Last weekend our Women’s Ministry took a retreat to Valle Crucis in the mountains of Banner Elk. 75 women were in attendance and God’s presence fell on them as they spent the weekend worshiping, listening to teaching and spending time with Him.
The retreat was themed, “Under Construction.” This was inspired by Ruth Bell Graham (Billy Graham’s Mother) headstone – it reads, “End of Construction – Thank You For Your Patience”.
Read that over again…it is very powerful, and we thought so too. With the over arching theme of “Under Construction” we sought to find a hammer verse to really nail down the main point. Our Director of Women’s Ministry, Terri Broome, came to 2 Peter 1:5-7 – “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.”
After reading 2 Peter 1:5-7, the thought of a ladder immediately came to us…so we spent our retreat climbing the ladder from faith to love.
We started with Faith. Faith is our foundation. Throughout the retreat, we talked a lot about building a house because that is the form of construction we are all most familiar with. Faith is the foundation for our life. If we do not have faith – we have nothing. Think about a house – a bad foundation will cause you all kinds of trouble!
Next up we taught on virtue and knowledge – that is the way that we correct our lives, learn about the Word and gain knowledge of God. In a house building situation think of virtue/knowledge as the frame. It gives the outline of what is about to be built. A steady frame will ensure that if heavy winds blow, our house won’t blow away!
Self Control was taught on, specifically in the arena of food, exercise, and addictions. We can think of this as the insulation of life! It keeps you safe within the warmth of God’s love!
Steadfastness is being able to preserve in the midst of life’s troubles and sufferings. Imagine if the new house being building burned to the ground…someone with steadfastness would continue on and rebuild the house, no matter the damage.
Godliness and brotherly affection come over time as we learn to walk intimately with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Everyone’s building journey is different, but one thing is for certain…at some point – the electricity must be turned on – that’s how godliness displays itself in our lives.
Lastly, love. The type of love that lasts the test of time. The type of love that gives you a glimpse into the love God has for us. That is the top of the ladder. The top of a life. At the end of construction, you move in and make the house a home, full of love. That’s what God intends for our lives as well.
We had 6 speakers. The most exciting part is that they were in every age range from their 20s to their 60s! There was even a live worship band with the women leaders from our praise band and student band! With such a diverse group of women together, we rejoiced in the fact that Bible is relevant…for any age!
On Sunday we had 5 women get up and give testimonies of how God changed their lives at this retreat. We even had someone come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ!
On behalf of the Women’s Ministry, we rejoice in the majesty, faithfulness, and glory of the God we serve. He showed up on that mountain and chased down women who had been running from Him. The leadership of Women’s Ministry prayed that just like at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit would fall upon our women, and He sure did.
There is nothing greater than genuine life change for the glory of God. Thank you, Jesus, for the weekend of a lifetime.