Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.


Family Camp

Last Friday through Sunday was Heritage Bible Church's 2nd Annual Family Camp on Loomis Lake (about ten minutes from the Pacific Ocean). Friday evening started off with singing around the campfire and a rather zany special music
courtesy of our family.

S'mores were then enjoyed by all...

...including our speaker, Dr. Murphy (at right trying to control his blazing marshmellow)! Of course, music was a large part of the whole weekend, and we often found it difficult to stop singing once we got started!

l-r: Joel, Mikaela, Lauren, and Joshua accompany the singing on Saturday.

Throughout the weekend, Dr. Murphy spoke on God and Jesus, with sessions titled such things as "God Is..." and "Jesus Is..." and "He Is Worthy." The deeper understanding of God that I gained through this weekend was even more precious because of my recent study on God's glory (see "The Glory of God: How it Changes Your Life"). We learned about His attributes, which are infinite. Knowing that God is sovereign, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, eternal life, perfect, and unchangeable should change the way we interact with others, eat, sleep, entertain ourselves, spend our time, worship, live, love, pray, talk, and die. God is everything: I am nothing. Yet, somehow, He has allowed me to live because of and for Him, and what a privilege it is!

Dirt was the main attraction for the younger set (that's Jonah, Caleb, and Christiana l-r). I even caught Jonah instructing a younger, less-experienced dirt-player in the art: "Aidan," he said, "there's certain dirt for certain things!"

As the rest of us tried to avoid dirt, we had good, old-fashioned fun on Saturday with 1 1/2 hours of team games. As you can see by the two pictures above, Susanna is neither competitive nor determined. ;-)

Top left: Lauren, Christiana, and Mikaela; Top Right: Micah jumping off the dock; Bottom: Jonathan, Abbie, and Joel.

Of course, meals had to be prepared and cleaned up. Everyone did it in great spirits, and I don't think dishwashing has ever been so fun!

The night owls (and even some of the not-so-night-owls like me) stayed up into the late hours of the night lobbying for their favorite word in Bible Apples to Apples, or slamming down cards just in the nick of time in Dutch Blitz, or even learning how to play the card version of Monopoly. Friendly comaraderie, competition, and creativity reigned.

Sunday was a very special day in the life of my sister Melanie as she chose to take the next step of obedience in her Christian walk. She was baptized on Sunday, July 19th as a symbolism of Jesus' burial and resurrection, her new life in Christ, and her willingness to identify with Jesus. Because baptism is not the means of salvation, but rather a public testimony of salvation, Melanie shared with everyone that she had indeed been saved and was prepared to take this step.

She emerged smiling and triumphant as everyone on the shore began to sing "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus" with smiles and a few tears.

Sunday afternoon provided time to play a blistering game of soccer, pack up, clean the facility, and then get three final games of volleyball in before leaving for another year. I left family camp with a renewed commitment to glorify my great God and with strengthened friendships with many precious brothers and sisters in Christ.
l-r: Susanna, Susanna, Esther, and Abbie

Back Row: Mr. Murphy, Lauren, Melanie, Papa, Mama, Mikaela
Front Row: Mrs.Murphy, Micah, Susanna, and Jonah
All pictures are courtesy of Mama except for pictures #1, 19, and 21, which are courtesy of Jonathan.


  1. Tell Melanie "welcome to the Christian walk"! How awesome! The pictures were really neat.

  2. Sooo fun! Of course I take full credit for you being able to stay up late over the weekend - where would you have been without my careful owl instruction? :)

  3. How very fun! Congratulations to Melanie! What a great idea to include baptism in your church camp. We will have to think about that for our future camps.

  4. Right on, *British accent*.

    Yes, it was very awesome! Lots of fun, fellowship, teaching and...

    Oh, you did miss one thing...

    All in all, a very enjoyable experience. It always ends too soon... oh well, there's always next year :)

  5. I have passed on all your congratulations...this was Heritage's first baptism in its three years of existence, Sarah, but we all liked the camp/baptism format very well. Sarah Jayne, I gladly cede all owl credit to you ;)

  6. And yes, Jonathan, I did not bore everyone with the details of the weekend-long brain marathon in which we had to solve puzzles such as yours. But who can pretend to know the mind of Jonathan? Perhaps you meant "one very creative winner [ME!] got both almonds free," or maybe "one violently claustrophobic weasel grabs babies and flees." ;-)

  7. You didn't have to write every detail, but you could have at least mentioned it, considering everyone took it "waaaaaaaaaaay too seriously!" -Adam

    Actually, the correct answer to my game (though I really like the claustrophobic weasel, that can come take a close second) is...


    You really should post it (the game) on your blog to inspire other readers to push themselves on... until they're staying up past midnight every night and trying to decide if there is only One Meat Loaf On The Floor or maybe two... or maybe they wouldn't take it as seriously.


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