Memories of Summer Camp

For a number of people, I imagine there are lots of fond memories of Summer Camp. The summer for some begins the annual pilgrimage to their chosen Camp. A place where you would meet up with friends, and also make new friends, and experience the great outdoors. I had not experienced this in my life, Camp was not a family tradition for me in Scotland. My first experience of this great tradition, was when I was a camp counselor through an organization called Camp America, through their program. I had an interview in Edinburgh Scotland, fulfilled the requirements, and before I knew it, I was on my way to America.  They organize flights, paperwork, and give a little pocket money, and after Camp, some time was allowed for the individual to travel and explore the US.

Mark at Camp Asbury

It has come to my attention that 20 years have passed since my first encounter with camping ministry. I was a camp counselor at Camp Asbury in the East Ohio Conference, with the United Methodist Church.

Group Picture Camp 97

It certainly was a summer to remember, and a lot of first-time experiences. A week before the campers come to camp the staff for the summer goes through their training, experiencing everything, that you as a camp counselor have to allow the kids to experience. These were camping outside under a tarp, and the rest of the time a basic cabin, or if older out in the woods all week. In Rustic there we would fend for ourselves, by building a campfire and this time would require us to cook over it, for every meal. There was a lot of hiking on the various trails, wade through the creek, go down a mud slide, swim in a pond with fish, leeches, and goose poo, and an occasional snake.

There were Bible studies called vespers, it was mostly a time of quiet out in the beauty of creation, under the canopy, or in the cathedral of the forest.

I wrote my first poem during this time:

Liberty and Freedom In the peace of God’s creation, under the canopy of the beauty of a forest. I hear the bird’s sing their worship to the one who made them, God. I hear the wind blow, it reminds me that God blew into us the breath of life. And the Spirit is like the wind, a liberty and freedom as the wind has no limitation. Mark Condy 1997.

Group Camp 98

All these experiences, such as around the campfire, working together, doing the high and low rope challenge courses. (The photos below are me ready to do the Powerpole and having accomplished the challenge) These were times as a group that was rewarding and life shaping, making lasting friends, or just for the summer, but memories were formed.

H – hour, a time when all had to be quiet in a horizontal position, when you could read or sleep but was also a given time to relax and recharge. There were also opportunities to go to the Camp store and buy your keepsakes, such as a T-shirt, hat, or the favorite soft toy, and got your free pencil or pen if I remember correctly. The merchandise took a change after a few years and had a different logo, the one I will always remember is the cross and tree.


There is an opportunity for those who have had contact and connection with Camp Asbury to get together once again.

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60th Anniversary Celebration

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http://www.eocumc.com/camps/summercamp_asbury.html

We made the journey to Camp Asbury for the 50th Anniversary and hope to do the same for the 60th Anniversary. This time we plan to stay overnight and allow our sons have a taste of Camp Asbury, with the hope they would desire to go also one day. Let all who are able to come, make the decision to enjoy this reunion and build further memories by catch up with each other.

A lot has happened in 20 years, let’s use this time to learn how life has been, and to share the paths that we have taken in our spiritual journeys. How have we been “touched by the light”?…

 

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This was my favorite T -shirt

 

I hope this post floods you with memories, of how your life was impacted for the good by Summer Camp and for the good you experienced. Also, may it remind you of the impact you made when contributing, by being there, having had an impact on a person, touching with your presence, if they were younger or older.

I know Camp changed the course of my life forever taking a turn I would never have expected changing the trajectory of my life. I met Susan my wife-to-be at Camp. One of the many reasons why I live in the USA, with my family.

 

 

Shoes that need feet

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Because we all can make a difference! This is the write up I wrote last year about the fundraiser. We are doing it again this year. Please help us make a difference.

There are a number of kids who have dreams in America and in the U.K. and other affluent nations and are pressing on toward attaining them. There are kids with dreams in Africa, India, Mexico, and many other deprived countries who have a desire to better themselves and get out of poverty. A pair of shoes can make a difference.

You may think what can a pair of shoes do to help?
This can make a difference between getting an education or not! Kids with no shoes can’t enter the school system that is offered and receive the needed education to better their prospects, no education no hope for a better future. Thus trapped in a vicious cycle, and forced to beg or scrape an existence from garbage heaps to survive.

Because International. I like their company name because we can all make a difference if we make a choice to help. Give today, don’t put off what you can do today until tomorrow, because we can give a little, to make a huge impact in a child’s life.

https://fundraise.theshoethatgrows.org/fundraiser/947338

We do take for granted the very simple need of a pair of shoes. We have numerous pairs in our closets. There are children in the world who have none, these shoes #theshoethatgrows last the child for five years. WOW, imagine what can be learned, can be experienced being allowed to participate in school, because of a pair of shoes; liberated and freed to be children, to have fun, to be free from disease that comes from walking barefoot. But more than this, filled with a hope for a better future, every kid deserves a chance, because of a little help from you and me.

Peace and Love, Mark Condy.

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https://theshoethatgrows.org/wear-a-pair.html

We are the hands and feet of the Lord, but how are we serving?

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The launch of these thoughts are like a prayer from my heart, and my musings of my wrestling of trying to come to terms of where the Lord would have me to be in service, using my hands and feet, the very gifts God has given to me, to be used for Gods glory.

You are with me all the time, you Lord want to speak to me. I want you to guide me and teach me in the way you have chosen for me. I can do nothing without you; in your mercy show me where to go. I know that you “stand at the door and knock. But I am so busy so preoccupied with what to read, what to write, what to say, what to do, I do not realize  that all those problems would not exist if I listened to you and stopped listening  to my own inner turmoil.” Henri J. M. Nouwen, A cry for mercy.

Help me Lord to hear what you’re saying, help me Lord with my life discernment, using the gifts you have given, I’m trying to mix my art and my interest in Celtic spirituality, the Celtic Saint, and living a contemplative life.

Help me to connect in a community of like-minded people, who want to encourage each other to reach our God given potential. Who are actually, and genuinely interested in all the areas I am wrestling with, and trying to implement into my life. To be around people who awaken my spirit and inspire me to take bold courageous steps forward. Who  encourage me forward into more that the Lord wants to do in me and through me.

How to not be just full of information, where there is no transformation taking place. Then there is the preoccupation of reading as if the next book will have the answer to that inner longing and search, to fill the longing of the heart. We need reminding, I know but forget, that you alone can only fill this ache. Then am I reading and researching, and getting no results, due to the search being in the wrong place? I don’t look to retain a lot of the material I’m reading, am I in a hurry to get to the desired result of a master in the area of Celtic Christianity and a Contemplative life, be blessed in this area to be a blessing to others.

I also want to be able to video and go to sacred spaces to be a video journalist on the subject of spirituality!

Jesus Help Me

 I Found this picture on the web and it resonated with me!

1 Thessalonians 4: 9 – 11

“Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 11and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

This is a verse I’m pondering at present. and further musings.

v11 And that you study to be quiet, and to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; KJV 2000

Gill’s Exposition Commentary

And that ye study to be quiet,…. To live peaceably in their own families, and to give no disturbance to other families, by tale bearing, whispering, and backbiting; to behave with quietness in the neighborhood, town, or city, they dwell in, and to seek the peace thereof; and to lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty, in the commonwealth, and under the government to which they belong; and not to create and encourage factions, divisions, animosities, and contentions, in their own church, or in any of the churches of Christ; and it becomes saints to make this their study, to be very solicitous for it, to strive for it, and pursue after it: the word used signifies to be ambitious of it, as what is a man’s glory and honour, to emulate and strive to outdo each other, as who shall have the honour of being the quietest person, and the most peaceable member in the community: and to do your own business: or private business, or what is proper and peculiar to a man’s self; to abide every man in his own calling wherein he is called, and attend the business of it, and not thrust himself into other families, and officiously take upon him, under a pretence of zeal, affection, and friendship, to inspect, direct, or manage the business of others: in short, he should not meddle with other people’s business, but mind his own: and this is what the Jews call, “the way of the earth”, or the business of life: “there are four things, (they say (a)) in which a man should employ himself continually, with all his might, and these are they, the law, and good works, and prayer, and the business of life;” upon which the gloss has this note by way of explanation, “if a man is an artificer (let him attend) to his art; if a merchant to his merchandise, and if he is a soldier to war;” and which may serve to illustrate the apostle’s sense: and to work with your own hands; the reason of this is, because there were some among them, who would not work at all; see 2 Thessalonians 3:11 and by this instruction it appears, that the members of this church, in common, were such as were brought up to handicraft trades and businesses, and were poor and mean; and this was the general case of the primitive churches: it pleased God to choose and call the poor of this world, to whom the Gospel was preached, and they received it; few of the rulers among the Jews believed in Christ, and not many mighty, rich, or noble among the Gentiles were called; some there were, and in this church there were some of the chief women of the city, Acts 17:4, and though these and others of the better sort, as well as ministers of the Gospel among them, who laboured in the word and doctrine, were not obliged by this to perform manual work and labour, yet were not exempted from all concern in the exhortation; it being proper and necessary, that all sorts of persons be employed in one sort of business or another, and to use diligence and application in it: the apostle’s view being chiefly to inveigh against sloth and idleness, and to exhort to labour and industry as the most effectual method to preserve peace and quietness, and to keep persons from being troublesome and hurtful, in families, churches, and commonwealths: the reasons enforcing this follow in this and the next verse, as we commanded you; and the command of an apostle carries weight and authority with it, and ought to be obeyed; yea, they not only strictly enjoined a diligent application to business, but set them an example themselves, see 1 Thessalonians 2:9.

This is a verse I’m pondering at present. and further musings.

Romans 12:3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 1 Corinthians 7: 17 Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.

Be where God desires you to be, where God guides; God provides. A DJ on K.Love said. I’m an artist and want to work with my hands and do more with my art, my last blog demonstrated me making some attempts at getting back to my art roots, and I’m presently working on my next coloring book linking my Celtic interest and the Celtic crosses I like to create. I want to become more knowledgeable about Celtic Spirituality, Art, Contemplative practices, and molding them together, with the help of the creator God, to be a co-creator with the Lord God Almighty.

Water Ancient WellArtist Rulw

I have taken a month or so off from posting a Blog, just needing a break and having some family time.

As I previously said in a past Blog I have been revisiting Celtic Christianity / Spirituality, here are some of my discoveries and findings.

Ray Simpson and the Community of Aidan and Hilda has been my focus and study researching their founder and contacted the US community and have had some communication with the guardian of the US community.

I was reading something I found on-line by Ray Simpson, they are notes from a talk he gave in Denmark and they resonated with me.  They are as what follows:

“In the Acts of the Apostles we read how the ways of Christ spread to the Greek-speaking world. After a few generations the aspect of Greek philosophy that separated the material from the spiritual world did that also with Christianity. Work was split from prayer. The body was split from the soul. Life in Christ was no longer a whole, no longer therefore authentic. But when the ways of Christ came to Ireland, which was outside the Roman Empire, the new Christians were holistic. They saw God in Scripture and in nature, in their bodies and in their spirits. Heaven was not just in the future, heaven could penetrate ordinary life. Martin Luther recognized this truth when he urged people to pray each day ‘Let your holy angel have charge of me…’

Individualism: How to overcome this?

More centuries went by and people in Europe became individualistic. The individual was separated from community – which means in English co-unity. To be authentic means that we recognise we are part of the human community. When the Reformation and printing came every individual could have a Bible. But the Bible was the church’s book. People forgot that, and everyone started to interpret it in their own way without paying attention to the world-wide Christian community. The apostle Paul wrote ‘Do not only think of your own concerns, think also of the concerns of other people’ (Philippians 2:4). The Celtic Christian tradition combines a beautiful spontaneity that allows each person to be guided by the Holy Spirit with a beautiful community that calls us to obedience, that is attentive listening to and honouring of others. So in the Way of Life of Anam-Cara we strive to weave together the God-given strands in Christianity which have become separated, for example the Pentecostal, Scriptural, Sacramental, Contemplative and Social Service strands.”

Can we think of the possibilities rather that problems. The mixing of all that is good and being the church, a community that does make a difference and looks out for the needs of other in Christian love.

Experience Jesus, endless future and present possibilities, to not be afraid! Is it Fear or is it God that is leading your life? Holy Trinity Help me/us overcome our fear!

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Christ has no body on earth but yours
No hands but yours
No feet but yours
Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion is to look out for the world
Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good
Yours are the hands with which he is to bless us now
Teresa of Avila
Forgive us for the good we ought to have done which we have left undone
And for the things we have left undone which we ought to have done

I want to finish my thought with something mentioned in a daily devotion by Richard Foster, A Year with God.

” It is hard for us even to conceive of the communal nature of the early church. Reflect for a few moments on how this quote speaks to your life:  “The deep disease of man, the self-contradiction in which he is involved as individual and member of human society, is his denial of the law of his being. He seeks to possess within or by himself, whether in the form of physical or spiritual goods, which he can have only in the community of receiving and giving.” – H. Richard Niebuhr, Christ and Culture.

We need each other to over come our disease, by being servants to on another to give and receive of one anothers gifts and just being with each other,  in  unity,  come and  unite,  be united. We are a body and every part plays an important part, and if that part does not work correct, is hurt, it significantly effect the performance of the  whole body. I know this personally, as I have had a pinched nerve in my shoulder for moe than a week, we do take for granted the different parts of the body and the significant and insignificant roles they or we play, as each of us play a part if we realize this or not.

“The Christian needs another Christian who speaks God’s Word to him [or her. We] need support again and again, when we become uncertain and discouraged, for by [our-self, we cannot help our-self] without belying the truth. [We] need each other, when we become uncertain and discouraged, for [we] need a person as a bearer and proclaimer of the divine word of salvation. [We need someone solely because of Jesus Christ. The Christ in his or [her]own heart is uncertain, his brother’s [or sister’s] is sure. And that also clarifies the goal of all Christian community: they meet one another as bringers of the message of salvation.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together.

 Art work

Cairn

cairn

I was inspired in September 09 to build this cairn, walking by the river, kicking stoned about, I just felt the desire to build.
I’m revisiting the Cairn for some reason inspired by a book I’m reading, Crafting Calm: Projects and Practices for Creativity and Contemplation by Maggie Oman Shannon and it touched on the subjects of the Cairn, but not enough for my inquisitive nature, that wants to know more.

I visited Scotland end of July first week of August in 2014, when visiting Scotland I saw a book highlighting three Cairns called the 3 Brethren near Selkirk I didn’t even know about.

I desire to discover further insight of the significance that a Cairn has, and begin to dive in a little deeper. The Cairn is a Gaelic word a practice of picking up a rock, and laying a rock down is the Cairn process, to contribute to the structure that has been added to by other fellow hikers. This is my interpretation of a Cairn, it has different symbolism and meaning to people, a memorial to a person, a reminder of an accomplishment or a goal to be attained, the goal to be attained was the reason for me at the time of building my Cairn.

The Bible does mention boundary stones in Deuteronomy 19:14, New International Version (NIV)
14 Do not move your neighbor’s boundary stone set up by your predecessors in the inheritance you receive in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess.
Deuteronomy 27:17New International Version (NIV)
17 “Cursed is anyone who moves their neighbor’s boundary stone.”
Proverbs 22:28New International Version (NIV)
28 Do not move an ancient boundary stone
set up by your ancestors.
Why and what is the significance the question could be asked?

Why does the Bible state not to remove the boundary stones?

It is a mound of stones erected as a memorial or marker used as a boundary of those who have walked the path before us and is erected to catch our attention, and remind us, to not forget the significance for the placement of this visual land mark, and if we go beyond the marker we can leave the familiar places the boundaries put there for our protection. The possibility of entering danger if we stray from the Cairns that are used to preserve the land and prevent erosion if used as they are intended.
There is a love hate relationship toward Cairns, some view them as a mysterious beauty others see them as a scar on the land.

One stone at a time, but a group venture but one person contributing to the whole, without it, the Cairn would be incomplete and at times just looks like a heap of stones, unsightly. The beautifully crafted Cairns take time and patience and if a stone is taken away it could fall or make unstable. A symbol of community, some beautiful, some unsightly, we may meet people contributing to the Cairn, we may not see a soul but can see the evidence of the people who have been their and contributed to the whole, who have placed their rock as an offering.

Could the process be a symbolic act of casting of the problem you have been carrying for a number of years. A freedom experienced as a step of accomplishment and it all began with a choice of picking a stone or rock at the bottom of the hill or mountain and you ascend with a companion not human but a stone that is with you all the way.

We are all searching for that place of community and belonging and we belong as long as we are a participant in the process. This may be a one time event or an on going process of picking up and laying down, until we find that which is you contribution to the whole, and is done as often as you choose.

The Cairn is like the church we all have different reason for going and contribute at the level at which we decide. It does have a spiritual dimension and experience, that makes us participate and desire more, out of a desire to love and be loved. a labor of love.

I built a Cairn as a individual, however found it therapeutic not really done for people to view and a few weeks later was washed away when the river swelled and mingled the stones into the riverbed never to be placed together in that configuration again, together only for a season.

The Cairn has touched and made an impression on my life and may others different people, some love and some hate the Cairn, but it has its influence at a number of levels and cultures, people types and mixes that causes a bridge used by many to cross over if they desire to choose.

Is God trying to get your attention, by being brought to a place of knowing God. To remind you of God and to remember the commitments made, our landmarks or summons from the Lord because we so easily forget God. Over the year there has been choices made and the sacrifices given, as people before us have given of their lives and we at times take their commitment for granted, the ridicule or shame experienced to blaze new paths for God.