Just finished the last chapel of Jr. High Camp, the kids are playing a night game and then it’s off to cabin time. As I get ready to head down the hill in the morning I wanted to share some thoughts with you about this year’s camp.
- Hands down the best jr. high camp Palm Valley has ever been a part of. For the past few years we’ve been renting out our own camp and doing our own programming. The Student Ministries team hit a home run in every way this week!
- 118 Jr. high’ers and their leaders creates a lot of energy, and a lot of fun.
- I’m so grateful for so many at Palm Valley who gave extra to provide scholarships for students who couldn’t afford it. Let me tell you, your giving made a difference in young lives. I saw it first hand!!
- So proud of Jeremiah (jr. high pastor) and his wife Amber. J’s developed into an incredible pastor, and he really shined this week. I love his heart for young people!
- Heard some very moving stories from kids who are facing really tough odds. In all reality, Palm Valley is their “lifeline” of hope. We’ve got to hang on to them!!
- I gave the students about 1/2 hour each night to ask me any questions they wanted. Some thought-provoking questions. It was cool to be able to speak into them about the up’s and down’s of my life.
- Loved doing the chapels each night. Our theme was “FLIP”. To change from doing life the world’s way to doing it God’s way. My three talks were…
- Handling anger God’s way
- Realizing how much God loves me
- The cost of following Jesus
- Cool to see young people connect with God’s Word and make some hard life decisions. Pray for these students as they live out their faith in Christ!
- It was awesome to watch our High School band, Two Days ‘Til Tomorrow, lead worship for the camp. I love that God is developing a generation of worshipers in our church.
- Loved letting the kids interact with my family. I think it’s eye opening for a lot of the kids to see how I treat my wife and kids. Many of them haven’t seen a healthy family model.
- So thankful for the youth mentors who took a week of their life to come invest in teens. They gave it all this week to make an impact on these students. Loved their heart! Many of them are High School students in our ministry who are now pouring into the younger students. Made me a proud pastor!
- Darius and Nicole have done an awesome job of leading the youth department!
- About 15 kids gave their life to Christ on Wednesday night.
- Tonight I asked the kids who were willing to “deny themselves, pick up the cross and follow Jesus” to stand up. Very moving to pray over a room of students who are falling in love with Jesus and passionate about serving Him!
- Melonie Witt came as camp nurse. She was awesome!! Thanks Mel for loving on kids when they get boo-boos
- I’m so excited for our church, these kids are going to lead us in winning the west valley for Christ!!
- Parents: your students need you to bring God’s Word into your home, to read it with them, to teach them, to help them understand.
- Can’t wait for High School camp. Parents, get your kids signed up!!
- Very tired, going to sleep now
The headline is more selacious that the story
Last night was the semifinals for our 8-11 year old flag football team, the Raiders. I don’t know why, but I got really nervous yesterday, couldn’t even eat dinner. I was so excited for the kids! When it came game time my stomach was in knots; I’ve never been that nervous for my own sports. I just didn’t want to make dumb play calls and ruin it for the kids.
So, we started the game with the ball. The first play I called was a fake reverse with a short pass. Our players ran it perfectly, but the defense was prepared and intercepted the ball and ran it back for a touchdown. Down 6-0 right at the start. Our defense stopped the extra point try, and it was our ball again…
I decided to run the reverse this time, thinking we had set it up with the first play. They read it perfectly and sacked us at our own 1 yard line. My stomach was really turning. The next play I called play action with a swing pass to the receiver running a slant out. The guys ran it, but again the defense was sitting on the play, intercepted it and ran it back for a touchdown. 13-0 and we’re only 3 minutes into the game. I thought I’d ruined it for the kids and I felt horrible!
I went to the sideline and encouraged the kids, even told them it was my fault and they would be fine. Inside I felt like throwing up. However, we went back out and I told the kids we would be fine, just have fun and give it their best. I swallowed and called the next play. We actually gained positive yards and we all breathed deep. From there on we caught fire, winning the game 47-19! I was so proud of our kids for hanging in there!
As I thought about it, our game is alot like leading a church. I get nervous every week, wanting to make sure that I give God my best. However, sometimes we make calls that end up looking disastrous. However, it’s at these times we have a choice. Shrink back in fear, or take a deep breath, trust God and go for it!
At Palm Valley we’ve made some dumb calls. However, we always learn from them and come back stronger! I’m determined to learn from every mistake, and not to repeat them, but make new mistakes Leaders, don’t ever get discouraged by the scoreboard, or the critics, and keep going for the touchdown, giving God your best!!!
BTW, the Raiders go for the championship at 6:00 Wednesday, and I won’t start the game with the fake reverse pass I’ve got a new trick up my sleeve should be fun
Defnitely one of the greatest weekends we’ve experienced as a church family…
- Adam and DC rocked worship this weekend. Truly the “ebony and ivory” of worship leaders!
- The message was as simple as I’ve ever preached. Simple is good, and helps clarify.
- Baptized 189 people who wanted to publically identify with Jesus. That was aweseom!
- Over 150 in CLASS yesterday, great turnout.
- We prayed over 34 high school students headed out for GO student missions trip.
- $17,200 pledged to provide for GO and other student opp’s this summer.
- Raiders won the regular season championship. So proud of these kids!
- Our Home Team just spend time sharing what this has meant to each of us. Awesome time together!
- Great job Paul and all the volunteers who pulled baptism together. It was incredibly well organized.
- Excited to launch a new series called “Prayer” next weekend. I know, not the most creative series title, but we want to be clear and simple on this one.
- Heard tons of life change stories off of baptism. God is really at work changing lives.
- I love leading PVC, you all rock!!
Live Like You Were Dying has been incredible…
- It has surprised me a bit how people have taken to the theme.
- There was an air of anticipation this weekend. People came really wanting to learn how to forgive.
- It was heavy. During all 5 services you could sense that people were wrestling with pain and hurt from the past.
- Had 1 guy storm out saying “I can’t forgive”. I thought that was one of the most honest statements I heard this weekend. I know his pain, and I’m praying for him.
- Loved that the guy sitting behind him chased him down to hug and pray with him.
- We don’t forgive because we feel like it, nor because they deserve it, but because we’ve been forgiven.
- Loved the worship in the middle of the service. Amazing Grace always makes me tear up. It describes my life!
- Markiss was hitting it on electric guitar; loved seeing him come out of his shell
- Excited about baptisms in 2 weeks!
- Incredible Home Team Sunday night. We had a “fiesta” potluck wiht mexican food. Man, can our group bring the food. It was awesome!!
I don’t often mention stuff outside of Palm Valley Church, but if you have a child who plays sports in junior high or high school, here’s a cool opportunity for you.
The Second Annual Westside Sports Medicine seminar is happening this Saturday, May 9th. The seminar covers how to properly train your athletes, avoiding injuries, properly treating injuries, and other key topics. As a parent with young athletes, I find these topics incredibly valuable.
The seminar is free and open to coaches, parents and athletes. You can find out more at www.whitetankspt.com .