27 June 2007

We rejoice...

We rejoice with Bryan and Laura Cosby at the birth of their son, Ryland Walker Cosby.
Poundage: 6lbs, 13oz.
Measured: 20 inches
(I think this is the right data, but I am a guy and I don't pay attention to too much other than the type of plumbing...)


Christel and I got to hang out with the Crosbys today and we were both so impressed with Bryan and Laura. Laura is going to be a great mom and I am impressed with Cos' love and devotion for Laura and now for Ryland. We are so thankful to have them as friends.

We are blessed by the community we are in.

21 June 2007

In response...

In the previous post there was a question and some discussion as to why that kind of thing takes place here...? There were a couple of responses to it. I respond with...

Well said, Micah. I do believe it happens here because we trust it will happen here. But I also see it happening at a home on Huntington Blvd. in Fresno, a beach in SoCal, and a coffee shop in Spokane.

I didn't do it, I just listened and did and said what I was suppose to act upon. I trust that Jesus will speak to the person, if the person will take the time to listen and believe. I trust that the Savior is here to save not compound the problem. In all the years of praying, I am always touched in my heart and strengthened in my faith when I see the face of the person change when they are hearing the sweet, encouraging, understanding words of Jesus.

19 June 2007

Praying in the Revolution

I have been praying for people for a long time. I am not saying that to brag but to witness the power of redemption that revolutionarily changes people's lives. Lies that people believed and lived accordingly when brought into the light of truth by the Wind of the Spirit begins a dismantling of behaviors and systems. I love to ask Jesus what is the root of a behavior or a belief, and then He actually shows us. No fear.

Today I prayed with a friend who was having some issues in a relationship with a guy. Whenever the guy was around she would close down and be very silent. This is not like her. She is very kind and engaging. We asked the Savior to show her the root of this behavior and He did. We asked what should she do and Jesus told her. Very clear and loving. She said she was unable and Jesus said she had the authority and power to do what needed to be done. She renounced the power and authority she has been giving this lie and I saw her face strengthen and peace began to rise in her face and eyes.

He spoke to her about other things that needed to be dealt with and with peace and assurance, much more than just confidence, she let her Savior do what needed to be done and said. She left differently than when she sat down and asked if we could talk.

I watched a Revolution take place in the systems that controlled her heart and mind. We thank Jesus...

17 June 2007

We begin...

Today is the first day with guests. We have a small family camp and a wonderful group coming from The Dakota House in Fresno. Jamie is bringing up about 10 girls from "Girls Only" club to spend a week up at Outpost.

It is at this point that I wonder if anything I said last week during Orientation in teaching and training will have any impact on what and how we do our jobs this summer. I really like this staff so I don't say that against them, but did I make sense.

Yesterday, some did the annual trek up Half Dome, some stayed back to work on the bathrooms, others stayed back and slept, and some went back to school to walk in a graduation ceremony. Me, I sat home with a fever and slept on and off throughout most of the day.

Today will be the first day that the entire staff will be here. I love my job...

15 June 2007


I know that summer camp is starting when I see a Western Tanager. Today I saw 2.

14 June 2007


I have been reading and thinking a lot about the concept of microfinancing and microcredit. Dr. Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank won the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to create economic and social development from below. Lasting peace can not be achieved unless large population groups find ways in which to break out of poverty. Micro-credit is one such means. Development from below also serves to advance democracy and human rights." According to The Norwegian Nobel Committee.

I am probably very late to the party on this and most of you have been reading and hearing about this since 13 October 2006 when the committee declared their recipient of the prize. But I am new to economics and am pretty slow at understanding these things. But I am intrigued by Dr. Yunus and making it happen on a larger scale than just a village.

This concept started me thinking about investment and what we invest in. In talking to the summer staff a couple of nights ago I asked them what they were doing with the education that has been invested by someone for them? When is the "note due?" I want to challenge them to begin the process of paying off the investment by making microinvestments in others so that others may have an opportunity to later invest in others who may ha...

Who has invested in us? (Of course, Jesus, but lets move out of Sunday School for a second and think) What was laid down so that we could rise up? We who have been invested with breath, what are we doing with it? We who have been invested with the words that are true and faithful, according to Revelation 22, what are we doing with it? Arguing about insignificance or are we setting people free to deeply breathe? I look at the world and notice that we have much in comparison to the rest of the world, and what are we doing with it?

My life is changing...

What I like about what I get to do...

Last night during worship and singing with the staff, I felt a tap on my shoulder and when I opened my eyes there was Kirsten, the coordinator of our Out Post program, standing in front of me asking if I could step outside. I was going to be speaking to the staff after a song or two so I thought, "oh, oh, something has happened."

So I walked behind the coordinator, who is usually pretty reserved, very organized, and not given to affectionate banter with me. When I got outside she turned around and gave me a great hug and said, "Thank you, I love my job."

She had just got off the phone with Jamie, who is bringing up her "For Girls Only" club from The Dakota House in Fresno next week, so the coord was just doing some last minute logistics to make it a great week for them. She had never met Jamie so instead of going through my relationship with her I asked her to call her and get the info direct. I knew what was going to happen. She would fall in love with Jamie just as I have. She would get excited about what could happen next week when the girls, some who have never left the neighborhood, come up and start climbing Fresno Dome, sleep outside, see the stars, find men and women who will love them without expecting anything in return, and some great food.

And then I saw it. I saw in her eyes the eyes of Jesus. Excited about caring for the girls coming up. Excited about knowing what she and her team had to offer them. Excited about seeing the WONDER they will get when they walk among the Giants in the redwood grove. Ready to love...

11 June 2007

Immigration reform needs to begin with heart reform...

Followers of Jesus need to start taking Leviticus 19: 33-34 seriously:
When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

10 June 2007

Method to my madness...

Now that staff has arrived and got their shirts and pondered the theme as well as the design, I wanted to let you know more of why I went with the design. (If you could care less then go HERE)

The fist, for those of us in the sixties and seventies know, is a symbol for power. The Black Panthers used it in black, the Solidarity Movement of Poland used it in red, my mom left it on my bottom as I was growing up and misbehaving in flesh and red, very red... Power. The symbol I have talks of power but the power isn't in the fist it is in the crucified hole. A bit of irony to say that our power comes, not in an overthrow, but a dying to our selves and becoming submitted to and serving the King, Jesus the Christ, the Crucified One, the Resurrected One.

Thought I would now let you know so no one is thinking that I am talking about overthrowing the church (institution) or anything like that... ; )

09 June 2007


I am missing some people who have been up here for the past four or five summers who are not here today. Some friends who were here last year but needed to get on with their educations and couldn't come back to coordinate again this year. Some needed to get married, get on with their careers, etc. You are missed. Those who served in the beginning with me I think about you and wish you were here this year as well. The faces and names or people who coordinated the past 15 years that I have known, and served on staff, or were campers over the years are deeply etched into my heart and mind today. People who were influential in my life with conversations under the trees or late night under the stars have influenced the stone soup of what the direction of Calvin Crest is today. Thank you. Don't forget me and the ministry that helped shaped your life as well.

If you will just sent in $10.00 a month...

Staff Arrives...

I am sitting in my office, pictured above, and listening to the coordinators on the radio as well as live over the meadows, welcoming the new staff. Some are driving up, some are flying in, some took the train or bus, as they arrive with expectation and a bit of fear of what this summer will hold for them. Will they have friends, will they be used by God, will they meet their future spouse or life long friends? What is in store for them?

Someone came up to me and asked me if I am excited for the new staff. I get asked this each year by many, many people. I had to think about that for a few minutes. I hate to say it but I haven't been thinking about the new staff. Which is odd for me. I am usually praying for them and checking to make sure they got in their forms and agreements. It concerned me but then I was able to identify my feelings.

This was a very hard year. (My fiscal year runs from the beginning of camp to the next beginning of camp.) The worse. This past year kicked my emotional, spiritual, mental hinnie and caused some new thinking and behaviors that I have yet come to grips with. I had and have many people mad at me. Some approached me and a few are still sitting in it. (At this point I don't care anymore about people who are not talking to me. I would rather be with those who are in my face.) I think it affected my vulnerability a lot more than I realized. I am guarded a little more than I have been. I have withdrawn from relationships. I noticed my eyes are looking down and not directly into other's eyes. Protection. Safety.

That is different from the "job" guy who I also am. I am dreaming, plotting, designing, listening, instructing, correcting, and disciplining more than I ever have. I am enjoying the design of camp, I am not as involved in the relationships as much this year. I hope that doesn't last too long. I miss that part of me.

That wasn't meant to be a "poor me" statement, more just kind of an aha moment that I wanted to record...

08 June 2007

A milestone...

Yesterday, Christel and I became "empty-nesters." Hillary moved to Fresno into an apartment. Taylor and David are in North Fork. Simon and Natasha are in Napa.

Being a grandparent, empty-nesters, wearing trifocals, bald and fat, back problems, low functioning thyroid, driving a pickup... why do I still feel like I am 25?

06 June 2007

Here it is...

I have been praying a lot, thinking a lot, listening to people a lot, and I decided to go for it anyway. It is not that I don't care what some of you think, but I have to be faithful to what I think God is thinking. I felt like the design and theme was important to the message and I think this is the design that God gave me for this summer. Therefore I stayed with it.

I think that we are in a time of revolution against a culture that has turned being a disciple into a commodity. We have made it into a political force. We have turned it into culture that studies the truth instead of living by the truth. This culture is generated by my self. My self is fearful, so it tries to be comfortable, controlling, and cool. Instead of being submitted, faithful, righteous, and intimate. In trying to be unique, I have sold out to conformity to those who are seeking their own identity instead of Christ's. I want what I am passionate about instead of for what He is passionate enough to die. It is more than just a social gospel, it is a life truth.

This is more than sinning with alcohol, drugs, porn, lust, etc. This is sinning by conforming to this world. Conforming to my fears. Conforming to someone's ideals, not Jesus' way.

I know BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH... you run a camp, a christian camp, and this is just a well intentioned adjustment. A very cliched word right now. Revolution is used in books by some good authors and you are just jumping on the band wagon. What difference do you think you can make with a theme and a shirt.

Ummm. Gee. I hope to speak the truth. I am going to ask people to renounce their preconceive notions of religion and begin to look at scripture, starting with the sermon on the mount and ask ourselves will I follow this teaching? Not add my rationalizations, just follow it. Will it change, fundamentally change, the way I think? Will it change, fundamentally change, the way I look at people and myself? Will it open my eyes, ears, heart, mind, and strength to live a human life responsive to the love of Jesus or will I continue to fit in to a culture that doesn't really trust in the WAY of Jesus?

Today it begins...

05 June 2007

Meaningfully funny...

I have been doing what I do for the past 15 years. I love it. And the reason why I love it is because of the people that I get to be around and learn from. The hard part is they leave but the good part is they keep in touch. Many have gone on to become pastors, doctors, mothers, fathers, attorneys, salespeople, shopowners, policemen and policewomen, a producer of movies, camp people, CIA agents, engineers, students (some of you need to graduate and move on), but the one lately who continually makes me laugh and think is Leisel B. I cannot tell you what she does, but she writes about it all the time. She is a writer. You can see her soul in her work.

If you haven't read her blog, you need to give up a half hour of television and read her posts daily. She is very prolific and one of my most favorite people I have ever known. I do have favorites....

Start with this ONE and then click on the blog name to read the rest. You won't be sorry.

(Sorry Leisel for the attention.)

03 June 2007

A question...

I really like Rob Bell, the pastor of Mars Hill Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

He asked a question, "if our ministry closed up today, who would miss us?" Would the neighbors, the community, the poor, the homeless... ?

I have been thinking about that a lot...

01 June 2007

The gospel from hell...

In response to a couple of comments from the previous post.

I do believe people are going to hell because they have never known or trusted Jesus Christ as their savior and lord.

I do believe that many people are living in a hell right now who could be evangelized in the name of Jesus by His Body of believers who take a swig of wine and a bite of bread each month to be in communion with Him in saving the world with:

A cup of cold water taken from a new water system that is providing clean water for the village and the crops.

A coat, a legal system and micro-financing that covers their nakedness and oppression from prostitution because the parents took a loan from a loan shark at an interest rate that is unrepayable because that was the only possible solution because those with God's money and forgiveness aren't doing anything to provide an alternative.

A bowl of nourishing food that was grown and raised on a little plot of land that was developed through co-ops, incentives, and investment with the goal of selling it to a farmer over time at an affordable price that they earned from their sweat equity and profits.

A visit from lovers of souls and not lovers of revenge and justice to those incarcerated with a message of hope, forgiveness, and love of the Lord Jesus so they can be redeemed to live a life of worth and faith.

An opportunity to make something of themselves by an education that delivers understanding and information of value with simple supplies of pencils and pencil sharpeners, paper, rulers, erasers, etc which cost less that $15 per child per year.

A plan and action that stops the genocide of millions.

The care and compassion for millions who are dying of HIV/AIDS with medicines that are readily available at lower costs than ever before.

And I think I can go on and on and so could you. There is plenty to do today for us to evangelize in Word and DEED. Read the epistle (letter) of James in the Holy Scriptures and it gives a plain picture of pure religion...