I got back yesterday from The Bridge ministry staff retreat at Camp Sugarpine. They have a guest house that they let church staff use...for free. It is a nice place, and you can't beat Oakhurst and the mountains this time of year. It was absolutely beautiful.
We had a great time together. A time to rest. A time to be refreshed. Time to bond and become more united as a staff.
We spent a lot of time in the word. Instead of doing a bible study, we really dived into scripture and meditated on it. Who, What, When, Where How....what were they feeling....what would I have been feeling if I were one of them.
We read about the story of Elijah, Jesus raising Lazarus from the grave, and Hannah and Mary's songs... Looking at these scriptures from this point of view was extremely intriguing and insightful. It brought the scripture alive.
Marie, our women's ministry director, when Scott asked what Mary may have been feeling or experiencing, said "She may have even been experiencing morning sickness" And Scott responded with "All of the times I have read this, I have never, ever thought about that". And I confess that I have never thought about that either. Mary was just another girl, probably in her early teens, and she was experiencing all kinds of fears, a changing body, and possibly even morning sickness.
Not only did we have a great time in the word and in prayer, but we went over The Volunteer Revolution by Bill Hybels. As we are trying to create a church that is full of people serving, this was a great book to read together. It is written to the volunteer, but gave some great principles and sparked a lot of creativity and ideas as to where we go from here.
All in all, a great three days away from Fresno seeking the Lord.