Mens Camp

Quiet enough

I did have some serious reflections from men’s camp on the weekend that I thought were worth formulating into some sort of post – but it’s probably a bigger deal than just a “men’s camp reflection”. A while back I wrote about praying in church – I promised at that stage that I’d have a go at more “sacred cows”… and when it comes to Evangelical Christianity I don’t think there’s anything more sacred than the Quiet Time. And I don’t know why.

There are reasons. Good reasons, at least I think they are. So here we go.

  1.  Quiet Times feel too much like “self development” to me – they’re, by their very nature – self focused. They don’t, in and of themselves, serve others. They primarily serve the doer. I understand the argument that disciplined time spent in God’s word and in prayer will help you love and serve others more – I just think that given the choice – I would always choose to spend my quiet time with someone else – either a fellow Christian for encouragement, or a non-Christian proclaiming Christ – what good reason is there to spend time by yourself?
  2. I’m naturally an extrovert – I find other people stimulating, I learn through engaging in conversation, I do my best thinking while talking. I don’t think I’m unique. So for me, and this is where men’s camp comes in, wandering off into tranquil open spaces does nothing for me. I sit there resenting the fact that I can’t chew over the material with somebody, and if I’ve got a notepad I make angry notes about the fact that I don’t think this “self reflection” time is spiritually valuable.  
  3. The Biblical model of Christian life is communal. It’s relational. That’s the model of ministry demonstrated by Jesus, and then by the Apostles and the leaders of the early church. Why is our focus on the individual? I’d say that’s cultural rather than Biblical – and is a child of a self-focused personal development philosophy. I might be wrong. But I’ll need some convincing. 
  4. While knowing the Bible and prayer are important – doing both is not consistent with any Biblical passages I can find – even when Jesus wanted to escape the crowds for some “solitude” he took his disciples with him in most cases. Not, I acknowledge, in the Garden of Gethsemane – but even then he had his closest friends nearby. Can anybody point me to anything that encourages disciplined “personal devotion”? I haven’t found anything yet that suggests my theory is flawed. But again, I’m open to discussion on this point.
  5. I can see a place for solitude as “rest” from other people. But again, I would see this as an allowable exception rather than the general rule. 

What do you think?

Mens Camp Reflections: Luxury, naturally

Camping may not be my cup of tea (tea is for the weak) generally speaking, but there are some really nice, slightly off the beaten track, camping spots in North Queensland that are worth checking out. So much so that Robyn and I purchased a tent today from Anaconda. Almost half price. 10 man. The size of a small house (or caravan). It’s a very limited tent special, and it was a bargain.

The location for this particular camp was the Broadwater National Park, Abergowie, somewhere near Ingham and the Cardwell Range.

Also, and I didn’t take a photo of myself doing this, camping is infinitely more bearable with the right equipment – a gas stove, a hand cranked coffee grinder, a stove top espresso maker and some freshly roasted Brazilian coffee beans.

Mens Camp Reflections: Pyromania

There would appear to be a little bit of pyromania inherent in the male psyche.

Taking photos of fire and playing with exposure settings is an enjoyable outlet for indulging the inner pyromaniac – without the danger of third degree burns.

Mens Camp Reflections: Intro

I’ve got a few things that I thought of and jotted down while on Men’s Camp on the weekend. Rather than mash them all together in one big post I’m going to approach each issue separately. Starting now.

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