It was a busy evening of decorating the church for our recent Vacation Bible School when one of the leaders picked up a “Conversation Beach Ball” and decided it was time for a break. She threw the ball to a worker and yelled, “Right hand!” They caught the ball and then read the question that was under the grasp of their right thumb and answered it. The ball was passed to me and the question I read was something like,
What Bible story do you love the most?
Not wanting to take too much time to answer, I thought of one I’d recently been reading in my morning devotions. I said, “The story of Joseph forgiving his brothers.” The group was satisfied with my answer because it allowed the game to continue.
The next day I got to thinking back on our game, and my question in particular, and I was shocked when I thought about how I had responded!
I walked down to the mailbox, opened the lid and pulled out the two envelopes the postman had left. The return address in the corner of each envelope told me it was “same ol’, same ol'”. Junk mail. Ugh.
I walked back up to the porch, threw the non-impressive mail onto the step and picked up my waiting broom. I swept the porch while the white envelopes lay discarded, Continue reading “A Fresh Love Letter”→
Laryngitis is keeping me from posting a video today, so I’m writing my post instead. Hopefully I’ll be back with a voice and a video next week!
Whether we want to admit it or not, the Christmas season is closing in on us. I’ve seen Black Friday ads long before November even arrived! I can remember the days of shopping on Black Friday. One year my whole family was in Kentucky for Thanksgiving and we decided we were going to join the crazy shoppers and head out and get some bargains, too! We mapped out: Continue reading “Early Shopping”→
The theme for my fall is “Retreat!” I will have participated in five of them by the time Thanksgiving arrives, and I love it!! I’ll be on the giving end of each of these retreats, but I’ve had the blessing of being on the receiving end MANY times! I know that to attend a retreat: Continue reading “Three Ways To Make the Most of a Retreat”→
I’ve recently shared on my blog that my church hosts a Ladies’ “retreat” of sorts every other year. I called it a “Refresher” because that’s what I was praying it would be in our lives. Just last weekend we enjoyed that great refreshment in so many ways! I thought you might enjoy getting a peek into our time together!
“Just because the path you’re on is bumpy
doesn’t mean you’re on the wrong road.”
I read that quote yesterday and thought of a hike my family once took. We headed up a mountain road that started out kind of gravely. As we continued upward the road bumped more and more. We were looking for the fire tower and were unsure of its exact location. At times the road bumped so much I thought our van’s shocks would never be the same. We climbed and climbed and bumped and jostled our way up the mountain.
The question of whether or not we were on the right road was asked more than once. We finally came to a blocked road where we parked the car and got out and walked a mile or more up a rather steep incline. There ahead of us was the fire tower! We climbed up the forsaken steps and when we got to the second and third landings the view was spectacular! It was worth all the bouncing and jolting just to see the sight before us! We indeed had been on the right road. If the bumps had discouraged us and we would’ve turned around, we would have missed this sight!
Life gets bumpy, doesn’t it? We begin to question ourselves. We also question God.
“Is the Christian life supposed to be this way? Shouldn’t things be much smoother than this? Is my marriage supposed to have this jostling? Why are my children creating such havoc after all my godly instruction?”
The temptation is to turn around and go the other way – our own way – a way we feel would be smoother. But the absence of bumps doesn’t mean it’s right.
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. I Peter 5:10
The road will smooth out eventually and you’ll find the view is wonderful – it’s called Christ-likeness. Because He is the God of all grace, you and I have the grace we need to endure the bumps. Don’t doubt you’ve chosen the right road (“why did I trust Christ, anyway? He’s a mean God that’s out to get me.”) Keep traveling on. He’s there with you. He’s not forsaken you. He knows the bumps are there and He’s waiting at the end of the road. Keep on driving. It will be worth the view!
Last weekend I had the blessing of attending The Ladies’ Prayer Advance in Roanoke, Virginia. This event is like a “ladies’ retreat” in that it is a weekend away. However, it’s called an Advance because the whole purpose is to encourage women to move forward in their walk with God.
Sometimes we need a couple of days to rest, move slowly as we talk to God and spend time alone with Him, but then there are other times when we need someone to put their hand in the middle of our back, so to speak, and help us move closer to God through:
Bible preaching in general sessions
Biblical teaching in Break-out sessions
Times of corporate prayer
Times of individual prayer
It is absolutely wonderful. It’s the best kind of tired you can feel! To have heard God’s Word taught or preached seven times in those two and half days is powerful. To spend time alone in prayer is convicting. To pray with your prayer group several times is better than I can even describe. The closeness that it brings is a special blessing that only the Spirit of God could do.
The break-out sessions allow each woman to choose topics that speak to her heart. Abuse, contentment, depression, marriage, unanswered prayer, and overwhelming situations were some of the subjects addressed.
This is an exhausting weekend. There are no shopping adventures. No hours of rest between sessions. No extra activities are planned. Does it sound boring? It’s anything but that! Does this mean we don’t have fun? Hardly. When you get right with God, you also are the happiest and you are also a blessing to those around you! Our group had wonderful, sweet fellowship, laughter, tears and unity. It was precious!
Every year we make it a point to go to a fun place called Elderberry’s for lunch. They have a TON of different wraps and a MILLION different smoothies to choose from.
This year we ended our time at the Ladies’ Prayer Advance by sharing lunch together here before we had one last time of prayer and headed home…completely physically exhausted, but absolutely, wonderfully refreshed spiritually!!
Attending conferences like this is a huge sacrifice of each ladies’ time, but we all need it if we truly desire to advance in our relationship with the Lord. Do you make sure to find a time or two each year to spend away at conferences like this so you can be challenged and renewed spiritually? It’s really helpful if you are longing to advance!
Next year’s Ladies’ Prayer Advance is being held March 21-23 in Roanoke, VA. Perhaps you would consider joining the more than 500 that were there this year? You can find information here.
I will also be attending a Ladies’ Retreat this month in North Carolina at The Wilds. I’m excited about this special weekend as well. You can find information here and can also register on-line. You can’t go to The Wilds and not receive a blessing!!
Take time out to refresh and advance! You’ll be so glad you did!