Is it Better to give or receive?

Photo by @benwhitephotography on Unsplash Growing up I looked forward to receiving Christmas gifts. As I got older, I found the joy in giving gifts to be more rewarding than receiving them. To answer the question, “Is it better to give or receive?” one must look at the context of the situation.  Shortly after arriving at Warm Beach Camp 29 years ago, I had an interesting conversation with Rod Brown who was on the leadership team. At the time, Rod was part of a men’s discipleship group with Pastor ...

Horses: Life Impact

If you have ever felt a horse’s warm breath on your skin or breathed in their scent as you hugged their neck while laying your head on their side, you will know that horses have a way of reaching deep into your soul. They bringing comfort to places in your heart that may be buried under layers of grief, bitterness, rejection, fear, or hurt. Our goal at Warm Beach Horsemanship is to provide as many opportunities as possible for people ...

Power to Please God

Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Philippians 2:12-13 NLT The power to please is something most people value. We appreciate it when someone does something to encourage or bring ...

Not just a Camp, a Sanctuary

Project Sanctuary believes when one person serves the whole family serves. We take a human-centered, solution-based approach to helping military families heal and move forward in life. Through innovative long-term programming focused on connectedness, we restore hope and empower families to recover and thrive. Warm Beach Camp helps us create an environment conducive to healing. With beautiful surroundings and loving staff, the families on our retreats can relax and let down all the walls they have built up. The scenery ...

Just like the Father 

Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.  Luke 6:36 NLT  https://bible.com/bible/116/luk.6.36.NLT  “You are just like your father” or “You are just like your mother” are phrases describing similarities for the better or worse with those who have raised us.    When Jesus says “ just as your Father in Heaven is, so we should be” it is a big statement to receive.  As a Father of 9 children, I know that my contribution to their lives is mixed, because I have done some really good things while also ...

The Lights of Christmas: A Community Event

Our community is a huge part of who we are as The Lights of Christmas. Our staff and volunteers help put the event together, local businesses help with promotion, donors support the big picture, and the people attend the event with their friends and family. Over the last year, we worked to create bigger and brighter displays and I am excited for what we are accomplishing together. Volunteers were here all summer working on new displays like Icicle Falls, The ...

Horses Bring Hope

Warm Beach Horsemanship is one of the few programs at Camp that can follow CDC guidelines and remain open, providing a place of hope and healing during these challenging times. Due to the restrictions caused by COVID-19 many people’s lives have been thrown into turmoil. Things we once took for granted have been stripped away from us, however amidst this turmoil there is HOPE…    Those missing physical touch can wrap their arms around a horse and feel the comfort that comes from an embrace. Words cannot express the joy and healing ...

Covid19 – 5 Crisis Communication Tips for Nonprofits

Photo by Tai's Captures on Unsplash The past few months have been filled with global change. In a world of quick transient news, narratives spread fast. Users are more involved with news and media content than ever before, often changing a narrative before it’s even published. Nonprofits are especially vulnerable, because their funding often depends on the altruism of their donor base. In order to preserve and protect nonprofits, crisis communication must be considered in brand development. Here are 5 tips to developing effective lines of communication during crisis.  Understand the ...

The Lord’s Heart of Redemption

Photo by Trym Nilsen on Unsplash Over the past week I have been reminded on how broken our world is and how deeply God wants to see the entirety of His creation restored to him. So lets break this into three sections: Brokenness, Restoration and Us. Brokenness We live in a deeply broken world! COVID-19, as terrible as it is, is only a part of that story. To give you an idea: on average 1.2 million children are sold into ...

The Role of Journalism in Nonprofit Communication

Photo by Artem Maltsev on Unsplash When I took a job in the marketing office of a nonprofit camp and conference center after majoring in Journalism during college, I was repeatedly posed the same question, in one form or another: “How are you using your degree?” The answer I usually gave is along the lines of: “Stories are always important whether the target audience is the general public, or a certain group of people.” Going to college taught me how ...

Give to God, He Cares

Photo by Anh Nguyen on Unsplash Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/1pe.5.7.NLT   We all unintentionally tend to carry around worries and cares, which weigh on our spirit, emotions, body and intellect. There can be a tendency to let issues we are concerned about dominate our lives to the point of losing sleep, eating poorly and impacting our relationships. Peter is writing to church leaders, known as Elders, ...

5 Ways to Grow Leadership Potential

The subject of leadership fascinates, allures, and sometime repels us in many ways. Some aspire to become great leaders, whatever “great” means. Others shun leadership for all of the pitfalls and heartache toxic leadership may inflict. For all of the research and experienced opinion out there on the subject, it remains fascinatingly complex and simple all at the same time. Having served in Christian Camps and Conference Centers for over 30 years, I have seen my share of young people ...

An Experience to Remember

The elderly gentlemen carefully took out his debit card as his date stared at him with excitement and joy. “You know, we’ve lived in the area a long time but have never been here before. Where should we go first?” As I took out a map, and explained some of the festival highlights, the woman’s eyes began to widen with anticipation. “Thank you so much. Have a great night and a very Merry Christmas!” I exclaimed as the couple folded ...

Simply Thankful to God

By sspiehs3 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/1ch.16.34.NLT This verse is part of a song King David gave to Asaph and Levites when the Ark of the Covenant was returned to the place King David had prepared for it. The Ark of the Covenant was key to understanding “God with us” and God’s everlasting covenant. This was and is a really big deal. In some ways this ...

5 Ways to Retain Volunteers

Every nonprofit needs volunteers, but finding a good volunteer is like finding a hidden treasure. Unfortunately, there isn’t a map labeled with a big X designating where those volunteers are, but once you have good volunteers it’s very important to keep them. Volunteers are invaluable, cherish them like you would a precious gem! Here’s 5 ways to retain volunteers. Invite volunteers to be an active part of your community. Many volunteers are able and willing, but don’t know if or ...

A Place of Safety & Refuge

Port Susan Bay at Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress. Psalms 59:16 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.59.16.NLT At Warm Beach Camp there is a baby grand piano sitting in the corner of Cedar Lodge Chapel with a spectacular view of the beauty of Port Susan Bay and ...

A Gate and a Path

Photo by Julian Hochgesang on Unsplash “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.  But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. Matthew 7:13-14 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/mat.7.13-14.NLT Everything about God’s Kingdom is available to anyone, anywhere, anytime, through Jesus Christ. He is the way, truth, and life. Ultimately following ...

God Personally Goes Before Us

Photo by Becca Matimba on Unsplash So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/deu.31.6.NLT God had given the people of Israel a promise: The Promised Land. The promise seemed absolutely overwhelming, as the land was already occupied by other people. God personally went before them, and the Promised Land became ...

5 Ways to Preserve Dignity in Content Creation & Storybranding (Nonprofit Christian Sector)

Photo by Taras Shypka on Unsplash The need to produce high quality and engaging content in a saturated market can feel overwhelming. Trying to stand out amongst a variety of brands, messaging, and products can be challenging. Selling the brand, cause, and experiences in the nonprofit sector comes with unique challenges that can be difficult to navigate. To meet the demand for new content and effective storybranding, we often find ourselves scouring surveys, photos, and emails from staff, looking for ...

Never Give Up

Photo by Jeremy Perkins on Unsplash Take time to read and reflect on God’s word with me.  We never give up. “Therefore, since God in His mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.” 2 Corinthians 4:1-4 https://www.bible.com/bible/116/2CO.4.1-4.NLT If the Good News we preach ...