Foothills Community Church Women’s 2019 Retreat
Grace Upon Grace dynamically appeared a few weekends ago, as I connected with several women absolutely passionate about communicating their love for the Lord and His love for us! Like me, they believe spiritual relationships develop because we are willing to share our honest experience of God with one another: not just in the good times, but the muddy times, too!
Joy of It
Connie Armerding and Ashley Bell from “Joy of It” (https://joyofit.org) were our main speakers at the Foothills Community Church Women’s Retreat. Both know how to communicate their passion for scripture through storytelling and honesty in their everyday lives.
What impressed me was not just their months of preparation, but their willingness to lay aside their hard work and be open to the Spirit’s leading for these women. They felt it necessary not only to “tweek” their talks, but to call in reinforcements! More dedicated women from “Joy of It” showed up spontaneously to share their insights the Lord has for us! Amazing love!
Therefore, these women do not just talk about their passionate relationship with God, they demonstrate it! I don’t know about the other retreat attendees, but I walked away committed to follow a God who compels such fervor.
Jonah and Delayed Obedience
Their talks focused on the book of Jonah and his delayed obedience to follow God’s plan. This message touched a personal nerve. Like Jonah, I spend too much time arguing with God about where “I don’t belong” and what is and is not possible. The Lord has been encouraging me to not delay in my obedience; to step out and go in a direction that at first glance, looks scary and exposed.
Fear can grip us and cause us to run from our life. But as Connie pointed out, God keeps inviting us to His bigger picture. His story that requires TRUST. I need to stop resisting, stop running, and start trusting God sooner rather than later.
Do you have a “stink-a-tude”?
Ashley called running from God, a “stink-a-tude”, a smelly, fishy habit of struggling with God rather than surrendering to His love and grace. They both helped me to see that a Jonah attitude can sneak up on you and that is why we need quiet times alone with God to explore the truth.
Grace Upon Grace
No doubt about it, the women’s leadership of Foothills put on a powerful demonstration of God’s love through hospitality, dynamic speakers, connecting activities, and quiet times with the Lord. It was obvious that a lot of preparation, prayer, hard work and volunteers came together to make sure the weekend was meaningful to our everyday lives.
We had plenty of times together with planned activities, group discussions, and meals. I also enjoyed quiet times walking under the trees next to the river at the Canby Grove Christian Center. The facility laid out like a hotel rather than a camp with all the comforts. The meeting room had large windows that overlooked a meadow and the river. It was a contemplative setting that inspired many of us. I plan to go back next year!