Roger That: 3 Ways to Check Your Christian Living


Columnist Writer

Hey Everyone! I’m Roger Hamilton and I oversee the training and development of our Eagle Lake staff. I have been with the Navigators for 33 years! I love helping our staff grow in their knowledge and love of God and the Bible. One thing I don’t like are blogs. So, I prefer to call it a B-Log, as in Bible log. I’ll be back as your trusty Eagle Lake B-logger every other week, at least until you get sick of me. Did you miss the last post? Read it here!

-Roger that!


3 Ways to Check Your Christian Living


Am I active, available, and approachable? What does that mean, anyway?

This month our family has watched in awe as God has miraculously transformed the lives of several people we know with the good news of Christ.  What’s really fun is that it’s clear that God is the one at work- any human involvement is almost coincidental. Isn’t that how it should be?

I love how God uses men and women in a variety of ways throughout the book of Acts to engage with people who don’t know Him.  But it really is unfortunate that these stories have been called, “The Acts of the Apostles.”

As many commentators have pointed out, it ought to be named, “The Acts of the Holy Spirit.”


To borrow Peter’s description for how God led the Old Testament prophets, the men and women of Acts, he said they “spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21),” that sounds pretty good to me.

As I read through the account in Acts of the explosion of the Church in the first century, there are three postures of the early believers that help me play my part in the advance of the gospel.  They were, at different times and places, ACTIVE, AVAILABLE and APPROACHABLE.



In the book of Acts, who comes to mind when you see the word “active”?  Starting after (or even before) his conversion, I immediately think of Paul (formerly, Saul). He was active prior to meeting Jesus – “But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison”- Acts 8:31.

Then after He met Christ and believed in him (Acts 9) Saul shifted from persecution to ministering to those he persecuted. “But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ” – Acts 9:22. A quick flip through of Acts will name his travels to about 50 different locations.

Paul’s so active he’s got maps in the back of our Bible’s!

He took sharing the gospel so seriously that he traveled throughout the Roman Empire and gave his life so that others could hear the good news (see Acts 20:24!). It’s a good thing to be active in sharing the gospel. Paul tells Philemon, “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ (Philemon 6).”

Philip is another great example. Acts 8:4-6 says, “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said.” There are plenty more examples apart from these two, disciples are active, just check out John 15:8.


And it’s a good thing to be active in sharing Christ, but in my early years as a Christian and as a Navigator, I foolishly believed this was the only way to “witness for Christ.”


I had to be actively initiating with those who didn’t know Christ every week (maybe even every day!) in order to honor God and be a “good Christian.”

This led to sometimes awkward encounters where the gospel was forced into conversations in a way that wasn’t respectful and honoring to the one receiving the good news. Which brings us back to Peter’s description for how God led the Old Testament prophets, how they “spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21),” that’s the active I want to be too.



In the same way that there are times when God calls us to be active, there are those times (maybe the rest of our time!) when we need to be available.  I’ve enjoyed looking for those people in Acts that were used by God in incredible ways, simply by being available. I’m not saying they were passive or lazy. They were just looking for what God might be doing in the lives of those around them (and their own).

Take another look at Philip in Acts 8:26-40.

In these passages an angel of the Lord comes to Philip and tells him to go to a specific road. When he gets there he meets an Ethiopian eunuch who is sitting in a chariot reading the book of Isaiah. Philip sees this man and God leads Philip to go talk to him and ask “Do you understand what you are reading?” because God knows this man has questions! The man begins to ask Philip about what he is reading and ends up baptized by the end of the chapter.

All of this happens because Philip was simply available. We may not often find an angel in our living room instructing us to go to a certain road, but we can ask God what he has for us this very day and to whom he would like our time and proximity to be available toward.

Ananias in Acts 9 is another example.

God does all the work in stopping Saul of Tarsus in his tracks, then He calls a disciple named Ananias to be available to care for the blind, confused and frightened new believer. The one who would become the Apostle Paul! This is a fairly similar story to Philip in the sense that God again calls his available disciple to go to a certain road and talk to a person, except this time God tells Ananias who to look for.


If God asked you to go talk to the man who has been killing fellow believers in Christ, would you go?


Read Acts 9 to see Ananias’s conversation with God before he goes to find Saul!



Whether God is calling us to be active or available, I think He always wants us to be approachable. Look at each of the above examples again. Were they approachable? Did their attitudes and actions, how they spoke and how they listened, aid the seeker in understanding and appreciating the gospel? Absolutely!

One of my favorite verses on sharing Christ is 1 Peter 3:15 which says: “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you…” The only problem is that when I memorized this verse as a young Christian, I forgot the last phrase: “…yet do it with gentleness and respect.” And it showed in my approach! I wasn’t approachable because I was lacking in gentleness and respect. Again, YIKES!


Consider the men and women God has brought your way.


Is He nudging you to take initiative and be ACTIVE in sharing your faith with them?  Are there others where it’s more appropriate to be AVAILABLE? And maybe you’re like the younger me who needs to examine how APPROACHABLE we are.

I’d love to hear from you as you hear from the Lord! Put your thoughts in the comments below!


Read questions and Journal!


  1. Can you think of other examples in Acts that fit those three words above? What can you learn from their example and experience?


  1. What about mentors and leaders in your own life? How have they impacted you or others you know?


  1. Study 1 Peter 3:15, including the surrounding verses. What does Peter say about our knowledge of the gospel? What about our attitude and conduct?


  1. Did you know, the title for Acts is not found in the text of the book? 2nd and 3rd century authors made various suggestions, with Acts of the Apostles becoming the preferred title through the influence of church leaders like Irenaeus (120 or 140 to 203).


Roger That: Is Serving Others Refreshing to You?


Columnist Writer

Hey Everyone! I’m Roger Hamilton and I oversee the training and development of our Eagle Lake staff. I have been with the Navigators for 33 years! I love helping our staff grow in their knowledge and love of God and the Bible. One thing I don’t like are blogs. So, I prefer to call it a B-Log, as in Bible log. I’ll be back as your trusty Eagle Lake B-logger every other week, at least until you get sick of me. Did you miss the last post? Read it here!

-Roger that!


What’s in it for me when I have to get beyond my own needs and look out for someone else?


We had a blizzard here in Colorado a couple weeks ago, so my two high school sons got an email from the baseball coach.  The gist of the message was, “since we can’t practice and you need a workout, grab a shovel and bless your neighbors.”  Four driveways later, we were blessed that we served and our neighbors were thankful.


It reminded me of Proverbs 11:25: “The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”


I know what you’re thinking when you see that verse: Here’s a guy that works with a Christian ministry and he wants to talk to me about generosity. There’s probably a donate button at the bottom (there’s not!).  That kind of reaction is both understandable and unfortunate. There is WAY more to appreciate in this verse, and the topic of generosity goes way beyond money.

A second unfortunate interpretation of the first phrase is that people think, “Oh good, if I give more I’ll get more.” I don’t see that supported in the rest of Scripture. In Acts 20:35 Paul remembers “the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”



Do I really believe that?



When we’re generous with our time, talents and treasures, God does something in us that transcends material things.  And remember a proverb is a general principle, not a categorical promise- there is a difference!

That’s why I want to focus on the second half of the verse. When we refresh others through noticing and meeting their physical, emotional, relational or spiritual needs, we feel refreshed. We feel good when we’ve gotten beyond our own needs and concerns (valid as they are) and focus on others. It’s really the positive answer to an otherwise dangerous and selfish question: “What’s in it for me?”

So let’s ask that dangerous question! Really God, what’s in it for me when I have to get beyond my own needs and look out for someone else?


Take a look at these examples from the book of Acts:



“Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.” (Philemon 7) The Apostle Paul wants Phil to know that the way he has ministered to others in Colossae has not gone unnoticed and is deeply appreciated.


Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet” (Acts 4:36-37).   Joe’s act of generosity and sacrifice gets noticed by the apostles, and they give him a nickname!  It’s the first of many examples of Barnabas living up to his new name. Check out the way he “refreshed” the new believer Saul (Paul) all the way to the redemptive story of John Mark.


We don’t have to look very far these days to find people who need to be refreshed.  What if we asked God to help us connect with someone today who needs our encouragement? And what if we were actively looking for those opportunities? Wouldn’t that be refreshing? Sorry, I couldn’t resist!


Read questions and Journal!


  1. What is the difference between a proverb and a promise? Is that distinction important as we study the Bible and bring our needs before God in prayer?


  1. Do a character study of Barnabas. There are 33 references to him in the book of Acts. You can look them up and write down your observations, or use this resource: Link to PDF


  1. If you want even more fun, compare Barnabas in Acts 4 with Ananias and Sapphira in the very next chapter. What a contrast!


  1. Read Philippians 2:1-11. How do Paul’s exhortation and Jesus’ example encourage us to look out for others?

Roger That: 4 Benefits to Overlooking an Offense


Columnist Writer

Hey Everyone! I’m Roger Hamilton and I oversee the training and development of our Eagle Lake staff. I have been with the Navigators for 33 years! I love helping our staff grow in their knowledge and love of God and the Bible. One thing I don’t like are blogs. So, I prefer to call it a B-Log, as in Bible log. I’ll be back as your trusty Eagle Lake B-logger every other week, at least until you get sick of me. Did you miss the last post? Read it here!

-Roger that!


 “You need to let it go.”

Abraham Lincoln had a unique way of handling his anger: he would write a “hot letter” where he would share all his frustrations with an incompetent general or a member of his cabinet, then stick it in a drawer.  Doris Kearns Goodwin writes, “When his papers were opened at the beginning of the 20th century, historians discovered a raft of such letters, with Lincoln’s notation underneath: ‘never sent and never signed.’” Click here to read about it!

I would like to think that Abraham Lincoln – as a man who regularly read his Bible – was familiar with Proverbs 19:11.


“Those with good sense are slow to anger,
    and it is their glory to overlook an offense.”


Let me be clear, I don’t believe this verse is a band-aid that we’re supposed to apply to the deep, painful wounds caused by the abuse and neglect of those who should know better. But it does help us to deal with the “scratches and bruises” of everyday life in a fallen world.

What I am talking about is that these days we don’t have to look very hard to find someone who is offended about something… all the time! (*note: being offended is different than having an opinion!) And while it may be tempting to react in offense as dramatics are quite easy to engage in, especially online…it’s WAY more useful right now to talk about how this verse impacts me, Roger Hamilton and maybe you might relate?


Four things stand out to me from Proverbs 19:11:

FIRST: Good sense: Some translations use “wisdom.” The starting point, the foundation for this kind of response is wisdom. It reminds me of James 3:13-18, where there is a clear difference between the wisdom that comes from God and the wisdom of the world!

SECOND: Slow to anger: Why do I act like it’s a constitutional right to be outraged or offended so quickly about every issue? Again, James comes to mind. In 1:19,20 he reminds us that our anger doesn’t produce the righteousness of God.

THIRD: Overlook an offense: I can make a deliberate choice to let it go AND to not bring it up again! It’s not overlooking the offense if I file it away and weaponize it to get even at the “perfect time.”

FOURTH: Glory: We actually stand out in all the right ways when we choose to look beyond what is offending those around us or what is in our nature to be offended by. This doesn’t necessarily mean pretending it never happened (that’s not great conflict management) but it does imply without becoming angry or bitter. The Amplified Version explains this well, “And it is his honor and glory to overlook a transgression or an offense [without seeking revenge and harboring resentment].” In Matthew 5:16 Jesus tells us to “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”


Maybe I could…

choose in the place of getting angry, pouting like a 3-year-old, complaining to a friend, or letting the air out of their car tires (OK, I haven’t done the last one, but I have THOUGHT about it!), to glorify God by overlooking the offense. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m pretty good at most of those responses, and they never leave me feeling better- or the people around me.


Sometimes the offense might be an innocent slip of the tongue or sarcastic comment that is easy to overlook when I believe the best about the person. But there are times when the “scratch” is deep enough to hurt- a lot! Those are the times I need to get alone with God and let His Spirit give me some eternal perspective.


Last year a ministry leader said something to me that was meant as a playful jab, but it really hurt. I know they had no malicious intent, but it didn’t lessen the sting. I agonized with the Lord about going to the person and letting them know how their careless comment had affected me (which would not have been wrong to do, by the way). But God was very clear: “You need to let it go.” I made an agreement with God that I would overlook the offense and commit to never bringing it up again!


Do you want to know the real truth?

I am way more often the offender than the offended! And I really want to learn and grow when those I have offended are courageous and honest enough to tell me. But I’m sure there are countless situations where someone has decided with the Lord to overlook my offense (including the person I mentioned above!).

What do you think? Let’s ask God for His wisdom on when to overlook an offense. Can you imagine if all Christians practiced this regularly in personal relationships? It would grow our depth, challenge our love for one another, and give glory to God!


Read and Journal!

  1. Look up Proverbs 19:11 in 4 or 5 different translations. What impresses you about the differences?

  2. Read James 1:19,20 and 3:13-18. What does James say that relates to Proverbs 19:11?

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires” (James 1:19,20).

“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness” (James 3:13-18).

  1. Write down a few situations where you have overlooked an offense? What was the outcome for you? For the relationship?

Roger That: God’s Peculiar People


Columnist Writer

Hey Everyone! I’m Roger Hamilton and I oversee the training and development of our Eagle Lake staff. I have been with the Navigators for 33 years! I love helping our staff grow in their knowledge and love of God and the Bible. One thing I don’t like are blogs. So, I prefer to call it a B-Log, as in Bible log. I’ll be back as your trusty Eagle Lake B-logger every other week, at least until you get sick of me. Did you miss the last post? Read it here!

-Roger that!



That’s a bit peculiar to the world – is it not? That we belong to God, not ourselves or anything else?

As followers of Christ in these crazy times, we often find ourselves struggling with how we can fit in with the world around us while still holding on to our faith

We’ve been told that as Christians we should be “in the world but not of the world” (see John 17:15-18).  Our world today is polarized and hypersensitive about almost everything. But that’s really nothing new! Since the first century, believers in Jesus have been trying to figure out this balance, and their world was just as jacked up as ours.

In Titus 2:14 Paul tells us that Christ “gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are HIS very own, eager to do what is good.

1 Peter 2:9 says, “you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

Paul wrote to his friend Titus to help him encourage believers in Crete to display Christlike character among those who lived far differently (just look up cretin in a dictionary). Peter wrote to believers scattered by Roman persecution who were feeling anything but special as a result.

In 1611 (no, I was not in high school then!), the King James Bible was published. The phrases bolded in the verses above are translated as “a peculiar people”.

Don’t take my word for it. Take the words I copied and pasted from the KJV below:


Titus 2:14:

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.


1 Peter 2:9:

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people;


SEE!? “A peculiar people” that’s me – and you too, if you are a follower of Jesus.

Today “peculiar” refers to something or someone who is strange or odd. But it can also mean “distinctive in nature or character from others.” Back then it referred to ownership of cattle, as in “this cow belongs to me. Keep your hands off!”  Somehow that doesn’t sound quite as good as “God’s special possession.”

A change in meaning has happened over time, revealing that the same question we feel tension with today, was what Christians faced centuries ago…

Do we belong to Him or the world?

The phrases that the Bible describes our identity with are pretty amazing: chosen people, royal priesthood, God’s special possession (another translation says, “a people who are His very own”).

That’s a bit peculiar to the world – is it not? That we belong to God, not ourselves or anything else?

When we’re frustrated that we don’t quite fit in or belong with the world, that’s because WE DON’T. We’re citizens of another kingdom. A better kingdom.

Did you notice that Paul emphasizes being enthusiastic (zealous) for good works? If you read on in Peter (1 Peter 2:12), he also mentions how good deeds can lead worldly people to glorify God – BECAUSE when you or I are accused of doing wrong, people of the world may see our good deeds (I believe you could also say character – look up the Greek *hint: and glorify God. I didn’t make that up – it’s in the BIBLE.

In the world – not of the world? I think so.

So, here’s the question for all of us as the peculiar people of God:

How do we honor God with our character and conduct in such a way that people are drawn closer to Christ, rather than being repelled?  And how can we daily depend on God’s word and His indwelling Holy Spirit to guide us in living well among those who don’t yet know Christ?

Read and Journal!

Read Titus 2:11-15, 1 Peter 2:9-12 and John 17:14-19.  Check them out in several translations.

  1. What do each of these passages say about how we’re supposed to live out our faith in the world?
  2. How is the phrase “the peculiar people of God” in Titus and 1 Peter translated in other versions besides KJV and NIV? Are there any versions that grab your attention? Why?
    1. Click to look at other translations of Titus 2:14
    2. Click to look at other translations of 1 Peter 2:9
  3. How does Jesus’ message in John 17 differ from those of Paul and Peter in the verses above? To whom is Jesus speaking? Why is that significant?
  4. If you have time, you might want to read all of Jesus’ parting words to the Disciples (and us!), John 13-17.
  5. What do you think the world would say about you? What else does God say about His Children? Which one genuinely sounds better? Challenge: Ask a friend or two those questions. Have a conversation about it!

Roger That: God Stinks at Math!


Columnist Writer

Hey Everyone! I’m Roger Hamilton and I oversee the training and development of our Eagle Lake staff. I have been with the Navigators for 33 years! I love helping our staff grow in their knowledge and love of God and the Bible. One thing I don’t like are blogs. So, I prefer to call it a B-Log, as in Bible log. I’ll be back as your trusty Eagle Lake B-logger every other week, at least until you get sick of me. Did you miss the last post? Read it here!

-Roger that!



God tells Gideon that he is going to conquer an army of 135,000 with only 300 men!

Today we’re focusing on how God stinks at math, yes you heard that right. God STINKS at math (see above) – keep reading to find out why and what might supersede some equations…


In our last B-log, we learned cool stuff about Gideon in Judges 6, where God had to get past Gideon’s fears and insecurities. But He was just getting warmed up, and Judges 7 shows us that the God of the universe wouldn’t pass your little brother’s 4th grade math class!


In Judges 6:14 God tells Gideon to “go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand.” So Gideon gathers his army of 32,000 men to fight 135,000 Midianites and their allies.

Already the numbers don’t add up: the Israelites are down 103,000! God wants to make sure the people don’t try to take credit, so He tells Gideon, “You have too many men. Let anyone who trembles with fear go home,” and 22,000 Israelites leave. Then He tells Gideon to separate his troops by how they drink water: one group has 300, one group has 9,700.

Equation 1: Midianites of 135,000 > Gideon’s Israelites of 32,000.


Does God command Gideon to send 300 home and keep 9,700? No! He sends 9,700 home and keeps only 300.

Equation 2: 9,700 > 300


Now God tells Gideon that he is going to conquer an army of 135,000 with only 300 men! To put it in perspective, each Israelite would be responsible for defeating 450 Midianites. Knowing Gideon’s fearful tendencies, God kindly encourages Gideon to go down to the Midian camp and listen. Gideon hears a man talking about his dream, in which “God has given the Midianites and the whole camp into his hands.”

Equation 3: Ratio 1 man to 450 men…bad odds.


And that’s just one of MANY situations in the Bible where the numbers don’t add up. Jesus feeds 5,000 with 5 loaves of bread and two fish (Matthew 14:13-21). BUT then he needs 7 loaves and a few fish to feed in Matthew 15.


Equation 4:  5+2=5,000

Equation 5: 7+ a few=4,000


Is Jesus slipping a bit in His ability to do a miracle? No! Clearly the math here is not important.

What IS important is that God glorifies Himself in our challenges and difficulties by making it impossible for us to take the credit.

Lynn (my wife) and I have seen this clearly in our 33 years of ministry with the Navigators! When our autistic son was 3 years old, we were offered a spot in a therapy program that we knew would help him tremendously. Only one problem: it was going to cost TWICE our annual salary! We didn’t even have the required $1,000 for the initial consult with the psychologist.

I was in Colorado for a meeting when Lynn called me from our home in Wisconsin to tell me some incredible news. My college roommate Dave and his wife called and asked Lynn, “Do you need $1,000? God is telling us to give you $1,000 and we don’t know why.”

From there God provided every penny we needed for our son’s therapy- for two and half years!

Have you seen God do something wild and crazy in your life? With your family? Did you give Him the credit? Is there something you will soon be facing that only God can figure out?

God delights in doing “immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine.” This makes me rejoice. What about you?

Read and Journal!

  1. Read the following passages and journal your observations and key lessons: Matthew 14:13-21 and 15:29-39; Isaiah 43:1-5.
  2. Pray through a Psalm like Psalm 27 or Psalm 86. Can you relate to the emotions conveyed by the author? Is there math in your life that seems too complicated for even God to solve?
  3. Is the Lord bringing someone to mind who needs to be encouraged or comforted by what you’ve been learning about His faithfulness and miraculous provision? Make a plan to reach out to them this week!

This has been the second B-Log in an ongoing series of ROGER THAT. If you found this interesting, share it below!


Roger That: Why In The World Would God Use Me?

Columnist Writer

Hey Everyone! I’m Roger Hamilton and I oversee the training and development of our Eagle Lake staff. I have been with the Navigators for 33 years! Yes, that makes me the old guy in the office. I love helping our staff grow in their knowledge and love of God and the Bible. And I love helping people grow as disciples of Christ and to make disciples of others. One thing I don’t like are blogs. And now they want me to write one! So, I prefer to call it a B-Log, as in Bible log. I’m excited to learn with you as we study cool people and great themes in the Bible- like Gideon in this post. I’ll be back as your trusty Eagle Lake B-logger every other week, at least until you get sick of me.

-Roger that!



“We’re not expected to go it alone and figure it out by ourselves”.


Gideon in the OT book of Judges has GOT to be one of the most unimpressive men in the entire Bible! Seriously, I wonder how the angel of the Lord could keep a straight face when he appeared to Gideon and said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior” (Judges 6:12).


Am I being too hard on Gideon? Judge for yourself (sorry, I couldn’t pass up a good pun). In verse 13 he doubts if God still cares for His people. In verse 14 and 15 he doubts God’s call and his own strength, influence, and ability to lead. In verse 17 he doubts God again, so when Gideon asks to prepare an offering, the angel of the Lord miraculously burns it up and disappears!


I have to admit that as a young man I felt like Gideon. “But, Lord, how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family” (Judges 6:15).  I know my weaknesses, I know how I’ve let people down, I know when I might not have given my best effort in a task or project.  By the way, the last time I checked God was all-knowing, so I don’t really need to convince him of my shortcomings or limitations. He knows me better than I know myself!


Look how this disclaimer from Gideon is sandwiched between two affirming statements from God: a command in verse 14 and a promise in verse 16.  The command: “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” HOW COOL IS THAT?!! God wants Gideon to “go in the strength” he has.”  God knows the strength we have (and don’t have). If he’s the one sending us, we can be confident that He knows what He’s doing!


The promise in verse 16 shows how this partnership between God and Gideon works. God says, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites.” It’s a great reminder for us that God promises to go with us in whatever He calls us to do. We’re not expected to go it alone and figure it out by ourselves.


How do we make sense of this in our lives today?

Okay, so God is probably not calling any of us to lead a military campaign and rescue a nation like He was with Gideon.


As believers in Christ who are led by the Holy Spirit, He has given ALL of us the privilege of being Christ’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20). So even though we might relate to Gideon’s feelings of inadequacy, that question I pose as the title should not apply to us. Rather, we should be expectantly asking, “WHERE in the world will God use me?” And, “HOW in the world will God use me?”


In the summer of 1992, my wife Lynn and I led a team of students on an eight-week mission trip to Siberia.  Our team of 14 arrived on a university campus where no Christian ministries existed.  Were we confident and competent in our ability to communicate the love of Christ to those who had not only never heard the gospel but had never even seen a Bible? No! We were terrified! Every day we asked ourselves, “what in the world are we doing here? This is crazy!” God took our insecurities and inadequacies and did amazing things.  We’re still in contact with men and women who came to Christ that summer- 29 years ago!


Does God want to do something just as amazing with you? I believe He does.

In the next B-log we’ll see how this all turned out for Gideon in Judges 7, but here are some questions for you to ponder:

  1. Is there something God is calling you to do for which you don’t feel adequately equipped or qualified? A friend who needs to hear the good news of Christ from YOU? Maybe a summer role at camp that will stretch you in ways you can’t even imagine right now? Click HERE to read how a past Summer Staff  saw God stretch them!
  2. What do you sense God is saying to you about His responsibility and yours in this challenge? Some helpful verses to consider: Judges 6:16; Colossians 1:29; Joshua 14:12; 2 Corinthians 3:4-6
  3. Who can you share this with for encouragement and prayer?


This has been the first B-Log in an ongoing series of ROGER THAT. If you found this interesting, share it below! 

3 Lesson I learned at Eagle Lake Camps

My name is Timmy Seo. I was a Program Coach (Summer Leadership) for the Yellow Team this summer under the direction of Lindsey Brown and with the co laboring with Katie Crawford, Alaina Fay and Rylan Underwood. My first year as a Eagle Lake Counselor was my summer of 2014, the summer of 2019 was my 4th.Camp Counselor

I was finishing my freshmen year at Iowa State University and I had no idea what I was going to be doing during the summer.  Jesse, a good friend in my class, told me that Ishould join him at Eagle Lake Camps for summer. I applied online. Laurie (a full time staff member) contacted me RIGHT away. We set a time and a date for the interview. However, I forgot there was an hour difference between Iowa and Colorado and had just got out of the shower with wet (short) hair. I remember my first interaction with Eagle Lake was a Skype interview drenched in water with Laurie. But, in the end, I was offered a job as a counselor. I was put on a Day Camp On Location Team that would travel around the Midwest.

The summer of 2014 was the most difficult summer of my life. I am not exaggerating. I am a prideful, skeptical and an arrogant person to the core. Through the grace of the LORD, I have gotten a lot better at shedding these qualities. But let us imagine a person like me in a team that requires, trust, humility and an environment of servitude. People applying in 2019 would say, “That is a huge NO for me dawg”.

But, I would like to compare my summer of 2014 as a counselor to the gold purification process. According to a trusty online source, “Gold is heated to over 1000 degrees F, which removes sulfide and carbon… ( God used that summer to refine me. He showed me my brokenness. He humbled me and revealed how he heals this brokenness of mine with his Covenant love and through His people.

Donʼt get me wrong, I was still a trouble maker but as I take a step back, I see the hands of God in the summer of 2014. Let me share what the Lord has taught me through Eagle Lake Camps.


FIRST: Good feelings will not free us. Ecstatic experiences will not free us. Getting “high on Jesus” will not free us. Our Lord himself, made it unmistakably clear that that the knowledge of the truth will set us free. (See John 8:32) But, in order myself to know the truth, I need to love THE truth first.




SECOND: Cling on to the truth and treasure and live the Gospel out to the core. Genuine faith in Christ will always result in a grateful joy that produces life change. Think about it… We get to live the life of servant for the summer. What kind of honor that is that we get to do that in this post-modern age that encourages pride and vainglory?


                 Camp Counselor and camper


THRID: Letting the Word of God and Jesus’ work on the cross change you from the inside out is NOT easy. But, I am constantly reminded that I am loved for Christ’s sake, not because my heart and life are perfect (HAH). Without God’s words of grace to build each other up (See Acts 20:32), I was constantly falling into false guilt or false innocence. It is true that both an over scrupulous conscience and a numb conscience are ways that my heart continues its self-salvation project. They are both ways of reusing to believe that I am saved by sheer grace through Christ. Drilling the Gospel down into my inmost being by the power of His Spirit and the Community was a huge lesson I learned at Eagle Lake.


Standing Shoulder to Shoulder. Lifting others with Love. Living in the House of the Lord.

Yes. It is exhausting to clap and dance to “Church Clap” every morning with children. Yes. It is exhausting to tear down the rock wall for the 50th time.

But Behold! What manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons (children) of God. Because we are (see 1 John 3:1). This summer… for the last time. I get to serve the children intentionally because that is the manner of love that I have received from my Father in Heaven. Who is infinitely wise. Who is infinitely just. Who is infinitely loving.

To any staff applying or coming out this summer, let me summarize.

This summer is not about me. It is not about you.

It is about the Children.

It is about the Community.

It is about Christ and His Church.

So, come on out and let us serve the Kingdom together.

At Summer Camp I Learned Where My Voice Came From

At summer camp I learned where my voice comes from. I started coming to Eagle Lake Camps as a REZ(ident) camper when I was 11. In high school I did the Crew Program. Two years ago I came back as a REZ(ident) counselor.  Last summer I got to be a REZ(ident) Program Coach and will be returning next summer to do the same. That adds up to a good 10 years to see myself grow up with the backdrop of the blob and the sounds of camp songs.


Tali and Camper making a face


The Tali who entered camp for the first time was so very different from the Tali who exists now, and a big part of that change took place at camp.  Because of camp, I found out where my voice comes from.

What I mean by that is that much of growing up for me involved a lie that I didn’t have much of a voice – shyness and timidity made me feel like hiding. It was hard for me to see myself as social or capable of boldness.  I didn’t think I could be “that” person who could talk freely, make friends, or be known.  In elementary school, I was known as “shy and nice” and my default mode was to assume everyone else was cooler, smarter, or more fun than me.



How grateful am I, though, that faith in our loving God contains the power to make us the most we can be. The beauty of my experience is that there’s a clear difference between the shy, quiet Tali that first entered camp in 2009, and the Tali that gets to speak into a microphone in front of a T-Dome full of kids in 2019 and gets to make friendships of a depth I hadn’t known possible.  More than that, I can see my voice in being a person called into being a communicator through words, art and people.  The difference is undoubtedly Jesus.

My first time at Eagle Lake was when I was 11 and my friend Corinne convinced me to come along.  My parents drove me up and I remember wanting to hide under the car seat from the crazy counselors welcoming us through the spirit tunnel.  My friend and I were placed in Buttercup, and our counselors wrote the theme verse in Expo marker on the back window, out of which you could see the pre-Waldo Canyon Fire(2012) green pines and cross.

It took me a hot second to adjust to camp life, but after a bit I felt freer than I ever had. I couldn’t quite pinpoint what the difference was until I sat with my counselor on Wednesday on the big boulder by the camp store and asked her about what this difference was, talking about how much I had lived afraid of so much, especially of God.  She discussed with me the reality of Jesus loving me, and that this was the real love that everyone at camp had been talking about. This concept had been conjectured to me in many ways previously, but in that moment looking out over the lake, I could sense something simply more alive about the place.  That love was being lived out all around me.  Sitting on that rock, I prayed with her and genuinely made the decision that my life was for Jesus for the first time.  It was simple, but I have never been the same.

That day, walking back down to the lake for the rest of free time, I remember the feeling of a weight being lifted off of my shoulders.  Joy entered my life in a way that was completely transformative.  That week at Eagle Lake, this verse began to spin into motion in my life:

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

-2 Timothy 1:6-7 ESV

This fanning into flame started that week, but I had a long way to go.  It took me a while to figure out that God wasn’t just at camp, but that he was so present in my life down the mountain as well.  This truth became clearer as my other counselor also prayed for two best friends for me when I entered middle school – that prayer being precisely what happened.  The friends I met back home knew the Lord, helped me hold onto my faith, and have been there consistently through middle school, high school, and college, through deep pain and great joy.  I would later return to Eagle Lake with them as campers and then as counselors.


Counselors Dancing


God not only showed me my voice then, but also over time a passion for encouraging voice in others.  There’s a Madeline L’Engle quote I love that reflects this transformation for me:

“We have to be braver than what we think we can be, because God is constantly calling us to be more than we are, to see through plastic sham to living, breathing reality, and to break down our defenses of self-protection in order to be free to receive and give love”.

I can see this breaking down of my defenses as the Lord continued to draw me back to Eagle Lake.  I never would have guessed that I’d come back as many summers as I have, but it has felt so natural to return and grow in my walk with God and the voice he’s given me.  My camp summers give me a vivid picture of the transformation – memories of moments I spent growing up tucked in the mountains, whether sweeping the Upper-D in Crew, leading “warm and fuzzies” with my campers as a counselor, or busting the doors open for camper rally as a P.C..  They have allowed me to see that all along, the Lord has been giving me a voice.


Leaders Leading a rally


Timidity once overruled my voice, but at camp I found Jesus, and in my time I have also found boldness in that.  Camp to me is the backdrop for realizing that I can give and receive love, and that all of this aliveness comes from faith.  When I think of camp, I think of the quiet times with God sitting around the misty lake, the first time I ever really danced and not cared, long talks with incredible, Christlike people, hikes among wildflowers, and vividly seeking God’s faithfulness.

From meeting Jesus as a camper in 2009 to approaching my second summer back as a Program Coach in 2019, the Lord has shown me such steadfastness in leading me out of timidity and into the reality of who I am – someone he’s made and filled with passion, given a voice and the daily opportunity to choose to live fully in Him.


Painting of Overnight Camps

Tali also happens to be a very talented artist. If you’ve been to our overnight property the past two years, there’s a good chance she made a decoration you saw on your way in and around camp!


Camp Was Never About Camp

Camp was never about camp.

Three summers at Eagle Lake Camps. (That’s 36 first weeks, if anyone is counting.) Upon arriving to an unfamiliar place with few familiar faces, my program director confronted our staff with a simple question: “Why are you here?” I thought I knew why I was at camp. I loved Jesus, and I wanted to give of myself to help high school students know him. However, in the coming weeks, months, and years, God answered that question in many palpable and unforeseen ways; He would show me not only the “why” of camp, but also the “why” of everything. He was showing me that His glory – and not mine – was the “why” of all things.

In the weeks before our campers arrived for my very first first week, I remember having a TAWG (time alone with God) at Glen Eyrie with the rest of the Eagle Lake staff. Knowing that I was about to have the chance to love 60 high school students for the Gospel was so electrifying; honestly, I was merely 12 months removed from high school at the time, and my ridiculous sense of humor had already come up with a handful of absurd ideas to help me get to know these kids. I had plans to shave my legs in exchange for memorized Bible verses, eat pounds and pounds of cheeseballs, and play golf with tennis balls around the camp property.


Crew Camper Bible study 2015


Crew Staff after putting the blob in the lake


Crew Camper side hugs Crew Counselor


In the stillness of my time alone with the Lord, though, He very subtly gave me a new plan for that summer. In Galatians 1:10, Paul says “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Lingering over this verse was the beginning of a long, challenging, liberating lesson from the Father: What “why” do I live my life from? What is my deepest purpose? Am I more concerned with the temporal, or with the eternal? Will I abandon me for Jesus, or not? Jesus had begun to teach me what it meant to be his disciple, and it meant less of me, and more of him. I loved pleasing people. I loved the approval of men. I loved me. But would I love the satisfaction of intimacy with Christ more? God was going to show me the joy of losing my life for Christ’s sake, and in doing so, finding my life in abundance. He was showing me the “why!”

Throughout the rest of that summer, and the two more to follow, Jesus continued to make clear to me how to find joy, life, and peace. I needed to find myself in the Gospel, and nothing else. Camp is a place that forces us to consider where our treasure is. In my case, I searched for validation and identity in the opinions of others. How hollow are those things compared to the love of the Father! This is one of the great truths about being a child of God: We don’t just let go of our lives for the sake of letting them go. We lose them so that we can find them! We deny our selfish, sinful desires for something so much better, and so much more satisfying – Jesus, the bread of life. Jesus himself makes it clear in John 15. After imploring his disciples to abide in his love before anything else, he tells them why: “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” Studying these words early on in my first summer at camp helped me to realize all the more the big “why.” Jesus is better than the world. He gives life that is worth losing everything for.

Basketball team picture at Eagle Lake


Staff members posing for an epic team picture


Crew Leadership and a camper from 2016


When I think about my time at camp, I quickly recall so many memories of laughter, fun, friendships and conversations that I will never forget. However, the first thing that comes to mind when I think about camp really has nothing to do with camp. I think about how God taught me, through His Spirit, His Word, and His people that His love and His glory are the only things that carry meaning. He taught me to think like John the Baptist and say, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” This is the “why,” and it’s a simple thing! The love of God in Christ Jesus is the greatest joy we could ever find, and God is most glorified when we embrace this joy. It’s a funny thing that God would teach these sorts of lessons at a summer camp in the Colorado mountains, but I’m so grateful that he did. Because of the work of God in my life at Eagle Lake, I agree with David in Psalm 63: “Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.”


Crew Staff 2016


Crew Male Staff 2017


Crew Friends hugging.


Not sure how to spend your next summer? Apply to be an Eagle Lake Camp Counselor and work with people like Lucas.

At Camp and Anywhere: God Values Me, I Can Rely on Him.

God loves me, God loves me. This is real. This is not just something people talk about. God has real affection for his children. God has real affection for me.

The first time I stepped foot at Eagle Lake was in 2014 when I arrived to be a camper on the Crew program. As I was put into the camp environment, one built on community,  loving each other and learning who God is, I began to grow. I began to discover through God’s Word who He is for the very first time. I remember reading Matthew 6:26, which says “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” I remember my counselor, Hannah, personally seeking me out and through her actions God showed me I was valuable. I was of enough value for Hannah to seek me out even though she didn’t know me and I was of enough value for God to seek me out although he knew every part of me. This was the first time a person had gone out of their way to walk towards me.


Celebrating a counselor's birthday


That summer I spent as a camper was crucial in introducing me to people that have a real passion for God, God’s word, and were innately enthusiastic about both. Outside of Eagle Lake I’ve met only on rare occasion people that show as much passion and enthusiasm for knowing and loving Christ, but I do know they are out there somewhere.

Since the summer of 2014 I have spent two years on staff with Eagle Lake Camps. This last summer was a big lesson on what it truly looks like and feels like to rely on God. A little over halfway through the summer, I hit my head and acquired a concussion. During this time, I was in charge of the work crew that runs the camp store, meeting with my campers, and leading Bible study. I wish I could tell you story after story of what happened the second half of the summer, but I don’t remember much of the one-on-one’s I had or what each day entailed. What I do remember is feeling incapable. I remember feeling incapable, being incapable, and relying on God. I remember God making me capable. This came after trying to do what I could normally do and it being less than what I desired.

I’ve come further in relying on God, but honestly I am still learning this lesson. I think I tend to just forget who God has shown himself to me to be. In those moments I become self-reliant again. It’s easy to get into the mindset of “I have to do all these things and be a certain kind of person.” I subject myself to my own thoughts instead of God’s truths. I want to do things well, but sometimes I get stuck in my head and start worrying about the things I need to do instead of doing them. I start thinking about my capabilities and incapability’s instead of giving them to my God who loves me fully and is fully trustworthy for me to rely on.


Camp Counselor and her Bible Study

Campers at Banquet


I am often reminded of the verse that follows Matthew 6:26: “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”  I know that God is working and doing things in my life, but I maybe don’t trust that he’s always the one who will make them happen and I worry about how new things will come about or how I will get from point a to point b.

At camp this last summer I so deeply wanted the campers entrusted to me to feel love the way I felt loved and sought after when I was camper. I felt the Lord stop me daily and remind me that while He did bring me here to love these people, it is HIS love in me that makes campers feel loved and sought after.


Counselor and Camper on beachday


This is true in my daily life. He is reminding me who He is even now. Telling me he has affection for his kids and continues to seek us out forever. Telling me He loves me, He loves me. Asking for me to rely on Him and trust Him. Telling me all my value is all from Him and through Him.

One other verse that has been a theme during my time at camp is Philippians 1:6: “And I am certain that God who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” As I walk through worries now, I cling to this verse knowing His work in me never stops. I am excited to be coming back to Eagle Lake this next summer confident of this promise.


Life on life discipleship


Want your child to be a camper like Meghan was? Visit our 2019 Brochure to find the program they belong at!

Like this post and want more resources on where value comes from? Check out this article from Desiring God: “Reflections on the Concept of Self-Worth”  

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