Saturday, August 8, 2009

KingdomBound 2009 - Final Day

We were up at 8:30 am and it was time for round two of bacon and eggs. Alex FINALLY did some work around here after we made him do some dishes…. : )

It was then off to the store to get a t-shirt for Shawn and into the park to do some more rollercoaster rides. We did the Moto coaster (I saw Silene in line from Living Hope), and then we went to Superman. After that ride was over we saw Dave and Trish and her boys….Those chance encounters happen every year here.

Chris then challenged me to go on the Predator (wooden coaster) and I agreed. It reminded me again why I don’t like that coaster…..a real kidney puncher that one. I’m good for another 6 years now.

I left the boys and headed back to the campsite to see if things have dried out now, and to finish this blog entry. At 4:30 it’s time for a great supper and then off to the Compassion tent for Natalie Grant, Phil Joel, and then the most famous Newsboys. I’ll let you know how things go later. Talk to you then……………………….

So, I’m sitting at our camp site, with the amber glow of my outside trailer light helping me to see the computer keyboard. My ears are ringing from the Newsboys concert, and the boys are all excited about it; trying to unwind.

After I left you this afternoon, I decided to go buy a KB t-shirt, and then I took a much needed nap. At 4:30 pm we gathered together to consume a GREAT meal of pork chops and chicken, complete with potatoes and vegetables. Mary-Jane, your great food was FINALLY consumed by all of us. : ) Thanks.

After the dishes were completed, the boys headed off to the Compassion Concert stage to get a good seat for the Newsboys Concert. I arrived a while later and found a seat beside them. Natalie Grant was on deck first. She was very good. Then Phil Joel, former guitarist of the Newsboys, came out and sang and spoke. I missed most of that, as I tried to call home. Not too many pay phones any more.

I returned to wait for 30 minutes, and then it began….the NEWSBOYS. The place was packed and the crowd erupted as the Newsboys came on stage. It was once again an amazing concert. They have a new singer now, so that took a bit of getting used to, but otherwise they were true to form. Exciting, energizing, and bringing a great gospel message.

We were sitting in the middle - middle of the audience. That proved good because the Newsboys ended up singing from another stage, which was right beside us. The boys were VERY excited about that. I think Chris too 300 pictures.

The concert ended with the usual chant for one more song, but it was a DC talk song, not a Newsboys song this time. That seemed appropriate, seeing that the new lead singer is the former lead singer of DC Talk.

Then, it was over………

The boys are now acting quite goofy in the trailer. Working off all that excitement energy. We get up at 8 am and begin the process of packing up and heading home. Once again it was a GREAT experience here at KB2009. If you haven’t gone, you should give it a try some year. In two years we will be going again…….maybe you want to come along????????

Below are some pics from the day…..enjoy.

Scary. These two cousins could be siamese twins.

Here's a rare site. Michael doing WORK!

After 3 days of living together, these boys sure do make a mess!

Here's Zacks cloth filing system....put it in a pile and hope it doesn't walk away on me.

It's hard to see where the cloths end and the sleeping back begings.

Another GREAT morning and more bacon and eggs.

The motocoaster.

A shot of me on the Superman. I could ride that ride all day long.

Chris on another smaller ride.

More of the boys on this swing ride. Gives me the creeps just looking at the picture.

Once in a while rides get stuck on the uphill climb. There the Predator is stuck...and it was stuck for a while. Sometimes people have to climb out of the ride and be led down the "hill". A risk you take when you ride the coasters.

More BMX tricks.

The boys saw this man with a basketball and a stick, and Chris tried out balancing the ball on the stick. Not bad!

Getting settled in for the Newsboys Concert. I think it was 6:30 pm when I took this picture. The concert didn't start until 9:30 pm.

Natlie Grant sings.

Phil Joel, ex Newsboys, talks and sings.

The artist is back. He was good.

The end result.

You can tell Kyle was going a bit crazy. He just wanted the Newsboys to START playing....checking his watch every 5 minutes. : )

Finally, the Newsboys hit the stage. They were LOUD, and amazing.

The new lead singer....

Up close and personal on the "other" stage.

Praising God through song.

The former lead singer came out for one song, and to say good-bye.

Well, this brings us to the end of another KB event. It's sad to see it end, but it will be good to be home again too. Before I leave you, I leave you with a final thought. As we leave KB09, and I think about all the roller coaster rides we’ve been on, I find myself thinking that roller coasters are a lot like our relationship with God. We see the coaster and for some, a knot forms in our gut because we want to go on the ride, but we also are a bit afraid. For others, the thought of what is about to come simply gets them excited. Then we get in line and watch others on the ride having a great time. Screaming, laughing, some crying. Then we step into the seat of a car and are strapped in in one way or another, realizing that we have just relinquished control of our lives for the duration of the ride. Once it begins there’s no turning back. Once the uphill climb is complete and the car is released from the chain, we are at the mercy of the ride. The twists and turns cause us to feel exhilaration, fear, joy, and discomfort.

Trusting in God can be like that too. In order to have a relationship with Him, we must give up control of our lives so He can lead, not us. In doing so life takes twists and turns that we don’t always have control of, and they cause us joy, fear, sorrow, excitement and exhilaration. I like roller coasters, not only for the thrill of the ride, but for the reminder of what they mean for me in my walk with God.

KingdomBound 2009 - Tuesday

Hello again. It's Tuesday morning. The evening was noisy again with the neighbours serenading us with singing for about 20 minutes and then heading off to bed. Several trains could be heard in the distance, and the volunteer fire department siren went off twice at 4:00 and 5:00 am. I’m a light sleeper, so I heard everything. The others seemed to sleep through it all. We awoke a 9 am and when I walked out of the trailer, Graham was sitting at the picnic table eating breakfast out of a VERY large bowl. : )

Cereal and OJ was on the menu for this morning. As everyone ate breakfast they began planning out their day. We’ve had great weather so far. Sunny and warm but not humid. A nice change from the July rains we’ve been having in Ottawa. It is sunny again this morning, but we are supposed to get some rain tonight. Then Wed and Thurs are supposed to be GREAT! : )

With the weather being so nice, everyone decided that water would be the theme of the day. The park opens at 10:30 am each day, but the water park opens at 11 am, so they were going to hit water rides from 10:30 – 11 and then the water park for several hours. That was something that Graham wanted to do. It was nice to see him have his fun too.

After that they would return to the campsite, grab a shower, and relax until the Hawk Nelson concert. I decided that water was not in my psyche today, so I stayed back and went into town to get some more juice, ice, and water. As I travelled into town, I noticed a house that was pretty damaged, as well as a large greenhouse beside it was more or less flattened. There was a barn being reconstructed next to that house. I looked to the other side of the road and noticed felled trees and as I looked further down, I saw a cut of felled trees that went on for at least ½ mile. Then I realized that a small tornado must have passed through this place not too long ago leaving a swath of damaged property and trees. That didn’t make me feel too comfortable.

I'm Back at the campsite now, I made a call to Joycegina, Sarah and Katrina, who went to see her dad and mom, but no one was home. On the way back from the phone booth I was asked by three young people if I wanted to take a survey on behalf of Kingdombound. As we went through the questions I could see the end result was to see if I understood the way to get to heaven. Seems like I answered the question correctly : ). I give these young people credit. They volunteered to do this for the duration of KB2009 and are simply walking around the campsites asking anyone who’s willing if they’d take the survey. If someone doesn’t know Jesus, they are prepared to talk to them about how they can get to know Him. Cool stuff!

I made it back to camp and am now going through the hundreds of pictures Chris has taken, to get some for the Blog. I expect the group will be back here by about 1 pm ish and regale me with their antics of the morning. Pictures more than likely to follow. : )

The group did comeback at 1:30 pm. They’d had enough of the water park and wanted to have a snack and take a shower. I always find it fun watching young people trying to survive an experience like KB. Everyone handles their lives differently. Take Michael for instance. His eating habits consist of junk food, and that’s pretty much it. Then there is Kyle, who attempted to hang another close line rope for towels. Seems he didn’t pass his knot tying course in Cadets…..and Chris wasn’t much more help for him. They sure make me chuckle at times.

Most are back in the park now doing the rides before supper. The weather is turning a bit windier and the dark clouds are beginning to move in. It always rains at least once while here…let’s just hope it’s while we are sleeping tonight, and that would be about it.

Till this evening……

It’s evening now. Supper consisted of sharing hotdogs, cream style corn and juice. We’ll all eat Mary Jane’s pork chops and chicken tomorrow……After supper the boys went to hear Bob Lenz speak (I think he gave the same talk that I heard) and then they heard the band Family Force 5. I understand they thought that band was pretty hokey, and from the pictures they got, I’d have to agree. Hawk Nelson was liked by all and Zack, Chris and Kyle all got T-Shirts (see pictures below).

I wasn’t sure what was going to be happening at the Compassion tent tonight. I didn’t recognize any of the acts, but decided to go anyway. It was good I did. DecemberRadio played for a sparse crowd, but they were good. Hard Rock from the deep South. Definitely toe tapping and more.

Then David Nasser spoke about reliving the crucifixion and he told the story in a very compelling way. After a 30 minute wait, and the seats filling up a bit more, it was time for Israel Houghton and his worship band. I’d never heard him before but they were very good. He and his group had a natural way of worshipping God and even though some of the songs went on for 15 minutes, you didn’t notice at all. There were times of peaceful sitting down, and times you couldn’t help but be on your feet and clapping and dancing. I’d listen to them again.

At the end he gave a short talk that really stuck with me. The power of one was his theme. It was born out of his mothers experience in becoming a Christian just before Israel was born. His mom was on the streets with no where to turn, when a lady just crossed the street and said she felt God telling her to talk to Israel’s mom. It so took her back, she became a Christian right there. His closing words were, “You don’t have to go across the world to change the world. You don’t even have to go across your country, or your city….sometimes all you have to do is cross the street….” So true, yet it seems so hard to do.

I left at 10 pm and walked quietly back to the campsite. Everyone was there and once I got there the rain began. We had a pretty good thunder storm with some pretty hard rain for about 30 minutes. Everyone scurried for cover and the campfires around us slowly died out. If that’s the only rain we get (and I think it will be), we’ll have done VERY well. Pictures are below of the day…enjoy…

Here's Graham with his VERY large bowl of cereal.

Every morning Chris had to wet his hair....with VERY cold water.

Cereal was the breakfast for this morning.

Shawn getting ready to do dishes. Each site had water so we'd boil some for hot water and add cold water to get the temperature just right.

Zack and Shawn putting on sunscreen before heading into the water park. I just wanted your parents to know you actually put sun screen on. : )

It seems we had a bit of a feud going on while at KB. Seems that Chris and Kyle are Toronto Maple Leafs fans, and the rest are Sen's fans. Here are Shawn and Michael showing off their Sen's stuff.

Here's Chris finishing up after Kyle attempted to tie a knot. Neither seemed to succeed here. : )

Now this little bump proved to be very interesting. We laid down this turf under my trailer awning, and this rock was right in the middle. EVERYONE seemed to find it with their bare feet, but NO ONE seemed to want to get rid of it. : )

More shows from the BMX group.

I think Zack and Shawn are bored?????????

The guys took in some smaller rides in the park too....there is much more than just roller coasters.

Here's what it looks like when you take the Mind Eraser. Notice the dangling feet!

Here's the crazy speaker, Bob Lenz.

Family Force 5. They wore football pads.....very interesting.

A very large crowd gathered in the evening hours to listen to the concerts.

The favoured band of the boys. Hawk Nelson.

Chris, Zack, and Kyle all got Hawk Nelson T-shirts.

Here's Zack looking for his PJ's under the table in the trailer.

A headless Hawk Nelson Fan.

Kingdombound 2009 - Monday

We were up at 8:30 am and I made breakfast for Shawn, Chrs, Kyle and myself. Bacon and Eggs…..mmmmm good. The boys did the dishes (a good arrangement I think). Graham, Alex, and Michael cooked their meal with us and we all ate together. It was then time to head into the park and take in the rides. As it turns out, the sun was actually shining today….what a change from July : ) . It’s promising to be a beautiful day.

Michael and Alex decided to head into the park before us. The rest of us took in several roller coasters. Not much of a wait for some and we were able to go on the Mind Eraser 5 times in 20 minutes, which is VERY good. Graham is not a roller coaster type person, but he graciously waited for us at each ride. He did manage to do a water ride with me, and the Ferris wheel (which I HATE BTW).

At 2:30 pm Graham and I headed back to the campsite. I grabbed a shower, as this is the best time of day to get one without waiting, and then I had a snack. Alex, Graham, and Michael are sitting here with me relaxing. The rest are at the Hello Kelly concert. We can hear it from our camp site…..clear as a bell : ) . More on the rest of our day later……Time to relax a bit more. : )

Hello again. The boys came back from the Hello Kelly Concert with lots of pictures and signed posters from the band members. They were pretty excited. We settled in for a supper of Kraft Dinner and Peas. Yummy : )! Graham was serving steak with corn on the cob and since Michael wanted Kraft dinner, he offered me his steak….Hey, I’m not one to refuse, so I got steak to eat this evening!

After everyone cleaned up (Chris even offered to do dishes of all things) the boys were off to hear the bands Pillar and Skillet play and I went off to hear Paul Baloche, Bob Lenz and Casting Crowns. Paul Baloche sang many of my favorite contemporary hymns. He has a knack of hitting you where the Spirit is moving.

Shawn joined me after the Skillet concert and we listened to Bob Lenz give a talk. He’s an unorthodox kind of speaker and I really liked his message. Don’t settle for second best when God wants what’s best for you. Too many people get hurt in life and recoil thinking God is not their friend, or not for them and they head down a life that is not God centered any longer. Bob called them back to a life with God at the centre. He was so honest about the pain that life brings because of sin. He also had lots of questions for God still today, but it’s okay to ask the questions in the midst of our relationship with Him.

Bob’s final 10 minutes were spent challenging people to sponsor a Compassion Child. Our family sponsors a child in Peru. Bob’s family sponsors seven…. Another reminder that even in these bad economic times, there are others who are worse off then we who live in one of the richest countries in the world (North America).

Then it was time for Casting Crowns to play. The Compassion tent was packed. They are such a great group to hear. The songs they sing are powerful if you let the words sink into your soul. I went away refreshed and challenged once again, simply through worship songs.

Shawn and I walked the 12 or so minutes back to the campsite and found the group there. Graham and Michael were off to bed, and Alex was reading. The others were ready to share their concert experience with us, and they did.

It’s midnight now, and time for bed. Here are some pictures of the day, in case you wanted the visual affect. See you in the morning.

Zack is busy cleaning up the orange juce that spilt off the table. I stopped him just in time from putting that stuff BACK in the container. : )

Bacon on the stove.....mmmmmm

Waiting for breakfast....while I'm cooking!!

Chris and Kyle ready to take a ride on the Boomerang.

Once again Chris convinced me to go on the Ferris Wheel. I don't like heights, but agreed to go.

Here's a picture of the Boomerang.

Here I am waiting in line for the Ferris Wheel.

Graham was right beside me.

The ferris wheel.....yuck....

Here are some great pictures from the top of the ferris wheel. It will give you an idea of the park layout.

The water park. Section 1.

The water park. Section 2.

Here's a new ride. The motocoaster.

We took in the log ride....the one gentle roller coaster that Graham would go on.

There were some skate boarders and BMX bikers who did shows for the crowd.

Here I am on a ride.

Zack and Chris waiting in the crowd for the concert.

Hello Kelly in concert.

The crowd is enjoying themselves.

Chris got up close and personal with the band members.

So did Shawn.

There was an excellent artist that would draw as songs were being played.

This was either Pillar or Skillet, I'm not sure.

I listened to Casting Crowns on the main stage. AWESOME!