What an amazing weekend at Palm Valley Church. I came home from High School Camp tired and exhausted, and to be honest I was really struggling Saturday afternoon to find the energy and will to preach… “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”. That said, I believe this might have been the most moving weekend services I’ve ever been a part of.
The choir, yes I said choir, rocked the house. The energy in the building during every service was electric!
Big props to Derrick, Lindsay, Lilly and Jan for pulling together all the elements and people for this service.
Some cool stories from first time visitors this weekend; one of whom hadn’t been to church in over 30 years. He said he hated God until this weekend. He’ll be back at PVC next weekend.
9 people visited the Fresh Start table during the 11:30 service alone. I never get tired of seeing changed lives!
I can’t wait until summer’s over and all our volunteers are back from vacation. I’m glad they’re taking time off, but we miss them.
Teaching through Jonah wasÂ a blast, loved helping people connect with an old story in a new way.
Sean Smith did the set design for this series and he nailed it!
I’ve been out of the office for a few weeks, can’t wait to get back in the morning. I love the guys & gals I work with.
I’m pumped about “At The Movies” next week.
This week I get back to the gym. I really slacked this summer, but I need to be at my best to be able to do what I believe God is preparing for Palm Valley.
I’m so proud of the job Ryan and Darius did teaching while I was gone. God has brought such an amazing team around me. I believe we’re one of the few churches where the quality of teaching goes up when the lead pastor is gone.
Did I mention that camp was “off the hook”. I had such a blast with our high school students; they can crash my family vacation anytime!
Huge shout out to the adults who went on camp and made it all happen. God used you in a big way.
Today was our last full day with the students up here. I think next year we’re going to have to extend camp a day to give us more time. It was an awesome day, here’s some reasons why…
I actually got 6 hours of sleep last night, most since we got here. I’m whipped!
Went white-water-rafting today,Â what a blast. Only 1 of the students had ever done it, so we had a great time. GodÂ gave us aÂ sunny day to enjoy on the way down the river.
Pizza lunch at a park was a nice break.
Free time in Durango was fun, what a cool town. Somehow we ended up in a hot dog bun throwing fight.Â Quote from Lori after being hit… “I’ve been bunned”
These students are just plain fun toÂ be with.
Dinner tonight was chicken fajitas, and they were awesome.
Â Somehow I got involved in a game that involved fighting with styrofoam “noodles”. Had to put a whoopin’ on some students.
Worship was awesome again tonight. The youth have introduced me to a new song called “Yahweh”. You’ll be singing it in church soon.
I ended our camp with a challenge for students to be fully devoted followers of Christ; lights in a dark world. Teaching from Daniel 3, here were my points…Â
It will not always be popular to follow Jesus.
You must decide who/what you will worship.
Jesus will always be with you.
Your character matters, and your character is your witness.
I ended our “family meeting” with a challenge and prayer for the students. There were a ton of tears as students were really wrestling with the implications of the message. Quote from Lori upon returning to the meeting room, “what’d you do to them?”.
Tomorrow morning we’re ending our “family vacation” with the traditional cook-out by the lake. Lori and I will cook eggs, bacon and hash browns. The students will have time by the lake to read God’s Word and journal, then we’ll end with a worship service by the lake.
Pray for us as we’ll have about a 9 hour drive home tomorrow afternoon.
As I mentioned earlier the worship rocked tonight. Singing “Mighty To Save” brought me to tears; the kids were so passionate!
Lori and I did a Q&A together, and ended up including our children. The students had so many questions, it was awesome. My heart is heavy though, as most of the students questions involved how to deal with pain in their life. Childhood isn’t as simple as it used to be
I shared with the kids 6 hopes and dreams I have for their lives (and every person who attend Palm Valley). Here they are…
That they would love the Word of God (Read Psalm 119)
That they would know how valuable they are (God loves them)
That they would live courageously (Joshua 1)
That they would care enough to make an impact (Matthew 28)
That they would love the local church, the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5)
Day 3 of camp was another awesome day! For so many of the students they are experiencing things they’ve never done before, and it’s so cool for Lori and I to watch them explore and enjoy. I’m writing this as worship is going on, and the students are rockin’. Here’s some quick hits from the day…
Â Lori made her “secret-recipe, world famous” sausage gravy and biscuits. All I can say is wow! that’s some good eatin’.
We spent the bulk of the day hiking today, a good 4 1/2 mile hike.
Many students had never hiked in such beautiful surroundings, it was fun to hear them talk about what they were seeing.
Watching 50 students fan out in a meadow to read God’s Word and journal will make any dad/pastor proud!
D-Lo is connecting with the students right now, they’re digging his worship leading.
We played around in the river for a while, great video of students falling and freezing
The students were worn out after the hike, so we gave them a few hours to rest this afternoon.
Props to my boys for succesfully leading the hike today!
Grilled sirloin steaks with baked potatoes and corn for dinner. This is camp food?
I love young people, they rock!
right now 6 students are sharing their S.O.A.P.’s for the day. Cool to hear students sharing their spiritual growth with others. God is rockin’ their world this week!
Â My heart is encouraged by these kids.
I’m about to speak in “family huddle” about my hopes for our young people, i’ll write about that later. Here’s a great group picture from the hike today…