weekend on the okatoma…

it’s amazing to see youth ministers come together with their groups and really want to reach their students in creative ways… that was this past weeked. the youth pastors from mendenhall, monticello and crystal springs and decided to have a back to school retreat canoeing. you must know that there can never be an encounter with our friend from mendehall, chris layton, with out a ‘tavin dillard’ video… here’s one of my particular favorites:


anyways, the guys and i ventured down to seminary, ms, and parked at the okatoma river. now, i grew up about 45 minutes north of this very river, and i think i only dared to venture down it once… it was quite memorable. one of the girls in our group decided that letting go of the rope swing as she was over the river wasnt a good idea… dragging the bank with her entire body while screaming was the option she chose… 🙂 i’m laughing right now as i tell you that!

the youth pastors ran into a little drama before the weekend ever happened- venues werent big enough… there was a huge turn out for the retreat… there was no where to go for them, so they got in the car and drove down the road to a local church. God  was so good and the staff there was ready and willing to accommodate the amount of people- even if it maxed out their facilities :)… they were there before we started, helped us clean up after, and had a smile the entire time. i heard their youth pastor talk about how another church had done the same for them on a trip this summer, so it was grace that they would be able to return the favor…

it was such a picture of the body of Christ loving on one another- just like Christ loves us. it was amazing to see this and then listen to our speaker for the weekend, Gary Permenter, speak on saturday night about the credibility of the Gospel. he talked about how WE have a part in the credibility of the Gospel.. how we speak, treat others, our attitude, our motives, our lifestyles- all of this plays into the credibility of the Gospel. how do we lift our hands and sing to the top of our lungs, or talk about how great church is/was, and then we are found doing the very things we preach against- trashing our friends, having a terrible attitude about our circumstances, etc… it was great to hear students really challenged right where they live- it was something attainable to apply… for everyone… even if he did quote almost an entire taylor swift song, it was great 🙂

the rain held off, canoes/kayaks were baptized in the okatoma, and the weekend was finished by cature the flag and the biggest pan of brownies i’ve ever witnessed in my entire life. even micah (bass) said, ‘how ’bout that pan of brownies?’.. translation: THAT’S RIDICULOUS.

oh that we give the Gospel credibility…. you know, you can start doing that right now…

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