Well, after being out of town and out of touch for a while, here I am…back in the saddle. This week will probably be a busy one, but not to bad. The week in Florida was great. Spiritually energizing while physically draining. I think it was the cold that slapped me around the whole drive back. But I think I’m rested up and good to go now.
Looking back on last week, we went to Panama City Beach (not the same as Panama City..just next door. It can fool you about all that when you’re traveling) for the BigStuf camps. It has been our sixth summer to go to these camps. They are professional, organized, and create environments where students (and adults) experience God’s presence in their lives. Hopefully it will carry over to the “at home” life.
Stuart Hall and Louie Giglio were the speakers for the week. The combined to do a fantastic job while the Big Stuf Band kicked some serious booty too. Stuart spoke on using our bodies for God’s glory (Created by Him, for Him, and for His glory). He spoke Monday evening, Tuesday morning/evening, and Wednesday morning. At that point, the kids were saying that Stuart was a fantastic speaker and they got a lot out of his talks and that they might like him better than Louie. But then Wednesday night Louie came to camp and blew everyone away.
He spoke on the difference between hearing a story about Jesus and saying, “Hmmmm”, or having it really impact you and saying, “Wow!”. The stories of the Bible are not “Hmmm” stories. Those things don’t happen everyday. Jesus should cause us to say “Wow!”. Then we thought he was over.
But then he went into what I thought was going to be a short explanation then a prayer time, but as he explained the Passover and then what was going during the time leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion you could tell he was getting pretty serious. Then through his telling of the Passion story, he quite effectively illuminated the story of Jesus and His journey to the cross in a stark light. He brought a “Wow-ness” to it that really affected a lot of people. I want to get the disc of that message. Louie spoke again the next morning and Stuart closed up the talks on Thursday night.
As I said, worship times were top notch (as always) and really channeled a lot of the focus for the week. As far as the beach goes, the pretty red flag was up that meant it’s best not to go into the water. Apparently there had been some deaths in the coastal waters earlier in the summer so they were quicker with the red flag than usual. It rained on us a little too, and washed out the beach volleyball/parking lot basketball tourneys. But it didn’t bother us too much.
I HIGHLY recommend taking a group to the Big Stuf camps if you ever get the opportunity.