meet the taters

The Tater’s family are a memorable family. I was introduced to the highly dysfunctional Tater family and their ongoing saga through Travis Huseby at Checkpoint Bible Camp. Here is a glimpse of the Tater Family:

Uncle Common Tater

He is no common Tater!? Common has the gift of gab. He makes a living in broadcasting and is good at communicating. He is certainly a chatter box outside the press box. He always has a story to share, and people are interested in hearing him ramble about random happenings.

When you get to know Common you will quickly observe that he does a lot of talking, but not a lot of walking. His bark is louder than his bite. In fact, he is a Sweet Tater, never saying anything bad about anyone. He is certainly a people pleaser. Common could be a mighty spokemen for God’s glory, rather he is ashamed of the gospel of Christ [Romans 1:16-17; 10:14-17].

Speck Tater

Speck is the father of the family. He is intelligent, dedicated to his job, pays the bills, but is not particularly outgoing on the home front. He is the dad you see on the sidelines. Speck is not doing much to support his Tater’s, much like his father Hesi Tater. He is one dud of a spud.

Speck, as Pa-Tater, needs to get off the bench and into the game before time runs out and life has past him by. His family is his most important responsibility. His greatest impact as a father is to train up his children in the ways of God [Proverbs 22:6], and modeling Christ’s through his loving and committed marriage. This cannot be done by passive spectating [Ephesians 6:4], but by active husbandry and priority parenting.

Ima Tater

Ima is the decorated daughter of the family. She is no darling. She models and mimics the world. Her friends often sway her opinions. Roe Tater, her best friend, switches boyfriends weekly, complains about not having enough, and brags about spoiled habits. She is swoon by current fads, trends, and teen idols [aka: Idol Tater].

An idol is anything you worship, and what we worship we become. An idol can be a material possession, a feeling, a person of interest, a place of comfort, or anything that captivates your heart. The Bible says to imitate Christ [1 Corinthians 11:1], and to destroy all idols before they destroy you [Isaiah 40-49].

Agi Tater

Agi is the always angry son who must have inherited the spicy Irish Tater genes. He tends to mash, scalp, or fry any Tater that gets in the way of his plans. His parents blame his bad behavior on Iri Tator, a bullish friend at school.

Agi is self-centered, never wrong, and a big-headed boaster. When things are not going his way you will surely hear about it. Can Agi gain control of his anger? Anger itself is not sinful [Ephesians 4:22ff]. In fact, anger is a God-given emotion that can be used for glorious means in defeating sin and choosing righteousness. Followers of Christ can learn how to control their anger [Titus 2:11-15].

Regurgi Tater

We all call him, Reggie. He is the younger brother [aka: Tater Tot] who tends to tattle tail. He hurls up information quicker than a baby spews up their bottle. Reggie’s feed off of gossips and lies for his own satisfaction [1 Peter 2:1]. The tongue is like a wild fire. A little spark can do a lot of damage [James 3:1-12].

In the Scripture the word often referring to regurgitation is meditation. The Bible says as followers of Christ we must meditate on God’s Word by: reciting it [Psalm 119:11], reviewing it [2 Timothy 2:15], and renewing our minds by it [Romans 12:1-12]. When we think about God’s Word and chew on it we are reminded that other people are created in God’s image and defaming them offends God.

Gravi Tater

Gravi is the mama of the spud bunch. She is large and in charge. If mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy. Big mama has control and stay out of her way. Everyone agrees that she takes after her father, Dick Tater. She can certainly be a Sweet Tater when she wants to be. Even as her family is falling apart, she finds a way to contribute by butting herself into everybody’s business. She could be using her magnetizing clout to bring everyone together in unity [Ephesians 4:1-16].

The Tater family does have serious issues. If we were honest we probably see some of the Tater family in our families. My suggestion is that the Tater’s go to Counsel Tater [aka: Pastor Ed U. Tater]. Their they will discover the root issue is sin. Sin is like a bruise or spoil that needs to be cut off or it will infect the the Tater if not the batch of Tater’s. Unfortunately our sin affects others around us, especially those in our immediate family or church [cf. Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12]. Deal with sin swiftly by lovingly confronting it and helping in the change process. Through God’s grace the Tater family can begin to learn from their Creator how to live in His image [Genesis 1:26-27].

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touch the knot

Camp Photo

I had to depart from Checkpoint Bible Camp mid-week to head to the Congo. I praise the Lord for the 7 decisions for Christ that were given at camp this year. What a great group of staff and leadership!! 2010 cannot come soon enough!! Our new location in Buffalo, IN was perfect. We look forward to growing our camp from 60 to 100 junior camper and adding a Middle School camp next year.

Touching the knot comes from a tree on the campground that has a gigantic knot that looks like a brain. It is now the new camper initiation to “touch the knot”.

Shakamak 09

DSCN2521

It was a lot of fun teaching the Word at Shakamak Bible camp this summer. This week I spoke to a group of 200 teenagers at Shakamak Bible Camp. I love camp.

The theme of the camp was “extreme makeover: spiritual edition” which had a thrust of encouraging the teens to live within the refining fires of God’s plan. I was encouraged by the number of teens desiring to live for God. We had a great group of senior campers. It was a privilege to talk with many about their lives, faith and God. I am encouraged there are so many teens that desire to walk with God and make a difference for Him. I am praying that God would use these teens to shake their schools, work places, homes and youth groups from Christ. Fear God, not man.

shakamak

Wow, I am still trying to catch up on sleep from Shakamak Bible Camp this past week!!

All I can say is AWESOME. That word totally gets over used and has diminished in value, but it truly expresses who God is and what He accomplished this week at Camp.

Great speakers: Pink Davis delivered some passionate theology in the AM on redemption, reconciliation, and regeneration. Jason Thompson clearly proclaimed in the PM the awesomeness of God in salvation and security.

Great Counselors: the counselors really made my “el director” duties rather easy. They stepped it up and were right in there getting muddy with the teens.

Great Teens: we had near 220 campers and 120 senior camps. Nothing to whine about…they were incredibly fun, attentive and boisterous.

Great God: overall over a dozen committed their lives to Christ for the first time, and many dealt with specific sins in their life that they’ve been struggle with!!

Thanks for another great week of summer camp!

camp potawatomi

We just finished our first ever week of Potawatomi Bible Camp. We had 51 campers!! What an answer to prayer to see the vision we [Dan Nave, Scott Tiede, and me] prayed about over a year ago come to fruition.

We were able to see God do some amazing things this week. Uncle Charlie of Children’s Bible Hour was our speaker. It was a joy to watch this aged man related to the kids. We had 3 campers begin a relationship with Jesus Christ as their Savior!! It made the week so worth it.

We had to end camp a day early because of the an issue with bats inside the cabins. We were told that the bats would not be a problem when we arrived earlier in the week. Sunday afternoon we had a larger work crew help clean the cabins and chase any varmints out of the cabins with great success. Campers arrived later on Monday afternoon. Monday night we had a few cases of bats in the cabins. Tuesday we plugged holes, but that night we again had more bats. In fact, there were more that 20+ bats in one of the cabins. We had a DNR naturalist come that afternoon that shared with us bats are harmless and are not the rabies-infested-beasts we claim them to be. Out of protection for the kids we decided it would best to let the kids go home early. No more guano!!

Lesson: It doesn’t take a week to see God work nor do bats and bugs distract His Spirit from impacting lives!! Praise the LORD for a great week of Camp!

Remember K.E.I.T.H.

I remember working at a camp a few summers back. They had this slogan, “Remember KEITH”. I always thought it was silly until I heard the story behind it. Keith was your normal bouncing off the wall kid that you wanted to hang by his undies from the flag pole. Even though you never could have because of stupid CPS laws, you treated him different because of his attitude. All along Keith was looking for positive attention. I didnt know Keih and Keith didnt know me. Throughout the week I started to know Keith. His family was disfunctional, his faith was confused, he struggled in school, etc. He just wanted someone to listen…he wanted someone to believe in him…he wanted to really believe in God.

Keith might be like a lot of kids you know. He might even be you. “Remember KEITH” was a slogan to help remind us adults that their are a lot of Keiths out there so be…KindElasticIntegrityTimelyHospitable