Yesterday we wrapped up the 2011 Retreat: Beyond the Masquerade....to say it was a blessing is an understatement! This blog is going to be packed with pictures, in an attempt for you to be able to experience some of the things I did.
This past Saturday and Sunday was a geniune time of worship to our Creator. A time to be thankful for what He has done, is doing, and is going to do through our lives.
Both days were filled with times of worship as we approached our Father's Throne and laid our masks at His feet.
The number of women who volunteered to serve in ALL capacities astounded me! And, you know what they say about putting too many women in the kitchen!? Well, our Kitchen crew proved that saying wrong! They worked, just as the Body of Christ is called to...together!
These ladies were so gracious, patient, hard-working...and I'm sure tired by the time we left! What a blessing to be able to serve by such sweet women of God!
Now, we all know that all work and no play makes Jane a very grumpy women....soooooo.....
We HAD to spice it up a bit!
The G.I.R.L. Ministry ladies (Tonya, Jennifer - Me, Rebecca, and Cheslie) donned some masks as we helped the Kitchen crew serve dinner....what fun that was!!
Now, no ladies gathering is EVER complete without FUN! And, I promise we had a great share of it! :-)
Fellowship is always sweet, but when you add in playing games and dressing up...you just can't beat it!
We had many women who brought their daughters this year...daughters ranging in ages of 14 up through their 50's...moms ranging from in their early 20's to in their 80's....WOW is what my heart felt. Living a relationship with Christ out daily for the world to see is one thing, but bringing your child up and being that example that you may not have had is inspiring. We have many women trying, struggling to do just that. Discipleship is very dear to our hearts within the G.I.R.L. Ministry...we desire to reach women where they are and walk along side them, walk up that hill with them to Calvary. I loved seeing these women with their children.
Even if you don't have a daughter, you can still be a Spiritual Mom to someone who needs you...don't ever be afraid to fill a gap someone has in their life when God calls you to do it...He is the One who provides what you need to do it!
Did you know that your Sisters in Christ are going to be with you in Eternity...and Eternity begins here? We had a great time this weekend with renewing and strengthening of friendships, and even creating new ones. Each of our speakers had a profound impact on many of the ladies attending...creating relationships that are beginning to grow here and will continue on throughout Eternity! How amazing is that!?
New relationships are just as important as old ones...as Sisters in Christ we are to be Iron...SHARPENING Iron. When you are around your sisters, we just be lifted up, encouraged, and the dreadful one....we should be challenged.
I am blessed to say that the women who came and spoke at the retreat this year did just that for me. I was lifted up, encouraged, and was NOT left the same. I was challenged to continue to allow God to remove those masks I tend to put on to hide and not allow God to use parts of my life. This is a process, our walk and growth in the Lord...but He loves us too much to leave us the same, no matter how long we have been Christians!
(Top: Linda Renfro, Maria Cloer, Susie Walrond, Micah Rayburn)
(Bottom: Rebecca Hall, Jennifer Fripp, Tonya Barnes, Cheslie Fripp)These were our speakers and our worship leader for Saturday...they all are Iron sharpening me...but the good thing is, I am Iron as well, and when I allow God to remove my mask, He is able to use me to sharpen someone else. If you are a child of the King, you are Iron...give your masks back to Him, and allow Him to work through you so He can work in someone else!
I love you all, and I just want to thank everyone again who came, participated and served at the retreat this past weekend, you are all beautiful and certainly worth dying for!
Have a blessed day!