“LORD, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart…” (Psalm 15:1-2).
It’s Summertime, and during this mid-year departure from your year-round workaday reality, I hope you’re getting some time to be somewhere – doing something – that is a refreshing break from your routine.
Everyone seems to have their own definition for the “happy place” where they feel like they’ve landed in a place where their gauges go back toward “full,” from the “reserve” caution that seems to come from just getting your desk cleared and your bags packed for vacation. Some head for beaches; others lean toward deserts. There is, however, a case to be made for mountains. If you want to get some time with God, He has made His preference pretty clear in His writings: there is no “Trinity Beach” or “Righteous Island” on that map in the back of your Bible… but there is Horeb, a real place with an incredible nickname: “The Mountain of God.”
Ask Abraham to sacrifice Isaac? On a mountain. Tell Moses to come hang-out, and take a couple of stone tablets with the take-home notes? On a mountain. Grab Elijah after his halftime retreat (following his victory over the idol priests at Mount Carmel) to give him instructions for his Second Half? On (another) mountain. Watch Jesus take his backfield (Peter/James/John) to a place where He would let them see Him in His real identity? On a mountain (of Transfiguration).
Yep, that’s me in that one-time photo; I’ve been operating off-the-grid – and, in the Zone – on a mountain this week. Full disclosure: one of our Master’s grads is a ministry partner who has found his calling to include convening men – 12 at a time – for a five-day experience described with a unhackable acrostic: TCBTGWOYL (This Could Be The Greatest Week Of Your Life).
On a 1150 acre ranch – along the Madison River in southwestern Montana – an idyllic compound called Smiling Moose Lodge is the setting for a phenomenon that cannot occur in the high-tension terrariums where most of us spend most of our days. “What happens at Smiling Moose stays at Smiling Moose” (one of the unchallengeable ground-rules), but this much is clear: guys open the trunks of their past to find the weights that were deposited – in their early years, before they were in control – that are keeping them from releasing the horsepower that God put under their hoods.
When we fly, we’ve become used to the question posed by the airline agent: “Has anyone whom you don’t know given you something to take on the plane?” For men, the folks they trusted the most have taken a parcel packed by the Evil One and given it to them to carry into their future. The lies that the Enemy has loaded on their hard-drive need some time and attention to identify and dislodge: the light of Truth wipes out the power of the darkness of Satanic deception (sounds mystical… and it is).
Twelve men; five days; hours of fly fishing; mornings and nights around great meal tables and outdoor fires creates an environment where God’s truth about who we are can be installed in the same place where the false messages sourced in the opposition.
Weeks for men. Weeks for young men (the “Young Guns” parallel). Weeks for women (in an upscale setting – in a custom residence on the river instead of the fish camp up on the bluff). All these happen every summer because of a great Christian couple whose achievements in their business had less excitement for them than the chance to participate in releasing great people from gross lies – in a Mountain of God setting! – and seeing that as a way to exercise their Kingdom Calling.
Check it out: the website is twa.us. Read the testimonials of folks like you who have found God – in a unique way – on the mountain (where He has often chosen to get together with people!).
It’s too late for this year; the schedule for 2019 is already booked full, yet the schedule for 2020 is now available for booking. So… what if you could start thinking now about finding a faith-sharing friend and bringing them with you to a place where TCBTGWOYL?
I’ll go back to sea level this week, find a razor… and get back to my “normal” business of mentoring leaders through The Master’s Program. I wonder, though: will the TMP guys who were here for five days ever recover from visiting the Mountain of God?