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The big idea in marriage is that “the two become one.” It is one of the strongest expressions of unity that is demonstrated in this world. It is obvious the world struggles with marriage as evidenced by all the counseling, laws, and interventions often needed when things are not working out.
At the heart of the struggle in a marriage is selfishness. Bluntly put, I still want my own way. In Jesus’ two great responses, He challenges us to a selfless focus. Invest all of who we are in God and in the people we love.
Early in our marriage, my wife, Bev, let me know I was constantly late to commitments with her and our family. My immediate response was, “No I’m not.” with my second level response being, “What I was doing was important and couldn’t be put off.” My responses revealed everything…
My agendas were more important than my commitments to Bev and our family. Yes, I loved Bev. Yes, I loved the kids. Yes, I would presume upon them all the time to adjust to what I perceived to be the most important to me at that moment. I was selfish.
To get my attention, Bev came up with a plan: “For 30 days, every time you are late to a family commitment, you pay me $5. Every time you are on time, I pay you $5.” I took the challenge, believing I would prove her wrong.
Thirty days later... Ed paid Bev $340. Bev paid Ed $10. You do the math! Boy, did I show her... NOT!!!
Bev’s simple act of creativity was one of the many acts of love that have helped me lean away from my selfishness and lean into a selfless love where “the two become one.”
Sometimes, it is easy to take important words and apply them to everyone else. The real opportunity in my marriage is when Bev and I love God with all we’ve got, and love each other as ourselves.
Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center
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Each year Warm Beach hosts a weekend where women can gather together for renewal, relaxation and to deepen relationships. I have been attending Refresh Women’s Event regularly since 2001. It was at this event where I first heard God call me into ministry. I keep coming back because I am blessed year after year by the connections made and the relationships that are deepened.
Attending Women’s Event as a group is a great way to build relationships with women in your church. Bring your daughter, your sister, your mom, your friends… there is nothing like spending a weekend away with someone to get to know each other better! The walks, talks, and meals shared with others deepen relationships. This builds community which can help us as we stumble through life together when we get back to “the real world.” At Women’s Event, lives are changed, friends are made and relationships with God and others are strengthened.
A few years ago, I met a wonderful woman from Tacoma, WA. We had a great time chatting and we discovered we had a lot in common. We were both in progress to become ordained pastors in the Free Methodist Church, and our children were both freshmen at Seattle Pacific University. These common bonds helped us pray for each other with understanding at a heart level. Each time we are together, we are able to encourage each other in ministry as we journey through the process of ordination.
What a joy it is to be a part of planning this year’s Women’s Event! You are invited to come and hear a wonderful speaker, Sue Donaldson, who will speak about finding our strength and joy for our journey through life. Worship leader, Angie Morehouse, is bringing a complete worship band, and we have some extended times of worship through music planned. There are also wonderful new workshops, crafts, recreation, and spa packages to round out the weekend. And don’t forget - no cooking or cleaning all weekend long!
We look forward to seeing you! To register and for more information, see our web page www.warmbeach.com/refresh.
Mary Combs, Assistant Pastor
Living Hope Free Methodist Church,
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by Nancy Nelson
During the last few years, my immediate family has been stepping into eternity. Matter of fact, when my 94+ year old mom, now on Hospice care, slips into Heaven, I will be the only one left from the family into which I was born. Thankfully, there is a legacy opportunity that we’ve taken advantage of here at Warm Beach Camp.
A few years back, we memorialized a room in the new ADA Mount Baker Cabin for my sister, Peggy, who died when she was 35 years old. When Dad passed away 10 years ago, we had the opportunity to fund an Olympic View room in his memory. When the dedication services occurred for these facilities, family members carried memorial plaques into the rooms, and prayed for the guests who would be using these newly furnished rooms.
As I walk by these “sacred spaces” at Camp, I can’t help but realize that my family’s legacy continues as Christ-followers. Just recently, my husband Stan and I have pledged to fund the renovation of a Cascadian room in memory of his folks.
All but six of the thirty Cascadian rooms have been funded or pledged, providing the dollars needed for renovating the rooms. Would you be interested in funding a room? Please join us in making this facility top-notch and ready to serve the next generation. It’s an amazing way to remember or honor a loved one. Just give me a call, Nancy Nelson, at (360) 312-3979.Add a comment
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Our opportunity to tell you thank you!
We invite you to join us in a time of appreciation as we honor you, our partners, for the important role you play in keeping this ministry strong and growing. Please give us the opportunity to say thank you, to share what we’ve done with your investments of time and money, and to take a look at where God is leading us in this ministry.
Please join us as our guests on Saturday, May 13, at 6 pm in the Camp’s Program Center Auditorium for a delicious dinner, and special music by the Roosevelt Road Band. We will also share testimonies and reports on what God is doing through the ministry of Warm Beach Camp. Doors will open at 5:30 pm.
You will be receiving an invitation card in the mail soon with more information, but please put the date on your calendar now.
The people who stand with us as volunteers and donors, our Partners in Ministry members, have a huge impact on the ministry of Warm Beach Camp. Come as we celebrate in the joy of the victories God has given us.
I hope to see you there!
Please note: reservations are required. Please help us prepare by making your reservations by May 6. You may reserve your place now by emailing the names of the people coming in your party to email@example.com, or by calling the Camp at 1-800-228-6724.Add a comment
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The minute a camper arrives at Special Friends Day Camp, they are celebrated — the way we all wish we were — with unabashed enthusiasm and acceptance. Lines of campers and “buddies” form on either side and cheer the arrival of every camper. Every day starts off with a celebration.
Summer can’t come soon enough for these Special Friends day campers. Special Friends Day Camp is for special needs adults ages 15 and up. Our campers never age out of the program, and many come back for multiple weeks year after year to see their friends and to have a great time.
Special Friends Camp is all about “fun without limits.” We always try to say “Yes, you can!” and help campers do all the things they want to do at camp.
But we can’t do it without volunteers. We need 45-50 volunteers each week. Would you consider being a “Buddy” (volunteer counselor) for a special needs camper this summer? You can sign up for a single week or for multiple weeks, depending on your schedule. Training takes place on Sunday and Monday each week, and then you spend Tuesday through Friday with your camper.
You are welcome to stay overnight at camp for the week you are volunteering. Accommodations are rustic, but lots of fun! You can even volunteer as a family, or as a group. Counselors need to be at least 15 years old, but we have some support positions for younger volunteers accompanied by an adult.Add a comment
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Here is the latest news on the Camp’s current projects:
- The final push for completing the renovation project in Cedar Lodge Chapel began on March 13. The work being done includes new texture and paint for the ceiling, and new lighting. As soon as weather permits, a new roof will be put down on this wing of Cedar Lodge. What a difference this project is making! Be sure to take a peek in the Chapel the next time you are on the grounds. This will complete the three phases of renovation in Cedar Lodge that were part of the Embracing the Vision Campaign.
- Across Marine Drive from the main Camp entrance, land has been cleared to expand the parking lot for The Lights of Christmas. Once permits are in-hand, this parking area will be completed. The Camp is working hard to keep up with an ever-increasing need for parking spaces for this event.
- A new sidewalk will be installed next month that will connect Cedar Lodge Chapel with the Program Center. This will help when large groups of campers move between Cedar Lodge to the Program Center. The last few years, there has been only one sidewalk available to use between buildings. Along with this project, the old Snack Shop building will be torn down, and the model train house moved to a new location.
New flooring has been installed in the Bayview Ranch House dining room. As time allows, new flooring will also be installed in Glacier and Whistler Mini-Lodges, and Abbot and Warner houses. Besides this, crews will paint the interiors of Glacier and Whistler Mini-Lodges, Maple Center, and the W-Bar-B Dorm Cabins this spring, getting them ready for summer.
- The new playground equipment that will replace the old “Big Toy” playground structure (pictured at right) is scheduled to be installed in May. Funding for this project is not yet complete, but, for safety, the old equipment must be replaced as soon as possible. The new commercial-grade playground equipment is designed for children aged 5 to 12, and has a capacity of up to 50 youngsters at a time. The equipment includes slides, climbing apparatus, as well as ground level elements that children with mobility challenges can also enjoy.
If you are interested in volunteering to help with any projects, whether you have a few hours or a few days, call Jessica Wilson at (360) 312-3417 or send her an email.
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In the same way people were trying to trap Jesus, we often trap ourselves. Self-sabotage is something all of us develop and fine tune in response to vulnerabilities and brokenness in our lives. Think about it… Jesus says, “I love you,” and we might fire back with, “I don’t like me, how can You love me?”
Jesus says He has two things for us to focus on: Loving God and having compassion for people. In effect He is saying, “Love God with everything you’ve got.” He wants us to go all in.
Here is what I have come to know: It is only by going all in to God’s love and compassion for people that life begins to hold together with integrity, meaning and purpose. When I jump all the way into God’s love, I begin to know, experience and incorporate His visionary view of me.
Over time, His visionary view of me takes hold in my life and it changes me. I become more and more of His view for my life. As this takes place my love for people increases. My desire to make a difference in their lives grows. Compassion flows, barriers are broken, and risks rooted in compassion are taken to bless and encourage.
When you are tempted to sabotage yourself, choose Jesus’ two greatest responses.
Check back next month for Part 3 of this series.
Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center
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Are you looking for the perfect Spring Break activity for the young horse-lover in your family? Warm Beach Horsemanship now offers Spring Horse Day Camp, April 4-7, 2017, for youth ages 8-15. Campers will experience loving and caring for a horse of their own while they grow in their faith, friendships, and horsemanship skill.
Each day from 9am to 4pm, campers will learn about horses and work directly with a horse that is carefully selected just for them. Campers will be grouped in small classes of six, according to riding experience, and receive quality instruction that will boost their confidence and horsemanship ability. Set amidst a beautiful environment overlooking Port Susan Bay at Warm Beach Camp in Stanwood, days are filled with riding lessons, trail rides, and horse science. Campers learn safe horse handling practices and the basics of grooming, saddling, and caring for a horse. Equestrian vaulting and mounted games add a spark of extra fun and new experiences in horsemanship. Cowboy chapels demonstrate biblical principles through the relationship of horse and rider.
Horseback riding teaches many valuable life skills such as respect, empathy, responsibility, and personal discipline. Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) trained staff carefully supervise and direct all of the campers’ activities making camp fun and personally enriching for each camper.
More information and registration can be found at WBCHorsemanship.com. Limited space is available, so register today!Add a comment
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The Church in South Korea is inspiring. With a fraction of the population of America, it is the second largest missionary-sending country in the world just behind America! Korean Christians are some of the most passionate of any in the world.
Nevertheless, only 30% of Koreans express faith in Christ. Korean Christians are working hard to reach their fellow citizens. One of the effective means of reaching Koreans with the Gospel is through English language learning.
Myungsun Presbyterian Church, just outside of Seoul, has an extensive outreach through English ministry. The key to their success is an annual summer English Camp in South Korea and a Summer American Immersion here in the Pacific Northwest. Warm Beach Camp partners with Myungsun to send a team of 15-20 American youth and adults to South Korea to work with them in ministry. And each summer, 30 Korean young people attend a week of Warm Beach summer camp as part of their American cultural experience.
This year, the Warm Beach Camp mission team will serve in South Korea August 1-14, 2017. They will join 20 Korean young people who will rapidly immerse the team in Korean culture and build effective teamwork. Once oriented, the team will join Korean hosts in ministry to the homeless, English day camp at a local church, and a week-long English Camp. The experience is truly a ministry immersion with our Korean hosts.
English Camp is a multi-level ministry to campers, high school students, and young adult partners. It combines English language learning with camp-style games, crafts, music, and sports. Along with ministry to elementary-age campers, Korean and American High School students enter a leadership track where they will assist with the camp and spend time in Biblical leadership studies led by the US Team Pastor.
The Warm Beach Camp mission team recruits eight adults (18 yrs+) and 8-12 teens (ages 14-18). The adults lead English classes and are mentors to the teens on the team. American team members also lead or assist with activity rotations such as games, crafts, and music. Curriculum and activity guides are provided.
The Lord always reaches deeply into the hearts of his people as we go and engage in the work He calls us to. Saying “Yes” to Jesus when he calls us to go is the first step in a journey of transformation.Add a comment
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It happened a long time ago in the middle of a debate. A new leader had shown up on the scene, but he was not known and vetted through traditional channels. He was known for the incredible things he did and the unusual authority he spoke with. People were drawn to him.
The establishment did not know what to do with him. He made outlandish claims. He did not pass through their institutions of learning. And yet, people were drawn to him. Some even said the hearts of the people were being won by him.
The establishment decided to trap him with their great intellect and knowledge. He needed to be discredited. The people needed to learn he was a fraud. So, in the middle of a debate where people were asking him questions, the “loaded” question was asked:
Which law is the most important to keep?
The establishment knew if he preferred one law over any other, they could discredit him and tarnish his reputation. It was a simple question. It was a loaded question. It was a baited question.
He responded with two statements that had nothing to do with the law, and yet, all of the law is held together and fulfilled through these two statements:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Jesus spoke these words to the religious leaders of the day in response to the Law of Moses. In effect, He was saying, no law can be enforced in a useful way without a deep love for God and great compassion for people. These are the prerequisites for holding anything together in a helpful way.
To every follower of Christ, Jesus’ words have become known as the two greatest commandments.
Check back in a month for part 2 of this series.
Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center
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The year was 1997 and a brand new event opened for the first time at Warm Beach Camp — The Lights of Christmas.
As December arrived, no one quite knew what to expect. The Camp had never done an event like this before. Would anyone come? The idea of a Christmas event at Warm Beach Camp was brand new to people. What was this “lights thing” that the Camp was doing? Boasting a half-million lights and open just 12 nights, the event drew 20,000 people that first year!
Now, 20 years later, the question isn’t will anyone come. The question always is, “How many people will attend?” Since The Lights of Christmas began, nearly one million people have attended! Today, this is the largest Christmas festival in the Pacific Northwest. And, for the fourth time, The Lights has been selected as one of the Top 100 Events (see page 38) in all of North America by the American Bus Association, the association of tour bus operators!
There are a few special features this year to help celebrate the 20th year. A new entrance archway with computer-controlled lighting animation will welcome guests. A new gift shop is opening this year in the Starry Night Coffee House to replace Harbor Lights Gifts. There is a new Gingerbread House that is a great backdrop for a photo of your family and friends. The décor is being updated in several locations, and don’t miss the 10-foot-tall elk standing on a hill!
This December, I hope you have an opportunity to come help us celebrate the birth of the Christ Child, and the 20th birthday of The Lights of Christmas.Add a comment