Camp Deer Run Update
May be seated. It's a pleasure to have typhoid with us this morning and I'll let him tell him no more about himself, but we're grateful that he was able to come and tell us a little more about Camp Deer Run.
Amion Alright good deal I don't have to mess with technology to Camp as much so it's a little different but glad to be here with you guys this morning and this is going to be kind of two parts one part mission report and one part sermon. I like to keep them separate. So it's just real clean and clear and I'll do my best to just get right to the point. So what am I doing here today? How did I get here? Cuz it's strange cuz I've never been here before but I know so very many of you from Camp whether it's you know the past couple years or whether it's from a long time ago. Like the Kelly's with their boys. Michael was on staff with me when we were 18 which happens to be a long time ago. Anyway, that's a different story. But how do I wind up here? What the end of Camp always run a report to just see where did our campers come from? You know where what cities or towns with what churches what families and all that kind of thing. And believe it or not. I don't know if you know this or not, but Naples is easily in the top 10 this church of Santa kids. That can't be right. So, yes, thank you. Thank you for doing that. You were supporting us and partnering with us by gathering up even the kids of this community and helping them, and I've recognized that over the last couple years and I kept thinking I got to get over to Naples. I got to talk to these people and I want to say thank you for that this year. I don't know if you know this number and I'll but you guys sent 51 campers. That's including Pee-Wee's they campers and overnight kids. And like I said that's easily in the top 10 of all the churches sending kids. That's a very special thing. And so I recognize the partnership that we have that I have with you. And at this church has with Camp Deer Run and that's really awesome. Obviously, I love can't be right. I think many of you do as well at the number of shirts. I see out there was that's really cool that made me happy this morning. It's actually never happened before I go to go to church and we're here so that's cool. But Camp is a very special Mission effort. There's a lot of people that don't recognize it as a mission. I think it's just a fun place to go for kids. And yeah, maybe the kids aren't about Jesus. But this is a mission effort. It is strategic and it has been alive and well for a long time God is blessing it and I think he's blessing it because we're trying to keep him at the center of everything we're doing and because our goal is to Simply allow people especially children. To see him and to get to know him better away from all the distractions of this world. And so just because I know many of y'all ready know Camp so for you maybe this would be like a little nostalgic or just help you too. You know Raymond is so this summer if you're a kid and you were there or if you don't know camp at all these next couple slides and just me talking is just to help you kind of get an idea of what can't do errands all about so we can just kind of roll three of them talking but first of all Camp is a place where God is seen every single night that is not cloudy during the summer you go out on that ball field or one of the ball fields and you look up and that's what you see. You see stars. You see the trees you see the beauty of what God has made and in Romans chapter 1 verse 20, it says man is without excuse cuz you can see God in his creation. His nature is clearly seen and so kids can they can hold it in their hands. They get up-close-and-personal. Maybe for kids in Naples. They're used to being able to get out and running Rome in the woods a little more than kids in Dallas or Houston, but for kids like me who grew up I grew up in Grapevine. It was not a normal thing to get to be in a creek. It was not a normal thing to get to be running through the woods. So my grandma's house and can't be run with those places and when you get away from all that the world is offering and you get to be that close to draganflyer go on to the next one or two old crawdad or even the next one little frog you look at it. And you see you man. This is amazing who made this. God did and so kids are just away from everything that they're used to in the world and their up close to God's creation and surrounded by it for a week or two what's crazy is the amount of intense time. They have there at camp for that week or two weeks. If you like took what time the kid would spend at just coming to church for a whole year if they came Sunday Sunday night and Wednesday night. They getting more than that at 1 2 week session of Camp gear on and it's real all intense time focused on God. It's a powerful thing the powerful too. I think you recognize that but that is what we are all about. Go to the next slide for me. Camp is also really fun. I don't know if I mention that it's got to be the most fun place on planet Earth. I really do believe I'll go places too and I'll see other places that are supposed to be fun and me and the boys and my wife went to the water park couple weeks ago. I was freezing like happened to be cold on the only day we go there but we still had fun. It was a good time. But when I'm there, I see parents and I totally understand this trying to get their kids and their parents really intense and it's like you're a fun place like chill out have some fun here, but it can't don't have that problem because there's not parents and there's there's not adults who are worn out and tired. It's a bunch of kids being led by other older kids such as your Nick Garrett and Jackson fits this summer running around having fun and learning about God and it's a beautiful thing. So getting kids away from their normal surroundings putting them in a context for their surrounded by God and His creation where there's a really cute focus on God and his stuff and the relationships that are built they last a lot And it is a powerful thing. So going to next fight for me. Lastly Camp is a place where the story of Jesus comes to life. And it's it's made known It's Made Real for these kids Let's cross Devo we go up on the hill and have a big bonfire and the silhouette of the Cross is left there at the end and all of the campers in their session with this moment singing. I looking at the cross and thinking about what Jesus has done for them. And that's the whole reason Camp exist. It's the whole reason I spend the whole year going around talking to people raising money at the whole time. We the whole reason we prepare all the way do so that these kids will be in this moment to remember and to recognize Jesus and to know him more and our goal in our hope is to point them to him into this right here his word that they would know him more through this and if they would come to love him and serve him all the days of their lives go to the next light for me. So Camp is such a beautiful thing. You can go on to the next one for me as well. We have three outcomes of these are targeted outcomes that we want to see happen for a kid. This is not not to say these things can't happen anywhere else and not to say that can't be runs the only contributing factor to this because I see campus at partner working with churches and families just like you but one of those things that God becomes real, you know, when you come to church and you hear about God or you just listened to preachers teach our youth ministers your parents whoever it is like that's good you're hearing about him, but God becomes real and you start to know him when you're off away from all of that that you're used to and you look and you see what he's made. So God becomes real next one for me. In face becomes your own kids grab hold of it's the same message their hearing year round if they go to church, but they're hearing it away from that context and those voices they're used to and it becomes theirs and when God becomes not just someone you know about but someone you know, it is life-changing and that's where we got to get with our kids. It's not enough for them to just know about him. That's like I know about George Washington, but I don't know him, you know, like we want them to know God and lastly the impact last the last time we want those little short days at their Camp during the summer four and a half days. They come to a 1 week 2 weeks that they come to the 2 week session. Whatever it is we want the impact is that the last but it's that powerful and meaningful and special. And I think those things are happening go on to the next one for me. So right now is a super exciting season at Camp deer run to go to the next slide. This right here is the last meal eaten in the old mess hall and it really does no justice. That's like almost 300 people crammed into that little building if you've ever been there is small and they're actually like there's wall-to-wall people over halfway feeling that building the picture just doesn't show it. We want to capture that because we're building a new mess hall. God has blessed us so much and we started the construction is going to be ready for next summer. So we have stuff going on at camp. This summer was our largest summer ever with 1500 campers. And obviously you guys were a big part of that again. And God is blessing this work and it's wonderful to see what he's doing. There are challenges that we are still facing because of this growth because of the desire that families in churches have to send their kids to have this experience. It's us one reason. I want to come to you today is that I have some end of your goals that I'm trying to keep our mission. moving forward cuz I honestly that mess hall is taking a lot a lot of time energy and resources, but what is a tool that we need to continue this ministry, but with that there's other things and so if you go to the next line That's right there. This is pretty much Illustrated. So we have our new cabin. We have our old cabin. I've got a handful of old cabins left and some of you moms made specially recognize the old cabin cuz you were walking to that new and thinking that's where my baby staying. No, you're the one on the right, you know, so even though I love those Gap is it hurts my heart in some ways. They're just small and they're actually 60 years old and it's not adequate for the ministry for the mission for the campers for the moms for the trust. We want to have with families. And so I'm going to try to raise money to build some more new cabin so that we can continue on with what we're doing cuz they have 200 Campers at Camp. I got to put them anywhere I can wear even using an old bath house as a cabin right now just cuz I got to put the kids somewhere, you know, so they can be there. Otherwise we turn them away and then we'll get that experience. So if you go to the next slide you get a close-up look at there. It is in all her glory men's three men for to me. We change the numbers every now and again, but it's really old and it needs to be rebuilt. It's one of a handful if you got an ex lied to my end-of-year fundraising goals rights $200,000. From now to the end of the year and so I broke out there on the spreadsheet if your numbers person you were like all this is cool. But if not, I guess I'm looking for you never know who's in the audience. I just want to say there's anybody that wants to leave a legacy and you and your family are able Do you want to build a cabin $40,000 and you can put the name of your family on it or a loved one and it's an amazing way to partner with Camp gear on that that may not be the case. And if not then any of those levels of giving that you could possibly do would be awesome cuz I need a hundred people to get $50. I need another hundred to give $100 and you can read the rest of the chart. But one thing I'm trying to do is find six churches. They could give $5,000. And so if you got the next slide, I just want to challenge you if it's something you guys would pray about and consider joining us to help make this end of your goal happen for our ministry. And of course each of you individually if that's something that God places on your heart would love to ask you to join us as well. You can go to the next slide for me. Camp Deer Run is making an impact that last make this church understand it. I want you to consider being a part of this with us, even in a greater way continue sending these campers that is such a special way to support but if it's possible for you or for this church to help us build these new cabins to keep our ministry growing and vibrant cuz I want to see Camp Deer Run continue to minister in the way that it is for the next 50 years. God has blessed us so very much and we will keep him at the center of what we are doing and Lord willing he will continue to sustain and provide for So that these kids sitting in here and in other churches and you know, a lot of kids not at church this morning that come to camp but need to know him. So I want to pray and that will conclude our mission report and then we'll hit you with some of God's words. Let's pray together. Valley thank you so much for these people. Thank you for the moment to be here with him today. Thank you Father for Camp Deer Run and all that you're doing through it and thank you for allowing me to be a part of it. Thank you for all the campers and parents and parents of Staff members and just people that love that Ministry. Thank you for all of them. God now, we want to look towards you and your word we want to think about you. I pray that I can share some meaningful things that you want these people to hear today. And I pray you it I just hope those words to hit their heart and stay with them through Jesus. I pray amen. All right, go on to the next slide for me. So this is a triangle. She didn't know I did not create the triangle or the life shape is what this is called again in Mike Breen came up with the three names are going to be on here. But I mean use this is just a foundation of the lesson so it today we're going to talk about who we are and what we do so who we are and what we do and I think you could also say this is who I am and what I do, but the collective part is us so go to the first next slide on the top of that triangle is our father. And I think this morning in Bible class if you were in here, we got to hear a little bit of about our father is mr. Kelly was teaching but if you think about our father you think about the Lord's Prayer this is going to inform us about who our father is. So I wrote it down. Our father is in heaven that is who our father is and I holy is his name. He is mighty and Powerful his kingdom comes as your kingdom come. He has a kingdom. Our father is a king and he has a kingdom and his powerful. His will be done on Earth as it is in heaven. He has a will he has a desire for his kingdom and the people of his kingdom. Give us this day our daily bread. So he is a giver of good gifts that says in James is The Giver of all good gifts. Forgive it. So he is a forgiver lead us not into temptation. He is a leader our fathers this Deliver Us from Evil. He's a rescuer at the liver. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Our God is amazing. Our father is awesome. And if I'm going to talk about who I am and what I do or who we are and what we do. This is where it begins it has to begin with our father, but often it does not and we'll talk about that here in a little bit. But for today, I want us to think about this is the way it ought to be this is the way we ought to view Our Lives it begins with our father and who he is interesting thing quick note. Jesus said our father when he began that prayer think about that for a second how many of us begin our prayers with our father most of the time I say father or dear father Heavenly Father like it's just me and him that's great. There's nothing wrong with that. But I love it when Jesus stop to teach his disciples how to pray. He said our father and who did he recognize by saying that Me and you all of us our father Jesus shared his father with us in that moment Our Father. How cool is that? The one being on Earth that ever walked the Earth it Coulda said my father Jesus, but he did our father that is amazing. So it begins with our father go on to the next slide. Our father has given us our identity. Who we are that's what identity that's who I am. That's my identity. It comes from my father. But so often our first inclination is to make her identity about what we do us guys are the worst. You know, you're running another guy your talking for just 5 Seconds like what you do, you know, I like that's that's who we are but that's not if not, I think it's just we're trying to make conversation. We're terrible at it. So, is that what you do? But that's we identify ourselves and we think of ourselves based on what I do or we identify ourselves by what we have. That's a very very real thing. What do I have that's what defines me that's who I am. I look at other people and see what they have and that defines them. So it's what I do or what I have. What people say about me? We really like to to Define ourselves by that if we can get people to say good things about us feel pretty good cuz that that's the two I am it's how to make myself feel right about it. Those are lies from Satan because our identity comes from one place and it's from God go to Matthew chapter 3. I think personally that this is mind-blowing. So hopefully your mind will be blown here next moment as well. But I think this is really special. So Matthew chapter 3 we're going to look at verse 16 and 17. This is when Jesus was baptized. So it says as soon as Jesus is baptized he went up out of the water and at that moment heaven was open and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove and Lighting on him and a voice from Heaven said this is my son whom I love with him. I am well pleased. So want you to think about this at this point the only thing Jesus has done. Is to be baptized. You know, he's grown up. He's become a man and now he's been baptized and God said that's my son. I love him. I am pleased with him. Jesus had not died on the cross. He did not done all those Miracles you not stood up to the Pharisees and the Sadducees all the things that Jesus was going to do all those great things that you know, identify him to us. He had not done yet. All he was was God Son. And God said I love him and so the word I am. I'm not a Greek or Hebrew scholar by any means, but the word that is used. There's a guy Patos. In it is the same word that is spoken of us in Ephesians chapter 5 verse 1. This is the part. That's so cool to me. So God looks at Jesus. He said that's my son. That's my beloved. It's my Agape toes. That's my beloved precious son. And with him I am well pleased in Ephesians 5 when it says be imitators of God. Therefore is dearly loved children the same word. So the same words spoken of Jesus Is Spoken of us. That's our identity. We are God's beloved. We are God's precious dearly loved children and in the same way, but at that moment when Jesus was baptized and God said, that's my son. I love him. He was saying that's his identity. That's who he is. It comes from me. It's not because of all these things. He's about to go do it cuz he's my son that is us the world is throwing so many other ideas that I send it young people that we're to Define and identify ourselves in other ways, but it's not true or identity comes from God and our identity is this a guy potatoes idea the Beloved of God dearly loved children of God. So Satan's lies are to make us think that we are defined by what we do but we have what people say about us. Some people said some terrible things about Jesus in his day cuz he didn't come to please people. He came to honor his father Satan's schemes I think is to distract us or to destroy us and John chapter tents that we like the part where Jesus said, I've come come see you have life and have it to the full right before that. He called Satan out for who he is. He says the thief came to kill and steal and destroy. That's why Satan is here. He doesn't like you at all. He wants to destroy and tear you away from this God given identity that you can have. That's what Satan wants to do but in our country, I think one of his employees went to his schemes is to distract to get us so busy to get as many Gadgets in our hands as possible to fill our lives with other stuff so we don't recognize what God has given us we become distracted don't want us to listen this morning to God's voice and he says you are my beloved You're my dearly loved children. So imitate Jesus. He says in Ephesians and I hear something really cool as well. The one who calls you and says this the one who calls you his beloved is the I am and I'm saying is be I am so in Exodus chapter 3 when Moses approaches the burning bush which would be an amazing thing to seeing right he walks up to it and he's got a voice is coming to God and talking to him and Moses like wait a second suppose I go to the Israelites and I say two in the god of your father's is sent me to you and they asked me what what's his name then what do I tell him Moses came up with some great questions during this continually trying to find a way out. And God said to Moses I am who I am and this is what you are to say. The Israelites. I am has sent me to you. The one who says this about you is your father and he is the I am another really cool part about this in John's account of when Jesus is arrested. They think about this moment. They come to get Jesus. He's in the garden. And they say somebody says if you come for and they say Jesus of Nazareth Jesus steps forward and says I am he and what happens John says everybody falls back to the ground. They get knocked down but just the words. I am our fathers powerful. That's awesome. You said yeah and Bam there on the ground cuz they can't even stand in his presence. You think he couldn't have rescued himself off that crosses. He wanted to you know, he could but he loves us so our identity comes from the I am from our father and out. Is that identity. Comes what we do if you go the next one and that's our obedience. This is how it should flow. We know who our father is and he has said who I am and out of that comes my obedience to him. But we try to reverse it and we try to obey so that our father will love us we try to obey God we try to do good things either so that we can earn God's love or so that we can have an identity. See I'm saying is backwards and I guess my fingers backwards to cuz you got it looking that way. We try to go from obedience to our father. We wreck ourselves trying to to do it all so perfect trying to earn his love because that's the imperfect way that we as humans treat each other if if you're a parent. Don't make your kids earn your love. It is given to them because they're your children just like God has said of a also we cannot run around trying to have an identity based on what we do is not what God desires for a life. God has said You Are My People My Chosen special possession way says in 1st Peter a holy priest hit a royal Nation. You are mine and out. What is that knowledge we go live it out. We live out what God calls us to sew a couple more things were drawn this to a close and John 14 verse 15. Jesus says if you love me, you will obey what I command notice. He said if you love me you will obey what I come in. He didn't say if you want me to love you, then you will. Obey what I command. Out of the love we have for our father who has given us our identity and called as his children. We obey. Real bad. We are we having Obedience of Love Not For Love because that's backwards and it's not the picture. God has portrayed do us like giving us Jesus when Roman says while we were still powerless when we were still sinners Christ died for the ungodly. He didn't wait for us to get it. All right because I'm going to rescue you because he's a deliver and so a couple of things that have stood out to me in the last month. I've been reading through Proverbs just one a day and just really trying to soak it in. And in Proverbs that talks about the path of the wicked the path of the righteous and you almost start to build a profile of the wicked and of the righteous and what this is really stood out to me is that you have obedience and you have sinned and both of them whether your obedient or sinful lies and choice choice. Every time we have a thousand choices the day do we choose to live out the identity we have that comes from God or the choose to do our own thing. One is to choose Obedience of love. The other is to just choose to have no King and to do what we want. But we have an identity. We have a father who loves us so very much my encouragement to you today. Is to recognize this is the way to view your life. Don't run around trying to have an identity on Facebook or Twitter or whatever you Snapchat or any of that stuff. Don't run around trying to become some great athlete so that people will look at you and say look at what he does. Don't run around and try to be so cool. All you kids so that other people will say man that guy that girl is cool because of what people say about them. I want to be like that. That's not what we are to be and us adults. We need to quit this whole game of trying to earn God's love we need to just be still and be thankful that it's given he loves us. But out of that love out of that knowledge that we have of his love we go and live obediently to him saying thank you Father. Thank you for what you've done for me on read one more scripture. If you go to that last slide for me of the cross. Isaiah 43 You know what happens to us a lot of times as we try to obey in our own strength and power and wisdom and we get out there outside the boat kind of like Peter and we get afraid and I'll tell you a quick story is rending cuz I don't know where you're at today. Maybe you're on a Mountaintop moment. Maybe it's kind of the valley of life. It's tough. But even when you're out trying to serve God and do good things. Sometimes you forget who your father is and how powerful he is in the fact that he's the one making all this stuff happening work. There's a moment one Summer's two summers ago. I was really struggling just to struggling with kind of fear and feeling overwhelmed with all that were trying to do and it sometimes feels like it's all coming back. So I got to do this or I got to do that and that's this is not the right perspective. So when on the woods and praying and just having some time alone with God And I had written down some things and one of them was just fear. I recognize fear was crippling me in many ways and so afraid that I would hear God and know, you know from him what he want me to think about this and just sit back in my chair and I'm and I'm probably good 3/4 a mile away from camp and soon as I got done praying. The first thing I hear softly in the distance was the kids at him time and they were singing the song do not fear for I am the Lord your God you are mine. God is so powerful and so real and I realize it all of us we have ups and downs and we get mixed up but God wants you to know today that if you've been United with Jesus you're his child and he loves you. You need to quit running around trying to earn his love and just be thankful for it and live in obedient life based on the knowledge of that God loves you and that you're his child and one day you will be with him and we got to go tell everybody we can about it. So the last verse is Isaiah 43 Misses is what God wants us to recognize and remember. But now this is what the Lord says he created you Jacob he who formed you Israel fear not for I have redeemed you I have summoned You by name you are mine. We are the Beloved precious children of God. Let us go and live a life to show that love and thankfulness. We have to God and to help others see that they can be his children to hear this morning and you don't know Jesus. You have not been baptized. You're not a child of God and you need to put your lord on in baptism study with someone to learn more about what that even is so that you can call him your father. He loves you already. He already loves you, but today could be the day where you become his child if we can help you or pray for you in anyway, once you come always standing sing.