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Category Archives: Jesus

This is NOT a post about Jesus…

Gotcha! Now that you’ve clicked on the link, you might as well keep reading. In case you don’t understand what just happened, read the last two blog posts – you’ll understand.

This morning I was reading in Isaiah 9, and couldn’t help but write something about this incredible prophecy:

[For to Us a Child Is Born]
[9:1]  But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.

[2]  The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shined.
[3] You have multiplied the nation;
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
[4] For the yoke of his burden,
and the staff for his shoulder,
the rod of his oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.
[5] For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
and every garment rolled in blood
will be burned as fuel for the fire.
[6] For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
[7] Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
(Isaiah 9:1-7 ESV)

I love reading about Jesus in the Old Testament. Sometimes it’s not always super obvious, but it’s always there. I especially like where Isaiah talks about those who “walked in darkness” in verse two. That was me, and if you know Jesus, that was you. But because of the manger, cross, and resurrection, we have “seen the great light.” Let this awesome Christmas passage bring your attention back the Jesus today.

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Posted by on December 17, 2010 in Christmas, Jesus

 

Justin Bieber vs. Jesus

Why is it that I can write a blog post about Justin Bieber and get 147 hits, and then write a blog post about Jesus Christ and only get 22 hits? Maybe I just picked a bad day to write about Jesus. I mean, this time of year there is obviously more important things to read about. Guess that speaks volumes about our culture. I bet those shepherds would have bet their best sheep that the day would never come when a 16 year-old Canadian pop-star would outpopularize the Savior of the world.

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2010 in Christmas, Jesus, Uncategorized

 

Adventure and Wilderness Camps

Let’s talk some theory and philosophy:

Now, to many of you out there, this may be boring and unimportant, but that is ok.  This is not for everyone.  I have just finished teaching a block course at NIU on Adventure Camping, and it made me, once again, consider why we do what we do at High Point Camp.

“High Point Camp exists to build up believers in the faith and to evangelize the lost in the context of a quality Christian camping experience.”  That is our mission statement.  That is what we do – at least, that is what we attempt to do.   In 1999, HPC branched out into our Adventure Programs  (Justin calls these A-Camps) and in 2000, we embarked on the camps first ever wilderness trip.  Why in the world did we begin these type camps when our regular resident camp was working just fine?  Well, lets talk about that for a few minutes.

All throughout Scripture, we see the wilderness and adventure being used to form, transform, change, develop, and instruct men of God.  From early in the Bible, we see God taking people into the wilderness to teach the lessons that He deemed necessary for them to learn.  Abraham headed out from his home into the mountains for what he thought was going to be the death of his son, Isaac.  But, instead, God used this desolate place to show his provision and promise.  In the beginning chapters of Exodus, when Moses fled from Egypt, he  ended up in the wilderness tending the flocks of his father-in-law.  God called Moses (through the burning bush) to rescue the people of Israel while he was deep in the wilderness.    We see God teach the Israelites many lessons in their 40 year trek through the desert, and although they were in the desert so long because of their sin, God used this time to teach them and to show them His great power.

The shepherd, David, was constantly in the wilderness while taking care of his fathers sheep.  He killed a bear and a lion while away from home, and what lesson did he learn?  He learned that his God was powerful and ready to save.  When he stood before Goliath, the lessons he had learned gave him great confidence that God would once again provide salvation.  In 1 Samuel, David was driven to the wilderness in fear of his life.  Saul was after him, and he would learn more about his God as he ran from Saul, lived in caves, and once again, was away from the luxuries of a home, town, and all that came with that.

In the New Testament, Jesus headed in the wilderness to defeat Satan though remaining sinless despite the many temptations.    He often withdrew from the business of His ministry to pray and commune with God in the wilderness or out in a boat on the sea.  Jesus showed the disciples  his power during a storm on the sea.  With the weather raging out of control and the disciples riddled with fear, Jesus commanded the seas to be still.

The wilderness was used throughout Scripture, as is adventure:  Daniel in the lions den, David squaring off with a bear and a lion, Jonah in the belly of the whale, Elijah and the prophets of Baal, Gideon and the 300 soldiers, the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, the disciples in the storm on a boat, and Paul shipwrecked, snake-bitten, and pursued by those that wanted him dead.  In all these things, the people involved were in the adventures of a lifetime…and God used these adventures to teach and grow those involved closer to Himself.

Why does High Point Camp run adventure camps and wilderness camps?  Because these two settings are so capable of putting people in positions where they are ready to learn and are ready to grow more into His image. When you take campers out of their normal, comfortable setting and place them in an unknown “risky”(or at least perceived riskiness) setting – learning takes place.

In the end, these different type camps are used to build up the believers in the faith and to evangelize the lost.

So, we will continue on.

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2010 in Adventure Camp, Jesus, Summer, Teen Camp, Uncategorized, Wilderness

 

Think More, Love More

I’ve been working in the paintball room all morning, and was getting a little lonely, so I decided to come back to the office for a little bit after lunch. It’s freezing today, and still raining, which makes for a great excuse to sit down and put some of my thoughts in writing. Now that it looks like we have decent amount of people checking out the blog on a regular basis, I want to go a little deeper.

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend the 2010 Desiring God National Conference in Minneapolis, MN with former HPC head counselors Ben and JR Allston. The theme of the conference was, “Think: The Life of The Mind & The Love of God,” and the lineup of speakers included R.C. Sproul, Rick Warren, Thabiti Anyabwile, Francis Chan, Al Mohler, and John Piper, and some smaller seminars were taught by Kevin DeYoung, N.D. Wilson, Randy Alcorn, and Tullian Tchividjian (don’t even try to pronounce it). For some of you those names may not mean anything, which is fine, for now.

God used the conference to reveal how lazy and undisciplined I had become in many areas of life, more specifically in my relationship with Jesus. A lot of things change after you graduate college. There aren’t any more papers to write, books to read, or heavy topics to think about. I’ll be honest, on the one hand it’s awesome, but on the other, it’s terrible. Awesome because who really enjoys half the stuff you have to read and write about in college, but terrible because you quickly begin to lose the capacity read, write, and think at a higher level. As a result, I found my relationship with Jesus suffering. This weekend I realized that the reason is because there is a direct connection between thinking biblically about ourselves, others, and our world, and our love for God. The more we think, the more we love. At the conference I was reminded about how much discipline it takes to grow in godliness, and how essential thinking critically, deeply, and biblically about every area of life is to loving and knowing God more, thereby advancing his kingdom by attracting others to Jesus.

One thing that I was really encouraged by was the strong representation of my generation at the conference. I believe thinking is something we are commanded to do in Scripture, but not something my generation necessarily likes to do or really knows how to do very well, which is why it was encouraging to see as many young people as I did at a conference primarily about thinking. In a Q&A session with Kevin DeYoung, he was asked about his ministry at Michigan State University. He explained that even at a college campus the majority of young people are more interested in pursuing “the desires of their youth” than they are about thinking. I think that’s insightful. If that’s what the majority of kids in college are pursuing, what about the ones that didn’t bother to go to college? Probably not thinking.

I could go on, and maybe I will another day, but I’m sure most of you have either clicked on another link by now, or are getting ready to. I guess to sum up what I’m trying to say is that even though thinking is not always an enjoyable or easy practice, it is necessary. Necessary because God commands it, and necessary because it is the means by which we love God more, which is the foundation to becoming fruitful ministers of the Gospel. Don’t leave the thinking to the unregenerate intellectuals. Our world needs godly, young thinkers to expose the lies of Satan with the truth of the Gospel.

So if you’re still in school, whether it be junior high, high school, or college, take your studies seriously because even though the content may be far from fascinating, you are learning valuable skills that will help you think to the glory of God now and later. If you’re out of school, don’t stop thinking. You need it. I need it. Our world needs it.

(PS – If you find yourself inspired to start thinking, diving into a book by any of the authors I mentioned above would be a great place to start.)

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2010 in Jesus

 
 
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