Monday, November 8, 2010

Ladies Retreat 2010

This weekend I had the blessing and privilege to go to Forest Glen Bible Camp for a Ladies Retreat. What a time of blessing this was! It was such a spiritually refreshing time for me. I miss being at ABC and being able to hear God’s Word preached every day!

The retreat was all Christmas themed, which I personally think is the best idea anyone has ever had! It is a little different for those of us from the States to be getting in the “Christmas spirit” so early, but I kinda like it! I just assume start the Christmas traditions as early as possible.

This is way random, (which is pretty much normal for me) but I just have to also say that being at Forest Glen made me really, really REALLY miss my camp days!! Seeing the joking and camaraderie going on amongst the workers in the kitchen just about made me cry. The food was no where near as good as I am used to at camp, but it certainly wasn’t bad either. :)

Okay, back to the retreat: Mrs. Debbie Lavender was the speaker. her and her husband just moved to Nova Scotia in April. Her husband was previously the pastor at a church in Macon, GA, but now he is the pastor on the Hawk, an island off the southern tip of Nova Scotia. Her speaking was just saturated with the Word of God, which was a blessing and a great challenge. Just that fact alone made her life a great challenge to me, because it was clearly evident that this dear lady takes priority in her quiet time with God.

She had two main sessions and one workshop. Her first session was on Joyfulness in the Christian life. Not a giddy, always joking around happiness, but a genuine joy that can only come through a relationship with Jesus Christ. The thing that stuck out to me the most from this session was an illustration she used from the life of Paul and Silas, and how even after being beaten and but in bonds, they could sing and have the joy of Christ. She said how prayer goes hand in hand with that, and Acts 16 does say that Paul and Silas prayed. But she pointed out that their prayer could not have been to be released. Think about it! They had an opportunity to “escape,” and if that is what they had prayed for, don’t you think they would have seen the doors being opened and their bonds being loosed as a direct answer to that prayer?? So no, they could not have prayed for a way to escape. Instead, they may have prayed for joy, joy to flow from that relationship with Christ no matter what the circumstances, joy in knowing they were in the center of God’s will. What a challenge! Truly, there is “Joy in Serving Jesus!”

Her second session was specifically on having joy in the midst of trials. This topic is very near and dear to my heart. She showed us from the Bible answers to the following questions: (1) “Why me?” (2) “How can I get ready for trials that are coming?” (3) “What good can come from my trial?” Questions I know I have asked!!! A big thing that spoke to me during this session was a story about a family that lived in an area with very rocky soil. For years and years they picked rocks out of their fields before they could plant. Then one year, a family member was building a new log cabin, and they used the many, many rocks to prepare the area for the foundation. That house, on that firm, rock foundation, is still standing straight to this day. Her challenge to us, from that story, is that when we encounter “rocks” in our “field” of life, use them to lay a foundation that our spiritual life can build upon. Use what seems to be a nuisance and a burden in a positive way that will affect us for eternity!

Her workshop was more of an informal time where she shared several of our well-known Christmas traditions, and ways that we can use them to be a witness and bring people’s thoughts back to the true meaning of christmas. At Christmas, we Christians are

 the experts! She challenged us, with things like nativities and angels, that are prevalent everywhere during the Christmas season, to educate people on the true story!!! Teach people that the wise men weren’t really at the manger....teach them that the Bible doesn’t say that Mary rode a donkey, etc. We can also use other things to bring our thoughts back to the true meaning of Christmas, such as the Christmas tree. Just as the tree is central to our decorating at Christmas, so a tree is central to our Christian life. I never thought of it that way! Just as ornaments are used to add to the beauty of the tree, so we must be an ornament that shows the beauty of our Savior. 

I could tell you so many more exciting things that happened, the games we played and memories made, but this post is long already. I hope my friends in the States don’t mind that I’m posting about Christmas so early, and that this small taste of the spiritual food I was given has been a blessing and encouragement to you.


  1. Hey,
    Our church supports the Reasons and that's the camp Mike worked at a couple summers ago. How far away do you live from there?

  2. Yeah, I remembered that Mike had worked there! We are just under 3 hours away from there. We will probably go to a lot of their camps, I would imagine!


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