July 11, 2010

From HTEN24 toJONE22

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in The Journey

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I participated in a pretty remarkable 24 hours at the lakehouse, from Fri 5pm to Sat at 5pm. It was one of those "seems like we've only been here an hour" and at the same time, "for as much as we've covered we must have been here a week".

There were 10 of us plus 1. Jesus said that whenever two are more gathered, He would be there (Matthew 18:20). And He was! Boy howdy, was He ever!

The group can be described as,

– 4 pastors (one is Baptist; don't know about the others, it didn't matter)
– a father and a son
– a father in law and son in law
– a pair of brothers in law
– nephew and uncle
– pastor and associate pastor
– worship leader
– six of us has never met or talked to one another before.

I have 4 pages of one-liners of the subjects we discussed. But all with one central theme – how to get closer to God. Lots of crying, lots of hugging, and lots of genuine reflection on where where are … and what to do next.

We came together under the scripture from Hebrews 10:24-25 (hence HTEN24), talking about encouraging one another toward love and good deeds and meeting with each other. We left with direction from James 1:22 (JONE22) … Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (NIV)

And that's the challenge we gave to each other.

Many thanks go to the men's wives and families. This inconvenienced all of them and we appreciate their sacrifice, encouragement and support of their husbands and daddies. EXTRA SPECIAL THANKS to my wife Sandi, without whom this would not have been possible. She had the lakehouse spotless; 10 beds ready; just the right amount of fixings for chocolate chip and blueberry pancakes; just the right amount of hamburgers and hotdogs; and drinks, cups, snacks, the list goes on and on. And perhaps most of all, had me pumped up for some time to get closer to God! Thanks, sweetie, for using your gifts to encourage and support me and the weekend retreat. I love you.

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