Glenn Clark’s Vision For the Camps Farthest Out

Learn about Glenn Clark's vision for The Camps Farthest Out as a place of miracles, healings, and power to live in the Kingdom of God.

Around 1895 a leading deputy of the U.S. Patent Office resigned “because there was nothing left to invent!  All that could be invented had been invented.”

He had put his view of science in a box, and he could not think outside that box.  Science was a closed book.  Even so-called prominent scientists of the day shared his beliefs.

Thomas Edison was in Paris, demonstrating the phonograph – that was the original version of our CD Players.  Those prominent scientists said that a phonograph that reproduced the human voice was utterly impossible.  There was no room for it in their box.  Thomas Edison, they said, was a fraud.  He was a ventriloquist throwing his voice.  To prove it they grabbed Edison’s neck and started choking him!  And the phonograph played on.

Since then, people with vision and dreams have been smashing our boxes, trying to get us to think outside the box.  But all we’ve done is make new boxes.  Jules Verne and Albert Einstein said, “Let’s travel to the moon, to the planets, to outer space.”  From inside their boxes people shouted, “Don’t be ridiculous, that will never happen!”  But it did!

Today with our TV sets, our wireless cell phones, our computers, men walking on the moon, a space station being built, and probes checking the atmosphere of Mars, we think how absurd, how terribly small-minded, and naive people used to be.  We laugh at their boxes.

Breaking Out of the Box

Many find it more comfortable to put God in a box, all tied up with a pretty ribbon.  If we put the pretty box on a shelf, we won’t have to be bothered with Him.  Then we can go around sharing our opinions and ignorance with others while pretending to be very wise.  If we’re good enough they will call us theologians!

No matter how hard we try to put God in a box and keep Him there, He refuses to stay in our boxes.  He insists on being Who He is and What He is.  If we want to know Him, Who He is and What He is, there is a way.  Stretch our minds!  Smash our boxes!  Throw out the idea that being modern and using new titles and new approaches is the one key we need to staying relevant and appealing to new generations. We do need modern methods and approaches, but those things are just tools for us to use, and not what satisfies the hunger in the hearts of people.

Outward circumstances change, society advances, but the hunger and longing for the real, practical love and power of God on the inside remains the sameThe Camps Farthest Out is designed to satisfy that hunger.  That hunger is to be loved, to know that God really does love you.  Because He loves you, you can love others, and see the miraculous take place. Be real. Take Jesus at his Word and those signs will follow.

How the Camps Farthest Out Began

Glenn Clark, a college professor, football, and track coach at Macalester College, became a man whose every prayer was answered.  Not by that old cliché of “Sometimes God says Yes and sometimes No and sometimes Wait.”  What Glenn asked God for, Glenn got!  Glenn got that way by stretching his thinking to God’s way of thinking.

First, he realized that not to accept the promises Jesus made was to brand Jesus a teller of tales.  He laid aside all his God-in-a-box ideas and stepped out completely on the Truth of His Word.

Second, he read books that forced him to think outside the box:  Books that talked about living in union with God, and practicing God’s presence; Books that talked about the fourth dimension and fifth dimension; Books that said prayer is governed by laws just as physics and chemistry.

Third, he began experimenting with these ideas.  He began to see prayer as a lever of power, or a wrestling hold.  If you put the lever in the right place, or used the right wrestling hold, everything had to give way before it.

Glenn Harding described the people coming to the first CFO camp.  “We were lost, unsuccessful or unhappy, needing to have our feet placed on the road to life.”  (Page 4 The Saga of Glenn Clark).  “Whether a dullard or genius, if not centered in the way, the truth, and the life of our Lord, all of us are lost.”

Isaiah 32:2 (KJV) “and a man shall be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place; as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.”  To be “as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land” was one of Glenn Clark’s soul’s sincere desires.

Preceding the first camp “were seven years of testing of the toughest kind.”  He had gone to Mt. Soledad in California to recover from a nervous breakdown.  He had gone as one far from success.  He stuttered and stammered.  His classes were unpopular.  But there, sitting at the feet of Jesus, studying, and meditating on the gospels, he found the way.

He came back transformed.  His “college classes overflowed, were contagious.  His coaching was outstanding, his praying productive; people with heavy needs came to him for help and through prayer found answers.”

CFO: A Place of Training

A training camp is a place of action.  Participants are not there to sit and listen, but to adventure.  Glenn was not only a teacher, but a coach.  We learn by doing.  Criticism was outlawed.  Glenn “made sure that in all our sharing, we were to find and see only the good in ourselves or others – never a negative – and the effect was like magic in its releasing power and freedom from fear.”

“We didn’t have to be churchy. … We could try anything we wanted to, provided only that it was an experience of Christ’s spirit of love and harmony.”

“We saw our personal problems begin to dissolve, some suddenly and dramatically, but many times in a slower growth, truly like an athlete in training.  We found ourselves living in a different atmosphere of love and appreciation, trust and expectancy of blessing, with old shackles dropping off day after day, even old habits.

“In the growing freedom, new talents and unsuspected abilities were emerging in joy and laughter – truly a foretaste of heaven.  This experience embraced and permeated every aspect of our beings in a wholeness we had not known before – in body, mind, spirit, emotions, nature and the world about us.  We learned to see the hand of God at work – not only within us, but as signs in the sky and earth, the storms and rainbows – and more gradually in the events of the world.

“Somehow, we were a living part of what was happening across the horizons – taking us into new dimensions far beyond the little closed-in selves we had brought to the camp.  With it all, there was a deep knowing that God is all in all, and that as we live in Him, we live in harmony and oneness – yes in PAHRWEE – perfectly adjusted and harmonious relationship with everything else – that under God we are truly a Universe.”

“We were beginning to see that we were not there just for answers to our own little problems, although that was probably an essential first step in the unfolding.  Rather, we were there to be prepared as instruments for greater purposes of the Lord!”

“Much to my surprise the help and advice I found in this book did not tell me how to get a longer stride, what diet to follow, or suggest a training schedule. It told how to change my attitude to­ward others through love and prayer.

“This little book told me to get rid of any ballast I might be carrying, not material ballast but ballast in the form of hate, jealousy, fear and the desire to be a hero. My job was to learn to work for team spirit, to be good friends with everybody, and to realize that victory didn’t depend on me.

Miracle-Working Prayer

“At such camps every fiber in my being yearned to rush forth and start a camp of my own based upon Jesus’ promise that “where two or three agree together I shall be in the midst of you.”  That word “agree” comes from the same Greek word that “symphony” comes from. How wonderful it would be to turn all these jarring notes into a symphony of the soul!

“Another lack I found at these camps was the great emphasis they gave to lectures and discussions and the little emphasis they gave to prayer. All the leaders believed in prayer as a routine part of religious practice. A meal should begin with prayer and a church service should close with a benediction, but as to believing that prayer would actually accomplish things, that was ridiculous!

“Since my particular function at these camps was to lead the group that wished to specialize in prayer, I frequently found the atmos­phere I was trying to build up torn down by the different emphasis created by social action speakers who believed letters to congress­men the only way to reach the Government and by orthodox religionists who believed praying for the sick smacked of cultism. At such times another yearning pulled at all the fibers of my being to start a camp where all the leaders believed that prayer was the mightiest force in the world.

Living In the Kingdom of God

“Another feature of the camps was the time taken up by many committees and discussion groups over matters pertaining to the peculiar needs of running an organization–the raising of money, the increasing of membership–time that I should like to have seen spent in training folks how to put God into their homes and class­rooms, into their work and play. In short, I yearned to see a camp where people ceased merely talking of and about God and the Kingdom–prepositions that too often implied separation–and started immersing themselves in God and the Kingdom, in every area of their lives.

  “These student camps might be serving their purpose well, but I wanted to go further. How did Edison lift us out of the era of candles and kerosene lamps into the ‘age of light’? It was by building a laboratory where he could experiment for years emptying all the air out of bulbs of glass so completely that the metal filaments were able to stand the heat generated by the mighty energy.

A Laboratory For Miracles

“Laboratory work was the secret. I must establish a laboratory and what would be a finer laboratory than a camp in God’s beautiful outdoors-where folks could meet and learn how to empty themselves of self, and learn how to love God with all their strength, with all their mind, with all their heart and with all their soul?

“This laboratory must not be merely a laboratory of ritual and doctrine, nor should it be a mere forum for debate.  Not only must the mind and soul be rendered incandescent, but the heart and body also if we would obey Jesus’ Great Commandment.

The Camps Farthest Out Day: Breathing In and Breathing Out

Below Glenn Clark describes how the original camp day flowed. As time went on, the schedule of a typical CFO day changed somewhat as the Spirit led, but the heart of love and learning how to release the power of God through prayer has stayed the same.

Morning Meditation

“A typical day at a camp begins with a meditation at seven o’clock led, by Glenn Harding with inspirational readings strung like beauti­ful beads on a string of meditations and prayers. As we move from the chapel to the breakfast hall, Alice Kraft in ringing accents com­mands all to empty the trash out of their lungs and systems and with uplifted arms welcome the day in all its newness and freshness.

Morning Talk

“At nine o’clock Start Daily addresses the group in accents remi­niscent of Lincoln. ‘Ifyou would have me, give you a character analysis, a personality reading, I should ask but one question, what is it you adore?  Should you answer that question honestly, truthfully, I could then give you a general history of your life, past, present, and future.  If we adore gossip, we shall, in all our characteristics, become like gossip. The timbre of our voice will betray us, the cast of our eyes, the set of our features, the tilt of our heads, our mannerisms, gestures, the way we sit, and the way we walk–all will proclaim to the world, Behold, the gossip!’

“‘We may choose what we wish to become in our hearts and minds. The difference between suffering and happiness, defeat and victory, resides in the self-advanced inquiry, what is it I adore?’

“And then for an hour, he holds us transfixed as he talks of the Redemptive Love of Jesus.

Devotion In Motion / Rhythms

“Then, under the trees, follows an hour of worship led by Alice Kraft spreading blessings to the right and left and kneeling in reverence before the altars of God.”

Creatives

“In the creative writing hour that follows, the teacher tells the group that each one there has access to the same three sources of originality that Wordsworth, Dickens, and Shakespeare had access to: our reminiscences, prejudices, and convictions. Be true to your own personality, dip into these three reservoirs honestly and sin­cerely, and you can’t help being original. ‘All you need then is to point your words and put rhythm into your sentences and you will have something worthwhile.’  The writing hour is one of the most inspiring hours at the camp.

“In the afternoon after a rest and quiet time the class in art meets. Here Claire Boyer says, ‘When God created the earth, that was architecture. When He shaped its valleys and mountains, that was sculpture. When He tinted it with grass and flowers, that was paint­ing. When He started the wind and the waves and the birds singing, that was music. When He hid infinite meanings in His nature, that was poetry. When humanity began to react to nature, that was drama. When man moved in harmony with God’s great eternal laws, that was the art of the dance! Thus, the art world was created, good and true and beautiful and whole! Diversity in Unity, related and purposeful! That is the reason that art can integrate man–it calls to his spirit and spirit always responds in all its original wholeness.”

Prayer Groups

“After that the entire group is divided into a series of prayer sec­tions meeting separately in different parts of the grounds. These groups remain intact for the duration of the camp, but the leaders rotate, thus spreading both contagion and technique for forming similar prayer groups when individuals return home. Many churches all over the nation have been revivified by folks who derived new inspiration from such groups.

“Sometimes we have passed around an open Bible and asked each to lay his hand with his particular burden upon the great promises in this precious Book. Great answers have come. Sometimes we use petitionary prayer, sometimes a Quaker silence, and sometimes we broadcast the Love of God to all the world.

Evening Worship

“After supper we gather for the half hour of song before the Galilean Hour. People who have never sung before find music pour­ing from their throats.

“‘If you can’t sing,’ cries Glenn Harding with the radiance that seems. always shining from him, ‘just open your mouth and feel the music of the rest vibrating upon your vocal chords. When two pianos are in the same room all you need to do is play upon one and the corresponding chords in the other hum in response. Open your mouths, and let the breath, of God flow through, and all our aeolian harps will blend in one grand harmony.’

“Some songs preach, and some songs teach, some songs pray. Glenn in his joyous, loving way makes every song period a complete religious experience in itself.

Evening Talk

“Then Frank Laubach rises to speak–the man who has been teach­ing the silent billion to read, and whose compassion goes out to all the benighted ones of the earth.  It is an experience to hear this great man. Tonight, it is half speech and half prayer.

“Leaning intimately across the pulpit with hands folded, he speaks softly . . . ‘I’ve been hungry for the last few days to get with a small group like this that believe in prayer. Our Lord has so few to follow His thoughts through with Him. If we become more like Him, then the circle will reach around the world. The greatest failure of the Christian Church is that we try to save our own souls at all costs. The further out the needs of Humanity are the less concerned we are!  Make us bigger’–his discourse becomes prayer­— ‘in the circle of our praying, love, interest and thought.’

“Then he turns back to the listeners. ‘We have an ever-growing confidence through experience because prayer–when we are honest and willing to be used–is the mightiest power in the world …. If we follow through prayer with our lives, we are then irresistible.  If we open up to Him, open the center of ourselves out to Him and if we open ourselves down and out to the world, then we let Him flow through.  Then and then only do we become channels.  Otherwise, we are mere trickles of power of service.’

“It is good to be praying with a man like this. We watch him use the back of his large hand to wipe away his tears surreptitiously. He tries to talk; finds it laborious and just quits and begins to pray again. He makes this point that gives us pause for thinking–that if in prayer we ask for anything lower than God’s Will, it will not be answered.  If we ask up to His Will, then our prayer will be an­swered above what we ask.”

The Camps Farthest Out: A Training Ground In the Power of God

While the Camps Farthest Out have adjusted how the CFO day flows as the Holy Spirit has led, the essentials have stayed the same. To train Christians how to live in the Kingdom of God now, in this life, and to take that back to their daily lives.

The CFO camps are not just retreats where we get away from the things of the world. They are training ground, teaching how prayer through faith in the Word of God works miracles. The bound are set free. The sick are healed. Lives are forever changed.

Learn more about the Camps Farthest Out or find a camp near you at cfonorthamerica.org for the U.S. and Canada, and cfointernational.org for all other locations.

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