrete, the other on a hard packed dirt surface. While the occasional die hard four squarer may dive and skin a knee, there are actually names for the Ga-Ga injuries. "Ga-Ga knuckles" are incurred from a fist type style that drags the knuckles on the ground leading to an abrasion. While not serious this is documented.
Advantage: Four Square
Level of violence: Occasionally a slam in four square may get away from a player and you see a full on strike of an opponent. However this is very rare. Ga-Ga however is dodge ball. Therefore the intention is striking the opponent. Because we're a Christian camp we do not condone violence, however we recognize that it may be a desirable quality in a game.
Advantage: Push
Accessibility: It requires some serious resources to build a Ga-Ga pit. We're talking lumber, skilled labor, and more. Four Square merely requires a side walk and some chalk. Tough to argue.
Advantage: Four Square
Point of the Game: And so it comes down to the point. What is the point of all this silliness? Well Ga-Ga is to be the last man standing, to conquer or be conquered. In Four Square you stand around in line to hit a ball to get out again to stand around in line. Nobody can be all-time King. Believe me, I've tried. Therefore you can't ever win four square. It's like the song that never ends, it just goes on and on and on and on. Where is Falkor the Luck Dragon when you need him?
Advantage: Ga-Ga
View Image
There you have it. Ga-Ga is the new four square. Agree? Disagree?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Camp Unity

Hey, I just wanted to let those of you know who are reading this, Grace Adventures is going to run "camp unity" at the Unity Christian Music Festival, this Aug 6,7, and 8 at the Heritage landing in Muskegon, MI.
I get to be the camp director. I am very excited about this opportunity. We are going to be able to do skits, songs, short teaching as well as games from the pre-teen stage. We are also going to have a climbing tower, ga-ga pit (picture at right), carpet ball, ranch roping machine, face painting and more! I am currently recruiting our last volunteers. If you are interested please contact me at: ben@graceadventures.org.
This will allow us to minister to people who would not come to camp, but will go to a concert. We are hoping that they will get a taste of what we have to offer, and then sign up to try out one of our programs as well.
We are building our teachings, skits, and songs off of our theme this summer: Spotlight. Which is based on 1 John 1:5-10. Basically, God is light, through his son Jesus we can exit the darkness, enter the light and then become spotlights for Him! We have three different sessions: Knowing God, Loving God, and Serving God. Any of our campers from this summer should recognize: Spotlight Head, Spotlight Heart, Spotlight Hands.
Some of our summer staff will be coming along, while some are staying behind to serve the groups that we have here. They are excited to come and to serve in a new setting with new people. They have done a great job this summer. I am blessed to get to lead such an amazing group of young people.

Miracles

Do you believe in Miracles? No really, do you believe in miracles? What evidence do you have for them? I think our orthodoxy confirms that we as Christians believe in miracles, but what about our orthopraxy. Do you live your life like you believe Christ can and does intervene into what we know as our system of order and rules and do something totally unexplainable?
If we look at the Story of Lazarus, we see Mary and Martha both showing that they intellectually believed Jesus powerful enough to do a miracle but did not live their lives expectantly looking for one. In John 11, we see Jesus in His divine sovereignty choosing not to intervene and perform a miracle to save Lazarus from death. When he arrives I think Mary and Martha demonstrate their faith and lack of faith at the same time.
21"Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask."
32When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."
Both women acknowledge Jesus could have saved Lazarus from death if He arrived earlier. Neither however look for Jesus to do a miracle when he arrives. How many of us believe that God can, has done, and does miracles in this world and yet we put limitations on what we expect from Him because of our own lack of faith?
I believe we don't see as many miracles because we do not look for as many miracles. Many people myself included pray for a miracle with my health every day. Honestly, some days it is harder to believe that God may do a miracle and heal me. I can rest in God's wisdom and find great comfort their, however I am trying not to limit my expectations of what God is able to do. What he chooses to do is His decision.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Summer Splash

On August 2nd, rain or shine, we are hosting our Second Annual Alumni Event. This will be combined with our 1st ever Community Worship Picnic called Summer Splash.
We have an awesome day planned for you and your family! It will be loaded with lots of activity for all ages, lunch, an update on what is happening at Grace, and how you can continue to help us Impact children and their families with Jesus Christ.
10:00 Community Worship
11:15 Registration
11:45 Kickoff in the Keep
12:15 Picnic Lunch at the Galley
1:15 Camp Activities
3:15 See you next year
Contact us to join the Alumni Association, designed to reconnect you with your old (or new)
Grace friends. Please RSVP for this year's event by calling or emailing Dorothy with contact information.231-873-3662

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Balance Beam for Jesus

My good friends at Triangular Christianity found this absolute gem.
My question for you is how will you discover you're actually clinging to the beam when you think you're leaping on it?
How would our lives change if we performed a 10.0 routine for our judge?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sick

Saturday night after the infamous Silver Lake Fireworks. I became sick. Yes, the kind of sick where you visit the bathroom every half hour, hoping you will make it. I don't think I need to be more descriptive, so I will appropriately refrain.
However, I found that today, as I have my health and strength returning, I am much more thankful to God. What I took for granted all summer, I took time this morning to thank Him. I know that this is true in other areas as well. For Example:
*We just finished an amazing week of family camp. Families come to spend time playing, praying and just being together. This doesn't happen in many other places in the World. What a blessing
*We were given a youth bike. We have alot of bigger bicycles that we have purchased, but someone thought of us when they were cleaning out the garage, and gave us a bike in great condition, that now many kids who come here can take advantage of. What a blessing.
*We have a great staff. These college-aged staff love the Lord and are willing to endure long hours, constant questions for little pay, in order to share Jesus' love. Amazing. I don't appreciate them enough (and I work with them every day). They are not perfect, but they are willing and growing. What a blessing.
So instead of being sick, my goal is thankfulness today and this week at camp.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Social Networking Media

I spent most of yesterday trying to figure out a lot of technology and website operations. Grace Adventures now has a facebook page. That's not enough however. Obviously we also have a Blog. That's also not enough however. We also have Flickr. To complicate matters worse apparently people like it when Grace's home page, Flickr, Facebook, and Blog are all seamlessly integrated (yes I know I left out twitter I'm holding off as long as I can).
This is all enough to make some dumb cowboy's head explode. Never mind now I hear about widgets and emoticon's. How do I integrate flickr to the Grace business page and not my personal page? Why does the widget work on the test page and not the published blog page?
Does anybody else feel my pain?!!!
Do you think Jesus knew what a widget was? What would have been comparable to a widget back then? Do you think Paul was talking about Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, and a Blog when he spoke 1 Corinthians 9:22? "I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some."
I know this may seem silly. At what point does socially relevant become distracting from the goal at hand? Do you think God ordained widgets? Can anybody please tell me how to integrate a flickr account with a facebook business page?!!!