The first chapter of Malachi’s Message is titled “A Call to Remembrance.” My father writes: “God’s Church has been flooded with His precious truth. Now God is going to see if we just talk about faith—or really live by faith—by His Word. Do we remember what we were taught and live by it?”
Similarly, Philadelphia Youth Camp flooded you with God’s precious truth. You experienced a way of life that works beautifully and guarantees success.
Will you remember the lessons of this summer camp—and will you live by them?
Here are some specific things to hearken back to over the coming year.
1. Remember your Bible class on the spark of ambition.
Herbert W. Armstrong got that spark of ambition when he was 16, and he said it was the turning point of his long, productive life! He lived 93 long years, the last 50 dedicated in service to God. When he looked over his long physical life, that age of 16 was the turning point.
The reason ambition is important is that there are opportunities all over the place for our young people. But they have to be ambitious in going after them! There’s no end to the opportunities for the youth in God’s Church. Isaiah 9:6-7 says it just keeps growing and expanding, with no end to it! We want our young people to be ambitious, to set epic goals. This plan, this purpose, is going to stretch out into the universe!
2. Remember the class on work ethic.
Learn to emulate God our Father and Christ the Son, who both work, and are both incredibly ambitious in their work. This is an example where we want to follow them! Follow through on the example our Heavenly Father is setting for us daily.
Remember the morning routine the campers had every day here at pyc: prayer, Bible study and then go! There was a pattern that was set here, and it works! Pray and study, and then get busy serving God!
3. Remember the blessings God gave at PYC.
The blessings over this camp, like the spectacular weather, were very special. We prayed and prayed, particularly in the weekend coming up on the track meet. But the relief came in the day of the track meet, and it stayed with us for the seven to eight days that followed! Some of our softball players took advantage of that. We had three to four home runs over the fence. It was fun to watch.
4. Remember your incredible potential.
My Sabbath sermon … happened to be on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing …. We had some spectacular footage of that, and also footage of the entire universe. It says in Romans 8 that the entire universe is groaning in travail, just waiting for our birth as sons! Our young people are future astronauts. We will be landing on the moon and beyond, once God’s plan and purpose is finally realized. What an incredible human potential!
5. Remember that time is short.
At this camp we were reminded of just how short our time is, and we have to make the most of it. In softball they were told that oftentimes we make the right decisions, but make them too late. We hesitate! So don’t hesitate. Don’t wait. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do right now!
6. Remember what a spectacular effect young people can have.
In Mr. Joel Hilliker’s sermon, he gave all sorts of examples of young people who yielded to God, and God did spectacular things through them, in some cases when they were only teens and preteens. Josiah became king of Judah when he was 8! Jesus Christ, of course, talked with the doctors and the lawyers when He was 12 years old. He wanted to know! He wanted to learn! He was a preteen. The Prophet Samuel triggered a righteous reformation in Israel when he was just 13 years old. And then Jeremiah, [as] we read about in Jeremiah 1, protested because he was so young. In his mind, the commission God gave him was terrifying. He was 17 years old. But God told him, “Just trust me. Walk by faith.” And then, of course, the teenaged David slayed a giant when he was only 16 or 17.
7. Remember how much fun you had at PYC.
I told the young people at awards night to remember how much fun they had here. Of course there were times when they were worn out and, in some cases, suffering from minor injuries. But they were happy! This was a happy youth camp, and there’s a reason it was as happy as it was. Hopefully they will never, ever forget that.
8. Remember the camp theme: to be loyal and royal.
We’re God’s royal Family. God brought our teenagers to summer camp to be loyal and royal. It’s a wonderful theme. Demonstrate to God your loyalty to Him, your loyalty to His law, to His ministry, to your counselors, to your parents, to your word.
And of course, remember that all-star buzzer shot heard ’round the world—but I hardly needed to tell you that!
Didn’t go to camp this year? This issue of True Education is your opportunity to glean some of the lessons that this year’s campers learned and to apply them in your own life—much the same way you receive the lessons your parents learned in the Philadelphia era of God’s Work, or the way all of us receive the lessons that were given in the Bible specifically as examples for us (1 Corinthians 10:11).
The real value of pyc and its lessons will be answered by the question asked in Malachi’s Message: “Do we remember what we were taught and live by it?” If you do, this will have been the greatest summer camp ever.