My Closet Time

Every year for the last ten years, I’ve been privileged to have attended the UPI retreat in Prescott, AZ. UPI stands for Unlimited Potential and it’s a ministry to professional baseball players. I just returned from the 2017 retreat and was overwhelmed by God’s grace in the lives of the men you see in the photo and from many others who attended.

From left to right in the photo, you’ll see the staff: Brian Hommel, Tony Graffanino, Terry Evans, Tom Roy (Founder), Simon Guehring, and Mickey Weston (Director).

My heart is full from the love expressed in the two days we hung out in cabins, at the mess hall, hikes and particularly in what I call The Closet Room (where the meetings were full of teaching, exchanging thoughts, fellowship and big time worship).

I was asked to talk about moving through the WALL into intimacy.

We’ve all had WALLS to overcome, where God definitely has our attention. If not, just wait. It’ll come.

The WALL is actually a place where God expresses his love and motivates us to move into a deeper relationship with Him. And when at a retreat like this, that love was expressed through the men who were open to being vulnerable as real and authentic men.

I came away different from how I went into this time.

How?

We talked about going into the closet to be with Jesus. That favorite place where we can be real with God whether we’re worshipping, reading the WORD or just having a little talk with Jesus, as it’s been said. Sometimes those talks are raw and sometimes they are about experiencing a comfort that transcends the struggles we face.

Brian Hommel was leading the talk on that subject Sunday morning. Then it dawned on me to ask the question.

“Brian, what if you can’t get to THAT closet?” (Favorite room or chair where we’re alone with Jesus)

He was thinking and reflecting as the 70 men in the meeting were waiting for his answer.

But, it was like I couldn’t hold it in and I blurted out, “Cause as far as I’m concerned Brian, this place, this meeting, being with you all in this room has been my closet with God!”

That’s how much I felt about being on Holy Ground and it was – to me.

What a Closet Room to be in with Jesus! To be with men who love him with everything they have who share the joy, the passion and the authenticity of being warriors for Christ.

Thank you men. Tom, Mickey, Brian, Terry, Tony, and Simon.

Love you.

upi-staff-2016

8 thoughts on “My Closet Time

  1. Jerry,
    I was not at this retreat, but I could “feel” your passion in your words. I have been to those UPI retreats in the past, and they are always memorable, uplifting and full of the Holy Spirit. I know that you are in a real battle with your health. I have been meditating on Josh 1: 1-9 this whole week…so, be strong and courageous my brother!! As the others have said, thank YOU for making an impact on my life, and making an impact for the KING!

  2. For some reason when I was reading your blog, Mal 4:2 came to mind. “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.” As you revere and draw close to the heartbeat of Abba, may you find healing and frolicking Love you dad!

  3. Amazing words my new friend. I love who you are. I love how real you are. I love how you love Jesus. I love how honest you were with us. I love how much you guided us with your life over the weekend into the arms of Jesus!! Thanks for reminding me that a part of the closet is wherever I am because Jesus is always with me.

  4. Ted! Thank you but let me tell you friend, and so is yours. You’re a warrior and when you lead the Lord’s Table at these retreats, I can’t tell you how much I look forward to that. You’re authenticity blows me away. I love you too!