Mary and I just returned from serving on staff at the 9th Camp Colorado for preteens, held June 17-20 at a beautiful camp resort in Allenspark, Colorado. The theme was “God’s Vision for You.”
Here I will recap the spiritual Compass Check & Christian Living messages that were presented to the preteens, which would be good for anyone of any age to heed.
Camp Director Mark Welch pointed out some of the marvels of God’s creation and asked the preteens whom He had designed and created it for. For them! And us! David (Psalm 8) and Paul (Heb. 2) said we were created to inherit “all things” which is often translated “the universe.”
Visualize your future family and kingdom
Jorge deCampos challenged the preteens to visualize the future and pursue it. God is preparing us to be in His royal family to serve under Jesus Christ in His coming Kingdom on earth. How fitting that campers wore royal blue shirts.
Around the campfire, Oliver Hooser explained how James said the tongue is like a fire and needs to be used for good. Our words are so important.
Matthew McDonald said camp is wonderful because all around are those who have the same vision as you and inspire you to pursue it. He introduced a new word “emulate” and challenged the preteens to emulate God the Father and Jesus Christ our Brother. During his talk, suddenly the entire audience jumped up and dashed for the windows to see a moose sauntering across the meadow! Broose the Moose never attracted such attention.
Dr. Marty Henderson, a veterinarian, explained that he has never seen an animal self-conscious. God made us that way in hopes we will choose agape love—a unselfish outgoing concern even if it has to be at our own expense.
I shared the story of Samuel, a young man who stayed obedient and respectful to his parents and his elders (Eli the priest), and He answered God’s calling. Each day, however many God gives us, we need to respond to God: “Lord, your servant is listening.” Not just hearing but listening and then heeding!
A corollary is to ask God each day, “What would you like me to do to serve You today?”
If you’d like a prayer answered
Samuel was born and named (meaning “heard of God”) as a result of his mother Hannah fulfilling the major ingredient the Bible gives to have our prayers answered. She pleaded with God for a son she could dedicate to God’s service. James 5:16 promises: “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” God doesn’t want vain repetition or sleepy-time prayers. He wants us to talk from the heart.
Dr. Natalie Englebart-Hooser challenged the teens to have God’s perspective. For a natural prop she referred preteens to look out the window at Mt. Meeker, the second highest summit in Rocky Mountain National Park. At “only” 13,916 feet, it doesn’t quite measure up to Colorado’s 58 “14ers”—the most of any state.
Dr. Englebart talked about how we make a Mt. Meeker out of a molehill. We should ask, “I wonder what God thinks about my problem.” He promises to move our mountains (Matt. 17:20) and cast them into the sea. In faith we should already hear the splash!
Walk on My high heels
Sometimes God helps us scale our mountains. He promises to never leave or forsake us. He promises to give us sure-footedness when we walk on “high hills” (Hab. 3:19). She got a big laugh when she accidentally said “high heels”!
When we get to the summit, we can look all around and better see God’s perspective of our problems.
Mr. Welch closed out camp by reminding the preteens that “the reason you’re here is you’re loved by God and others.” To fulfill God’s vision for us, one of the most important keys is to be thankful.
I suspect 81 preteens, parents and staff were thankful to have gone to Camp Colorado this year and are planning to return next year.