Super pumped... STILL! Where should I begin? I'd been counting down the months, weeks and days until this retreat. My first retreat with this group- Transitions: Young Adult Ministry- from Brooklyn Tabernacle. The meetings I'd attended prior were awesome so I came EXPECTANT, not of them but of God. Let me tell you, HE DID NOT DISAPPOINT! ON MISSION was held in Glen Spey, NY at Lake Champion.
The Opening Rally
We received the fire starter aka the first "ON MISSION Moment" from Pastor Rafael Castillo entitled "Shake but Don't Break". Oooo weeee, can I say that again? Oooooo weeeee! Just a snippet from my notes:
Sometimes when we are in the dark we forget what God told us in the light. God doesn't lie, so His promise IS His promise! ... You have to FEED THE FIRE...
*you'll have to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org if you want more*
ON MISSION Moment:
There's something different about today, the presence of God is felt- strongly. Mark 5. The very presence of Jesus stepping onto land let all that was not of God know it was time to go because they (it) was NOT welcomed there. Does the presence of God in our lives show? Does it cause atmospheric change (make things happen for the good)? We are challenged to leave our comfort zones... Go On Mission!
Pastor Josh Kimes from Hillsong NYC hit us hard with a message entitled "More Than Meets the Eye". Check out Nehemiah 2:17-20. So much more goes in to rebuilding a wall, a city, a relationship, a life, a career, a ministry than recognizing the ruin and stacking mere 'bricks'. Confidence needs to be rebuilt but it is not the confidence in self, it is the confidence in God. Three OUTSTANDING points were given for staying ON MISSION...
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ON MISSION Moment:
When you feel like you are not equipped, just know that The Lord is equipped! Just obey. (1 Samuel 15:22)
When we thought our spirits could not get lifted any higher, go any deeper, praise any harder, learn anymore Pastor Tim Ross came on the scene to challenge us to GET OUR WEIGHT UP!
His message was entitled "Strength Under Pressure". Whaaaaat?!!!!! *insert high pitch* Proverbs 24:10 says:
If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.
Mind blown! Then he took it further and discussed Philippians 4 verse 13, you know you know it, the verse we have ALL quoted and misunderstood at least once. Here's the clue to understanding it, read it in context. Verses 10 through 13 go together. Paul was speaking of having experienced times of suffering, having joy, being dead broke and having abundance- it was within any of those situations he had learned that it was Jesus Christ who enabled him to be successful through it all. Yes, I said success, because success is not to be measured only by financial means but by achievement of desired outcome. In Paul's case, he had success because his life remained to preach the gospel and souls were saved. SUCCESS! So now that you know the context, can you recite the verse with the same conviction? I hope so :)
The Last Session
Pastor Todd Crews, whose wife Nicole and baby boy are super beautiful by the way, wrapped us up with "Gather, Scatter & Spread". By now my voice was almost shot but that didn't stop me from shouting and cheering. He countered our self-made excuses of boredom in and with the church or Christianity all together with charging us to be ON MISSION or stay in boredom. There is NO boredom in Christ Jesus, the boredom comes from us confining ourselves to four walls or as he creatively put it the "Holy Huddle". What in the world is the "Holy Huddle"? Ha, I'm glad you asked. Take for instance a NFL game (my favorite sport, yes yes Go Giants!), the team calls a time out, they gather to discuss plays and revamp strategy- break! They're out on the field- the game is about to begin or so you think but just then they call another time out and they do this consistently WITHOUT EVER GETTING IN THE GAME! How frustrating and boring right? Well that's what makes us bored in our Christian lives, we're in the huddle and never get in the actual game to carry out the plays!
I can tell you this, I've strapped on my helmet, knee and shoulder pads, I got my cleats and I am ready to get in the game. Like Pastor Ross said, I gotta get my weight up too, if not I will crumble like a shortbread cookie. So God is my personal trainer and I got my gear (Ephesians 6:10-17).
So many great messages, moments and experiences it is unreal but all amazing! I tried to condense it but woooo! Seriously, if there is a message that you want to read my entire notes on (it will blow your mind!) just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Did I mention that we partied like nobody's business???? "Ain't no party like a Holy Ghost party 'cause a Holy Ghost party don't... stooop!" Glow sticks, beach balls and all of that! Ziplining into the lake, tubing, swinging on a gigantic swing, canoeing, the bonfire, 'smores!... woooo I am exhausted and happy!
Leave your comments, questions, and experiences down below. I would love to read them :) Enjoy the pics!
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