Monday, August 29, 2016

Higher Power Retreat 2016

Last weekend (August 19-21) I was invited to teach at our Higher Power Retreat. Higher Power is a ministry that supports the recovery community and it was so much fun! We headed over to Loma Mar and stayed a great little conference center called Redwood Glen. Redwood Glen is tucked in the woods and has a great facility. The theme of the weekend was Through The Woods and we looked at the second half of Romans 8.

Everything we talked about through the weekend pointed us to the fact that nothing can separate us from God's love: 
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
Now many of you know that I'm in recovery. I've been sober for 16 years now. The great thing about recovery is people know they are broken. There is something special about spending the weekend with a broken group of people (of which I am one), who know they are broken and are drawing closer to Christ. It was awesome being able to spend the weekend together.

Here are three highlights of the weekend for me:
Hike on Saturday
Saturday afternoon we took a 5 mile hike through the woods. It was great because we were talking about going through the woods. We talked about how our shame can't keep us from God. We talked about how our suffering, lame decisions and weakness couldn't keep us from God. A hike allows people to talk for hours and enjoy God's creation. It also served as a visual reminder of going through the woods and accomplishing something together. 

Baptism Celebration
After the hike we hopped in the pool and baptized three people. It was fun being able to talk about the meaning of baptism, how baptism doesn't save you and that Jesus was also baptized. Two of the people we baptized are people who I've know for a while. It was also great getting to baptize these people alongside Ricky Wade, who leads Higher Power. 

Sharing God's Word
I love preaching the good news of Jesus. Ever since I surrendered my life to Christ I've felt a strong call to share God's word. This group was great because I could share some stories that I normally don't share and share them without feeling judged. I still struggle with people pleasing and this group fully accepts each other. They loved hearing God's word and we had great conversations about what God was doing in their lives! 

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