I can't promise I'll have the time to post about our youth retreat daily but here goes for day one. This morning we loaded up with 11 teenagers (some church members, some guests), 4 adults (Heather W., Peggy K. my wife, and me), my 8-month old son, and my two dogs... well it was almost one less dog as Chewy, the rat terrier slipped from his collar and leash to make a run down the reservoir behind our church property. A half-hour later I was able to catch him and we got on the road. We had a safe, smooth ride to Burnet, TX and picnicked along the way for lunch. After unloading and settling into the hotel around 3pm we all made our way to my in-laws who have graciously opened their home for evening supper, swimming, and Bible study. On Tuesday we'll be going to the exotic ranch where my father-in-law guides for hunting trips and then over to Longhorn Caverns to hike and explore caves. On Wednesday we'll spend the day at Ink's Lake State Park for all sorts of lakeside activities. Every evening it will be back to my in-laws' home for a meal and to study God's Word.
I must say the day began with frustration over chasing down my dog and getting a late start but the Lord brought me in a spirit of prayer quickly. I've been asking all day that we would share sweet fellowship and enjoy the good things He's provided but that we would also grow richly from the study of Ephesians 2:1-10 (our focal text for the week). Tonight in Bible study it was as though every ear was tuned in and hungry to hear about how good the news is of our God's grace through the work of His Son Jesus to rescue sinners. There were actually comments afterwards about how much they enjoyed reading and learning about the Biblical doctrine of salvation. The Lord had watched over our travels, preserved our attitudes to be gracious toward each other, and now kindled an excitement for Bible study... and we're only on day one! I'm about to hit the pillow after a long day but I can hardly wait for what the Lord will do tomorrow! Keep the prayers flowing that the Word will bring forth fruit this week!