#TBTB#TBT – 2/5/15

ThrowBack Thursday TBT

Christians disagree on the amount of control our government should have on weapons. Some see safety in restraint; others see governmental exploitation.

Wherever you land on the debate, you must be discerning.

Have you ever considered what history as to say on the matter? Check out “Assault Swords” by AMBrewster.


WildHeart Adventure Camp


I love the outdoors!

I garden, keep bees, hunt, hike, camp, rock climb, ski . . . I love it all. I especially enjoy survival training.

WildHeart Adventure Camp combines two things that mean a lot to me: God’s Truth and the outdoors.

Victory Academy is a non-profit organization that ministers to young men in the spacious woods of Wisconsin. It’s a beautiful place where truly beautiful work is done for families. Victory runs this 4 WEEK camp with the goal of teaching young men how to survive and enjoy the creation God has given them.

This means far more than merely starting fires.

True success only comes by being grounded in God’s absolute, unchanging truth.

WildHeart works their three “S’s” into everything they do. Whether white-water rafting, camping, or rock climbing, the boys learn the importance of Service, Skills, and Spirit.

Check out their promotional video here and then click through to the WildHeart website for more information.

Here’s an excerpt from their material:

WildHeart Adventure Camp grew out of a burden from God to train young men as leaders in three vital areas:

Service“- because true Biblical leadership is servant-leadership. Incorporated with the whole program is an emphasis on using the skills learned to serve others. From the first aid training to rock climbing, all skills are taught in a way that helps our guys focus on others first. This aspect is a robust part of the spiritual teaching and growth they will experience as well. I Peter 4:10, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:”

Skills” – because a young man needs to be challenged in areas where he is weak or ignorant so he learns to seek and listen to wisdom. This will help him be a lifelong learner continually seeking wisdom. Proverbs 3 says, “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold.”

Spirit” – because training a young man to pursue God, love him and others first prepares him for a life of godliness and Biblical leadership. I Timothy 6:11, “But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.”

The program consists of four weeks of adventure camping throughout the northern woods of Wisconsin and the south eastern woods of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We utilize many state parks, public water areas as well as adventure organization facilities. 

Each week includes training in each facet of our core values. From trail development to physical training to swimming and backpacking, our campers never have trouble falling asleep at night.  Along with intense spiritual teaching, one on one discipleship and individual studies in the Bible, we mix a strong dose of adventure fun including paintball, rappelling and whitewater rafting just to name a few.

Service projects make up part of the schedule as well as we help with local church projects, the elderly and other non-profit organizations. 

Your son will experience life changing growth and leave with fantastic memories of a summer that helped him transition toward godly manhood while enjoying exciting outdoor adventure in the beautiful north woods. 

For Your Consideration:

“Let’s Learn from Creation”

Before He made man, God made dirt.
The first job He ordained? Gard’ner.
Yet the stain we all hate
Is the substance from which we were made,
And the job we refuse
Is the one man requires for food.

Children of Light cannot grow
Without the desire to know
More about the world God created.
How sad for a child separated
From the earth his Lord proclaimed, “Good.”
Let’s all reconnect with the wood.

Let’s see in the chaff and the wheat
Lessons ordained for this week.
Let us learn from the sparrow
That our Father will not suffer
His children, forgotten to cry.
Let’s learn from the ant to be wise.

Don’t bother to hug the rough bark.
You needn’t picket or build a new ark.
But take every chance that is there
To enjoy what the Heavens declare
About God Who chose to make sand,
And from it, create His first man.


Let's Learn from Creation

Assault Swords


I was teaching bo (a six-foot staff) this morning and mentioned to my students that most of the wooden weapons martial artists train with today were created by ancient people because their governments forbade them from having weapons with sharp points and edges (swords, spears, knives). I then had to reflect on the insanity of some of the arguments I’ve heard over this gun debate.

I’ve heard people say that hundreds of years ago when the constitution was written the guns were muskets. The “assault weapons” we have today were never in the minds of the founding fathers when they wrote the second amendment.

Tell that to the ancient Asian cultures who weren’t allowed to own any swords or knives! Or explain that to the ancient Israelites who weren’t even allowed to have sharp farming implements!

This has nothing to do with how dangerous the weapon is because no weapon is truly harmful in the hands of the right people. The real issue is “Who gets to have the swords?”

Don’t buy into the propaganda that the clip size, children’s safety, or “assault” weapons are the issue. Even when there were no guns on the entire planet, dictatorial governments tried to strip their people of the strongest weapons they had . . . not to protect the people, but to control them.

We’ve seen this trick before. When will we start learning from history?


The New Me: Part 4, “A Christian Ninja”

The first year I was at Bethel Baptist Church my responsibilities seemed to change with the seasons. Actually, “change” isn’t the right word. Perhaps the best word is “grew.” Fall ’07: 6th grade teacher. Summer ’08: 6th grade teacher and Camp Director. Fall ’08: 6th grade teacher and Camp Director and Martial Arts Instructor.

I started training in Tang Soo Do in 1992. I earned my first black belt in ’98. This year (2012) marked my 20th year in the martial arts. I’ve been teaching for 17 years, I’ve studied 10 different styles, and I’ve earned black belts in 3 of those styles. I am currently working toward my 5th degree in Tiger Ryu Ninjutsu. SCS knew all about my training, and we talked briefly when I was hired about the possibility of starting a program. I didn’t think it would happen for a loooooong while. Seriously, what Christian school has their own karate program? As Day Camp wound down and my second year of teaching grew near, one of the pastoral staff members got it in his head that I needed to start a martial arts program that fall! By God’s grace, in one month I went from nothing to a full-on curriculum. During the day I taught my new brood of 6th graders, and after school I ran over to the gym to meet my “little ninjas.” Of course, our curriculum has changed many times over the past years, but I thank the Lord that when my first students walked in the door they were greeted by a no-holds-barred, full-scale martial arts program. Side note: There are some things that don’t need to be prayed about. If there is a need, and God has gifted you in that area . . . fill the need!

I spoke with my pastor and told him I expected about 40 students. God gave me 80. With twice as many students, my wife was able to quit her job and stay home full-time with our son. God also gave me a student who would be intregal in running a successful school. She was brand new to the martial arts, but she wanted to earn her black belt in two years (she was a junior and would be graduating and going off to college). I told her that it was possible, but that I would have to ninja-kick her all the way. She said she was up for it. Two years later she earned her black belt and made a successful assistant instructor along the way (otherwise it was just me and 80 students!). I am very proud of Madelyn and her martial arts career.

The best thing about the program is that I can unashamedly preach God’s Word during the classes. We meet in a beautiful room off the school’s running track and everyone knows that we are as Christian as the church. In fact, it’s not simply a karate class, it is a Leadership Program. My students know that they are there to learn how to protect themselves and the ones they love from physical and spiritual harm. I have seen many young people develop and mature as they learn to discipline their minds, bodies, and souls. Side Note: If you’re not teaching God in all you teach, you’re teaching a world that works without God. When you do that . . . you lie.

Every year I have had more students than I can handle, and every year God allows the program to mature. One of the reasons I consider myself to be so blessed is that God has given me a place to serve that allows me to utilize the various passions I have. God allowed me to have many unique experiences growing up in order to make me the man He wanted me to be. Now He’s given me an outlet and said, “It’s time to start using those skills I gave you.”

Just one calendar year later and I found myself loving my job and basking in the glory that was serving God.

Amazingly enough, He had even more changes and opportunities for service already prepared for me. Stay tuned to Part 5.

If you missed Part 1, Part 2,or Part 3 of The New Me. Just click away!