Those words, paraphrased from the Book of Joshua, echoed in my ears as I stood outside of the administrative offices at the Mount Hermon Christian Conference Center three weeks ago. At that point in my life, I badly needed refreshment. To say the winter had been frantically busy was an understatement. Working, beginning production of Panama Deception, and general dealing with the issues of life had sapped my normal enthusiasm.
Not only did I need good, solid teaching on the craft of writing, but I also needed spiritual refreshment. Badly.
You may smile, shake your head, and chuckle as you ask, “What makes Mount Hermon so special?”
You might think that it’s the location. That’s part of it. The conference center is situated in California, about 45 or so minutes south of San Jose (on a good traffic day). Redwoods surround it. Have you ever stood beside a redwood tree? You feel mighty small, especially if the tree happens to be a couple of thousand years old. Pine needles coat the ground, and when you walk amongst those giants, you tread very quietly and respectfully.
On the grounds themselves, springtime foliage abounds at the time of the conference. After a long, harsh winter in other parts of the country, many of the attendees find the sites of spring to be a refreshing, welcome change. The beauty also serves to remind me that just as God set up His creation to renew each spring, He renews our lives by allowing for spiritual refreshment.
Maybe you’d think it’s the teaching that makes Mount Hermon so special. Again, that’s one of the facets of the writers conference that I like. The best of the best in the Christian publishing industry abound at the conference—the best writers, the best agents, and the best publishers. The teaching is second to none.
So, I would answer your question by saying, “All of the above. And more!”
The conference is more than teaching. It’s a spiritual time as well, and it starts with the way that the faculty at the conference and others pray during a prayer walk before it begins. Those of us who attended had been prayed for already, most likely months and weeks ahead of time. The Holy Spirit abounded everywhere, on the redwood trails ringing the complex, in the way that teachers corrected attendees in a gentle, loving manner, in the way that no egos seemed to be present, in the way ate together and worshipped together, especially at the Palm Sunday service. True love—that agape, brotherly, selfless love that is so rare in today’s society—abounded.
Why? God’s spirit pervaded the entire campus. We stood in His love—all of us.
We stood on holy ground and then left refreshed and ready to come down from the mountain.
This post does not mention any products. Therefore, I am not receiving any compensation for writing this post. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”