Posted by: Ed | November 24, 2009

OASIS RETREAT & The Weekend that Was

How weird that I was back in the Midwest this weekend… at the same exact camp!

This time I was speaking to High School students. My friend Jeff Dart is the pastor leading a great ministry at Brookside Church in Omaha, NE called Oasis. It’s an awesome ministry and I was fired up to be part of it.

As Jeff & I talked leading up to the retreat, I felt led to rework some of the talks from the series we just finished at Journey on Worship. I actually knew as I was originally working on some of the talks, “this is going to be for the kids at Oasis”. That was especially true of the “I LOVE ME MY IDOS” talk. That kind of took over the retreat.

All the talks seemed to connect. But, there some fun points where in the midst of the talks God gave me specific words. How this works for me is that while I’m speaking I get this knowledge that’s pretty near certainty that a specific application of a truth is being revealed to someone (usually it’s something the Spirit is doing in several people) in the room. There were a couple of these during the Idol talk, which I did Saturday morning & then finished it that night.

I did a Q & A Saturday afternoon, which was really fun.

SAT NIGHT MINISTRY TIME – but the “raison d’être” of these retreats is encounter with God and that seems to happen on Saturday nights. The worship band was anointed & ON IT.
Here’s what I wrote to our Pastoral Prayer Team People about it:
– At least 8 of the 100 kids there came to a saving relationship with Christ
– I did the Idols talk that you heard 2 weeks ago at Journey. The Holy Spirit really moved. God was pointing out idols that needed to be laid down & turned from.
– It was cool to see God stir & revive the hearts of the kids there.

It was an amazing time of very sweet repentance & brokenness. I love it when kids who have been in Church for their whole lives all of the sudden GET IT! God shows them a little bit of how attractive and worth it He is.

They have an amazing group of ADULT VOLUNTEERS who are working with the students. I loved hearing about what was going on in the small groups after each talk. The leaders talked with such passion about what God was doing in the lives of “their kids”. Many of them were young couples with preschool age kids. They had to get someone to take the kids. They’ll come home Sunday night sleep deprived and sore from the games to kids and jobs that will be waiting for them. Yet they were joyfully giving themselves away. I absolutely love, love LOVE this picture of the kingdom of God.

PARENT DEBRIEF – O.k. I’ve lead a zillion retreats as a youth pastor, I’ve spoken at a million others, and I never thought of doing this: A parent debrief an hour before the kids get back. So, I did a little ditty parents and your kid’s significant spiritual moments. It was cool. Jeff is a genius.

It was a powerful weekend & I am powerfully tired as I fly home. Here’s what I wrote in my journal about 30 minutes ago:
I’m very tired, like gut tired, mental leading to physical kind of tired. But I’m also so thankful that You came through again, that You landed on that place… God, I know me. You know me. We both know HOW MUCH MERCY is involved here. Thanks that I am saved, sustained & blessed through Jesus Christ and HIS righteousness. It’s so fun to be a tiny part of what You are doing.

I do miss Journey. I can’t wait for this weekend.



  1. Ed, I wanted to let you know that of all the speakers I have heard in my life, you are the best of all of them. You really break it down for us kids to understand and reach out to us. I also wanted to thank you. I was a part of those 8 kids that were saved this weekend. It is going to be tough letting go of my idols right away, but it will be a STRONG work in process. I have gone to church most of my life, but never really payed attention until last years fall retreat and this years when I heard you talk. God really does love me, no matter what. Thank you again for taking time out of you home life and come to speak to us kids about God.

  2. Ed, thank you so much for coming across the country for us this weekend. I know I’d choose California over the middle of Iowa any day.
    I just wanted to let you know that I am so very thankful that you take time out of your life to come and speak to us at our high school retreats. I love how passionate you are about the things you teach, and it really makes it so much easier to understand and connect with God.
    Keep doing what you’re doing- Everyone loves and appreciates you. See you next year!

  3. It was so amazing to watch God move. You were a HUGE part of that Ed, as was Jeff, Jack, etc. I was so impressed by this leadership team that I’ve joined. For my first Fall Retreat with Oasis, I couldn’t have been more impressed/moved. Thanks above all to God for showing up! And, like you said Ed – it’s about “Worshiping God!” Yipeee.

  4. Thanks for joining us at fall retreat again this year and answering all our questions. I want my reltionship with God to be similar to yours in that I would be willing and open to the promptings of God. Having you at Fall Retreat this year seems almost natural because I feel like your as much a part of our big family as any other leader. I hope you enjoy your time with your family this tanksgiving day.

  5. Ed,
    I cannot thank you enough for all you have done for me, and all of Oasis. Throughout the last 3 years, I have seen u at fr, and at OGN this summer. Each time I hear you talk, I am changed.

    Being a Senior, this is my last Fall retreat (unless I become one of the adut leaders several years from now). I hope to see u again 1 more time before I go to college, but if not, I’m sure I’ll see u at Brookside at some point in my future.

    Thanks again

  6. Dan, thanks for being so encouraging. You are definitely an all-star! I pray you will finish High School strong. I’m sure our paths will continue to cross.
    U da man!


  7. O Dan lol

  8. Ed, you’re crazy for doing these retreats!

    But God is going to say, “Well done.”

    I’m so incredibly bummed it didn’t work for me to get my sorry butt out there. It was a ridiculously busy weekend.

    What excuse can you find me to get out to San Diego this winter?

  9. Markie, I’ll start figuring something out.

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