Be Patient

20 Jun

What an outstanding day!  This morning, students started with Clay Johnson leading them in “When the Saints Go Marching In” with Clay’s trombone.  To understand the full meaning of this moment, let’s go back to last night where Bob Smiley roasted his son and Clay for playing the trombone.  Obviously, Clay showed us how wrong Bob was this morning.  Photos are posted on Facebook under the Tuesday album. 

Kyle also quizzed the students on their bible trivia during Quickstart.  The trivia started with simple questions and quickly advanced in difficulty. We were happy and proud of how well many of our students did with their Bible trivia.  Kyle then led a devo relating knowing the bible to performing a play.  Sometimes actors don’t realize the full story of their play, because they are so focused on memorizing their parts line by line.  As Christians, we can do the same.  We can become so focused on bible trivia and facts that we forget to take a step back to understand God’s story.  The students were challenged to remember that during teaching times, they don’t have to know all of the trivia to understand the Epicness of God.

During Wild ‘N’ Crazy games, our students played two games:  Snow Shoe Shuffle and Moist Curling.  During Snow Shoe Shuffle, students put on large snowshoes, walked down their slip-and-slide runway to the main tarp.  In the middle of the tarp was a kiddie pool filled with water and sponges.  Students had to go to the middle, pick up a sponge with their chin, and then go back to the end of their slip-and-slide runway.  The first school to have their team finish won.  In Moist Curling, a TL sat on an inflatable tube.  The students then pulled their TL down the slip-and-slide runway to the middle of the turf.  Students then pulled their other TL, trying to get them in the middle of the tarp and target.  The team with their two TLs closest to the target won.  It was very fun, and we highly suggest you look on Facebook for the pictures. 

Kirk Cowell spoke tonight at Rainbow Celebration, and we are so glad that after 15 years, Kirk returned to SE.  Kirk spoke about God’s Epic Patience.  There are two main sections of Isaiah: The Warning of Exile (Isaiah Chapters 1-39) and The Hope of Reconciliation (Isaiah Chapters 40-66).  At the beginning of Isaiah 40, after God’s Chosen are in exile in foreign lands, Isaiah sends comfort, proclaiming that the time of exile is over, their service for the sins has been completed, and the glory of the Lord will be revealed.  The Israelites responded with disbelief, doubt, and mistrust.   

Kirk shared his personal story where at the age of 23, he realized that he was an atheist, who worked as a preacher at a small church.  He didn’t believe, but he wanted to.  He reached out to his mentors and community searching for answers.  Several years later, he read Colossians 2:6-8 and Zechariah 3:1-2.  He realized that God invites each of us to allow God to snatch us from the fire to be restored. In that moment, Kirk reconciled with the Lord.   

In the doubt and disbelief of the Israelites, our Heavenly Father responded with Isaiah 42:1-4.  When we are weak and broken, God does not throw us out and replaces us.  Instead, He is a master weaver who is so incredibly patient, that He uses every bruised reed in His craft and surrounds it with strong reeds.  He spends immense time carving us to repair us, so that our light is strong and pure.  God’s patience is so epic, and He won’t let us go until He has woven us into a strong community and made our light shine again.  God is the patient, master craftsman.

We just have to wait on Him, be patient, and most importantly, faithful.

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Faithful Love

19 Jun

Friends, this year is already more epic than we anticipated, and all glory goes to God.  These students are incredible.  The Green School (with the theme of Jesus Christ: Superhero) has dedicated each day to an aspect of Jesus’ superpowers.  Sunday was giving.  Today is serving.  To start the day off, two students washed Kyle Bullock’s feet during Quickstart.  What amazing leaders we have!

Clay Johnson, Devon Watkins, Nathan Keller, and Allison Lewis lead our teaching times.  They are stupendous.  They have a deep passion for showing our students Epic Qualities about our Father.  Throughout the week, each Dean will teach each school, so that students hear from various teaching styles. Each of the Morning Deans are looking at the story of God through a different lens.  Devon is speaking on Epic Calling, Clay is Epic Battle, Nathan is Epic Forgiveness, and Allison is Epic Pain. Our students are in for a treat.

Sports and Wild ‘N’ Crazy Games were immensely successful today.  Students will play volleyball, basketball, indoor soccer, and ultimate Frisbee.  When they are not playing a sport, they will cheer on the other teams.  We would like to clarify that we do not expect athletes, but instead are encouraging students to enjoy the community and work as a team.  Today, during Wild ‘N’ Crazy Games, students participated in a Team Relay where students raced in groups of 4 with inflatable tubes.  Then, families pulled each other in the same inflatable tubes on slippery tarps.  Not much more can be said, because it’s wild…and crazy.  Pictures are on Facebook, so go check them out.  

Tonight at Rainbow Celebration, Mike spoke to us about God’s Epic Promises in two roles: Trustworthy Father and Faithful Lover. Each of us is a unique child of God, and our Heavenly Father believes that we are truly wonderful.  He loves us, cares for us, comforts us, and provides for us.  His love is such a true and great unconditional love that is incomparable.  However, God’s love is the ideal that parents should be.  Psalm 103:10-13 attempts to describe God’s love through His mercy and grace and almighty power, but it can simply be wrapped up as “God’s love…is ever and always.” 

Mike compared God’s promise of being a faithful lover to a marriage.  In Hebrews 13:5, God vows to us that He will never leave nor forsake us.  Unlike many circumstances though, even when we cheat on God and turn our back on Him, God stays and pursues us.  Through the story of Hosea, we are shown how great God’s love is, and how He is faithful.  His love never fails, it never gives up, and it never runs out on us.  Instead of rejecting us, our Father longs to bring us home. 

Like the perfect Father and Spouse, God’s love is willingly dedicated and willingly forgiving.  No matter what we do, how badly we mess up, God’s mercy and love will always be there for us as a gift waiting for us to accept and receive it.  He truly is the model of a perfect love.  Praise Him for the epic promises He has bestowed upon us, and praise Him for allowing us to rest in His grace.

Let Us Worship the Father

18 Jun

Summer Excitement has officially started! We cannot believe that students are finally here! We are so ready to pour into them, so that we can experience the vulnerable and real community of our Savior, Christ Jesus. 

After Staff announcements and introductions, students were able to meet with their schools to get to know each other, and then they returned for Rainbow Celebration.  Worshipping with our brothers and sisters in Christ is an incredible gift.  Melanie Wise spoke tonight about worshipping an almighty, powerful God who has unsurpassable love for each of us.  Worship is an act of pursuing God and deepening our relationship with Him.  When we worship together, no matter what form, we glorify God. 

Our students experience many different battles in their lives.  There is often a misconception that worship only occurs when you are happy or content with God.  However, we were reminded tonight that there are many different ways of worshipping our Lord and Savior.  We can praise Him in the storm.  He wants us always to be present and to let Him into our lives and hearts.  When we follow Him and serve Him, we can show Him everything.  We can be real with Him.  We can show Him our mourning, our rage, our sorrow, our happiness, and every other emotion, because there is freedom in worship.  He is our comforter, healer, and a mighty warrior who fights for us.  If we worship and submit ourselves to Him, He will battle for us, heal us, and be with us in accordance to His will and purpose.  What’s even more incredible is that the same God who holds the universe in His hands is also a Good Father who pursues us and knows us by name.

And that, dear friends, is pretty Epic.

Preparing to LEAD!

16 Jun

Are you ready, Summer Excitement? An EPIC adventure awaits us.  The Team Leaders, Deans, and Staff have been hard at work preparing for the incredible work that God will do this week and year.  We are anxiously waiting for students to arrive, so that we can serve and love them.

On Friday, Curt Langford talked to the TLs and Staff about leadership in the church and different styles of leadership.  Ultimately, as leaders in Christ, we are encouraged to remember that it is not about us.  Being self-centered and unsure of ourselves takes the glory away from God, and it shows our lack of faith and trust in our Lord and Savior.  As Christians, we can be confident in Christ, knowing that He will use us as long as we serve with humility and have passion for the mission instead of our current position. 

“You must have passion for the mission, not the position.” 

On Saturday, the TLs taught each other the components of LEAD:  Love, Engage, Authenticity, and Discipleship.  Spurring one another forward in Christ, we have this incredible community of brothers and sisters.  We get to form strong relationships to serve one another in love.  Sometimes there are great personal sacrifices.  Sometimes we become uncomfortable, but we are reminded in Philippians 2:5-8 that Jesus humbled himself to the nature of a servant to save each and every one of us.  Oh, how powerful God’s love is for us through His wonderful mercy and grace!  And His love overruns to all.  We share His love with others, which is sometimes very difficult.  However, we pray that God changes our paradigm so that instead of thinking “what can you do so I love you,” we are able to focus on “what can I do because I love you?”  Through this next week, we pray that our students are immensely blessed as they build authentic relationships with this community, so that they may go out and make disciples of all nations.  God has epic plans, and we are excited to see what He will do this week.  All we have to do is listen to Him and participate.   

In the words of Samuel Corder, “When in doubt, just dance.”

Summer Excitement 2018

8 Mar

Summer Excitement heads into its 34th year this June, and we look forward to continuing to disciple junior high and high school students, promoting joyous Christian living, and helping this generation of young men and women become disciples among their friends and family in their own communities!  We look forward to having each student, staff member, and friend of SE on campus this summer, and know from experience that God will do a great work among us!

 

Make plans now by setting a reminder on your calendar to sign up on April 1…ON THIS SITE!!!  Early registration runs through May 15.  And as usual, Summer Excitement is the 3rd full week of June, the week of June 17-22.

 

Don’t miss out, because YOU KNOW, it’s going to be EPIC!!!

HURRICANE HARVEY

30 Aug

In light of recent events pertaining to Hurricane Harvey’s landfall in Houston and the surrounding areas, the Summer Excitement community would like to hear from our students, alumni, staff, and friends affected by the hurricane and the excessive rain that has followed in its wake.  We have all seen events of equal magnitude across the globe over the years, even as recent Hurricane Harvey - Dowtown Houstonas 2005 in southern Louisiana, as Hurricane Katrina displaced thousands of people, leaving many dead, and changing most residents’ lives forever in the process.   But as difficult as it is to watch our fellow man struggle in other areas of the world, it is especially poignant, personal, when similar diversity strikes in one’s own backyard, imminently affecting friends and family.

The Summer Excitement community is especially thoughtful of our students, alumni, staff, and friends in and around the Houston area having to deal with this.  We are certainly actively praying on your behalf as you face months, even years, of putting the pieces back together.  But we would really like to assist those folks in our community in other ways, other than prayer, if possible.

So let’s start by asking any of you affected to share with us.  If you feel led, please share your story in the comment section below, or on our Facebook page, to bring us current with your well-being, immediate status, and perhaps even your current/future needs.

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/457982810692/?multi_permalinks=10159262250985693&notif_t=like&notif_id=1504112282275352

TUMBLERS FOR SCHOLARSHIPS!!!

31 May

We are currently selling Summer Excitement tumblers benefiting student scholarships for $23 per unit.  For each 100 tumblers sold, SE can provide 3 full scholarships to students for whom finances are a hardship.  If you would like one, please send a check to:

Summer Excitement, 1701 Quaker Avenue, Lubbock TX  79416 (note “SE Tumbler” in the memo line of your check)

Upon receiving your money we will hold your tumbler for pickup at the SE office during SE, June 18-23.

For SE friends who will NOT be visiting the LCU campus this June, we can ship units to your home, but with a shipping fee: add $5 shipping for 1, and $7 shipping for two.   For 3 or more units, simply send  $23 times the number you’d like, and upon receiving your check we will send the tumblers, along with an invoice for the shipping fee.

Tumblers hold 14 oz of liquid, have sealable tops, come in their own black cloth bags, and are made of steel.

Thank you for helping us ensure that all students, regardless of financial means, has an opportunity to benefit from what God does yearly at Summer Excitement!