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Trip Report: Men's Retreat -- Part 2 - RonO's Ramblings

Jan. 30th, 2008 11:30 am Trip Report: Men's Retreat -- Part 2

Resuming where I left off yesterday.

I got up Saturday after not enough, or restful enough, sleep. After showering I headed over to get breakfast from the buffet. It was now obvious that the buffet layout wasn't optimal -- and that was before we'd set the tech desk up on side of the room where the buffet was outside.

The catering staff had set the buffet up in the hallway outside the room, at the top of the stairs. Because of the tech desk, they were routing us towards the stairs, which just did not work very well.

I was able to get a good breakfast of mostly fruit, but did have an extra muffin I shouldn't have. But I was OK for the day, so I don't regret it -- the muffin was good.

After breakfast, I set up my computer and got the projectors going again, and got ready for the morning session. It ran about the same as the previous night. The preliminary activities were a trivia contest, which I didn't participate in since my spot from Friday night was, at least temporarily taken. I was asked if I knew the answer to one Star Wars related trivia question (and it was really trivia -- the name of the creature in Jabba the Hut's skin folds). After that, we spent about 10 minutes by getting to know three different people for about 3 minutes each.

Saturday morning's talk was on being a leader in the Church, and emphasized the idea that the Church is the people not the place, and how that effects our relationship with it.

After the morning session, it was time for lunch. I got a sandwich and some fruit from the buffet.

Between lunch and dinner were free-time activities. The more-or-less organized activities included access to the YMCA nearby from 4 to 6, a golf swing analyzer, and a somewhat organized trip to the bowling lanes. None of these were appealing. There had been some discussion about snowmobiling, but they could not rent the machines because the lake wasn't sufficiently frozen. Instead of any of these, I spent some time walking around Lake Geneva and relaxing at the hotel.

Lake Geneva isn't a terribly big place, and it was cold -- but much warmer than Friday -- and snowy. So my first, but longer, trip out wasn't that long. I made a circle of a couple of blocks of downtown and then circled a couple of others. I only wandered into one shop, a kite store that also sold some games, none of which appealed to me. After about an hour, I returned to the hotel and warmed up in my room with a soak in the spa tub.

Seeing this store with some games got me thinking. So while I was in my room later I checked the phone book. There was only one store in the Lake Geneva phone book listed under "gaming" or "gaming supplies," and that was Perrin Miniatures in nearby Lake Como -- I'm sure it is run by don Perrin and his wife Margret Weiss, or some relation. It is interesting, and perhaps disappointing, to learn that the town where a key part of the gaming industry was started has no place anymore to get games -- including those made by the company that bought a company headquartered there for many years.

After warming up, I ventured back out to the Caribou Coffee for a Chai Tea. I then spent the rest of the afternoon half dozing in front of the TV.

When they had set up for the golf swing analyzer, they had to move a bunch of the tables in the room, including one of the projector tables. When I got to dinner, fortunately just as it was starting, I noticed that the catering staff had just set the tables where they were. One of the tables was in between the still misplaced projector and its screen. Fortunately, nobody had at that table, or any of the others between it and the gap in needed to fill, so I was able to shift the tables and reposition the projector before we got started.

At dinner, I decided to not do a juggling act, and started by just getting a salad plate. A couple of people thought, at least briefly, that the small salad was all I was going to eat. I did go back for some chicken, however.

The evening session was on being a leader in your family, and was very convicting. The level of conviction led a change in plan. Instead of having our regular table discussions, we were dismissed to talk, pray or do whatever we felt called to do.

We were recording the sessions. However, a glitch Saturday morning changed the recording from MP3 (compressed) to WAV (uncompressed) which caused the memory card in the recorder to fill up very quickly for the evening session. Thinking about this, through a spiritually minded filter, I've concluded that some power may not have wanted this session recorded. I cannot say, however, if it was because the power didn't want that talk shared, or because it needed to be experienced in the room to be effective.

We decided not to rehearse for Sunday morning, so I went to bed.

Sunday morning went very smoothly. The buffet had been moved for Saturday dinner to one end of the room, and the flow was much easier. The menu was pastry laden, and I had more than I should have -- which caused me problems later since they spiked my blood sugar, leading to a crash about 11:00 when we were starting to tare down.

The final session was on reaching into the community. Voddie emphasized that the biblical model was to reach out through the family and through personal relationships, which is not how most modern churches do it. This session was followed by communion and then the end of the retreat.

As usual we asked for help with the load out, and got help with tare down as well. But, this time, we actually got people who could listen and do what needed to be done right. I only had to recoil one cable. We were able to pack up in less than an hour (including loading the van). We had a final lunch at McDonald's (another Southwest Chicken Salad) and headed home. Since we didn't have to unload the staging, and I was going to drive past my house anyway, I just headed home and not back to the church.

Once again, I came back very filled. I'm making an effort to follow through with some of what I was taught, and we've been spending time reading the bible as a family after dinner since I got back. I'm also looking forward to the next retreat in 2010.

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