High Pastures

Jul 15, 2007 | | 6 comments

cimg0062a.JPGIt was just a week ago. The venue we had planned to use for our retreat had fallen through. We had a little over a week to find something. I was fresh out of ideas. I was depending on the others to figure something out. I wanted to contribute, but I couldn’t. Then I thought of asking you, my readers and all four of you responded! The chalk picture thing might have worked, but at ded’s suggestion, we had already booked High Pastures for the night. Thank you all for thinking about us and giving your ideas. I felt like we had the honor of having you to help us plan. I felt the presence of the Body of Christ in action.

Imagine four guys getting together for a day long retreat for the purpose of going deeper in friendship. What might that look like? We didn’t know either, but we can invent it as we go. The reality is that we don’t make up anything in an of ourselves. I didn’t make my brain, I didn’t create my body. Any good ideas I have are not because of anything I can take credit for. We owe it all to God who lavishes his goodness on us all.

I can imagine your asking about now whether since I am expressing thanks to God that I might be over and done with the doubting and questions. Rest easy (or not) I am as full of questions and doubts as ever, but this one thing I am sure of. There is a God and for some reason He loves me. I still have lots of things I just don’t get. I hope I always do.

My friends and I decided to set aside a day to get away and hear the hearts of our friends. We talked about things that are important to us, we dreamed, we went digging for treasure in our dreams. We call it “heart spelunking“. We learned and practiced tools for better communication. We experienced the benefits of each of our God given gifts. We felt deeply and experienced breakthroughs. It was difficult at times and incredible throughout. We joked and laughed, spoke our fears and dreams and cried. It was truly an auspicious day.

When I have gone to conferences and retreats in years past, my objective was always to have fun or to learn more. These days, I find that my objective is to invest in things that will help me be the person that God made me to be. Don’t get me wrong. I want to have fun. I do want to learn, but not fun for the sake of escaping life nor learning just for the sake of learning. I long to maximize my time here on this planet because I realize more and more how short it is.

highpastures.gifI am so very thankful for the weekend, for great friends, partners in life, your thoughts and prayers and a God who loves me in spite of myself. I am also thankful for the people who invested their precious resources into creating the High Pastures Retreat. If you need a place to get away from everything, I highly recommend it.

Posted in: friends

6 Responses

  1. Jim,

    It was great spending time with you this weekend. It was a time of defining moments for me. Thank you for all that you are and for everything that you bring. My life is better because you are in it. The sheep got some great feeding at High Pastures. Praise and thanks to the Good Shepherd.

    John

  2. Dear Jim–
    WOW! I really enjoyed your thoughts you have shared about HIGH PASTURES. Very insightful.

    Thank you for all you pour into others lives. YOU are making a difference!!
    Jim writes: “There is a God and for some reason He loves me”–of course HE does, why wouldn’t he? You are AWESOME!
    You may not see it but YOU are a BLESSING to many. When you touch just one man’s life…you reach many…their wives, family, friends, co-workers…the list is long, the legacy is eternal…
    Never stop doing what you do!

    God LOVES YOU, HE created YOU in HIS Image!!

    Keep the FAITH…..
    In His AMAZING Grace,
    Lisa

    “Praise be to the Name of GOD for ever and ever!!
    Wisdom and Power are His.
    Daniel 2:20 NIV
    ~visit my website at : http://lisaheidrich.wordpress.com check out “HOT Flash” blog~

  3. I’m so glad HP had a place for you and that the location supported your experience well. We camped there some when the kids were little. I have taken school groups on retreats there and enjoyed a few adult retreats, as well.

    If God could be fully understood and explained, to the effect that faith was not needed, He would not be much of a God. If He were to be fully described in human terms, we would have to reduce the worship of Him to simply admiring Him.

  4. Even when I am to old to remember the specifics, the legacy of this past weekend will long be in place because of the life change that happened because of partnering with you Jim.

  5. Nephew/Brother,
    I esteem you highly in the Lord. I also am so thankful for your hungry heart for our Lord and your branching out to find the Body of Christ in places somewhat unexpected. Keep searching…”If with all your heart you truly seek Him, you shall surely find him.”

  6. Jim,
    It’s been over a month since the retreat to High Pastures, and I can already see the impact of our investment of moments that weekend. It has stirred me, and indirectly Julie too, toward considering more what it means to be in community. What does it mean to be a part of a body–a body of believers–diverse and distinct–yet keenly aware (at times) of their interdependence?

    In short–it’s a mess–it’s not convenient and it is wonderful. I could leave a novel of the insights since the retreat–but I don’t think I am fully aware of the all. Suffice to say–Jim, you, John and Dave are a gift that I am just starting to open. Thanks, God!

    Curtis

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