Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah.
Some places are just more special than others. You probably have a few of these that come to mind at various times in your memories. I love to remember several of these as well as plan for more.
The encounters I remember involve a couple different people.
First and foremost would be time with my God. Several come to mind and hold very special places in my heart. I learned much in those spots where I go quiet and heard from God.
Second would include people who mean much to me. Some are family. Some are people who poured in to my life. All are significant.
Now stand here quietly before the lord as I remind you of all the great things the lord has done for you and your ancestors.
In the rest of this post I want to share a few of the places that hold a very special place in my heart.
--- In middle school I spent a few afternoons working with my one of my teachers who cut grass and did landscaping. I remember some of the conversations about faith and Christianity.
--- Sometime in the middle of 1985, I think, our youth group went on a retreat. It was a small retreat center near a beautiful river. This was only a few months after Jesus became my Savior. I remember one afternoon sitting near that river and listening to the voice of God speak quietly in to my spirit.
--- Sitting in the passenger seat of an early 80’s Honda hatchback and learning how to love and share with others as my youth pastor poured in to my life is one of the highlights of my youth and helped to shape my ministry today.
--- My first year of college was one that shaped my life. It wasn’t an easy year. In the second part of the year I remember sitting in front row of an Old Testament class and falling in love with part of the Bible that eluded me for some time. I can close my eyes and hear those truths still ring in my ears.
--- Not long after moving to Georgia I met a family that was a great encouragement to me. They owned a small farm on the edge of town. It had a meeting room where I remember some great prayer times. It also had a dock on the small pond in the middle of the property. On that dock was where I fell in love with the book of Psalms. Sweet, sweet learning and memories.
--- Early in our years of marriage Julie and I went on many retreats. Some of those were at places that didn’t have TV’s in the room. Several of those nights without the lights on we would talk for what seemed like hours. I think I got to know her much better on those special nights.
--- Other retreats have great memories for me too. One pastor about 20 years older than me that would spend a few days pouring in to pastors. Several of those times helped me be shaped for ministry and leadership.
I am going to skip a few years, or decades, and bring this to a close.
--- Right before my mom passed away she was in an incredible hospice home that had an outdoor chapel (see picture). I remember a few quiet moments and a couple conversations. That was a very tough time for me and for our family, but those quiet moments have a very special place in my heart.
Seek those moments. Find those special places. Spend time with God.
Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.