Monday, October 27, 2008


I mentioned in the last post a bit about my last weekend at camp. The theme of this camp was untangled, and it provided a great opportunity for me to think about all of the things that tangle us up in this world and keep us from leading an unhindered life for Christ. While thinking about the theme, I kept putting two ideas together. First, I thought about my time as a teenager working construction. I always had to put away the tools at the end of the day, and by the end of the summer I'd become notorious for making a tangled mess of the cords. I learned that being tangled doesn't lessen value or importance, but it certainly hinders usefulness.

I compared this to Paul's words in 2 Timothy. Paul seems so exhausted, yet while at the end of his rope, he seems fulfilled in the thought that he's given all. The only thing that it seems he has left to do is to make sure that Timothy is prepared to carry on the good work that had begun. To do this, he used numerous images to encourage Timothy to stay Untangled from the world so that he could carry out God's purpose for his life.

So I then wondered, what tangles me up in my life. It may not be fair to generalize this to everyone, but when my life is tangled, it's usually a matter of fear, distraction, or just plain inactivity. What do you see in your life that tangles you up and keeps you from all out following Jesus?

I'll write more about each of these "tangles" in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I just finished a wonderful weekend with seventy strangers in the middle of nowhere. How’s that for a first line. I’d never done anything like this before, but several months ago, a youth pastor named Jerry Varner from Richmond asked if I would come to their annual fall discipleship retreat to speak to his group. He shared his vision for the weekend and explained his thoughts on the theme “untangled.” Even as we spoke, ideas began to generate in my heart and brain. So, I became their guest for a weekend at Watermark’s Camp in Scottsville, Virginia.

It was inspiring to share my life for a weekend with so many youth and adults who were eager to know God and His will in their lives and the world. The teenagers could be described using the fruits of the spirit, and their leaders’ compassion and heart for Christ showed in everything they did. The staff of Watermark’s Camp, and especially the owners, Travis and Angie, are exceptional people. I would call them exceptional Christians, but they simply live the life of Christ followers that really should be the normal-, which truly is exceptional in this world.

I encouraged the youth at this camp to live a life that is Untangled and Unleashed for God. Now, I press on trying to continue on my journey, Untangled and Unleashed for God. In the next few weeks, I’d like to share a little about the message of this weekend in shorter posts. For now, thanks to Southside Nazarene Church for taking a chance on me and sharing in the ministry of the gospel with me. Thanks to Watermark’s Camp for the great works they are doing for God in Scottsville, Virginia. And thanks to Chestnut Grove Baptist Church in Earlysville, Virginia for providing a home for my family and me and equipping us for this ministry.

Pastor Jerry had some very great things to say about this weekend as well. You can read about it here on his blog at the Journal of Student Ministries. So, as did he, I will send all the credit to God and pray that he continues to use me in Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the Earth. Grace and peace.