We're on the campus of Howard Payne University in Brownwood. Our bus ride here yesterday was pleasant (believe it or not), and I am looking forward to a wonderful week. Hey, I've even got internet access out here, so I should be able to keep in touch with you all via email.
A few observations from the short time I've been here:
- Our kids are great. They were well-behaved on the bus ride here, and have been that way ever since. Maybe it's because this is a high school only camp, and the kids are more mature (Middle-school camp is next week). Or maybe our kids are just great.
- The food is really quite good so far. If you've never been to youth camp before, trust me on this one: The food is never good. Let's hope this camp breaks the trend.
- I'm old. Yesterday, someone asked me how old I was. When I said 37, one of our youth girls (her name shall be mercifully withheld) said she assumed I was in my forties. She quickly said that was only because she didn't know any pastors in their thirties, but the damage to my fragile ego was already done. Sigh.
- Our speaker this week, Craig Tackett, is very high-energy and entertaining. He gave a great message last night on John 21, focusing on how Jesus' love chases and confronts us. I was enlightened by the message, but I was also thinking about how hard it would be to speak to youth for a living. A few years ago, the youth group at South Avenue Baptist in Pasadena (where I pastored previously) attended a camp where the speaker was boring. They came back saying, "We would've rather listened to Jeff all week." You have to have heard the tone of voice in which they said it, but trust me: They meant it as a slam on the youth speaker, not as a compliment to me. Hence the fragile ego.
- The theme of the week is "I am," focusing on the unchanging nature of Jesus. It's going to be a great week. If I get time, I might post some other news from camp. Keep us in your prayers!