It's late Saturday evening in the Texas hill country, and I'm hanging out with guys from all over the five-state region. There's a great spirit here at Mo-Ranch Assembly. 450 men, gathered together because of the simple fact that they love God, want to grow in faith, and are motivated to learn more about what it means to be a disciple.
Sometimes the simple message is the one that we need the most. Especially in today's contentious political climate - an unfortunate state of affairs that reaches deep into so many churches, and threatens the unity that Jesus talked about so pointedly in his final hours.
But there's no trace here of anything other than peace, and a compelling unity of spirit has settled into the hills and alongside the Guadalupe River.
I'm not sure if there's anything more indicative of what I'm talking about than the sound of 450 voices singing songs of praise together. There's a quality to the sound produced by so many men's voices that reaches deep into the soul, searches out the tenderest place, and then bears down.
We sang the classic hymns - How Great Thou Art, Great is Thy Faithfulness, Here am I Lord, Amazing Grace... they all touched me. But, when those rich voices blended in harmony to sing The Lord's Prayer - it was almost too much and I was overwhelmed.
It's interesting, because in Men's Group this week we had talked about the emotion resident in music. I'm not sure if it was the music, the music and the words, or all that plus the cumulative spiritual weight of so many men singing at the tops of their voices and from the bottom of their hearts.
I think that was it. It was the truth of their faithfulness and their commitment, and it weighed even more than the music. At least that's what it felt like. It was beautiful - and it slayed me.