God is good! All the time!

This year’s fall retreat was so good, wasn’t it? I liked every aspect of the retreat.

During our Six Day Early Morning Prayer (EMP) in October, we specifically prayed to God for the weather, that it will be around 70s during the day and 50s in the night. God very accurately answered our prayers on this. God is good!

We prayed for traveling mercy and safety. Other than one person having a flat tire at the camp, I haven’t heard anyone getting into an accident. God is good!

The facility is just amazing! I like the layout at Camp Allen. Everything seems to be built in its right place where it should belong. Their main entrance is very warm and inviting. The dining hall sitting on the top of a nicely sloped hill is very conducive for sharing over a good meal. Looking out through those big windows to see the hill and the trees just calms and relaxes your soul. The sanctuary is high and long which causes us to be somewhat reverent as we enter in it. Hotel rooms, campsites and Lakeside cabins are all very well taken care of even though some of them may be getting a little old. I praise God for the architect who came up with the whole layout of the camp. God is good!

The food was awesome! God is good!

The speaker, Saleim Kahleh, was amazing! He didn’t go to seminary and doesn’t have a master’s degree. But he knew the Bible so well because he heard, read, studied, memorized, meditated and applied God’s word in his life day and night. He didn’t use technical theological jargon. He didn’t try to impress us with sophisticated sounding doctrines. He simply preached God’s word and in that there was power and authority. Only someone who loves and treasures God’s word can come up with this kind of sayings:

“It is God who opens our heart. But it is us who chooses not to harden our heart. When we choose not to harden our heart, God opens our heart.”

“Why did God make us? People try to make it very complicated by saying that God made us so we can worship Him or glorify Him. But God made us for relationship. He made us so He can love us like a father loves his son.”

So, I praise God for the speaker and his simple approach to the Scripture. God is good!

Our Maturity Team headed by Tony Nguyen worked very hard and made everything to flow very smoothly. I haven’t heard anyone causing any kind of trouble for Maturity Team to deal with except for some people who tried to eat Asian cup noodle in the dining hall. J Camp Allen’s policy is that people don’t bring in outside food for various reasons. I trust that those who brought the cup noodles brought them because they didn’t know the policy and will not do it again in the future. God is good!

The praise was exceptionally passionate, loud and good. The songs were well chosen. One praise team serving the whole time was also a great idea because the common sense tells us that when we do the same thing over and over again, we get better at it. Our praise team, sound team and multimedia team all worked very well together so we can have a great time of worship expressing our love and devotion for God. God is good!

I heard from several of you that one hour Bible reading as a house church during the activity time was also surprisingly very good and powerful. No one stops us from doing it even after the retreat. Therefore, let’s make time and keep doing it for us to get even closer to each other. God is good!

Of all these that were great and awesome, one thing in particular stuck out for me. It’s our little children in NLK and Youth Group laughing and playing with each other freely roaming around the camp without gadgets in their hands. They were just happy to be together, talking, walking on a trail, throwing a football, chasing each other and playing with sticks. This simplicity was beautiful. God is good!

As we go through this Thanksgiving week, let’s take some time to reflect on the goodness of our Heavenly Father for this past year. Look at your 2016 Prayer Request Form that I used to pray for you and see how God has answered your prayers. And when we come together for corporate worship next Sunday, let’s express our gratitude to God through our generous and lavish Thanksgiving offering indicating on the offering envelope what we are thankful for. We give joyfully because we love God and are thankful to Him.

God is good! All the time!
Your pastor,

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