Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

Mark 12:30

There are two kinds of family vacations:

  1. Vacations that help you escape from life.
  2. Vacations that draw you deeper into your life, so that you can become developed, inspired, and energized by it.

Has your family ever experienced the second (much rarer) vacation?

You could, easily.

Every year for the past 80 years, Mount Carmel Ministries has hosted Family Camp weeks on the shores of Lake Carlos in Alexandria, Minnesota. Last week I was blessed to be the Family Camp’s teacher. For 7 days, 40 families from 11 different states across the country gathered together to embrace the camp’s mission of:

“Providing a place of rest, renewal, and recreation where people experience Jesus.”

A number of families were celebrating more than 60 straight years of participating in a Mount Carmel Family Camp. Can you imagine going to the exact same place to vacation every single summer for more than 60 years?

What would lead these people to do that?


People who consistently allow themselves the time and space to reconnect with their purpose enjoy more meaningful lives. Not only do they become better family members and leaders, they become happier humans. Every second of The Mount Carmel Family Camp is 100% dedicated to helping families of all ages and backgrounds reconnect with their purpose.

Last week (the week I taught), participants were doctors, bus drivers, teachers, business executives, bankers, engineers, nurses, chiropractors, musicians, accountants, healthcare professionals, pastors, printers, administration specialists, grandparents, parents, and children. All of them had a heart for the Lord and serving others. As I presented a study of my book, Leading Jesus’ Way, I was blown away by their passion of connecting to their God-given purpose of becoming the servant leader that God created them to be. Throughout the week they also supported one another through:

  • Daily family bible study and devotions
  • Consistant family fun and recreation activities
  • Daily family worship led by the incredible Lynn Stoneking and her band.
  • Dramas and skits led by the amazing summer staff at Mount Carmel
  • A talent show put on by camp attendees
  • Daily biblical instruction for children

Things that I witnessed that inspired me throughout the week included:

  • Grandparents’ leading their children and grandchildren in a focus of what is truly important in their lives. – True generational impact!
  • Parents investing in their children, teaching them how to love God, their family, and their neighbors.
  • People taking the time to pray for me and others
  • Parents and grandparents firming up their Family’s Purpose, Vision, and Values so they could continually stay focused with their children and grandchildren on activities that advance that Family Foundation.
  • People building one another’s energy through encouragement, lifting folks up for who they are and the gifts they bring to everyday life.
  • Individuals investing time in their own development, “sharpening the saw” to advance their own personal purpose within God’s Kingdom.
  • People intentionally meeting new friends and building relationships that will last a lifetime.
  • And people that are stepping into accountability to truly “walk the talk” and become the servant leader that God created them to be.

I could not have asked for a more enriching week, where I clearly received more than I gave. And this from people who were on ‘vacation.’

I am thankful for getting the opportunity to witness how impactful a vacation can be on a family — not only for today, but for eternity.

For your next vacation, which will you choose:

  1. A vacation to help you escape from life; or
  2. A vacation that will draw you deeper into your life, so that you can become developed, inspired, and energized by it?

You can open the door in your soul wider and welcome your God-given purpose deeper into your life. You can do this, easily. And, joyfully! Mount Carmel Family Camp is held in Minnesota’s gorgeous lake country – a vacation ‘hot spot’ in its own right!

I would love nothing more than to see you there, with us, in 2019. Will you commit?


In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

Proverbs 16:9