While all of this has been enjoyable, there has not been much chance that I've seen for a "first." I've been to this retreat about 13-14 times. Other than running and taking a flying leap into the lake (which I've considered though I would be wet for the rest of the day as I did not bring swimming trunks) I've done most of what is here. So, my first is not very big and not very dramatic. It's pretty weak, but nonetheless, I did give it an effort.
This is how our day goes when we come here. We leave the church around 9 and drive here. We stop on the way for lunch and get here in time for the 2:00 session. We are in "church" (preaching and singing) until 5 and then we eat. After that, we go back to "church" usually until around 8:30 or 9 and then we go pray together. We did get out earlier tonight than usual. The point being here is that we do a lot of sitting.
Today, I went during the 15 minute break and got a Mountain Dew to drink in the last session before supper. I don't like Mountain Dews and I can't remember the last time I drank one. I'm pretty sure it's been longer than 20 years which qualifies it as a "first." The reason I did this is because I've heard that Mountain Dews have a lot of caffeine and will perk you up. I drank the Mountain Dew to help keep me alert in the worship services as a "first."
Also, between the supper meal and night church, I took at 30 minute walk. I did not walk to drink too much caffeine and end up not sleeping and so the walk would hopefully help me stay alert. I do not every remember taking a walk between supper and the evening worship time here to help me stay alert. These two things combine to make a "perked-up first."
They actually worked pretty well. I tried not to look too hard for signs that said "No Drink or Food in the Worship Center." I saw a couple of fellas with bottles of water so I figured my Dew was OK. I still don't like the taste very much. I remembered why I do not drink these any more. It was worth it to have that little extra jolt of concentration. The walk really worked better, I think. It got my heart pumping and blood flowing and hopefully I didn't sweat too much to smell too bad. If I did, hey, maybe that helped keep someone else alert.
Scenes from the walk
I was walking much faster than this guy
Mountain Dew or Worship aid?
My roommate thinks it is funny that the table is too tall for me to type out my blog on
I know this sounds a bit like the speakers or music is boring. That is not it at all. However, when you ride in the vehicle for 3 hours or a bit more and then sit for several more hours, you can get a little dull. I don't want to come all the way here and listen to great men of God teach wonderful truths that could be very helpful and I miss it because I'm a bit tired. I'm interested. It is helpful to do a little something that will perk up the spiritual ears. Jesus said several times in Revelation, "Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches." God is speaking and I want to hear. So, if a little Mountain Dew or a walk will help it is well worth it. I may well switch back to coffee tomorrow; that's what I usually drink when I get a bit drowsy.
This reminds me that I don't want to be a dull hearer of God's word. Acts 28:27 says, "For the heart of this people has become dull, And with their ears they scarcely hear, And they have closed their eyes; Otherwise they might see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart and return, And I would heal them." What do you need to do to be a sharp hearer of God's Word? Simply going to sleep on time on Saturday night could help you with your Sunday worship. Of course, being interested in what God has to day will help a lot. Praying and being spiritually prepared will help us hear God every day; keeping our sins confessed and staying submitted to the Lordship of Christ. So, I pray that we all keep our spiritual ears alert and ready to hear. Now, this is the time of night I need to be drowsy so out with the Dew. Now, if I only had a cold glass of milk...
Perking up in the abundant life
3 things I thank God for today
1. Ed Litton's sermon today
2. The Revelation song sung by Kari Jobe
3. Baked potatoes