cleftRock Retreat Center

April 26, 2010 at 6:31 pm | Posted in prayer, Retreats, rural | Leave a comment
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Over the past weekend my wife and I had the privilege to attend a Literacy Missions Leaders Retreat in Mt. Vernon, Kentucky. It was held at the cleftRock Retreat Center (www.cleftrock.org). This is in rural southern Kentucky. For people who have spent most of their lives in very populated areas this was going to be a cross cultural experience. Since my wife and I like to drive through the country I decided to drive the back roads and stay off of the freeway.

We went south on Route 31 to Route 150 east to Route 1249 (I think?) to the cleftRock Retreat Center. This took us through a lot of small towns and cities. We stopped in Danville for coffee. The service was poor to very poor, but the coffee was pretty good. We’ll post a review on the coffee shop later. It was a nice leisurely drive to Mt. Vernon.

Once in Mt. Vernon, I called the retreat leader for some directions. We were told to turn the wrong way and once I got that corrected we were on our way into who knows where to get to the center. We were now going by the mileage and looking for signs. The road was narrow, twisting and at times had a steep drop-off with no guard rail. It was fun! When we saw the Rebel flags waving in some yards and the wooden shacks with satellite dishes on them, I think my wife said to me, “where are you taking me?”

I was beginning to wonder that myself. In my head I was starting to hear the banjo and guitar song from Deliverance. But I was just imagining that, at least I think I was. As we drove more and more into who knows where, I think I called the leader two or three times to make sure we were going in the right direction. Then we got there.

Man, let me tell you, it was worth the trip! cleftRock was started by former missionaries to Israel who had a burden for a place that would minister to pastors or missionaries and their families. It is a non-profit organization and it borders the Daniel Boone National Forest. It is in a beautiful setting and God has provided it all! It is an amazing work of prayer and ministry.

The housing facilities are top notch. The room we had was better than some hotels we’ve stayed in. There are no televisions or radios. The food was very good. The staff was helpful and gracious. They cared about helping you enjoy your visit and be ministered to. Anyone can go to cleftRock, and they give pastors and missionaries a discount. If you need a break and are looking for a quiet, beautiful place to recharge and reconnect with God I would encourage you to go there.

You can find out more about cleftRock Retreat Center at www.cleftrock.org . You won’t be sorry if you take the time to check them out on the web. You’ll be even happier if you go there for a retreat. My wife and I plan to go back again for a couple of days to relax, walk the trails, pray and spend some good quality time with each other and God.

GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Exodus 33:12-23

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Pray for Rural Churches and Pastors

February 26, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Posted in churches, pastors, prayer, rural | Leave a comment
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My wife and I like to go for drives in the country. We like to pack a lunch and a thermos of coffee and get a map and go. Many times we have no particular destination in mind. We will find somewhere to stop along the way. We especially like historic sites or old bookstores, or just a pullover to enjoy a sight, have lunch and enjoy each other’s company. In fact this past weekend we were able to drive through some of southwestern Ohio’s farm country. We had a great time.

Even though I like driving through or visiting in the country I am not sure I know what rural life is like. For me I think it might be difficult. Ministry in a rural area might be difficult, but there are people there and they need good pastors and good churches. So let’s take some time to pray for rural churches and their pastors this weekend.

Pray that:

  1. God would call men and equip them to serve in rural areas.
  2. Rural churches without a pastor would earnestly call out to God for Him to send them a faithful shepherd.
  3. The pastor would shepherd the people with integrity of heart and skillful hands (Ps. 78:70-72).
  4. These churches would support and provide for their pastor and his family.
  5. The pastor would love the people and the people would love the pastor.
  6. The pastor would preach the Word in the power of the Holy Spirit.
  7. The people would listen and grow in the power of the Holy Spirit.
  8. The unsaved in the community would be reached and God would add to His church.
  9. The pastor and church would be glad for who they are and where they are and not compare themselves with other pastors or churches.

Maybe you know someone who pastors a rural church. Maybe you know a rural church. You could pray for them today. They may not know it, but God will know you prayed. You, and I and the Kingdom of God will be better off because we took time to intercede for some of our brothers and sisters and their Kingdom presence in their communities.

Thanks for praying,

Bill

(Romans 15:13; Isaiah 50:7; Psalm 50:23)

You have longed for sweet peace and for faith to increase,

And have earnestly, fervently prayed;

But you cannot have rest or be perfectly blest

Until all on the altar is laid.

– Hoffman –

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