September 18, 2015

The Appalachian Trail changed me. Believe it or not it changed many of you also. The blog https://trialofthetrail.wordpress.com had many new people sign up that were not on our devotional that now are. It changed many of you because while you couldn’t leave your job or family for a long period of time you could relate through what God was doing in and through me. So many of your e mails , calls , letters and texts motivated you and I to “Be Still” Many today still write in wanting to do a retreat hiking part of the AT. That may be something for next year as I would like to start again where I eft off for a short period of time. Then if you would like to join me for a segment or for all of the time I am out there you are welcome. But here is the problem with hiking on the AT. No matter if you are in great shape the trail will destroy you. Try hiking up a mountain for 3 hours non-stop with a small child on your back and you get the idea. Then try that for 8 hours. The purpose of the “Retreat” is to learn to “Be Still”, not to be so exhausted that you go to sleep at 5 pm:)

Luke 5:15,16 “Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”

If Jesus needed to withdraw to a lonely place to pray and be with His Father so do we. The best retreats have been where we have driven back to a secluded campsite and set up camp. The retreat normally lasts from 3:00 or 4:00 pm to 10:00 am the next morning. It is not a long time but enough for you to “Learn how to shut down”. In the business world, now many years ago, I loved reading business books. “Thriving On Chaos” by Tom Peters was one of my favorites. Activity of any kind at a thousand miles an hour was exciting and demanding. But then to learn to Be Still after training our minds to flourish in chaos and to desire chaos is so counter culture. No wonder we have a tough time learning to think about nothing.

So the point of the retreat is not to be so tired from hiking, kayaking or any other activity that it takes away what we are trying to do. Any activity is against all that we are trying to do. All throughout the Gospels Jesus got up early to find quiet and BE with His Father. There is no better feeling than laying in your tent at night in such stillness that creation begs to talk. When I say I was stripped to my bare soul on the AT that was me. I needed a lot of junk to be taken away and God did that for which I am eternally grateful. But please do not get the idea that you have to do the same thing. I have heard from many on the retreats that these 15 hours in God’s presence being able to talk about ANY THING in confidence has transformed and changed many. It has put them on a new path and a new plan of living out life for the Lord. If you are not still and do not desire to Be Still for the purpose of letting God in then you have big problems. Why? Because your desire is for the chaos and false riches of the world and not the Lord.

We have about 6 – 8 weeks left before it starts to get pretty cold. If you are a woman we need at least 3 or 4 women. Actually more women have asked to sign up than men. For the woman we have gone to South Mountains State Park where there are restroom facilities. But for men the most important meetings are one on one. That is because some need to share some very heavy burdens. So do women but I cannot be one on one with women as I know you understand. We have little time left before it gets cold so please e mail me about when you could do a retreat. There is NO COST for the retreat as that is why people give to The Ultimate Decision. Money should not be a stumbling block to come.

Many who have come have truly been changed forever. If you are serious about a deeper relationship with God. If you are serious about strengthening your faith there is no better place than the stillness of the night and ALLOWING God fully in. So please e mail me if you would like more information at [email protected]

No matter whether you do the retreat or not we all need to learn to “Be Still”. I cannot harp on this enough. Being Still is the foundation to a personal relationship with our Savior. Many of you have the discipline to be great at work or athletics but when it comes time to Being Still and just waiting upon the Lord most are very, very impatient. God desires for your impatience to leave and for your desire for Him to be full. You cannot expect to have a great relationship with God with the time most of us are spending with Him now. If you spent as much time perfecting “Being Still” before God as much as you practice yoru golf game there would be no holding you back form the Kingdom riches.

So I pray that there is a spark left in yoru soul to desire more of Jesus than this world. If so call me!!!!

Brad