Thursday, December 10, 2009

Rock 'N Roll

"But our bet is that you've never seen or heard a group quite like this, since Flame is the only touring band in the world made up entirely of disabled musicians."
- Bill Weir from Good Morning America

Check out this GREAT news story on the band Flame... our main stage guests at this year's Buddy Walk here in Binghamton. They were amazing and we already have them booked for the 2010 Buddy Walk!

Flame the band on Good Morning America

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Shepherds Fall Retreat 09

The Shepherds Fall Retreat was a blast! It was a great opportunity to reunite as staff to serve many of our local campers who are big time regular attenders. We had a full house with about 50 campers, 25 staff and a handful of volunteers.

Despite some warm daytime temperatures the wind was blowing and we stayed inside. On the bright side we had great Halloween and fall time crafts. Classic camps games were a must and the campers really enjoyed Alex on guitar during Bible & Music. Saturday afternoon our campers got to make stuffed-paper bag pumpkins, hang out at the activity tables and try on a silly hat for the fall photo shoot (with Jerry the Scary Scarecrow). One of the most exciting parts of the retreat was our special guests, Talking Hands (from Achieve). They put on a great show on Saturday night, signing to all sorts of songs from Johnny Cash to the Ghostbuster's theme song. Talking Hands did a great job. Overall it was a great week seeing so many familiar faces from the summer.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

JP Weekends!

Fall is certainly here at Arrowhead. The leaves that are still on the trees are changing colors and the temperature is dropping. We have already served several guest groups and we have a few more to go before the fall retreat season is over. We are really excited for the Shepherds Fall Retreat at the end of October. The retreat is nearly full already and we almost have all the staff lined up. It should be a great weekend to reunite and reconnect.

Another exciting part of this fall has been the James Project which has spilled over to the retreat season. With such great success this summer we are now making the James Project available for weekend retreats. The fall is booked up and we are starting to accept James Project Weekend groups for our winter/spring retreat season. James Project Weekends are open to pastors, leaders, families, student ministries, college ministries and community groups. It's a great opportunity to steal away for a weekend to serve others as a small group. Weekends at Arrowhead provide James Project groups with the ability to focus on team dynamics, more intense discipleship, building & equipping and personal growth... besides just simply serving together.

We're excited about this new opportunity because of the huge impact it has on the our guests who are loved and served well by our James Project groups. Sign up now to get a James Project Weekend this winter/spring.

Ben Myers
Arrowhead Bible Camp


Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Perfect Day for Bocce

Our friends from the Special Olympics were here today. Over 50 athletes, their coaches, parents and care providers enjoyed a great afternoon of bocce ball. The weather was perfect and the hot dogs always taste fantastic after some intense games of bocce.

For us, it was an exciting opportunity to see some of our campers, meet some new friends and host the tournament for the Special Olympics.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Buddy Walk 2009

The Buddy Walk is this Saturday! I hope you will join us to help raise awareness for Down Syndrome. We are looking forward to a great day (with NO RAIN!) including the band FLAME! Check them out tomorrow Wednesday, September 16th on Good Morning America.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The End of Many Things

Our summer of ministry is officially over. Our last campers headed out yesterday and things are quiet again. As always, the silence is a bitter sweetness. Our passion is to IMPACT lives with the TRUTH of God's Word and to make DISCIPLES like JESUS. Our passion is Jesus' passion; to see people: families, children, staff, mission teams, developmentally disabled adults, neighbors, friends, our community... redeemed by the love & mercy of the Sovereign, Almighty, Creator God. It is sad to see the summer come to a close.

With the silence comes a simultaneous deep breath - entering a time of rest after two and a half months of ministry AND anticipating our next guest group, Shepherds Retreat, work group or staff get together.

I praise God for a great summer. It was a summer of transition,
growth, pain, healthiness, worship, discipleship and hard work. It was my privilege to engage with several students who took on the challenge of discipleship. Through them, God challenged and convicted me of my love for His Word, my humility in serving others and my trust in Jesus to follow Him wholeheartedly. What a blessing to see one of our biggest summers yet. This was the first summer we offered eight weeks of our own programs. Our day camp for kids doubled to offer two weeks for free... reaching out to serve over 60 families (more than 100 children) from our local community. We saw another summer of growth for our Shepherds Camp... with more campers than last summer. Another great blessing was the full introduction of the James Project. The James Project has led to dozens of families and students serving our staff and campers each week, the creation of a counselor/program staff training program and the completion of many projects around the camp AND the purchase of our new dock section, scholarships for Shepherds campers, financial investments to help make Day Camp free and care-packages for all the staff.

One of my favorite events of the summer was our Bocce Bash with the Special Olympics. A few camper teams and over 50 athletes from the community made for a great evening of bocce ball. It also doubled as our evening activity... providing all of our campers with an exciting sporting event right in our own backyard.
For me it was a summer of learning.

This was one of the first summers I intentionally strived for healthiness as a response to worshipping God.. I am grateful for times of spiritual formation through solitude & silence, journaling, prayer, scripture and repentance. I was also blessed to have Natalie by my side from time to time AND to see her in Bible Class or Chapel, serving campers and helping out around
camp. God used Natalie to teach me so many things about our Shepherds campers alongside being dad. God taught me a lot about WORSHIP which was the focus of our discipleship, James Project partnerships and personal formation. In the face of worship, God showed me this summer that my default idol is camp. For me, it is easy to elevate myself or my role at camp from created thing to Creator. God convicted me of my interior motivations for building relationships and running programs. He taught me how my exterior actions can and should flow from my religious affections for Him... which is a big lesson that He continues to teach me. As a summer of transition, God also taught me wisdom in leadership and grace in love through some unexpected ways.

One of those unexpected ways was through a Shepherds camper. Day Camp was in coming to a close and we were getting geared up for another session of Shepherds Camp when I received a phone call from one of our campers' care providers informing me that Scott (one our campers) had died in his sleep at home. Scott lived with five other guys in the same house in town for the past 12 years. He and two of those guys have attended Shepherds Camp since before I arrived.
I am thankful that Kelly, myself and a few other staff members were able to attend the viewing and the funeral. We also had opportunity to spend some time with Scott's housemates and staff. Through that time it was a blessing to see the impact that camp has had on Scott, his friends, family and his staff. It was an even greater blessing to be able to suffer with them and to express our love for them. It is difficult to put words around all the things God has done and is doing through Scott's life, his time here at camp and the relationship that we have with his housemates and staff. I pray that we will be able to serve them through camp and outside of camp as well.

I suppose I say this at the end of every summer; God is amazing and He did great things this summer at Arrowhead.

Here is a poem that was written and then put to music to be sung as Scott's funeral.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Camp Life (#3) - The Gift

Much of the ministry here at Arrowhead surrounds the body. Most of our worship is physically caring for others – our campers and even each other.

God is the one who puts the value on all people… and He says that ALL people are worth dying for. As we value the campers as God does… we begin to see Jesus in them. First, as they are image bearers of God. Second, as their lives reflect Jesus in the ways that God has created them. Their vulnerability, peace, kindness, and joy are all a reflection of Jesus. They do not “try” to exemplify these characteristics. It is simply who they are. In their weakness they are a unique instrument of God’s grace, a revelation of God among us. Because of who they are we can clearly see God and see who we are to become.

Can our campers pray? Do they know who God is? Do they understand what the name of Jesus means? Can they believe in the scriptures and hold them as truth?

These are human questions. These are questions that may never be answered. These are also questions that come from below not from above. We, the so-called “normal” people, look at our campers and wonder how much they are like us. But they make no comparison. They simply live life and by their lives invite us to receive a unique gift – wrapped in weakness for our transformation. While we worry about how much we produce or how we have performed… our campers tell us – it is more important to be rather than to do. While we are consumed with what others think of us… our campers tell us – God’s love is more important than the praises of other people.

It is a great mystery in scripture that – the least shall be first, losing our lives is how we find them and gentleness inherits God’s kingdom. Do NOT miss the unique gift that proclaims this truth right in front you! Remember, the gift not received is the gift not given.

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“The gift not

received is the

gift not given.”

<![endif]-->As you serve the campers do not lose sight of God’s love for them AND the love He gives you for them. If you do – you will simply be someone who cuts up food, washes dishes, change diapers, clean toilets, shuttles people from one activity to the next, cleans up messes, plays games and just baby sits adults. You will become frustrated, exhausted, bored, impatient and lonely AND the campers will not be able to give their gifts, fulfill their mission and reach their potential.

The campers will see through fake smiles, and resentful hearts. They notice empty words and empty hearts sometimes even before we ourselves do. They uncover our irritable nature, impatience, cold demeanor, vane niceties, jealousy and lack of interest. What really matters to them is true friendship, pure love and faithful presence. “Their heart registers with extreme sensitivity what is real care and what is false, what is true affection and what is just empty words. Thus, they often reveal to us our own hypocrisies and invite us always to greater sincerity and purer love” (Adam 19).

Through these whom the world has made marginal and useless, God speaks mightily. Through our campers – the poor and weak, the broken, He makes His presence known. In our production-oriented, success-driven world this makes no sense. But to God it makes perfect sense.

The Gift - in the context of Shepherds Camp is a powerful experience of God's presence as He is both with us and for us. However, the gift of others extends to all people... who are image bearers of God. We are designed for relationships... not solely relationships with a goal in mind for the other person (simply connections that have more to do with ideologies and less to do with standing with and for others in Jesus), but relationships that stand with and for others in the presence of Jesus (the incarnate, crucified, resurrected One who makes possible relationships that are transformational).

Monday, July 20, 2009

Day Camp 2009 [Week 1]

The first week of Day Camp was a blast. 65 of our 80 campers will be coming out again this week. We are looking forward to the week ahead, 15 new campers, and a bunch of new special guests.

Our second week of Day Camp starts TODAY!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Camp Life (#2) - First Love

Our desire and ability to worship is rooted in love. Our love for God and our love for others overflows from God’s love for us… that is the First Love.

First love is an unconditional love. A love that is not based on who we are or what we do but on who God is and what He has done. We are not only un-deserving but ill-deserving of His love. We are His enemies… but still, He has loved us FIRST!

READ: John 18:38 – 20:18

Beautiful Scandalous Night - Lyrics

Go on up to the mountain of mercy
To the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down on the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified
Follow Christ to the holy mountain
Sinner sorry and wrecked by the fall
Cleanse your heart and your soul
In the fountain that flows
For you and for me and for all

At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree
On that beautiful, scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful, scandalous night

On the hillside, you will be delivered
At the foot of the cross justified
And your spirit restored
By the river that pours
From our blessed Savior's side

Mark 10:13-16

In the midst of teaching, Jesus allows children to approach…

13 And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.

Following Jesus is like being a little child – with no power, no position, nothing to show or be proud of. They had nothing to offer Jesus. Jesus simply wanted to love them.

This is difficult for us because we live and operate by trying to deserve the love God offers. But first love is the love of the cross. We have done nothing. We have earned nothing. We have nothing to offer God that that would cause Him to love us accordingly. The exact opposite is true… and so Jesus went to the cross. God loved us first!

First love is what causes us to love others. Your love for the campers must flow from this first love. Uniquely though, the campers you serve here at Arrowhead will lead you to this first love… if you allow them. Their purity and vulnerability, their peace and humility, their desire to freely give and receive love is an open invitation to experience God’s love for you as you love them. This love from our campers is a gift.

In our campers, most people will see a disabled person who is a burden to their family, to their community and to the world. If not for God’s love you might see them that way too. To do so, is to hide the truth… the truth that our campers are a gift and the gift not received, is the gift not given.

Like our campers, like little children, we must hear and listen to that quiet loving voice that says, “I love you whether you are rich or poor, whether you are married or not, whether you are handsome or unattractive, whether you are successful or not. No matter what… I love you!” (Day Break 194-195).

Our Prayer: May Arrowhead by a place where the first love of God is revealed to people anxious to prove they deserve love.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Thank You!

Just last week I sent out a message telling you about one of our campers who was not going to be able to make it to camp this summer because of financial problems.

A big "THANK YOU" to everyone who has stopped by camp, called or sent a card by mail. We have received all the money necessary for that camper to attend a two-week session this summer. What a blessing! What an impact! Thank you so much for investing in Arrowhead, in Shepherds Camp, in our staff AND in the lives of our campers... especially this ONE camper who will be able to come to camp this summer.

Each summer we have a few campers that need financial assistance to come to camp. If you were thinking/planning on sending in an investment to help this particular camper - I encourage you to still make that investment as the summer continues and looking ahead to next summer. Your investment will give the gift of camp.

Thanks again!

Bocce Bash 2009

Our first 2-week session of Shepherds Camp has come to a close. Even though it has only been two weeks it feels like it has been a whole month already. Thinking back to previous summers the same was true for the beginning of each. It is the first time we as a staff are serving together. For our counselors, it is their first time caring for and living with teenagers and adults with developmental disabilities. For some of our campers it is their first time at camp... which can make for a interesting start to the program. In the past two weeks we have also had a ton of rain. The nice part about it was that it did not rain the whole time. We also had some hot days with lots of sunshine. Another new experience (well kind of new) was the Bocce Bash.

This is the third year in a row that we have partnered with our friends at the Special Olympics. The first year we hosted a bocce ball tournament - two Arrowhead teams and two Special Olympics teams played bocce ball games as our campers and visitors spectated from the sidelines. Last year we had an open invitation to play bocce ball at our FREE Picnic & Open House. However, this year we had a huge response from our friends at the Special Olympics who wanted to come out to camp for a big BOCCE BASH!

Earlier this week on Tuesday we had our first Bocce Bash of 2009. We assembled two camper teams from Arrowhead and the Special Olympics came with eight teams comprised of local athletes. We had five bocce ball courts running simultaneously for the evening as our campers, staff, parents and friends from the community cheered from the sidelines. In attendance we had 50 campers, 30 staff members and 50 guests from the community (including athletes, parents and friends). That is 130 people enjoying a great evening of Bocce Ball here at Arrowhead. For us it was a great opportunity to share camp with our friends and for our campers it was an exciting program event. The whole evening was a success.

Check it out:

Monday, June 22, 2009

Camp Life (#1) - Worship

It's Worship

We were created to worship. We always have and always will worship something or someone. We put that thing or that person in the place of glory. We dedicate ourselves and sacrifice our time, energy, and money for that thing or that person. It all comes down to WORSHIP.

Exodus 20

1 “Then God spoke all these words, saying, 2 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3 You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.” (NAS)

The Israelites are hearing these words on the heels of experiencing God’s goodness and grace in amazing ways. Remember, they had just been removed from generations of slavery. It was who they had become. All of a sudden the God that they heard so much about from the days of Abraham, Joseph and Jacob had delivered them. Fresh in their minds were the plagues, the angel of death passing over their homes and the red sea.

It is crucial not to breeze over verses one and two. God is not setting forth a condition for His people. He’s not saying, “You do this and then I will do that.” God is giving them a confirmation. A confirmation of His goodness and His grace. He proclaims, “I am the LORD your God.” Before they were obedient, before they followed Him, He initiated the relationship.

It is also crucial to recognize the first two commandments which are different from the others. “You shall have no other gods before Me” and “You shall not make for yourself an idol” are the foundation of WORSHIPPING God. If we obey the first two commandments… we will obey the rest.

“The opposite of Christianity is not Atheism, but Idolatry.”

- Peter Krefft

Romans 11-12

36 “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen. 1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”

Through Jesus – God gives us that same confirmation. It was nothing we have done or ever could do. It is because of God’s goodness and grace that Jesus lived our life, died our death… and through His resurrection offers new life. Worship is still the foundation. It is because of Jesus (vs. 36) that we are called to present or dedicate ourselves to God AND sacrifice our all.

Worship at Camp

Because you are dedicating yourself to the ministry here at Arrowhead AND because you are sacrificing your time and energy to sing songs, play games, clean toilets, talk about Jesus, set tables, swim in the lake, give a hug and share meals together… you are worshipping God.

As you serve here at camp our ultimate goal, our mission and passion is to WORSHIP God. Anything short of worshipping God is sin… the root of which is Idolatry. First and foremost you are a kingdom builder. As for now, you find yourself building the kingdom in the context of camp. You will have great opportunities to serve and love others. Much of what you do will revolve around physically caring for individuals. Each day will be a great opportunity for WORSHIP.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The New Dock

A few years ago we purchased a brand new floating dock system. The new dock has the same shape as the old dock with a few additions - a massive sliding board (with water pump), two ladders and a bench. Two years ago we built a two-stage jump tower and last year we purchased a new fleet of paddle boats.

This year we have purchased another brand new section of the floating dock system. We replaced the old auxiliary floating dock which is used to create the deep end of our swimming area. The new section is a huge octagon with a ladder.

We are thrilled to see this new addition to the dock which really completes the safety and excitement of the waterfront. We are also excited because many of the James Project groups coming in this summer will be investing together to help fund this new dock section.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Worship - Morning Song

I spent last night at the Cabin... which has been a weekly routine for about two months now. After putting Natalie to bed and kissing Kelly goodnight I scooted out the door and down the road.

I took the evening hours to refine some thinking/writing that I have been doing in preparation for the summer. This morning I woke up (somewhat with the sun) around 5am. I stoked the fire and then stretched outside on the porch in the cool morning air. After little breakfast and some quiet, I spent a good hour in worship by singing.

I love the cabin! It provides me the freedom to sing loudly, triumphantly, with fist pumps and bellowing "Amens" and everything... without causing anyone else an ounce of discomfort or distraction.

Here's a song that I just could not stop singing. I encourage you to settle in, take a moment to relax - then hit play and close your eyes.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Camp Countdown & Update

Summer is almost here!

Countdown til Camp
30 days

For a few weeks now most of our summer programs have been closed. Four of the six weeks of Shepherds Camp and both weeks of Day Camp are closed... because they are full. There is no room for any more campers in the majority of our summer camps. It has been what I like to call a good problem. More registration forms are arriving daily for the remaining two weeks and we are very close to breaking last year's attendance for the summer.

Please continue to pray for us as we prepare for the summer.
We are still in need of:

- A Nurse for one week of camp (June 28th - August 5th)

- A few more Counselors to serve for two weeks (or more)
- A few Night Watch Staff(staff who serve by working 3rd shift)

- We have one more open week for the James Project (June 14-26)

Give me a call or shoot me an email if you or someone you know would be available to meet these needs for the summer.


Ben Myers
Arrowhead Bible Camp

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Tree of Iniquity

Last week I was with Kelly, riding on the golf cart from the main building over to the house. As we passed by the camper cabins I looked at Kelly and said, "I'm gonna pull that tree out of the ground. That tree is crooked and ugly and it has to go!" Kelly quietly rebuttaled saying, "No it's not. It's fine. The tree looks fine." I protested declaring, "The tree is as ugly as sin!" (yeah I know... lame, but so is the tree). It was then that God reminded me of a sermon I heard earlier in the week. The pastor mentioned that the word iniquity which carries the idea of - something that grows crooked, not straight, out of line, in a disjointed and warped direction. Seeing this disfigured tree also jolted me back to when I was 17. I vividly remember taking trips out to the Susquehanna River (near Columbia) to hike out and sit on the remains of some old pillars where train tracks crossed over a creek running into the river. It was there that I would spend time reading and memorizing scripture. One of my favorites was Psalm 25 which mentions the iniquity of youth.

That is some pretty heavy stuff coming from a pine tree at camp.

During the Soul Thirst retreat this past weekend that tree... the
tree of iniquity as I have declared it to be was on my mind, especially as we approached the topic of being aware of God's presence. On one hand I was intrigued to discuss, practice and wrestle with being present in the presence of Jesus. On the other hand I had this stereotypical image plaguing my mind. My thought was that the person who is aware of God moment by moment, each day, every day is disconnected from reality, distracted by everything, pausing every few minutes to comment on how blue the blue sky is or how that cloud looks like a cross and that cloud just looks pretty.

I discussed this predisposition with the group and our facilitator Doug. He smiled and said, "We'll get to that. Don't worry, tomorrow we're going to go outside and look at stuff." We all laughed a little even though I was serious and I think a few others in the room had the same mindset. As the weekend continued we spent time in scripture and putting more words around being in the presence of God. We also spent time in stillness and practicing awareness/attentiveness. Throughout each day all of those things mingled together with meals, rest, singing, prayer and whatever random topic we were discussing.

On Saturday while we were discussing Mary's responses to being in Jesus' presence this question was asked, "Do you ever go from one task to another all the while thinking about that next task, envisioning yourself working on or completing that task and/or deciding on the details of that task?"

I immediately thought about times when I am walking or riding from my house over to the main building office. I am always thinking about what's next. I see my list of things to do and the computer screen in front of me. I begin prioritizing my list and strategizing ways to get more work done.

Then the comment was made, "When we do just that we are anything but aware and attentive... especially to God's presence. We blow by opportunities to serve others, meet needs, be a blessing, encounter creation, or even to simply rest when we are already somewhere else doing something else."

So there it was... staring me right in the face. I do not live moment by moment and it causes me to miss the presence of God. I want
to be seen by Jesus instead of wanting to see Jesus. I miss things like that crooked tree or the wind on my back as I walk through green grass that was brown only last week. Unfortunately, I also pass by people... people who have needs. People who are more important, more valuable than the tasks of my job.

That is even heavier stuff coming from a pine tree at camp.

I am thankful for all that God showed me and convicted me of on the retreat... and at camp by way of the
Tree of Iniquity. My hope and prayer is that God will continue to give me a greater awareness of His presence moment by moment.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Shepherds Spring Retreat

We just finished up our Shepherds Camp Spring Retreat. In the blink of an eye... just as quick as everyone arrived, all the hustle and bustle is over and the camp is quiet again.

It was a GREAT weekend with over 40 campers in attendance. Altogether we had just over 30 staff members including counselors, co-counselors, program staff, kitchen CREW, volunteers, returning staff and new staff. The weather was almost unbearably summer like reaching 70 degrees on Saturday. The best part of the retreat was reuniting as a staff and reconnecting with our campers. It was great to see some of our new staff that will be serving with us this summer make the trip to be a part of the retreat. Alongside our classic camp activities - crafts, Bible & Music, Chapel, and games we also got to go on Hayrides on Saturday. Overall the retreat was rather uneventful. Nothing crazy happened with the campers and our staff seemed far from overloaded.

Another exciting part of the weekend was a small Serve Crew from Hanover (where Kelly and I grew up). Kevin, Jim, Jill, Lois and Howard came up to camp for the weekend to serve in a variety of ways. Lois was our camp nurse for the weekend. Without her we would not have been able to have the retreat. "Thank you so much Lois!" Jill took care of some much needed landscaping around the camp and served in the dining room. "Thanks Jill. The grounds look sharp and you were an encouragement & blessing to the kitchen CREW." The guys were able to build a shelter for lake in just one day. From the ground up they grabbed all the lumber, made a design from my simple explanation and hand gestures, constructed flooring, walls and roofing. Then they transported the shelter to the lake front, assembled the pieces and doctored some old barn boards into siding with great character. The SHELTER is an intentional space for our staff. It will be utilized year round (mostly in the warmer months) as a place at camp where our staff can "escape" the sights and sounds of camp to intentionally carve out space and time to be with God. Whether it is watching the run rise, sitting quietly to mediate on scripture, taking a much needed nap or praying with a small group - the guys intentionally created "the space" that will help our staff as we disciple them to intentionally create "the time". "Thanks guys. The SHELTER is going to be a great place of worship for our staff."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

James Project - weekend

A few weeks ago we had the privilege of partnering with Crossings Community Church from southern PA. They came up to camp over a weekend to serve as a James Project Group. The James Project continues to have a huge IMPACT on Arrowhead and each of the James Project groups that come to serve. For camp, it was a refreshing opportunity to partner with like-minded ministry leaders who desire to make disciples. It was also an exciting opportunity for us to come alongside them to equip, encourage and disciple their group. And of course, it provided leaders and students with the opportunity to serve one of our guest groups that was on retreat for the weekend.

For each James Project group, serving for a weekend or a week presents them with the opportunity to serve God by serving others AND to complete their own objectives as a group. James Project groups come to WORSHIP - to dedicate themselves and sacrifice their time, energy and money as the serve. James Project group leaders utilize their time as a group to grow, build unity, study the Bible, work hard, h
ave fun and find time & space with God. As they leave camp their experience as a James Project group follows them back home as they continue to make disciples. Crossings had a great weekend - building unity, challenging their students and serving the guest group. We are grateful for their sacrifice and dedication as they served diligently here at camp.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

This Time God Sent the Nestle Guy

A few days ago a Nestle brand delivery truck was overstocked with some Nesquik chocolate milk and needed to get rid of it. The driver saw the sign for the Arrowhead bookstore and stopped in to see if they knew of any non-profits in the area that could use some chocolate milk. Well, the obvious answer was, "Yes, we operate two camps in the area that have a winter retreat going on this weekend."

That's when I received a phone call asking me how many cases of chocolate milk I would like.

We ended up with 50 cases of Nesquik chocolate milk, which as you can see below... translates into 600 (16 oz.) bottles of delicious brand name chocolaty goodness. Praise God for the unexpected blessings that make you smile.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Death by Love

This is one of those top ten books. I strongly, highly, urgently and forcefully encourage you to get a copy of this book and start reading.

This powerful book was co-authored by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears. It's been on my list of books to read and I picked it up about a week ago.
I will warn you though - I mean it when I say it is powerful.

The book is a compilation of letters written from a pastor to individual people in his care. They are letters much like the letters of Paul or John or Luke to men, women and families that they loved and cared for. Each letter was written by Mark Driscoll and includes a short preamble for context. At the end of each chapter (letter) there are a series of theological questions (which tend to arise from the biblical truths written in the letters) which are answered by Gerry Breshears.

Death by Love is towards the top of my list for two reasons. The first is Mark Driscoll's - God revering, Christ centered, biblical approach that is a no holds-barred, truth-telling, never sugar coated, lovingly masculine style of pastoral writing. The second is the uncommon yet much needed "counseling" content that presents itself in this book. It has been a great encouragement and challenge for me - as a husband/father/camp guy who desires to make disciples. I love Driscoll's (and Mars Hill's) counseling model: Every issue, every problem, every sin is a
worship problem. It is never an alcohol problem, a lust problem, a pride problem or a money problem (to name very few). It is a worship problem. Someone or something other than Jesus is being worshipped. So... the answer, is not recovery. The answer is redemption. The answer is to be redeemed - to begin worshipping Jesus, the crucified Christ.

Peter Kreeft said, "The opposite of Christianity is not Atheism, but Idolatry."

I recommend you give it a read. Perhaps even with a group of trusted friends.

Here is a promo-video for the book.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


A few months ago God sent the Kubota man to camp.

What does that mean...?

Well, we got a visit from our new local Kubota sales rep. He was traveling around making contact with local businesses to see who's who and what's what.

Unfortunately, we do not have any Kubota tractors and the tractors we do have are in very good running condition, which I explained to the Kubota sales rep. Nevertheless I was interested in seeing the full color magazine and other materials that he offered. You never know when you're going to need a new tractor... or when you'll want to switch all your Ag equipment to orange.

I perused the magazine a bit and we talked. He seemed very interested in camp... as most people are when they stop by in the winter time surprised to see that we're open year round. So I described the pending winter retreat season, Shepherds Camp, Day Camp and the general usage of the facilities. As he asked more questions about winter retreats we got to talking about snow... the fun stuff like tubing, ice rink, snow plowing and removal. Of course I had to mention that the next Steiner implement on my wish list was a snow blower. Immediately his eyes lit up and he said, "I've got one, you want it." I was slightly caught by surprise so I asked what he meant by replying, "Huh?" He went on to explain that he had a front-attaching Snowthrower implement that was just sitting in his driveway. It was going to keep sitting there and he thought it would be a fine idea if we put it to use. The very next day we picked it up and brought it back to camp.

With a little research and about $20 in parts... we were ready to make our new frankenstein. Then, after a few weeks of crazy maintenance issues - like freezing pipes, leaking pipes, golf cart parts and similar winter mishaps, the snowthrower was back on the top of the list. Thanks to Brad and his Jekyll & Hyde welding abilities we've got a new Steiner Snowthrower.

Next up: a sweet paint job (the Krylon touch).

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How to Build an Ice Rink

[Note: click on pictures to enlarge]

Step One: Remove snow and debris to clear a space for
the ice rink.

Step Two: Select a border/edge material for the ice rink
(i.e. logs or pipe).

Step Three: Construct a raised perimeter for
the ice rink.
Preferably no larger than your ice membrane (plastic).

Step Four:
Unroll the ice membrane checking to make
sure it will fit the dimensions of the raised

Step Five: Stretch the ice membrane from edge to edge
and end to end, wrapping the ice membrane over and
under the outside of the raised perimeter material.

Step Six: Fill/cover the ice membrane with
snow and
water. Make sure to stretch the ice membrane as is fills
to ensure there are no air bubbles or raised flaps in the
ice membrane.

Step Seven: Using the snow that was cleared from the
site, pack the snow on and around
the raised perimeter
to create a protective layer until the water freezes.

Eight: Fill/cover the ice membrane until water
reaches the upper level of the raised membrane. Wait
until the water has completely frozen.
Enjoy... your
brand new, homemade ICE RINK!
(note: picture taken 1.31.08 - used here to show full ice rink effect)

It's Wednesday night... conditions are perfect.
There's nothing on TV...
Conditions are perfect... to freeze an ice rink.

The MALAGARI - MAY - RHOADS Memorial Ice Rink

Well, it's been a long journey but the plastic is finally here. A BIG thank you to everyone who made it possible. I appreciate the availability, energy and time that you gave to this task. Each year I cringe at the receipt when I purchase that piece of plastic from the local agricultural store.

Here is the abbreviated delivery schedule:
1. Plastic purchase from ebay (seller in Philadelphia)
2. Plastic pick up direct from ebay seller.
3. Plastic transport to Binghamton, NY is canceled due to insufficient cargo space. Package too large.
4. Plastic transport to Binghamton, NY (second attempt) is canceled due to insufficient cargo space. Passenger overload. No space for package.
5. Plastic transport to Binghamton, NY is re-routed. New destination: Lancaster, PA.
6. Plastic transport to Lancaster, PA delayed. Driver unavailable.
7. Plastic transport to Lancaster, PA delayed. Pick up point is closed.
8. Plastic transport to Lancaster, PA on schedule. Delivery to Lancaster, PA is complete.
9. Plastic transport to Brackney, PA on schedule. Same day delivery to Brackney, PA is complete.

Route info:
Date of purchase - 12.17.08
Date of Delivery - 1.9.09

That was a crazy 3 1/2 weeks. BUT... the plastic is here and so are the cold temperatures.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Solitude & Silence

This past week we had our New Year's party with friends and family from southern PA. This was our 3rd year in a row and we've got the routine down to a science. Our friends filter in one by one and hunker down for a few days of rest and relaxation. We have a huge feast of pizza, wings, shrimp and snacks for New Year's Eve. We run around outside at camp and make trips to the YMCA during the day. We play games, watch movies and talk right into the morning hours. There's a mixture of earlier risers. Some of us are awake and ready for breakfast each day, while others are awake and ready for lunch. We've got some pretty good cooks and bakers in the bunch so there's never a shortage of homemade desserts, breakfast baked goods, soups and snack foods. We're so very thankful for a great group of friends that have been together for a little over 10 years now. It has been a blessing to walk along side each other through high school, college, weddings, children being born, ministry positions and career paths. We are grateful for the ways God this crew to encourage, challenge, care for and support each other. Thanks everyone.

My brother-in-law Aaron came up a few days before the New Year's festivities began. He spent a day and a half out at the Cabin as a personal retreat. Aaron spent time in prayer, reading scripture, in silence, reading The Critical Journey and resting. The progression of his time at the cabin revolved around a series of reflections designed specifically for this personal retreat.

Check out Aaron's comments on the retreat at:

I'm excited to see the Cabin fulfill its purpose of providing an accessible space that is intentionally available for spiritual formation and renewal. It is a quick trip from camp with easy set up and it is also surprisingly quiet. This spring I am looking forward to some new renovations to the cabin and developing the trail system on the property. As the Cabin continues to be utilized I am formulating resources and guides for personal and small group retreats ranging from several hours to several days. I would love to share and discuss any personal retreat resources you have used. You can email them to: