31 May 2004

Remembering and planning...

This past weekend Calvin Crest celebrated its 50th anniversary of service. It was an incredible event for many, hard work for the staff, and a unique time for me.

I am planning for the summer, coordinators arrive this Wednesday, Staff comes on Saturday and the guests come in a week from next Sunday. This put me in the middle of the past and the future with anxiety, fear, excitement, sadness, appreciation, fondness, and many other feelings.

Appreciating the people who decided it was a needed thing for a presbytery to own its own camp, go out and look for the property, have the faith to purchase when some are calling it "folly", dreamers who design something very unique, those who take it from the ground to new buildings and roads, etc... I was humbled. Some were there, many passed on to the cabins prepared for them by the Savior, and a few of the recent and present staffs were there. Some very old and dear friends who help me cut my spiritual teeth and develop a budding theology were there to share stories of laughter, tears, and awe. I wish there were more people from recent years to share what is going on now but it takes time to look back.

I pray I will leave something that is eternal in the lives and spirits of those who come this summer and the next...

25 May 2004


Reimagining Camp is going to do just that, reimagine camp, this summer. I am inviting the coordinators to look at their beliefs of Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Father and design a week of equipping, worship, entertainment, etc for our guests that would come.

If this is what we believe, then this is how we should behave. If we behave in a contrary manner to that which we believe, do we really believe that which we say we believe. I don't think we are acting wrong, I don't think we truly believe that which we think we do. When Paul calls us to think on these things... true, honorable, righteous, pure... do we? Why not. If we are told in scriptures that He is present with those who gather in unity does that cause anything to happen? What does His interceding for us with the Father have to do with our daily lives?

We know, we know, we know, but does it show?

I read of other religions, primitive and tribal, and there is a spiritual reality to their lives. They live out a way that is coordinated with the gods. If the gods say to do something, celebrate something, sacrifice something, they do. There is a spiritual strength they possess because they worship and move in harmony with these gods. They become so intensely spiritually intuitive that they are keenly aware of an enemy approaching their land. Their dreams reveal the future, they are in harmony with the land and all of creation. Their worship is... (I am freaking you out about now. Has Tony gone off the deep end?)

We don't, we are much too civilized. But is there a spiritual reality we miss in our civility? That is what I am exploring this summer.

Time is short, we must love in real time today.

18 May 2004

Let us be thankful...

I was at Summit Adventures' send off for their new instructors as they were off on their 2 week course. First time I sat and experienced someone else's traditions. My friend Tom Smith, the executive director, prayed, "Let us be thankful for the day..." and he began to list that to which we should be thankful. At first I thought, oh come on, Tom. But then God told me to be thankful. In light of the tragic events of last week and going to Las Vegas to be involved in the funeral, I should be thankful. I am thankful, Lord.

15 May 2004

A dear one...

This afternoon I heard from Stephanie about the death of one of the summer staff members, Carmen Marrero. She was killed in a car accident.

This was very hard to take. I don't know what to do with it.

I enjoyed the last week of last summer with Carmen. We talked a lot about her faith and her church. She was raised in a Catholic church but did not know much about it. Her faith came from attending Calvin Crest and hanging out with the Presbyterian kids from 1st Presbyterian, Las Vegas.

She told me she was sad because she heard people putting down the Catholics and they didn't know she was one. This caused her deep pain, not only because they were putting the Church down, but what made her the saddest was that she didn't know enough how to defend the Church. I gave her one of my books and bought her a new one about the Church and some basic understanding of its tenets. She was thankful.

I hope she is able to see the blessed Savior, Jesus and His mother, Mary. She will never again hear anyone saying anything bad about His body and His bride. Pray for me.

13 May 2004

Good day...

I am amazed at the working of God in the time of planning for the summer. I am changing 2 programs and watching one as to what God wants to do with that. I am confident in the staff that we have and hopefully will be able to articulate the direction to them and let them put the program together.

Summer is coming fast. Still many loose ends.

11 May 2004


I am heading over to Monterey again tomorrow for some more prayer and planning. God is writing a new program in me. Monterey or should I say Pacific Grove is huge in the framework of what He is doing. I want to be faithful to where He is calling me and to go where He is taking. There was some huge things that happened last week and a major screw up, on my part, this week. Tomorrow should set some things in order for me and I pray that I would be listening to Him through out the day as I will be in different conversations. This isn't meant to be cryptic but I just want to be open.

Pray that God would reveal Himself, His plan, His resources, and give me a deep well of hope and understanding.

08 May 2004

Crown of thorns...

The way of the Kingdom is different. It is not what we think, it is what He thinks. Our minds need to be transformed, renewed, reprogrammed, new paradigms accepted, etc...

I have been reading about a young woman in the early 1800, Anne Catherine Emmerich, who was set apart for His hand to do His work. She was definitely holy. Jesus appeared to her throughout her life, manifested his marks and stripes, stigmas, on her body. Very interesting. I have been intrigued by her faith and understanding of His way.

Once the Savior appeared to her and in His left hand He held a crown of flowers and in His right a crown of thorns, He bid her to choose one. She chose the crown of thorns. She would meditate on the Passion of Christ and find herself caught up in His sufferings. Her love for Him grew the more she experienced His pain. I am deeply moved by this woman's life.

I am so not there. I would have chosen the flowers. I would have never chosen pain. My identity is in His resurrection not the crucifixion. I want the followers not the betrayers. Disciples not rejecters. Oil not spit. Shouts of "Hosanna," not jeers of "Crucify Him." Bowing down not beating down. Words of success, not of contrition. Positions of leadership not positions of submission. In the theme of the last Indiana Jones movie, I choose poorly.

I position myself in places of potential. Can I assume the position of humility? There is a new awareness that I must know differently that I do now. What are the conversations I should be in. Not one of authority but one of responsibility. I can only do that which He calls me to and to focus EVERYTHING on that area instead aspire to do something He has not given me. I have been given people for whom I am responsible. That is where I must be instead of someone else's position. Even when it hurts.

It cannot be about my kingdom, I must be totally surrendered to His.

04 May 2004


I have been working at Calvin Crest now for about 13 summers and there have been many frustrations and battles. I tried to keep my head and heart in the game. Watching God design and plan and carry out incredible summers of power, love, grace, and mercy. I watched the Spirit of Christ move in the lives of many, both camper and staff. I had to discipline, correct, and release some precious people of their responsibilities.

Last year I was told I was depressed. Got medication, felt doped up and felt like I was walking through jello in zorries and a toga. God did an incredible work a month or so back and brought back hope to me. It was incredible. That what I had seen in others was being done in me.

The programmer got to benefit from someone else's program. This doesn't happen enough. We listen for His word and watch for His work so that those who would come would be transformed, but do we get to be touched by His hand?

"It is not about me..." The song goes, but it needs to be about Him touching and transforming us as we are about to participate in the transformation of those He would bring up to us this summer.

I cannot enter this summer without hope. As we are going through some intense issues He is bringing me a deep touch of peace and power. Two months ago I didn't think I had it in me. Now I am getting very excited for what He is going to do. Some of the changes I have been thinking about have been confirmed by phone calls and emails from people.

I needed a little touch of the Spirit of Christ through a friend last night to be set free from some bondage. I was praying against something that I thought was harassing someone else then I realized it was and has been harassing me. We prayed and got released.

Sometimes we bring a spiritual program we are unaware of. The programs that set people free sometimes inflict damage on us - the programmers. We need to understand that just because we have seen campers set free and experience God's power doesn't mean that we are experiencing the same thing in our lives. We need to let our brothers and sisters in Christ, minister to us, pray for us. Program an experience of truth and light - for us, the programmers.