So I traveled about 3 hours to Asheville, NC this weekend for the 2011 Southeast Campus Ministry Retreat and it was amazing. I am in spiritual overload right now and all I want to do is read the Bible all day long. The theme of the weekend was “The Jesus Identity.” Sam Powell came down from New York to preach and I was absolutely inspired and convicted by all three of his lessons. Friday’s lesson was about us taking on our Jesus identity and really needing to develop faith and convictions to sustain us when we’re alone (1 Peter 1:1-2:12). I think I had to go through a lot of that this summer when I was in Italy by myself. He also talked about our devotion to God and if we have a desire to be discipled. On Saturday morning, the Nashville ministry put on a group quiet time for us with singing, prayer and a short message about “Living Water.” The thing that hit me most was when the preacher asked “when you face trials, what flows out of you?” That’s definitely something that I need to be careful of. Anger is just pride because I’m not getting what I want and people aren’t acting the way I think they should act. One of my goals is to focus more on the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and really living them out in my life. We then had 2 different sessions for the women. The first one I went to was taught by Stacey Robinson about “The Character of Christ.” She talked about the three characteristics of Jesus towards his disciples, serving, telling the truth and compassion. Jesus didn’t get frustrated of shut down with the people in his life but served them and didn’t expect anything in return. Sometimes its scary to speak the truth about God’s word to the people in our lives but the chance for a person to have a relationship with God needs to be more important than protecting a friendship or our own reputations. Then I went to a lesson by Lisa Laing about “Christlike Humility: Overcoming insecurity through growing in humility.” This was a challenging lesson because she was telling us how our insecurity is because of our pride and us wanting to be the best. We need to care more about what God thinks. Jesus was perfect and people still found things to criticize him about. We need to learn to value what God values in ourselves and in each other. After lunch, we had a large session just for the girls. Elizabeth Thompson and Geri Laing taught about “The Jesus Objective.” 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 – God chooses to exalt those who the world sees as worthless. Objectives: humility, service, sacrifice, love, being (not doing), giving (not having). Saturday night, Sam preached about “The Jesus Supremacy.” His two points were ‘Jesus is what not one else has ever been’ and ‘Jesus did what no one else has ever done.’ Hebrews 12:1-2 – we need to remember to fix our eyes on Jesus. Sometimes we shrink back from sharing our faith because we are looking at ourselves and not at Jesus. Its not my job to decide who’s going to be open and become a disciple, its my job to give everyone the opportunity (Colossians 1:23). Read Isaiah 53:1-12, its incredible! Jesus had a vision and he made a supreme sacrifice for us to turn to him today. In the end, he felt like it was worth all the ridicule and pain to save me. He took the supreme risk for me and for all of us! We can’t just accept good from God. We have to accept all that God decides to put us through. Finally, Sam preached Sunday morning about “The Jesus Ultimatum.” His two points were that we need passion in our discipling and evangelism. Check out John 2 & Revelation 1:4-20; 2:1-5, 12-16, 18-23; 3:1-3, 14-17.
So sorry for the long post but hopefully you got something out of this. It was definitely a growing weekend for me and I have so much more studying out and changing to do. It can be slightly overwhelming but I’m trying to just breathe and trust in God’s plan for my life and that he is working in my heart to help me change and grow.
Exodus 14:14 – “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
I’m learning more and more to be still in my life. I’m trying not to be so anxious and to trust God. This is easier said than done so please pray for me!
I am also very grateful for having spiritual women in my life that I can talk to. I’ve had so many good talks with some of my best friends over the past few ways and just sharing with each other about what we are learning. Its great to hear about what other people are learning and to bounce ideas off of one another.
To end on a happy note, here’s a portrait type picture I took of Abi Burke, one of my teen girls, last week: