On the Sunday before Camp started, I was privileged to share a story at FUMC Artesia, NM. One of the camp directors (and dear friends). Monty Leavell, is pastor there. It was a great way to begin our week together. You can tell from the hats on the back wall that there are a few cowboys present.
I first came to Ceta Canyon in July of 1979. I was there to prepare for my first storytelling assignment. That year I went to Camp Butman, near Abilene, and told the C.S. Lewis story of “The Last Battle”. Since that year, there have been over 10,000 boys and girls who have heard the stories of the Bible and over 3,000 of them have made a first-time commitment to follow Jesus Christ. Hundreds more have been called into full-time Christian ministry and many of them are scattered across the nation and world as pastors and missionaries. This ministry is, without question, one of the most important things we are involved in.
One of the great evangelists of all time, Dwight L. Moody, said, ”If I could relive my life, I would devote my entire ministry to reaching children for God!”
This was our first time to minister in the Texas Hill Country. What a beautiful part of Texas. The wild flowers were in bloom and the weather was perfect. Good thing, too, since we were meeting in the fair grounds in an outdoor pavilion.
These are the beautiful prairies of North Dakota. This area was settled by the German Russians in the late 1800′s. They have had the camp meeting in this location since 1920. They were originally a part of the German speaking Evangelical Church which later merged with the United Brethren. When I was there 25 years ago, the meeting was 10 days long, and one of the days was all German speaking. (I didn’t understand much that day.) You can read an interesting history of the people and the camp meeting here.
Below is the prayer written by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as Allied troops were invading German-occupied Europe during World War II. The prayer was read to the Nation on radio on the evening of D-Day, June 6, 1944, while American, British and Canadian troops were fighting to establish five beach heads on the coast of Normandy in northern France.
My Fellow Americans:
Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.
Below is an excerpt from a speech made by President Abraham Lincoln in 1860 when the debate on slavery was raging in our nation. Some called for abolition, some called for acceptance, some called for a middle way of tolerance. This is a portion of what Lincoln had to say about it as he ended his speech in New Haven Connecticut on March 6, 1860. If you’d like to read the speech in it’s entirety, you will find it here.
“but can we, while our votes will prevent it, allow it (slavery) to spread into the National Territories, and to overrun us here in these Free States?
If our sense of duty forbids this, then let us stand by our duty, fearlessly and effectively. Let us be diverted by none of those sophistical contrivances wherewith we are so industriously plied and belabored — contrivances such as groping for middle ground between the right and the wrong, vain as the search for a man who should be neither a living man nor a dead man — such as a policy of “don’t care” on a question about which all true men do care — such as Union appeals beseeching true Union men to yield to Disunionists, reversing the divine rule, and calling, not the sinners, but the righteous to repentance — such as invocations of Washington, imploring men to unsay what Washington did.
Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the Government, nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right makes might; and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty, as we understand it.”