Monthly Archives: June 2011

What’s It All For?

If you have been tuning in for the latest on the camp life of this summer, you may have caught wind of the the fact that there are a few needs here around the camp grounds.  Well, in talking with other camp directors in March of this year at the Camp Directors Conference, we found that each camp has issues of it’s own.  Some similar.

The needs are great–the focus of the lens of our heart view needs adjusting.

Since it’s been such a long time since I actually “worked” in camp during camp–many things have changed.  I wanted to talk to you about all the tremendous needs here–new or renovated kitchen, updated landscaping, nature walk/hiking trail, field activities sprucing up, new swimming pool, maybe even a “running/walking track” with a water feature in the center with a few benches placed strategically to tie a loose shoe string along the way,…. BUT I feel more inclined to share something else.

The kids that run and play, sweat, sing and pray on these grounds NEED attention.  They need prayer.  They need their names called by someone when they leave here…that’s what these counselors do.  They learn quickly to love these little kids and their hearts are prompted to call their names in prayer- long after they have parted ways.  These kids need prayer warriors.  Helping them to become tomorrow’s prayer warriors.

When I look at these kids as they come through the food line, I can’t help but wonder where they come from.  What will they return to? 

Will it be to loving arms that will hug and kiss them and ask them to share ALL about their camp experience? 

Will it be to knees that will bend in prayer for them each night helping to instill the prayer practices they have learned while at camp?

Or will it be to long days of loneliness and “leave me alone, I’m too tired to listen” snatches of conversation?

I read a book last weekend, “Heaven is For REAL” by Todd Burpo, and in the pages of that little book, I was reminded JUST how much Jesus loves children.  Of all ages. 

In Matthew 18:1-6 Jesus tells us clearly just how IMPORTANT–and how much HE values the children.

Let me ask you this:  Are you investing in to the lives of children in your church?  In your community?  What about those in your very own home?  Do you listen when they talk?

Let me share something I learned…they are going to talk…and if you won’t listen to them, I promise you the enemy of their souls is already lining up someone to “listen” and pretend to care about them.  I believe with all my heart we will be held accountable as parents for what we instill in our children and how we “care” for their heart needs as well as their body/health needs. AND for the seeds we sow or don’t sow.

What’s it all for?  Why have summer camp year after year?  Why put forth all the effort?

To make a difference in the lives of children.  So they can know Christ–so they can be set free from sin–yes, even at the early age of 7 they already know right from wrong.  They know the truth from a lie.  They are a field ready for the planting of seeds of faith–so that in turn a great harvest will grow!  They need to know now how much God loves them–HE loved them enough to send His only Son to die a cruel death to pay the penalty for their sins.  So that we could walk in freedom.

Kids learn disappointment at an early age.  They learn that just because someone says they will do something–doesn’t mean they will actually do it.  They need to learn that when God says something–it is TRUTH.  They will need EVERY bit of God’s word that can be poured into them for the coming days/weeks/months and years until Christ Jesus comes again.  They need to learn how to pray–how to do battle NOW.  Not wait until they are 18 years old and in the fight of their lives!  They need it now! 

After spending time with our own grandsons, and hearing some disappointments that they have felt about certain issues in their lives, I realize more than ever before–kids are facing battles we NEVER faced–and at an alarmingly early age!

Friend, I ask a simple request.  Pray for these kids.  Pray for their souls, their parents, their home lives, their safety and wisdom to make the right decisions.  It’s not about us…or the long hours the counselors spend…or the heat of the kitchen, or lack of space—it’s about the true heart of the matter–it’s about what JESUS taught…it’s about the kids.  The Children.

THEY are the future of the church.  Are we satisfied with the investments that we’ve made into their lives?

Remember–what we sow today–we will reap tomorrow.  Sow BIG today.  God will send the rain as it is needed—plant now for a big harvest in their lives tomorrow!

© The Knightly News 2007-2011


You JUST might see your kids….

My photographers have done a good job catching some of the outside activity for the kids. 

I shot some before breakfast and of some of our darling little kids….complete with face paint for the day.  (This is something new to me…but those of you who have been LONG at the camp life maybe knows WHY they do this???)

This morning as we joined hands in the kitchen to pray before the cooking began, my mind went back to the devotion I had somewhere around 1 a.m.  I woke fully—and knew that there was Someone wanting some quiet time.  Since the wee hours of the morning is when everything is the quietest—HE knows this is the best time to corner me up for some conversation….not that I have to be cornered.  But maybe you’ve been there.  Or here.  In this place of busy life.

In the place of “busy life” you begin to brush your teeth and suddenly remember you left the iron on, or the water running in the kitchen …and you dash off to tend to that leaving the toothbrush waiting with paste—and the water running…finding the iron hot and a clean shirt ready to be pressed you begin, then suddenly decide  you needed to take you vitamins and quickly step to the kitchen and turn the water off, grab the vitamins and remember you were going to brush your teeth…

Maybe a bit of it was exaggerated, but just know it’s pretty busy here.  If I see you in Wal-Mart and fail to speak, it could very well be that I didn’t see you at all…maybe my mind was wandering back to the morning devotion, or the tooth paste…did I put the lid back on the tube??

Okay, enough.  I’m exhausted enough with the day spent in food—let’s get on with the slide show.  I would like to say one more thing…IF you have Oswald Chambers, “My Utmost For HIS Highest”, I recommend keeping a journal close by.  When you read the daily devotions, I imagine you will hear from your Father as I have been hearing…listen close…He speaks in the quiet times.

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SPECIAL THANKS GOES TO AN ANNONYMOUS BENEFACTOR FOR THE RECENT PURCHASE (AS IN TODAY) OF A SLICER! A BIG SLICER!  AS IN VEGGIES/MEATS/ETC.

THANK YOU SO MUCH KIND HEARTED FRIEND OF THE WEST FLORIDA CAMP!

And on that note, I think I’ll say good night Gracie.

Good night.


And now for the evening news…

As the week has dawned on a bright beginning this brand new Monday, we soon had showers of rain…needed rain.  Thank YOU Jesus!

Just after we began our meal preparations in the cafeteria, the camp grounds was soon teaming with kids running here and there–and a few counselors giving instructions and smiles at those fresh young faces, many who are here for their very FIRST camp experience.  Wow.  I can even remember mine!

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We have a GREAT group of interns (I know I say that every week!)!!

Pastor J.B. Shoumaker, Jr. is here this week with the kids from his church!  A senior pastor showing his kids that he cares about the spiritual seeds being planted in their lives!

Pastor Mel Coon has 2 of OUR boys in his room….(Pray for Mel…)  Thank you Mel for your dedicated heart to all the kids of our district!

Pastor Donald Price…WE MISSED YOU! Glad to have you back!

You will notice as you watch the pictures sliding by—a few shots of some “needs”.  We are so appreciative to the two churches that have helped when they heard of some needs!  1) a new freezer for the cafeteria!  2) a new ice machine for the Activity Center!

YOU will never know what a blessing this was!  Investing in the youth of today is an investment in the adults of tomorrow!  When these young people SEE that you really care enough to put action to your words–it changes them.  These kids attending this summer’s camps are the Ministers, Evangelists, Missionaries, Sunday School Teachers, Deacons, Pastors, Music Directors, and dedicated church members of TOMORROW. 

Pray for the kids, the ministry team, counselors, interns, kitchen staff, and everyone else I may have missed–for strength, wisdom and for a GREAT move of God in all our lives this week!  Let not one soul leave unaffected by God.  Pray for open hearts and minds to receive all that HE has to say!  To each one of us!

Amen!

© The Knightly News 2007-2011


I’m jes sayin’

It’s been a pretty good week…a few minor glitches—nothing like the first week–just had to work on training some of the great intern work crew…but you know–by tonight–they have it down pat!  And now it’s time to get another team in here next week!  They are a sweet bunch of kids!  It’s hard to not love them as your own kids when they come to you for feeding…We sort of claim some of these that we’ve been feeding.

A special thank you to my sweet Heather for being my photographer since camp started! What in the WORLD will I do next week?  I can’t leave the kitchen!!!  Heather, just in case your wondered, I decided not to tell them about the plate of grilled chicken and scalloped potatoes and green beans and honey buttered roll that you dumped back into the green beans with such great flourish…I didn’t want your face to turn red….so I’m not sayin’ anything about that!  Not at all!  If it shows up anywhere, blame Claresa…TOTALLY.

Exhaustion is felt as never before…maybe it’s the “age” thing…I’m not sure.  But I think giving birth to a 7 lb. 11 oz baby girl over 27 years ago WITHOUT anesthesia of any kind was WAY easier than these last two weeks have been….I’m jes sayin’.

These kids have had a blast!  We’ve heard so many good comments from the counselors about the services–Aaron and his Kidz Ministry Team are awesome…and I’m not sayin’ that just because I am “Aunt Angie” to them.  Okay.  They are mine.  I totally claim every single one of them!

God is awesome …. all the time—and HE has been PRESENT with us every moment!  We’ve missed Nancy the lasts couple of days since she was needed in another little job–but Jerry and Donece are the BEST CAMP COOKS EVER!  AND they are awesome to work with!  Mrs. Everlee and I join hands with Jerry, Donece and Nancy every morning for prayer before we cook a single meal.  And that makes the difference….I’m jes sayin’….

Parents, if you sent your kids to this camp–your kids have been blessed—and parents if you DIDN’T send them to this camp…well, sorry, but I’m afraid they missed out.

I’m jes sayin’….
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© The Knightly News 2007-2011


Camp Life 2011 Week 2

Wow! I can hardly believe that the second week is here–and almost to the half way mark!

The temperature in the kitchen is BETTER! Thank you JESUS and THANK YOU Jeff for working so hard to get things up and running again!

We had a great Father’s Day weekend! Jeff preached at Red Hill UMC near my folks house and we enjoyed a GREAT lunch at mother and Grandbuddy’s! We loved celebrating Father’s Day with the awesome dad’s in our lives!

Enjoy the slide show–we have some super sweet kids this week!  Several of them gave us “cards” that they made.  (Too sweet!) and they are all quick to say “thank you” when they come through the line.  Funny thing though, they call us “lunch room” ladies on the cards…I wondered about “breakfast girls, and dinner chicks”…but we’re lunch room ladies. 🙂  They really are sweet!  I had one little boy come through the line and said, “If I had paper and pen I would have written you a thank you card”….awwwww.  Then he said “the food is great!”.  That’s enough!  Just so they are enjoying it! 

That’s what God wants us to do…tell HIM we enjoy all the blessings He lays out every morning.  He LOVES that!  How often does HE get that from His children?

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As I was taking Scooter out early this morning, I threw my head back and told Jesus I loved Him and as I turned a circle looking at the sky–I exclaimed over the formation of the clouds–HIS drawing of the white on blue took my breath away!

TELL HIM! When you take notice of all the things HE sends your way–I believe He enjoys sending MORE! (Think about your own kids….)

Enjoy the rest of the week…I will do my best to post more pictures as my sweet friend, Heather is able to take them!  SHE deserves a HUGE thank you for doing much photographing for me as I cannot leave the pot(s) on the stove! 😉

Thanks Heather!  She is part of the hardworking team of Kitchen interns.  (Many of them are hard working…some are going to learn how to become hard working.)


Just TOO Busy…

When I first met Joanne Kraft at the She Speaks conference in 2008 in the practically empty (because we were late) Bloggers Reception room, I was instantly drawn to this new friend in a bright yellow shirt.  Her smile and laughter contagious, her questions about our lives (mine and Aimee’s) were sincere–not just casual conversation.

Many months later, this same friend flew from her home in California to my home in North West Florida and stayed…for several days.  Partaking of Sweet Tea and Red Velvet Cake….and I knew I had a friend for life.

Now, this same incredible friend, who I call “sister”, has written a book —that I can PROMISE you will LOVE! (And even if my name never appears on the cover of any book as an author—my name is in HER BOOK!)

The 21st Century “Erma Bombeck”.  Oh yes she is!

Everyone needs to laugh at themselves –and know that God has a funny bone in all the serious stuff of life.  He really does have a funny bone…He CREATED laughter!  He gave us reasons to share that same side of silly life with others!


Too often we try to cram all of the activities –mostly for our “kids” sake into their lives–and–subsequently into our lives–and we are missing the whole point of life.  Who are we kidding!!!  It’s NOT about letting them do ALL the things we missed out on—it’s about being THERE for them, as parents.  Being the mom and dad God created–giving HIM priority in OUR lives–and showing them “by example” how.  “In this book, you will laugh your way to learning the ten telltale signs that you are just too busy and you will find the courage to guard your own family from the temptation from constant distraction.”

Too much–too soon causes stress to begin early–way before our own kids get old enough to handle the juggling act of parenting.

Do yourself a HUGE favor.  Get this book.  Not just because my sweet California friend has a witty way with words…but because you need to see the VALUE of family–and the sacredness that God intended… 

Joanne will take you step by step on a “how-to-fix” your own family….and you will laugh with her along the way–come on!  Don’t waste another day juggling life–and missing out on what God intended for your family.

(All comments to this post are entered to win a $25 gift card!!!! Go VISIT Joanne and tell her where you read this review!!)

Joanne Kraft knows she is blessed. As an author and speaker, her passion is to encourage women through laughter – one heart at a time.



A mom of four children, she has heard and seen it all! She’s married to an amazing man who shares her love of coffee shops and Taco Bell Enchiritos without onions. Together they are raising their four children in Northern California.


Joanne has been published by In Touch, Today’s Christian Woman, ParentLife, Kyria, and P31 Woman magazines. She serves as Marriage Study Leader, Group Leader of Inspire Christian Writers, and 911 Dispatcher in Sacramento County, California You can find Joanne at her personal blog, “Blessed…”

“Just Too Busy” is the story of the Kraft family’s head-on collision with busyness and the twelve-month experiment that changed their lives. When their children could recite the dollar value meals at McDonald’s faster than their times-tables, Joanne and Paul Kraft knew something was very wrong. So, instead of continuing their busyness habit and fitting more into their schedules, they took a year off from all extracurricular activities and learned how to be a family again.”

And I can say personally, I am blessed to know this mom, sister, and friend personally.  She is dear.  She is precious.  I am thankful God crossed our paths!

© The Knightly News 2007-2011

 


What a Camp Counselor Looks Like…and random thoughts…

I bet you’ve wondered what it takes to have a camp counselor heart.

We saw it up close and personal.

There are MANY awesome counselors—but the camp counselor—that seems to stand out year after year is Mel.  He has no clue the impact he makes on not only the kids, but the adults and kids alike have witnessed his character of godliness in action year after year.

This is what we’ve seen, when he thought no one was looking.2011-06-14 Kids Camp 2011 Day 2 006

A pastor who prays for the kids—cares about the kids—takes time to play—have fun—and get serious at the right times with the kids.  It can be done.

As we were working in the cafeteria—we were very much “in the cooking action”, but as we chatted and worked, we each glanced out across the empty cafeteria and saw this every day.  A pastor with a heart to see the needs met in kids lives.

The spiritual needs.

When the air conditioner went out at the BEGINNING of camp—it didn’t take long for our  weary backs and over heated bodies to lose the smile on our (my) faces, but Mel kept the kids on track—addressing the issues that arose—in the way it needed to be addressed.

I have to be honest, there was a day in the cafeteria when we had heard, “I don’t want that”, or “Do you have any _____”  (say that out loud about 75 times in a whiney tone and then you will get the picture—wait, work up a solid streaming sweat first—then you will have a TRUE picture), until we were about in tears (or again, maybe that was just me).  We were tired –hot—sweating—with backs and feet killing us, and one of us made a comment  to the other (I think it might have been me), “they think this is McDonald’s or Burger King”… and then someone wisely summed it up with, “We work for the KING, but this ain’t Burger King”.

That was it.  I realized right then that is exactly what we do with the Word of God.  We want to pick and choose the parts we like the best.  We want to only adhere to what seems easiest.  Let’s don’t choose the hard places to walk please, but give us only “fluff stuff”.  

The Holy Spirit nudged me with this:  “Do you think I get tired of hearing the same tune over and over?”

Conviction sat on me like a brick over that day—the way I felt—the way I reacted.  That was the day I went home and cried for about 30 minutes—hard—and solid.  I turned the shower on so that just in case Jeff came in—he wouldn’t hear me.  I was a mess!

I want so bad to do things right for Christ—to give HIM my everything—holding nothing back—with no complaining.  But there I was—complaining about the kids complaining…they were just being kids—they were hot and tired—and missing their mommas (a few of them).  We were hot and tired as well.  And missing our mama’s too…or maybe I was just missing several hours sleep.

I hurt all over.  My heart—my body—my emotions.  After getting home night after night of scrubbing and cleaning, getting the kitchen ready for breakfast cooking the next morning, I shower and crash into bed.  Not enough energy to even talk to poor Scooter. 23_27

Jeff is busy from one end of the camp to the other.  All day.  7 Days a week.  We have conversations in passing—and our love for each other is strong—knowing the tiredness of the other—praying for the other.

I noticed with my lack of rest, lack of devotions, I was lacking much.  I began to wake in the wee hours of the night—wide awake.  Prayer time.

Spending an hour in prayer and meditation on the Word—in the Word—and on God—began to do it’s healing work in my body.  Yes, I still ached—but it was different.  I knew that there would be that time awake in the night that I would crawl up into the lap of my heavenly Father and find rest for my aching body and soul.

You know friend, I learned much in the first week of camp.  I saw how my “lack” of time with the LORD would affect the way I reacted—in the heat of the moment (no pun intended). 

“Casting all your care upon Him for he cares for you”.  1 Peter 5:7 NKJV  But read all of that portion:  1 Peter 5:7-11.  You will find the Source of strength for the trouble that is seeking to devour you…and me.

Don’t wait another day- go to Him.  Find your peace—and rest for the weariness of your body and soul.

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I must thank God for our great friends and awesome help that have been here all summer helping Jeff get ready for camp:  Ron and Nancy Smith.  Ron has helped Jeff with anything he required—and Nancy—helped in the office get ready for District Council, helped me with MANY tasks get ready for camp, from sewing curtains to cleaning the cafeteria!  (Besides ALL the other office work the ladies had her do!!!)  We are BLESSED!!!

Joining the Camp this year as Chef and Head Cook and Grill Master:  Jerry and Donece Hicks!  A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.  Camp will never be the same.  Thank you LORD for such awesome friends!

These two couples have true servants hearts.  (I’m learning.)