Thursday, January 10, 2008
2008 Winter Retreat
Oops we did it again. We had a great weekend of connecting with God and each other in Twain Harte. Great food, laughs, fun, discussion, tears, and renewal. Although I am currently fried, Kentucky Fried out with so much that has gone this week (hence taking me so long to post the fun) I have good memories and continue to love what I hear and love what I see. One really cool thing is that we are attempting to all get on the same page devotionally and prayerfully by uniting around scripture through a very cool book! It's this random little book that I got as a gift and it took me 6 months to actually read it while it sat collecting dust on my shelf. It's called, "A Prayer Guide for all those that Seek God." It's a weekly devotional book with dates that lead us into scripture and reflection from some of the greats like Dallas Willard, Henri Nouwen, Mother Teresa, and Brennan Manning. It has been revealing and reminding me of some amazing truth. (Don't judge the book by it's cover--check it out here Amazon link: if you'd like to buy it or I have some extra copies I'll make available at the Deep or at La Tartine). My desire is that we use it this year, bring it to every deep, every retreat, use it in our small groups, individually and all together. Once you read it then share and pray it with others, blog about it and give feedback to others. I love the reflections in this book! I've actually given it to a few of my other buddies and we try to email periodically things that stand out and pray for each other with the scripture and topics.
This retreat I borrowed these awesome pictures that we used to tell stories about our lives. We picked one picture that represented where we were in life currently and another picture that represented where we hoped God would take us this coming year. Some very cool conversations.
It is true, a picture has 1000 words.
My first picture was this poor trapped seal with wood in it's mouth. Looks like it was captured to be scalped. For me is represented how bound I feel with my dental issues and how lame it can make me feel as if I was trapped and bound sometimes. My second picture represented the freedom and peace I desire that can only come from God's peace and a slower pace of life attained by finding my acceptance in God's love not in how much I can do or what people think of me. It is sad to confess, but I have found myself believing lies about my worth. I wonder how long this will take me to believe. I still don't really believe that God's love is enough when I see in my behavior poor choices with my time. Although I never think this intentionally or consciously say this, what is underlying in my actions is the belief that I need to earn God's love and the love of others by working hard for it. This week is great evidence of that. In my mind I am not doing enough or I feel like I am barely working. So as I am trying to catch up and plan out the start off my year I was totally over-doing it to the point of exhaustion. So when I finally had some moments to pause, evaluate, and connect with my wife on Wednesday-she helped me to see that I have been going non-stop and been out way too many hours. Isn't that scary how you don't even realize you're going too fast until you crash. I know I need to give myself grace --I had back to back overnight trips this week with also starting Seminary again and some papers due for my ordination process and the beginnings of Summer Ministry planning. I still am unpacking my bags from the retreat. UG-I just want to put the brakes on. -One of my hopes this year is that I can live with God as the center of my life and have a healthy pace of life. To me life wants more and more of me it feels like I need to do more and more to keep up BUT this lie robs me of peace, my family of time, and God as the center of my life. Oh, Father--have mercy on me and let me see you and see my life in truth. I pray that our community can reflect this, too! SELAH!