Summer 2022 | Calvary Rd & The Orchard

A great part of camp ministry is seeing pieces of people’s process: the struggle, the resistance, the doubt; the freedom, the hope, the faith. Such a view only grows our adoration of God and His astounding grace and patience with us as people.

Last week, we had the privilege of welcoming two different churches. Each with leaders who have both been campers at Whisper Mountain Camp, who have both been part of our summer staff team, and who now both serve as youth pastors who bring teens to camp. I’m sorry, but that’s just beautiful, isn’t it? Walking with people through the long haul, through all the different growing seasons, brings such depth to life.

Serving these groups and their leaders (Hayden and Seth) was a privilege as we strive to build up the community of disciples they are growing.

Thank you Calvary and The Orchard for spending your camp week with us! Keep chasing the things of God. Keep impacting your community for God’s glory!

Author | Cassi
Photography | Koda Moody & Cassi
Groups | The Orchard Church & Calvary Road Baptist Church

the simple truth

Snow on evergreensHello there, dear friends!
As the celebratory season of giving thanks and Jesus’ birth warmly embraces us this time of year, I’ve been prayerfully yearning a simple, powerful desire: Give me Jesus. My mind has been warpedwith a recent love of simplicity, and the truth is, learning the power behind it is anything but simple for my over-analytical brain to do. When one of my students falls out of her chair “accidentally” knocking over and spilling my coffee all over the place during a formal test, Lord, Give me Jesus [grace] When I drive to work 55 minutes late for being early, unknowingly forgetting my classroom keys and lunch but get to see the glory of His sunrise over a silent highway, Ah, Lord, Give me Jesus. [peace] When I am constantly being pounded down by hearing unrelenting bad news of family’s health issues, day after day, Just give me Jesus. [power]
All of these daily common circumstances are always bringing me back to the simple reality ofneeding Jesus, simply because of who He is. In John 14:6 Jesus tells us, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” What is the truth? The truth is Jesus. Who is Jesus? Jesus is the most compassionate, loving, gracious, peace-giving, powerful, and faithful man who ever walked this earth. He faithfully took on our ugly sins, shameful regrets, and broken pieces. He washed us clean, forgot our past, and wholly put us back together on the cross that He died on. The truth is, in everything that we say and do, we are to do our humanly best to become the truth, to become Jesus, even when it seems impossibly complicated to achieve.
What does this have to do with discipleship? Everything. We can claim and proclaim all about Jesus as much as we want so people hear us and so we are doing our “active duty” as an obedient disciple of His Great Commission (Matthew 28:19), but if we are telling the truth without being the truth, nothing we say will be heard. Sometimes we try to dig so deeply into the Word to try and extract truths to gain more knowledge, all the while missing the simplest truth. Sometimes we simply read the Word because we know we should, all the while missing the simplest truth. It’s so simple: Just get Jesus. An aspiring theologian, avid disciple maker, and one of my best brothers in Christ told me this one day: “There is a big difference in knowing something and becoming it. I think it’s a problem with Christianity. We become consumed in our rational and intellectual pursuits of God instead of simply allowing Him to change us into that which reflects Him the most.”
With all of this in mind, I have a simple question for you: Truthfully, what are you doing with knowing the truth?
|Author >> Chelsea| ^^ |Photography >> Cassi|

Contagious Exuberlation

Hey dear friends!

Exuberlation-Guys-JumpI come to you with pure excitement in sharing my love of discipleship with you all! That’s the theme of today’s post: (holy cow happy + heaped to overflowing =) EXUBERLATION.

Guys-on-the-DockHave you ever been so excited and overjoyed about something that you just HAD to share it with people that you love? Maybe it was receiving an A on an exam that you studied hours for. Or maybe it was getting that job that you’ve been praying and hoping for. Did you get a puppy?! Possibly you finally had a day filled with rays of sunshine when it seemed like nothing but storm clouds have been following you around for days. In those moments when you feel like you’re jumping out of your skin with exhilaration (for some, it’ll look more composed by wearing a bright, lit-up smile; others like me, a physical jump and spin-around is something you can’t help but do) you just can’t deny the feeling of sharing it with someone. It’s in our nature- we’re meant to connect with people!

Girls-on-the-DockWhen’s the last time you shared your excitement and love for Jesus with someone? In God’s Word, John, an honored man who was actually able to spend time with Jesus, writes in his letter, “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete” – 1 John 1:3-4.

WOW. John was saying that he is so pumped up about Jesus that he wants to share what he has seen and heard about Jesus Christ in order to fulfill his feeling of excitement and joy about Him (WE could say John had a case of EXUBERLATION!)

This is the premise of discipleship, friends, beautifully said by Pastor Francis Chan: “It’s one person, so in love with God, and when that one person starts obeying the things of God they start seeing life change-They can’t help but start telling their friends about it.”

Frank-and-Chaz-Skipping-RocksIn other words, GET EXCITED about your relationship with Jesus, about what He has been doing in your life, and simply, what He did for you on the cross. SHARE what he has been doing with your friends. In doing this, you are spreading and speaking the glorious gospel that He desires us to share. You are growing followers of Jesus. You are making disciples.

So now I’ll leave you with a similar question: When’s the next time you’re going to share your excitement (exuberlation) and love for Jesus with someone?

|Author >> Chelsea| ^^ |Photography >> Jamie + Cassi| ^^ |Featured Katangello Models >> Eli Goodpaster, Frank Cline, Ethan Ramsey, Chaz Whaley, Kinsley, Tori Moody|

one thing trumps the fun

Hello dear campers!

As I sit here nostalgic of camp life, sifting through the 2014 summer staff photo disc (similar to the ones you all were able to receive from your own youth groups), I’m reminded of why we were all sent to Whisper Mountain this past summer.

Whisper-mountain-summer-staff-funYes, the relationships that were created and bonds that were formed among the staff are indescribably vital to all summer staff’s lives, and it is an understatement to say it is a remarkable blessing to be able to call on each other in time of prayer or in time of praise; however, we were there this summer FOR YOU. Yes, YOU. I’ll tell you why.

The Great Commission: Matthew 28: 18-20 says, “And Jesus came and said to them [his disciples], ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’”

Whisper-mountain-summer-staff-collageSo YES- did we have the TIME OF OUR LIVES hanging out with you on the field, challenging you on the low/high ropes courses, tubing with you down Deep Creek, and welting you with paintballs? ABSOLUTELY. However, there’s one “YUGE” thing that trumps all of those incredible, unforgettable memories, and that’s seeing your lives surrender to our Father.

Hilton-Head-WorshipGod called the summer staff to Whisper Mountain this summer to make disciples from those who came in our paths. We led small group times, cabin times, prayer times, worship, nightly messages- we TREASURE those moments of camp because each one signifies you growing one step closer to Him and one step further from the world. You were/are our disciples in Jesus’ name.

Simply put, a disciple is someone who follows Jesus. Guess what? Matthew 28 says that Jesus told HIS disciples to go make disciples- and that’s what we are doing! Whisper Mountain staff (disciples) desire to build relationships with you campers (disciples) so we can help your relationship with the Lord grow stronger in hopes that you will invest your time and prayer and love into others’ lives (disciples?) so THEY can grow their walk with the Lord.

Community-Baptist-PrayerWe are disciples growing disciples. We are followers of Jesus Christ growing followers of Jesus Christ. That’s the Lord’s commission, command, URGE for us.

In upcoming blog posts, I’ll be posting some discipleship tips and suggestions as to
how to go about obeying our Savior in His Great Commission to His followers.

Love you all! Thanks for reading!
In Christ, becoming
Chelsea Starr

|Author >> Chelsea| ^^ |Photography >> Jamie + Cassi| ^^ |Featured Groups >> Comm.Bapt + Hilton Head|

Awesomeness Takes the [2013] Stage // Chelsea

Friends…I know you're being bombarded with some awesomeness. It's quite a lot to take in. BUT time is short and it's worth it, don't you agree?!

Meet Chelsea.

Whisper-mountain-staff-chels 1Remember her from last year? Every year gets better with Chelsea! She's been a rockstar from the beginning, but this year, like Aaron, she has taken on a greater leadership role through summer camp! God has stretched, used and strengthened her! Beautiful!

Whisper-mountain-staff-chels 2Much as the above picture shows, Chelsea spends much of her time laughing or smiling or spending time with her Lord to return to such a state! That's one thing I admire most about Chelsea. Her joy-filled living that only comes from her time with Jesus!

Whisper-mountain-staff-chels 3Having just graduated college, Chelsea will begin her student teaching in the fall. She's giddy about it, guys! She can.not.wait. to teach. Such passion is sure to leave a mark on some unsuspecting elementary kids!

Whisper-mountain-staff-chels 5I'm thankful for Chelsea's heart for discipleship and the time she creates to make it happen! She's an inspiration and encouragement to all who know her! If you'd like to get a peek into her everyday, follow her on instagram @chelseamichele11

Whisper-mountain-staff-chels 4May today be "ev-a in your fav-a!"