Antioch Women's Retreat
Holden Beach, North Carolina
Sweet young ladies learning and playing.
Who, by the way are SO smart I can't even believe it.
The maturity in just these two young ladies alone was refreshing.
It's amazing the fruit of God's Holy Word in a families life.
The food was, of course, was scrumptious.
Racheal taught us how to make lovely headbands
The houses were very nice.
Our house mothers, Tricia in my house ... did an awesome job. They thought of everything and were such sweet servants to everyone.
We had happy fellowship
This picture is a treasure.
After the retreat, on the way home ... not wanting our fun to end ...
We went to Paradise Cafe.
We enjoyed the sun and the conversation.
Except .. where are Mary and Deborah?
Those free spirits ran across the road to the beach for one last time.
How is it that little ones bring so much joy?
We had a wonderful time. The fellowship, the food and most importantly our time with the Lord through worship and learning. We used the book Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges as our foundation for the teaching.
Bridges begins the book with an excellent chapter on defining sainthood in light of the messed-up Corinthians being considered “saints” (see 2 Cor. 1:1). We are called to live as the “saints” we have been declared in Christ. The second chapter — “The Disappearance of Sin” — paints a strong argument that the Church is having a hard time defining and seeing her own sins. The third chapter – “The Malignancy of Sin” – sets out to reveal that sin is not merely what we do but who we are. Our sinful actions spring from our sinful heart. Sin is a “principle or moral force in our heart, our inner being” (p. 24). Bridges then gets into the Gospel as our hope. We can face and overcome sin because of the Cross and the powerful working of the Holy Spirit.
The “Respectable Sins”
So what sins are “respectable sins”? Bridges’ chapters include the following topics:
- general ungodliness defined as a sinful attitude towards God
- anxieties and frustrations
- pridefulness revealed specifically in self-righteousness, even in a pursuit of theological accuracy, in prideful motives behind our achievements and revealed in a spirit of independence
- selfishness with our interests, time, money and inconsiderableness
- lack of self-control in eating, drinking and temperament, finances, entertainment and shopping
- impatience and irritability
- anger, even anger towards God, and the underlying roots of anger in resentment, bitterness, enmity, hostility and holding grudges
- judgmentalism and a critical spirit over differing convictions and doctrinal disagreements
- envy, jealousy, competitiveness and being controlling
- the sins of the tongue like gossip, slander, lying, harsh words, sarcasm, insults and ridicule
- worldliness shown financially, by our idolatry and in “vicarious immorality,” that is, the enjoyment of watching or reading the sinfulness of others.
And Bridges says his list was whittled down for print!
Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate (NavPress: 2007) may be the best yet in giving churches an easy-to-read book that has great potential in small group settings as believers help one another identify — and then mortify — the “respectable” sins of the heart.
We had a lot of response from the truth shared at the retreat. I think all of us came away from that aware that we are caught in "respectable sins" but through the weekend the Lord encouraged us to recognize His awesome power in our lives and that with Him we can over come these sins.
Personally, I am only working on two in particular. The list in the book is quite long and I can find myself guilty of all of them in one way or another. So, He put a couple up front on the list and we are working on those. In fact, God is faithful. He has been working steadily, like a artist chisels his stone, so God chisels my heart. Cleaning out the sin and hardness. BUT - I have to tell you. Our Lord our God is such a gentleman. He never forces me to change. He works, we talk, we process - I consent to further chiseling. Further progress.
He never demands, instead He gives opportunity for growth and shaping and I either accept His hand to work in my life or I refuse and stay in that particular condition.
God worked in our hearts and minds, the teachers were AWESOME.
2 Corinthians 5:18 -19
And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin,e so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
Some responses from the ladies ...
I want to give a SHOUT OUT to Crystal S., our housemother! =) From the minute I arrived, she was helping unpack and greeting us cheerfully. The entire weekend I don't think that lady ran out of steam, and I never once witnessed her lose her patience or endurance for serving others. Watching her was a blessing!
I want to, with a whole heart, thank Jean P. for being such a caring roomie for me! She came and checked on me regularly, and Saturday even woke me up in time for dinner (my fever had returned and I was in a coma!). She was extra patient with me~ as I'm sure I wasn't much excitement for her =) God is good, and he knew exactly what I would need this weekend.
I especially want to recognize everyone who cooked, and prepared food ahead of time~ I testified that we have some of the FINEST cooks around all concentrated in Antioch church! He got a wistful expression, and perhaps a passing coveting thought~ =) I reminded him that he DID make a life long commitment to a gal who "sings" for her supper.=)
Thank you to Cindy, for all your Administration and attention to detail. I'm so thankful that you were at the helm; the Lord blessed our weekend through your hard work, and your sweet spirit.
All the younger ladies; your sweet serving spirits is not only a witness to you mother's testimony, but also that you've taken that seriously for yourselves! It was a blessing to watch you at work; serving each other, and happy to do for others as you were needed. It was a blessing to be around you!
For those of you that did not come; we missed you!! Each one of you have something invested in you by the Lord, and that thing, which makes you YOU, is valuable and unique. I'm thankful to have gotten to know you all better; it makes me love you all the more!
This morning, my heart is continuing to rejoice in the Lord's Good Work in Mint! Praise the Lord for His Salvation!
Blessings and Peace,
Another sister wrote ..
On the way home yesterday, Hannah told me that her small group is going to keep in touch with each other through email, so they can keep praying and encouraging one another in their application of the teaching. This is such a great idea! If you other small group leaders want to do this, please go ahead and put that into motion!
Here's a song from Sara Groves. I put the lyrics to 2 of her songs in your booklets because I thought they went with our study. I hope it blesses your heart today!
Another sweet sister said ...