Friday, May 16, 2008

Living in Grace

The majestic mountains of North Carolina, a wonderful place to be! Garrett and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of our spiritual training with Mission to the World at Ridge Haven. We, along with about 30 other MTW missionaries spent the week in lectures, personal application, small groups, prayer and fellowship. There's just something about being surrounded by others who are of the same mind that is so refreshing and delightful! We arrived at Ridge Haven on Sunday and didn't know anyone, by the time we left on Friday there were hugs all around and almost even tears of goodbye! (OK, so that was only me, not Garrett). I think the most wonderful part of the week was just hearing what God is doing in so many other people's lives and how he is alive, moving, and working!

Aside from the fun social aspect of the week; the lectures were challenging, encouraging, humbling, moving.
  • Challenging in that we were pointed toward the call to live in a posture of grace (forgiveness, surrender, repentance, reliance on God) regardless of any extenuating circumstance of life.
  • Encouraging to hear and be reminded of Christ's absolute, unchangeable love for me, his chosen child! To grow in my knowledge of who Christ is.
  • Humbling to see how often and far I stray from the One who gave everything for me. We read an article by Tim Keller about the idols in our lives. In the article he talks about near and far idols and how the things that we do, even good things are so often out of a motivation to serve an idol. For example: One of the far idols in my life is approval. So even things like helping someone out, teaching Sunday School, or working hard are near idols to serve the far idol of approval. It was devastating to see how pervasive sin is! But thank Jesus I am not left there! I am called to recognize the idols in my life and replace them with the truth of the gospel; praying in repentance and joy knowing that I am forgiven and washed by the blood of the Lamb.
  • Moving me towards my Savior. Living in reliance on him, an ongoing, never ending crying out for the Holy Spirit to enable me to live for the glory of God!

My favorite quote from the week was:
"Why do I need to cry out for the Holy Spirit again and again? Because I leak." D.L. Moody

Some other fun things we did:
Swinging into the pond on the rope swing!
Hiking to the water falls.
Walking up hill both ways to every meal! (no kidding! I didn't gain a pound!)
Getting to know great new people!
Enjoying an evening out with the gang at a local Pub.

We'll have pictures posted soon!

Living in Grace,

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