Thursday, June 30, 2005

I hate my shell

I've definately crawled back into it again. But this time i know why. Distractions are the devil's weapon with unlimited ammo. I should have seen it coming. I felt my relationship with the Lord growing so strong and getting more and more intimate. But another test had to barge its way into my life, and i must admit, you succeeded. My shell is cold dark and damp, and is an endless pit of low self esteem, lack of confidence and self doubt. Its ironic that when you can't be yourself you become a piece of everybody else. Lord, from the darkness of my shell, i cry out to You. You are magnificent, you are all powerful and i want to praise you always.

So this picture thing is kinda new, and i don't know how it works. But these are pictures from our last dance. (Sam and I had "dates"!!) And the other one is from our Trojan/Spartan war day. (Sports game day). Anyway, im trying to write a blog and have a conversation at the same time which is not cool. So ill make this a short one. Lord I love you and I am not ashamed.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Is consistency good?

The reason i ask the question is because that's what i'm missing. Some days i feel spiritually loaded, other days dry. Somedays i feel like i make better friends with my peers, and other days i feel like i make better friends with campers. Somedays i feel like an adult, and other days i feel like a kid. Some of these things i know how to solve, others i don't. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Is it better to be consistent, or live life like a carosel? Or do we really control that at all? Most times i look in the mirror i see a different reflection. One that i recognize, but not similar to the last. My question to you: Is that a good thing? I'm not much for deep thoughts, but that one has really been bugging me lately.

Otherwise, camp life is continuing to be incredible. I definately have my days, but im slowly learning how to correct it. I have my cabin mostly to thank for that. They are an incredible group of guys that continue to inspire me and energize me. The other day we had a really open talk about the bible and about Jesus, from their perspective as Jews and from my perspective as a Christian. The great thing was, we built a stronger relationship as a cabin through that discussion, and i can't praise God enough for these oppurtunities.

My Mum and step-dad are coming to visit in two weeks!!!! I cannot wait, and have been telling just about everyone i can about it. To my Kansas family, i can't wait to show you the relatives! You have been there for me in such a way that you have blessed my life and taken a lot of the worry off both my parents (not that they don't worry anyways!). I can't wait for them meet you and show how much they appreciate what you have done. My Dad and stepmum are also planning to come next year for my graduation!!! So i am blessed to have them come as well. My parents have put up with a lot with me (as i'm sure they'll tell you), but have been so supportive and incredible for all that i have wanted to do. Mum and Dad, I thank you so much for the oppurtunities you have provided me, and through this you have given me a platform to learn so many lessons about life, independantly, that you otherwise could have taught me. Thank you for you selflessness.

~Father in heaven, i praise you above all for the incredible family you have blessed me with here in the US and at home. Your grace has been more than sufficient in my life, and i pray that my family may see just a glimpse of the incredible love you have for them, and that you may bless them with your grace. Amen.~

P.S. Luke, hurry up and blog bro! I haven't heard from ya in a while!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

God You are Amazing

~ Father, i give all the glory to you my God.
I praise you fo the incredible day you blessed me with yesterday, and i stand in awe of hoe incredibly faithful you are.
I have seen my life go through so many stages, so many ups and downs, so many triumphs and turmoils.
But now i stand in awe and amazement of how trusting in you can be so rewarding.
I see myself and my energy levels.
Why am i so full and excited about this term, while others are wallowing in their tiredness?
My only explanation is that you have been graceful enough to provide me the energy i need to perform the duties you have lined up for me.
How can i show my friends and family Your awesome power Lord?
How can i show them that all of lifes stuggles and problems can be answered in You?
I mourn for them Father.
I want to see them living the fullest lives they possibly can.
I want them to have security in all that they do.
I want them to see that they cannot find answers in money, music, possesions and worldly things.
You are the answer to all, and there cannot be any other way.
Forgive me for my boasting Lord, but i only want to boast in you.
Praise you, Lord of my life.
I want to worship you in every action and in every breathing moment of my day.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Torchlighter celebration....always fun

Me as torchlighter....sorry bout the pic

Shannon and I doing our song. She ended up singing "Ain't no sunshine"

The new cabin!!! Cabin 1

Lay our drills for ultimate Frisbee

BFF (Best Friends Forever). It was a tatoo he wore one day.

Boys allstar Brenton?

Reading over Lake LBJ

Sam and I at the school spirit dance. I'm sporting my exchange student high school's practice jersey.

Flinstone night at the Fillin' Station

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Yesterday, i was bestowed the honor of being torchlighter at our final activity of the day ( appropriate). I know this will probably mean nothing to any of you, but i thought i should note it, maybe so i can read it over someday. All it really is, is the person that gets to light the torch, kind of olympic style, at the beginning of evening festivities. They make a big deal out of it here. They mostly give it to campers, but yesterday they gave it to a counsellor on both the boys and girls side of camp. It's usually someone that has carried the "spirit of a champion" that day, but there are so many other people who deserve it other than me, that really go unnoticed. I was very honored to receive it, but i don't like the politics involved behind it. Plus i feel like I haven't given all that i have just yet. Anyway, i'll try post a picture of it soon.

*Note: This is for all the X-Faithers* We had the most incredible game of "Potty on your neighbour" last night with our cabin. For those who don't know what that is, it's basically a card game where the person with the lowest card gets a strike, 3 strikes you lose, and face a consequence. Everyone gets one card and you have the option to trade it with the person on your left, and so the game goes in a circle. Anyway, our cabin played last night with our consequence being the loser had to jump in the lake with all their clothes on and rub mud in their hair like shampoo......oh poor Max Kunik. The last round of play, just about everybody had 2 strikes (there was about 13 of us) and by process of cancellation (there's a lot more rules i won't care to explain) he ended up losing. But he took it like a man, and put on a show for the rest of the campers. He pretty much covered himself in was hilarious. The thing i liked about it the most, was that it was a great time for Sam and I (my co-counsellor) to build up relationships with our cabin. We really got a fell for how everybody acts, and some of their personality traits. I really feel that God has a strong presence in our cabin. From our game last night came a plethora (sorry bout that word) of conversation the next day, and some of it even involved religion.

~Lord, i ask that you continue to strengthed the bonds we have with our campers and that those relationships will lead to more conversation about you. Father i pray that they may see my every action as an act of worship to you and your Son. You know that these campers long for Your presence in their lives, and i ask that they may see that in accordance with Your will~

I noted in my last blog that this term is mostly full of Jewish campers. Well yesterday i seemed to forget that while i was teaching swimming lessons. I had them tread water to build up endurance for the kilometer swim they have to do at the end of the term. And i thought it would be a good idea to sing some songs while they were doing it, so the first thing i thought of was: "OK guys! It's Christmas time, we're going to be singing some Christmas carols today" Then one little kid bobs his head out of the water and says "But half of us are Jewish". Everybody started laughing, and i have to admit, i did too. I completely forgot that Jews don't celebrate Christmas. So we ended up singing Waltzing Matilda instead. The cool part was that most of the Jewish kids didn't care and got a laugh out of my slip up.

~Father i thank you for the love and the tolerance you have placed inside these campers, and in a way i pray that we can find a way to break down the religious barriers and come together as a whole to worship You, that is pleasing to You. Amen~

Monday, June 20, 2005

New Term, New Faces, New Culture

Sorry. It's been a long time since i hit the computer....this past week or so has been really busy with the end of first term and the beginning of second term starting. Life has been so crazy, that i've found that i have a lot of reading to catch up on and many people to get in contact with......including my parents eek! Sorry Dad, haven't wished you a happy Father's day yet, but if you read this before i get to ya, know that i was thinking about you on Sunday.

Luke, and the rest of the Leavenworth crew. I've been praying for you guys. You're constantly in the back of my mind and still the greatest youth group i've been apart of. I know that God has some incredible things lined up for us and is working so strongly through all of you. I feel blessed to be a apart of the fellowship we have formed down there, and i hope to be calling you guys soon to check up.

Jana and family, i hope that this weekend went smoothly and joyfully for all of you. To Andrea and Dallas, i've been thinking and praying for you all weekend, and i pray that your wedding this weekend is only the beginning of a beautiful life-long union. To the rest of the people in Highland, i will be seeing you very soon!! I can't wait!

And to all the other incredible people that i have met and become friends with, which are also lucky enough to read this top secret website (whatever), i miss you and i hope to get in touch with you soon.

Lord, bless all who read this and those people that have made such an indelible impact in my life. I understand that you have a purpose for me in many places, but i just ask that that they may know how much i appreciate them and how you have used them to get me where i am today.

So, term 2 has started at camp champions. My hair is longer, my skin is darker, the bags under my eyes have gotten blacker, but im still having the time of my life. This term has a lot of campers from Houston, and also from a predominantly Jewish community. I believe that all but two in my new cabin are Jewish. For me, this is an awesome oppurtunity for me to learn about their culture and more importantly about their beliefs. I've studied about Judaism, but know very little about the culture. I'd love for you to pray for my new cabin that we may be able to form relationships under God's great love.

Letting go of the first term campers was not as hard as i thought. I loved all our guys very much, but was kind of happy to see them move on. A couple of them told me that this was probably the best camp they'd be, and it was awesome to talk to their parents to see how much appreciation they had for us. I praise you Lord, for the success of first term and ask that you watch over the guys as they move back in and move on in the world.

I also enjoyed my time off in between first and second. Even though it was only 18 hours long!!!! We went to a friends lake house and about 20 of us stayed the night and watched a movie and hung out on the lake. I went jetskiing for about half an hour! It was a blast. I worked out that you can flip a jetski if you take a sharp turn and gun it while you're flying at 30 mph!! But i also learned the best part of jetskiing is getting thrown off one!

James 1:22-25 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

~Lord, i long for you me to remember what you have taught me to apply what you have taught me to teach others what you have taught me...I praise you for my friends and family...keep them safe in your grace. Amen.~

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Music on the rise

Hey everyone,

So i figured that i would come to camp and have absolutely no time to either read, or work on playing the guitar. But it seems to have been the other way around. I'm currently reading 2 books at the the same time!?!?! Wierd? If you know me, i hardly read a book a year, so this is pretty crazy. And Luke, yes, i'm still keeping up with, i have no clue.

Also, on my off nights, there has been a group of us that gets together and just jams out to different music. We have a guy named Alex who plays the djembe, and a girl named Shannon who has an incredible voice who sings pretty much anything. I play the guitar for the most part. Other people have been jumping in here and there, but all round it has been a great time to build relationships with people.

Shannon asked me the other day to sing a duet with her at counsellor skit night. Yes, be very scared. I have not attempted to let the wild animal that is my voice out of its cage too many times, so this could be interesting. I love the music we're playing, being all secular stuff, mainly because there is a wide diversity of religions at this camp. I tried busting out some Christian music one night, and for the most part people liked it, but i know I made a couple of people uncomfortable. Somehow, i think this is part of my mission as being a Christian, but at the moment i seem to be valuing the relaltionships im building over expressing my beliefs.

Lord, i praise you for giving me enough musical talents to use it as a tool to further your Kingdom. I ask that you guide me with Your Spirit to use the gifts You have blessed me with to help me follow the will you have for my life. Just for the record, i think Shannon wants to sing Volcano by Damien Rice. I might ask her if she wants to do Lean On Me. Any other suggestions?

Our final dance for the term is tonight, and we see our campers off on Friday. It has definately been a journey with our cabin and all of them have grown in some way from being at this camp. Im sure that we will probably not see the fruits of the growth but i pray that they have enjoyed their time here and that they may have seen a glimpse of Christ's love. Im gonna miss them, they've been a great crowd

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Kassie the lifeguard......alien maybe

Lauren M'am and Laura Ma'm

Sam and I in our pirate costumes.......don't ask

Torchlight on Space Pirate Dance Night

The Pushup Crew of Cabin 2 at Lunch

Friday, June 10, 2005

Drill Sergent Brenton?

Today's been a wierd day. Many ups and downs, but pretty much just........yeah, one of those days. Last night we had a surprise barbeque for the Aquanaut Division at camp (all the boys that are in my campers age group). The plan was to trick them into thinking that they were in deep trouble, and send them to bed early thinking we were all really upset at them. The plan worked perfectly. We gave them ten minutes to go from torchlight, to being in bed. After they had been asleep for about ten minutes, we woke all of them up and got them to clean the bathroom all together. A lot of them were mad, but after about 5 minutes we turned on the floodlights and blasted the radio, and revealed the prank. I think we stumped all of them, and it was fun to watch. They were still mad, but really happy about the hamburgers and hotdogs we dished out.

During this time i was being kinda self reflective. I knew i had to go back to my campers and make up something to get mad at them at so they would fall asleep. But the thing i realized was is that i've kinda been mad at them the whole time. Well, not really mad or angry, but i've always been quick to jump on them when they step out of line.....and i let them know it. For me, it was kinda hard to fake being mad, because i feel that maybe they just see me as mad all the time, when truly i love all my guys. But still i feel like I'm some kind of drill sergent to them. Am i contradicting myself or making perfect sense?

Anyway this kinda got me thinking about my whole mission here and whether or not i am showing Christ's love to my campers. As i look back on my time with them, is it possible that in some freaky way that they could see the love God has for them through my actions? They see me reading my Bible, they know I'm a Christian, and i hope they see the stuff i do for them. But am i really being the example God has called me to be?

Lord, i know your plans for me are greater than i can understand, and that i will probably not see the the fruits of Your work done through me. But i trust in You to use me however You need me. Sap my energy and use every bit of my strength for the growth of these campers. I pray Father that i am doing Your will, and please help me to understand where you want me next.

Another conclusion i came to is that i need tocontinue to emerse my self in the Word. Even during this blog, i had to stop half way and read my Scripture passage for today before i could continue. I know its anti-climactic for some, but i always seem to find the answers im looking for and the spritual strength i need during those times

God even gave me an "I told ya so!" today: "Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" (Luke 2:49 NIV)
Translation: "Brenton, why do you keep searching for answers to your spiritual dryness? Don't you know you have to be in my presence?"
God, you are glorious in Your workings, continue to teach me in ways i cannot fathom and surprise me everyday with your wisdom.

I want to thank you all again for writing replies. Luke and Jana, thanks for encouraging me to write. I'm blaming the both of you for getting me stuck on this!!! Also, Lindsey, you asked for my camp address so here it is:

Camp Champions
775 Camp Road
Marble Falls, TX 78654

Plus, anybody else that would like to send me camp mail that would be co-counsellor gets one everyday from his girlfriend, so i feel left out.....heheheh just kidding.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! OI! OI! OI!

Well, last night was a special night at Camp Champions. For some unknown reason, the owner of our camp, Steve Baskin, got really excited about teaching "Waltzing Matilda" as a camp song to the whole camp. For the Americans that may not know, Waltzing Matilda is an old Australian folk song, that is loosely regarded as our national anthem. Pity it's about a guy that drowns himself in a billabong! If you would like to read the lyrics you can find them here:

Anyway, he asked me if i would teach it to the whole camp; and so with the help of a guitarist and a singer, at our final event of the day last night (Torchlight) i got to teach Waltzing Matilda to the whole camp. I think it was my proudest Australian moment since I've been in the states. I guess i didn't do a good enough job though, because i've had a lot of people ask me today what a "Waltzing Matilda" is......i guess im not completely sure myself.

Yesterday was a really great day for me spiritually also. I was reading through Luke's Gospel and came across a verse about Zechariah after he had spoken with an angel in the temple.
Luke 1:21-22
Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.

This passage really spoke to me in the fact that just by Zechariah's actions, they could tell he had received a message from the Lord. It was a good lesson for me to know that to have my vision realized for my campers, i should concentrate more on being an example through my actions rather than my words.

Lord, i praise you for the lessons you teach me everyday, and continue to grow me into the person you want me to be. Help me to make my decisions each day, as i am niave in my wisdom. My i seek your presence more everyday, so that those around me might also see You.

Somehow i've gotta work on making my blogs shorter, because i know i wouldn't have time in the day to read all of this. Thanks to all who have left replies. I will leave my own when i get the time.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Me and my co-counsellor Sam at Revenge of the Nerds Dance night!

My campers! Please be praying for them!

My waiter....also awesome

My meal in Mexico.....awesome!

Tourist at the Alamo - San Antonio


Camp counsellors at Chilis

Sunset over Lake LBJ

Our cabin at camp.....not bad hey?

JC, Shaun and Me - LV Youth Group

Tim, Me and Ryan - Leavenworth Youth Group

Camp keeps getting better.

I praise you Lord for Your awesome presence at this camp. It has been an incredible experience thus far, and i am continually amazed at how much you continue to bless me and my campers everyday. I continue to ask for oppurtunities to build relationships with them, and show them Your love.

I had an answer to prayer yesterday, in meeting a bunch of new counsellors and spending some quality time with them. I had an off night last night and went to the LL to hang out (LL is short for Leprosy Lounge. It's the name for the counsellors lounge. Leprosy is just added in there to scare the campers away). Anyway, i took my guitar and i started playing some songs to myself to drawing a crowd of about 20 complete wih a drummer and an excellent singer. I got to have some great conversations with heaps of different people, and even exposed some worship music to non-Christians. Lord, i don't know what Your plans are for me with music, but i trust that they are in your hands.

I've also found it a lot easier to talk to other counsellors this week. I have to admit, ive been a bit shy. I think mostly because ive just been stuck in that "You're the Australian guy" mold. But i think im finally starting to come out of that and people are finally seeing me, and not a crocodile hunting kangaroo boxer!

Im so glad that many of you are checking up on me and reading my blog, to be quite honest i thought this would just be sort of a prayer journal for me, but im really glad that you're writing replys. Everytime i get a chance, ill try and write you all an email. It's really encouraging to hear from all of you, so thanks a lot. I hope you like the photos, if i get some time maybe ill add some more on. Lord, i thank you for my friends and pray that you watch over them and keep them safe this summer.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Time, what is that?

Well it has been a crazy week to say the least. I've made a trip to Mexico and back, received a great bunch of 13 year old campers, and trying to find my place in an incredible camp. I've been able to teach basketball and lifeguard, but things are only getting started. The boys in my cabin are so well behaved and participate in just about everything, but they seem so spiritually lost.

The kids in my cabin are some of the coolest teenagers i have met. When i was there age i probably would have wanted to hang out with them. But, that's just it, they are so stuck on being cool. I just wish there was a way i could show them that you can be a really 'popular' person, without having to be 'cool'. (BJ's random thought of the day).

Anyway, aside from that, im really psyched about the Christian presence here. There is a group of male counsellors that meets every morning for prayer and reflection. I praise You Lord for those oppurtunities and continue to work in me even though sometimes i am so stubborn and impatient. I ask You for guidance in building relationships with these guys so that these friendships may help further Your kingdom.

Thanks to all of you that read and replied. If you have blogs of your own, id love to have your address so i can check up on how "y'all" are doing! If you don't have one GET ONE! They'e awesome. Kay, im done advertising. Please keep my campers in your prayers, they are a great bunch of guys and i pray that i and the rest of the counsellors are guiding them in the right direction.