Sunday, July 20, 2008

Warrior Camp Update: 6-18-08

Dear Warrior Camp Team and friends,

Hey! It's that time again! Hope you're all having an epic summer. If you're receiving this update, it's either because you're on our Warrior Camp Team, or because you're one of my friends or family who I thought would like to hear what's new with the medieval camp ministry I'm always talking about.

Here's what's new with Warrior Camp:

1. One of our team members recently had the chance to bring the Warrior Camp Bash to a kid's birthday party. I got to hear about it and he helped 6-7 kids make the Warrior Camp signature blow guns and deck them out in camo. After construction, they all went downstairs and had a blast with some frenzied nerf-dart warlike mayhem. Every boy got to take his own blowgun home with him. From what I heard, it was a smash hit. (This is the kind party I can only dream of! :o) ) If we're able to get some of the pics that were taken, I'll post them on the website and you can check them out. Props to Chris Pope for being the first to put on the Warrior Camp Birthday Bash in Central Virginia...ever!

2. After hours of meticulous deliberation and artistic fine-tuning in the Warrior Camp Labs, the prototype for the first Warrior Camp T-shirt has been completed! You can check it out, and even experiment with your own T-shirt ideas via the link at the very, very bottom of this page. If you click on the picture of the T-Shirt, it should take you to a design page that will let you rotate and zoom in to see the front and back of the shirt up close. If you want to help us design a Warrior Camp T-shirt via the site linked below, let me know...and maybe I can send you a packet of pop-rocks if it's really cool! Thanks to Rebekah Kemp and Katie Capraro for their help so far - your designs have been saved for future reference.

3. Some of you may not know how God originally birthed the vision (aka BHAG for us LU students!) in me for Warrior Camp. It's a powerful story of how God works, which in this case was through a fantasy book called The Paradise War. Yesterday, I mailed a hand-written letter to the book's author (who is also a Christian and who lives in Oxford, England) telling him how God has used him and his fantasy lore to impact me richly and also the students who either set spiritual milestones or gave their life to Christ through Warrior Camp. Apparently, he responds to every snail-mail letter, so yeah, I'm pretty excited! Summary: This author has never met me or the first Warrior Campers, but the way God uses the most unexpected things to orchestrate His will and purposes throughout to the world is always a fresh, awesome, and worshipful epic. If you'd like to read the letter I sent him, I'll post it through a side-link later this week on our starter website at:

4. Up until recently, the primary groups which we've extended the Warrior Camp invitation to have been big in scope: Area camp directors around Central VA or youth pastors of decently sized churches which also have an internet presence. This is nothing against the small country church which doesn't have a website, but they weren't as easy to find or contact. Recent Paradigm Shift: Sometimes bigger churches already have air-tight summer calendars 19 months out, or just prefer to keep their ministry in-house, rather than...out-house! :o) But smaller churches, with little or no internet presence, fewer supporting youth staff, a smaller # of youth who still love to have fun at big events, and whose church calendar has a comparatively flexible summer schedule, these churches can be uniquely assisted by the kind of ministry partnership Warrior Camp specializes in. But since not all smaller churches have a website, email was out. So yesterday I shipped out snail-mail invitations to Warrior Camp to a dozen churches in Lynchburg, Madison Heights, Evington, and Forest. If Warrior Camp can help these smaller church youth workers accomplish their summer ministry goals to their youth (as I believe it can) pray for a fruitful ministry partnership with them. I'll keep you posted. If you know of a church that you think would like to partner with Warrior Camp in hosting the day-long camping blitz to their youth, feel free to let me know or shoot them my email.

5. Good news! Since our last update, Warrior Camp has received its very first donation. A professor at Liberty University recently donated a large box of flags to Warrior Camp. They're huge, multi-colored, made of canvas, and were used as signal flags for elementary schools in WWII. (Yeah, they're pretty hard-core flags!) Our use: we've got a few signature games and activities (i.e. capture the flag, king of the hill, march of the clans, etc...) that involve flags or flag raising and lowering to mark the winning team. Thank you very much Professor!

6. As of May 28th 2008, I have successfully completed my thesis and the oral defense with a passing grade = praise God! My topic involved the beauty of nature as a pointer to the existence of a Master Artist, as well as a critique of naturalistic evolution. It was a 2 year marathon, and after a 2 hour final "interrogation" to cap it off, my committee gave me some constructive criticism, positive feedback and the conclusion that I had passed. Academically, this moves me along to complete my final requirement of learning German, after which my Master's degree will be conferred. Practically, this finalization will create more freedom and time for me to devote to our Warrior Camp ministry.

7. Before long, I plan to go through and archive all of the previous Warrior Camp Updates on our website. (If you have a favorite one, but deleted it from your inbox, there's still hope!)

8. Creative game ideas, epic activities, and discipleship content/methods, continue to flow like Niagara.

9. I hope you're all doing well and having a great summer. Praise God for what he's done in Warrior Camp already - bringing it from not-even-a-blueprint to a reality in less than 3 years! As always, if you have any creative ideas, I'd love to hear them. Stay connected, and God bless!

And now, here's Johnny!


We Have No Idea Who We Really Are

"We have no idea who we really are. Whatever glory was bestowed, whatever glory is being restored, we thought this whole Christian thing was about . . . something else. Trying not to sin. Going to church. Being nice. Jesus says it is about healing your heart, setting it free, restoring your glory. A religious fog has tried to veil all that, put us under some sort of spell or amnesia, to keep us from coming alive. As Blaise Pascal said, “It is a monstrous thing . . . an incomprehensible enchantment, and a supernatural slumber.” And, Paul said, it is time to take that veil away. When anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Cor. 3:16–18) A veil removed, bringing freedom, transformation, glory. Do you see it? I am not making this up—though I have been accused of making the gospel better than it is. The charge is laughable. Could anyone be more generous than God? Could any of us come up with a story that beats the one God has come up with?"

- (Waking the Dead , 80–81)


Warrior Camp T-Shirt Prototype!

Your friend just finished creating this custom design called warrior7 at CustomInk and would like to know what YOU think of it!
It's probably for a team or group you're a part of together or perhaps for an upcoming event you're planning. Is it a custom t-shirt, hat, mug? Take a look:

Design: warrior7

Visit the design details page for warrior7 to find out more about your friend's creation, including product details, cost, delivery dates, sizing information, and more. Plus if you're feeling inspired, you can load this design in the CustomInk design lab and change it yourself, or create something new!

Here are some additional handy links:

Design Ideas – for when you need a little creative inspiration

Ink of the Week – pictures of customers just like you in their custom apparel

Full Product Catalog – thousands of products to customize – custom koozies anyone?

CustomInk has printed exciting custom products for over 200,000 teams, individuals, small businesses, student groups, and more since 2001. Over 99% of customers enjoyed their experience so much that they say they'll come back! Take a minute to get the scoop on our beginnings on the green couch and then read what customers have to say about CustomInk in the uncensored customer reviews.

We look forward to working with you!

– The CustomInk Team


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