Monthly Archives: February 2014

I Am Yours and You Are Mine

Post by Sarah Kelley

There is a beautiful song by Hillsong UNITED out right now titled “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail).”  The song is so good in fact it is one of the few songs I can listen to on repeat without getting sick of it.

I also think it could be titled “Matthew’s Creek (Where Feet May Fail).”

At Asbury Hills, we believe that youth are going to struggle at something.  As much as we want to protect them, they will be tested.  They will be led to “the great unknown where feet may fail.”  God may even be the One calling them to something difficult.  But we also strongly believe, that with God, anything is possible.

mt chapel

Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

How powerful would it be if youth today truly believed these words?
It is something they can learn at Asbury Hills.

Campers will try new things.  They will have opportunities to fail.  If you’ve never shot a bow and arrow before, how do you know if you will be any good?

I Am Yours

Campers will also probably be afraid at some point.  Maybe they have never been away from home for a week.  There are people they don’t know in their cabins.  There will probably be a loud thunderstorm during the week.  And even if you aren’t afraid of heights, jumping off a telephone pole into thin air is a little frightening.

leap of faith

More importantly than having the opportunity to work through fear and trying something new despite the possibility of failing, campers learn that God loves them more than they could possibility imagine.  That they are worthy.  That they belong to God.

Belonging to God, failing at something and coming out on the other side, and facing a fear head-on can give campers the confidence to let this be their prayer.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

AND if this can be the prayer of today, I have great hope in the world of tomorrow.

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How Did Francis Asbury Do It?

Guest post by Ryan Culby, Asbury Hills Director

Friday, October 28, 1803
“We found a new road, lately cut, which brought us in at the lead of a little river, at the old fording-place, and within hearing of the falls, a few miles off of the head of Matthews Creek, a branch of the Saluda: the waters foaming down the rocks with a descent of half a mile, making themselves heard at a great distance” – Francis Asbury

Could Francis Asbury be describing Raven Cliff Falls?  I’d like to think so.  His next journal entry wasn’t until the 31st, and I’d like to think he spent some time here at Asbury Hills on his way to Greenville.  After riding 1270 miles from Philadelphia through “filth, fleas, rattlesnakes, hills, mountains, rocks, and rivers…” he must have needed a rest.  A place to rejuvenate.  A place of renewal.

raven-cliff-falls

A quick study of Francis Asbury reveals some interesting ideas.  He likely traveled 300,000 miles by horse and delivered around 16,500 sermons.  He created a system of districts with circuit riding ministers serving local, rural populations.  He grew the church from 1200 to 214,000 members and added 4,000 preachers.  Then, under the structures he helped create, the church grew to 1.5 million by the Civil War.

Wow. How could a church grow at rates like that?  From a camping perspective – we think it had a lot to do with the nature of church back then.  We think that under Wesley’s and Asbury’s leadership, church wasn’t necessarily an indoor affair.  It could be under a tree, by a creek, in a field – wherever people came together in Christ’s name.

nature

Research today reveals some interesting ideas about camp.  Four in ten church members and the majority of pastors reported having had a significant spiritual experience at camp.  How?  Maybe it’s immersion in God’s creation.  Maybe it’s taking the time to retreat and renew.  Maybe it’s just getting a chance to know each other in a different setting outside the walls of a church while still being within the church.

Please get out.  Retreat.  Renew.  Be reborn.

And consider returning to Asbury Hills to do it.

creek

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Get Outside: Nature Deficit Disorder

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, kids ages 8-18 spend, on average, more than 53 hours per week using entertainment media.[1]  Childhood obesity, attention disorders, and depression are also on the rise.  Richard Louve argues these two statistics are related in his book Last Child in the Woods and has coined the term nature-deficit-disorder to explain the phenomenon. Louve brings together a growing body of research suggesting “direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults.”[2]  It is in the unstructured time outdoors that children develop that creativity and problem-solving skills that will make them successful as adults, and there are 10 steps parents can take to prevent nature-deficit-disorder.

EE_turtle_475

  1.  Be a role model! Spend time outdoors together as a family.
  2. Plan a monthly or weekly surprise outdoor adventure.
  3. Organize a monthly outing with your child’s school.
  4. Follow the AAP’s guidelines and limit TV and video games to 1-2 hours a day.
  5. Take a daily or weekly walk together as a family after dinner.
  6. Register your child for an outdoor summer camp like Asbury Hills
  7. Go camping!
  8. Plant a garden.
  9. Buy a field guide.
  10. Link up with one of your great local or national organizations.[3]

newt

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7 Reasons Why Summer Camp is Better than the Big Game

Most of America spent most of last night watching a football game and/or some highly anticipated commercials. This morning we want to share with you a touchdown of reasons why summer camp is better than the game you watched last night.

1.There is no need for fancy pyrotechnics and fireworks.  God provides the stars.  Asbury Hills provides the entertainment.

2. If campers struggle in an activity, the group rallies around them instead of trading them to a different cabin group.

3. A week of summer camp is about 1/2 the price of the cheapest face-value ticket.

4. There is no need for timeouts or halftime.  We pack as much into a week as possible!

5. There is no off-season.  Can’t get enough summer camp?  Come for a retreat!

6. The score is never lopsided and campers are never bored towards the end of their week.

7. AND summer camp at Asbury Hills carries a risk for spiritual growth instead of concussions.

Image

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