Epworth Forest CC - That Thing - July 2-7 (2017)

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Au Revoir!

This morning campers had to unfortunately pack up and leave, but the good news is that this blog will always be here to look back on great memories and moments from That Thing! Here's our End of the Week video for you to watch!

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Last Day On Deck

Can you believe that today is the last day of That Thing? The campers have had a lot of fun, and it's been amazing to see everyone grow closer to each other and to God!

This morning, Scott talked about being anchored in the ordinary. He spoke about how we avoid the ordinary because we want the large events that people us forward. We forget that God wants us to work in the ordinary of our lives. Scott mentioned that maybe we feel the pressure to perform, to meet a certain expectation that we see around us.

God created us on purpose, and is preparing us in these little moments. We were created with a reflection of God.

Everybody is going somewhere, very few are going somewhere on purpose. But, we can find that purpose in the ordinary faithfulness of small things. God prepares those that are faithful in the small things to handle the big things.

We forget to live in the ordinary.

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Ephesians 2:10

What is God asking you to be faithful in? We will discover our purpose in the ordinary everyday life.

The Final Tide

Today was an amazing last day of activities, from the beach house to archery tag and Sky High. Check out these pictures below, you can find more at our gallery!


Anchored In Tomorrow

This evening marks the last worship session of the week, and campers were sad, but happy that the fun isn't quite over. Scott talked tonight about how our experiences here will forever be in memory, and that we need to share the greatness of God and these moments everyone has shared. God asks us to seek out holy moments; he has done extraordinary things in and through us.

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.

Matthew 7:7

Scott told us that we have an opportunity to seek out the holy.

How?

He advised the campers to regularly spend time with God, to memorize the Scripture, to worship and sing His name. Seek God and others.

Everyone will take these holy moments with us. Our relationship with Jesus is not a destination, Scott says. It's a journey filled with peaks and valley's. You can't have one without the other.

For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.

Matthew 11:30

Scott continued and said that we cannot be a community of just "rent builders". We need to take these memories with us, because they are not just random experiences. We can continue to build in the foundation that Jesus has given us, and over time something great will appear and form.

Don't leave it all here, take these moments with you wherever you go.

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In Hope

We opened this morning with some worship songs played by Mass Anthem. After, Stacy invited three of her good friends on stage to talk abut hope. These three work at non-profit organizations that help people in some way.

The first to be introduced is Scott Green, who helped co-create Let Them Laugh Out Loud. Located in Warsaw, they help bring clean, healthy water to those that don't have access. The money they raise go directly to help dig and construct wells. In the last 8 years, Let Them LOL has built 100 wells, giving access to over 35,000+ people.

The second organization is International House, located in Fort Wayne. Two ladies that work there, Ann and Heather, talked briefly about what they do at International House. They told us that they harbor refugees and help them get back on their feet. Some of the refugees have traveled a long way, and need assistance finding a job or learning how to read, speak and write English. They have helped countless men, women, and children find a safe home here.

Stacy, Scott, Ann and Heather talking about hope and organizations.

Now, some might think that they could never achieve such a calling in their day jobs, but as Scott told the campers; God is going to use us, no matter what field we are in.

Jesus was about relationships and investing in people. He loved people where they were no matter where they were from or what they looked like. We can learn a little from Him, and follow His calling.

Live with your eyes and heart wide open.Recognize the nudge God is giving you, because He will give us opportunities, and lastly, we challenge you to pray about where you need to be.

Check out this afternoon update video from a couple of the Summer Staff!

Soaking Up The Sun

Campers have been having a blast on the waterfront, and soaking up some sun on kayaks, the AquaRocker, and our anti-gravity chairs! Take a peek at the pictures below, and see more at our gallery!

Anchored In Courage

Tonight Scott talked about courage. He told us that we have an opportunity to be courageous, no matter our age. We have the choice to either choose it or not, but if we don't, there might be consequences. In the book of Joshua, God guides Joshua to conquer these cities, but Joshua has to have the courage to do so.

We can be Joshua too. Everyone has their own way of stepping out in courage though. Be courageous in your own way, like God wants everyone to. You alone can choose courage. And when we do find courage, it will give others the opportunity to find it as well.

There is a story in the book of Joshua where Joshua sends two spies to Jericho to scope out the city. The Israelite army is preparing to take over and destroy the city of Jericho. They meet a woman named Rahab, who shelters them from the soldiers of Jericho who know there is trouble afoot. Rahab lowers the two Israelite spies out of her window over the city wall, so that they may escape and get back to their army.

You can read the full story here of Rahab here.

Rahab shows courage when she didn't have to, and gets blessed in so many ways by God for hiding these spies. Scott told us that we can be like Rahab, an "unqualified" person that steps up and does the right thing.

The past has been overcome. When we finally come to know Jesus, the past is never the same again. Because of Rahab's courage, she has a new future. She's unqualified and she brings Jesus to this Earth. The world was forever changed because of her simple courage.

Where do you feel called to bring courage?

If God is nudging you, He might be asking you to do something amazing.

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Anchored In The Storms

Did anyone ever run outside in the rain during a storm when they were little? The wind would whip your hair all around, and the rain would pour all around you. Standing there, it would feel a little frightening. A storm feels like chaos, like all control has been lost.

People who come to Jesus are often in the greatest storm or storms of their life.

Jesus came down the mountain with the cheers of the crowd still ringing in his ears. Then a leper appeared and went to his knees before Jesus, praying, 'Master, if you want to, you can heal my body.' Jesus reached out and touched him, saying, 'I want to. Be clean.' Then and there, all signs of the leprosy were gone.

Jesus cured this man instantly, this man who had been feeling the storm for a long period of time. This man presented his storm to Jesus, and He healed him and gave the man new life.

Sometimes, it isn't always ourselves going through the storm, there can be friends, family, strangers that are feeling the effects. Scott told us to pray for them and to be there for them, even if it's just being there.

In Matthew 8:23-27, the disciples are in a fishing boat, with Jesus asleep onboard. The water gets treacherous, the wind howls and the disciples worry. They wake Jesus to alert Him.

But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

There is nothing outside His control. We think that if Jesus is with us always, there won't be a storm, but there will be. We don't need to worry, He will be in our boat with us. Scott closed the message will the following challenges:

What are you trying to go through? What kind of storm do you see in your life?

All Hands On Deck

This afternoon was perfect for getting to know each other and be active in the various activities! Check out these photos below! You can see more at our gallery!

Anchored In Grace

Tonight Scott talked about grace and forgiveness. He talked about the time he broke a Christmas ornament as a child at his grandmother's home. His grandmother, he remarked, was kind and told Scott that he was forgiven.

When was the first time you experienced grace?

There is a story in the Bible in Matthew 18:21-35 where an servant owes the king a lot of money and begs the king to forget it all, and the kind does. That servant in turn goes to a second servant, who in turn owed the first money, and beats him up for not being able to pay. Jesus tells Peter this parable as an example that we should forgive seventy times seven. It isn't an exact number, but we must readily forgive others. God paid a huge debt for us, we ought to give grace to others too.

Jesus extends grace, and everyone has been forgiven. What shall we do with all this grace? Give it out to everyone!

Check out the gallery to see more pictures from today.

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Anchored In Truth

Good morning! It's the first full day of camp, and though everyone is a little groggy from staying up late meeting new people and talking, everyone is looking forward to today!

This morning Mass Anthem started us off with some worship:

Scott talked about truth this morning, and how if you Google the words "facts", the Internet will give you millions of results and many different truths. Scott shared with us that he found a fact that says that 300 metric tons of space dusts lands on Earth every day. Really interesting, right?
Yet, we don't see or read about the sad facts. Some truth is good, some truth hurts.
Jesus always gives us His truth though, in fact in John 4:7, Jesus meets a woman at a well in Samaria, the city of Samaritians. He spoke the truth to her, and she realized that He was the Messiah, and told the truth to others. His truth was revealed, and it changed the interaction between Jesus and this woman he didn't know.

What if we were at the well that day?

It's easy to plain out ignore the truth. But once you get a glimpse of His truth in the Word, it's hard not to want more.

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 8:32

We live in a world where there are filters on everything, and we think we have the whole story. We live in a time where it's easy to pick and choose what truth we want to hear. He is the way, He is the truth.

If we follow His ways, we will find truth and freedom. When we seek His Word, we will find it. We have the ability to seek out the truth from Him no matter who we are.

Let us be a people who seeks truth.

Activities Ashore

Today brought hot weather, and only slight clouds, which is perfect for outdoor and indoor activities! Check out the photos from the fun below! You can find more photos at our gallery!

Anchored In Love

Tonight Scott talked about love. What do we love the most? Our family? Our pets, or money or friends? What would the people you know best say you love the most?

Love is something that has been cheapened over time in today's society. We say that we love those shoes, or that we love that baseball team, etc. We make love cheap, so that it doesn't cost anything.

Scott told us that we cannot love without sacrifice. He further asked everyone what we would give up for love, that true love costs something. God even sacrificed His Son for us, as an act of love.

By this we know love, that he laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.

1 John 3:16-18

We as a people fail to understand the weight of love. Love is not a feeling, nor is it an emotion. It's only love when sacrifice is given. Loving means there's a chance in the relationship; you serve sacrificially.

What would you give up for love? For the relationship?

Scott goes on to say that many might have this idea that we can have God + something else. In truth, all we need is Him + nothing else. We should give more to Jesus, and sacrifice more.

Jesus isn't thrown off by our shortcomings, He loves us greatly, He wants to be in a relationship with us.

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Ahoy!

Today campers arrive for That Thing! Everyone is so excited to be here and to connect with the campers, in worship and in activities! The campers have been checking in and unpacking, and going on a scavenger hunt the Staff set up!

Check back to read more about the fun activities we do today! You can also click through our gallery to see photos!

Safe Harbor

Tonight was the first night of worship and we rocked the new Discipleship Center!

Stacy, our Program Manager, opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new building. She had campers that have been here for 4 or 5 summers do the honor of cutting the ribbon.

What a breathtaking experience for a camper to get to worship in the old Auditorium and the new Discipleship Center Auditorium!

This summer's band, Mass Anthem started everything off with some worship music!
Based in Tennessee, the three gentlemen collectively can sing, play both electric and acoustic guitar, and a drum pad! They are incredibly talented, and everyone can't wait to worship and rock out with them every day this week!

This week's keynote speaker is Scott Woods who is from Chicago, Illinois. He loves the Cubs, and it is his first time speaking here at Epworth!

Anchored

Tonight Scott talked about what we are anchored in. Our anchors can be weighed down by many things: success, popularity, materialism, etc.

In Matthew 14, Jesus feeds the 5,000 with only five loaves of bread and two fish. Afterwards, while out on the boat, Peter sees Jesus walking on water and asks if he can too. So Peter steps out of the old fishing boat and walks on water with Him momentarily.

Scott told us that we can learn from Peter and take ourselves away from that safety boat, away from our anchors holding us back and just believe that God really provides.

And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, 'Truly, You are the Son of God.'

You can find the story here.

Peter was the only one that got out of the boat. The other disciples stayed behind. Why? Scott said that perhaps they were afraid of looking silly, foolish.

Today, we are weighed down by many things. Being afraid of looking silly, or saying the wrong things, or not fitting in. We shouldn't worry about what others say or think of us. Be silly. Be more like Peter and believe and take that first step. God will be there to walk with us.

You can find more pictures from today at our gallery!

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