Our Ten Year Staff Reunion


Labor Day weekend was quite the weekend as we celebrated ten years of ministry! We were thankful to share the day with a few locals, a few board members and spouses and about half of our over-the-years summer staff! I’m not sure how the others felt, but remembering God’s faithfulness — His big and sometimes quiet work in, around and for us — goes a long ways to encourage our walking right now!


Sharing laughter with our staff over the memories and retelling of favorite camp stories was completely delightful! Hearing Shaun’s well composed “poem” of all the campisms from over the years was perfectly hilarious and memorable! Reconnecting, though it wasn’t enough time, was refreshing as we caught a glimpse of how far God has brought each of us on our journeys, as varied and different as they all are!


I’m amazed how something like summer camp can gather such different people together to walk in the same direction in ways that benefit all of us but glorify God above all! The Whisper Mountain Family is made up of some pretty stellar people, and it just keeps growing as we welcome in special someones of past staff and as we continue to be faithful to Proclaiming Christ through camp ministry in the years to come!


Summer Staff, keep proclaiming Christ where you are! You are beautiful people that have helped make Whisper Mountain effective on any level! We love you and can’t wait for next time!

Thank you to all of you who have been a part of our ministry in some way over this past decade! We have seen God together, haven’t we? May He continue to be real and in our midst, for His glory alone!


Teen Perspective // Balancing school, sports and Jesus

Erin is sharing with us today! She’s a junior in high school and offers great perspective and encouragement, no matter our age! [Thanks for sharing your heart, Erin! You’re beautiful!]


Erin SmilesAs I sit here, taking the part of my day I would usually be preparing for a volleyball game, I ponder the question at hand: How do I balance between school, sports and Jesus? I ask myself this question so frequently that it becomes more of a prayer than a routine. Obviously Jesus always comes first, right? I would like to say that’s ALWAYS the case, but sadly, it’s not. Teens, including myself, get side tracked SO easily. We get caught up in the excitement of school with friends, homework, sports, parents and jobs–the whole nine yards. The trouble is finding the time! We only have 24 hours in a day: take 8 for sleep, 7 for school, 2 for sports practice or game, up to 3 hours at work, and 1 on homework (two in my case). That only leaves 3 hours left in the whole day for 2 meals and to spend time with God. That’s not including extra clubs and activities expected out of honor students. That’s crazy! How could anyone expect that much out of a sixteen year old?!

Balancing 3Well, in my case, every day is different. I never know what the day holds for me. I try to find practical ways to remind me of my priorities. I always start the day with a Bible verse, taking the time to reflect on what God is trying to tell me and how I can apply it to the day ahead. Smiling at people down the hallway, talking to someone new, a random act of kindness–school might be the best place to show God’s love. It also might be the hardest. I know from experience, trying to talk to someone who isn’t in your “clique” is not only intimidating, it’s just not something anyone wants to do. However, as followers of Christ, shouldn’t we strive to be more Christ-like? Isn’t that what Christ did, spending time with the hated and mistreated, showing them LOVE? That’s a part of our mission, MY mission.

Balancing 1It’s a daily struggle to treat everyone the same and to respond to them in love. Although it’s not my love, it’s Christ’s and we need not show it only in school, but in sports too. I can’t express how hard it is to love others in the heat of a driven game. With all eyes on you, how you react in a game reflects who you are. If you are a representative of Christ, then what you do and how you act reflects HIM. In my situation, my prayer lately has been to give 100 percent in everything, and leave the rest to God. To be honest, it works! To my amazement, the first game I played after I prayed that I had no regrets. I kept a positive attitude and I played great! The power of prayer is the thing that boggles my mind.

Balancing 2However, when everything is going in a positive direction, it can easily change. I never thought anything bad would happen this season, and the thought really never sank in until I was sitting in the emergency room getting told I fractured my foot. My thought process was so scattered, I didn’t know whether I was more upset that I was hurt or the fact I wouldn’t get to finish what I had worked so hard for all summer. Then on the ride home, I realized I might have something great in store while not being able to finish the second half of my volleyball season. With some free time on MY hands, God could use HIS to mold me into something I could never become while playing volleyball. 

Balancing 4I answer the question, “How do you balance school, sports and Jesus?” with two words: I don’t. The definition of “balance” is “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain up right and steady.” That is as far from my life as it gets! Nothing gets the same amount of time in my life. I fall apart. I get overwhelmed too easily. I have the attention span of about five seconds. I think about sports during class. I stay up way too late doing homework. I procrastinate everything. I try to do too many things at once.

Balancing focusWith all this jumbled mess I call my life, I wouldn’t really say I balance anything. Yet, God gives me the grace to continue, and when my eyes are on Him, He makes my crazy schedule possible.

a perk of camp ministry

Author Journal StoryAs staff of Whisper Mountain Youth Camp, we have the rare privilege of glimpsing a few of the words God is authoring on the pages of His kids' lives. Each story is unique, with differing scenery having its own peaks and valleys, but every story contains the same thread of grace woven throughout its plot. Who writes a better story than the Author of life?

Authoring Matt McFallsWe've enjoyed having a guy named Matt McFalls with us for the past month or so. Talk about a guy who loves to laugh! He's pretty good at causing our sides to ache, but he also works hard (hello weed-whacker!), has great insight and is like the rest of us…in process with His Daddy! 

Who knows how long we get to have him around, but we kind of hope he doesn't have plans to leave any time soon! Today I'm thankful for the faithfulness of the With Us God and the chance to glimpse His work through camp ministry!

Have you seen God working recently? Whether we see or not, we can be confident He is faithful.


Men at whisper mountainSeeing a group of godly men gather, pull together, lead pulls at my heart strings. True, I may get annoyed or disagree or (gasp) cop an attitude with them (not me!), but the bottom line is their leadership is my desire and God's design. I'm thankful to have such strong and godly men in my life. I'm encouraged by those who've been with us this week.

Men, you matter! Rise up and lead! Women, let them, support them–especially if you claim one as your man!

the three percent & the power of camp

Three clay potsThe guys came home from their regional camp conference last week with a startling stat:

Three percent — read 3% — of teens in America today believe in Christian tenants.

Do you feel the shock I felt when I heard this? Alarming when we as Christians realize how we've failed to share the light within our families, workplaces and communities. While it's true that "the times" must get worse before our wait for Jesus is over, it's equally true that we have many to be reaching in the wait. Our "Africa" is outside our front doors

Camp ministry has the awesome opportunity to use the elements of adventure and undistracted quiet for teens to discover the hope of Jesus. A short video was put together by 3CA on the power of camp! Check it out:


[if unable to view the above video, click here]

I share this to awaken us, but also to say thank you to many of you for seeing the value of the ministry we do. We value your support and shared passion to see teens find Jesus! 

I also share this to encourage us to be brave enough to make a difference in the world around us. Our time and efforts investing in others with God's truth are not only vital but a worthy spending of the time we've been given.

in the land of wild horses


Nasheville2In the land where wild horses stampede across the sky,


Nasheville5and faithful hearts stroll the earth

Nasheville4there was a window. Peering through the window, wearied hearts perceived the intimate touch of a present God. The breath of life was breathed into them. 

Nasheville7The beauty of a Savior infused their hearts.


Shaun and I are grateful for our weekend with some of our friends and financial supporters in Nashville. We received such encouragement through their fellowship and by way of their pastor on Sunday morning…God touched our hearts personally. What more could we hope for?!

Then on top of it, we were blessed with TP

Nasheville6…this is a timely gift, folks, as there's one roll on the shelf . You have no idea how big the little things are!

May God's personal touch fall obviously on your day!

colorful & consuming

ConsumedFor a little more than a month now, I've we've been consumed with a retreat taking place this weekend! The planning, praying over, preparing, promoting, programming…what other p word is there that relates?! Any-who, we've had our heads down in it. (More so than with our other fall retreats…this one is specialized!)

Consumed colorful trailWhile the trail leading up to this weekend has been quite colorful…

Consuming overcast…and sometimes overcast, I am believing the mountains of prayer are leading the way to an even more colorful encounter with a personal God for each person showing up (and even those involved!)!

Consumed beautyWhile skeptics and cynics would say it's just life, I would like to add that the many *curious* difficulties in recent days have me thinking there's more to this retreat than a gathering of people! More mountains of prayers from those rich in faith would be greatly welcomed! (This weary warrior is about to crumble!) 

Consumed side noteOn the side, while we're talking color…how do you like the new pop on our directional signs? I think they are pretty happy with their upgrade, don't you?! (thanks RP and helpers!)

Friends, cynics, skeptics and faith-filled…go be awesome today!

our now

Our now 4// Enjoying the bends in the road and piles of goodness dropping in on us, both as individuals and as a camp.

Our now 3// Finding the splashes of color along the way to mean God is working rather than a mess is making!

Our now

Our now2// Being startled by the unexpected creatures previous guests have planted here and there! (and imagining them giggling while planting them!)

Our now 5
// Soaking in the beautiful weather and landscape that changes by the day.

Each of us staffers are enjoying, growing, stretching and walking our path along the trail in camp ministry! While different spots are more fun than others, the whole trail has us walking nearer to our Jesus, each other, and those in our world. That is what the walking is about after all!

stumped // what to do about it

The guys are doing some final work at our lake site, in preparation for digging the thing! Removal of the stumps is the current work. While capturing some (iphone…eck) shots of the process, I was hit with a life lesson right there in the middle of the mud pit!


Think with me…have you ever felt entirely uprooted, yanked out from what you'd always known, taken from the place where you were quite comfortably doing your thing?

Stumped2Then, tightly gripped in the claws of the inevitable with fear suffocating your heart, being carried away to the unknown?


Have you then been plopped down in the middle of your greatest fear, shaking and trembling and wondering just Whose idea this was and what was He thinking? Being out of the path of the known draped in feelings of inadequacy and unsurety, even ruin?

If so, we can relate to each other then! If not, enjoy your comfort for a short time longer;). I'm currenly finding myself in the uprooted position, and I need those feelings and fears to quiet down so I can function effectively. So here's how I'm working on overcoming the discomfort of leaving my comfort zone:

1. Breathe // seems a no brainer, but seriously, take a deep breath!

2. Get Perspective // pull out from the freaking out filling the head!

For me, that means remembering my small part in the work God is doing. He's got me here, all depends on Him! The world doesn't rest on my shoulders!

3. Dive in // Thinking about something is far worse than doing it!

Like homework, housechores, or gruntwork, they are much more overwhelming than if we would just get to work on them. In the middle of it, we wonder why we were freaking out!

4. Pray without Ceasing // Staying connected is everything!

For me, the more I chat through my fears and struggles, worries and cares with my Daddy, the less I feel alone with them, the lighter the load feels. Because I believe God is intimately acquainted with me, I believe He cares, He helps, He causes all things to work for His good. He's the magic behind life!

We don't have to stay stumped by fear. We can be uprooted for the glory of God!

Do you have ideas to help in the process of being uprooted and plopped in unfamiliar territory? 

Trail Mix // Episode 09

After six months of running from the video camera, Dennis got brave! While serving with us this summer, he pushed through a few minutes of awkward and uncomfortable as he sat in front of his computer to share encouragement with us! I'm thankful for his timely message. I pray the experience he shares (in true Dennis fashion!) blesses you where you are right now!


{if you are unable to view the above video, click here}

Don't you love how even a bird with attitude can point us to our loving Daddy in Heaven?

May you find His personal touch evidenced today! Blessings to you friends!