week eight: impact.

sorry that i haven’t updated in a while. things have been great, but really busy, and to be honest i needed a couple days free of the pressure of posting. but i’m excited to update you now!

the weekend was awesome. it was olivia’s last week, and so james, scott and i drove down to drop her off at her house and spend the rest of the weekend there. olivia’s family is comprised of my favorite kind of people: kind, genuine, funny, sarcastic, and a little crazy. we took lots of pictures.


lots of them.


we had a blast, if you wouldn’t tell.

on the way home, i got to have some #realtalk with james and scott. they’re two of the coolest people i know at camp, and it’s such a blessing when God provides unexpected time to connect with people i wasn’t anticipating. it was the perfect re-energizer for the following week.

right now it’s the second to last week of camp, and this week’s guys are amazing. we have one who has a hard time listening, but he’s also really genuine and really loves camp, and wants really badly to be a solid miami gentleman. in fact, all of them do. this is one of the few groups i’ve had that legitimately listens in devos and wants to try and apply the things they’re learning. it’s cool to see.

this week, in honor of the olympics, we’ve themed the majority of our activities after them. each duplex of cabins represents a country, and during certain activities we can compete to earn medals for ourselves. miami and mohawk represent the country of togo, a small territory in africa. since one of the things they are known for are their tribal masks, falco had the brilliant idea to schedule some time in the cac so that we could all make our own plaster masks and decorate them. it went perfectly, and the guys had a blast. i love working with creative, fun people.

i wish i had been more on my game and taken more pictures. just trust me when i tell you that these guys designed some legit masks. and it was lots of fun putting plaster everywhere.

something i’ve been thinking about a lot is making an impact. next week is my last week, and i want my campers to have the best week of their summer. as i’ve posted before, God’s been blessing me with a lot of opportunities to connect with campers, whether or not they’ve been in my cabin.

there was a guy last week, adam, that i got to spend lake time with. he was quiet and polite, and really fun to hang out with. i found out that he was right next door in mohawk, and so whenever we would see each other we would high-five and catch up a little bit. he’s a great kid, and it was great getting to know him.

i received a letter from him today. completely unexpected, and it totally made my day. his mom wrote a note too, telling me that she really appreciated the impact i had on her son. it was so humbling to know that God used the short time i had to hang out with adam to really make a difference.

God’s been blessing me with lots of feedback from campers and parents as well, stuff that makes me feel appreciated and like what i’m doing here matters.

it’s got me thinking about the impact that God has on me. or the impact He should have. just like me with my campers (only completely free of sinful motives like arrogance), God wants that interaction with me. He doesn’t need it or require it. it isn’t essential for Him to be sure He’s doing a good job. but regardless, He wants to hang out. He wants to know what’s going on. He wants to mail and receive letters from me.

and the thing is, i know all about God. certainly not everything there is to know (i feel like i’ve shared before that that’s one of my reasons i’m so excited for heaven… an eternity of constantly learning more about our infinite God), but i know His love for me and i know the sacrifice He made for me, and i have His letters to me and i have a direct line of communication to Him that i can use at any time.

and yet i have a severely lacking desire to be impacted by Him. when it’s convenient for me, i’ll look for Him, because i know that usually something awesome will happen. but that’s not something that i’m doing non-stop. and shouldn’t it be? my God is a God who passionately, intensely loves me despite all the times i screw up and fall into the same sin over and over again.

i was listening to some mumford and sons on the way home tonight, and a lyric from their song roll away your stone really stuck with me:

“it’s not the long walk home that will change this heart, but the welcome i receive with a restart.”

that aspect of God alone—that He accepts me (not just accepts me, but pursues me) despite the person that i am—should be enough to propel me into His arms every single second of every single day. my heart should be in a constant state of gratitude and humility and disbelief at the grace i receive.

God has had an immeasurable impact on me, and yet at times i resist anything more than that which i’ve already received. what? am i crazy?

well, yes. crazy and sinful and forgetful and distracted. but thankfully that doesn’t stop my God from loving me with a love just as crazy.

things i love seeing and experiencing at camp:

1.)  secret buddy gifts. making and receiving them.

2.)  watching hugo with the kids. have i mentioned how much i love this guy?

3.)  hearing, as i walk away, my cabin yell all at once, “hey brad! we love you!”

4.)  letters from campers.

5.)  seeing becca and just talking on the way back from clinics.

6.)  hearing campers encourage each other during mountaineering.

7.)  wearing togas for opening campfire because we’re from togo… and it sounds kind of similar.

8.)  giving kids missions to accomplish during pool time.

9.)  getting huge group hugs from my cabin.

10.) this sign (“james has swag”).

11.) friendship bracelets.

12.) hearing a dozen different conversations going on right now in the fellowship room.

13.) seeing my kids get excited about being gentlemen.

14.) experiencing God’s unconditional love.

15.) mini ties.

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2 thoughts on “week eight: impact.

  1. Awesome post Brad! I love you!

  2. Jessica Hill says:

    Well hey I really liked this one! (okay, I really like all of them)

    Also, senior year of high school I was thisclose to going to Togo for a few months. Like graduating early and everything. I had applied for it and the principal had approved it. But it didn’t happen, obviously.

    Going along with this post, I think it’s important to know that just because you think something is the best week, it doesn’t mean they do. Some of the best times I’ve had with people are when they’re raw and tired and broken. Because they’re real. You don’t always have to be dancing or cheering or smiling to make an impact.

    I don’t think that we’ll ever get God’s grace. If we did, some of His magnitude would be lost.

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