"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." - James 1:22

Thursday, July 7, 2016


Well I don’t know what kind of quality there will be in this update. It was certainly a whirlwind day. It got kicked off with a loss of power for the entire camp at about 4am this morning. It remained out through 9am chapel this morning. (There were bad storms in the area. We did not get the rain but we got the wind. John said that a large tree fell over and took out the lines. )  That situation made chapel interesting in a good way. We sat outside on the pavement near the activity center for chapel service. The morning was cool and it was a good experience. Steve Pettit continued using the examples Joseph learned through his own sufferings as example of what we should do ourselves. He mentioned being a servant because a servant’s goal is to make others successful. Our goal as teen leaders is to make sure each member of TOTAL is successful in their walk with the Lord. Your goal of a church member is to be a servant for the Lord ensuring the Marler Road Baptist Church is successful delivering the gospel in our area…you see the point. Joseph teaches us patience and to be humble.

Power came back around 10’ish. We had a good day weather wise. Slightly cooler and mostly cloudy which was a welcomed change from the heat we have had the last couple of days.

During our Family Reunion time, several of the teens mentioned that today’s chapel was one of their favorite messages thus far this week. Scotty’s not over here typing….he’s over there whistling something….so I’m going to brag on him a little. He does such a great job during Family Reunion time. In such good way he can encourage, emphasize and teach the teens in the short time we have them all together during Family Reunion. He make ensures this time’s focus is Spiritual. I’ve told him before, but I will put it in print, I appreciate our teen leader Scotty Sparks!

Later in the morning the teens had their God & I Time and well as follow-up to that God & I time.

After lunch the kids got to enjoy a lot of free time. I watched some tubing, Big Swing, Basketball, crafts…I could go on. I also watched three of our guys do the paintball. It was very fun to watch, but if they get called up to go fight for our country, we may be in trouble. I saw a lot of shooting but not much hitting,

Going too long here….we lost power again this evening right before the evening service. When this happens, they use a couple of small generators to run one spot light and the sound system. They open the doors and you hope for a breeze. It got hot but the service was good. I’ll let you ask your teen about tonight’s message. Remind them it is the one without power. The electricity came back on right near the end of the service.

I do thank God for His blessings, for this camp, and for our teens. God is Good.


This was certainly an action packed day. Today was stuffed full of activities or the teens. They hiked to the falls, rode the zip line had lake time. They also had a long break to do whatever they wanted. Several were in the craft shop, in the creek, on the big swing, the big slide and on and on. You name it, our kids did it. I’m glad they are taking in everything The Wilds has to offer.

Most importantly they are having quality time with God. Memory verses, Cabin Devotions, Chapel, Christian Life Seminars, God & I Time and the evening service every day.  I enjoy being with them during these sessions. They help me every bit as much as the teens. One of my most favorite sessions is the Christian Life Seminar.

I challenge you who read this update to ask your teen about a few (or all) of these sessions listed above. See which one they liked best. Ask them who the speaker was. Ask them what the message was about. Ask them what God taught them during the session. Ask them about any decision they made due to something they heard or learned during them. There is a lot of material for quality spiritual conversation to be had. It will help them to put into action at home the things they thought about or decided here when they have their family members as their accountability partners.

Today’s Chapel service was “God Will Always Be With Us”. Teens are Studying Joseph and using his life proving this fact that God will always be with us like He was with Joseph.

Christian Life Seminar was taught by camp favorite Willie. He spoke about the importance of not quitting church. He provided the statistics of how many 20 year olds drift away from church after they graduate high school. He gave many real life relevant points. I always appreciate and enjoy the way Willie teaches.

The evening service with Steve Pettit dealt with Why You Must Be Born Again. It was very good food for thought and several teens in the service moved during invitation time. I hope someone accepted Him tonight.

Wednesday night always brings Fun Time after the evening service. High quality, funny skits which are very entertaining. Every year they us some sponsors in one of the skits on in some way. Usually to make fun of them. Scotty got it this year. You can ask him what happened. After fun time the teens got pizza, donuts and soft drinks if they wanted them with a sponsor dunk contest. Scotty and I are too old to be eating pizza at 10:30 pm so we left that to the younger stomachs.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


I think I have mentioned this every year, but for those newbies that may not have read posts in years past, I have a favorite prayer spot at The Wilds. There is a small lake on the property. On the top end is the area for swimming and play. There is a large tower to jump off of, small zip lines to jump into the water from, a small tube slide, climbing wall, basketball goals and greatest of all the blob.  A lot of screaming, splashing, jumping and fun is had at the top of the lake. The bottom of the lake is reserved for the kayaking, paddle boats and canoes. These activities keep the waters churned as well. But, in the morning, you crest a small hill at the bottom of the lake that is normally reserved for the boats. The water has stilled to a glass like surface overnight. Only the sparkle caused by those little bugs that zip along the surface can be seen. The sun comes up straight in front of you reflecting off of the water. Most mornings, there is an evaporative fog lifting. There is my place at The Wilds where I like to speak to God. Scotty and I took full advantage of the beautiful spot to pray for each of our teens individually and specifically this morning. I know that prayers don’t rise any quicker from that spot, but there is just something about it.

Anyway, we enjoyed our first full day at The Wilds. Many activities were enjoyed. I hope you are enjoying the picture being posted. As with all years, we will begin posting fewer and fewer each day. So, no evil eyes please.

Teens are active in their Chapel and God and I Time of the mornings and had another big field game together called Field Yatzee this evening.

JBC kids are all doing well. Christy checks on each often and all are having fun. Scotty joined Christy in the JBC evening service this evening while I was with the teens on the field. Mark Herbster is speaking to the JCB again this year.

We just returned from the teen evening service a few minutes ago.
I really enjoyed the message tonight. Simple but deep. Can those two descriptions go together? Steve Pettit spoke to the teens about, “How Do You Overcome Sin?” He gave us the Triple A’s to accomplish this.
·         Accept – We must believe
·         Admit – There must be an honest confession
·         Act – We must make a decisive choice to leave sin.
Kinda funny story to leave you with for tonight. During some teen cabin sessions today, the sponsors had the opportunity to ride the new zip line that stretches across 3rd Falls. Scotty and I were about 8th to go off. We heard some rumblings of thunder off in the distance. Dark clouds began moving our way. When we were close to our turn it started to rain a little. We get to the block to get attached to the line. It starts raining a lot. One would think they would say, “We better hold off, or wait or anything but….OK sit down on your harness and take off.” When we looked out, the heavens had opened. White sheets of rain completely obscured the landing zone on the other side of the mountain. However, there we went. The rain was no hard and the speed of the zip line was so fast that I literally could not catch my breath on the ride over. Once on the other side the rain slacked a little and the ride back was more enjoyable. Needless to say, we were soaked through and through.


We often pray and ask. Each time, God gives us an answer to our prayer. Some times that answer may be a “no”, but the prayer is answered. Many times we ask but fail to thank God or answering the request. So, I want to thank God for getting us to The Wilds safely this evening. I want to thank Him for keeping the vans and trailer together mechanically, thank him for good traveling weather, thank Him for letting Scotty drive the boys’ van…heard it was loud : )   {that may be a run-on sentence….sorry Jill. She cringes over improper grammar.} Now our prayer is that our kids and all of the kids at camp this week grow Spiritually. We are asking God to save those who are lost most of all and help those who are hurting at home. We want those strong in the faith to draw closer to Him.

I want to share another huge answer to prayer. As most of you know Ally lives with diabetes. I was truly impressed how smart she is with maintaining her numbers. On the trip up, she was reading snack labels for the numbers. This would tell her is she should or could eat it. However, there is huge understandable apprehension from “mom” with her kid going to camp for a week with this added responsibility. God has all things big and small under control. Ally’s cabin counselor is a nursing student….how about that??? Better yet, upon check-in, the camp nurse along with Ally, Christy, the cabin counselor all made a conference call with Megan and spelled out exactly what would happen this week. The nurse is actually going to go in every night for a night reading and text it to Megan, as well as the daily routine. God is good!!!!

And what a lead in to tonight’s message from Steve Pettit. Preacher Pettit is preaching this week about “Is God Good?” Scotty and I were just discussing this message. On the surface we all say….”Yes, God is good.” But, do we really think about and realize that everything comes from His goodness. Because of His goodness, all things are possible.

Most times I provide the outline to the message. But, tonight I am going to leave you with two thoughts from the message:

Never under estimate the generosity of God.

The goodness of God is to lead you to repentance.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Camp Wilds Thursday Recap

Well, as I type this, I just walked the hill up from the bottom where we enjoyed a night game of Tic Tac Challenge. I noticed that some of you joined and watched some of the action live on the Periscope App. Isn't that cool !!! I love it when we can use technology for the good in which God intended it. Scotty and I would definitely like to have your feedback on that live feed. It took a little fanagaling (its a word!) to figure it out and get it going. So, tell us what you think. After the night game teens sprinted across the field to either get in line for Pizza, Donuts & drinks or to get in line for the Giant Swing, Small Zip Line, Putt Putt. Lauren and Caitlyn got in line in time to ride the Giant Swing. This was Lauren's first time and it was at night!. Sarah & Emily sprinted for a night ride of the Land Trolley (Zip Line). Others just "hung out" and ate.

We were able to enjoy family reunion time with the Juniors at JBC today and then also got to do the same thing with our teens.  Again, if you did not join in live on Periscope at that time, you can still download the free app, follow TOTALMRBC and watch them. The videos stay on there for some amount of time....we are not sure. Family Reunion is always a special time to pull all of them together and see what the Lord is doing for each of them.

I hit the wall today....very tired and hurting. I could tell the teens were tired also. Most of them were down there with me a few minutes ago hanging out and we were all comparing our ills. We sounded like a nursing home day room. I was complaining about my back and feet hurting, Courtney side and neck, Travis all over, Kenzie was just peeling paint off her face, all the others had something that was aching....anyway...All of us were ready to head to our cabins for some rest.

Again, I am not going to detail each service but I will give you a little in case you want to have your teens tell you about it.

Chapel was on "Relationships Matter"  Matthew 5:21-26

Evening Service: To Live a life for Christ, you must....

We were not able to make it my favorite lessons, the Christian Life Seminar today because we had a sponsor session. Ask your teen what Thursday was about. They are always good practical, biblical lessons.

I am going to mention a little about our Sponsor Session with Will Galkin. After I came out of that session I asked Scotty if I had a bull's eye on my back. I don't think the other 50 sponsors who were there needed to come because Will was preaching to me. It is very beneficial for us as sponsors coming to the Wilds. We get fed spiritually just like the teens. Many times we can exclaim "amen" many more times we have to say "oh me!".  Today I was saying, "oh me" a bunch. 
God's Word Liberates
God's Word Illuminates
God's Word Stabilizes
But he spoke on God's Word Revives

Quicken (or Revive) Me Lord.....
 - Because I have forgotten your Word
 - Because I have forgotten that it is to be obeyed
 - Because I am so distracted
 - Because I am so frustrated
 - Because I am so hurt
 - Because I want to enjoy God today


That quote above is an "oh me" for each of us I am sure.

I  can't believe tomorrow is the last day. This week has truly flown by. I am looking forward to what tomorrow holds.

Oh yeah....I had a first for me. I played a game of paintball with Matthew. Great time!. Those paint balls do hurt. I went to take my shower a little later in the afternoon and found a red skid mark across my thigh where one of those paintballs got me. I'm sure it is a bruise by now.

Also a thanks for Amanda's mom, dad, sis & nephew along with Salem came up for a visit today. It was good to see them.

We continue to pray everyday for our teens. We hope you are doing the same!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Camp Wilds Wednesday Recap

We welcomed in July in big fashion today. I can witness to the fact that the teens are having a great time. They are being fed the Word via several different avenues throughout the day. We are praying for those "lasting" decision to be made, those real life changers. It is very easy for us as adults to make a decision of some kind whether it be big or small only to see it fizzle out. Think back over the years (for some of us that takes more thinking than for others) over those New Year's resolutions you made to yourself. How many of those good, even great intentions are you still doing? Tough huh??? It is the same for the teens. They can make a decision here at camp with great intentions only to see it vapor away after they get back into their routine. But, those "life changers" will stick with them.

Keep praying for our teens as well as all of the teens here this week. Most of all for salvation !!!! But, also for the home lives and things that some of the teens that are here this week have to go through every day. Scotty, Christy and I had prayer time together this morning. We were able to pray over the cards that are filled out on every camper by their leaders. Some of the things that are checked on the cards and written in explanation would break your heart. You would not think a person at such a young age would ever be facing such severe situations.

I am thankful for the what the teens learn here during the week. One of the teens told me today as we were walking all the way from the basketball courts, around the Giant Swing, by the putt putt course, across the big field, behind the Activity Center to get in the water to go tubing that she can still remember the verses that she learned from several years ago. Isn't that great! One day God will put her into a situation or open a door that she we be able to recall that verse or verses that will be used to help her or someone to God's glory. Each of our teens are getting that this week. Thankfully they come from a great church that instills that same Word into them through Sunday School, Kings Kinds and TOTAL.  I described the path we took above for those that have been to this special place in the past. When I was describing it, I'll bet you were picturing yourself right here. You new exactly how and where we were walking. Am I right???

Our Juniors are having a great time.I caught them while they were on the Giant Slide. They both braved it (as I guess you saw on the Twitter pics). Both were nervous but after the first ride, they climbed the stairs to do it again. Nothing but smiles. 

We had surprise guests today. We would like to thank Tammy Stone along with Melissa and Kyle for making the trek up to the Wilds today. We had sat down on the field near the volleyball courts in the grass for our picnic lunch. The teens had joined us and up walked Tammy & crew. They were able to tour the camp and enjoy time with the teens. 

We experienced a new group game today. Though staff said they have played this game before, none of us nor the teens have ever heard of it. It was called Water Wars. All of the games, and there were several, were played at the lake simultaneously. It was amazing to watch and was big fun. Scotty and I decided that we're are going to have to install a big pond behind the church so we can do some of these games with our group. Rachel....add that to the agenda for the next business meeting please.

Several of our teens had the opportunity today to experience the new Zip Line that I described yesterday. The remaining teens will have that opportunity tomorrow. No one who rode it came away disappointed.

We had a great meal for supper today and then had a blast at Funtime after the evening service.

I am not going to synopsis the services. I you would like to talk with your teen about them...

Chapel was again in Matthew 5 where Jesus was affirming his connection to the contents and commands of the Old Testament.

Christian Life Seminar was on Entertainment

Evening Service was on the assurance of Salvation. How you can truly know you are saved.

Our appologies for the Periscope Live broadcast not working this afternoon. We tested it yesterday "up top" and it worked fine. We were going to broadcast "down below" near the Activity Center where they have wifi and the signal is strong. However, the phone app was saying "Signal Too Weak". Go figure. Our intent was to broadcast then and there because the teens usually congrat with us there before entering the evening service. We would have all or most right there for you to see live. We are going to try again using the cellular service and see if that works better.

I slept great last night and I am getting ready to go duplicate that action right now.

Until tomorrow Marler Roaders....................................

Day 2 & 3 Wilds Pics

Here is just a sampling of a few pictures from days 2 & 3 remember to follow us on twitter, the link can be found on the right side of the page.