Christmount Christian Assembly
March 16 - 18, 2007

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Friday Night - March 16

The Men of the Region of Georgia gathered to hear Rev. Dr. Doug Skinner bring a series of outstanding messages at Christmount.

The weekend began on Friday with a devotion from Charlie Sidner the 2005 layman of the Year.  It is traditional for the Layman of the Year to give a devotional at the Retreat, but Charlie had been unable to attend in 2006, so he presented the opening devotion at the 2007 retreat.

Speaker: The Rev. Dr. Douglas B. Skinner
Doug has been the Senior Minister of the Northway Christian Church in Dallas, Texas, since 1997.  He was the speaker for the 2004 Voices Clergy retreat for the Region of Georgia. 
Doug has published articles in the Lexington Theological Quarterly, Net Results, and the Biblical Preaching Journal.  He was one of the authors of the Bible Study materials for Listening to the Spirit: A Handbook for Discernment.

After an excellent dinner, all gathered for singing under the leadership of Bob Grant and the accompaniment of Greg Holmes.

Session One began with President Archie Jenkins introducing Rev. Dr. Douglas (Doug) Skinner who spoke on "God our Savior" using Luke 15: 3-7.  Doug told the story of Jeff - a young man who grew up in a loving and affluent home but who, after developing mental illness and a drug addiction, became estranged from his family and homeless.  On his deathbed, Jeff's father asked his younger brother to "find Jeff" and so began a search that ended with a tearful reunion.  Dr. Skinner compared this story to the Prodigal Son and pointed out that "God in Jesus Christ pursues us."

Joe Kern led the men in Vespers and everyone adjourned for the traditional Ice Cream Social with all the toppings.  The fire was roaring in the Christmount fireplace as the temperature outside was below freezing and wisps of snow were seen to fall several times during the weekend.

Saturday Morning - March 17

After a hearty breakfast everyone tried to live up to Bob Grants expectations - it's hard to sing loud on a stomach full of eggs, bacon and pancakes!

After a devotion by 2006 Layman of the Year, Joe Austin, Doug Skinner delivered his second message, "Justification: I am Saved" from Romans 3:21-26.  Grace, Doug explained, is the gift of God, who has already done everything required to provide for eternal life - all we have to do is accept it.  And there are many different ways of coming to God.  Some are dramatic like Paul's conversion.  Some are routine like that of the Ethiopian Eunuch.  Every person has a different conversion experience because we are all different individuals.  But finding God is more often a journey than an event.  "When we first say yes to God," Skinner explained, "we cross over a threshold and begin a journey.  There is a moment when we first say yes - and when we do, everything changes!"

After a break, the business meeting was held.  Milton Summerall began with an overview of the financial report.  Michael Weeks then gave both the State of the Region report for Dr. Ray Miles (who was attending a funeral) and the State of Camp Christian Report.  Officers were Elected for 2008.  John Anderson is President, Will Purdue is President Elect, Medie Still is Secretary, Gary Wall is the N.E. District Representative, Greg Holmes is the West Central Representative, Dan Anderson is the East Central District Representative, Joe Austin is the N.W. District Representative.

Ken Wiedman, from Hollywood Florida gave a presentation on Disciples Men's work at the General Church level.  Ken wears several hats, he is the former President of the Florida Disciples Men, General Consul and Member at Large of the Disciples Men Commission and Chairman of the International Day of Pancakes.  Ken encouraged us all to attend "Sessions 2008" and a regional Men's retreat to be held at Ray of Hope Christian Church on November 3rd. 2007.  Ken explained the International Day of Pancakes, a fund raising event that all men's groups are encouraged to participate in.  Monies raised are used to fund Disciples Men's projects all over the world.  To make his point, Ken presented Archie Jenkins and Medie Still a letter, approving their request for a $7,500 grant to Guyton Christian Church to continue development of "Project Good Times" a playground area.  This is one of four projects around the U.S. funded by the International Day of Pancakes.

After lunch everyone has free time until dinner.  Most years a group gathers for Gold - but this year it was very cold and windy.  Some visited the antique and other shops in Black Mountain, some hike the Christmount trails, some visit natural attractions such as Blowing Rock or Chimney Rock N.C.  Many just sit, rock, enjoy the peace and quiet of the mountains or the fellowship of the other Men.

Saturday Night

After Dinner and another great round of singing to warm everyone up, Rev. Michael Weeks installed the officers for 2008.

Then Doug Skinner made his third presentation "Sanctification: I am being saved" from Romans 6: 15-19.  Doug talked about a meeting with a street evangelist when he was a youth - who asked him "Are you saved?"  Doug gave the right answer, but in later years learned that salvation can not be reduced to the two events of baptism and death.  In the time in between these two events, "God is trying to do something important to us and through us."  "In Justification we become a child of God, in Sanctification we learn to act like a child of God."

Sunday Morning, March 18

After another hearty breakfast and a rousing sing, Dr. Skinner delivered his fourth and final message "Glorification: I will be Saved" from 2 Peter 1:1-11.  Doug pointed out that Disciples don't talk too much about Heaven.  He pointed out that disciples always have differing opinions.  "If 2 or 3 Disciples are gathered together," Doug said, "then there will be 7 or 8 opinions present."  He suggested that if a Disciple were to approach the gates of heaven and discover two doors, one labeled "Heaven" and the other labeled "Discussion about Heaven" he would enter the discussion door every time.  But, Doug believes, we need to reach a point where we can say "This is what I believe!"  He then proceeded to say with "total confidence" that he believes a) We will be in the Lord's Presence when we die.  b) There will be a continuation of our identity.  c) We will be in fellowship with those we love.  d) We will be set free from pain and worry.

After a break, Archie Jenkins led the group in Bible Study.  Archie reminded us of the story of Peter's conversion, his doubts, his rejection of Christ and his reconciliation and strong work for the Lord.  "We need God to break through with us the way he broke through with Peter.  God needs to break us out of our comfort zone so that we can do what we need to do to serve the Lord."

Prayers, Communion and a Friendship Circle closed the worship and another outstanding weekend at Christmount.

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