Another posting lull. Ugh. Like I've mentioned before, I feel that blogging is a way that I connect with God, because my writing is a way to slow down my thoughts and think about the things that I've been learning lately. I know that, so I know I need to be doing this, but I just haven't been doing it, again. I need to get better, and I will. But anyways, today I just want to give you guys a short recap of what happened this week.
At the beginning of the fall, I was asked to join the Campus Life leadership team. Basically, what that means is that I will help out at one of their weekly programs (TNT for middle schoolers, or Adventure Club for 3rd-5th graders). Campus Life wanted me to start with Adventure Club, as they do for the other students on the team. But Adventure Club is on Thursday nights, and I am busy every Thursday night. So I got bumped up to TNT, on Tuesday nights, right away.
This past week was Lifest 2016!!! I had been looking forward to it for so long and now it's already over, which is sad. But I did have a ton of fun while I was there, and today I want to share with you what I thought of all the bands that I watched while I was there!
This week, I looked back at my blogging history (44 posts!), I realized that I have really come a long way since I started, and I've learned a lot! Today, I want to share some of these things with you. So, here are 4 things I've learned from blogging!
As promised, this week I'm going to talk about a few of my favorite moments of Summer Charge!
Cabin Devotions were always fun. In the morning, after breakfast, everyone would go to their cabins of about 10 people (including the leader) and do our Cabin Devotions. These were always fun, and we learned from them too. We learned about the characteristics of God and much more, and we also had a ton of fun joking and laughing about different things. Definitely the most fun Bible study I have ever done!
The worship on Saturday night was definitely the best of the week. You could just feel God's presence among us, and everyone was excited to just stand in the presence of God and worship Him! After worship and the sermon was over, everyone met near the lakefront to talk about what we had learned during the week and how we were going to live it out when we went home the next day. It was so cool to see all the different things that people had learned that week. It was a very emotional night for some, especially those who they or their siblings had gotten saved that night. Many of them wanted to work on having better relationships with their families, or rekindling old friendships. It was an amazing night!
Four Way Volleyball
So imagine you are playing volleyball. Except instead of a regular volleyball, you have a giant 4-foot-diameter beach ball instead of a volleyball. And there are three of them. And each team has about 18 people on it. And there are two volleyball nets connected in an X shape, so there are actually 4 teams. That's what we did during Friday night games, and it was sooo much fun! It also helped us build teamwork and being encouraging to others.
Land of Ethos
Possibly the most interesting and unique game ever. Unfortunately, it is only playable once. This is how it started: Mark Robinson (who is one of the two youth directors of Campus Life) walked onto the stage and said "Once you leave this building, you will be entering the mysterious land of Ethos. You are searching for the Moral Compass. Walk around and interact with the villagers, but remember this: Nothing is as it seems." And that was literally the only instruction we got. Each team was given a certain amount of money and a map to start off the game. Then, each team wanders around the village trying to find clues to help them find the Moral Compass. For instance, one of the villagers (all of the leaders at Summer Charge were villagers, so there were about 30 different ones) was Denise Green, who was called "The Tavern Owner." We walked up to her, and she asked us what we wanted. We used the only piece of information we knew and said "We are looking for the Moral Compass." So she said "Funny you should ask that. There was a man who came through looking for that a few years ago. No one has seen him since." Confused, we asked, "Which direction did he go?" She answered "I sent him to the blacksmith, because he said he needed his sword sharpened. The blacksmith is just down that path." So we followed that path and arrived at the blacksmith shop. There, we were told that she had seen the man, repaired his sword, and sent him on his way. She told us which direction he went, and we went that way also. So we went and walked around the rest of the village, talking with other villagers, such as the Beggar, the Prospector, the Merchant, the Law Enforcement Officer, the Bard, and so on. Within the game, there were multiple paths you could take. One was following the footsteps of the man with the broken sword. But there were others, such as helping the poor Merchant lady to help support and feed her husband, who is in jail, but the jailor won't say why. The merchant lady says it was because he found out something he wasn't supposed to know. Or, you can try and figure out the fisherman's riddle. It was a very unique game and very fun too!
And there you have it! These were my favorite moments of Summer Charge. Huge shoutout to all the staff at Summer Charge for being so fun, friendly, and patient. Sometimes we were really hard to deal with, and with so many of us, it isn't always easy to get us all to pay attention, but they were very patient and kind with us. I hope that I can be as patient as they are someday. I know I have a lot of work to do!
--What did you think about this post? Did any of it sound interesting? Let's talk about it in the comments!
So this year was my first year to ever go to Summer Charge! Summer Charge is a week long camp organized by Campus Life. And it was incredible! It was such a fun week that I got to spend playing sports, hanging out with friends, meeting new people, watching the bellyflop contest, participating in team games, reciting verses, worshiping God, and learning about Him! It was an amazing week! So let's start at the beginning...
When we arrived, the whole group (all 90+ of us) gathered in the main room as we went over the rules. Then, we found out what cabins we were in and loaded up our cabins. (My cabin was awesome. I had the best cabin leader and some super awesome cabin mates! Lots of fun times!) I got to stay in the same cabin as one of my best friends from Campus Life. I didn't really know anyone else very well except my brother Zack, but I had a lot of fun getting to know them, it was a really fun week!
Next was lunch (which was also awesome! Big shout out to the kitchen crew, the food was delicious!). Then, we had free time until supper. Free time is basically spent playing lightning 24/7 or hanging out in the Canteen (the place where you go to buy snacks and play board/card games) After supper, we got to find out who our teammates would be for the week, and then worked together with them as we played team building games with Coach Cowdy.
After that, we had session time. Session starts out with announcements, then prayer, then a student testimony, and then worship. I had the privilege of being on the worship team for camp this year. It was amazing being able to be a part of that team and leading those 90 something kids in worship twice a day, every day. I really enjoyed it, and I know everyone else on the team did too!
After worship, we had the sermon by our guest speaker Ryan Underwood. Ryan did an amazing job! The topic was "Getting Real". We talked about getting real with friends, with family, and with God. I know a lot of people were impacted by his sermons, and we had multiple people accept Jesus for the first time!
After sermons, we had night games!! These were always fun. Personally, I was always scared that I would trip over an unseen root and break something, but it never happened and everyone had a blast! We played lots of different games, including Staff Hunt (all the leaders hide around the entire camp, and the students have to find them), Capture the Flag, and more!
Overall, it was an incredible week. Games were awesome, the activities were awesome, the food was awesome, the leaders were awesome... there wasn't much bad about it! I loved the whole thing and can't wait to go again next year! But at the same time, I'm also very sad that next year will be the last year I will be able to go. I wish I had gone to Summer Charge earlier, because I really wish I could have gone more. It was such an amazing experience, and I learned so much about being a team player, being encouraging, being patient, and being loving to everyone. Next week, I'm going to talk about a few of my favorite parts of the camp! I can't wait!
As promised, this week I'm talking about some more of my favorite performances from Lifest 2015! (I know there aren't many... I promise, if I'm still blogging by next year, there will be MANY more!)
Chris Tomlin was awesome!! It was so cool to see him in person. He is my favorite worship leader, ever. I can't understand how he can come up with so many great songs, and not have albums like 5 years apart! It's incredible. So happy I could worship with him and his band and Louie Giglio and all of the people there!
Unfortunately, I was not at the grandstand for Jeremy Camp. But I was within hearing distance, and he was awesome! I didn't really think I liked Jeremy Camp, but now that I have heard him live, I'm a big fan. I'll be listening to him a lot more now! (Also, he is ripped. He was doing one handed pushups on stage while singing, and he didn't miss a note. That is so cool. If you missed it, check it out here:
Disciple is a not super well known band, but they should be. They are pretty awesome! I had to stay up past midnight to see them, but it was totally worth it. I would do it again! Definitely check them out! They are very similar to RED. Speaking of which...
I had to stay up past 2:00 AM to watch them, but it was cool! They put on a really good show. My only complaint is they started half an hour late (I think they were having some technical issues) so I was exhausted the next morning, but it is what it is! Maybe next year they will start on time. Either way, I'll go see them again!
WOW. Lifest was absolutely AMAZING. It was SO awesome to finally see so many of my favorite bands in concert, and see a few new ones as well! There is so much to talk about with Lifest, I'm going to have to make two separate posts about it. This week, I'm going to be talking about my favorite performances of Lifest 2015! Next week, I will talk about the rest of them. (They were all good, but the ones talked about today were my favorites!)
Matthew West is tied for first place of my favorite performances! He is a great singer, and he is hilarious! He even had to improv and just talk for about 15 minutes after power went out on half the stage, and he did it so well, I didn't even know that the power went out until later, I thought it was planned! But it was awesome to see one of my favorite artists for the first time, and to hear the stories behind the songs! That was a really cool thing he did that most bands did not. But it makes the songs even more powerful when you hear their stories (at least for me!).
Tied for my favorite performance! Skillet. Was. AWESOME. Their pyrotechnics were incredible, almost all the band members played multiple instruments, and they find a way to incorporate a violin and a cello. Who else can do that? No one that I know of! I liked Skillet before, but I like them even more now. Especially their drummer, she is incredible, and she sings at the same time. Another super unique thing about them, and really cool thing too! (Random question: John Cooper said Lifest 2015 was the best audience they had all summer. Does he always say that? Just curious) Can't wait to see them again next year!
Another toss-up here, Newsboys tied with another band (come back next week to find out which one!). The Newsboys were great! I don't really like the way Michael Tait changes the melodies when he does them live, but overall it was still awesome! Also: seeing bands in person is so much better than listening to recordings, especially when you have the crowd's energy! (Side note: Watching Duncan is hilarious, he is so funny when he is drumming.)
Were you at Lifest this year? Or any year? What were your favorite performances this year, or favorite performances of all time? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear from you!