Friday, November 11, 2011

Day 1 of Men’s Retreat

I’m surprisingly not stressed about the audit and am just enjoying myself up here.  I rode up with Shavarsh, Garry, and Sam (a guy I didn’t really know).  I left work at 1 p.m., and am still so grateful to not have to meet chargeable hours goals anymore.

We checked in and went straight to dinner.  Hume food is always amazing.  I always overeat here, but oh well.  It’s one weekend to completely splurge.

As an icebreaker, we broke into our small groups for “minute-to-win-it”-type challenges, where one guy from each of the eight groups goes up for each challenge.  I thought I might have it for most sit-ups in 30 seconds, but I only did 20, and another guy did 31.  Unfortunately I had on a newer pair of jeans, and I’m a little bruised from the belt loop.  I have Trevor B., Sam M., Bryan W., and Matt S. in my group.

Our theme this weekend is No More Excuses, building off the movie Courageous.  Josh, a guy in our church is a Chowchilla police officer, and works with Code+3 ministries, a ministry based out of our church for supporting law enforcement.  He’ll be talking off the acronym REAL this weekend.  Tonight R stood for “Reject Passivity,” and he talked about Simon Peter.  Josh commended Simon Peter for wanting Jesus so much that he’d believe Christ could make him walk on water in the midst of the storm that he’d get out of a boat 4 miles out to sea.  Who cares that he got distracted from Christ (which we all do)?  He got out of the boat!

Josh also touched on the church at Laodicea being lukewarm in Revelation 3:14-22.  But he took it a step further to Revelation 4 being our promise of what’s to come if we get white hot for God and reject passivity.

A couple questions so far have been very convicting for me.  What will it take for me to become white hot toward God?  What’s keeping me passive toward Christ?  Work, family, sin, money, status, etc.  This is where it really hit me.  Josh and his wife lost their first baby Elijah eight years ago.  Our whole church was praying for this baby born with a hole in his heart.  When their second son Lincoln had the same defect, he had surgery in the womb and a full heart transplant a few months after birth.  Josh knows pain like few others.  And for him to say, “Lord, take my family if that’s what it takes to draw me to you.”  Wow.  But this is God, so if we really know how awesome He is, even our family can’t compare.

After the talk, we went back to Ponderosa for snacks (Hume’s amazing cookies, along with milk).  I think I had six, which isn’t good considering I ate 3 doughnuts that the auditors brought this morning.  But they’re so good!

They moved the Spades tournament to tonight since so many guys are going home after tomorrow’s talk.  I like the change because the weekend always feels overscheduled to me.  This way we get that done tonight when I want to hang out and talk with guys anyway, and it’s one less thing on tomorrow’s agenda.  I partnered up with Mike B. and he gave us the team name “Zero to Heroes,” because he and his brother got exactly zero points in the tournament two years ago.  We played against Trevor and a new guy Alan, and lost 245 to 2.  Not much of a climb from 0.  I wasn’t disappointed with losing or getting eliminated in the first round, but that our game went fast and was over.  Mike proposed a consolation (or “consolidation” as he called it) round, and that ended up being a lot of fun.  Russ went Blind Nil in the third hand, not knowing he had the three non-Spade aces.  Then Tim, this being his first night playing Spades, led out with the three of clubs.  I played the two, Russ played the five, and Mike came in with the four.  It was pure chaos from there.  Russ had so many points that we ended up getting set.  But that was a redeeming game in my mind just for the fun of playing rather than us winning.

There are a lot less guys this year, probably only 45, where we’ve been 100+ in some previous years.  We’re only using one cabin this year.  I’m bunking with Jon D., Jeff J., Daniel Y., and Matt S.

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