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|

Trail Mix // Episode 17

RP Trail Mix StillEver feel like you are running around, excited to do good things for Jesus?! Sometimes it's easy to mis-prioritize our energies! I love how Ramsey brings this to our attention in this episode of Trail Mix! Check it out (less than 2 min!).

 

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

Make the time to run to Him before running around for Him!

(don't you love the picture YouTube used for the video front? Preach it Rev. Renaldo!)

Would You Cast a Line?

Casting for kids homeIn less than a month's time, anglers in Southwest Florida will be boarding their boats in the early morning hours, gliding to their favorite (and ever so secret) fishing holes of the Gulf in hopes of landing the best catch of the day! Anglers young and old, experienced and newbies, male and female. Anglers with a desire to help the teens of today and a few just wanting another reason to get out on the water and maybe win a little cash. Whatever the reason, whoever the angler, Casting for Kids Fishing Tournament is in the making!

Casting for kids James{photo by Debbie Propp}
At the helm of this Fundraising Event (for Whisper Mountain) is a man named James. An avid fisherman himself, but with his line cast in hopes of hooking others on the vision of partnering with Whisper Mountain to Proclaim Jesus through camp ministry!

Casting for kids billboard{there's even a billboard!! Photo by James Propp!}

3 reasons why I share this with you:

1. If you are a Fort Myers, Florida fisherman/woman/family, you have the awesome opportunity to be a part of this fundraising tournament! Visit the CastingForKids website to sign up! (Our staff looks forward to seeing you down there!)

Casting for kids winners

2. If you are a small business owner or generous individual, James is looking for themed gift items to be donated for the silent auction held at the event. (Anything related to your products/services or a group of items with a theme such as Dinner & Movie, Mother's Day, Family Fun, Backyard BBQ, etc) Contact James or let me know if you're interested in helping out in this way!

3. For everyone else, would you mind praying for James as he gives every ounce of his energy and spare time to this endeavor? A great amount of work (stress, headache…) goes into an event like this! Thanks for helping out in this way!

Casting for kids fishAfter spending all their energy, doing what they knew to do but lacking success, fishermen friends only found a catch when they trusted the God of the ocean standing on the beach! May we be so bold today!

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.

Awesomeness Takes the Stage // Chelsea

I always joke that Chelsea is my Selah all grown up! They are very similar…sweetness and shining smiles being strong suits! In her second summer with us, Chelsea:

Chelsea-3{photo by Charley}

// consistently offers a contagious smile to everyone //

Chelsea-5// isn't afraid to hold a hand and plunge into life with others //

Chelsea-6// is on the brink of a teaching career //

Chelsea-2// graces the stage with the Bros on Ice band //

Chelsea-4// clings to Jesus while embracing her life adventure (with a smile) //

Chelsea-1// connects intentionally with people regularly :: inspiring //

Chelsea-7// refreshes those she spends any amount of time with //

A-peek-inside

Cassi: What is your favorite verse?

Chelsea: Well, I go in phases, but right now it's Ephesians 6:19-21 "Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should."

Cassi: Why did you want to be a guide this summer?

Chelsea: I really felt like God used me a lot last summer and when I had the chance to do it this summer too, I was like yes, I want to be used again!

Cassi: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Chelsea: (squinting her eyes in happiness like she always does) A TEACHerrr!

Cassi: Is there anything the WM friends can be praying for you about?

Chelsea: that I continue to make God my #1 priority so I can glorify God in all I do, especially this next semester with all the busyness and all.

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If anyone has a tenderness to God's Spirit, it's Chelsea Starr! She takes seriously her call as a Christian to disciple and battle in prayer for many who are in need of God's miracle working power! She dedicates mass amounts of energy and time and heart pouring into others, offering wisdom or simply a listening ear! She's also very accident prone which makes me laugh (in a loving way!)…so much like my Selah! Truly, I haven't met anyone that doesn't like to be with her! She's the refreshment I believe God wants us all to offer to those in our world! I'm encouraged and inspired by this girl!

May we be intentional to give off the aroma joy to someone today! Everyday life can really stink!

Awesomeness Takes the Stage // Hope

Oh, how does one contain all of Hope in a small blog post? Nearly impossible, but let's try to catch a glimpse of her awesomeness!

We first encountered Hope when she came as a camper two years ago! Hope:

Hope-1// is forever remembered as Tegan's very first camp girlfriend //

Hope-2// greets the ups and downs of life with optimism and a great attitude //

Hope-6// is the onsite hair stylist //

Hope-7// welcomes adventure every chance she gets //

Hope-3// makes for a super fun dork //

Hope-4// is a member of the infamous Bros on Ice band at WM //

Hope-5// has found a partner in crime while on staff //

Hope-8{this photo taken by kaleigh!}

// has a growing love for her Jesus that causes her to live on mission! //

A-peek-insideCassi: What's your favorite verse?

HOPE: Isaiah 40:28-29 "Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak."

Cassi: Why did you want to be a GIT this summer?

HOPE: I wanted to grow spiritually and (with a big smile) also have a fun adventure!

Cassi: What do you want to be when you grow up?

HOPE: a baker (said with a cute little shrug!)

Cassi: (her baking is fantabulous! When I picked her up at the airport she had a tupperware of yumminess to share! she wins my heart!) What can WM friends be in prayer for you about?

HOPE: just my parents.

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Hope is all about the fun and adventure, but what I love to catch glimpses of is her tender heart and growing passion for Christ! Like many of us, Hope doesn't always allow the inside stuff to show, but I've caught glimpses of her heart when she thought no one was watching and I'm encouraged by her strength and resolve to strive for Christ in every circumstance. God is doing great things in Hope! Doesn't He do that in all of us who are willing to be worked on?! Awesomeness to you today, friends!

Summertime!

Goofballs There's a whole lot going on at camp, one of which is new peeps to hang with!  We greeted some of our summer staff today…and we are pumped about each of them!  This is going to be an exceptional summer, we can already tell!  They are an energetic, on fire for Jesus, mesh well together crowd and we couldn't be happier about them! We still have more to greet later on, but things are starting up at Whisper Mountain!

One lady I am completely grateful for is this beauty right here:CookNot only does Ms. Corrie Ann (as I call her!!) have a love for Jesus that exudes from her, not only does she have a heart to give her time to different ministries throughout the summer months each year, she loves to cook too!  Why does this excite me so much?  More of Corrie Ann means less of Cassi Hope (in the kitchen I'm talkin' now!!!)  Woot-woot!

Man, can you feel the excitement as you read this today?  We are all just perty pumped!  The work of training, ministering, growing with each of these and those yet to come has begun…it's summer time folks!