Experiencing God at a Higher Altitude

Experiencing God at a Higher Altitude

Jan 24, 2013

Experiencing God at a Higher Altitude

By Ralph Mackintosh


When my grandfather came to America in the 1880s he worked his way west until ending up in Colorado. There he labored constructing railroads, coal mining, gold and silver mining, harvesting timber and hard rock drilling. While working in the rough mining and lumber camps he began to seriously study the Bible, discovered the Sabbath, and found his true calling as a minister of the Gospel.

Growing up in Wales in a non-churchgoing family, my grandfather found the Welsh Baptist church as a child and walked the three miles by himself to attend services. However it wasn’t until he came to the Rocky Mountains that he went from a church attendee to a real student of the Scriptures.

Coming to the realization that the prophecies and words of the Bible were relevant today, he arranged to be made the camp cook so that when the laborers went out to work he could spend much of his time in Bible study. There on the high slopes of the Rockies he immersed himself in the Word of God and reoriented his life goals and purpose.

Over the next 10 years, with no formal theological training, Malcolm Mackintosh planted dozens of churches, preached and ministered in cities and town throughout Colorado. Later he went on to start churches in Missouri, then Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island in Canada.

I don’t know what it is about the mountains and the outdoors that often bring us to a new awareness of God. Is it the towering majesty of God’s wondrous creation that awakens a sense of awe? Is it the retreat from our normal busy lives and the time to concentrate on spiritual things?

Is it replacing the rush of traffic with the rushing of mountain streams that allows us to listen quietly for God to speak? Is it the climb to a higher altitude that lets us feel closer to God and rise above the worries and cares that sometimes drag us down?

This summer you’ll have the opportunity to follow in my grandfather’s footsteps as we seek to discover where Christ’s footsteps are leading us today and experience God at a higher altitude. With our General Conference site nestled at the foot of the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains, there will be opportunity to climb (or drive) to some impressive vistas of magnificent scenery. But even more importantly there will be opportunities to have mountaintop experiences with God in our worship, music and study during Conference week.

I recently read that the Colorado state motto “Nil Sine Numine” translates from Latin as “Nothing Without the Deity.” How appropriate for our General Conference meetings, as truly we can do nothing without the Deity. We are dependent on God’s inspiration and guidance to direct our paths and reveal His perfect will.

Let’s move Forward Together in HIS Footsteps, and I pray your footsteps will carry you to Colorado this summer.

Conference 2013

Historical note: My grandfather, Malcolm Mackintosh, met my grandmother in the mountain town of Florence, Colo., and my father, Albyn, was born in that small town in 1908. My father always planned on retiring to Colorado but it was two generations later before the Mackintoshes returned to the state where my sons Jonathan and Dusty, their wives and five of my grandchildren now reside. Dusty graduated from Denver Seminary and serves as assistant pastor of the Next Step Church in Thornton, Colo.

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