IMG_2058The Twin Creeks Ranch has not seen rain for many months.  Even the down pours in Houston have skirted these woods of the Crockett forest.  This day would be different.

Two special colleagues and I have planned a retreat.  We serve together as the Executive Team of the Dallas Theological Seminary, Houston Campus.  Willie is our Executive Director of Church Relations & Chaplain.  Ben is our Associate Dean.   I have the honor of filling the role as Dean.  Together we run the institution.

It has been a fast and furious year.  This has also been our first year together. Now, after the commencement season we are going to take a deep collective breath, count our blessings, shore up our mistakes and plan for the future.

A wonderful couple who great friends of the seminary have welcomed us to their ranch.  We will stay their in a pristine environment and talk, pray, evaluate and plan.  There will be fun times for play too.

We drove to the ranch in the rain.  Yes, after a long drought God decided to have us remember our first retreat with the first day of rain for this parched land.  We would not be going fishing after all.  The firing range would have to wait for another day too.  All outdoor activities would be curtailed.

Every item on our program would be ticked off.  It made for some outstanding discussion.  I could feel our team growing tighter as time passed.

One thing that we did not scrimp on was food.  We went out to Denny’s for breakfast before launching our venture.  Together we shared what we were currently studying in our personal devotions from the Scriptures.  It was a rich time of sharing.

We hit the road and Willie prayed for God’s blessing on our retreat while I drove the route.  God was hearing our united souls while on the road.  He is the best co-pilot.

Once we arrived at the ranch, our hosts greeted us with warm smiles.  They also had laid out a wonderful fare of snacks and beverages that kept us well fed until it was time to head out for dinner.

We are getting very tight as brothers-in-Christ.  Our analysis of the past year held nothing back.  We rejoiced and puzzled.  Our spirits were lifted and burdened as well.  Together we experienced something remarkable.  This is what team is all about.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography