I went back to my roots this weekend: a winter retreat with middle schoolers and high schoolers. It included most of the normal stuff: kids eating gross food while blindfolded, ridiculous games, s’mores, as well as some great times of worship and Bible study.

We left Friday afternoon, dropped off our oldest, Emery, with her Aunt Tiffany in Nashville, then headed to Camp Hickory Hills to meet up with the youth group from Calvary Rivergate on Friday evening. We pulled in around 7:00pm and I taught around 8:30 right after Jenn led the students in a few songs of worship. The theme of the weekend was “Refined” – how God uses the trials and issues we face to shape us and refine us. I taught the whole book of Jonah in 4 parts on Friday night and Saturday. I talked about how God used the sea creature, the sailors, and even the citizens of Nineveh to refine Jonah. It was a great time and the kids really enjoyed the weekend. I taught Friday night, then on Saturday, I taught at 8:15am, 10:15am, and 1:15pm!

Some firsts for this weekend:
– first time teaching 3 separate Bible studies within 5 hours of each other
– first time teaching from a rolling kitchen cart with a cookie tray on top (they couldn’t find a music stand, so I improvised)
– first time teaching with my fly down the entire time (first time that I’m aware of)

When the youth pastor from Calvary Rivergate first contacted me, he was under the impression that I’d have to be home on Saturday night for church, so he made it where we’d be done with the camp on Saturday afternoon by 3:00pm and a couple other guys would cover the teaching and worship for the rest of the weekend. Well, instead of heading back to Awaken to teach, I asked Denver Miller to teach for me, and Jenn and I planned a little 1-night getaway as an early Valentine’s celebration! We dropped Adalyn off with Tiffany and Emery, then headed to our hotel, a nice dinner, then a movie. After that, we enjoyed 10 straight hours of uninterrupted sleep. You read that right: 10 STRAIGHT HOURS. I can’t remember the last time that happened. It was fantastic. I also can’t remember the last time that Jenn and I got to get away for a night just the two of us, so that was great as well. We enjoyed a great breakfast at J. Christopher’s (wish we had one here), then picked the girls back up and hit the road for home.

We’ll have some friends over tonight and pretend that we like football. In reality, it’s just another excuse to invite friends over, so that’s what we’re doing. I’ll watch my one football game for 2010, then I’ll wait February 2011.

Praise God for a church that goes on without us, a great time with some awesome students, a restful and fun night with my bride, and God’s faithfulness that is new every morning!

How was your weekend?

Awaken people, how was church? I heard good things.

Monday morning is tomorrow. Back to reality…