Tonk Talk By Mark T. Tonkery
When I first heard about church camp, it was from the children in Bible class talking about it after they had returned from a fun week of camp. As soon as Bible class let out, I would then beg my parents to go to camp; I begged my parents for a couple of years before they allowed my sister and me to attend West Virginia Christian Youth Camp (WVCYC).
My first year to go to camp was 1987, it was also my first time to attend a weeklong, overnight camp. The camp was then located in Richie County, West Virginia at the 4-H camp. It was scary at first being away from home and not knowing many of the people other than a couple of kids from Bible class. This did not last long, by supper time the fear had worn off and I was making friends.
Camp was a wonderful place, from the people, the fun activities, and the Bible lessons; to me, it was heaven on earth. The teachers at church camp helped me to study the Bible for myself and were never afraid to answer my questions with Bible answers. Each year of camp the Bible lessons and teachers helped stretch my mind and helped me to grow in Christ.
It has been over 34 years since I first attended WVCYC as a camper. In that time, I have worked with at least six different church camps, and I have served in almost every role at camp there is such as a janitor, fire builder, counselor, dishwasher, Bible Class teacher, speaker, assistant director, and director.
Since coming to Camden Ave. I am once again working with WVCYC and this year I will be fulfilling the role of assistant director for All Age Week.
Church camp is an effective tool in the spiritual development of young people. Very few places in our day and time are influenced by the Christ-centered teachings and spiritual influences as church camp. As I look at my life, I am a better and stronger Christian because of the Biblical teaching and influence that took place at church camp. I believe it will be a blessing and benefit to your children as well. We are blessed to have two choices for our children to go to camp in our area and I encourage each family to consider sending your children to one or both of the following camps:
Ohio Valley Christian Youth Camp
- Saturday, June 19: Junior Day (Ages 8-11) at Camp Hervida Waterford, Ohio.
- Wednesday, June 16 to Friday, June 19: Senior Days (Ages 13-19) at OVU Campus.
Camp Forms are available on the Bulletin Board in the Foyer by the Secretary’s office.
West Virginia Christian Youth Camp, Pennsboro, WV
- Sunday, June 20 to Friday, June 25: Young Adult Week
- Sunday, July 4 to Friday, July 9: Senior Week (Ages 14-18)
- Sunday, July 11 to Friday, July 16: Intermediate Week (Ages 11 -14)
- Sunday, July 18 to Friday, July 23: Junior Week (Ages 7-11)
- Sunday, July 25 to Friday, July 30: All Age Week (Ages 8-18)
- Sunday, August 1 to Friday, August 6: Singing Week (Ages 12-18)
You can only register for camp at https://www.wvcyc.com/2021.html
By: J. Raymond Pecoraro, Wooddale Church of Christ
I recall vividly going to the eye doctor. I was working on the muffler system of my car. I wanted to take off the standard muffler so I could install a "Glass Pak" type muffler because they sounded sharp. I had great difficulty removing the old, rusted-out bracket holding the muffler in place. I hammered and hammered until the bracket gave way. I paid a terrible price in removing it because a very tiny speck of rust flew into one of my eyes. I tried getting it out with my finger and then using water to flush my eye but to no avail. The more I tried the more intense the pain became. I could not believe the amount of pain such a tiny speck could cause a person. The next few hours I suffered and tried everything in my limited power to remove the speck that was causing my problem. But nothing worked and I was just making the matter worst. I needed a Specialist to remove the speck and I went.
The Specialist looked into my painful eye with specialized magnifying equipment and he saw the speck. After a few minutes, he was able to remove this wee little speck and my eye was bandaged. The intense pain subsided to a more bearable one.
While studying the Bible, my eye problem came to mind as I looked at what Jesus said in Luke 6:41, "Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye." (See Matthew 7 also). How true Jesus' statement still is. We are quick to criticize others, especially our spiritual brethren. Jesus was the Master in using effective figures of speech or exaggeration to get a strong point across. He explained in a literary manner how foolish it is for a person to criticize someone without seeing that he or she is also guilty. If you can find someone else's little speck while ignoring this huge plank in your own eye, something's terribly wrong! It should be unthinkable to ignore our own faults while pointing out someone else's.
The self-righteous attitude has no place in the life of a child of God! This brethren should be plain to see! We need to be willing to check our own lives before passing judgment on another. If we learn to remove the plank from our own eyes, we would be able to clearly see the bigger picture. Such a large plank will block one's vision concerning another's!
May we pray: "Lord, help me not to become caught up in pointing out the "little" failures in the lives of others while ignoring my own. Let us be thankful for the avenue of prayer that Christians are given so we can get forgiveness through repentance! Lord, help us to lift up our brothers and sisters. Make us less apt to jump to conclusions when it comes to others whom You love dearly!" Amen.
By: J. Raymond Pecoraro, Wooddale Church of Christ
(I received this in my email and I thought it was worthy to share with our readers. It contains common-sense sayings and God's answers to mankind's doubts. Please enjoy and take them seriously too).
Prayer is the best way to draw strength from heaven. Anger is a condition in which the tongue works faster than the mind. You can't change the past but you can ruin the present by worrying over the future.
God always gives the best to those who leave the choice to Him. A hug is a great gift … one size fits all. It can be given for any occasion and it's easy to exchange.
God determines who walks into your life … it's up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go!
(Here is a handy little chart for you to print and place where you can get to it when doubt begins to set in. It has God's positive answers to your negative view of yourself … read and enjoy).
1. You say that it is impossible. God says all things are possible. (Luke 18:27).
2. You say that you are too tired. God says He will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28:30).
3. You say that nobody loves you. God says that He loves you. (John 3:16, 34).
4. You say that you can't go on. God says that His grace is sufficient for you. (II Cor. 12:9, Ps. 91:15).
5. You say that you can't figure things out. God says that He will direct your steps. (Prov. 3:5, 6).
6. You say that you can't do it. God says that you can do all things. (Phil. 4:13).
7. You say that you are not able to. God says that you are able. (II Cor. 9:8).
8. You say that you're not worth it. God says that it will be worth it. (Romans 8:28).
9. You say that you can't forgive yourself. God says that He will forgive you. (I John 1:9; Rom. 8:1).
10. You say that you can't manage. God says that He will supply all of your needs. (Phil. 4:19).
11. You say that you are always afraid. God says He has not given you a spirit of fear. (II Tim. 1:7).
12. You say that you are always worried. God says to cast all of your cares on Him. (I Peter 5:7).
13. You say that you're not smart enough. God says that He will give you wisdom. (I Cor. 1:30).
14. You say that you feel alone. God says that He will never leave you or forsake you. (Heb. 13:5).
Remember tomorrow is not promised to anyone. Therefore it is imperative that we all live our lives as if today is our last here on earth.
Heavenly Father, please bless all of your people in whatever it is that you know they are lacking this day! And may each life be filled with your peace, prosperity, and power as we all seek to have a closer relationship with you. Amen!
By: J. Raymond Pecoraro of the Wooddale Church of Christ
Our Nation faced one disaster after another in the last few years such as tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes. These natural disasters totaled in the hundreds of billions of dollars in losses. Insurance rates have skyrocketed due to such disasters to property damage not to mention the loss of human life. The American people are looking for better ways to fortify their homes from such calamities. Architects and engineers are constantly busy with research and development in order to build buildings and homes that will withstand Mother Nature's fury.
According to an article several years ago, some people are building houses that are stronger than ever! At the urging of businesses, government, and insurance companies, builders are now building fortresses. Even the windows can withstand winds up to 130 miles per hour. Nails are so strong that they must be cut off and framing materials can weather forces created by a supersonic jet. We all want to protect life and property as much as is possible.
What are people doing to insure and protect their spiritual life? In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus said, "Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the wins blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell; and great was the fall of it." In Matthew 7:13, 14, Jesus warned people about the narrow way which leads to eternal life and the broad way which leads to destruction or eternal condemnation. He that hath ears let him hear!
The Lord wants us to build our spiritual houses upon a solid foundation. The only strong and enduring foundation is the "Rock of Ages" which is Christ Jesus! Only this foundation is strong and secure and anything less will fail. The "words of Christ" are the foundation in which to anchor our souls. (John 17:17ff; 4:21-24; Matthew, chapters 5-7).
When we obey the Gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16), and His work on our behalf, we can rest assured our spiritual souls are built on a solid foundation. Where is your anchor moored?
"I do not stand on sinking sand and fear the storm that rages; but calm and sure, I stand secure upon the rock of Ages." (Anon.).
On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright had successfully kept their homemade airplane in the air for fifty-nine seconds. Immediately they rushed a telegram to their sister in Dayton, Ohio, telling of this great accomplishment.
The telegram read, “First sustained flight today fifty-nine seconds. Hope to be home by Christmas.” Upon receiving the news, the sister was excited about the success that she rushed to the newspaper office and gave the telegram to the editor. The next morning the newspaper headline read, “Popular Local Bicycle Merchants to Be Home For Holidays.”
One of the greatest stories of the 20th century was missed because an editor missed the point.
Have you ever told someone something and they missed the point? Years ago, I preached a sermon on Christian unity. One gentleman came up to me after the sermon and complimented me on my sermon and proceeded to thank me for promoting his favorite translation of the Bible. I was speechless and did not know how to respond. This gentleman really missed the point, my sermon was not about translations of the Bible.
As I think about these two illustrations, it is a reminder of how easy it is for people to miss the point, especially when it comes to our faith and relationship with the Lord. Ecclesiastes 12:13, instructs us that the main point of life is this: “…Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”
How many of us know that this is the main point of our lives, to fear God and keep his commandments? It is so easy to get sidetracked thinking our main point of living is to make money, to have a family, to help our children succeed in sports, academics, or popularity, or to live for pleasure and the enjoyments found in this life. So, many times we miss the point of life and forget that fearing the Lord and keeping His commands is the whole point of living.
We are here on this earth, to serve the Lord. Paul put it this way in Galatians 1:10, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Despite all the distractions of the world, may we always remember to fear God and keep His commandments. Don’t miss the point! In Christ’s love, Mark T. Tonkery