Friday, November 12, 2010

Women's Retreat (Part 2)

Women’s Retreat – Part 2
In the afternoon, Dee discussed the relationship between Ruth and Naomi in the Old Testament as well as the impact of pride on our relationships with others. 

-       The “dark side” of a woman’s relationship gift of intimacy is that she has a greater tendency to cling to people, to find security and identity in earthly relationships.  (Take anything wonderful that God has created and in this world, there will always be a “sinful twist…”  The original intent of God’s design gone wrong.)
-       Ruth said goodbye to her terrible past and latched on to the family of God.   Naomi showed Ruth grace by accepting her (though she might not have been the daughter-in-law she’d hoped for), and then Ruth in turn showed Naomi grace when Naomi wanted to be stuck in bitterness.  In Phillip Yancey’s book, What’s so Amazing about Grace? he explains that grace is amazing because it’s unnatural.  Hurting and withdrawing is natural, but forgiving and loving is unnatural. 
-       Ruth and Naomi had both experienced suffering.  Dee pointed out, as a recent widow, that suffering opens up one’s ability to have compassion towards others who are suffering. 
-       Jesus’ last commands were “others-centered.”  He wanted believers to love each other – by believers’ love for other believers, the rest of the world will notice that we are different.  That we are disciples of Jesus.
-       Dee showed a video clip of the testimony of Carla Faye (I forget her last name)- in the 80s, she was the first woman in Texas to be executed for murder in over 100 years, and she was born again while in prison.  In her testimony she stated that Jesus came into her heart and changed everything – prior to knowing Jesus, she didn’t care about how she’d hurt lots of people, and Jesus showed her the depth of her depravity and for the first time, she cared.  Dee asked us, how many times do we not care?  Pass by homeless people on the street, hear about domestic abuse, sex trafficking, etc… because we are saturated with such stories, we become hardened – which shows us the depth of our human depravity caused by pride.  And Jesus loves me? How much I need a Savior!

All in all, the retreat was great.  In addition to all that God showed me, He helped me to make a few new friends.  Plus we got to stamp our own stationary – woohoo!  (If we’re close, you know how much I love cards) J

Random note – my friend Kristen signs her blogs with a clever thought about what she had been writing.  I don’t know how to explain it really, but I’m going to copy her.  You’ll see.  (The best form of flattery… right?  Thanks for the idea, KG!) ;)

A better friend than I was yesterday,

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