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Joy. Sustained


Choose-Joy-tattoo.jpg

I've been thinking about something lately. It keeps coming up in my
life, so I guess you could call it a theme. The theme is the concept
of Joy, Sustained. This basically meaning having joy that doesn't go
away. Circumstances don't change it. Not lack of sleep. Or messed up
relationships. Or having too many things to do and not enough time to
do them.
I desperately want to master this. I want joy to gleam from my eyes.
You can see it when people have it. I bet you know what I'm talking
about.

Imagine if we could figure out how to live without letting life
destroy us daily.
It seems like almost every time I run into someone they ask, "How are
you?" My reply is, "Busy, how about you?" "Ya, Man, I can't keep up.
Life is beating me up and spitting me out." Our lives are too busy to
have joy. People run themselves ragged and then there is nothing left
of themselves to have joy. Survival mode turns on and stress takes
over. At the end of the day we are still too tired to function. Our
energy is sapped and our joy is gone.

I would love to hear feedback from anyone who has found a way to keep
joy alive in their daily lives. One of the things that I have found to
keep joy in my life is to get up early enough so that the morning
isn't stressful and rushed. It changes the whole feel of the day when
I can take my time in the morning routine and sit with God, even if
its only for a minute. Another thing I've found is to take time to
stop, even when I am overwhelmed and don't have any time for anything,
to notice little details, and enjoy them. For example, to notice how
intricate nature is. Maybe you're at the skatepark and you see some
little kid skating. Instead of getting annoyed, take time to watch
them and remember when you were like them. After all, they could end
up like these twin kids: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dk0e0_cqknI

Pastor Charlie Stoumbaugh has spoken on Joy lately. Inspite of recent
tragedy, he is fighting to keep joy in his life. He says to keep joy,
you have to keep your mind in check, to be aware of every thought that
goes through your mind. "Every act of God is an act of love." It
doesn't matter if it seems good or bad. Line your thoughts up with
this statement. If they don't work with that statement, throw them
out. (Think about that for a while, don't just skip over that
statement.)
If you want to hear more about that thought, there is an audio of
Pastor Charlie's talk at this link:
http://www.cornerstonechurchbv.com/audio/ChildrenofObedience-PastorCharlieStoumbaugh-1.mp3

And so, like the tattoo says, Choose Joy.

-Brooke Cortese

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Kill Fear, Part 2: How?

Hey Everyone!

The last blog has come up in some conversations this week. 

The question being asked is, 

"How do you kill fear?"

So I thought Part 2 might be appropriate.

Fear sneaks in our lives from every angle. Fear whispers in our relationships. It controls us in our jobs. Fear attacks our self image. Our worth is threatened by the plague. It isn't something that only effects our training or riding. 

It is the easy way out to let fear define you. When fear defines you, you often become unnoticed, you don't make waves. Fear keeps you from saying things that people might question. Fear keeps you silent. Fear of pain cripples us into never succeeding, whether in our sport or any other area. Fear tells you to dismiss those dreams because they are too hard, or too much work. And fear tells you that you probably couldn't make them happen even if you tried. 

But on the other side of the canyon is success. Let yourself remember moments in your life that you've felt the relief, the bliss, the excitement of accomplishment. The moment you landed that trick. The moment you spoke up even when you were afraid. The moment you asked her, and she said yes. :) When the choosing is over and you went for it, and it worked, you know the feeling I'm talking about. Its awesome. It makes your insides happy. The sickness is gone and the joy takes over. 

There is a spot on the Arkansas river just north of where I live that is known as Jump Rock. The water is deep and the rocks back right up to the water's edge. The scene: me, in middle school, invited by a bunch of boys to find some adrenaline. (You can see where this story is going.) The rocks are different heights: 10 or 20 feet to start, and it goes up from there. The betting and trash talk started long before we actually hiked down to the water. But the promises came up empty when it came to actually crossing the river and jumping. I want to be the hero. I have to be the hero because I am the only one not trash talking, and, as usual, I'm the only girl. A few boys muster the guts to cross the river and throw themselves off the lower rocks. I'm proud of them for jumping. But the the higher rocks are still sitting untouched... And so, just as you guessed, over I crossed, up I went. Up and up. All was silent except the roar of the river. It was a 500 ft drop, in my mind at least... I was terrified. I looked down at all the tiny faces below, and something changed. I grinned. It might be my last moment, but it will be epic. I backed up and then ran until my feet found no more rock. 

Floating. Falling.

Splash.

 

My eyes opened to green-blue and the shock of the Colorado water temperature. Am I living?? I came up to the surface and forgot the stinging of my feet that had hit the water flat. 

-BLISS-

I climbed onto a warm rock and let myself soak in the warmth, and the victory. 

There is not much better than surviving and conquering. 

I wish I could hear all of your stories like this one.

That feeling is worth overcoming the fear. 

And so now I start to ask the question, how did I overcome the fear that day? I focused on the victory instead of the thing I was afraid of. I started thinking of how good the success would be. And it was good. 

If your focus changes from the fear to the victory, then you can kill your fear and live in the freedom that comes with it.

Fear is for cowards. I don't want to be a coward anymore. 

Psalm 118:6 The LORD is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me? 

 

-Brooke Cortese

 

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Kill Fear

 

What keeps us from taking our riding to the next level? Or from trying that new trick? Or from hitting the big kicker? Or how about when we feel that thing in our spirit that says the person next to us needs to hear that life isn't worthless, and that God is real? What keeps us from joining that team or taking our paintings to that gallery? 

 

Here's what I think. Life is mental. Chances are, we have what it takes. The talent, the words, the potential. What we don't have is the confidence in ourselves to do it. 

 

The enemy: fear. 

 

Just think how our world would be now if Martin Luther King Jr. had been too afraid to speak out against injustice. Where we would be if Jesus had decided that night in the garden that what was coming was just too hard; that He didn't have what it took to deal with it. Have you seen the XGames videos "20 Years, 20 Firsts"? What if Tony Hawk didn't have the guts to try the 900 that day in San Fran?   http://xgames.espn.go.com/events/2014/austin/feature/10853988/x-games-20-years-20-first-moments

It makes me start thinking about what my life would look like if I hadn't let fear be my gauge. 

 

The real question is how do we stop letting fear drive our decisions, and our riding? We've got to start wanting that next level more than we want comfort. In the moment of choice we have to pick the crazy side. Let adrenaline win. Otherwise, you're going wake up years from now and be afraid. Still. 

 

What will life look like today if you kill fear and just go for it?

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What about it? Why the crown?

Our camp's name is Royal, right? We've been talking a lot about being Royalty. But what does that mean, exactly? Are we really children of a King? Because if that is true, we'd be kind of a big deal!

What I have discovered is that living like I'm royal is a complete mental switch. The thing is, as soon as we become part of the kingdom of God, we become royal. So I already am royal. I just need to live like it. Everyday I choose whether or not I will act and think like the woman I already am. 

 

It makes me think of a little movie I've watched with my boys. It is about this little "Snoodle" who goes around letting other "Snoodles" paint pictures of him. They pile each painting into his bag. They are heavy and depress him because they point out all of the things he isn't good at, or the things that he can't do. He decides he's not worth anything and climbs up a mountain to live isolated. But then, when he gets up there he meets someone else. This stranger takes out all the paintings from the bag and throws them into the fire. And then He draws our little friend a new picture. This new picture shows our little friend as older and stronger. As more confident and capable. This new picture shows him as the Stranger already sees him, even though the little Snoodle hasn't become what the painting looks like. Yet. 

 

I know what its like to be in the shoes of that little Snoodle. Both in the area of letting other people paint pictures of me that will weigh down my bag, but also how God has taken those stupid pictures out of my bag and thrown them into the fire. He has painted a new one for me that shows me as beautiful. As confident. As filled with power to do crazy things. As Important. As capable. It is all because I am His daughter. And He is my Daddy. That makes me Royalty.  

 

So when I wake up, when I'm living life, especially when I have to deal with issues, I choose which paintings I'm going to be like.

I want to act like the Royalty I am. 

 

So, all this to say, if you have given your life to the awesome God, you are already Royalty. Choose to live like you know it. Live in confidence, and love people the way they deserved to be loved, as Royalty. 

 

Until next time, 

-Brooke Cortese

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A little sneak peak into FLIGHT4LIFE and Camp Royal

As you will soon see... A big part of what we are setting into motion, is an interactive action sports competition with the theme being "The Fight For Your Life"... This will be in conjunction with camp (pre-camp season) and eventually a tour - Here's a little glimpse:


Set the stage: 

Laura. Age 13. She's looking at high school and the options that come along with that. She skates with her cousin after school most days and she loves the thrill of it. She likes the feeling she gets when she's in the middle of it and she doesn't know how its going to end. You know, when you catch your breath a couple times, your eyes don't get much bigger and all you can think is, "Uh- Ah...!" Laura's decided that she wants to start doing something. She has drive. She's gutsy. 


4:06pm text message from her cousin, Jason, "sweet skate competition and bands tomorrow. called flight4life. Chris said we can talk to the pros. pick you up at 10:15? you down?" 


The next day was the most vivid and blurred day, but she would remember for the rest of her life. Bands and pros and people everywhere. The vivid part was when she walked by a stage and overheard a skater talking about his life. It was simple and to the point. She lingered. But only long enough to almost lose Jason and Chris, who didn't notice her stop. She recognized the skater's face but she couldn't remember his name. He's been on a lot of podiums. He said some things about looking for a real life. Living for more than just surviving. He talked about stuff like trying crazy new skate tricks, but in the real life. Like taking chances in life for God and feeling the adrenaline of not knowing if you're "going to land it". But at the same time not having to worry about it, because this God took care of it. It sounded good. Really good. 

Then she snapped out of it and noticed that Jason and Chris were almost to the BMX big air. She hurried off to catch up. His words kept echoing. It was at the tour that day that she heard about where she could get out of the house for a few days, hang out with pro skaters and learn some real tricks on her skate. It was perfect.


Her parents thought about her request. They weren't much for the religious thing, but the good things were that it was summer camp, she wanted to be active, it was good for her to dream about the future, and good morals couldn't hurt either. They agreed. 


Laura would tell you that her life began that summer. She came alive. It started at F4L. And she found out what that skater was talking about during the days she stayed at Camp Royal. Things started clicking for her. Understanding that she is a daughter of the King wasn't a far stretch to believe. It made sense. It was right. It was true. She really did come to life. And she learned to skate. Her beauty wasn't dictated by anyone else anymore. It was a glow that came from deep somewhere in her. Passion came out of her. Her smile started catching people's attention because it was so different, so real. 

She caught on fire.

And then, she started catching everyone around her on fire. Just because she wasn't afraid. 


The world is never going to be the same. 

Royalty is walking around all over the place, completely oblivious, for now at least... 


I want to be part of the fire. 


F4L LOGO.png


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one, Two, THREE... WHAT??!

Looking up to see the ground fly underneath you... One... Two... Yep... three times. I try to picture the feeling Gavin Godfrey got when he landed his first triple back flip. I bet the word "indescribable" would apply nicely. 

GAVIN TRIPLE BACKFLIP

As I was searching for a video of the backflip I came across a different one that got me thinking. It was a video of Travis Pastrana's backyard from a few years back (in case you want to watch it, click here). So many toys, so little time. With motors, without motors. The people looked like they were having so much fun living extreme. I found myself daydreaming about what life could look like at Camp Royal. Extreme sports, extreme people and an extreme Jesus. That is a good combo, if you ask me. 

Imagine waking up, and before you get out of bed thinking, "Today I'm going to live Life to the Fullest." Next, you get out of bed, and get filled by some Word, throw on clothes you feel good in and head out to see what crazy new thing God might do today. You might catch yourself wondering how God might use you to rock the world of one of His treasured kids. (Wheelies in the golf cart on the way to the office can be added to the daydream, just for fun.) 

I get a little giddy thinking about spending the days showing people how much value they have. Interns, Kids, Donors, Fellow Pursuers of the Kingdom of God. 

 

Setting fire to people who are already so primed for flame (the flame of living loud and risking everything) puts a little grin on my face as I type. 

 

I'm starting to realize how brilliant God is when He shares His dream of using action sports to catch the attention of this crazy generation. And then He can set them ablaze. 

 

The wildfire is coming. 

 

All I can say is that I can't wait to see what God does.

 

Thanks for dreaming with me, 

-Brooke Cortese 

If you don't know me already, check out the bio section to read a bit more. 

 

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Yo!

Hey guys!

Just wanting to give a quick update to all of you and say hi! Summer has started here

in Texas and I thought by now I’d be talking about the “I feel like I’m living in an oven, I

can’t breathe it’s so hot in here” kind of heat...but, apparently, the Colorado weather has

decided to follow us down and start us off with one of the most mild summers Texas as

seen in years. We’re stoked! Also, we got to catch some pretty incredible fireworks on

July 4th right from the center of the Cotton Bowl!!! Yeah, it was amazing:)

Rockin Fireworks Show - Texas Style...

So...how about the World Cup in Brazil? I know tons of you did that “hang on, I’m

officially pressing pause on life because of the weird times they’re airing this thing

and I CAN’T MISS ANY OF IT” right?;) World Cup Fever was EVERYWHERE the last

few weeks with people even extending their lunch breaks to watch the games in bars,

restaurants, and even their work lobbies. I had no idea, but the World Cup is the most

viewed and followed sporting event in the world. It even trumps the Olympics as far as

viewing goes. Pretty awesome how dedicated we can be to something when we really

catch the vision for it.

As I was looking around the web, reading up on matches and watching videos, I

happened to come across this:

Bob Burnquist - Soccer meets Skate

 

Personally, I think we all need to petition that the World Cup 2018 in Russia includes

moves like these! Come on, we ALL know it’d be WAY more exciting with ramps and

skateboards added in. It could be an X Games meets World Cup event...but, then

again, maybe we should save all this for Camp Royal? What do you guys think?

Thanks for stopping by and checking in with us! We love knowing you’ve been here, so

feel free to leave comments. Hope you have an awesome week!

 

-Jade

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Here we go!

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Here we go!

Hey everyone!

 

My name is Jade Valcarcel and I'm stoked to be a part of the Camp Royal team!

I'll be on here quite a bit - sort of as your "tour guide" as we watch God write this story. He's making history right in front of our eyes and I'm excited to walk with you guys, keeping you guys up to date on what's happening around here!

If you haven't, check out my bio so you know a little about who I am -

http://www.camp-royal.com/the-team/

I was introduced to this awesome world through my younger brother, Charlie, who is  a fantastic street skater and extreme skier. His love for skateboarding meant lots of days spent with him at skate parks all over and so, my love for kids in this generation with passions that drive them to abandon all for the thrill of these sports was born. Seeing these kids use those driving, limit defying passions as they are called by Jesus to set the standard wherever He has gifted them, absolutely lights my heart on fire! Man, I want to see this up and coming generation be world changers, limit pushers, and all in for the Call that He has placed on their lives! It's going to be something amazing to witness and we'd better sit up and take notice in the days to come.

 

I also wanted to say a quick "THANK YOU" to those of you who are stopping by and checking for blog posts and updates to our sight! Our team is currently in Dallas where we're setting up shop and thoroughly enjoying this great state! Seriously, everything is bigger in Texas…no joke. We are SUPER stoked at what Jesus is doing and how He's moving in big ways! 

 

Our days are busy with meetings, emails, and the logistical details of starting a new chapter of this ministry, however, we did get to sneak away last weekend to experience the X Games, which was (we like to think not so ironically) held in Austin this year!!! Totally meant to be! It was awesome to say the least. 

 

We watched several events, but as the evening came to a close on Saturday, it was being swept up in a crowd that numbered in the thousands around the GoPro BMX Big Air competition that really stole my heart. For someone who's new to the whole extreme sports world, let me just say, dude, my heart is totally gone! Seriously! It was amazing to watch the dedication and absolute abandon of these athletes! Guys, you ROCKED it! Morgan Wade was definitely a crowd favorite, being a Texas native, and he definitely knew how to captivate his audience, eventually taking home silver with a score of 89.66. Colton Satterfield effortlessly took home gold after nailing a no-handed corked 720 over the gap to triple tailwhip on the quaterpipe for a score of 90.66. James Foster brought home bronze and his first X Games medal, with a score of 87.66. Epic!

Check it out HERE!!

Now, we're back home and diving back into life, excited to be a part of this call that we've heard! Thank you for stopping by and checking in with us. And just in case you haven't watched it yet, our promo video is now up on our home page and we'd love it if you'd check it out and share it! 

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What's this all about?

Hey guys!

Thanks for checkin' out the site!! As you can see, things are in the "framing stage" as we build this - but keep coming back! We have tons of stuff just around the corner, like T-Shirts, hoodies, hats, stickers, etc...

Also, will also be posting our "TRAILER" video in a couple of weeks that is a visual of what Camp Royal is all about... so stay tuned!

For now, I just want to let you know our heart a little and so you know what to expect as things unfold- Picture with me three of the coolest things in the world...

1.) You've got a generation of young kids that don't operate on the world's guidelines or shall I say listen to the silent voices that tell everyone what is and is not possible - These kids are throwing themselves off of huge cliffs, drops,  jumps, most of the time inverted and backwards- whether on a bike, skiis or a snowboard, a wake board or skateboard, - on and on. Let's just be honest - they are awesome. They have the courage to re-define the limits and when they see something that catches their heart, they will risk it all for that one thing; commitment? Yes. We should all take notes.

(one example: 13 Year Old Marcus Kleveland Nails Triple Cork )

2.) Going with that energy, the courage and the tools that come with this lifestyle (the toys I just mentioned), and then you mix in the concept of community. This is where there are leaders (pros) who are much more than well versed in their sport - they have the keys to what life to the full is all about and a voice that get's traction because... well... they're flippin' pro athletes! You also have many that are hungry to learn - again, well equipped with the courage, but desperately in need of guidance; lives truly depending on those "keys" that these pros have to offer.

3.) Then, most of all, you've got Jesus -the Author of Life, Adventure, Thrill - talk about the One who is all about pushing the limits. Let me just state the obvious - he is the one who invented all of this crazy stuff and then put the desire in our hearts to figure all of it out! But HE is what these hearts are really seeking to find, and when the two of them meet... you better hang on. Things are about to get really, really wild.

THIS IS THE EQUATION:

This younger Generation + Intentional Community (camp.action sports.Jesus) = Our Vision...

"Through the best action sports training available, we are raising up Earth Shakers through the truth of the Gospel and driving home that as a child of the King of Kings, they are ROYALTY."

 

We hope you enjoy the ride with us!

 

-  Brandon Heidemann

 

 

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