We just returned from a weekend retreat at Camp Barakel. As always the food and fellowship at Barakel were good. I preached four times at Barakel, a total of about nine times this week. This morning we welcome a nice group of young people to the Stonebridge Newsletter from the retreat this weekend.
It was a beautiful, cold weekend up north. There were over ten inches of snow on the ground. The pines were all dressed in it. We did a little ice skating on Saturday afternoon and a little extra napping and reading in our warm, pine-panelled quarters. At night the winter sky was cold and clear and silent. The lake was a wide expance of white visible thorugh the woods. Late Saturday night I stood on a hill above the lake watching my breath and the steam from a cup of coffe rise up into the cold air. It was refreshing to my spirit to drink in God’s creation.
I was reminded of something Jim Elliot wrote in his Journal fifty years ago:
“I walked out to the hill just now. It is exalting, delicious, to stand embraced by the shadows of a friendly tree with the wind tugging at your coattail and the heavens hailing your heart, to gaze and glory and give oneself again to God-what more could a man ask? Oh, the fullness, pleasure, sheer excitement of knowing God on earth! I care not if I never raise my voice again for Him, if only I may love Him, please Him. Mayhap in mercy He shall give me a host of children that I may lead them through the vast star fields to explore His delicacies whose finger ends set them to burning. But if not, if only I may see Him, touch His garments, and smile into his eyes – ah then, not stars nor children shall matter, only Himself.
“O Jesus, Master and Center and End of all, how long before that Glory is Thine which has so long waited for Thee? Now there is no thought of thee among men; then there shall be thought for nothing else. Now other men are praised; then none shall care for any other’s merits. Hasten, hasten, Glory of Heaven, take Thy crown, subdue Thy Kingdom, enthrall Thy creatures.” (From the Journals of Jim Elliot).
This weekend we will be preaching and singing at Family Fellowship Bible Church near Imlay City.