Disillusioned.

Disillusioned.

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Today’s post comes from Rachel Trammell. Rachel has worked with FUGE as an SLA, staffer, camp director, intern, and a full-time office staff. Currently, Rachel lives in Nashville, TN where she works for Justice & Mercy International, a faith-based organization that aims to make justice personal for the poor, orphaned, and forgotten of the world. Rachel loves being outside, the Georgia Bulldawgs, traveling new places, and, maybe most of all, CAMP.

The town I grew up in had a vast, magical place called Dixieland Fun Park. Once in a while, I would get to visit Dixieland for a friend’s birthday party, an end-of-the-softball-season celebration, and the like. The fun at Dixieland seemed unending: a putt-putt course, water raft races, a zip line, a huge arcade. I couldn’t imagine more fun in one place.

Sometime in high school, I went with a few friends to the Fun Park with the intentions of playing putt-putt. It had been years since I’d been to Dixieland, but I definitely had a pretty clear picture of what I remembered the Park to be.  When we arrived, I was stunned. “What HAPPENED? This place is a dump,” I thought. I soon found out, though, nothing had happened. Dixieland had always been like this. A tiny mini-golf course, a few arcade machines, and a murky pool.  Here I was, totally disillusioned by what I had once thought to be so true.

The very best news of our lives is this: Jesus is NOT disillusioned by who we really are. He did not go to the cross thinking He was sacrificing His life for some pretty good people. He knew then, and knows now, the depths of our sinful hearts. He was fully aware of the ways we would fail, dishonor, and ignore Him. Yet “for the joy set before Him, He endured the Cross” (Hebrews 12:2). This, friends, is news worth banking everything on; that the all-knowing Savior would know us deeply, and still choose to call us His beloved. Tim Keller, a pastor in New York City, puts it this way, “But to be fully known and truly loved, is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything.” It’s true. We have a Creator who knows us better than anyone ever will, while loving us more then anyone ever could.

How different would our lives be if we daily remembered we are truly loved by Love Himself? What freedom is found for those who live in this truth!

A MEGA Announcement

A MEGA Announcement

 

Messy. Hype. Chaotic. Energy. Excitement. Craziness. Competitive. Teamwork. Ridiculous. FUGE CUP.

All words to describe one of the many reasons why people love FUGE Camps, the friendly competition we refer to as MEGA RELAY. If you’ve been to FUGE before, you have experienced Mega Relay and you cannot help but love every single second of its action-packed goodness. Maybe you’ve been carried fireman-style across a field. Maybe you’ve had pudding or baby food poured on your face. Maybe you’ve been forced to whistle ‘Happy Birthday’ with a mouthful of crackers. Maybe you’ve even found yourself stumbling to the ground because you’re so dizzy after spinning around a pool noodle. Regardless of your experiences with Mega Relay, you can’t help but walk away looking forward to the next year when you will get to run it again. It’s that much fun!

This year, for the first time ever, we want to supply you with items for Mega Relay bundled together for one low price! We are excited to announce the Mega Relay Bag! Included in this bag are the following items: a t-shirt, water bottle, buff, bracelet, and face paint. To make this deal even sweeter, we are throwing in a free drawstring bag, which is only available by purchasing this bundle. This is a total value of $35 for only $25 – a savings of $10!

To ensure we get everyone a Mega Relay Bag who wants one this summer, we are asking that group leaders preorder them now. Included in the Parent Pack, found within the Group Leader Information at FUGE.com, is an order form for parents to fill out and give to the Group Leaders. We are asking that only Group Leaders fill out the online order form. Preorders must be completed by May 1, so don’t wait!

Be sure to read the information on the preorder form for more details. If you have any questions, please email fuge@lifeway.com. Check back later or on our facebook and twitter pages for photos!

Good luck this year at Mega Relay! Who knows? You may even win the FUGE Cup!

Link to preorder: http://bit.ly/1fZ73Bg

A sneak peek  – The 2014 MEGA RELAY BAG!

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** DISCLAIMER: This MEGA Bag is optional. It is not required that you purchase one in order to participate in Mega Relay at camp. However, we believe it will greatly enhance your MEGA experience.

Help My Unbelief

Help My Unbelief

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Today’s guest post comes from Katie Johnson, a FUGE staffer who most recenly served as a Bible Study leader at North Greenville University in 2013. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Theology. Katie loves spending time with family, North Carolina in the fall, and Tarheel basketball. 
 
 
 
And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’?” All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:23-24

Webster’s defines belief as this: a feeling of being sure that someone or something exists or that something is true. We place belief in so many things: we believe our car will start when we turn the key,  a chair will hold us up when we sit down, a roller coaster won’t break when we get on. We place our trust in family and friends, but the one thing that all of these things have in common is their tendency to fail. It may not be often but nothing of this world is perfect.

In Mark 9 we find the story of a father asking Christ to cleanse his son of an unclean spirit. I will focus on the statements made by these two men; one by Christ and the other by the father. The father says to Christ, “if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us”. Christ is surprised by this, it’s as if He was saying, “If I can, are you kidding?” How could he doubt His ability to heal his son and the power that Christ had? He had been displaying it in that area for over a year, but sometimes that’s not enough. We have seen the power of Christ in the Word and in the world, yet we doubt His ability and control over our lives countless times. We are so independent that we believe we can try to take care of things on our own rather than going to God first. The father cries to Jesus, “I believe, help my unbelief”. What an honest man. He believes in Jesus, believes in His power but admits he has doubt. God has never expected us to have perfect faith. There is always going to be some doubt mixed in but Christ assures us that, “All things are possible for one who believes”. So don’t be afraid to admit your doubt to God, He already knows. Confront it, face it head on and ask God to remove it.

A VP’s Perspective

A VP’s Perspective

AJ Chambers sqr AJ Chamber has a very rewarding history with FUGE.  He has worked 9 summers in various roles, such as track leader, actor, and video producer.  He currently lives in a suburb of Charleston, SC and serves as a high school broadcast journalism and film production teacher.  In his free time, AJ is a Zumba instructor and movie addict.

 

As a FUGE Camps video producer, I get to be a fly on the wall; I see everything as an observer. In these moments, God teaches me so much about our relationship with Him and other believers.

I could be out visiting MFUGE sites trying to fight traffic and the clock in order to capture as many campers as possible, yet gain endless joy from what I see.  It can be as simple as a little girl’s smile as she totally tangles the hair of a camper (who unbeknownst to her is about to spend all evening trying to get it back to normal for worship), or an elderly woman with dementia smiling from ear to ear playing balloon volleyball.  In these moments, I see God’s love for us.  My heart and mind are opened to the reality of how simple life is when you focus on serving God with everything.  These moments fill me welling with emotions.

More importantly, I see that same impact in the lives of those being served and the campers and staffers serving.  It is life-changing and truly inspiring.  I am reminded of what Jesus called us to do in John13:12-14 “When Jesus had washed their feet and put on His robe, He reclined again and said to them, “Do you know what I have done for you? You call Me Teacher and Lord. This is well said, for I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.”  It is beautiful, inspiring, and joyous to see this action in practice working with FUGE.

Prayer Experience

Prayer Experience

This week’s Ministry Tip comes from Jonathan Espy. He is studying student ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and has worked with student ministries in different capacities for several years. In 2012/2013, he served as the interim leader for the high school student ministry at Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL. This post is a prayer experience that he led with the group.

During my time at Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, I led high school students through a series on Wednesday nights about renewing our minds.  We focused on different aspects including students’ perspectives of who God is, not conforming to the world, and what to focus our minds on. The last week of the series, I set up a prayer experience for the students to help recap what we had covered and to give a way to practice renewing our minds through scripture and different actions of prayer.  I used six stations. To set this up, I printed the instructions for each station (in large print), posted them each on a piece of butcher paper, and laid them around the room. We opened the night with a few songs of worship. Then, I led them into the time of prayer. We took about 30-40 minutes for this part of the night.

Supplies: Bibles for those without (I didn’t want them using their phones for this, but that was just my preference), markers, pens, note cards, scraps of paper, butcher paper/poster board

Prayer Experience (Renewing your Mind)
Instructions: Use this time to renew your mind through prayer and meditation. Don’t talk to one another as we do this but spend it talking with God. Go from station to station (no particular order), read the instructions and pray as guided. You will need a Bible for every station so grab one here if you don’t have one.  You don’t have to stay at the station once you read the instructions so feel free to move about the room. Take this seriously and do what is asked at each station, even if it makes you a little uncomfortable.  Really use this time to focus your mind on Christ.

  1. How Great is our God: Renewing your mind starts with your idea of God; who God is to you.  It is important to make sure your view of God matches with that of Scripture. Read Psalm 97 and take some time to meditate on who God is to you. Then write down words that describe the greatness of God.
  2. Living Sacrifices: When we recognize who God is, our desire becomes to worship and serve Him.  Romans 12:1 tells us to offer our lives as “living sacrifices” to God as an act of worship.  Where you are, kneel before God as a sign of surrender and worship. Pray and ask God to show you how to be a living sacrifice to Him. Tell God specific parts of your life that you desire to use for His glory.
  3. Things of the World: Romans 12:2 says to not conform any longer to the patterns of this world.  Take a note card (or use the back of the one from the “Think on these things” station) and write out “Things of the world” at the top. Then make a list of some patterns of the world. Read over your list and pray that God will help you recognize these patterns as worldly, that you may no longer conform to these things. Keep this with you as a reminder to not conform to the world.
  4. Think on these things: Read Philippians 4:8.  This gives us a list of things that should guide our thoughts.  Take a note card (or use the back of the one from the “Things of the world” station) and write “Think on these things” at the top.  Write out the characteristics of what to think on from this scripture (Whatever is true, noble, etc…). Think about what guides your thoughts. Do your thoughts fall into these characteristics? Pray that God will help your mind and your thoughts to be glorifying to Him. Keep this with you as a reminder to let these things guide your thoughts.
  5. Give us Clean Hands: As we renew our minds, we realize God’s greatness. We also recognize our sin.  Read Psalm 24. This reminds us of God’s authority over all things and points out that God is holy and above all things. Our sin keeps us from God.  We know that through Christ our sins have been washed clean and we have been given the opportunity to have a relationship with God. As seen in verses 3-6, when we recognize the greatness of this gift through Christ, we should desire to live with “clean hands and pure hearts.” Thank God for the great gift of salvation. As you pray, hold out your hands in front of you. This symbolizes having clean hands.  Think about the things in your life that make your hands and heart unclean (sin). Ask God to help you live out your faith with clean hands and a pure heart.
  6. By Him and For Him:  Turn to Colossians 1.  In this passage, the Supremacy of Christ is shown. Read verses 15-23.  We see that Christ holds all things together. Verse 16 says that all things were created “by Him and for Him.”  As we renew our minds and present ourselves as living sacrifices, we must remember that our lives are for Christ.  Think for a moment from God’s perspective. How do you think He would have us live our lives? Take a piece of paper and write a short mission statement you think God would give His people. This should be a sentence or two that tells what guides your life and decisions. Write the statement for the purpose of letting ALL THINGS in your life point to Christ.  Read and pray over what you have written and ask God to let this mission (His mission) be evident in the way you live.