the-gathering-miami-valley

2016-09-12-the-gathering-bkfst-september

 Fall Breakfast Recap

“Your Christian faith will cost you something.” This was the opening salvo of Gathering Fall Breakfast speaker Mike Holley’s message. Holley, First Assistant District Attorney of Montgomery County (Texas), was speaking about how our faith and work intersect. He drew from his career as a member of the Military Police, and as an attorney for the Judge Advocate General, in private practice and as a prosecuting attorney. The Gathering of the Miami Valley, whose mission is to connect men to men and men to God, holds two breakfasts a year. The Fall breakfast was held on Wednesday, September 21st. The chairs for the breakfast were Clark County Commissioner David Herier, attorney John Hart who serves as Chief Counsel at Cedarville University, and attorney Marc Fleischauer from the firm Coolidge Wall. Hart shared about a recent trip to the beach and watching a storm come in really quickly. He and his family had to take shelter. He correlated this to the truth that each of us is either in a storm, coming out of a storm or about to enter into one. None of us immune to the storms of life and we all need to anchor ourselves in Jesus. Bruce Willmann, Associate Director of the Gathering, shared that each of us tries to portray ourselves in a certain way. We have an image that we want the world to see. The problem is that this is exhausting to keep up. He encouraged the audience of 320 to be real with themselves and others, and the men in attendance to become a part of a locker room, a group of men that are walking through life with you. Next, Holley shared his experiences as an attorney and how his faith had influenced his career. He spent 13 years in the Army, first as an MP. Then the Army sent him to law school. He served in Korea, Japan and Thailand. In 2004, he was sent to Iraq as the chief prosecutor in the Abu Ghraib case. This case had international notoriety. Following this case, Holley left the military to devote more time to his family. At this time, he joined one of the most prestigious law firms in the nation, Lanier Law. He shared how this new challenge stretched his faith in other ways. He went from tents in the desert of Iraq to $1000 a night hotel rooms. After six years, he left private practice to return prosecuting cases. Each step of the way his faith carried him through difficult times. He shared these truths with the audience about how God helps us when it seems that our faith will cost us something… God gives us strength when we need it God satisfies us in a way that nothing else can God brings us solace so that we won’t be crushed in difficulty Jesus himself is our promise. He desires to have a relationship with us The Gathering Spring breakfast will be March 22, 2017. The speaker is former Navy Seal Chad Williams.

Fall Lunch Series Recap

 

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Week 3 – September 23, 2016

A former CEO from Big Sky Country had a simple message for those in attendance for the final event in The Gathering of Miami Valley’s 2016 Fall Lunch Series Friday: “Just do the right thing.”

 

Randy Creech and his family operate Burnt Fork Ranch, a retreat ministry in Montana that they founded in 2003 after he sold his ultra-successful Akey Corporation in Lewisburg, Ohio, and retired. It was a big decision, a good decision … but just one in a myriad of decisions in this life. “We have hundreds of decisions to make everyday,” he said. “What do we do with those?”

Seeking a place to get away from it all, self-proclaimed country boy Creech and his wife Kay settled on 12,000 acres in Stevensville, Montana. There were no plans for a ministry at the beginning, but God changed those. “We were just looking for a place in the mountains,” he said. “We had no grand plan. We went there to hide. But we found out that when you live in Montana, people like to visit you.”

Now, the Creeches minister to hundreds of couples and men’s and women’s groups every year. “It is a place of rest,” he said. “Lives are saved on this ranch, but Randy and Kay don’t save any lives. We just love on people.”
That’s how the Creeches found the true secret to lasting success. “Your life will be measured not by the amount of money, power or fame you have but by the way you allow God to touch others through you,” he said.

Creech, 64, had prostate cancer 10 years ago … just another life lesson. “Life changes with a phone call, with a doctor’s visit,” he said. “I read it in my kids faces, ‘That happens to someone else.’ So what are you putting off in life?”
 

He hopes we aren’t putting off sharing. “Life is simple if you let it be,” said Creech. “It’s not rocket science unless you are building rockets. If you are not being vulnerable to someone, you need to be. “I hope you are sharing with each other what’s going on in your life,” he added. “I hope you are enjoying what you are doing in your life.”

 

Some other nuggets from Creech:

  • “When you own a ranch in Montana, there are not a lot of ways to make money, but a lot of ways to lose it. But you can’t take it with you. And what you leave your kids are going to fight over anyway.”
  • “One of things I believe is when we as believers see life as full time service to God, there is no difference in a secular or sacred calling.”
  • “When you think you have done something good, you’ve wasted it.”
  • “If you’re sure you can handle things yourself, you are wrong.”
  • “I’ve been married three times. After two, I asked what is the common denominator. It was me.”
  • “We could build more barns to save our stuff, but we know how it worked out for the guy (in the Bible).”

Retreat time
Next up on The Gathering’s event schedule is a series of three retreats:
Oct. 18: A one-day retreat at Country Club of the North. $30 with book, $20 without.
Oct. 20-23: Retreat to the Springs in Indiana.$99 for three nights.
Jan. 27-29, 2017: Abbey of Gethsemane in Kentucky. Free (plan to leave a donation). More info at monks.org.

 
Plan to attend our next Friday Lunch on October 7 at Country Club of the North! Our speaker will be Mark Householder, from Athletes in Action. Contact Jeff Pinkleton for details, or RSVP to miamivalley@thegathering.orgtoday!

Week 2 Recap – September 16, 2016

Bruce Willmann

Gathering of Miami Valley Assistant Director Bruce Willmann said during Friday’s second installment of the fall luncheon series that Andre Agassi had it half-right in his classic Canon cameras commercials. Agassi’s catchphrase was always “Image is everything.” The guest speaker who is also pastor of Champion City Vineyard in Springfield had a slight correction, however: Being created in the image of God is everything.
Willmann was filling in for another local pastor, Rick Ives of Fellowship Christian. Randy Creech, who runs a ministry retreat in Montana with his wife, will wrap up the fall series Friday, Sept. 23 at 11:45 a.m. at Security National Bank downtown.
“Image matters to us or we wouldn’t even bother to get dressed,” said Willmann. “Image concerns us and we are constantly asking ourselves when we meet people, ‘I wonder what they think of me?’
“The truth is all of that is really exhausting,” he continued. “Many of us are … trying to be something we aren’t.”
Willmann referred to the classic movie “Tommy Boy” for another example as well. Tommy Callahan, the main character, is going through the process of trying to become his father. His father had passed away. And he’s horrible at replacing his father. The point of the movie? “The reality is that who we are is based on what’s inside the box, not about what’s on the outside,” he said.

Willmann also cited an example the Bible, in I Sam. 16. The prophet Samuel is sent to the house of Jesse to anoint a king. When he saw Eliab, Daniel’s oldest brother, he assumed he was God‘s choice. “Why? Because we’re all about the image,” he said. “Presentation seems to be the critical thing in this world, and Eliab fits the part perfectly.”

But the Lord’s response in v. 7 provided a learning moment. “The problem is, we tend to view ourselves the way others view us,” Willmann said. “But our real identity is how God sees us. Our soul is what really matters.”

Willmann tied that to what The Gathering provides for men. “Locker Rooms are about exposing our real selves,” he said. “Who we really are is who God created us to be.” And that is image-bearers.
“We will see Jesus in them and they’ll see Jesus in us,” he said. “It’s not easy, but that’s where real life happens.

The Gathering of the Miami Valley would like to welcome Bruce Willmann to the new position of Associate Director.  Read more here!

 


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Connecting…

Do you have a friend whom you could call at 2 am if you needed him?

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Unfortunately, few men do…

Today, 27% of children grow up in fatherless homes, while 18-to-34-year-old men spend more time playing video games a day than 12-to-17-year-old boys. 1 in 10 men have a friend they could call if they needed help. The Gathering of the Miami Valley exists to change all of this by connecting men to men and men to God – because we believe that transformed men lead to a transformed community.

Why Gather?

  • I want to be a better follower of Christ.
  • I want to be a better father.
  • I want to be a better husband.
  • I want to be a better leader.

Connecting Men to Men and Men to God