Retreats

I wrote this last Thursday before I drove north. I thought I saved it on a future posting site within this website, but when I reached my location it was gone and my computer was at home. The computer at the place I was at wasn’t working, and blogging went to the lowest of priorities. So, now that I’m back, I retrieved the unsaved blog from the saved Microsoft Word and copied and pasted it here. Also, on Tuesday, I worked a sixteen hour day as an election inspector and did not sleep well the night before and got up early today for Bible study, so I’m semi-comatose as I add these few lines. 🙂

My husband used to go on a men’s retreat two times a year with a group of men from the city we lived in at the time, some from the same church, some unchurched, some from smaller churches. Most were believers in Jesus Christ and went to seek God on a deeper level and to enjoy camaraderie with others. They spent three days in the Spring, if memory serves me correctly, and five days in the Fall.

At first, I resented it. I was a stay at home mom and he worked a ton of hours. I sensed God’s Spirit saying to let him go. So, I agreed, hardly wholeheartedly. I didn’t hide my feelings. When it was extremely difficult to let him go, I would wipe away the tears. He would hug me and say, “I love you. We’ll be praying for you.”

Then he’d surprise me, once with a plaque of an old-fashioned beautiful mother with her long flowing gown, ministering to her young ones. The bottom of the picture quoted a Scripture from Proverbs 31 praising the wife of the home. One other time he brought me home a bouquet of flowers. It always surprised me because of the randomness of the gifts, but the greatest gift was his safe return and his growth with God and with his friends. Our marriage improved, too.

All these years later, he is going with the friend that took the first trip with him. They walked Mt. Washington along the road with bags of provisions attached to cheap backpacks up and hiked the trail down. Yowza. Over the years they discovered great camping equipment, maps of the trails, dried food, light weight clothes, and their favorite restaurants along the journey.

Now, his buddy for over thirty years has an RV and they’ll take the trip with less physical exertion. We wives will wait at home and pray for them and they’ll seek God and hopefully find their favorite bakery, and a great pancake house that gives portions beyond belief.

These two men are so different from each other that they bring out the best in each other. His friend gets him laughing like none of his other friends, and they discuss God and His characteristics, and they share things no one else is privy to, or so he’s led me to understand. I get it, I have friends like that. What a blessing.

So, I’ve decided to take a few days to go visit one of my kids and the grandkids, yet I plan on getting home before him so I can see the missionary and his wife who’re coming to our church.

Sometimes, it’s just good to go away to get refreshed and to seek God in another environment. I told my daughter I am not bringing any books to read or any writing assignments. I’m going to relax and maybe help her out some around the house and then turn around and come home recharged. That’s the plan. She’s free to sit with me in her church which is much different than ours, and that will be re-energizing as well. That’s what I’m thinking anyway. 🙂 May God bless you.

Go Into All the World

Our church has been hosting unchurched people to give them opportunities to ask my husband questions they might have about God. When one of the pastor’s placed an ad about the Bible Study, Totally Forgiving God by R T Kendall, one man wrote a scathing letter.

I’m not aware of the contents. My husband thought he’d contact the writer to see about opening up a dialogue. I’ll be praying it goes well.

I was reading the last chapter of Mark, the last words of Jesus before He went up to heaven. In Mark 16: 15-20 (KJV), it says: And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Mar 16:16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Mar 16:17  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

Mar 16:18  They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Mar 16:19  So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

Mar 16:20  And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

I’m not sure what it means, “they shall take up serpents.”

Something to look in to.

May God bless you.

 

 

Closer Attention than Usual

Do you ever go through your day as you usually do and find it’s shifted and a bit unreal? Today was one of those days. God is working on me to pay attention to what I say and to what I think and to what I do. Closer attention than normal.

Early in the day, I attended a ladies’ Bible study where I mentioned the blog I wrote last night which spoke of sins God wants us to avoid. Some asked if I gave references so others could look up the Word of God. “Not for all of it,” I said.

They encouraged me to do so. So here are the Scriptures that I quoted without chapter and verse with a few more from the (ESV), addressed to believers in First Corinthians:

1Co 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,
1Co 6:10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
1Co 6:11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
1Co 6:12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.
1Co 6:13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
1Co 6:14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.

There are Scriptures that encourage and build us up; there are sections that point out our evil desires and those are not easy to hear about. Many verses tell how God sees us and remind us to stay in the faith. The following are from the book of Colossians:

Col 1:7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf
Col 1:8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
Col 1:9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
Col 1:10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
Col 1:11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,
Col 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
Col 1:13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
Col 1:14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
Col 1:16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
Col 1:19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
Col 1:20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Col 1:21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,
Col 1:22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,
Col 1:23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

With God’s Word, too much emphasis on God’s judgments can cause a person to live in condemnation and fear and possibly legalism. These are my thoughts probably based on things I’ve heard or read, but I don’t know the source.

Too much emphasis on God’s love, disregarding the justice of God can cause a person to live like the devil and think they’re going to heaven. I’ve seen that in people that believe once saved, always saved. Somehow they don’t know the verse about working out your salvation with fear and trembling in Phil. 2:12.

Heaven and hell are not places to take lightly. If God’s Word is man’s instruction manual, a common cliche’ in Christian circles, it bears checking out. God gives free will, we don’t have to believe Him or receive His gift of grace. It’s the most important decision I ever made in my life. As I see how close we are to end times, I hold on and I remind God of His promise to hold onto me. I trust Him more than I trust myself. Be blessed!