Thursday, March 8, 2012

Girls's Retreat 2012 (part 2)

"That's so funny it made me laugh."
"It will make sense later."

The girls got to learn about the greatest failures in the Bible. Names like David, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Peter, and Paul. They were questioned as to what makes a failure or a success in life. The leader admitted that she was a failure in life according to the one test that means everything. The Ten commandments test. Now I was inspired to do this test as well and realize that I am a total and complete failure.  The leader put up the Splotch of Failure and had all the girls write one failure in the splotch. It really looked quite beautiful from the back of the room where you couldn't read all of the words. The overall lesson was that our disappoints look overwhelming to us. You just need to lay them at the feet of Jesus and they won't be there anymore.

Disappointments was the next topic of the day. We were taught that all disappointments weigh the same in the eyes of God. It's amazing how we see God as our genie with unlimited wishes for us. How our lives are filled with unmet expectations. Many of them come from inside ourselves, while others come from other people or circumstances.  The girls were given the example of Elijah. How our faith does not insulate us from disappointments. How disappointments come after our greatest actions. We were all reminded that God can see us as if we are only three feet away from Him. We need to put on our spiritual army boots and go to battle daily. Also, to ask God to give us something to be thankful for.

This next section was amazing. The girls all grabbed their sleeping bags and pillows and laid down in the entry hall. The girls are facing a full wall of windows looking out into the pine tree woods behind. This section was based on the song Lost the Plot by Newsboys. The leader started reading verses from the Bible about Jesus's second coming. She kept asking them if they heard the trumpets calling since it could happen any second. She asked if it was silly to sit and listen for Jesus's coming? As the leader was asking these questions a small storm was blowing outside and the trees all began to sway. I was getting ready to hear the trumpets call or a tree to fall.

The leader went through the words in the song and asked the girls to help dissect it and share what the song was saying to them. It's about how we forgot the purpose of our lives. How we are vulnerable to destruction. How we're not getting out of life what we wanted. How our first love is Jesus and we should try not to drop it or forget about it. How it's about God's grace and how we're waiting for proof. How God doesn't give up and how because of what Jesus did, we are heaven bound.

Next topic was on Complacency. We are called to transform our environment and not just hope to survive it. The leader shared some ways to refresh our faith and get a new perspective.
1. Go to a different service or church every now and again. Seeing how others profess their faith and learn about God will make old things new again.
2. Join a Bible study. The best way to grow is to read something. Just don't dig through the garbage to find the bit of good in it. Did that with a book recently.
3. Use a daily devotional or weekly devotional. There are many good ones out there in books and online.
4. Be a mentor. Their excitement is contagious. I have found that the best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else. Then you get to learn it twice.
5. Find an accountability partner. Just like exercising your body, you need someone to keep you accountable when exercising your mind.
6. Read a book of the Bible that you have never read or haven't read in a while. You will see something new that you've never seen before because you are in a different time of life.
7. Praying in a new way: scrabble it, graffiti, playdough (smash your challenges or sins), etch in the sand and wipe it away, use a paper shredder, world map, music, look at the many faces of Jesus, talk to people about your faith, do a service project.
The leader also shared a joke about the devil calling up three demons to send out into the world and their plans for us all. The first one was going to tell everyone that there was no God and the devil told him that it would just get a few and not enough. The second one was going to tell everyone that there was no hell and the devil told him that it would just get a few and not enough. The third one said, "I will tell them that there is no need to hurry." And the devil sent him out amongst the people.
The world IS going to end. What are we doing to make it better while we are here?
God, expand our faith and forgive us for the casual attitude we give You.

Next topic was FEAR. The leader shared that we need not be afraid to act, to show kindness, and to give. The stickers will only stick if you let them.

"They're not fat; they're full of knowledge."

"As long as we're alive we're breathing His name. We just don't know that we're doing it."

Got a few more sections to go (but I also have other things to do today). This is when I accomplished my goal for the make a carpenter ring for every girl there and every adult that spent the whole weekend with these girls. I remembered that the girls enjoyed them so much last year that I thought I would surprise them with one in their goody bag.
Forgot to take a picture of them all together.
Hope you enjoyed the beginning of day two.