This weekend I preached six times if you count my talk at Jackson Christian Elementary, four messages for a Men’s Retreat at Bambi Lake near Roscommon, and my Sunday morning message at Bethel. That is my definition of a wonderful weekend. Most of my pastoral duties are delightful. Sometimes they are heavy, hard, and sad, but usually they are delightful.
When I finished my last session on Saturday night up at Bambi Lake I checked my weather app and discovered that if I drove home in the morning I would be driving through a heavy snowfall. I put my things in my backpack, drove to the nearest McDonalds for a couple ice coffees and headed for home. I crawled into my warm bed next to Lois at about 2:00 a.m. So, as you can imagine, I indulged in a little nap Sunday afternoon.
Bambi Lake was delightful. Mic Schatz directs the camp and he is also the lead singer of the band. His son was in the band and a fine group of young men who were really gifted musicians and church planters. They listened attentively to my messages and took notes and laughed and cried and nodded in all the right places. It was powerfully encouraging to be with fine young men who are eager to serve the Lord. There was a pastor there who was 87–my Dad’s age. He put his arm around me a prayed a blessing over me that lingered in my heart for hours after I left.
A great group of men gathered there from around Michigan. The sessions were lively and the men were attentive and kind. My room was very comfortable and the snow fell covering the campgrounds with a layer of pure and beautiful whiteness.
I made some wonderful, new Christian friends and enjoyed hours of conversation around round tables and over good food. I noticed that cookie table was never empty all weekend. The men were interested in my books. I came home with about a half-dozen left.
When I left the camp it was already late and night and the roads that far north were snow-covered. Traffic was light, only an occasional truck pulling a snow machine trailer passed me heading south. Prayer came easy to me. My heart was so full and thankful. I asked the Lord for safety on the trip home and good fellowship with Him and he answered my prayer.
My mother used to sing a sweet old song, “To be used of God to sing, to speak, to pray. To be used of God to show someone the way. I long so much to feel the touch of his consuming fire. To be used of God is my desire.”
In the dark, quiet hours driving down the spine of Michigan in the night I felt, if in just a small way, I was used of God. I hope I spoke faithfully. I hope I listened well. I hope I was used of God to encourage other men to follow Him, to trust Him, to love Him. He is worthy and wonderful and nothing else really matters.
January 23, 2022