Two years ago I was at a conference in Texas when the world as we knew it changed. I had spoken Thursday night and Friday, then found myself on a plane home on Saturday. Thus began two years of isolation and quarantine.

Reconnecting and Being Refreshed

Reconnecting and Being Refreshed

Two years ago I was at a conference in Texas when the world as we knew it changed. I had spoken Thursday night and Friday, then found myself on a plane home on Saturday. Thus began two years of isolation and quarantine.

  Last year I was blessed to be able to travel to conventions but there were still restrictions in place. And health concerns. And masks. But it was a step in the right direction. This year I have hopes of reconnecting with many of you that I missed seeing in 2020 and parts of 2021. 

A Taste of Isolation
In January I had the viral plague. I was quarantined for 10 days. It was not a pleasant experience. Half way through my self imposed confinement, my puppy ate one of my hearing aids. Truth. Not only was I staying away from my wife and son in the home, now I was cut off in a different way. I was no longer able to hear the sounds of bustle and life around me and felt more disconnected and out of touch. 

When my ten day curfew was up, and I had tested positive, I drove to Costco and had my hearing aid repaired. This was only a 10 day window, but I tasted the bitterness of this period of isolation keenly. I was surprised how alone I felt, even in my own home, and how alive I felt walking through Costco and being amongst people. 

All the More
A familiar passage which continues to resonate in my heart is Hebrews 10:24-26: “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and ALL THE MORE as you see the Day drawing near.” 

This passage also mentions “Not neglecting to meet together.” I believe we need to connect with brothers and sisters of like precious faith, especially as we “see the Day drawing near.” I have been told that Patrick Morley said, “Isolation is the kryptonite of men.” I have found these words to be true. 

For the past two years many of us have been forced to work alone. At home. Remotely. Remote used to mean a device which controlled the TV and  other devices. Now it means working in your pajamas in front of a computer, by yourself. I am sure this is not healthy for long periods of time. What alarmed and shocked me the most, was that I was getting used to being alone. I was starting to be comfortable by myself. I need fellowship. I need to interact with other adults and not just the sleeping pups. 

Where Two or Three are Gathered in My Name
In the past few months I am beginning to feel like a part of our church fellowship again. Going to church and looking into people’s faces without a mask and shaking their hand or giving them a hug is so uplifting. As an extrovert I am surprised how long it took me to begin to feel normal again and recognize afresh that I was created and designed for people and connection. 

Our local church has begun a new men’s ministry opportunity on Thursday evenings. The purpose is not to learn more information or read another book, but simply to be together and bear one another’s burdens. To have fellow-ship 🙂 Most of the men who come have expressed a need to connect with other men. Zoom calls are helpful but there is nothing like being with other people of faith and finding God in our midst, as He promised.

There are three prongs necessary for a healthy spiritual life: Bible reading, prayer, and fellowship. When one or more of these components are missing I notice the difference. Since 2020, my Bible reading as flourished. With more time on my hands, my prayer life has deepened and I have been able to devote significant amounts of time coming into the presence of God. My fellowship would have been non existent except God wonderfully provided fellowship in the form of a few timely men’s retreats and weekly Zoom calls. These men have made the effort to stay connected and build bridges in a world that is becoming more disconnected even with significantly increased “social” media platforms. Face to face fellowship is always best.

“It is not good that the man should be alone.” (Genesis 2:18) We all need to be with other believers, but especially men. Perhaps this is why God commanded the men of Israel, “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God at the place that He will choose.” (Deut. 16:16)

May I make an appeal that if you are a husband or father that you make an attempt to attend a homeschool conference (or men’s event) this year? Drop off the kiddos at the grandparents, hire a sitter, and set aside a few days to come with your bride. It will be good for your marriage and you will be strengthened being with other men of like precious faith you share your commitment to God and family.

Even if you don’t participate in a conference, and you find yourself slipping into the doldrums while working “remotely in isolation, stir yourself and reach out to other men for a lunch, a walk, or an early morning breakfast. Do something to be a living and vital part of the Body of Christ. There are no such things as remote saints. 

I appreciate all the hard work that families and ministries who host these events have put into their conventions. It is not easy to coordinate all of the logistics, especially in this uncertain time in which we live. I am grateful to each of these convention team who serves the needs of families so well. I believe these conferences are essential for providing a place where we can reconnect with each other and be refreshed. Here is where I will be in the next six weeks. I hope to see you there!

March 12, Hopewell Church in Elverson, PA

March 17-19, Greenville Convention Center, Greenville, SC
My first session is “The Family that Stays Together” Thursday at 5:30 PM

March 24-26, St. Charles Convention Center, St. Charles, MO
My first session is “The Family that Stays Together” Thursday at 5:30 PM

April 7-8 Kalahari Resort & Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells

April 21-23, Duke Energy Center, Cincinnati, OH

Podcasts may be found here. 

I am continuing my series on finding Jesus in the Tabernacle. 
306    The Pillar of Fire and the Cloud 
307    The Bronze Altar
308    The Horns of the Altar
309    David and Psalm 100 
310    Moses on the Mount 

You can watch my video about learning the books of the Bible in less than 10 minutes on my YouTube channel.