Take A Guided Tour
I’d love for you to stroll with me through the Mahseh House. There’s lot’s to see and enjoy. I’m hoping this tour around the place will encourage you - it’s time to plan for retreat at Mahseh. As you pull up the brick driveway at the Mahseh House. . .
. . . I’ll see you coming and I’ll leave my perch on the swing in the gazebo out front and will wait for you at the front door as you come up the sidewalk and past the rose arbor.
Coming into the entry foyer and turning right, we walk into the living room with its comfortable seating and fireplace, a favorite place to assemble the entire group if there are twenty or less.
A beautiful baby grand piano now resides in the living room . . .
...waiting for our guests to sit down and enjoy making music.
Looking out through the east wall of windows a wetland field, teaming with wildlife, comes into view.
The glass doors of the west wall open to the back deck and a splendid view of Lake Bruce. In addition to assembling a large group, the living room can be a great place to read or nap or chat, but let’s keep moving so you get the big picture.
We will pass through the dining room which holds our oak table that can seat up to twenty at a time.
Next we will proceed to the spacious kitchen.
As is the case in many homes, the kitchen tends to be the hub of visiting at Mahseh during time that is free. Guests are responsible for their own meals which usually means preparing food together in the kitchen or bringing your own designated chef, unless you plan to dine at one of the area restaurants. With the view of the lake, the fireplace in the corner, and an expansive peninsula of cabinets and counter tops...
...this fully equipped kitchen is a pleasure to work in.
Just past the kitchen is the Lakeside Study
with extensive shelving for books and a large built-in desk area.
It is the perfect spot for an early morning quiet time, before anyone else is up.
Or if you come with a small group, you might find this west-facing view of the lake good for study.
Proceeding down the hallway and past the Laundry Room, we come to the Francis and Edith Schaeffer Suite, comprised of a warm, inviting sitting area which includes a couch that folds out to a queen-sized bed.
The kitchenette is equipped with
a small frig, a microwave, a counter top convection oven, a coffee maker and sink.
The Schaeffer Suite has two bedrooms sitting side by side.
" Francis" has a queen-sized bed.
"Edith" has a full.
These two are the bedrooms of choice for those with limited mobility,
as well as for those who enjoy being tucked into a pleasant, self-contained area.
Patio doors open from the Schaeffer Suite onto a private, sunny deck with a great view of the entire northward sweep of the Mahseh grounds.
From here guests also have a bird's eye view of the lovely, landscaped stone tiers.
A full bath is available for Schaeffer Suite guests. This is the Green Bathroomfound in the hallway just before walking down two steps into the suite.
If we backtrack to the front door entryway, we will head up the stairs
to the second floor made up of 9 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms.
The C.S. Lewis Suite includes a queen-sized bed, fireplace,desk, couch (which can pull out to a full-sized bed), and a private bath wtih shower and jacuzzi tub. This room spans the house from east to west and offers views of both the countryside as well as the lake.
The Abraham Kuyper Room is named after a Dutch theologian and statesman. The queen-sized bed has a view of the lake out to the west and direct access to the full bath which can also be accessed from the hallway. For study or reading, Kuyper has a desk plus an oversized leather chair.
The Kuyper Bathroom might be shared with those in the Evelyn Underhill Room.
“Evelyn” has a fresh blue and white queen-sized bed . . .
plus a quaint twin-sized bed...
...and faces east to catch the rays of the rising sun.
The Kuyper bathroom is easily acccessable from the Underihll Room.
A beautiful second floor addition including four new bedrooms, two new bathrooms and two remodeled rooms reached completion in May 2014. We turn the corner to view the long hallway which leads to these eight rooms.
The first room on the left is the remodeled Martin Luther Room. The queen-sized bed is accompanied by an upholstered rocker plus a small writing desk.
The door in this room opens to the east. We step out onto a balcony to sit and gaze at the eastward beauty of the countryside.
Directly across the hall from the Luther Room lies the remodeled John Calvin Room, complete with queen-sized bed and adjoining half bath. Guests can sit at the small desk or curl up on the sofa and look across the water, watching for the blue heron or the frequent beautiful sunsets.
Luther and Calvin guests usually make use of the Cedar Closet Bathroom, the full bath with walk-in shower just before the addition.
We come to the Jonathon Edwards Room, the first of the newest bedrooms. This handsome room faces east and has a door opening to the same balcony sitting area that it shares with the Luther Room - a perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee, or the majesty of the sun rising to illuminate the early morning mists or to spend time alone with the Maker and Creator of all this beauity.
Or, if the wind is howling outside, this loveseat will be a perfect place for retreat.
Across the hall waits the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Room. The crisp navy and white draws us in, and the large window frames a beautiful view of Lake Bruce This versatile room offers a queen-sized bed plus a twin bed tucked into the corner. An arm chair near the window offers a comfortable plaoe to read.
Now we come to the last two bedrooms in the addition. The southeast room is the St. Augustine Room. Decorated in plum, white and pale greeen, and benefitting from its corner location to boast suntlight and beautiful views of the fields lying east of Mahseh, this refreshing room holds both a queen and a twin. The twin has lots of pillows and is designed to emulate the look and function of a chaise lounge. As do many of the rooms, Augustine has a small writing desk.
The finale of the upstairs bedrooms is the John and Charles Wesley Room in the southwest corner of the second floor. It faces the west where lake and sky meet to bless the retreater with beautiful vistas by day and frequently, breathtaking sunsets by evening.
The Wesley Room offers a large desk....
plus a queen-sized bed, a twin bed loaded with comfy pillows, plus and oversized chair....
all positioned to drink in the sights....
... and encourage hearts to join Charles Wesley in his words of praise:
O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer's praise,
The glories of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace.
These four bedrooms are positioned on either side of Sunrise and Sunset, the two bathrooms which the four bedrooms share. The two bathrooms each feature two sinks and a tub/shower combination.
In the event of an emergency, the door at this far end of the hall is second exit from the second floor. The exit leads outside to a stairway that stretches from ground level straight up to the end of the hallway, but we will turn back and retrace our steps to the main stairway...
and back down to the entryway foyer.
Now, back throug the diining room and kitchen , and we head to the stairway leading to the basement rec room. There’s something for everyone here – a theatre/discussion area with a huge projection screen for watching movies, teaching DVD’s, or even that special ball game. This is the place to come for the occasional group of over twenty guests so that all can be together for worship, teaching, sharing or planning.
A small kitchen is located just off this room. It includes frig, microwave oven, gas range, and is supplied with dishes, pots and pans, and cooking utensils. Next to the kitchen is a half bath, completing the bathroom count of seven for the entire house.
And now, for the jewel of Mahseh - the Library.
In case you thought the library consisted of the many books lining the walls of the rec room, take a look around the corner just past the pool table; you will be greeted by the Dortha Strong Waidner Memorial Library. Mahseh Center is dedicated to creating a physical library so people can peruse books during their stay at Lake Bruce. The library is available for the casual reader as well as for the dedicated student and for professorial study.
It houses over 6000 volumes, largely collected by Dr. Mark Eckel and catalogued by Max Weiss. Major categories include: theology, Bible reference, Bible commentary, Christian biography, history, economics, and literature.
Major contributors include volumes from the estate of Cliff House; donations from the personal library of Roger Van Oosten, librarian at Moody Bible Institute; publishers InterVarsity Press, Spence Publishing, University of Chicago Press, Crossway Books, Tyndale, and Moody Press.
The card catalog is available on the library’s computer, and there are six work stations in the library itself. The overflow of the library is shelved mainly in the rec room, but books are also scattered throughout the Mahseh house. We’ve even been known to put a guest in the library to sleep because it has a twin Murphy bed stored in one of the cabinets.
That completes the house tour. Now we will take a look around the grounds, just so you have an idea of what you might want to further explore when you come for a retreat. The house is wrapped in porch; three gazebos and one balcony are at the corners.
The upper gazebos are sought after for outdoor singing, discussion, visits, reading… just about any activity that requires one to linger finds a happy home in the gazebo areas. The lower gazebo houses our hot tub which is free to use by our guests.
We can set up an evening campfire for you. This can be a special time of singing and sharing. Or just relax in your chair and drink in the stars, the night sounds of lake and shore, and be still and know God’s presence.
Many evenings the west sky is flooded with a beautiful sunset.
If we walk around to the north side of Mahseh to climb the stone steps...
...and enjoy the waterfall, ponds and gardens along the way...
...we’ll come to the evolving Resurrection Garden which is planted at the feet of Jesus, a welded metal art piece done by Larry Overmeyer of Lake Bruce. Larry says he is portraying the resurrection after the crucifixion, with the arms of Jesus nailed to the cross, but raising in triumph of resurrection.
Then across the footbridge is the Prayer Chapel. I will leave you here to linger and be quiet.
As you will discover if you come to Mahseh for a time of retreat there are other areas to explore or to sit quietly and wait upon the Lord.
These areas include lakeside adirondack chairs...
...and gardens galore.
Bring your suit for a swim in the lake (but careful, it’s shallow a long distance from shore, and there is no lifeguard). Bring your fishing pole, tackle box and fishing liscence for a little fishing off the piers. (Mahseh owns no boats due to insurance limitations.)
And just quickly I’ll mention here the wonderful walking and biking the quiet country roads provide.
Long time Lake Bruce resident, Rene Colley, said her late husband loved Lake Bruce. Every morning he would look out the window, and regardless of the weather say,
“It’s another beautiful day at Lake Bruce!”
We couldn't agree more!
Seasons at Mahseh
Hope to see you back for a retreat at Mahseh!