Gone Rogue

When a person makes a decision for Christ, he or she also makes a decision to turn away from the world, to Go Rogue.

I wanna talk about a different point of view, the point of me. I was a half-in, half-out Christian living in Godly moments and then slipping back into my worldly and fleshy behaviors. I had gone rogue on God, not rogue with Him. I was “lukewarm” and constantly felt torn between who I wanted to be and who the Lord wanted me to be.

This summer, Jesus pried my sin-filled eyes open, helping me see my sinful nature and just how much I needed to change. He helped me see the need to stay away from temptations and use His tools to remove stumbling blocks from my path. I realized what it meant to go fully, totally, completely rogue for the One who made me. I want to show Jesus that I want His will for my life and that I love Him. That I didn’t/don’t want a worldly lifestyle, I want Him. I find it difficult to leave a whole life behind, especially when the enemy is always dragging me down, making me believe I need certain things when they have no use. This causes me to lose focus and every one of my priorities shifts. Reading my Bible slides down to the bottom, praying feels like a chore, speaking becomes less and less edifying, and eventually I don’t even know what it means to be a Christian. Slipping so many times makes it easy to give up.

That’s the thing though, I gave up. God didn’t. I was sure that God was done with me, tired of my habitual sin and one apology after another… He wasn’t. Now don’t get me wrong He was for sure tired of the sin, but not me. He had/has a plan for me, He gave me a job at this camp called Whisper Mountain. He surrounded me with these Godly people who did not judge me for having sin. Instead, they encouraged me to confess it, to no longer allow it to hold power over me. To not let it hold me back. They texted me daily and told me to read my Bible. I felt comfortable asking for prayer about whatever I was going through, and they reciprocated. God used these people to teach me how to Go Rogue for God not from God. They taught me how to live out my faith, to study the Word, and to pray without ceasing. For all these things I am eternally grateful to God and them. 

Having said all this, my question to you is simple, yet hard to swallow. Have you gone rouge from the world, or have you gone rouge from God? I made the wrong decision, but praise the Lord, I was able to run back to Him. 


Author | Koda Moody
Photography | Cassi & (Staff Group Picture by) Koda Moody

We can’t fall too far.

Welp, with one week left I’m looking back at the lessons I have learned throughout the summer. One that slaps me in the face every day is we cannot go it alone. Before this job, I did not have a Christian community. I didn’t have a church family. I didn’t have those people my age I could really connect with over my faith. Now I do and will be eternally grateful. But the one person I had through all the “not having” was Jesus. He never left me through my times of struggle or sin. He was there. All I had to do was reach out and take his hand. 

The most recent parallel I have is high ropes. An old family friend (Seth McClure) came with one of the groups this week. While taking pictures, I got the bright idea to attempt the “Dangling Duo” with him as my other half. We start on the bottom step of a ladder that gets farther and farther apart. I would get up to the next one while he helped me, then he would get up. Eventually, we got to the final step, and I just could not do it by myself. I had to put him up first in order for him to pull me. You see, it’s a great example for life. If you put God second things are going to be a lot harder, but if you put Him first life is so much easier. Not to say it still wasn’t difficult for me, because everyone goes through trials, yet when you have the strength of the Lord pulling you upward those trials become less scary.  

The second example I have is about a young girl who came to camp this week. She went through the high ropes course and came to me afterwards saying, “I knew it (the tether) would catch me because I fell a million times and didn’t die.” Out of the mouths of children come the most beautiful messages. We fall “a million times” when trying to walk the Christian wire. It’s narrow and tough at times, but we can never fall out of His grace…


Author | Koda Moody
Photography | Cassi & Koda Moody

All Play A Part

In life we all have different strengths, it has been said 1000 times over. Yet, I think this saying is most present during Low Ropes. You combine about 25 young men and women and challenge them with the task of getting over a 10-foot wall. The best part is when they’re told that everyone must make it over. The short (but super smart) 12-year-old in the back sighs, thinking he will be useless in this situation, and the 6-foot senior knows he can climb up and not worry about anyone else. The thing is they are both wrong. 

You see, everyone gets two “helps,” meaning they can help lift, pull, or push someone else two times. The guy in the back begins to count how many there are and starts to devise a strategy in his head, but is drowned out by the loud ones of the group. The tall one, in the chaos of everyone planning, runs on up saying, “I’ve got this,” not thinking about the rest of the team below.

Then it gets worse. Smaller groups begin to branch off and form their own plans (which is not how this exercise should work). They forget the rest of the team needs their “helps” to make sure everyone can get over. But wait, it gets even worse. About 15 people have gotten over the wall, but they didn’t help the 10 shorter folks at the bottom. And they don’t have the tools nor “helps” to get themselves over.  So, the entire team has to restart.

Everyone is in despair, looking for a way to beat this. The smart guy in the back finally finds the courage to speak up; the loud one repeats it for him; and the entire team is then on board with his plan. The tall and stronger ones help those who cannot get up by themselves, and the girl that can jump super high gets up top to help pull. Eventually the team conquers the wall, but only by listening and utilizing one another’s strengths, while also being aware of their weaknesses. 

The world is full of different people: leaders, listeners, planners; the strong, the smart, the fast. We need to realize as Christian community, as the body of Christ, that everyone plays a role and brings something to the table. If we were able to do things by ourselves, why did God send his Son to die? Why did he make Eve for Adam? Why did He create the concept of brother/sisterhood? Because we cannot go it alone. We need to have a team of others pushing or pulling us up to a Godlier place…


Author & Photographer | Koda Moody
Group Pictured | Southbrook Church

Dive Deeper.

Noah Brown, a staff member of ours, was swimming in the lake recently. Seems uninteresting, right… wrong. Mr. Brown’s watch popped off his wrist and sank to the depths below. Panic set in as he began searching for the thing he lost. The parallels started to draw themselves. We, as Christians, can place distances between us and God, sometimes intentionally, other times accidentally. We lose our focus and allow our relationship with Jesus to fall away and sink beneath the sin. 

However, the thing we forget is that He is still there, right beside us, still loving us even in our time of rebellion, waiting for us to dive a little deeper, to grasp on to His will once more. As others helped search for the watch in the shallower areas, it was Noah who had to take the plunge. He went deeper than anyone else around him and found the watch! He came back up to the surface, watch in hand and a joyful smile spread across his face.

Now this story could have had a completely different ending. Maybe yours did. Maybe you have it in your head that you have put too much distance between you and God. Maybe you think there is too much struggle to overcome. I’m here to tell you, NOTHING can separate you from the love God has for you (Romans 8:35-39). So, maybe there are some things you need to remove from your life; that’s everyone. We all can improve our relationships with the Almighty. Some things just take time, some more, others less. Yet, we all still must take that dive of faith, searching out and finding Him. 

No matter what comes between you and Him, He is always there patiently waiting on you to just dive a little deeper…


Author & Photography | Koda Moody
Groups Pictured | New City Middle School & Berry’s Grove

Summer 2022 | Drawing Back the Curtain

The first week of camp is a moment for reflection, at least in my opinion. We welcomed groups Berry’s Grove and New City’s Middle Schoolers on Monday, which is the day that is always interesting. You have these huge groups of kids come in that usually do not know the other group, they hardly know where they are, and they for sure don’t know who they are. So, as they settle in and familiarize with one another, they become more comfortable and vulnerable.  They begin to trust one another in a short time while also begin to draw back the curtains of their lives, pain, and wounds. Yet their joy and passion shine through too. 

What brought this to my attention was paintball.  Of all things to inspire it had to be a game of war and battle. I watched kids duck and run for cover while they fired back at the opposing force. One by one they came out covered in dirt, sweat, and obviously paint.  Some of the kids more roughed up than others, but each one was going through the struggle. It’s scary how much this relates to life. We go through life constantly running and jumping and trying not to get hit in the process from every angle. It’s not always possible to dodge the incoming heartache and we collect up wounds as we go. However, the worst part is when we then hide the damage behind walls we so carefully create. 

Yet some wounds or scars (depending on how long ago the pain was) are just too big to hide. People can see or even feel them. They try to help but they only pick at self-healed edges, and it rips open all over again. The key term there is “self-healed” and they never fully close until you allow one individual to fully stitch you up. Jesus. You must let His love and His forgiveness flow through you freely. Trust him to erase the pain and be there for you if it ever comes back. From personal experience, you will heal if you take these actions. It is going to hurt and take time, but you will come out the other side a stronger, better person who can help others on their path to restoration.  You can be the already vulnerable kid at the beginning of the week that helps your whole cabin get to the place you are…


Thanks for a great first week, Campers!


Author | Koda Moody
Photography | Koda Moody and Cassi
Groups | New City Middle School & Berry’s Grove Youth

The Summer With No Camp

Without summer camp this year, many things were missed. Campers didn’t have outdoor fun with the mountains surrounding them or those memorable and engaging conversations with their Guides (counselors). Guides didn’t have the opportunity to pour into campers or find a community of people sharing a common goal with them, stretching them, knowing them, serving with them.

No one faced and overcame terrifying things like making it across and stepping off the platform of the high ropes course. Groups didn’t have the opportunity to grow together through team building at low ropes. Youth pastors weren’t given the time to just be and connect with their teens without the pressures of running the program.

Teens weren’t able to know each other more deeply, or find a sense of belonging, or to be known by people who truly care about them and believe in them. Teens and adults weren’t able to escape their noise to hear the whisper of God. To pull out of their every day context to contemplate big and important things or to find fresh perspective for their circumstances. They weren’t able to be filled with the hope that comes from hearing God’s Word and seeing it come alive to them personally. So much felt lost this summer as “COVID” shut the world down.

Sometimes that realization can feel hopeless, especially as the world continues to be so far outside of our normal. But this, friends, is not where we want to land. Because if you’ve walked with Jesus for any amount of time you know He makes a way where there is none. He brings into existence what doesn’t exist. He is the God of HOPE! So, we can’t sit in the place of what isn’t, or the fear of what we don’t know. We have to walk in faith if we are to be followers of Christ. What’s the old hymn?

Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth with grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.

Helen H. Lemmel, 1922

That’s the key. Looking to Jesus and not the mess surrounding us. He’ll lead you safely through, wrap you in His peace, and fill you with His joy. The world needs Jesus followers like this! Are you in?


Author | Cassi Photography | Adrienne + Ellie B.

In This Season

Sam and Selah. Adrienne

This past year of my life has been unlike any other. It was the first time in 18 years that I wasn’t in school. I was super excited about being done and moving to my dream job to start working in a ministry I really wanted to get behind. I started off last summer well and was so sure I made the right decision to work at camp, but then the summer ended and everything got harder. All the people left and the ministering to people part of my job seemed to come to an end. For a while, I kept telling myself everything was okay because I love the place I work and the people I work for. Over time my view changed. It became harder and harder to do the background work for the ministry and not be able to do the ministering. I have struggled through this the whole year and have wanted to fix it, but I just held on to the hope that the summer was coming soon.

Sam on Gator. Adrienne

Fast forward to right now. As a camp, we have decided we will not be running our summer program this year (which in my opinion was logically the right decision), yet I feel crushed by the fact that it will be a whole year until I can do the thing that I love most again.

Sam Watermelon. Adrienne

From most of the people I have talked to and also just from the things going on in the world around us, I think there is a lot of hurt and frustration. I don’t know what the answers to fix all the problems are (and if you know me, I want to fix all the problems) and I am so frustrated because I don’t know what to do.

Then, I found myself reading Ecclesiates 3:1-8. It’s a fairly popular passage, but nonetheless it says:

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.”

Sam Sitting HighRopes. Adrienne

I was reminded me so quickly of my need to sit at the feet of Jesus and recognize this is a time that needs to happen. This is a season I don’t understand and I wish I did, but I do know that through this, the Lord will be glorified. Of this I am confident. I don’t have to get it or even be happy all the time about everything, but I do need to continue to worship my Lord and Savior in this time and love everyone around me.

There will be a new season and new time eventually, but until then my hope is still found in the Lord.


Author | Sam Wammock     Photos| Adrienne Cicero

Zooming In on Your Walk with God

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0539.JPGSometimes the whole idea of pursuing God or knowing God can feel too big and overwhelmingly vague that we quit before we really get started. Even when we are doing what we are “supposed to” be doing, we can feel far away from God.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0540.JPGIn case you’ve felt the struggle, our staff understands and we have a heart to walk along with you and to zoom the lens in a bit more in your understanding and growth so you can experience a close-up, vibrant walk with the Lord.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0542.JPGBecause even while God may feel far away or this vibrant life you hear about may feel just out of your grasp, God actually does see you and know you and desire to be close to you.

Whisper Mountain High Ropes Camper.jpgHe wants you to know His presence in the midst of your struggle. He wants you to know His love in personal ways that light you up in the deepest parts of your soul.

Whisper Mountain Camp High Ropes WalkHe wants you to know the balance He can bring to your life. He wants to redeem whatever mess you are in and heal whatever brokenness you carry with you. He wants to direct your path where you will flourish. He wants you to know Him so personally that you can’t help but make Him known to others!

Whisper Mountain Solo Time in the WordAnd it all begins by interacting with Him through His Word!

We say all this to let you know that our staff is pretty excited (and thankful) about being more intentional with encouraging and leading you through weekly blogs and monthly YouTube videos throughout the year! We can’t wait to see how God is working in your lives and to share how He’s working in ours!

Feel free to reach out to us with questions or struggles you’re having or to share how you are experiencing God in your life! We sincerely want to share in the journey with you!


Author | Cassi Werner      Photography | Ethan + Adrienne + Cassi

Building Community

Field Games.jpg

Every summer I get to enjoy watching a community form almost from the ground up as our new summer staff team arrives. People from around the country are here this summer with the hopes of having fun, growing in their own lives and pouring out by proclaiming Christ to teens.

hello-hugs-e1496257679604.jpg

Guy Hugs

We have welcomed people from different backgrounds and families, having had many diverse experiences and in different places spiritually. But all this different helps make up a strong team as each person adds their own strength. I get excited seeing the process play out all summer long! A process allowing room for failure and struggle. A process producing growth as Christ remains central.

Paintball Huddle

All that to say, what an encouragement for you and for me as the body of Christ to continue welcoming in all the people different from us, in different places in their walks with God, with a different approach to things than we might have. We need to pull in together as a team to stay on mission with Proclaiming Christ to a world hungering for Him.

Paintball High Five

Go Team Jesus!

High Ropes Girls

We look forward to continuing to share with you bits and pieces of our summer camp season! Keep checking back.

Have a great day, friend

[Author + Photo Creds: Cassi Werner]

[a new testament] Bible Reading Plan

Bible Reading Plan Block.jpg

Feeling discouraged because you’ve been dropping some intentions is a pretty common feeling around this time of year! New habits are hard to build. Because we believe getting into God’s Word changes everything, we want to encourage you and help you get back on track to reaching your goal!

Shaun’s video on instagram last week was a good jump start, but he wanted to follow up with a better explanation of how to get it done. In a perfect world, we would have started January 1 in the book of John and ended in Revelation by mid summer. Since we are getting back on track here in February it might take until mid September to get through Revelation. Then we can circle back and hit the gospels before the end of the year and we’ve completed the whole New Testament. Like a boss! What?!

Like Shaun encouraged last week, connecting with God is what matters, so pick up today where you left off or get started all together! No time like the present!

Let us know in the comments what Scripture has been encouraging you lately! It might encourage us too!

nt-reading-plan-printable-picture

BEFORE YOU GO:
1. If you’d like weekly encouragement as you read along, let Shaun know! There’s a whole crowd of people pursuing this same goal! (you can email him at shaun@whispermountain.org )
2. If you’d like a printable to keep you on track with your goal, get that here.
3. Get a few friends in on this to help keep each other going! We are better together, right?!