The After Breakfast Bible Study #136

There is a picture of Dad Kunz teaching the After Breakfast Bible Study in Ole Hardwood about 1935. This was his pattern for the 23 years he was Deerfoot’s Director. Day in and day out, in good weather and bad weather, the campers and staff were taught the historic truths of God’s word, while also being able to watch Dad Kunz live out the truths of what he taught. Almost every waking moment, Dad Kunz was being observed by someone. I wish I had a recording of his studies, a DVD of his life at DL!

The understanding of the Christian faith and life is greatly enhanced with an understanding of the Old Testament. Jesus and the writers of the New Testament were primarily talking and writing to Jewish people who had studied the Old Testament at home and in the Synagogue. Families celebrated the Passover together – Jewish history was fabric in their lives. In Hebrews 11: we can see how much knowledge of the Old Testament was assumed. Here we read the names of Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rehab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel. To the Jewish people, every name reminded them of a biblical account of something that was in Jewish history.

To many DL campers, these names had no Biblical events connected to them. The After Breakfast Bible Study was a way to provide knowledge of the stories of these people – and focus on the significance of what they experienced. The challenge of doing this was real: those in the dining hall were from 8 to perhaps 24 years old. Some had very little knowledge of the Bible – others knew the Bible well.

Before my first summer began, I asked several staff members to share the teaching responsibility with me. As the summer progressed, I was pleased with how things were working out. Therefore I was completely caught off guard when the DL Board said I was to teach all of the After Breakfast Bible Studies, just as Dad Kunz had done. To teach forty four times each summer…. the prospect really frightened me. But, I had no choice.

The DL Board was of tremendously helpful in the preparation of these studies. They helped me sharpen my teaching methods and paid for me to go somewhere for 12 days to focus on developing the outlines and basic material.

It has been interesting to look back through those 1012 studies. Each summer had one theme illustrated through the lives of four men – one per session. In 1984 the theme was “Men of God – Willing to Stand Alone for God”: Noah, Abraham, Daniel, and Gideon. At the end of Session IV, everyone had 11 brief lessons to provide a basic understanding of Gideon’s story – and to encourage each camper and staff to be willing to stand alone for God, just as Gideon had done. The staff heard the same theme illustrated through the lives of four men.

Hopefully the campers and staff gained as much from these studies as I did. If so…they learned a lot! There were many campers who became staff members and heard After Breakfast Bible Studies for ten or more summers. I was continually encouraged with how campers and staff wanted to learn about, and to learn from, the great men of the Bible. Their interest is reflected in the results of the camper questionnaires. The After Breakfast Bible Studies almost always received a higher rating than any instructional area.

I encourage you to look for opportunities to introduce people to the content of God’s word. Presently I am working with a 75 year old man who had never read the Bible. He did not know how Book, Chapter, and Verse worked – i.e. John 3:16 – the reference meant nothing to him. After reading several books of the Bible he said to me “Chuck, if had died before reading all this, I would really have missed something!” He said another day…”Chuck, Matthew really hits hard!” Let’s give the people that God created the opportunity to learn of His love, demonstrated through the history of His people.

When we live In Partnership With God, we can say with the Apostle Paul “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” — Romans 1:16

7 More Bible Memory Suggestions

Seven more Bible Memory suggestions – Chuck – In Partnership With God

  • And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus — Philippians 4:19
  • But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. — Matthew 6:33 KJV
  • Godliness with contentment is great gain — I Timothy 6:6
  • O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! …When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? — Psalm 8:1, 3-4
  • And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose — Romans 8:28
  • Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. — I Thessalonians 5:18
  • This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength” — Isaiah 30:30

The Best Way To Learn God’s Truths #135

Jesus demonstrated the best way to learn God’s truths. The 12 disciples lived with Jesus for 3 years when, together, they walked hundreds of miles. They were with Jesus when He turned water into wine, told parables – and explained their meaning, taught 5000 plus women and children sitting on a hillside and then feed all of them with 5 loaves and two fish, healed the sick, cast out demons, calmed a storm, enabled Peter to walk on water, responded to interruptions and hostile criticism, prayed for them, and went away to pray by Himself. They had been sent out by Jesus with nothing but the clothes on their backs, to essentially do what they had seen Jesus do.

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John give us this information. At the end of his book, John wrote: “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written” — John 21:25.

Deerfoot Lodge teaches in much the same way Jesus did. As the Director of Deerfoot Lodge, I essentially lived with the DL men 14 hours a day, 6 days a week. Many of them had been with me when they were campers and guides. The counselors were with me through 3 weeks of staff training and 8 weeks of summer camp every summer. We ate together, worked together, worshiped together and walked many miles together. They were with me as I stood at line up, ate my meals, taught the After Breakfast Bible Study, prepared an apple cobbler in a Dutch oven, taught canoeing, answered questions, managed the staff and supervised the program. They were with me on change- over weekends as I talked with happy parents and listened to parents who wanted to be the exception for a DL policy – or wanted special treatment for their son.

They were also with me when I asked for their advice, their input. And they were with me when I jumped to a conclusion without getting all of the facts, and when I made poor decisions – then, realizing my mistake (sometimes with their help), asked for their forgiveness.

They were with me when, at the end of staff training, I asked them to do what they had seen me do.

The DL counseling staff did this, and much more, as they lived with their campers 24/6 – as they ate, worked in instructional areas, enjoyed flex time, encouraged the struggling camper, dealt with difficult campers, participated in sectional and all camp activities, hiked and, in cabin devotions, talked about how God’s word applied to the days events.

At the end of each session, their counselors and I encouraged the campers to do what they had seen us do while at DL.

We know that many campers told their families of their DL experiences, and worked at living as they had seen the DL staff live – in ways pleasing to the Lord.

Jesus taught through action and word, as I sought to do, as the counselors sought to do, and as many campers sought to do.

Learning to live In Partnership With God is easier when there is a good role model. Jesus was the best!

it is 11:15 PM

Tomorrow morning’s In Partnership With God will get to you on Tuesday.

I have one written…but….you know the feeling…it just is not right…and I am too tired to think!!!

Sally Jo and I have just returned from singing in our annual Jubilate Singers concert. We rehearse at least monthly for three hours beginning in September. As we get toward the concert, the number of rehearsals picks up – like 6 hours yesterday!

The group numbers over 100 people from up to about 80 miles away. For the annual concert members of the Albany Symphony are hired as the orchestra.

Tonights concert was to a totally full church – extra folding chairs…probably about 500. Included were Christus by Mendelson, Crucifixus by Bach, Worthy is the Lamb by Handel, Look to the World by Rutter, Christ is With Me by Coleman, Veni Sancte Spiritus by Mozart, Precious Lord, Take My Hand – arranged by Tim Schultz, Hark. What a Sound by Heschke, and Oak of Righteousness arranged by Ralph Schultz.

So….check in Tuesday morning – will also send 7 more verses for you to consider memorizing.


You Shall Not Steal! #134

“Chief, someone has been in my tackle box and stolen a couple lures! I am sure of it!!!” Questions were asked. Perhaps someone did steal a few of the camper’s lures. “Chief, someone stole my pocket knife…and it was really a nice one!”. The next day he found his pocket knife. “Chief, my hiking boots are gone!” Never did find the hiking boots. It seemed a couple things would disappear almost every day: a camera, candy from the store, even a fishing pole. How do you steal, hide, and take home a fishing pole? One camper was given a pocket knife by his grandfather the day he left for camp. It was the knife his grandfather had used since he was a boy….and it was gone!!! The camper was crushed! I think all of the staff struggled with that one.

Knowing the amount of lost and found, it was impossible to be sure what was stolen…and what was “misplaced”. Very quickly there was uneasiness, suspicion, tension…for some, fear. At DL, there is no way to lock everything up.

From the perspective of role models, it was no surprise that campers stole things. Some had friends that stole stuff… just little things. Some had brothers who stole T shirts from school. Undoubtedly some had parents who brought stuff home from work…or took stuff from a motel. The news told about policemen, business and government leaders who stole. No big deal. I see it, I want it, and so I take it.

The Ten Commandments are designed to keep us out of trouble with God – and with each other. Do we really think we would be better off if we disobeyed any of the Ten Commandments? “You shall not steal“ is the briefest. During the After Breakfast Bible Study I talked about these truths. Counselors talked about stealing in their cabin devotions – nothing stopped the stealing….a item or two a day. .

I realize some of you will not like this, but one day I asked the counselors to go through camper suitcases during rest period, while the campers watched. Stolen goods were found, including some things campers had not realized were stolen. Each item was given back to its owner. There was some embarrassment and punishment. The stealing continued – did those who had been caught continue to steal? Or were there others?

An idea came into my head that caused me a lot of physical pain! I think it was at the beginning of Session II that I showed the campers what would happen to them if they were caught stealing. I had the entire staff line up down the middle of the dining room – and I would go through the paddle wheel. Yes, I would get down on my knees and go through the legs of all of the staff members….each one doing his best to spank my “butt” as hard as he could! When I would get to the other end of the dining hall, my bottom stung. I promise, some of the staff was merciless! (By session IV it really was hard to discipline myself to do this!!!)

The staff went back to their seats and I reminded the campers that if they stole, they would be sent through the paddle wheel. If their parents complained, I would tell them I did it first – and that you had been were warned. The campers could see the punishment they would receive if caught, and they knew I meant it. The stealing almost completely stopped. The pattern was broken, and it never returned!

Continually I challenged the staff “do what is right, every time”, and “live your life so it can appear on the front page of the newspaper.” With that kind of challenge to staff and campers, comes the challenge to me –

Perhaps even more difficult than the Ten Commandments are for me to obey are some of God’s directives given to us through Jesus Christ. Frequently I do not exhibit the fruit of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness” — Galatians 5:22. Often I do not love my neighbor as myself. Leviticus 19:18 And I judge – knowing “Do not judge, or you too will be judged”. — Matthew 7:1 Do I forgive as I have been forgiven? Matthew 6:12

We all deserve to go through God’s paddle wheel – and we would if we did not recognize the seriousness of how God views sin, and that when Jesus died, he was the perfect and permanent sacrifice for our sin. What a Savior!!!

My First DL Candlelight Service #133

I thought I was prepared for my first candle light service. I had been told that after the Awards Ceremony most of the lights in Founders Lodge would be turned off. As we walked onto the porch, each of us would be given an un-lit candle. With candles in hand we were to walk by three gas lamps down to the railing that enclosed the swimming area. The Woodsmen counselors knew to have their campers stand in the center, the Pioneer Counselors took their campers to the right, the Indian Counselors and their campers went to the left. I was to stand inside the railing.

When in place, we could hear the generator stop. There was not a light visible in camp or on the lake. It was quiet, and pitch dark – except for, what looked to be, a million stars. Those of us who knew our constellations…there they were.

To all of camp gathered before me, I talked about the wonder of God’s creation, and pointed out the Big Dipper, Orion’s belt, and the Milky Way. I then talked about how the God of the universe knew each of us by name – that He loved us – and how many did not know of God’s love for them. Then I lit my candle and said that Jesus told us to be His light in the world (Matthew 5:14). Because of my candle, they could see me. Then I lit the section chief’s candles, they lit their counselor’s candles, and they lit their camper’s candles. Have you ever looked into 100 candles, each lighting one face? We Christians are to be light in our dark world.

“Pioneers to the Point, Indians to the Island.” Walking on root and rock filled trails by candle light is not easy. Those who remained at the beach could see nothing for several minutes. It was into this scene I found myself saying, in a voice loud enough to echo back from the Dug Mountains across the lake:

“Be strong and of a good courage…
Be not afraid…
Be not dismayed…
For the Lord thy God is with you…
Where ever you go!” Joshua 1:9

These were the words God spoke when He commissioned Joshua to be next leader of His chosen people, the Israelites. No one had told me to say these words, but there they were. Soon candles could be seen flickering in the woods as the Pioneers came to their waterfront. Then the Indians began to gather on their waterfront. When the candles stopped moving, the Woodsmen sang “Jesus is With Me Wherever I Go”, the Pioneers echoed, and then the Indians. The service ended with this benediction: May the Grace…Mercy…and Peace….Of God the Father…the Son…and the Holy Spirit…Be With…And Abide With Each of You….Both Now And Forever…Amen. And then, taps.

When Jesus was explaining to His disciples that he would soon be leaving them, He told them that “the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” John 14:26 If I had not memorized Joshua 1:9, how could the Holy Spirit remind me of what the Lord had said to Joshua?

Why should we memorize Bible verses? “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word…. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you”. Psalm 119:9,11

To memorize is tough for me. For years my wife, Sally Jo, has said “When Chuck loses his memory, no one will notice.” This is almost true! Yet, I have worked at Scripture memory. This week I will make a list of verses I have memorized, and that perhaps you could learn too. It will be on your screen next Monday as an “extra” IPWG.