Monday, June 29, 2009

Men's Breakfast

The men's ministry rallied together for breakfast, worship, inspiration and service on Saturday, June 20th. It was a fantastic morning to get the guys together to take another step in building this vital ministry.

Gary got the guys pumped about men's ministry and the upcoming men's retreat.
The cooks gave the guys motivation!
Doug led the men in God-focused worship.
Pastor Dan fired up the guys for serving Christ as he shared Christ's desire for them in the church.
To wrap up the morning, the men pitched in to get the tents and other grounds work done to get the last details ready for sports camp.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sports Camp Celebration and Picnic: The "Picnic"

While half the sports camp parents and athletes were enjoying the celebration in the worship center, the other half were gobbling up food and fun at the "picnic". The twist was ginormous rain drops, and crashing lighting sent the picnic indoors. It's great to have a facility to handle all the people inside. Our indoor picnic filled the family life center and both youth center rooms.
On the menu - classic picnic food like hot dogs, chips and cookies.
Also on the menu - classic amusement park food like amazing snow cones, popcorn and tasty cotton candy.
A view from above.
Many people helped in so many ways improvising to make a challenging night a very successful celebration. The night capped off an incredible week of caring people serving their community to give them the gift of a completely free sports camp!

Sports Camp Celebration and Picnic: The Program

2009 Focus Sports Camp ended with an absolute flurry of food, fun and sharing faith with the "Family Celebration and Picnic Dinner." It was an incredible night to celebrate the week and bring the community to PHBC. The morning session attenders started out with the celebration and then went to the picnic while the afternoon camp attenders started with the picnic.

The show was headlined by the world premier of the Victory Strength Team. These guys have spent years building their God-given strength and on this night, they showed us that all their strength is 100% rooted in their relationship with Jesus Christ.

Members of the strength team members bent steel re-bar over their head, then finished it off just bending it in front of them as Brad "The Pastor" MC's the show.

Mike "Popeye" curled 135 lbs 12 times during the second show.
Each strength team member shared a Biblical truth after each of their strength challenges. Here Greg "Mighty Mouse" reads from 2 Timothy after this 5' 2" 160 lb. man squatted 500 lbs. a bunch of times. Gary "Hulk" dead-lifts 700 lbs. at least 8 times each show.
Gary "The Rock" seeks strength from Christ as he prepares to smash through these concrete bricks.
As "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" soars in the worship center, "The Rock" smashes through the blocks.
Giving the glory to what they had just accomplished to the one who created them.

At the end of the second program, Gary honored Pam, the founder of Focus Sports Camp, with the title of "sixth member" of the Victory Strength Team."
The Strength Team turned the platform over to Pastor Dan who took that final 10 minutes to talk to everyone, especially the parents. He wanted all the parents to know what the kids had been learning in their devotional time. He shared with them how much Jesus loves them and how simple it is to receive the free gift of God's forgiveness.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sports Camp Thursday - The Final Day

It's the last day of Focus Sports Camp. We're bummed that the week flew by so quickly but thrilled how smoothly everything went. The kids were fantastic the whole week. Even a day like today with 90+ degree temps, the kids didn't seem to complain at all. We took extra water breaks, found the shade more often and slowed down just a bit.

Nice RUN!!!!"In other countries don't they call this football? Why would I actually TRY to have a ball bounce off my head?"
That's a whole lot of cheering!
Just getting organized for the next drill!
Team ball. It's all about passing and supporting your team in every way possible!

Sports Camp Thursday - Beyond Sports

The Vision of Parma Heights Baptist is to help people FIND and FOLLOW Jesus Christ. The first three days of our devotion time was spent getting to know who God and Jesus is. Today we took time to talk through what the next step is for kids who accepted Jesus Christ.

The Lesson focus was: Learning how to follow Jesus Christ as our Lord. We read Mathew 4:19 where it says we should follow Jesus. Then we read 2 Timothy 3:16. We found that the Bible teaches us what is true, what is wrong in our lives, what is right and helps fully equip us for every good thing God wants us to do.

Then we looked at several scriptures that talked more about how we should live and how to know Jesus better. Finally, we talked about the importance of having other friends who are Christians as well. The best place to do that is at a church where there are lots of great kids with many fun activities, events and great opportunities to learn more about Jesus. That certainly doesn't have to be Parma Heights Baptist, but if they don't attend a church now, we'd love to have them check us out sometime.

Sports Camp Thursday-Volunteers

There were so many fantastic volunteers who made sports camp possible. We had just the right amount of people to pull off a camp that grew to over 600 kids. They were as young as having finished sixth grade to as old as (ok, I probably shouldn't say, hopefully you get the idea). It shows the heart of these people who would volunteer, many of them for the entire day, every day. They without a doubt know how to put their faith in action. Please thank all of the volunteers when you see them. So here's another post of more of the people who made sports camp possible!

Sports Camp Wednesday-Beyond Sports

Wednesday was an extremely important day during devotions.

It started simply by having kids throw wadded paper toward a bucket. Most of them fell short of the goal. Then we studied a guy in the Bible whose name is Zacchaeus. He was actually short and climbed a tree to see Jesus in a crowd. Jesus saw Zacchaeus and he shouted to him, "Quick, come down! For I would like to be a guest in your home today!" Zacchaeus wanted to get a look at Jesus that day - but then Jesus found him. Zacchaeus was a tax collector who took more money from people than he was supposed to take. That was sin.

We talked about what sin was. Then read this verse from the Bible that says, "All have sinned and all fall short of God's glorious standard" - Romans 3:23. That means ALL of us have fallen short of God's standard. Romans 6:23 tells us that "the wages (or what we earn) for sinning is death - but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

The bad news = when sinners die, they are separated forever from God
The good news = God sent His son to live on this earth, died and rose from the dead to forgive Zacchaeus' sins and all of our sins as well.

All we have to do to receive this gift is:
A - Admit that we have sinned
B=Believe that Jesus died for us
C=Commit to follow Jesus

At the end of devotions, we gave the kids an opportunity to receive Jesus as their Savior and friend. Many of them prayed this prayer: "Dear God, I know I am a sinner. Thank You for sending Jesus to die and pay for my sins. Please forgive my sins and wash them away.
I receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Thank You for making me Your child forever. In Jesus' name. Amen."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sports Camp Wednesday-More Sports!!!

Today was marked by a lot of heat and tired volunteers (at least to start). But once the kids came, it just didn't matter that we were getting tired. The kids came with so much energy and excitement we really fed off them. Yesterday we had 190 KIDS MORE than we had on the second day of sports camp a year ago. WOW!! It's been a wonderful day with one more great day ahead.

We can't wait to see what the "STRENGTH TEAM" has lined up for us for the big show tomorrow night! I sure hope all the sports kids and their parents can make it!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sport Camp Tuesday: Free Stuff!!!

Sports Camp is one of those unheard of's a free event and the kids get free stuff every day!!!! Monday was free Focus Sports Camp water bottle day.

This is the third attempt at taking this picture. Kids kept coming up and asking, "can I be in that picture??" It was really funny!

Tuesday is the big free Focus Sports Camp T-shirt day!!!! Here's front and back!

Sports Camp Tuesday: Basketball

Basketball was fast moving again. More work on defense, dribbling, passing and shooting. Today we introduced rebounding with a focus on boxing out using quick feet, arms out and body position. These athletes caught on well!

Sports Camp Tuesday: Cheerleading

The cheerleaders worked more on doing just that - cheering. We spent some time learning new cheers. But we didn't just cheer for ourselves. Oh no!!! We took our cheers to the field and added some "pep" to practice!

We start cheering even before our cheering clinic really begins. As soon as we have some of the girls together, we challenge some of the other athletes to a cheer-off just for fun. Every morning we start out yelling out to some sport, "we've got spirit yes we do, we've got spirit, how 'bout you!!"
These players yelled back pretty well today, but they better not quit their sport. The aren't quite ready to be cheerleaders! We'll take care of that at the games!!!

Sports Camp Tuesday-: Volunteers

Volunteers make Sports Camp happen. Volunteers have worked for months behind the scenes getting every little detail organized and planned from registration, to coaching techniques and training, to promotions, to snacks, writing the devotions, to the big Thursday night celebrations. Our volunteers work tirelessly (ok, actually they get really tired!). Some work half of the day. But many work both the morning and afternoon sessions. Some of our volunteers are students, others are retired and there are also a number of them who invest their precious vacation time to do Sports Camp.
Here's their one chance to sit-down, relax and eat - lunch time! Prepared by who else-VOLUNTEERS!!!

Please thank our volunteers whenever you can!