TAWG After Camp: You are Loved

It’s now been over a week since we were all at camp together. School is about to start back up again for many of us. Others have work. Our old routines are beginning to settle back in, and what we learned at camp may be feeling a bit foggy by now.

So much can change even in a week. You know what doesn’t change? God loves you, and He is with you.

He wants to see you succeed.

He wants to help you grow.

He never gives up on you.

He is walking with you through every situation, no matter how difficult.


Have you ever felt abandoned or alone? Have you ever felt like someone who is very close to you had pulled away from or forgotten you? Even our most cherished human relationships can include pain and difficulty. But let’s look at Isaiah 49:15-16 and consider how our relationship with God goes even deeper.

Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.

There is no other human relationship quite like that of a mother and a child. Yet even that relationship does not compare to the love and tenderness of God. Look at the verses again. God tells us that He will never forget us. Never, no matter what we do.

Take comfort in that today. As you seek to move forward and continue in the things you learned at camp, be aware that you might slip up. But God still loves you. As you go back to school, friendships and circumstances may change. But God hasn’t forgotten you. As you live with and love your family, there may be bumps along the road. But God is always with you.

You are loved. You are cherished. You matter. God has not forgotten you, and he never will.

Want More?

  • Romans 8:38-39
  • Psalm 27:9-14
  • Jeremiah 29:11-13
  • 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
  • Psalm 34:8
  • Psalm 31:19

Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness

During camp, our TAWG lessons covered the Fruit of the Spirit. But there were a few we didn’t get to. This week, we’re taking a look at the rest of the Fruit of the Spirit. We hope these posts give you some good “food” for thought.:)

As we end our TAWG series on the Fruit of the Spirit, we’ve come to the fruit of faithfulness. Read Galatians 5:22-23 once more to remind yourself of the Fruits of the Spirit.

Faithfulness seems like the perfect fruit to highlight as we transition back home from camp. Camp is a “mountaintop” experience. The struggle, then, is in coming back down to earth. We’ve all been there – you make a decision at camp only to be faced with the same old struggles and temptations when you get home. It sometimes causes us to doubt what happened at camp. We think, “If I really made that decision, I wouldn’t be struggling right now.”


Jesus never said the Chrisitian life would be easy. Take some time and read John 16:33. If you don’t have a Bible nearby, here’s a link to the verse online.

Instead, Jesus calls us to faithfulness – day in and day out. So what is faithfulness? The textbook definition reads – “the quality of being faithful; fidelity.” Pretty obvious, right? But the idea here is that you are being loyal every day. Every day you show up ready to follow. Faithfulness is focused much more on the mundane than the mountaintop.

This means that as we come home from camp, our focus should be there as well. Instead of looking back and relishing in all the amazing things that happened at camp (though I hope there are many), focus your energy on following God each day. I know, it’s hard. Again, Jesus didn’t tell us this would be easy. But it’s what we’re called to.

So what does this look like? Well, there are some key tools that any Christian needs to implement to live a faithful lifestyle. You know them as well as I do:

  • Prayer
  • Personal time with God
  • Fellowship with other believers
  • Reading God’s Word

There are certainly other disciplines that apply, but these are some of the basics. Look at that list. We can all improve on each one. No one is perfect. But try to zero in on one area in particular where you can improve on a daily basis. Then…

…start today!

If you want to pray more, write down some prayer requests and pick a time of day. Each day at that time, spend a few minutes in prayer. Personal time with God can come at any time of day, it doesn’t have to be in the morning. Pick a time that works for you. Or maybe you want to spend more time with fellow believers. This is where church comes in. Get involved in your youth group. For reading God’s Word, it could be as simple as reading one verse a day. Even a little bit of interaction with the Bible can be so filling!

Obviously, these disciplines can merge together. Maybe, as part of your alone time, you read the Bible and pray! Great! But remember that none of these disciplines will look the same for everyone. Talk to God and figure out how each one works best for you. Maybe, instead of reading, God just wants you to sit in stillness and silence with Him. That’s great too!

Laura Bulgrien talked about faithfulness out at camp. She told a story about a time when God spoke to her. She longed to serve in overseas missions, but she found herself working at a desk. It was hard for her to see the impact she was having. But God clearly told her that if she wasn’t willing to be faithful in the “small” things, she’d never be faithful in the “bigger” things.

What small things can you be faithful in today? How has God been speaking to you since camp ended?

The bottom line is: camp only goes so far. At the end of the week, camp is over. Now you’re back home and school is about to start. This is where the rubber meets the road. God is calling you to faithfulness. Will you answer?

Want More?

  • Matthew 16:24
  • Lamentations 3:23
  • Psalms 36:5
  • Psalms 119:90
  • Luke 16:10

Tomorrow, we’ll be starting a new TAWG series. Check back to see what’s next. And if you’d like to see our other TAWG sessions on the Fruit of the Spirit, you can find them below.

Fruit of the Spirit: Love

Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness

Camp Debrief

Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness

During camp, our TAWG lessons covered the Fruit of the Spirit. But there were a few we didn’t get to. This week, we’re taking a look at the rest of the Fruit of the Spirit. We hope these posts give you some good “food” for thought.:)

Goodness is a difficult concept to grasp at times, especially in the world we live in today.  It is hard to know what is good when there is so much evil in the world today.  The world is in desperate need of God and His goodness.  God is good, and the Bible says “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose”(Romans 8:28).  Those who love and trust God will experience His goodness, which may look much different than we expect.

I love the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. You should read all of them if you haven’t.  One of my favorite lines from the series comes from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe:

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” 

This conversation is about Aslan, who is a Christ-like figure in the novel.  It is so profound because we tend to confuse goodness with safety or an easy life.  God does work for our good, but that doesn’t always look easy.  Many times it is a great challenge, but it so worth the effort.

Take some time to read through Acts 27-28.  This is one of the most descriptive passages in the Bible, and it tells the story about Paul and his experience with God’s goodness.  If anyone has anything to say about goodness it would be Paul who was imprisoned and persecuted, yet trusted God and continued to serve Him wherever he went.

How does this story make you feel?

What does goodness mean to you?

What is God’s goodness?

How can you express goodness to those around you?

Romans 12:9 says, “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.  This means that we must reject the evil that surrounds us and hold on to the good that does exist in the world.  When we reach out to others we must not hate those that are different, but it is ok to hate the evil that exists within a person.  This goes for us as well.  We should hate the evil that resides in us.  But it is crucial to hold on to the good as well.  Without doing this we lose hope.  There is good and it is vital to pull out the good in every situation.  Don’t let the media get you down.  It tends to only present the negative, evil things that are going on in the world.  Search for God’s goodness.  Show compassion to those around you no matter what.  Start loving unconditionally as Christ, and seek goodness.

Be encouraged today and hold on to God’s goodness.  Remember that He is working for the good of those that love Him, even though it may not seem so all the time.  We must move beyond the self and learn to live as Christ.  Remember that God is present and He is working.  Be filled with the Spirit, and trust wholly in God who loves you beyond reason.

Want More:

Psalm 23

Psalm 31:19

Galatians 6:10

Matthew 12:35

Acts 27-28

Fruit of the Spirit: Love

During camp, our TAWG lessons covered the Fruit of the Spirit. But there were a few we didn’t get to. This week, we’re taking a look at the rest of the Fruit of the Spirit. We hope these posts give you some good “food” for thought. 🙂

Love is one of the most common words in our language. It’s an integral part of our culture. Everyone thinks they know what love is. And yet many of us go through life searching for it. But what does the Bible have to say about love? As you might assume…quite a bit.

Read Galatians 5:22

It’s no coincidence that the first fruit mentioned in this famous verse is love. In 1 John 4:8, the Bible says that “God is love.” To love is to follow after the Creator’s example. It is the first sign of a follower of Christ. Just take Jesus at his own words.

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:35

No biblical discussion about love would be complete without the passage known as “The Love Chapter.” Go read 1 Corinthians 13 and take some time to think about the Bible’s definition of love. Here are a few questions to ask yourself.

What does it mean to love someone else?

How did Jesus display love?

What are some incorrect ways we think about love?

Who is someone who has shown love to you?

Who is someone to whom you need to show love?

Come back tomorrow for the next TAWG lesson on the Fruit of the Spirit. We’re praying for you as you transition back to life at home. We pray that you will not forget what you learned at camp!


Camp Debrief

Camp is over, so now what? You had an amazing week full of life impact and meaningful decisions, but now you’re back home. Or you had a difficult week full of conviction and fatigue and you aren’t sure of the point of the entire week. Either way, you’re looking for some closure, some way to wrap it all up. That’s where the importance of reflection comes in. After a week like Teen Camp, reflection isn’t only a good idea, it’s absolutely necessary.

In Wednesday’s TAWG, Mike Phipps talked about self-control. We read Matthew 4:1-11 to see how Jesus reacted to Satan’s temptation in the wilderness. What happened before that is important to understand. Go now and read Matthew 3:13-17 and Matthew 4:1-2.

Jesus was baptized and then he fasted in the wilderness for 40 days. Those are two pretty important spiritual experiences. Jesus surely was feeling some spiritual and emotional fatigue. He was probably trying to process all that had happened. When Jesus was baptized, God commissioned Him by sending His Spirit in the form of a dove. There was certainly a lot going on.

You’ve experienced a lot as well over the last week. Through TAWG, the sessions in the Tab and the Teen Tent, and the cabin time with your counselors, there is certainly a lot to process. If you still have your TAWG booklets, go back and look at Wednesday’s lesson. If not, read Matthew 4:3-11.

Jesus went right back to God’s Word when he was faced with temptation. As you reflect on what God was doing in your life over the last week, make sure you spend time in God’s Word. Find some time over the next few days to get alone and read Scripture. If you aren’t sure where to start, here are a few good verses.

Matthew 26:36-46

Psalm 62:5

Galatians 5:25

1 Kings 19:9-13

Luke 5:16

Also, take time to pray. Ask God where He wants you to go from here. Ask Him how He wants to use what you learned at camp in your life back home. Ask Him to strengthen you against the attacks of the enemy. Here are a few questions to ask yourself and God as you debrief the time at camp…

What was God saying to me at camp?

What was my favorite part of camp?

What part of camp was most difficult?

Which TAWG lesson was most impactful?

What is one thing I learned at camp that I can implement into my daily life at home?

We are continuing to pray for you as you transition from camp to life back home. If you ever have any questions at all, please contact us at the Teen Camp Facebook page. We love you, and we hope you were reminded once again at camp of God’s great love for you. May He bless you as you seek His direction for your life.

For the rest of the week, we will be posting TAWG lessons from the Fruit of the Spirit that we didn’t get to while we were out at camp. Check back each day for a new lesson. After this week, the TAWG lessons will be posted on a weekly basis.

TAWG Reflections: The Great Commission

Matthew 28: 16-20

 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…”

At the end of the gospel of Matthew Jesus has a simple, yet complex command for his disciples.  He tells them to go.  And he tells us we must go as well.  This is a necessity for all people who follow Christ.  We are not meant to merely receive grace, mercy, compassion, and knowledge from Scripture.  We are also meant to go out and spread these things to those around us.

Not everyone is called to go a great distance.  Some are called to stay in the very place where they have been raised, while others may be called to go into rural villages across the globe to serve.  Both are important and necessary.  You can be a disciple-maker wherever you end up. And you should be.

Jesus not only says go, but he also tells us to make disciples.  This means we must make sacrifices, committing our time and resources to reach out to others, building them up in Christ so that they may also go out one day and make their own disciples.  Making disciples takes patience and persistence, and not everyone will do what you expect.  Listen and be compassionate.  Continue to seek guidance and make sure you are still being poured into.  And most importantly, do all for the glory of God.

Finally, Jesus encourages his disciples that he will be with them wherever they go.  He is not far off in outer space.  The Kingdom of God is near.  God is present.  The Spirit is moving among us.  Sometimes as Christians in the USA we forget about this and get caught believing in a God based on popular culture.  Know that God cares and that he is with you, always.  Let him bless you and transform you.  Be still, silent, and listen to him.  Listen and obey.  Go and do.

Read and pray through this final section of Matthew a couple more times.

What does it look like for you to “go” now?

How can you make disciples now?

What does it mean to baptize them?

What must you do to effectively pour into others?

Who is pouring into you? (If no one, I highly encourage you seek a mentor.)

Let the Spirit fill you.  Allow it to dominate, saturate, motivate, and activate you.  Live each day for God’s glory. And remember that God is not far off, but rather, he is with you every step of the way.



TAWG Reflections: Lent

Over the last 4 years I have been practicing Lent.  Lent is a period of time that stretches from Ash Wednesday until the Thursday before Good Friday.  It is a period of time designated to prepare for Easter.  This year it takes place from February 10th, Ash Wednesday, until March 24th.

During Lent many people will fast, or subtract something from their lives.  People will fast from sweets, coffee, social media, meat, or whatever may be a major source of distraction in their lives.  Along with subtracting something, people also try to add daily practices that help refocus their minds on Christ.  This may include adding a day of rest, solitude, designated prayer times, reading a book, writing each day, checking out the TAWG Blog each week, or whatever you believe will help return your gaze to God.

Whether you add or subtract something to your daily schedule do so humbly.  Resist the temptation to be proud.  Instead, really let this time be about Christ and learning to live for him.  I would urge you, however, to tell a few people in order to keep accountable with whatever you decide to do this year.

A few more things to keep in mind:

  1. Create a Sabbath day for each week.  This may be any day you choose, but make sure you are consistent each week.  On your Sabbath day you take a break from your fast, but this doesn’t mean you go overboard.  For example, if you are subtracting sweets you won’t go and eat an entire cake on your Sabbath day, but will enjoy a reasonable amount.
  2. If someone offers you something that you are subtracting take it humbly, and try not to tell everyone that you are fasting.  It’s ok if you tell a lot of people, but just be sure that your intention is to glorify God, NOT to bring glory to you.

I would highly encourage you to add and subtract something during this season in preparation for Easter.  When deciding what to add/subtract do so wisely.  Pick something that you know you will follow through with, but also something that will push you.  Let this be a time of growth and transformation.