learning to fly

Category: Psalms of the summer

Psalms of the summer: day 7

August 9th – the last day of the 2014 summer. The final day 7 before we [quickly] transition into the off-season.

Psalm 149.

The last day of camp every week has a unique feel about it. It is super sweet as there are one-on-one conversations between leaders and high schoolers happening in every nook & cranny around camp. It is beautiful that there is a new believers walk that happens in the morning where a high schooler may hold a Bible in their hand for the first time. It is weird because people don’t want to have to go home. It is fun because everyone is still in the midst of be best week of their life.

And at the end of the day, there are so many voices praising Jesus. New voices praising Him for the first time and voices that have been heard before praising Jesus for those new voices next to them.

praise the Lord.

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Psalms of the summer: day 6 for work crew

Psalm 95.
Work Crew is part of the volunteer staff at Young Life camp. It is comprised of high schoolers from all over the country, most of whom are very new in their faith. Their Young Life leaders call for months fighting for a spot for them. These folks work hard, long hours washing dishes, running weedeaters, setting the dining hall, cleaning restrooms, and folding laundry (read: not glamorous summer jobs).

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But they had an experience through Young Life where they fell in love with Jesus and they hope to create a similar time for another group of high schoolers. They are my favorite group of people on camp, for sure.

I pray for them on this day because on this night they get to share with campers who they are and why they’re serving. It’s a beautiful picture of high schoolers telling other high schoolers about Jesus. Yes.

I pray this Psalm for them because they have risen above and identified themselves as “the people of his pasture, the sheep of his land.” Generations before them have remained hard hearted to the Lord, but not them. Their lives have been transformed, they have entered into His place of rest, they are making a joyful noise, they have a heart of flesh.

Psalms of the summer: day 5

Psalm 19

The day has finally come!!!!!
On this day high schoolers hear about the sweet redemption of the cross. They hear it and it is good.

Everyone sits through club and then they’re let out for 15 minutes alone under the stars. Every light in camp is (hopefully) turned off and it is them, the sky before them, the quiet around them, and the Lord. It is a beautiful picture to look over camp and see, only by way of moonlight, silhouettes everywhere looking up into the night sky.

There has to be a range of emotions that high schoolers feel on this night. I a lite but remember going out under the stars when I was a sophomore in high school … I sat on the woodchips just behind the pool. The story of the cross is a lot to take in and I think it is such a gift we give to kids to sit outside and begin to process their feelings.

Rock and Redeemer. He is enough.

Psalms of the summer: day 4

the sin talk.
Psalm 51

Day 4s are so friggin heavy. I hate the feeling of knowing that 500 high schoolers are hearing about the fact that they are sinful. There is no gracious part of this part of the Gospel message, there’s grace to come but not yet. Leaders have to sit by and watch their friends wrestle with this idea that shows them the darkness in their hearts and lives.

There is a mood about camp that is somber and unlike any other day. I try to stay out of main camp around the time they come out of hearing this talk because there are tears and looks of anger. It breaks my heart for then to endure this but not as much as all of our sin hurts God.

But Psalm 51 is right. The Scripture is true and real and evident on this day. It is such a plea to be right with God but by what he can do for us, not by anything we can do. There is no sacrifice, no bull big enough to make any sort of difference.

As kids wrestle with this all day, everyone working at camp is preparing for the night because it is the best night. It is the night that never ends. It is a good time. It is full of laughter. It is a picture of life to the full.
We invite kids to dress up, to sing songs, to laugh until it hurts, and to dance the night away. It is always, always a good time and normally folks’ favorite night at camp. The good night is such a contradiction to the bummer of a morning they had. If you look at the day from 20,000 feet up you can see the contrast of light and dark, just like the difference of Christ in someone’s life.

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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

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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.

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