Tag Archives: family reunion

A Sweet & Peaceful Retreat – Oasis Christian Center & Retreat

Can I just say, “Wow?!” Have you ever been to the Oasis Christian Center and Retreat in Kentucky? I had not even heard of it until I was invited to join a Community Bible Study leadership retreat a few weeks ago.

I knew before I even left the center that I wanted to share this little place on earth with you, my faithful readers!

My sous-chef dish-washing mom and I traveled the 100 miles from our home in Middle Tennessee north on I- 65 to Kentucky. It was an easy drive; the sun was shining and the frigid temperatures of the previous days were a distant memory.  As we made the turn off Highway 100 onto an almost-two-lane road we were captivated by the serene country vistas.

Dormitory and Large Gathering Room

A few miles of curvy road later we saw the retreat center. Multiple buildings were neatly sitting on the top of a hill surrounded by pastures from the farm it used to be. Immediately my mom remarked, “It sure looks neat as a pin!”

For the next twenty-four hours, we were cocooned in a restful and peaceful retreat from our busy lives of the outside world. The center has twenty-four individual rooms that are incredibly clean, sweetly decorated and within an easy walk from the main event center, chapel, and dining room. Additionally, they have a large dormitory that sleeps forty-eight!

After meeting up with our group I was introduced to “Andy” who would be my technician for the two times I would be presenting during the retreat. Immediately I was drawn to Andy because he is very kind, high-energy, and full of techie-talk!

Andy quickly assured me he could handle my PowerPoint, the sound system and any special requests I may have. True to his word, he handled everything with expertise! During my first presentation that evening I neglected to advance my PowerPoint slide as I spoke – he caught it and had the slide up before I even realized I had made a mistake!

Andy and his dad, Robert, cooked our meals, set up the dining room, put together a lovely serving table and waited on us hand and foot. I felt totally at peace, cared for, and really spoiled!

Saturday morning I spent time walking around a lovely pond that was set up as a prayer walk. Cards containing a variety of scriptures were placed on the poles that decorated the path around the pond.  Even though the sky was threatening rain and the winds were picking up, it did not take away from the precious time I had reading scripture and being in prayer. It was awesome!  Even this dreary winter weather didn’t douse my enthusiasm for being at Oasis Christian Center.

This retreat center is family run. In 2001, God gave Robert and Janet McClung the vision to start a Christian retreat facility where churches could bring their people to connect and grow.  Five years later in 2006, God opened the door for the McClungs to buy 75 beautiful acres in Franklin, KY and start Oasis Christian Center and Retreat.  They sold both their businesses and “dream home” in Hendersonville, TN and started construction in 2007.

Today, son Andy and his wife Courtney live on site and love to welcome guests to this beautiful place.  Andy’s brother Chad, rounds out the management team. Chad calls himself the “outdoors guy” and loves building and maintaining the various structures at Oasis.  He keeps a sharp eye on grounds and wants them looking perfect for guests.

Oasis Christian Center & Retreat is easily accessible from many locations in Kentucky and Tennessee including Franklin, Scottsville, Bowling Green, Westmoreland, Nashville, Portland, Gallatin, White House.  While most of their retreat guests come from Kentucky and Tennessee, they aren’t just limited to those states.  They’ve had guests from all over the United States and from other countries as well!

As Andy and I were doing some blog-talk I learned that five years ago he started the blog and website http://christiancamppro.com/. Today, it is the #1 leader in camp and retreat planning resources. I have only scratched the surface of reading information from the site but I already have downloaded some free sources for game planning, themes, and retreat checklists. I can already see how this is going to help me in our family reunion planning for this summer!

When I told Andy and his father how much I loved the place, Robert said, “Oh you should be here in the spring, summer, and fall. It is stunning!”  I can only imagine that it is!

Blessings, Catherine

P.S.  I plan on sharing my recipe for Sticky Biscuits with Andy!  I think they would be an awesome addition to their breakfast buffet.

Breakfast featuring Sticky Biscuits

Why Do You Do That? How We Communicate–

Paulsen Family Reunion Sign

My youngest brother, John, and I were helping my sous-chef dish-washing mom to blow up balloons and decorate a pavilion where our family is gathering for meals during our family reunion this week. We had a couple of tanks of helium and two bags of balloons. My Chief Balloon-blowing husband was working the helium machine, I was handing off filled balloons to my brother and mother, and they were creatively attaching them on curling ribbon. We were working together like a well-oiled party-making machine!

phone texting
All of the sudden my sous-chef dish-washing mom lets out an “oh no!” and it seems we have run short on curling ribbon. My other brother, Michael, had just left for a trip to store. Without saying a word I picked up my phone and quickly dictated a text to him.

“Hey bro, when you get to Wal-Mart will you get us a roll of string or some curling ribbon to use for the balloons? Thank you!”

Without missing a beat in the workflow, my younger brother said, “why do you do that?”

“What?” I said.

“Text when you can easily call and talk with him,” John replied, still tying balloons.

I stopped and thought about it for a minute. “Well, it’s easy, I can give him a quick message and he doesn’t have to stop what he is doing and answer the phone.”  [ side note – I love to text! John texts too – but not always!]

My youngest brother is a great communicator. He has spent his entire adult life teaching and leading young people. He is a natural-born leader and he has inspired many to become leaders over the years. He goes on to say, “So Mike gets the text. He may wonder, does she really want string or does she prefer curling ribbon? If ribbon, does she want a certain color, a fancy silver foil or just something to get the job done? Is there a color theme or anything goes? Will the string be too heavy for the balloons to float up?”

John makes his point.  And what if Michael doesn’t see the text until he has left the store and is on his way back, and I don’t end up with anything? I pick up the phone and call my brother. In less than 30 seconds the deal is done.

I have pondered John’s question to me, “why do you do that?” Technology is a wonderful thing and all of us use it in many ways. But, at what cost?

Beth Moore Conference 2016

This past weekend I was blessed beyond my wildest imagination to attend a Beth Moore Live conference. At one point she asked the crowd of 7,300 women and a handful of brave men (!) “how many of you have your Bible on your phone, ipad, tablet, or computer?” Hands all over the auditorium shot up.  She said, “That is wonderful! Technology has given us the ability to keep the Word of God with us at all times and easily and quickly access it.

Beth Moore June 2016

Then she said, “Keep doing that, BUT, don’t give this up.” She held up a large, dog-eared Bible, peppered with yellow sticky notes, and filled with years worth of hand-scrawled notes. Use technology she said. But when spending time in the Word and talking with Jesus, hold your Bible, read your Bible, let the weight of it rest upon your lap. Moving through my Bible I let my notes drift through my memory as I read things I have jotted down through the years. My eyes take in the notes that I know were inspired by the Lord as I read His Word.

Beth Moore, Anointed to teach!
Beth Moore, Anointed to teach!

When spending time with Jesus I realize sometimes we want to just send up a quick text to him. Just quickly give Him our needs list. No true communication, just a one-way stream of “and I don’t forget this Jesus, I need this Jesus, please send me this, Jesus.”

My brother John has reminded me that communication is vital to any and all relationships. God communicates with us through the Bible, revealing His character and His will and this requires interaction on my part and on His part!

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

We communicate with God through prayer, sharing our thoughts, our needs and our desire to do his will. He communicates with us through His Word, which He writes on our hearts and breaths into our lives.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

“And we can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. And if we know he is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that he will give us what we ask for.” (1 John 5:14-15)

“No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

“And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:20)

Father God, I am so grateful for the influence of others in my life. I am grateful for my brothers and the wealth of knowledge, experience and love they share with me. I am thankful for Your Word and the many ways you have created for us to receive it. My heart overflows with thanksgiving and love. Amen.

Have a blessed day communicating with others!


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