Like Wildfire

Have you seen our posts on Instagram or Facebook or heard on the news about the fires consuming western North Carolina? Firefighters from all over the country have come to our area over the past few weeks trying to contain and extinguish thousands of acres of forest. More than 50,000 acres have been affected. Although investigations are still ongoing, the fires were believed to have been set on purpose.

The smoke has finally lifted here at camp and we are able to breathe crisp, clean air again, The spiritual parallel is tangible.

Every day we are surrounded by people living dry and deadened lives. If we follow Jesus, I can’t help thinking how quickly His life-giving love would spread if we were simply passionate for Christ. Our moments alone with Him, where His Word comes alive and we personally hear from Him, grows a passion for Him that can’t be quenched.

Having a passion for Jesus would not only light us on fire but would set a fire everywhere we went. Before long, we’d see God setting a classroom, a family, a small group, a youth group, a work place, a sports team, a friendship on fire! A fire of life in Christ bringing heaven to earth, attracting the glory of God and affecting the lives of every thirsting soul around.

We have the power of the Spirit living within us to help us set ablaze the hearts of people in our sphere of influence for the glory of God. Catch the passion of Christ personally, then walk in the Spirit, spreading the love of God like wildfire!

When Monday Isn’t a Fresh Start

Woodland Pathway

If only a new week always meant a fresh start. How many Mondays show up still holding all the same pressures and deadlines, work loads and baggage? Nothing fresh about that! So what should we do when another long week stretches out before us, the hard only feeling harder as we go?

When tempted to quit hard things, we can help ourselves out by fixing our minds on higher things. We may not get out of our hard, but our mind can be preoccupied with hope to help us through the burdensome. Because it won’t be like this forever, it’s just for right now. So press on, keep going, don’t quit!

Glorious Moth

Practice looking for good, fix your mind on higher things rather than the weighty things and believe God is with you. You might find a little extra pep in your step this Monday!

His Glorious Reminders



Whisper-Mountain-Camp-Office-in-FallI recently read somewhere the idea of fall being God’s glorious assurance of His presence before the coming winter, when all seems dead and cold. I loved that imagery because the life moments that feel dark and cold can challenge our belief in God’s goodness and faithfulness to us.

Whether you’re in a climate that has seasonal changes or not, let me encourage you to soak in God’s glory today. Keep feeding your heart with the truth and hope of the life found in Christ. Allow Him to remind you of His “with-us” presence no matter what life’s circumstances may be.

He makes life beautiful!
Let’s soak Him in today,

(iphone pics of Whisper Mountain’s rainy, fall day)

pilgrim on


The news headlines cast shadows on our daily realities. Changes in the classrooms quicken our breath and lead our thoughts to places we’d rather not visit. Current events darken the threshold of our peace of mind. Heaping piles of fear can weigh us down and cause us to dread the future or lose sleep at night or keep us from choosing to live our lives in a forward motion.


Let us encourage you today to remember that God’s hand is in the undercurrents of all of life. Lift your eyes to the King of Kings, to the One who said in His Word these things will take place, to the One who is aligning everything for His promised return! WE ARE NOT HOME…Pilgrim on! Be the light while light remains. His plan is in motion and He has proven Himself trustworthy. We can hope in Him!

what should I do?

Foggy treesIn this wonderful, cold season we are often prompted with a lot of questions that determine our life choices: what college should I attend after High School? Who should I hang out with? Should I date this person I like? How am I supposed to get along with this person I don’t like? What am I supposed to do with my life? I don’t know about you, but I could use some wisdom in my life. Let’s see if James (Jesus’ brother) can offer us some advice on how to renew our minds:

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5 ]

Snowman + on her kneesIt’s just that simple- get on your knees, get in God’s Word and ask for wisdom! I asked God for wisdom at 16 and started off reading a chapter of Proverbs a day. I am not Buddha, Gandhi, or King Solomon; I have, however, had God blow my mind with his wisdom because He is so good. Ask, and you shall receive!

You may be wondering what it looks like to have God’s wisdom. James, our expert on wisdom, tells us:

“The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace –loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” [ James 4:17 ]

There you have it! Surrender yourself to God and ask him to help you renew your mind and He will make you into the kind, wise person you were created to be!

BONUS challenge: Commit to reading a chapter of Proverbs a day. A proverb a day keeps the enemy’s lies away!

Peace and grace to you,


|Author >> James| ^^ |Photography >> Cassi|

missing the bar

Hey everybody! James here. You are still fully surrendered like you were this summer, right? You’re still in the word and prayer all the time, and you’re in authentic community right? Things are going almost perfectly, and you are at the top of your spiritual game right? (Cynical laugh) If you are like most of us, the answer to one or all of these is “no.”

Hilton head FeetSomewhere along the way we all “miss the bar” spiritually, emotionally, socially, and so on. We all fail. We all hurt others, and we all hurt ourselves. I am convinced that the biggest danger to Christians today is not temptation but the guilt and shame that come from sin. All too often, we will mess up. We repent, turning towards Christ. But for some reason we cannot seem to forgive ourselves as Christ has forgiven us. This guilt and shame perpetuates more fear, more hiding, and more sin.  There are so many Christians who let their guilt and shame turn into self-hatred, and not grasping God’s grace fully, allow their self-hatred to fester and grow. I have been one of them without even realizing it. Does this ring a bell to you? If so, grab your bible and lean into God’s truth with me: 


  1. We are commanded to view ourselves accurately. First and foremost, in Romans 12:3 we are told, “do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” One thing The Lord has shown me recently is I have a tendency to view myself as unworthy, and so I overcompensate by acting prideful. Whether we think we are the coolest thing since sliced cheese, or we are always downing ourselves, neither reflects the way Christ sees us; both can be dangerous to our spiritual, emotional health.
  2. Your Self-Hatred Affects Others. There is so much I could say about this, but all I will note is this: you will never be the person God has created you to be, and you will never love other people the way God has called you to unless you love yourself.  In other words, the “golden rule” of loving your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31) cannot be followed well if you treat yourself like garbage.
  3. Holding Resentment Towards Yourself is a Vicious Cycle. I messed up, therefore I feel bad. I feel bad, therefore I need to do something to feel better. I do what makes me feel better (sin). I feel worse than I did before.It is a horrible pattern that most of us are not aware of when it happens. On the flip side, it is when we finally acknowledge the bitterness we have and surrender it to Christ (Romans 12:1) that we allow Christ to do the healing in us he promised. 

So do yourself a favor and forgive your worst enemy- you! Talk to a trusted friend, a pastor or a mentor. Break the sin-cycle you are trapped in and let Jesus shine through you!

Peace and Grace to you,


|Author >> James| ^^ |Photography >> Jamie|

be still

Be Still 1

Imagine this. You wake up peacefully; the light of morning is quietly peaking through the curtains. You turn over slowly, allowing yourself to sink deeper into the warm comfort of your covers. Everything is still, you are at rest, and the anxiety of the world is light-years away.

Suddenly, you look at the clock. You realize you forgot to set your alarm and you only have 15 minutes until school starts or you have to be at work. Your mom is screaming “we have to leave NOW for school” and you can’t even figure out what to do first. “I still need to shower”, you think, “and I was going to finish my homework early this morning because I was too tired to finish it last night”. “Oh, I have to remember my book this time because I was docked 5 points for forgetting it yesterday.” AAAHHHH Jesus help me!!!

Be Still 2

And then, you remember: Jesus. Oh yeah, I wanted to spend time praying this morning. Oh well, God will wait for me to talk to him when I have time….Does this situation sound way too familiar?

Busyness does not always give rise to productivity. I have recently been reminded that apart from God, I can do NOTHING (John 15:5). Truth is, God wants to be your comfort in the midst of your busy schedule. He wants to be a part of everything you are involved in, not just the church stuff. He wants EVERY BIT OF YOU, and He wants to make your burden light.

Cast ALL your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7) Did you miss that? HE CARES FOR Y-O-U! He is a wonderful Father, and He hates to see his children in distress. That is why He wants you to know that He can hold your stress: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)

Be Still 3Be Still, and know that I am God.

Be still, friends.

Much Love, from Caitlin Hines

|Author + Photographer >> Caitlin

the pathway to our true identity

Don't-Conform-Printable-Web-sizeTake your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

If that sounds familiar to Romans 12:2, you guessed correctly! This is the Message Bible translation, and although I do not recommend you memorize this version, I do encourage you to write these words on your heart. I like The Message because it directly explains what it means to renew your minds. I would like to briefly write on the importance of this and the pathway it paves to our true identity.

Renewing of the mind begins with a choice — many choices, actually. Before you know it, one lie in your head can lead to another and you start to think about impossible circumstances you never want to find yourself in. Taking captive every thought and making it obedient to Christ is important because it directly effects how we see ourselves and the rest of the world around us. We have full control of what happens in us, but not always what happens around us. Before long, we start to become what we think the most important person in our lives thinks we are.

The next thing I would like to talk about is a true sense of our identity. Our actions and reactions to what goes on around us is rooted in our sense of identity, and I believe that is more important to target than the renewing process itself. To know who you are means to know Who you come from. Your identity is nothing you have made yourself to be. It is not an equation of gifts + passions + accomplishments. Everything comes from the cross and God’s original plan for you. Something I have learned since being in Ministry School is that the biggest lie is “I am a sinner, saved by grace.” No, I was a sinner, but now I am a saint. I am seated in heavenly places. The truth is that you are royalty. You are seated next to Jesus, and He wants you to live like it. Believe in the truth about yourself because the truth sets you FREE. You, as a royal heir, cannot afford to believe another lie about yourself. You wear a crown but you live like a slave. That ends today. Remember where you came from. People will only love you as much as you love you. People will only honor you as much as you honor you. You are a gem, a treasure to many, but most of all, to our King.

As you walk in this identity, you will see change from the inside out. You will readily recognize what He wants for you. You will lift others up instead of tearing down. Your eyes will be opened to the best in you and your mind will be made new. The most important person in your life will become Jesus and you will desire to become the way He made you to be. Pray this today:

“Father, I am yours. Everything from You is good and I find myself in You, therefore I am full of Your goodness. Today, I conquer fear and lies in the name of Jesus. I am built in Your strength and I declare a spirit of boldness in me. I choose to walk in Your fullness today. I find out who I am when I find out who You are. Thank you for loving me with an everlasting love. You da’ best Lord, in Jesus’ name, Amen.” [The last part is for Robert Moody…:)]

Bless you Massive! My heart is for you all!

Charley Woodman


What are your questions or reactions to what Charley wrote? Do you agree with what she said or disagree? Share in the comments.


To print the artwork above, click here to open higher resolution image (may take a minute to download), save to your computer, then print out on card stock or paper of your choice! Tag Charley ( @charleyjwoodman ) in your instagram pictures to show her how you use her art!

|Author + Artwork >> Charley

get it in the light

Sparks of fireSummer has gone and with her departure a new school year has begun. Some of you in middle school or high school and a few starting or continuing college. Regardless of where you find yourself, one thing is almost certain, your fire from camp has fizzled: maybe a little, maybe a lot.

Circle of fireOne of the biggest hindrances to our fire and our entire walk with the Lord, is hidden sin. Satan loves nothing more than to find some way to convince us to keep our sins in the dark.

“Don’t confess that, imagine what they’ll think of you…”

“You just slipped up once, no need to bug your accountability partner, it’s not like you’re making a habit of it…”

Those are a few of the lines the enemy loves to use on me. Maybe you can relate? Maybe he uses different thoughts for you. The point is, if, as believers, we are bottling up our mistakes and trying to ‘work them out’ on our own, we’re doing exactly what Satan wants.

Spinning fireTake a peek at Ephesians 5:11-14:

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light.

Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

FirewireIf keeping your fire burning bright or rekindling the flame is important to you, then this is my challenge:

Examine your heart – are there any hidden sins in your life?

Get it in the light – if the answer is yes, find someone you can trust and get real with them.

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”1 John 1:7

Lets be in the light.
Grace and peace, brothers and sisters.

|Author >> Aaron| ^^ |Photography >> Jamie|

moving forward after camp

Dearest campers + friends!

Charley jo on the roadWriting from the passenger seat of my car, this is Charley coming to you today! I am thrilled to be a part of the great transition of this blog. I pray these words may encourage you and open your eyes to something new today.

Summer staff 2014As most of you are campers whom we spent only 6 days with this summer, I decided I would share some little bits of what life after camp looks like for the summer staff. I think it is necessary that you see our humanity and how we are called to step out into “oceans” everyday, just like you are.

Whisper mountain camp roadMost of us drove back home to our families, jobs, and responsibilities that were put on hold while we were at camp. Some of us face broken families, where our family members do not believe in Jesus. We’ve had to face the skinny fear of new jobs and semesters that look different from any other. I know very well, and I am sure the rest would agree, that we have had to face the reality of not having daily, authentic community. We are blessed to have great friendships at camp, ones that contain deep accountability and encouragement. Coming home is not easy, but it is what the Lord spent all summer preparing us for. I will share personally a few things the Lord has revealed to me since being home…

Whisper mountain solo time1) Nothing can substitute His Word. Any quote or cool devotional pales in comparison to the promises of scripture + the peace that comes when you can recite it from memory in times of need. I’m reading a lot of books at once for the ministry school I’m about to attend, but that does not suffice for the power that comes directly from His word. So, read it. Meditate on it and memorize it. It is not impossible, you did it at camp and loved it. You contain the Holy Spirit in you that gives you every skill of memorization possible. You access that power when you press in to Him.

Whisper mountain high ropes2) God is on my side. He is not just on my side when I’m surrounded by other Christians who encourage me. He is not just on my side when I succeed at something I do. The favor of the Lord is over my abundant life and I need to press in to that truth! Getting in to the swing of school or a new season is not easy or fun, but with God on your side, you can do all things. You can have all the joy and all of the peace that His love made a way for.

I encourage you to keep going. I encourage you to press on and press in to all the Father has set before you. When it is uncomfortable + unclear, keep going. This year will be your best one yet. May His love fill you up today and tomorrow and the next tomorrow.

In Christ, becoming

Charley Jo

|Author >> Charley| ^^ |Photography >> Jamie (photo 1 by charley)| ^^ |Featured Groups >> Estero + Berry’s Grove|