I just spent the weekend at Blueberry Mountain Bible Camp for what we are calling our first of many "Growing Men of Integrity" men's conferences. Instead of calling it a "retreat", usually a time to kind of get away from everything and collect our thoughts and regroup, we decided to call it an "advance", because that is what a good soldier does in this battle we are fighting with Satan, the world, and our sinful natures.
We left church at around 3:3o on Friday afternoon to head to Weld, where the facility is that we stayed at. We arrived around 6:30 to a great meal. Then we kicked off our festivities for the weekend.
Bruce Johnson, our Outreach pastor was the keynote speaker, and the theme was becoming "revolutionaries" for Christ, which is what we are really called to be, that is not to conform to the cultural norms of our world and sometimes even the norms of the church world that keep us from fulfilling the purpose for which we were created for by God. It was a great kickoff and we had a great time of sharing and bonding as a group of guys.
Saturday morning we had breakfast at 7:30, started our morning at around 8:00 with some music and more "revolutionary" thinking. We went until about 10:30 and then we all were shocked by what came next: free time! Most conferences you go to are booked every second so you have no downtime and you're exhausted, but not ours. From 10:30 to 5:oo was all ours.
While some relaxed by reading, hanging out and checking out the facilities, a group of us I'm calling the "Blueberry Mountain Six" decided to tackle the local mountain (elevation 2950') whose trailhead is located right by the camp.
Now, the trail was rated at a "2" on the difficulty scale, and once you are on it, you realize that whoever decided that this trail deserved a "2" never climbed it or was smoking something a little funny. Leaves, running water and at times almost near verticle climbs made this one of the most challenging trails I have personally done. But we were all in the same boat physically, took our time, and were greatly rewarded by the beautiful colors of the Fall foliage and the 360º views from the top. We'll definitely do this climb again at next year's conference and a planned trip to Katahdin is on the docket for next Spring. Time to start working out for that one...
After our grueling trek, we returned to an amazing meal prepared by the camp staff and then a great night of discussion and learning about our God and King.
Sunday morning after breakfast we met for our last session which started out with an amazing time of praise. Then we had our best time of discussion and bonding yet. The cool thing is that when you spend a weekend together hanging out and sharing your thoughts and feelings with others guys you get a real sense of transparency and honesty you just don't get in church on Sunday morning. What an amazing time!!!