The sorrow may last through the night, but JOY comes with the morning.

Today started off right with some great worship led by Liz and Chris.  Melissa came today to speak to us about joy.  She reminded us that joy is not an emotion, but rather a choice.  It’s something that we have to actively pursue, and it’s something that we can’t achieve on our own.  Joy is not an emotion, though.  Melissa taught that joy is different from something like happiness, where it wouldn’t be appropriate to be happy all the time.  Can you imagine if you were pouring your heart out to a dear friend in a time of brokenness and they were so happy they were busting at the seams?  It would be terrible.  However, even in such cases, while we can empathize with our loved ones in their situations, we can be joyful in all things.  Joyfulness starts with gratitude.  It starts with being thankful for the things that we have, instead of consistently striving for the things that we don’t.  Melissa compared the striving to that feeling of “if I could just have …… (you fill in your own blank, I know what mine are), then I could finally be happy.”  When we strive and wait to bank our happiness and contentment on things other than resting in the love of God and the plans He has for our lives, we can never truly get there.  It was a convicting message, I think, for a lot of us, as I saw teary eyes and understanding faces when Melissa was finished.

It seems that Melissa’s family of young children, part of her many reasons to be grateful and joyful, are really enjoying themselves here at Camp!  The boys may have needed a nap after lunch, though, as they were pretty well passed out.

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After lunch, Jared, who’s been leading wilderness training throughout the past four weeks of kids’ camp, took three people on a wilderness hike on the Hiawatha Trail.  When Jared returned with the Colemans, they told me tales of eating berries, balsam, and wintergreen leaves that they found along the trail, as well as learning about “Nature’s Toilet Paper.”  I think they’re probably pretty thankful that Jared didn’t have them eat grasshoppers or ants, but it seemed like they had a wonderful walk.  Jared is leading another hike, this time to the Beaver Dam, on Wednesday.  Children under 12 will need to be accompanied by an adult, but this should prove to be very educational as well.  Jared is great at what he does!

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Also this afternoon, I saw some of our staff tie-dying, I saw some canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boarding, I saw many boats out, but I didn’t see a great deal of people actually IN the water.  I might know why, though.  I don’t think I’d go in the water if it meant I had to get out of my jeans and my hoodie first.  It was not the warmest of days, here, but the warmth starts to return tomorrow and into Wednesday and Thursday, which will be welcomed.  I saw sandcastle-building, and “Uncle Trevor” burying at the beach, as well as tummy time with Wyatt Taylor, and Vernon doing pushups with Chris and Sherri’s youngest, Isaac.  It’s so nice to spend time with every new generation of Camp Kids.

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After dinner tonight, there was a scavenger hunt for the kids, as well as a Capital Campaign Prayer, Information, and Worship session in the Chapel.  I was not in attendance, but it is my understanding that the prayer time was very moving, and it was evident that the people who attended have a heart for our Capital Building Campaign.  It’s wonderful to have that supportive backing.  Thanks to everyone who attended 🙂

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Oh, and… check these out!  Just because.

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