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: 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! 

At Summer Camp I Learned To Meet People Where They Are At.

When I decided to go to work at camp last summer (2018) I thought nothing of it. I had applied to be a Rezident Camp Counselor, spending days in the mountains while ministering to kids. I thought it would just be another summer. Little did I know God had BIG plans for me. Driving to camp I was so nervous!  I didn’t know what to expect: it was a new place, and I didn’t really know anyone there.  When I got there one of the Program Coaches, Tali, introduced herself to me and we started talking for a while. As it turned out, we had a lot in common! Before long I had a friend and someone who would field ALL of my questions.

Camp Counselors hug in front of Eagle Lake.

Summer at camp was full of new people and new places.  I was working with peers I never would have met and pouring into kids I never thought I would know, but in all this I learned a valuable lesson.  I learned to meet people where they are at. Not only campers, but anyone and everyone. Sometimes it meant painting rocks at the A-Frame or paddle boarding on the lake or going down the zip-line or even sitting together and talking about hard questions and difficult things.  Coming into the summer, this was something that scared me.  What if I wasn’t liked? What if we couldn’t relate? What if I didn’t have the right answers? But as camp went on the Lord provided me opportunities to learn what it means to meet people where they are at.Camp Counselor and camper go paddle boarding and pose for a picture!

One thing that Eagle Lake encourages is life-on-life discipleship, which often translates to meeting with campers one-on-one where each camper gets to spend time with their counselor and do something fun and unique. These turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the week and some of my most memorable one-on-ones happened with campers I never thought I could relate to.  As I sat there on each one-on-one, I learned to be present and just listen. Soon enough, our conversations blossomed and by the end of my time with each camper, I had learned something new about them and we were friends!  After spending time with each camper it was amazing to see the ways they would grow over the course of the week.  Everyone grew differently.  Some learned about confidence and stepped out of their comfort zone to try something new and others took BIG steps in their faith and learned something new about God. That is why I love one-on-ones, because I knew that whatever growth I saw in them was NOT because of me.  Only the Lord can do those crazy things and I would never have been able to plan or orchestrate anything that spectacular. I was able to meet campers where they were at and show them the love of Jesus and then sit back and watch the ways the God moved in their lives, even in the course of a short week. 

In our staff Bible study this summer, led by Tali, we talked about abiding in God and the fruits that come with that.  In John 15:4 Jesus says, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”  At camp I could have stayed in the mindset of ‘what if’s’ and stayed in my comfort zone. Instead I took the step of faith out of it and leaned into what God had prepared for me there.  The Lord met me where I was at in my fear and hesitation. He gave me courage and He taught me so much about his faithfulness and how He provides in ways I could never imagine.  Camp forces you outside your comfort zone and pushes you to do things you never thought you could.  I didn’t think I could be a good counselor and I didn’t think I would love it as much as I did. But God does crazy things, and while you don’t have to be at camp to experience that, it’s a cool place to see him work.

Camp Counselors play messy games at Shock week.Camp Counselors pose with flowers in front of Thunder Dome.Camp Counselors hike to the Cross at Eagle Lake Camps.Camp Counselor participates in throw-ins!

Had it not been for Tali walking up to me and introducing herself, the first few days, and even the later hours of camp would have been SO MUCH HARDER.  Just knowing someone, even a little, in a new, scary place meant the world to me.  I learned so much about what it means to meet people where they are at and I still get to learn about it even now that I am back at school. I get to meet my friends and strangers where they’re at and show them the love of Jesus regardless of their situation. It’s still scary but Lord has taught me the value of sitting and listing to someone’s story, because each one is important!