Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fall Retreat in Paris (Landing)

Do you remember sleepovers, slumber parties and giggly girlfriend get togethers? Do you ever get to relive those carefree days of years gone by? Well, the ladies of the Branches Sunday School at First Baptist of Dickson spent the weekend doing just that....

This was the second annual Ladies Retreat at Paris Landing State Park. The weekend begins on Friday afternoon with the ladies making their way from different directions with food, special recipes, treats to share, sleeping bags, air mattress beds, our favorite quilts or blankets, and casual weekend attire......lets not forget a fun game for Friday night that will stir the competitive juices, turning these mature, Sunday School leaders into dog-eat-dog no holes barred competitors.It is all in fun and fun it is as we laugh so hard we wake up on Saturday morning with our faces sore and our bodies aching.

And speaking of's shoe shopping day!!!! We have discovered a Shoe Outlet nearby and you know how girls love shoes....and shopping for shoes with your girlfriends is so much more fun. Laughter erupts in the shoe isles as we try on heels, boots, sneakers and flats, making our own selections and ooh-ing and aah-ing over each others wonderful finds,Then we pile back into the van to make our way to  the Christian Book and Gift Store. This little store is a diamond find in the middle of nowhere, but we always visit there when they are having their anniversary!!!!! With our treasures in hand, we head back to the cabin for a nice lunch and a time for devotion. Christ is always at the center of our retreat, sharing His word, strengthening our faith and giving Him praise for bringing us together is of utmost importance.

Saturday night is relaxation night.....after a long walk, taking in the beauty of the fall colors as the sun sets, casting long shadows, the blue skies and even bluer lake, we are in awe of how much God loves us to prepare such a day for us to enjoy. As the sun starts to set, we set out to return to the cabin and the pampering of a relaxing spa.

Sunday morning comes too soon and it is time to go....leaving is bitter sweet, but we make a pact that same time next year will keep that bond strong between us. We pray for each other's safety, health, families and give our Lord thanks for allowing us this time together to share in His love. ..

Friday, October 15, 2010

What is Your Will Lord?

What is your will for me today, Lord?

This was the question I penned on January 6th, 2008. I have always longed for and sometimes have fit a "quiet time" into my day. My quiet times have been sporadic and intentional over the years, but lately, as I grow older and my body is demanding more rest, I find my time to meditate and listen to that small still voice of my maker is often times only a dream.

As I start my day, I will prepare for the weekend at a ladies retreat. This will be the 2nd annual for the wonderful ladies in my Sunday School Class.

I wonder what the Lord has in store for us this weekend.......a renewal of friendship with fellow believers? Sharing our faith and sharing our struggles? Will there be a need met, a heart healed....only God knows his plans for us.....As in my journal entry in 2008 reflected, the stress of everyday living is so great, I long for the quiet time to "be still and listen". The noise of life is most times so loud,it drowns out the soft faint voice of God. I know it is up to me to discipline myself to find that quiet time in my day to be able to hear what He has to say to me. I pray daily for the time to slow down and really meditate and listen, for I know I am not able to handle the pressures of life without the strength and courage that only comes from God. I can only get that strength by taking time to allow God to renew my spirit~~~~~~

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Being Thankful and Feeling Blessed

Sometimes after a stressed filled week, the early hours of Saturday morning are spent enjoying a few moments of quiet time in devotion and reflecting on the week. As I started to read my "Journey" devotion this weekend, feelings of stress I had encountered during the hectic work week began to seem so small to the burdens some people carry everyday.....

"What burdens are you bearing today? A sick child, spouse, or parent? A strained relationship with a fellow believer? The loss of a loved one through death or divorce? Ridicule from unsaved family members and friends? The loss of an income? The grief of a prodigal child? A Chronic or terminal illness? The pains of growing older? The daily challenges of meeting everyone's needs or demands"?

As I read down this list, answering no to each one unless you count the one about growing older-no pain, just growing older, I realized how blessed I am! What have I got to complain about....really...I have a job, I have my health, I have healthy children and grandchildren, I have a peaceful home, I know where my children are, my parents are with the Lord......

This week I will not stress out.....I will be thankful for the problems I encounter, it gives me a chance to help someone-I will be thankful that each morning I can get out of bed, some people can't- I will be thankful for my drive to work because I have a car, some people don't- I will be thankful at the end of each day that I have a peaceful place to come home to, some people don't and I will be thankful I have a paycheck on payday, some people don't.

First Peter 4:12 tells us not to be surprised at our perpetual trials. It has been proven time and time again that our faith grows, our trust deepens and our character is fortified in times of suffering.