On April 11th, 2008, I headed out to a men’s retreat put on by First Baptist Church of Merced. Nearly 70 men came together for a time of mutual encouragement, worship, and hearing God’s Word. The retreat was held at Camp Oakhurst in Oakhurst, CA.
Tom Joyce was the guest speaker for the retreat. He is a retired Navy Captain who is serving the Lord as Pastor of Discipleship and Family at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, VA. His quest for effective ministry both to the world and in the church is evident in his testimony and life.
He challenged the men with a series titled, “Leaving a Legacy.” On Friday evening Tom spoke of his journey of faith and how God used his son to challenge him with this daunting question, “dad, what are you going to do with the rest of your life?” The next morning we opened up our Bibles to the book of Joshua and were convicted on the truths of leadership from this great OT leader. Tom asked us men, “where is holy ground for you” (cf. Joshua 5:13-15). On Saturday evening we headed to the NT to 2 Timothy 3:16-17, where we were reminded that spiritual reproduction is all about intentional discipleship. Lastly, on Sunday morning we turned to 2 Timothy 4:6-8 with the challenge to “finish well”.
The weekend made an impact in my life as I thought about these challenging truths from God’s Word. I also saw men answer tough questions in small groups. The fellowship was sweet with men I did not know very well. Thanks to the invitation of my adopted “mom and dad” (Angie’s parents – Dr. Bob & Sandy Nelson), my heart was challenged in leaving a legacy. In the end, it is all about faithful obedience to our Lord. It is as Paul said to the Ephesians “trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord” (cf. 5:10). This is the kind of life that I want to live. This is the legacy I want to leave behind.