Men's Retreat at The Ridges

March 4-5, 2016

This lodge, named "The Ridges" in Young Harris was the location for a weekend retreat for 23 men from Mableton First Baptist Church. The lodge is located on the shore of Lake Chatuge and has a large marina associated with it.

I rode up on the church bus with some of the men while others drove up. Some went early on Friday morning to play golf. We had a Bible study on Friday night led by Dr. David Daus on the 3rd chapter of Genesis dealing with what it is like to be a Christian man.

When I got downstairs to the front lobby a bit after seven, Keith Weaver, Joe Burkhardt and Jon Rowland were already down for coffee. We headed out to the associated restaurant, The Oaks, about a half block away for the buffet breakfast.

The air was clear and cold, and as we walked to the restaurant we saw a remarkably heavy frost on the roofs and car tops. It looked 1/16" thick.

We had free time after breakfast, so I set out to explore a bit.

As I walked toward the lake from the Lodge I felt my foot slip on the wooden walkway and looked down to see this remarkable frost line at the shadow of the railing. The bright morning sun had melted away the frost except in the shadow. It surprised me since I had my eyes on the lake and not on where I was walking.

Barry Long, Chris Ayers and J'Markus Dubose were trying some fishing from the large dock on Lake Chatuge.

Besides the fishermen and myself, this pair of mallards was the only life showing along the edge of the lake. There was what appeared to be a cormorant diving in the water some distance from us, but I have never seen a cormorant this far inland.

A massive stone fireplace divided the front and back lobbies, with a fireplace opening on both sides. There was a lot of nice wood trim and lots of taxidermy like the moose head. This bear investigating a big hornet's nest was a unique item. The chandeliers took out a large herd of deer to collect all those antlers.

After the various activities of the morning, we began to gather in the lake-side lobby about noon. The closest group is Duane Slaton, Keith Weaver and Alex Doriot. On the next group of couches and chairs are Bud Durand, Clinton and Clint Miller, Jon Rowland, Mike Anderson, and David Daus.

Brett Graham, Barry Long and Tye Durand join the lobby group.

In the early afternoon we had a nice lunch in the meeting room followed by a continuation of the Bible study by David. At the nearest table are Keith Weaver, Tye Durand and Jon Rowland. This was my table, and Ricky Ridgway had been with us on Friday night there. The next table on the left has Mike Anderson standing and Brett Graham and Alex Daniell seated. Next is the table with David Daus, Clinton and Clint Miller and Alex Doriot. The right table has Eddie Good, Barry Long, Wayne Templeton and Joe Burkhardt.

From the other end of the room the first table CW are Chris Ayers, Duane Slaton, Bob Wade, John Ford and J'Markus Dubose. At right Clint Miller, Alex Doriot, David Daus and Clinton Miller. Mid left table Wayne Templeton, Joe Burkhardt, Eddie Good and Barry Long. Far right Mike Anderson, Alex Daniell, Bud Durand, Brett Graham. Far left Tye Durand and Keith Weaver.

After lunch we continued with the Bible study with David Daus, using Ephesians 5:21-33 to emphasize that being a Christian man meant dying to self, using the model of Christ and the church.

Many thanks to Eddie Good for organizing the retreat and taking care of the many details that made it run smoothly. After the afternoon session we headed back toward Atlanta.

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