learning to fly

Month: July, 2014

Psalms of the summer: day 3 for the assigned team

Psalm 40

Young Life field staff impresses the heck out of me the way they work so hard doing direct ministry with high school and middle school kids. The love of Christ through them changes communities and their lives are such a testimony to the person of Christ. These are the people who make up the assignment teams.

Basically they work really, really hard everyday in the towns they live in, then they come on assignment and they work really, really hard without any days off and don’t lie on their own pillow at night.

They are so committed to this ministry. It brings me great joy to work alongside them in the summer.

The camp speaker seems like a pretty glamorous job. They get to share the Gospel day in & day out with campers. Everyone in camp knows their name. Oh but they’re exhausted. They carry the burdens of the stories of broken high schoolers.
I have not kept the goodness of your justice hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness.

During Real Life, many AT members share about their lives, about their transformation from death to life. It is a sweet time in the camp week and gives many campers a clear & tangible picture of the Gospel. But to revert back to their old selves in this way brings up many past wounds and hurts.
Please, Lord, rescue me! Come quickly, Lord, and help me!

Every time they leave here I am sad. I wish they could just stay and join our team forever. I have to hold on to the truth that we all do work together, that it all matters, for eternity.
But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation shout, ‘The Lord is great!’


Psalms of the summer: day 2 for summer staff

Summer staffers are a special group of people in camp. They are college students that come here to volunteer. They are thirsty for Christian community. They are hunger for Scripture. They are establishing their identities as son & daughter servants of the Lord. They are set apart.

Psalm 4.

I pray my favorite Psalm for them. I love the evidence of them calling out to God and the way that is reflected in this Psalm. Our hope as a property staff is that they will come here and experience great joy & deep peace. And then … they’ll take those back to their college campuses.

This session some special people are here on the summer staff team and I am incredibly thankful for them being here. I like them a lot because they’re fun, but I also like them because their presence is a sweet taste of the Promised Land.

Psalms of the summer: day 1


Psalm 107

Sundays, or day 1 in our world, are a crazy day. As a camp staff we spend the morning together to honor the Sabbath as we as possible can in the midst of the craziness. It is good and quiet and healing.

Then at 3:00 buses start pulling through the entrance and the mayhem starts again.

Hundreds of high schoolers crawl off the buses after days of traveling, tired and tired of each other. They’re here expecting the best weeks of their lives, just as their leaders have promised for months.
Their leaders emerge from the buses even slower – more tired after days of traveling. But leaders may be the most excited to be at camp because they have been praying for this day for months. This day marks the beginning of the Gospel being unfolded to their high school friends piece by piece.

The prayer here is that by the time they step back on those buses they will be able to speak out that The Lord has redeemed them (v. 2). Over and over in this Psalm different examples are given, but the same thing rings true each time: He rescues them from their distress. I know The Lord will answer these poor souls in their distress if they would just cry out to Him.

And so begins the week.

Psalms of the Summer : behind them

In the summer the exact same thing happens every day of each week. Today, Saturday July 26, looked remarkably similar to Saturday, June 7. It’s the nature of Young Life camp. It’s a blessing because you know what to expect each day. It’s a curse because it is the most routine for 10 weeks straight.

insert : the Psalms of the summer.

They are my prayer for each day of the week that repeats itself. Some of the days pertain to what is going on in camp with campers and the part of the Gospel they are hearing. Other days are for the folks working in camp.

Making this list became a dream / goal last summer but it wasn’t finished until this summer. It has a been a great focus for prayer in the mornings and as I sit at my desk everyday.

day 1: Psalm 107
day 2: summer staff – Psalm 4
day 3: assigned team – Psalm 40
day 4: Psalm 51
day 5: Psalm 19
day 6: work crew – Psalm 95
day 7: Psalm 149

the vortex

This past January I was in Chicago and Wisconsin during the Polar Vortex. It was the absolute worst. I made a little vow with myself that I would never go back to those places (I’m sure I’ll go back eventually). It was cold and windy and the sun never came out, just overall miserable. (Note: Erin’s wedding, the whole reason for the trip, was NOT mis).
The vortex I speak of here is very different. This vortex is actually the best and I am the most thankful for it.


February 2013 is when I got sucked into the vortex, which was more like a light breeze at that point … I took a full time job and decided to officially move to Fraser, CO.

Then Betsy came in May 2013 for a couple months and is still here.

Amy was here. Moved to Charleston. Felt the vortex from 2 time zones away and moved back.

Lindsay was also here. Moved to Austin. Despite a deep, deep love for Texas … moved back here.

Ashley was here for a few months but had to go back to Norman to finish school. Luckily school is over and she’s right back in the action.

Jordan has been here a while and knew she couldn’t deny the vortex so she didn’t even try.

Phoebe fled the vortex hard – she was here then she was in Chapel Hell then she was in Namibia. Yep, now she’s here.


Suckers. All of us.

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