Living In Tents can be Intense!

“For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.”
Shaun in tents tee at Whisper Mountain Camp
I don’t know if you’ve heard me say it or not, but one of the phrases I like to use at camp is “Camp is intense! We sleep in cabins, but camp is in-tents!” This play on words, among many others, is one of my favorites. So much so, that my lovely wife made a shirt several years ago that expressed this saying.
Army Tent at Whisper Mountain Camp
We also used this idea of camp and life being intense for our summer camp theme — were you here that year? Based out of 2 Corinthians 5:1-2, we talked about how our bodies are earthly tents and we have an eternal home in heaven.
In Tents at Whisper Mountain Camp
Remembering this earth is not our home, this life is temporary, we are just passing through offers hope in times of trouble and encourages us to not invest in things that are fading away.
I Peter 2:11 also encourages us to abstain from worldly desires because we are sojourners or temporary residents. Our perspective, or rather God’s perspective from His Word, helps us to stay on track as we seek to follow Him. God’s Word encourages and calls us to this higher road of living for what we cannot see, to walk in this faith that stretches beyond our right now.
Shaun Passing Through at Whisper Mountain Camp
I don’t know about you, but what’s happening around me seems to distract me from this big picture living more than I want it to. My focus gets so easily pulled from the eternal things and placed on things that, in the end of all things, really don’t matter at all.
So I leave you with this encouragement: stay in the Word daily so God’s perspective becomes ours and can rightly be placed on the eternal things. Let’s keep stepping toward abstaining from the “worldly desires” today so we can be in pursuit of those eternal desires as we keep passing through to our eternal home! Keep walking, Young People!

Photography | Cassi Werner

summer staff are here

Whisper Mountain Staff Welcome 8We've officially kicked off the summer camp season with the arrival of (most of) our staff! Some returning, some new — we are excited about who God has brought to serve with us at Whisper Mountain!

Whisper Mountain Camp Commander

Whisper Mountain Staff Welcome 1

Whisper Mountain Staff Welcome 5

Whisper Mountain Staff Welcome 9Throughout staff training this next week, we are having a little fun, Duck Dynasty style! The Camp Commander Headquarters will be filled with work, play, connecting and preparing to greet those campers with excitement, love and Jesus!

Whisper Mountain Staff Welcome 4

Whisper Mountain Staff Welcome 6

Whisper Mountain Staff Welcome 7

Whisper Mountain Staff Welcome 10Aren't they beautiful?! I think I say this every year, but this group of people is awesome! Such variety in personality, skills and backgrounds! I look forward to introducing you to each one throughout the summer weeks!

Whisper Mountain Staff Welcome 3Hey, have a happy happy happy day, won't ya?!

can we say CRUNCH?

Marty Building Whisper Mountain CabinOn many levels, we are in crunch time here at Whisper Mountain. While we all feel it, I'm pretty sure Marty is bearing the greatest pressure just now. In a week's time this volunteer cabin needs to be ready to welcome our summer cook! Let's just stop there for a second–we have a summer cook! Can you rejoice with Patti please?! (We are down some helpers in the kitchen, so if you'd like to volunteer, contact us!)

Whisper Mountain Camp Cabin BuildMarty has been giving his all during the day, and paying for it during the night. Pure exhaustion these days and summer hasn't begun! Do pray for him! 

Whisper Mountain Volunteer Cabin Build 1Standing on the front porch, the creek can be heard, as can the chorus of birds and countless other creatures of the woods. Quite peaceful and restoring! I'm already making plans for a personal retreat here this fall!

Shaun and Tegan at Whisper Mountain Cabin BuildThere will be much to share as time allows! Thank you for understanding the quiet of this space lately! Though you can't tell from where you're sitting, much is going on here and still much more to come! We hope you'll journey with us along the trail!

January in Pictures [2014]

[the following pictures are a combo of iphone + camera to highlight our month for you!]

JanuaryinPictures-1Ringing in the New Year | Celebrating Snow | Hearing God's whisper
Hiring New Staff Member Manny | "Seeing" Kyle

JanuaryinPictures-2Marketing WM | Welcoming First Campers of 2014
Sunshine + Palm Trees for 2 Staffers | Staying Warm

JanuaryinPictures-3Togetherness | Unending Work | Slippery Driveways
Winter Crazies | Pecking Crows Problem | Sharing Work with Friends

January has already brought some hiccups, frustrations and stress, but strewn throughout all of that are the moments of delight, togetherness, and purposeful living. Whisper Mountain is in full gear prepping for our summer program, expanding and improving our facilities, and filling the calendar with many people coming to escape their noise and encounter God's whisper! We are thrilled!

Have you planned a getaway to Whisper Mountain yet? Now's a great time to gather some people and make some plans! We would delight in serving you!

a motor // a pro // a miracle

Gifts04I remembered I said I would share those large ticket gifts from the generous folks at the GIC conference in Florida. (see the groceries above? We were given such wonderful groceries! ahhh. it's the little things too!)

// Gift 01 //

Gifts01I wouldn't really have a clue, but I guess the old chain saws the guys use around the property (to cut down the dead hemlocks, fallen trees, and whatever other excuse they come up with to start their motors!) can't really handle the work load. Enter Large Ticket Item One. A top of the line Stihl chain saw. I've no numbers or motor sizes to throw out–again, clueless! According to Ramsey, when using this chainsaw it's like slicing butter. Now that I can relate to…amazing, easy and smooth!

// Gift 02 //

Gifts02(mm. he's handsome!) Generally a non-profit ministry is given what other people no longer need or can use. Which is awesome! We have been grateful to have many needs met this way. But when it comes to electronics, those older hand me downs don't always meet the demands of our practical work. Enter Large Ticket Item Two–the MacBook Pro! Having been a user of one of these brilliant, shiny pieces of loveliness for quite some time now, I can relate to Shaun's enthusiasm to be on the receiving end of this gift! He just shines whilst typing away: shooting those emails, writing those devos, and prepping for the programming in general! Doesn't take a genius to figure out he feels pretty cool! (He should…he's married to me!! Only kidding!)

// Gift 03 //

Gifts03There's been a lot of whining on the blog about my camera being broken or in the shop. (Sorry for that. How shameful of me.) While pouting about having to use my insufficient camera phone, I would dream. Dream of working with such magic as–enter Large Ticket Item Three–the Canon 5D Mark iii. There are many cameras out there waiting to steal your heart, but this was the one for me. Fast action, low light, video powerhouse! I never believed it would actually come true, this dream! My own little miracle! (I mean, I could almost begin to weep…it's just so…I can't even…ahem, okay, pulling it together now!) It's true, I'm often missing with a smile on my face and my eye peeping through a hole (in the most appropriate of ways, of course!)

Both individually and as a ministry, we are blown away by the bigness of God's blessing and provision! And grateful for those He commissioned to hand them to us!

Keep believing for your miracles! God's personally involved in your life! Waiting for Him is completely worth it! Is He calling you to deliver a miracle? What are you waiting for?

the skinny on togetherness!

Shaun GIC LogoWhen people pull together for a common purpose amazing things happen. I'm sure you can think of examples of this in your life. As those in ministry, we are often given realities of this through the many who choose to get involved at WM. Most recently, Whisper Mountain has experienced this through the generous hearts of those who hosted us at the GIC Conference down in Florida. 

Rp booth shot<photo by RP>

GIC connecting<photo by Shaun>

The connections with people always tend to refresh and encourage us as staff. The platform to share the WM story brings the vision to life for the listener but again in our hearts. Seeing hearts stirred by God's presence with us through the work HE does at WM stirs our excitement to keep walking forward in our service! 

Hope instafire{photo by hope}

The excitement and vision meets the road when these same people want to do all they can (together) to help meet the practical needs of the ministry or decide to come leave their footprints on the soil of the mountain in the days ahead. 

Sfca mintowin{photo by Shaun}

A Christian school raised thousands of dollars in one week to benefit Whisper Mountain. A community of 30 adults was able to pool funds to purchase "big tag" items to better equip us in our work, also thousands of dollars! (More on these after they've arrived in Robbinsville!)

Only through the coming together of many were we able to receive blessing upon blessing upon blessing. God's economy always pulls us together. We feel humbled. We feel blessed. We feel encouraged. And that's an understatement.

Adventures of 12.21.12

***warning: the following pictures are phone pictures and not the best quality, but they help tell the story!

<<< *** >>>

On the way to Christmas celebrations, our family traveled to Charlotte to celebrate with some pretty great people! Remember Brian and Jaclyn? They've been a part of our summer staff over the years and they finally got hitched!

Rehearsal coupleAdventures in rehearsal dinners // while getting dressed in the car, we had a security guy peeking suspiciously around the corner of the parking garage at the couple moving the car around! oiy!

Wedding archAdventures in Charlotte's Christmas Traffic // Those of us not in the wedding showed up a hair late and were given lofty standing positions in the balcony of the Levine Museum!

Wedding huddle
Wedding line up

Wedding my man
{He's my hottie!}
Tegan had to cover Grampy's eyes for the kissing part!
Wedding kiss time

Wedding s and c
My favorite parts of the night // Kinsley wearing pantyhose and a skirt (of which I'm not allowed to show evidence of) & hugging some summer staff!

Wedding kt mrty

Wedding summer staff
Nyan and martyAs full time staff we are finding some of our greatest work in camp ministry is the work of sharing in the lives of our summer staff. The comeraderie between them carries well beyond the summer months as well! Such great fun and encouragement to be surrounded by them again during this wedding celebration!

Wedding with couple

It was a good night!

Wedding thumbs up

Wedding shutterbooth

{summer staffers // the site to view our photobooth pics is I haven't seen the wedding loaded there yet! Keep checking!}

while Bossman was away

<<< on a completely irrelevant note — it's 12/12/12! What?! >>>

Bossman is back from his trek down. Though we felt lost without him (!) we were able to carry on in his absence!

Rain puddleA rainy day allowed for attention to be turned inside for the guys! Ramsey cleaned his office and kept up with our Ebay selling (we are decluttering around camp! awesomeness!). Shaun caught up on his camper/youth pastor connections and worked on things for summer 2013. (Also worth noting: Our morning meetings were shorter without BossMan around! He can be such a hoolagin sometimes!) Of course, this same rainy day caused some frustration for the normal office folks (the ladies!). smalltown woods + rain = blotchy & slow internet service. We survived though!

Teen flip movie
Teen movie scriptKinsley & Company (aka: screaming, giggling teen girls) were found all over the camp property filming scenes for their third full length (for English class) feature. Oh yeah. Getting serious now. Even wrote a script this time! 

Cookie partySelah was able to host her annual cookie party during the above mentioned filming day (yeah, I killed two birds with one stone here!). She was (mostly) delighted. Being pulled away from the kitchen to be "an extra" in the film is a tough life, you know?! And it was sort of a bummer to have to share the yumminess with a bunch of screaming, giggling teen girls Kinsley & Company (who has completely outgrown the traditional party! sniff.)

Hobo boyBoss Jr. gives us a thumbs up for surviving the week successfully! He's pretty glad to have the pressure off his shoulders and things back to normal! *Normal* meaning running around in his underwear, a replenished stash of candy and sneak gulps of Mt. Dew. Oiy. What's a mom to do?

Happy Hump Day, friends.