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I am blessed to be surrounded by so many who are diligently striving to live lives that reflect Christ in every way. Scott McCown is one of those people. Scott and Amy work with the Central congregation in Tuscaloosa. They are great examples, great servants, and great friends.
Scott publishes a daily blog called The Morning Drive. I encourage you to check it out sometime. I wanted to share his latest blog with you today. This one is a great reminder for parents, but also applies to all our adult volunteers during camp. We’re being watched! How’s our aim?
Children & Arrows by Scott McCown
No, not children with sharp arrows, that is a trip to the ER waiting to happen . . .
“Behold children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!”
Psalm 127:3-5 (ESV)
“Like arrows in the hands of a warrior.” What a great statement! A well-skilled archer has effective aim. A number of years ago I learned there are four basic rules of archery:
- The Direction I point the arrow is important,
- The Strength of the pull has effect,
- Properly Timing the Release is valuable, and
- Accuracy in Aiming is vital.
Apply these to raising children and you understand more about what the Psalmist has in mind.
- What Direction am I pointing my children in?
- What Influence (Pull) am I giving them with my lifestyle?
- Do I let go (Release) them into situations (or expose them to certain things of the world) before they are ready? Or am I hanging on too long?
- What are my goals (where am I Aiming) for me and my children?
Paul tells fathers (and mothers by default), ” . . . do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Eph 6:4)
Here are a list of Parental Rules to Model and to Teach so we can be skilled archers.
- Put purity above pleasure.
- Place others before yourself.
- Be more industrious and less lazy.
- As an adult be more mature and less childish.
- Demonstrate service over power.
- Be Christ-like.
I recently asked our trustees and directors a question, “Why do we do what we do at ICYC?”. I received several great responses! Today I’ll share the longest one!! Thanks, Clark Sims! ;)
Why Do We Do What We Do at ICYC?
Why Do We Do What We Do at ICYC? That is a hard question and an easy one at the same time. For me, camp week begins in a calendar year. It starts with work every now and then grows into a committed obsession as time moves forward. It reaches a point that camp preparation becomes basically a daily activity. Will we be ready? Will I be ready? Typically, I’ll make that drive onto Pleasantfield Road with some questions still needing to be answered. Sunday is hard! Getting people in, getting people placed, being sure staff is on site and working, communicating with parents, answering questions are all things that you just have to deal with on Sunday. I just have not figured out a way for Sunday to be easy. But, there does come a time. I’m not exactly sure what time that is. It might be that first time I stand behind a podium looking into the faces of my “camp family!” It might be when my great staff lets me know their cabin list and mine match and their cabin is ready to go! It might be when Dupree and his bunch provide that first camp week supper. It might be, and this really might be it, when I walk (or ride) the grounds that Sunday night when everyone has been sent to the cabins, lights are turning off. We are “home” and ready for a special week.
Why Do We Do What We Do at ICYC? That is a hard question and an easy one at the same time.
I love breakfast. I love getting the day started. I love hugs and kind words. I love “Pink Monkeys.” I love “campers being campers at camp in the spirit of Christian camping.” I love being with my Cottondale family at camp. I love being with my physical family at camp. I love being with my camp family at camp. I love being with a fantastic staff who I treasure. I love that I see my camp family throughout the year and our minds are right there at ICYC! I love the fact that hellos are so good. I love the fact that good-bye is so touch (because that just shows how special it really is). I love that I have experienced campers grow into counselors. I love that my bride supports me when I’m “tough to live with” leading up to camp week. I love that my bride sweats, smiles, works, serves right through Friday when a “precious worn out woman” drives home. I love that I share this with my children. I love that my children have memories of the past and optimism for the future at ICYC. I love that I share this with every one of my sisters-in-law. I love that I share this with my nephew and nieces. I love that I have another nephew just ready to get started. I love our counselors. I love our cooks. I love our teachers. I love our craft ladies. I love our nurse. By the way, word to the wise, make these people happy! They give and give and give. I love those who have been with us for years! I love those we get to meet for the first time. I love sports and cabin competition and cabin inspection and team building. I love activities during the day. I love activities under the stars. I love canteen. I love the fact that I have a key to the canteen. I love the Bible. I love Bible Bowl and Bible Class. I love spiritual. I love spiritual growth. I love spiritual focus. I love knowledge. I love emotion. I love change. I love tears. I love commitment. I love phone numbers and addresses and emails. I love pictures. I love going to that pool to experience a wonderful new birth. I love singing. Oh, how I love the singing. I love that parents bring children. I love that men and women use a vacation week for this! I love the fact the we leave the camp ground worn out but already thinking about “next year.” I love watching them grow up. I love that they love me and I love them. I love that we look forward to coming back. I love how much they all mean to me. I love that I share this with my best friend. I love that he is my partner. I love that I speak with Bruno day after day after day getting ready. I love how hard he works. I love that he really does not like walking “up that hill” and he likes to ride in golf carts and eat an occasional late night snack, just like me! I would wish that everyone could experience a week like this with your best friend. I love Thursday night. I love that I laugh and I cry. I love taking pictures. I love it when they want to come back. I love my week and I love Indian Creek.
Why Do I Do What I Do at ICYC? Well, I’ll assure you it’s not about the heat or the sweat or the air conditioning not working and toilets stopped up. It’s not about the hills or the distance from the director’s hut to the ball field. It’s not because there are 2 cabins called Golden Pine and 2 cabins called Chestnut. I put up with that stuff. I put up with that stuff because there is no week like it. My year points to that week. My life is better because of it.
I am thankful to God that this place, these people and this amazing opportunity are a part of my life. By the way, I love that I sit at my computer emotional writing this because it means so much to me!
In the spirit of Christian camping,
Clark Sims preaches for the Cottondale congregation and serves as an elder there. Clark is also director of Week 7 at ICYC. He and his family are very dedicated both to the camp and to the Kingdom.
“Mamas for Mattresses”
Hello Friends of Indian Creek Youth Camp!
“Mamas for Mattresses!” It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? I am writing you today on behalf of a number of mothers in the Tuscaloosa, Alabama area who love Indian Creek Youth Camp and thought of a great fundraiser to benefit the camp. As a board member and week director, I realize how important it is for our campers, and staff, to get a good night of rest to get the very best out of the camp experience. I am happy to be working with these ladies on this project.
We completed a wonderful 2014 camp season. Our goal is to have 225 new mattresses placed in the cabins and staff quarters as the 2015 camp season draws near. Certainly, we realize those receiving this letter have varied capabilities. Some of you might be able to fund a number of mattresses for us. Some might be able to get us one mattress. By the way, who knows what that one mattress might mean to that one child who attends ICYC? We want to thank you, all of you, for considering contributing to this project. If you are receiving this letter, on some level, you have already indicated your love for ICYC. You know what a week at this special place can mean. Thank you for any consideration you might give to helping us out. Our good friend, Andy Williams, who is a member at the Northport congregation, is “in the business” and is working with us to provide a quality mattress at a reasonable price. We look forward to getting these mattresses delivered and placed as the funds become available.
Each mattress can be provided at a cost of $100. As you know, your contributions are tax deductible. We ask checks to be made to, “Indian Creek Youth Camp” and tagged “Mamas for Mattresses.” We also ask you to identify on the memo line the number of mattresses you are providing. Checks can be sent to: ICYC, Mamas for Mattresses, 7855 Pleasantfield Road, Oakman, Alabama 35579.
We are asking congregations who receive this letter to please make it available to individual members who support, serve and love Indian Creek Youth Camp and Christian Camping!
Great things are happening at ICYC! We thank you for your interest, support and prayers. We ask you to “help us out” with this project. Thank you “Mamas” for your love for the camp and your love for our children. I am thankful to work with you on this project. God bless ICYC!
In the Spirit of Christian Camping,
Your Questions Can be Addressed to: Tracie Sims (205-310-3359) Christy Pate (205-391-7535) Clark Sims (205-310-3286)
Cottondale church of Christ
2025 Prude Mill Road, Cottondale, Alabama 35453
http://www.cottondalechurchofchrist.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
A Different Kind of Modety
By: Leah Brasher
When you saw the title for this article, you probably didn’t expect to read this. You most likely saw the word “modesty” and thought this article would be about short skirts and tight dresses. Well, that article will be posted sometime in the future, but as for now, this is about a different type of modesty. Humility, actually. Have you ever heard the expression, “He’s just being modest”? In this sense, the word modest means humble. Humility is literally defined as, “Having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.” This doesn’t mean not to value yourself. Don’t think I’m saying that at all! I’m telling you that your self importance should not be as high as how you value the ones around you. To explain this better, I’m going to compare it to something every girl knows: Beauty and the Beast. In the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast, there are a lot of characters, but for my point, I’ll focus on three. Do you remember how the Beast was turned into the monster he became? If you don’t, here’s how. An old woman, who was actually a witch, came to his door and begged him to give her shelter. He denied her and she cursed him. Now, obviously we don’t have witches running around begging for help. That just doesn’t happen. But, we do have people who need help and may ask. The Beast was a prince before and he was too spoiled and prideful to help the woman. She was disguised as a beggar and when he saw that she wasn’t beautiful, he refused her. He couldn’t look past her appearance, he was too shallow and arrogant to notice who she was. He was then punished by being turned into a monster. Alright, so the Beast was arrogant. Let’s look at another character. Who remembers Gaston? He was the man who wanted to marry Belle from the beginning. But, she didn’t love him. Do you know why? Because he was too prideful. She didn’t want to love someone that was so arrogant. Gaston constantly talked about how amazing he was and how everyone loved him. He also sang a song in the movie. The song was named, believe it or not, “Gaston.” The lyrics are incredibly funny, being a Disney movie, but my point is that Gaston is incredibly arrogant. And because of that, he lost the girl he wanted. One last character and we will move on. Belle. Now, the last two characters were both shallow, arrogant and prideful. But, Belle is much the opposite. She’s modest, humble and meek. She takes her father’s place as prisoner of the Beast. She is very kind to the Beast even though he has done nothing but been awful to her. And, she looks past the fur, claws, and fangs. She sees a kind heart and she does all that she can to bring that out. Do you know what happens in the end? Belle falls in love with the Beast and he falls in love with her. The Beast’s curse is lifted and he is changed back into the prince he was. Belle’s humility and selflessness makes the Beast change into a more modest person, which ends up helping them both. Okay, so the story of Beauty and the Beast isn’t real, but the moral is! Be humble and modest, and you will be rewarded. Let’s look at God’s word and I’ll prove it to you. Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” This says that other people should be more important to us than ourselves. Romans 12:16 says, “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” I really love how this is worded. It’s telling us that we do not need to care how people are socially ranked. Basically, we shouldn’t be more willing to talk to the girl who just bought new, expensive shoes, than to the girl who’s parents are struggling to even keep their home. That’s where being shallow comes in. We need to love everyone equally, as we are supposed to. Proverbs 11:2 tells us this, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Do you know what God is telling us? If we are prideful, we are a disgrace! If we are humble, then we are wise. God thinks it is wise of us to be humble. Don’t you want our God to think that you are wise on Judgement Day? I do. So, girls, let me give you some advice. When you see that girl that isn’t exactly “cool” or that boy that doesn’t have many friends? Please, go talk to them. Invite them into your group of friends. Make them feel loved. Show them the kindness that God has asked us to show everyone. Be the meek one and throw out the stereotypes and social rankings. Be humble and love those people more than you love yourself. Be modest and don’t worry about what people will think if they see you with that person. Take Disney’s advice. Don’t be a Beast, Be a Belle.
Leah Brasher is the daughter of Glenn & Kim Brasher of Quintown. Leah is ICYC through and through! She is a faithful member of the Quintown congregation, a wonderful friend, a great example, and beautiful young Christian lady. Thanks Leah for sharing your thoughts.