Have you ever had a dream or vision for something that you later discovered was blinding you from seeing what you already had right in front of you? Case in point: we are at the place in our ministry where new buildings feel like a pretty big need. One building is the lodge: this will double the amount of teens we can gather for teaching and worship times, will bring the full time staff offices and the camp store up to the center of camp activity, will open up another space for small group meetings, and will allow for a higher quality experience in every way. Building such a place requires dollars which requires fundraising which requires time. This is all still very much on our horizon, but is there a quicker fix utilizing what we currently have?
The Pack Shack is our answer! Formerly used to store equipment and be a quick shelter from rain, we are now working toward enclosing this space to become our interim gathering space with teens! By next summer, Lord willing!
Yesterday the concrete floor was poured! Did you see the process in our Instagram stories? If not, here are a few pictures to catch you up!
We have been asking for people to give to our concrete yard sale. This project required 25 yards of concrete and each yard costs $135. Thank you to each of you who have contributed to the pouring of this floor! [We are still short and will have more walkway space to pour when the building is done. If you feel like you want to be a part of helping us make the most of what we already have you can Give Now!]
Shaun had a good time recording some of the process yesterday during the work! We posted them on Instagram — if you want to go see them, head to our feed!
We are super excited to share the process of this build with you! Maybe you can learn from our experience in this too. Whatever you might be envisioning or feeling too far away from, make the absolute most of what you have now because it will serve as the stepping stone to the bigger picture later on! Keep going. Every step counts.
As summer is slowly winding down to an end, the flowers dying, leaves starting to fall, my heart is comforted by all of the warm memories of the past few months that ride on the gentle breeze blowing on me. Fall is almost here and it’s almost like everything from summer drifts away along with the passing season.
Conformity is setting in, and the soothing pull of being comfortable is looking more and more appealing with each passing day. But just as the leaves will soon change colors, so should our mindset. We shouldn’t be anchored down by our fleshly desires to be where we were three months ago. We should be setting our minds on the new, the future, today.
As we embark on this new adventure, we should be praying for opportunities to grow, to be tested, to use what we have learned from the summer, and somehow along the way, we should be choosing to find joy through it all. We should enter into this new season just as we did the last: not knowing what is going to happen, but having the faith that when we are fixing our eyes on the author of our lives, and trusting in Him, that through the trials of our lives he is testing us; He is perfecting us.
My challenge to you — whoever is reading this, whether you’re a past camper, staff member, or even someone with no affiliation to Whisper Mountain — is to live out Romans 12:2 – “Do not conform by the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will” (NKJV). God’s calling us to a life sold out to Him, even if that means being uncomfortable, and possibly standing alone. So get out there! As the wise ole’ Gandhi once said: “Be the change you want to see in the world” but as I (along with Needtobreathe and Charley Woodman) like to paraphrase, “Be a difference maker.”
Join the conversation — what’s it mean to you to be a difference maker?
In the land where wild horses stampede across the sky,
and faithful hearts stroll the earth
there 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.
The 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
…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!
For 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!)
While the trail leading up to this weekend has been quite colorful…
…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!)!
While 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!)
On 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!
// Enjoying the bends in the road and piles of goodness dropping in on us, both as individuals and as a camp.
// Finding the splashes of color along the way to mean God is working rather than a mess is making!
// Being startled by the unexpected creatures previous guests have planted here and there! (and imagining them giggling while planting them!)
// 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!
Each fall we hold a teen girl's retreat at camp. In years passed, we have hired a college ministry group to come and run the program for us. While that was good for then, the time has come for us to run our own program! And I couldn't be more excited. As I've been praying through the direction and material and the help, my excitement grows! I can't wait to see how God personalizes this retreat for each person coming!
Feel free to pass the word along to any teen girls! (More info here) The more the merrier! Would you also begin praying with us that God is in every square inch of the planning, preparing and executing?!
Whisper Mountain's high ropes cove probably never felt as big as it seemed to our guys this week! They felt every square inch of its vastness as they raked to (near) perfection! I don't think this cove has ever looked so good! For the past five years, our campers and our staffers have dealt with the dirt and mud as they experienced our course. But folks…that's all about to change!
Today our miracle workers showed up and painted the cove green! We watched with big ole grins!
Because we all are dreaming of the lush growth that should come by spring!
Things are starting to feel a little girly around Whisper Mountain! We are in the final hours of preparation for our teen girls True ID retreat! Details, menus, decor…details! These are just a few of the things filling our minds, hands and time. We are praying that both the local and non-local girls attending will find themselves awash with God's redeeming grace and the mission of living for Him! Will you join us in praying?