Tag Archives: Bryan Dill

CONNECT: Fun Times at the Men’s Retreat

-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.

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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.


CONNECT: Our New TV Ad

-submitted by Travis Flora

Our first TV ad using our Connect. Reach. Grow. theme goes into use this week. We showed a sneak peak of it after morning worship services yesterday, but as promised, here it is again on our YouTube channel. Be sure to share the link with all your friends and be prepared to talk about what CONNECT means. We look forward to building stronger relationships with each other as we strive to serve God through Christ. A special thanks to David Rogers for creating the ad and Bryan Dill for doing an excellent job as our spokesman! For those interested, the TV ad will be shown in Frankfort Plant Board on Lifetime, USA, TBS and HGTV, at least for now. We may switch that up a little in a few weeks.

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/HollyHillCOC#p/a/u/0/zFkTjDDkLk4

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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.


GROW: Is Prayer Too Easy?

– by Bryan Dill

Have you ever been completely and totally surprised?  Maybe someone threw you a surprise birthday party that you had no idea was coming.  Or, maybe you’ve been watching a movie and there was a surprise twist that left you with your jaw dropped.  Usually, we like those kinds of surprises.  They’re the unexpected joys of this life.

Sometimes, however, a surprise takes us in the other direction.  We’re displeased, or indignant, or angry that we were tricked in such a way.  One of the Old Testament events that we had to skip over this year in our study at Holly Hill is when Naaman, the commander of the Syrian army, came to the prophet Elisha in order to be healed of his leprosy.  To Naaman’s surprise, the prophet didn’t even come out to see him.  And, to his utter disgust, Elisha sent word to Naaman that all he had to do was go dip himself in the Jordan river seven times.

What kind of ridiculous requirement is that??  This was not a pleasant surprise for Naaman.  And, he stormed off, regretting he had wasted his time seeking Elisha out.  But, his servant pointed out that a more complicated requirement would have had Naaman’s full attention – so why not try the prophet’s remedy?  So, Naaman did – and it worked!

I think it was the simplicity of the solution that surprised Naaman, and made him incredulous.  I also think that we’re often caught in the same trap.  Prayer is so simple – it doesn’t require any complicated memorization, no formalities, no ritualistic dancing, no lengthy preparation.

We simply turn our attention to God, and begin talking.

Perhaps the simplicity of prayer has caused us to react in a similar (albeit less dramatic) way to Naaman.  It seems too easy, too mundane, to actually work.  How can something that seems so insignificant have an actual, meaningful impact on my life?  And we turn in our haste to try and find another solution – one that will be more dramatic, or will rely more on our abilities and talents.

If only each of us had someone in our lives as wise as Naaman’s servant.  Someone who could smack us back into reality.  “Just try it!” the servant pleaded.  Which is exactly what we need to hear when we’re struggling with sin, when we’re fighting depression, when the stress of life is getting to us . . . just try it.  Prayer can have amazing effects on our lives.  It’s so simple – but, the results will be life-changing.

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Grow:  In 2 Peter 1:5-8, the Apostle Peter illustrates that just being “in Christ” is not enough, we need to grow. Opportunities for growing in our relationship with Christ abound at Holly Hill. These blogs will highlight these opportunities, or may just illustrate, teach or inspire us as we grow in knowledge, faith and love of God.


GROW: Recommended Reading

-submitted by Bryan Dill

“Fascinating Stories of Forgotten Lives” by Charles R. Swindoll

Charles Swindoll’s writing is one of the easiest I have ever found to read.  Even if you’re a slow reader (like me), you’ll find that reading this book by Swindoll comes much easier than others.  Swindoll is a fantastic story-teller, and that’s what he does with the lives of the people he writes about.  This book is one that goes through the lives of 13 different Bible characters, and digs a little deeper into what made them so “fascinating.”

Some of the people Swindoll writes about are people you may barely remember from Scripture (like Gehazi or Rehoboam).  Others are well-known men and women that Swindoll is able to present in an entirely new light (like Esau and Abraham).  He brings to life their circumstances, and shows us the good and the bad of their character without holding anything back.  There are some excellent lessons for all of us, as we read his account of these lives.

Here’s a quote from the chapter on Naaman:

“the Lord has a surprise in store for anyone coming to Him. . . . The Lord delights to surprise us with His goodness, if only we will unlock the door of obedience with the key of faith . . . and then push it open and walk through.”

Take advantage of this excellent offering from our library.  You won’t regret it!

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Grow:  In 2 Peter 1:5-8, the Apostle Peter illustrates that just being “in Christ” is not enough, we need to grow. Opportunities for growing in our relationship with Christ abound at Holly Hill. These blogs will highlight these opportunities, or may just illustrate, teach or inspire us as we grow in knowledge, faith and love of God.


Regrets

My son, Asher, is at the age where he does so many things that just make us laugh.  I probably would have said the same thing a year ago, but he’s really developing his own personality, and things he likes certain ways, and it often is rather humorous.  One example is from just the other day.  Asher loves to play with any kind of ball he can get his hands on.  It doesn’t really matter the size, shape, color, or anything else.  He wants to throw, kick, carry, and bounce that ball wherever he goes.

One of his toys came with several plastic balls similar to what you see in those old ball pits.  He carries these around, often repeating “i-ma-ball” (“it’s my ball”, for those of you who don’t speak 2-year-old).  Asher’s other great love in life is animals.  He loves all of his stuffed animals, but really gets excited about the live ones.  So, of course, he loves our cat.  He always wants to play with the cat, too, even though the cat usually prefers to stay away from Asher.  On this particular occasion, the cat was sitting under the dining table, and Asher was walking around with one of his plastic balls.  He saw the cat, and decided he wanted to show the cat the ball.  He kneeled down on the ground, and got right up in the cat’s face with the ball, and said, “i-ma-ball”.

The cat wasn’t impressed.  In fact, his main objective was to get away – so, he ran through his little cat-door that goes out into the garage.  But, Asher wasn’t done.  He really wanted the kitty to see his ball, and he would especially like it if the kitty played with it, too.  So, Asher goes to the door, leans over, and puts the ball through the little door, and drops it out in the garage for the kitty – and, then he starts walking away.  It’s at this point that I’m already watching to see what his reaction is going to be, and it was almost as if I could see his little mind working – “Wait a minute . . . if I leave the ball out there for the kitty to play with . . . that means I can’t play with it.  It’s not worth that!”

Asher runs back to the door, and is reaching his hand through the door, futilely trying to get the ball back.  Of course, that’s when he starts getting upset, and we had to step in and get the ball for him.  Even though he started getting upset, it was hard not to laugh at him.  The action taken – the realization that it didn’t give him the result desired – the attempt to take it back.  It reminded me a lot of . . . well . . . me – and all of us.

God has warned us time and again, much like He did with Adam and Eve – sin isn’t worth it!  And, yet, again and again we make the same mistake Adam and Eve did.  We go ahead with our actions.  Never giving much thought to the end result.  And, it’s often only when we don’t get the desired result that we realize we’ve made a mistake.  Thankfully, God is very much like the watchful parent – waiting to lend a hand; waiting to step in and help, when we can’t help ourselves.  It would be nice if we could cut out all of those silly mistakes from our lives (and many of them we can and should!).  But, we will never be perfect, and we will always have to rely on our Father in heaven.  Praise God that He is a willing and loving Father – even when we brazenly disregard His will.

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:7-9 (ESV)


Thoughts on Simplicity

My son’s about to turn 2 this month.  And, it amazes me the things he will play with.  We’ve all heard the joke about the baby that plays with the box instead of the toy.  But, even at the age of 2, my son still will play with the simplest of things.  Give him a ball and a cup, and he’s happy for hours!  This is one of the reasons we hardly ever buy him toys – he makes toys out of whatever he has.  He doesn’t complain that his toys aren’t nice enough.  He doesn’t argue that he needs a new and improved version of his toys.  He simply enjoys what he has.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we all could do the same?  To live a life of simplicity.  To be content with what we have, and enjoy life for what it is – a blessing from God.  Why does it take so much to satisfy us?  Why do we continually need to have something newer, bigger, or better?  We can’t blame it all on the society we live in (though, the fewer commercials I see for new products, the better!).  I believe we have yet to understand exactly what Paul is saying in Philippians.  Take a look at what he says, and consider whether or not you could even come close to saying the same about your life:

“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound.  In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”  (Philippians 4:11-13 – ESV)


Thursday Thoughts

Lately, I’ve been looking a lot at Snapple’s “Real Facts” that are under the lid of their drink lids.  I like Snapple, but I certainly don’t drink enough to be getting a lot of these facts, so I’m glad that they provide them all at their website.  I recently wrote a bulletin article using one, and I liked how it all came together so much that I may put together a series of sermons or invitations based on several of these “Real Facts” in the future.  But, for now, I wanted to write today’s thoughts centered around one of these facts:

Real Fact #12: Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backward.

I know it’s totally random, and fairly useless information.  But, think about that for a minute.  It takes a great deal of effort for an emu or kangaroo to turn around and go back the other direction.  They can’t even take one step backwards.  From merely a physical standpoint, I’m glad that we aren’t limited like that.  But, from a spiritual standpoint, I kind of wish we were!

Think about it – the inability to take steps backwards.  How great it would be if we never had to worry about slipping back into sin.  Of falling back into bad habits.  How nice it would be if that were impossible!  But, unfortunately, that’s not the way we work.  Because we’re human.  We make mistakes.  Even when we are trying our best, we still slip up.  But, thankfully, we have a way out; a way to get back on the right track.

“But, if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:7-9 (ESV)