30 August 2007

Outside my window...

It is starting to rain.

The trees are in chorus with the wind to bring a conversation of hope to a dry and wanting earth and soul.
It brings an alertness to my skin as the shirtsleeves are inadequate to keep out the chill, but it is a welcomed message.

The dance begins as the manzanita moves with the oak and cedars in a rhythm that hasn't been heard in too long.
Leaves cling tightly until their release to give back to the soil from which they were nourished. They lived lives of collection of rays I took for granted.

Tiny droplets bring their song in harmony with the voice of the wind on my corrugated roof.
The earth releases its fragrance as the rain lies down to soothe the dusty path. Dry beds awake with a trickle as we anticipate the roar to come.

Hope arrived, dreams unpack, anticipation of the bow of many colors...

19 August 2007

Last times...

What do we do with the breath God gives us? Was the last 10 weeks a good use of it? What about the next 42? Those are the ones that scare me. I don't do a good job breathing during the "off season." I want to be creative and design new programs for Calvin Crest with Nellie and Scott and the rest of the team, but I don't get as stimulated without the staff that is here during the summer.

I loved thinking this summer and asking, "what if we...?" and new ideas would come out which worked, by the way. Sitting with coordinators and Nellie under the "blue" and having light arguments which, I think, brought out the best of us. Arguments are good if they are directed at an outcome and not just masturbating our minds.

Being able to move people in new directions to solve the needs that weren't there a few years ago is a bit scary but at the same time a lot of fun. Scott Henderson, the new Executive Director, stretches me and questions me so that I want to come up with significant changes at CC for the program but more for the mission in which we endeavor.

"Who are we reaching and how are we doing that?" is causing us to make some significant changes. What if we did day camps in parks around the Valley so that people who cannot afford to go to camp could have the relative same experience as on the mountain. We could invite churches and be a mission for them to reach out to the parish around them so that they could become involved in the children's life after the day camp is over.

What if we are thinking the use of our property for things and programs that are more than camp? Educating those who are going off into missions, whether proclamational or social or health? What if the hotel was used for significant summit meetings between people in conflict and were able to resolve these differences in a Christ-like way?

What if we did internships for people who need to learn a skill, like cooking, and get them off governmental assistance.

What if part of the property became a solar field that started putting electricity back into the grid instead of just taking it and we became self-sustaining as well as help missionaries bring this training and supplies with them? We could partner with LifeWaters or Living Waters for the World as well.

What if people came to be quiet for a week, instead of more things to entertain them?

What if young couples came to spend time with a marriage counselor somewhere in the first year of marriage and shared issues that are not unique to their marriage but they were so convince they were and have been feeling like they are a failure and the marriage is doomed?

What if we had a staff that was trained and only worked with at-risk students and we ran camps that dealt with those ministries and organizations?

What if our AIM developed leaders but also gave the AIMer the opportunity to work on a Water Safety certificate so they could be the lifeguards the following summer?

What if...?

17 August 2007

This last week...

Last weeks are always interesting at camp.
Some check out and quit working or begin an attitude (what are you going to do, fire me with only a few days left? Yep!).
Some put in a lot of extra time with each others to make sure they can make it through the Autumn without each other's company.
Some begin to try different things to make the program more interesting for them and the campers.
Some get that look in their eyes to what is going to happen next in their life.
A few want to talk about next year and tell me of their interest in a particular position.
A few others come to tell me they were mad at me for something I said, or they heard I said.
Many come up to me and ask how I am doing? "Are you looking forward to next week?"

No, I am not. I find I am at my best for these 10 weeks and like who I am. I am around some delightful people who are going to make a mark in the world as they have this past summer. We laugh a lot during these 10 weeks. We have deep discussions that influence each other. The worship is wonderful and the stories of the Kingdom are redemptive. Change happens in the lives of people who just graduated from high school, just 10 weeks ago, as they worked hard and accomplished much. They served food, cleaned up after, built and rebuilt facilities, registered, prayed for, medically cared for, and listened to a couple thousand young people these past 10 weeks.

I watched the Spirit create clean hearts, eager hands, inquiring minds, opened eyes, healed hearts. Souls that were lost became found because someone took the time to listen and lay on their hands in love, instead of running off to the movie theatre. Fears were stared in the face as these people climbed a tree for the first time or asked for forgiveness after making a terrible mistake.

I watched leaders being formed and people truly begin to follow Christ on their own. Some were uncertain about what they believed because they have been following what was handed to them and they did not want to pass on anything that was not true.

I know this may be the last time I see some of these staff people and next year there will be some new ones I have yet to love (or piss off). Working relationships developed over the past few years suddenly change to friendships that will last for the next 20 years, I hope.

I really like this staff.

13 August 2007

From the mouths of babes...

On Saturday night, a friend's daughter looked down at my feet and started mocking me because I wear socks with my Keens. I tried to tell her that my feet crack terribly when I don't wear socks but she just kept it up. She finally said that I looked like a german tourist at Bass Lake.

Sometimes Culture has nothing to do with health but it is only concerned with style.

12 August 2007

When love comes to town...

Yesterday was the Summer Reunion (formerly the Staff Concert). Good turnout, great food, music and testamonies were fun and meaningful.

I have been working on a Coney Island Hot Dog Sauce for the past three years, in case something happens here I am planning on opening up a hot dog stand at Avila Beach. Well I think I got it perfected and we served it up last night. Tony's Coneys was started.

We also had carnitas and chicken tacos, pizza, tri-tip sandwiches, peach cobbler and icecream. Josh Haas did a great job with the food service, which ran without incident and very efficient. Volunteers came to set up and clean up, which freed up the staff to visit with parents who came to visit and enjoy the beauty.

We raised some good money at the auction, which will go for camperships this and next year (we give a lot to families and missions who cannot afford to send their children to camp). Josh's three pies raised $250.00!

We sang a song by Bono, which he wrote for B.B. King, called When Love Comes to Town. What a great message it has. One woman came up to me and said "...there was only one problem with the song, we couldn't get up there and sing it with you."

I am thankful to this staff that they trust me and are willing to try something and change at the last minute. I am also very thankful that they let me sing along with them...

10 August 2007

An "A Hole"

One of the AIMers (AIM is a two week discipleship program for high schoolers who also help out with some of the work at CC) was talking about "the bald, fat, guy who is a real A Hole..." I then heard about it through the grapevine and was not surprised by it all.

I am an A Hole. I have to make decisions that tend to give people that impression. I had to make a decision whether this young man should come to AIM at the last minute and could we scholarship the whole thing. I had to make another decision whether or not to send home one of the other AIMers who wasn't showing up for work and when he did he sat around wasn't much help.

I tend to light in relationships and move on to the next issue or problem. I don't have much time to hang with too many people. I am not complaining, at all. It was interesting to hear someone who after one small encounter summed up what many have thought with a lot more time invested.

I choose coordinators with as little as 4 hours of conversations and intimacy. I watch and listen to people and also to what others trust that person with. What decisions have they made and what was the outcome. Who do they trust. I have to trust many people. I have to trust my instincts. And most important, I have to trust that I am hearing the Small Voice. Sometimes I am wrong, which heighten the potential of being the A Hole.

I introduced myself to him this morning at his evaluation so next year during his interview for staff, we won't have to bring that up and his potential can be seen unhindered...

08 August 2007


I watched a young girl today on the ropes course get up enough courage to go forward. I was so impressed with Jenna's, the Events staff person, patience and encouragement. And I found great joy in Allie, the camper, who really had to trust Jenna and herself to move past the great fear...

05 August 2007

Popi Update...

My mom...

I took this picture of my mom yesterday when we were talking about some of my thoughts about the culture of christianity. She asked me if I am going to work at CC much longer and get a job in the real world. She wanted to know if I was a part of the more light presbyterian conference. She said that I haven't come by much these past 3 or so years and it has caused a lot of problems for her swimming pool. I use to clean it regularly and since I haven't been there it caused a lot of trouble for the pool.

Maybe she was the anonymous commenter. She seemed like she knew a lot about my opinions and I saw a new MacPro 8-core box in the back of the miniCooper, I think she has been putting me on. I googled her name and found out that she is an alum of Stanford and got her Ph.D at Cal Berkeley. Also I found a copy of a letter from Ted Kaczynski folded in her Ruth Graham book.

I thought all of these years that she was a stay home mom who was one of the first female elders at the church and helped me with my paper route...

03 August 2007

Friday, Week 7...

I am amazed at the rapid rate of chronological passing this summer.

I love this staff and the creativity and hard work that they have displayed. Their love and care for the guest has been evident throughout the summer.

I had to run to Fresno today for a doctor's appointment and a coffee break with my friend Sheri. I am always a bit sharper after these quick conversations with her. I am amazed at her perspective and how central Christ is in her work. When I grow up I want to be like her.

Scott Falk has been our speaker this week for Junior High and he has done a great job. We have been able to grab a breakfast here and there and those always draws me closer to the word of God and his friendship. It is great having him as a friend and a brother.