“Surely God is in this Place – Holy Ground”

So, here is my first attempt at a blog for the summer. I am not quite sure how exactly these things are supposed to work, therefore I would love some feedback from you, my readers (or reader more likely)…

The first week of my summer led me to Camp Kum-Ba-Ya down in western Kentucky. Being from Kentucky, I have always been familiar with KBY and even spent a week there as a camper in 8th grade for Eighter’s Camp, but it had been a long time and I was not sure what to expect. This was really my first time truly experiencing a camp not called Wakondaho. On top of that, I had all the anxieties and pressures that I had put on myself that accompanied my newly acquired title of Peace Intern. All the natural questions filled my ahead: “Would I fit in at this camp?
Would anyone get anything out of my message” What in the world am I doing with my summer?” There is no doubt I was nervous, anxious, but certainly eager and excited to be starting my summer.

The always incredible Randy Kuss keynoted and taught the camp a song that had simple words, but truer words have never been spoken. The words were “Surely God is in this place…holy ground.” That simple. And I must say God was truly in that place and in all parts of it. I saw God almost the second I got there and from the second I left. I could feel God in everyone on staff, in the car rides with Jeff Bruce, my small group with Jeff (the other one) and Kelsey, in hashtag jokes with Billy, and in the way Catherine so easily welcomed me in. I saw God in the many cups of coffee, all the energizers, and in all the keynotes. One night at vespers it started raining, but everyone managed to stay dry due to the cover of the trees, and in a moment like that, how could I not laugh and think God has a great sense of humor? I especially saw God in the campers, in their willingness to interact with each other, in their openness to new experiences, and especially in their unconditional love for their camp and each other. It was amazing.

So as Randy posed the question: “If you could inject one good thing into the world with your life – what would it be?” I knew God was in that question because at the height of my self doubt that question took the wind out of me. It was that question that stood out so much because it doesn’t call for a lot, but it asks us to think about one thing that we can do differently to make the world a better place – just one thing. As a peace intern, it is easy to bite off more than you can chew and try too hard to do so much when really it is as simple as changing one thing. It is the smallest of changes that can have the biggest of impacts on the world and that is an important reminder for me as a carry on with my adventures this summer. However, it is also I question that I want others to think about. In a world filled with violence, injustice, and genuine chaos, what can you change? What can you do differently to make the world a better place? In a world where everyone goes with the flow, I challenge you to be someone that can be just a little different and watch what happens because I have a feeling the ripple effect will surprise us.

Remember, God is in this place, all of it, not just at camp though the connection tends to be a little clearer. But, if you take just a second and listen, you might actually notice God trying to say something to you, or maybe making a little joke.



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  1. Kelley D
    Posted June 15, 2014 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like God was present in you too! Great words!!

  2. Barton
    Posted June 15, 2014 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Great first blog! I’m so glad you’re feeling fulfilled by what you’re doing. I think you have the power to really change things for many young people with this opportunity. You’ve got so many young minds in your hands!
    That’s so profound about changing one thing in the world to change everything. I wonder what mine will me. It’ll definitely be something for me to think about in the future.
    I’m really going to enjoy following you on this blog, can’t wait to see you and I wish you so much good luck!

  3. billy Fulton
    Posted June 16, 2014 at 3:59 am | Permalink

    Daniel, it was a true joy to spent the week with you and I hope your journey continues to bring about great posts like this. #greatjob

  4. Rick Loader
    Posted June 16, 2014 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Daniel –

    I’ve only been to Kum-Ba-Ya a couple of times. I’ve been to Wakon’Da-Ho dozens of times. And there is nothing like it – being away from routine, within the creation, among trusted friends who are also seeking the will of God. I’m glad you’re a part of it for so many. What a gift you’ve given us in this blog! We’ll be following your summer. You represent the children of God and disciples of Jesus Christ well. God bless. Rick

  5. Dorsey
    Posted June 16, 2014 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Great job Daniel. Looking forward to North Carolina blog!

  6. Laura Gabbert
    Posted June 16, 2014 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Your blog is great (well, so far so good) haha…. So I read it this morning and decided to walk to work. God gave me working legs, I happen to live pretty close work, so I started to do 1 thing different today. Good for my physical health, good for the Earth, and good for my mental health! 🙂 I have a tendency to stay too busy (which is what I want to change)… I would rather slow down and enjoy. Which is why i chose to walk to work today after reading your blog. And then I was reminded of “God’s humor” when I was running late and literally had to just run to work! No walking as planned…– and I think God was laughing at me, and I know the people driving down the road were… I must have been a sight! Hahaha- I did enjoy a “walk” home 🙂

  7. Jim Hall
    Posted June 16, 2014 at 6:22 pm | Permalink


    You will be a catcher of men. Your blog is spot on.

  8. Traci Melgar
    Posted June 17, 2014 at 2:58 am | Permalink

    As the words of the Key Note speaker were of inspiration to you to share in this blog, so too God is in this place and it, as well, is Holy Ground. Thank you for sharing it with us. Your inspiration is truly contagious as it is truly from God. Feeling very blessed. Looking forward to a summer blessings shared.

  9. Randy Kuss
    Posted June 17, 2014 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Daniel, it was so odd to realize the one and only time each of us was at KBY before last week was the same time, at that Eighter’s Camp long ago. And it was both joy and honor to be on that holy ground with you again. You bring a fine set of skills and wonderful presence to campers and staff, not to mention good picking hands on the banjo that showed up. You were throughout last week – and will continue to be all summer – a gift of grace to each camp and event. I smile to see who you are becoming as it continues to unfold. I look forward to our next encounter. Be well, Randy

  10. Rebecca Littlejohn
    Posted June 17, 2014 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for sharing your first blog, Daniel! It sounds like your summer is starting off really well. The DPF Executive Committee is praying for you.

  11. Elijah
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Great post Dan! I hope your message continues to fall on open ears and your blog posts continue to challenge all of us to be better. I’ll keep praying for you and good luck on your endeavors in the coming weeks.

  12. Jim Higginbotham
    Posted June 18, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Daniel: you’re doing great! I love the evocative question about what we can change. I’m sure you are inspiring and challenging the youth, especially given Randy’s on site observations. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Patsy Parrott
    Posted June 21, 2014 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Daniel, Great blog! We are looking forward to all the others. You are truly an inspiration to all of us at First Christian. Randal and I are so blessed to have had the opportunity to watch you grow into the special young man you have become. Have a wonderful summer. You are missed.

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