How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in fellowship (Ps 133:1)
OR…when brothers come together for NWH Men’s Camp. That is what 54 men did on the last weekend in January of this year at Grove Christian Camp in Dorena, OR. What a wonderful mix of men. Old, young, and some in the middle. Men pretty new to the faith, some who have kept in step with the Spirit for a long time and, thankfully, one or two looking to satisfy their spiritual hunger and thirst. I really appreciated that age and spiritual maturity spread. It made for excellent sharing in our group gatherings and precipitated lively conversations in small groups or one-on-one during informal periods.
You might ask, “What happens at Men’s Camp?” My answer is, “Manly” stuff.
Ben Hoffman and band lead us in some powerful worship prior to each session. I thought the way they mixed the old and the new praise songs and some hymns together was special. A bunch of men singing to the Lord is a wonderful thing.
We had four teaching sessions, two with Pastor Mike and two with Pastor Josh. All were presented in an informal style with discussion and questions encouraged. My three “manly” take-a-ways: Give my life over to the Holy Spirit each day so that I might live wisely and live well; Use time wisely to cultivate deep, loving relationships; The spiritual and physical benefits of a Sabbath rest each week. Spiritual steps every Christian can take toward godly living.
Chain saws roared, bleaching out blue smoke. Axes, hammers and sledges rang out as they chopped, hacked, and hammered. Big, I mean. BIG fires burned as they were piled high with limbs that covered much of the open ground of the camp. The winter storms and recent logging had left a huge mess on the property. Our service project was to clear a small portion of the area of fallen trees, and limbs, big and small, from those still standing, and to rake and level areas where big vehicles had left big trenches moving some of the bigger logs and limbs out of the way. Everyone had a job. It was dirty. It was muddy. It rained. We got dirty. It was hard. The men loved it. They cleared and cleaned an area much larger than the one that had been assigned. For me, this was the greatest “fellowship” activity we had this year.
The pace of camp was great. We had time. Time to rest. Time to worship. Time to learn. Time to share with one another. Time to PLAY. One afternoon we were given several manly activities to choose from according to age, stage and desire: a waterfall hike, shooting pistols and/or rifles, board games, nap, hang out with a friend. Four or five hours to do what you wanted to do with like-minded guys. Marvelous.
Marvelous. The word causes me to think of the food we ate. Fred Woekel planned the menu, bought supplies, transported them to camp and cooked wonderful, healthy, delicious meals. I believe that every man that attended camp would agree that meal time was a camp highlight.
Oh, yes. We were fed well, spiritually and physically. The worship was sweet, the fellowship deep. We learned from the Word how to live well and live wisely, keeping in step with the Holy Spirit. We worked hard and played hard. Manly stuff moving us toward godliness. I’m looking forward to next year!
Yours truly, Don Snow, a man of 8+ decades and going strong!