Men's Retreat - 20191
We need to put on all the armor of God.
We can’t put it on alone. We need others to help us.
Over the weekend of October 18-20 sixteen men gathered at Pine Lane Retreat perched above the Loyalsock Creek in Lycoming County, Pennslyvania to relax, get to know one another, eat way to much(!), and learn how to walk in faith as men. Our resource speaker was Tim Halteman, son of Norm and Chris Halteman, who is a Men’s Ministry leader with his church in Lewisburg.
Friday afternoon and evening, by twos and threes, we made our way north, dodging rush hour and Penn State football traffic as best we could. That went better for some of us than others! After an evening meal, prepared under the able leadership of James Weaver, we made our way into the large living room for our first session. Tim led us through the book of Ephesians over the course of the weekend, challenging us to go deeper in our relationship with Christ and each other.
Saturday included two more sessions as well as plenty of free time in the afternoon. Many made the choice to burn off a few calories by hiking up the mountain on a trail that believes in getting to the top quickly! Fortunately we were rewarded at the top with a beautiful vista of the valley. After exerting that much energy it seemed appropriate, of course, to treat ourselves to the creamy coldness of hand-made ice cream at Eder’s Ice Cream, Mountoursville. Saturday evening was highlighted by celebrating CJ Gerz’s birthday and enjoying the unicorn birthday cake designed by his daghter, Paityn.
Sunday morning Tim Halteman challenged us with the passage from Ephesians 6:10-20, looking at each piece of armor and how that applies to us today. It was not lost on us that we had just completed a sermon series on the same book and Dave Leaman’s visual representation of this passage was fresh in our minds. Two of the statements made during that last session jumped out at me. The scripture says, twice, that we need to put on the full armor of God (6:11, 13). Not just part of it, but all of it. Tim also pointed out that putting on that armor required the Roman soldier to get a little help. The process of buckling on the breastplate, for instance, required another set of hands to fasten the straps in the back. His point? We are not Rambo! We need the accountability of the men around us to be able to stand.
Thank you to the leadership team of David Bruce, CJ Gerz, Ray Gerlach, Brad Herr, Phil Hostetter, and James Weaver for planning and leading the weekend.