-submitted by Travis Flora
This was my first year to attend a Men’s Retreat, not just at Holly Hill but anywhere. To be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect when Evan and I signed up to attend this year. Even though we’ve been attending Holly Hill for about a year and a half now, we still don’t know many people that well. So as I thought about attending the Men’s Retreat, I was both excited and also a little nervous. It’s one thing to be around people on Sundays and Wednesdays, but something different to spend a few days tucked away at a Bible camp with people you don’t know that well.
As Tom Owens wrote in a blog about the Men’s Retreat that was published a few weeks ago, the lessons were great. Gary Knuckles did a fantastic job leading us through lessons that encourage us to be both the salt and the light of the world. It’s amazing how much you can really learn and examine about yourself when there are no outside distractions, like work, home projects, television, internet, and even family.
Just as valuable to me, though, was the “free time.” This was a chance to see my brothers in Christ “cutting loose” and having fun. You get to learn a lot about people’s character when you strip away the formality of “church” and just hang out. We have a bunch of fun-loving guys! Besides the usual sitting around talking and swapping tales, there were board games, basketball and tetherball, and several took a few hours on Saturday to take a nature hike along the trails of a state park that was within walking distance of Spring Mill Bible Camp where we stayed. The lake and cave were pretty awesome, and we even got to learn a little about our frontier past by visiting a restored frontier village complete with working mill.
And then there was Four Square. I’d never heard much about Four Square before coming to Holly Hill and finding out it is a required activity, not just for the younger men who attended, but for some of the older guys, too. It was fun to watch the older guys (David Rogers, Nick, Bryan and Kenneth) gang up on the younger guys and laugh with unrestrained joy as yet another young man was sent to the back of the line after getting victimized by another David Rogers corner shot. As I said, you learn a lot about people in situations like this…
We’ve uploaded several photos on our Facebook page that show some of the fun things we enjoyed together, including Nick Gill’s special birthday cake. Be sure to check it out. Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.217670474972490.54316.138387032900835&type=1
And we’re also including links to a few YouTube clips that show some of the fun we had, fellowshipping with one another and growing closer as men in service to Christ. If the videos don’t appear below, just follow this link to our Holly Hill church of Christ YouTube Channel. Also, thanks to Gregg Stratton for sharing his videos from the retreat. http://www.youtube.com/user/HollyHillCOC?feature=mhee
When it comes to retreats and camps and other similar activities, it’s not just about learning God’s word (although that’s certainly the main emphasis), but it’s also about CONNECTing with each other. I encourage all the men at Holly Hill to make plans to attend next year.
CONNECT is a weekly blog designed as a way for us to get to know each other better, build stronger relationships, and make us better equipped to edify one another. These blogs will highlight members of our congregation, either new converts, new members, or highlight other members to help us know each other better.