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.

Snip20170704_4

60th Anniversary Celebration

Snip20170704_3

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”?…

 

file
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

image

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.

image

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

My Son’s are Gaining Life Experiences!

IMGP4833 IMGP4835 IMGP4838

I took my son’s to a Labyrinth the other day and it was like an experement for me.
What I found interesting, was that I was leading, Andrew followed Me, and Prescot follwed his brother. After a while Andrew began to complain, saying “this is taking a long time”, taking another loop of the Labyrinth, he would say, ‘we have been here before!” Prescot then started to repeat what his brother was communicating. We reached the center of the Labyrinth and they where pleased they had reached the destination. I then told them to go ahead of me run out of the Labyrinth as quickly as they could. Andrew shot of with excitement about the new challenge, Prescot followed and after a while, he didn’t have his brother  to follow, began to get lost in the Labyrinth path, not knowing which way to go, and eventually left the path and caught up with his brother.

I thought what a lot of paralells with our lives as adults, we start to grumble, with our spiritual walk, it is taking a lot longer than we anticipated, we need a good leader, but the leader could be a good or bad example, Andrew is a very good example for Prescot, most the time, but he shot off ahead, leaving Prescot, in the excitement of being allowed to go out on his own. Prescot, idolizes his brother, and aspires to be like big brother, and follows his example and lead. We need help in the twist and turns of life! We also need a good model, or someone to look up too!

Is it our experiences that make us who we are?

The experiences that help us grow?

How do we flourish?

Is it my job as a parent to help my children have experiences so as to help them shape their lives? To give them a storehouse from which to draw from, to enable then, or resource them, from which to choose from, or draw from in life’s demands and decisions. Having a source of experience to draw our off. If they don’t have these resources to pull from, will they have a good foundation or soil to grow and flourish? Is it the life experiences that we build our lives upon? If we don’t have these lasting experiences, is there a lack, not having the data in a sence to use, thus the opposite can result, of fear and withdrawal, and no want to engage with life?

My family has had a number of experiences this week, and here are a few, through a photo journey, they are creating life experiences.

Andrew Into to Hockey

IMGP4773 IMGP4800 IMGP4801

Celtic Festival

IMGP4854 IMGP4861 IMGP4863 IMGP4869 IMGP4877 IMGP4881 IMGP4885

Rollerblading

IMGP4676

Dayton Dragons

IMGP4248 IMGP4247 IMGP4249IMGP4811IMGP4250IMGP4810IMGP4809IMGP4815

Prescot learning to ride a bike, and Andrew onto a newer bike

IMGP4886 IMGP4889

IMGP4891 IMGP4894

It is fun to see the growth and experiences my boys are having and to be part of their lives. It is wonderful and a privilege, and rewarding but frustrating at times, as they can press buttons of the areas that God need me to change. They can bring out the best and worst in you. But I can only be thankful for grace and forgiveness, to try to do the best I can,  hoping to do that which is good for these gifts given by God. The Lord uses many things, experiences to shape and mold the heart, this is the process of faith training. In their life and my own.

My boys are used by God to shape and make me into the man God would have me to be. Seeing them grow, how am I growing?

These thought all began with a simple statement for my latest book. I’m putting my novel on hold for a moment and felt inspired to make a coloring book for adults. This is one of the design to color, and a thought that accompanies the design.

SCAN0049 - Version 2

Grow where the Lord has placed you.

G.R.O.W.   A friend a number of years ago gave me this acronym to use to monitor personal growth. Questioning the place you are at in life?

Do you have a Goal, is it Reasonable, what are the Obstacles, What will you do, to press on forward, to overcome the obstacles and achieve the goal? To GROW! To become the best version of myself! Growth cultivating the person Iam toward the person I ought to be.

My goal as a father taken from Ephesians 6:4 “Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.” The Message Bible.

“What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action.” Meister Eckhart

“If your not satisfied with what God chooses for you, what else can please you?”  Jean – Pierre De Caussade,

We have to remember life is temporal and nothing is permanently present and continues, there has to be room for change, growth, new possibilities, new responsabilities, it is a process of change and different stages, growing pains, life is a fleeting moment, blink and you might miss it, so be happy and live to out grow this world; a room which we are in for a moment. Preparing us for the next room in our mansion in heaven. So make the most of the moments we have, life is valid, beautiful, but fleeting.

I have to remind myself that I’m in spiritual formation with my children, children are co-pilgrims in this, our life with God. The thought from Conversations Magazine volume 12.2 p66. http://conversationsjournal.com/

Time stops for no man or woman!

New birth 3

Last week past by and it was a blur, and the memories with it. I forgot to write a Blog sorry 🙂

I was arranging my books and came across a book I purchases the first year I visited America, reading it, this little book had the same impact today as it had in the past when I purchased it 18 years ago.

WOW, time does fly, can’t believe that it has been that long.

The book was Memories if the heart by Joan Walsh Anglund.

41k6E0roTHL._SX319_BO1,204,203,200_

http://www.amazon.com/Memories-Heart-Joan-Walsh-Anglund/dp/0394535766

“Faith whispers in the heart of every dream.” p47

“The Past is a faraway land to which we can never return.” p45

“We must not ever forget that we are sisters

that we are brothers

that we are family

brought here to help one another.” p35

“Love cannot speak till self is silenced.” p19

“Belief is at the beginning of all accomplishments.”

Let us be inspired into our dreams, believing long enough to see them accomplished. Last week was a difficult week for me for some reason feeling a little BLUE 😦

I will share later this week.

Celtic yearning!

I discovered a friend wrote the words and music for this song and every time I would hear this music I would be taken to the hills of Scotland.

scotland

A year ago this month I went to Scotland to visit family after a 5year stint of not having been to Scotland, it was wonderful. I got to catch up with family and see my younger brothers wife for the first time and they had just had their first child a week before we arrived. I also got to meet an old friend and saw all of her clan. An added bonus her sister was visiting, she was the one who wrote and arranged the song I so love, what a blessing, to sit in my friends kitchen as her sister sang the song to me live.

Celtic jouney

I have been revisiting the subject of Celtic Spirituality and have created a link to this ongoing study for any who are interested. This can me found on the right hand side of my Blob, accessed through the menu.

The subject of Celtic Spirituality has been a journey that has intrigued me for years. I did a video project for my Masters Showcase Project and I’m in the process of getting it configured for the web.

IMG_0927

A double click on picture will take you to my latest thinking and searching. With the dream one day to lead and facilitate my own retreat to some of these Celtic Holy Sites in Scotland, and where the Holy Spirit leads.

In tracing our heritage, linage, and ancestry, it is a process of discovery, discovering where it will take you, the thrill of a destination unknown at times. Most of the time this is the case in the journey of life. We have to not be afraid in the uncertainty of the unknown. We have to view and see at times from a different perspective, taking a leap of faith and learning how to fly. We are being allowed to soar, like that eagle in the wind currents, or like the description of the Holy Spirit described as the wind. “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit” John 3: 8 of the bible.

Path

At times I give a taste of my ongoing writing project, in my Blog, of Tobar’s journey and search for significance, writing is fun and daunting, but gives a good description of the unfolding of my book and writing style. I cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going, elusive like memories, never sure when something will trigger something from your memory banks. Do I want to be blown along by the Spirit, destination unknown?

The Holy Spirit allows the sacred and also the good, bad, and ugly,  to resurface. Will I, will you, allow the spiritual director, the Guide to take control of our lives, inspiring and motivating us to go on forward, bring things to our remembrance, so as to enhance our lives.

At times it is a joy, other times so painful the process of the shaping and forming of our lives, ultimately toward being better people. We also have to be patient and persistent remembering a delay is not a denial from God. And to always be remembering how far you’ve come, I’ve come, we have come. Not just focusing on how far we have still to go, but continue in hopeful perseverance.

Inspiration is the key to keep you motivated, start where you are in spirit, the connecting point that motivates and invigorates you to continue, and take that one necessary little strep. It is just getting started that creates the momentum, this applies to any area of life.

Scribble what you know in a note book, speak to a relative, start a search using the web, read a book on the subject, not many people can go to Scotland the land of my roots, for a vacation, retreat, genealogy search, to begin the spiritual or ancestral trail.

The beginning may have to be in the place of research and a little imagination. If you can find the financial means many go to the land of their origin to seek their ancestral roots because of immigration from the UK and Europe, and being scattered around the globe, resulting in descendants from long ago, and far afield.

We long to capture the spirit of our forebears or just get captivated by the Scottish heritage in my case, the culture of poetry, history, music and innovation, those who have shaped the world and our lives without us even knowing.

IMG_1024

Scotland the brave Land of my high endeavor, land of the shinning river, land of my heart forever, Scotland the brave.

The next place I would like to visit for inspiration is the Isle of Sky, to make me feel mare (more) at hame (home) to visit bonnie (pretty) Scotland to see the Ben = mountain peaks the drizzle = that rain like mist creating that gloomy mist that can last for days, giving some folk that grumpy mood. But without it we would not have the Nevis = the mountains covered by fog, and giving us the dreik = cold damp weather condition, once it has past making us appreciate the sun so much more.

The heather covered hills where men and women from generation to generation have survived on the crofts, with the salmon filled rivers, surviving of the land, barley, wheat. Oats, potatoes and rye, also their faith, and trust in a God that will provide their needs to sustain them. Knowing that man cannot survive on bread alone but by every word from the mouth of God, the word of illumination, a word of God at every season of life, in those life stages. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet a lamp unto my life, the revelation that brought about one of the national flags the saltire or St Andrew’s flag, in a vision or dream.

IMG_7153

God is the guide by the Holy Spirits leading, we have to always remind yourself that the Lord is our shepherd and we are the sheep of his fold. Taking comfort of the Trinity’s leading and going ahead of us each step of the way. Showing step by step, stage by stage, process and progress, we like a child, have to trust and put our hand in the Lords. To be obedient to the leading of God, for we have a limited sense of knowledge to know where we are in our life at times and to be honest are just guessing where we have to go next, destination unknown at times.

We need the Guides leading, and the Holy Spirit does at times give us inner pressure, to gently push us forward, and pushing us to our knees to get into a time of intense prayer so as to fulfill the purpose of God. Like a shepherd in the natural driving the sheep to the sheep pen and safety from harm, the Holy Spirit drives us if we are not yielding to God’s desire. Allowing to enter unrest, so we know the resulting  peace that surpasses all understanding, a witness of God when we have gone the right way forward in the right direction.

We have to give God time, to lead and guide us to receive the insight for living, by listening too, and experiencing the gentle breeze and a touch of the wind of the Holy Spirit. It’s being sensitive not to miss his moving in your life, we could miss out on so much, of what the sovereign God has planned for our life.

Take a deep breath, and breathe in the possibilities, exhale the negativity and doubts, breath in life, creativity, having a confidence that God is for you, having a confidence in your God who wants your best, desiring the best for you and me from the very beginning of time, we have to dive into the plan, being inspired, and allowing the unfolding of this mystery, a passion, becoming revelation and reality, getting caught in the breeze, blown along by the breeze of the warm spring air, caught in the moment when God gets your attention.

It’s not LAW as we know it!

Law trinity symbol

All you need is love as a Beetles song states, but I think there is more needed than just love. The extract from my book highlights this, Tobar is told the secret to Bren’s life and we will also have this knowledge revealed to us.

It’s all about overcoming the judgmental spirit, and the inner battle of wanting to help people and also not wanting to get involved, this inner conflict. Not wanting to interrupt our life routine, suspicious of people, thinking that everyone has an alterier motive, what does this person really want from me, or want to take from me.

It’s not law as we know it. Resulting in judgment for wrong doing; I have been pondering the acronym of L.A.W. Love, Acceptance, Welcome, this is what we have to aspire to become toward all peoples. Then also toward our God, that of being Loving, Accepting, and Welcoming of God in our lives as God desires this experience from our God toward us!

The Character in my book is adopted by Bren and elderly gentleman, who has a rule of life to be Loving, Accepting, and Welcoming, and I was thinking how would this look in my life, your life, the impact it could have in world.

Tobar experiences first hand the impact of L.A.W.

 Path
The Anam Cara

A Celtic Tale of Tobar’s Transformation

__________

Mark Condy

I could see there was a something different; he lived his life not out of legalism and control, but out of love. He had strength of character that I respected, and also a patience I had never seen demonstrated before, toward me.

One day, I think two months into my stay with Bren he pulled me aside, as he usually does to share a little nugget of truth, this one however make a significant impact on me, for some reason.

“Tobar, it is time for me to share, what you have experienced by living with me, I have a rule for life.”

“I use an acronym from initials of the word LAW; I use this to remind me on a daily basis to prompt me to continually work at trying to live in, L= Love, A= Acceptance, and W= Welcome. The law of love to demonstrate the opposite of what people perceive of the word law, visualizing law as being, legalism and rules, I want to live a life that reveals the reverse of the expected of the word.”

“Bren! It makes a lot of sense, and I have seen the reality of your rule for life at work, being manifest in your life. You do demonstrate in your actions, even though you certainly have a way with words.”

Bren looks at me with a twinkle in his eye finding my comment gratifying and humorous.

“Tobar after our time together, I want you think over and ponder these words from the acronym.”

When I was on my own, thinking what Bren had shared, I realized that Bren had the actual ability to impart life. The rule for life and the ancient words of sacred text spoken and lived, had been demonstrated having changed his life forever, and would change me, if I would let them. He had imparted words of encouragement that influenced change without my knowing. He was a support, standing beside me through the tough times in school. I could see the change he had in such a short time. With Bren’s help, the baggage that I had picked up through the journey of my life, the poverty mindset, fear, guilt, doubt, was beginning to get lighter. I was shedding things from my pack of life, even in my youthful age; it was becoming easier to carry, and some of the items had gone completely with his help.

Bren would constantly talk to me about the Monarch of the Universe having the keys to life, living and listening to these ancient life-giving stories. He talked about an unseen world the spirit realm of which the Seer was to be a part off, and having the communion and union with the blessed three or the Triune One. The Three where the creators and the essence of the spirit realm, and from the spirit realm they would impart knowledge to the Seers. Bren was a Seer or had been in a role of importance, but he never revealed much to me about his past.

ice and sunrays

Let us not be cold and judgmental, but a ray of warm sunlight that touches and impacts a persons life, one at a time. Like Bren did with Tobar.

Take that small step of being L.A.W. not judgmentally laying down the law, but being Love, Acceptance, and Welcome. We are the solution.

We all want to be Loved, Accepted, Welcomed, let us do unto others as we would want done unto ourselves.

If we did this the world would be a better place.

Lets begin by taking small steps, those we can manage to take, scripture does state that we are not to despise the day of small beginnings, so let us work at what we can do!

This can be applied to you and your dreams also, what matters to you, make it matter.

Thinking you can or can’t will determine the result.

I think this was from Mary Morrissey what follows is a note from my journal:
* Plug into your greatest dream
*Define it
*Long for it
*Overcome fear                                                                                 *Get past negative thoughts
*Make a difference, and a legacy for the future

Inspiration without action is only entertainment.

 

http://heartbeatjourney.org/2014/04/16/celtic-spirituality/

Pray, aim high, stay focused.

prayer 014

Pray, aim high, stay focused.

This phrase was on a bumper sticker I saw one day when at my older sons school.

There is the need to be in ongoing prayer and this phrase epitomizes my life at present, for the need to be praying, dreaming big, having possibility thinking, believing that with God all things are possible.

We do need to keep focused and press on forward; guarding dream and keeping the vision close to our heart, not getting discouraged, the following scripture resonates with this theme.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12: 1

It is getting out of the slave mentality, for the only limitation is the limitation we place upon ourselves. There is the danger, if we don’t break fee, we won’t enter into the promises of God, and the Promised Land. Like the people of Israel wandered in circles getting no where fast and not entering into the Promised Land and all the abundance. We are similar at times wander around and not enter into all that the Lord has provided and just don’t enter into this richness.

How do we get free from the negative cycle and enter possibility thinking, having faith, hope, and trust once more in the Lord. We are friends of God not slaves, co-heirs and co-creators with the Lord. The riches and promises of God are at our disposal, not barrenness of the desert or the prison, but freedom and fruitfulness, plus provision, supernaturally not carnal fruitless labor.

“You must be willing to let go of the old you to make room for the new you. You must be willing to shake yourself free of your old pictures, of your old way of thinking and doing, if you truly desire a new and improved life experience. Positive self-talk strengthens your upgraded mental equivalent, causing it to become a powerful magnetic force, attracting into your life exactly what you need to reach your goals.” PG 142 Tommy Newberry. I’m finding this book wonderful and very inspiring, giving me focus, goal making skills, encouragement, I highly recommend this book. I’m reading it personally, and only endorsing this book because of its good content nothing else. It was my New Years resolution to work through this book and change my life. It has been instrumental in my change of thinking and possibility thinking, stirring up faith and belief that I can see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. I have attached a link to Amazon if you may want to buy the item.

Unknown

Be motivated by this following site I found,  gives a Bible verse to read for encouragement.

http://www.topverses.com/

Reading scripture is part of the renewing of the mind process.