Camp Awards

MV5BMzM4NDA5MzMyMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTE2Mjc2MQ@@._V1_CR0,30,250,141_AL_UX477_CR0,0,477,268_AL_.jpgSitting in the back of the chapel watching the students perform skits with Ensley, two thoughts crossed my mind:

  1. There is a lot of messed up theology that comes through a middle school Bible skit.
  2. There should be Oscars given out for great performances…

Which led us to this conclusion:  the last night of camp should be awards night for counselors to recieve and bestie awards.

We did the same thing in college for our dorm.  We called them “Willie awards” after Williamson Dorm.  Some of the great ones were:

  • “The Bert and Ernie Award” which was given to the odd couple of room mates.
  • “The Hibernation Award” for that guy in the dorms that no one knew because he never left his room.
  • “The Napoleon and Pedro Award” is self explanatory.  My roommte Angel Garcia and I won this one.
  • “The I-can-get-a-strike-but-cant-get-a-date Award” was given to me because I was a good bowler and not so good with women.

Most of the awards were jokes; but some were real serious.  Brian Clark reminded me that he was Williamson “Man of the Year.”  This is the same man who has an entire “Appreciation Date devoted to him.  Just like the “camper of the week” or “walk the talk Buckle”; Man of the Year is an honor.

Back to camp.  As we sat on the back row, we thought camp awards should be a thing.

Here are some of the awards we came up with:

  • “Most camp Girlfriends” An award for the boy who has dated 7 goes in 3 days…none of which he will ever hear from after Friday.
  • “No shower; No Problem”  For the kid who believes that demon possession begins with showering.  He hasn’t showered all week and has no plans too.  Not to be confused with:
  • “Captain America award” A few years back I spoke at a camp and met a kid on night 1 who was wearing a Captain America t-shirt.  It was the same one he wore all week.  He had a duffel bag full of clothes but only wanted to wear the one shirt.
  • “The Cheerleader” she/He is now a middleschooler who grew up in children’ church.  Now they are worshipping at Jr. High camp and have an action for every word of every song and uses her training to try to get everyone in camp to do the motions.  She will fail…but now she has an award for her efforts.
  • “Best head-shot” You don’t want it to happen; but you don’t want to miss it if it does.  Some kid will take a basketball to the face during knockout, a dodgeball to the head during a game, or a tether ball to the chin.  If you’re gonna feel pain, you might as well get an award.

So alongside your “campers of the week” are your less decorated campers.  They need awards to aspire to.

I was never going to be Willy man of the Year, but I can be Napoleon Dynamite.  I was never going to be camper of the week, but I only wore 1 pair of shorts as a 3rd grader at camp.  I was Captain America.

What other awards can you think of?


Grandpa used to tell me that there were 2 types of hats: “winter” hats and “summer” hats.  Winter hats had cloth all around them; summer ones had the mesh.  I thought he was making it up.  Sure enough these are universal terms…leave it to me to question the wisdom.

There are more than just 2 types of course.  Cowboy hats (straw for the spring/summer; felt for fall/winter; palm leaf for a Kenny Chesney concert); stocking hats; welders caps; pirate hats…the list could go on and on.  The hat fits the job being done.  What hat you have on is important.

“You are a man of many hats” so the saying goes and nothing is more true of men.

CaptureThis came across my twitter feed minutes ago.

Trust me, I understand that women have the same deal going.  The job description of a Mom is endless and often times overbearing.  What hats women wear are too numerous to count.  But here in lies the difference, women hats are all viewed the same.  If they are changing the oil in the car; it is viewed in a caring and nurturing manner.  If they are changing a diaper; it is viewed in a caring and nurturing manner.  A woman, regardless of whether they have children or not, are viewed the same way.

Men on the other hand are not.

In a recent study, two groups of people were given a list of the same traits (i.e. “caring”; “aggressive”; “confident”).  One group labeled the traits ‘positive’ and ‘negative’.  The other group was asked to rate how much of the trait was shown in men, women, mom’s, and dad’s.  Two conclusions were revealed:

  1. Men had the most negative traits attached to them in the study.
  2. The deviation between men and dad’s was far greater than that between Mom and woman.

So men are bad and father’s are good?  At least that is how this study concludes people’s views.  It’s like trying to wear two hat’s though.

To be a father is to be a man.

Wounded father’s raise wounded men as John Eldredge’s book Wild at Heart reminds us.

Capture“Every boy, in his journey to become a man, takes an arrow in the center of his heart, in the place of his strength. Because the wound is rarely discussed and even more rarely healed, every man carries a wound. And the wound is nearly always given by his father.” (62)


CaptureIf the gap in how men and father’s are viewed widens, then fatherhood will become more like motherhood.  Let me explain.  In his book, No More Christian Nice Guy, Paul Coughlin conducts a similar experiment with his readers.  Two columns of traits are given and asked which ones apply to Jesus.  The exercise is to show how Jesus is portrayed as a meek and mild…dare to be said “feminized” man.  But a case study of Jesus full identity would lead another direction to a dangerous and confrontational Savior.  The same has been done for Dad’s at Church and in Society.

CaptureThis is why in David Morrow’s words: “Men Hate Going to Church”.  Churches knock all the danger, excitement, and passion out of the Gospel to keep it safe and grounded.

One of the worst things that can happen to Fatherhood would be to lose the very meaning of being a man.  Unifying the two, fatherhood and manhood, is the only way to raise a family.  Healthy women/wives/mothers; healthy sons; and healthy daughters.  Hat’s off to the men leading families with their heart!

Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
Who may live on your holy mountain?
The one whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbor,
and casts no slur on others;
who despises a vile person
but honors those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
and does not change their mind;
who lends money to the poor without interest;
who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

Whoever does these things will never be shaken. (Psalm 15)

Still Waters

photoHe says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalms 46.10

Can’t think of a more needed verse today.

The first word of this verse is “relax.

Let Elohim be Elohim.

Write relax on your hand and know…

Church as Family (Mark 3:31-35)

Some good thoughts in light of recent activities

Thoughts on Christ in Topeka

Who are your people? Some people have a “crew,” others an “entourage,” while some might call it a “clique.” Your people may be your family, they may be your close group of friends. You may be linked to your people by blood, by similar interests or work. Whatever the case is, we all have “our people,” those we trust, confide in, lean on and have each other’s backs. Introverted or extroverted, rural or urban, male or female, we all need a people to be a part of for an emotionally healthy life.

Jesus Christ turns who “our people” are on its head. This shouldn’t surprise us because Jesus basically turns all our basic assumptions upside-down. In Mark 3:31-32, Jesus’ people are trying to calm him down. “His mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and…

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Reflections on an Oil Change

FB_IMG_1528596041568I cleaned up the house.  Then I did a load of laundry.  Then I went to the office for a couple hours.  Then I changed the oil in my truck.

It was the first time I have been under a truck since the last time I was literally under a truck.  The first time since my accident.  It was also the first time since then that I have found a feeling of achievement or accomplishment since then.

In the soul of man lies a question.  It responds throughout his life.  The question is: “am I capable?”  Not ” m I capable to kill a deer with my bare hands or build a survival shelter?”  Though these maybe questions some keen have.  No the question is: “am I capable?  Am I useful?”

10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2.10

It isn’t as if women don’t struggle with purpose, but I don’t think they do to the degree men do because of their natural disposition to working together and partnership.  They are more about the journey than the destination.  Men have a propensity toward competition and care more about the results than the path taken to achieve them.

This is one reason churches struggle with men.  When the Church has no clear goal and no defined purpose, the men themselves feel porposeless within it.

Love the smell of 10w-40.


The Adventure

A week ago was a long Sunday.  I spent the week putting together a Memorial Day slide show for the family members of the congregants who have served.  That made for a long week and Sunday snuck up on me.  One of our sunday school teachers is going through medical struggles and I completely spaced it out.  I have subbed for him before and it wasn’t a problem.  But it becomes one when you remember at 9pm Saturday night.  I got to the church early to find an email about the church service at the nursing home and long-term care that churches in the area take care of.  It’s at 2 pm and we were on the docket.  Of the three main players who do this ministry: one was the one I was already subbing for, another was out of town at a wedding, and the third when asked knew nothing about it.  The schedule had changed and we were unaware.  I ran back to the house to get my guitar to throw something together.  Church went fine that day.  Immediately following Church, we had an elders meeting that lasted about 30 minutes and then I went to lunch with an elder where I ate a fabulously tasteing meal, but a diabetic nightmare.  I led the church service at the homes and then ran home to get the dog.  Dumbhead had drug every piece of trash out of the trashcan and spread it throughout the house.  After 45 minutes of cleaning up after her, we hit the road headed to Topeka for Memorial day with the family.  It was 3 1/2 hours after I wanted to leave, but at least I was finally on the road.  I reached Concordia and realized that in my haste to leave, I had left my insulin at the house in Belleville.  I had been so busy I had even forgot to take insulin Sunday.  I was now running on 24 hours without any insulin and I could tell my blood sugar was sky-high.  Three hours later I reached the Memorial/Graduation Family BBQ and I could barely function.  I just sat there comatose.  I stayed for about an hour and had to leave.  I went to my parents house and sat on the couch to watch Game 7 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals.  I hoped it would be a blow out, but I couldn’t turn it off.  By the time the game was over, my blood sugar was even higher from the small amount of food from the BBQ and I was exhausted.  I made it down to bed and fell asleep with all my clothes on.

Around 2 am, Monday morning, I woke up to go to the bathroom and felt terrible.  My sugars were off the chart and I was struggling.  That is the last thing I remember.

I awoke sometime Monday afternoon in the hospital on a ventilator.  Dad had found me unresponsive, with no pulse, on the floor of the basement.  I had passed out in front of the air conditioner vent and was so cold he couldn’t find a pulse.  He called the ambulance and they took me in.

I could see down a hallway from my room in the hospital, but I didn’t recognize where I was.  Finally, some nurses explained to me that I was in intensive care.  I had come in with severe DKA, nearly frozen, dehydration, exhaustion, and severely low blood pressure.  For the next day or so, I spent most of my time hallucinating and seeing things.  Ants were crawling on my bed and all over my room.  I had conversations with people who weren’t there and I saw people walking through my room.

After 36 hours on an insulin drip, my blood sugars abated and I was shipped to a regular room.  I was diagnosed with an infection and low blood pressure.  I was released Friday. Thanks for all the visitors and conversations I had with you that came to see me.  Some of you came to see me with out even knowing it.  Those first couple days are still pretty hazy.  That has been my last week.