Last weekend we gathered for our Restore Retreat Reunion Brunch. It was such a sweet time reconnecting with some of the women who have experienced a Restore Retreat recently. Everyone brought a brunch dish and we had such a great time catching up on each other's lives. Many thanks to Beth Townsend for opening up her beautiful home. After a delicious brunch, Sherry explained to the women about our personal time away to pray and discover God's plan for the new year in Restore and how He met us as we sought His direction. She spoke of our vision to reach out beyond the walls of the Chapel as we step out in faith on our own and seek to minister to women in the Baton Rouge community at large and beyond. We are now available for retreats, conferences, and days away with several different theme offerings. So check out the "Book Us" button on the website for more details if you are interested in organizing a group from your church, Bible study or neighborhood. We can be flexible to work with the needs and desires of different women's groups. We have already been blessed with seed money to get started and donations! These are exciting times for us. Here are some pics of our morning.
Kathy shared some plans for the new retreat for October and April. The 2 night retreat entitled "The Gift of Abiding in Christ" will include many of the same elements of the last retreat including extended times of prayer, worship, quiet time alone, and Biblical teaching yet, look a little different from former Restore retreats as we seek to creatively discover the meaning and depth of the rich teachings found in John 13-15. We will study the final teachings of Jesus in the Upper Room in John 13 and 14, where Jesus displays servant love as he washes His disciples feet and teaches about loving one another and the Holy Spirit, the comforter. Then we will spend much of our time during the weekend in the beautiful, extended metaphor that Jesus left His disciples about Abiding in the Vine in chapter 15.
Like the Master Artist, the storyteller that Jesus is, He weaves together this story of the Vineyard to teach his disciples and us how to live. These were some of the last teachings of Jesus before He left His disciples and went to the cross and so they were critical for them as His followers and they are vital for our lives as well. On our first evening you will experience an authentic last supper and throughout our weekend we will explore the gifts that Jesus promises us when we choose a life of abiding in Him. We are praying as we study and prepare for the women God brings to join us that we will all be encouraged in our life in the Vine, Jesus, and that we will sink down deep into His life and learn what it truly means to live out of our union with Him day by day bearing precious fruit for HIs kingdom.
Kathy made an arrangement and placed it in a simple vase made of branches to use as a visual for her brief teaching about our upcoming retreat. The vase was given to Kathy by her daughter as a beautiful handmade Christmas present 2 years ago. It is a visual picture of who we can hope to be when we choose the abiding life - this vessel is like us - branches of the Vine - holding God’s beauty out to the world. The fruit that we produce will all look uniquely different because He designed us that way, but it will bear His image. We are image bearers. Our life of image bearing is His gift to the world through the union of our life in Him.
What is it that He has uniquely designed you and me to offer our world as His image bearers?
What is the fruit we have the privilege of producing?
We are made as His masterpieces to reflect His glory!
How will He use you and me to tell His story?
It may be in what you paint. It may be how you listen, how you love, how you write, how you worship, how you bake a pie, hold a baby, or how you serve the weary, the wounded, the lost.
Christ formed in us spills out of us into the world.
Isn’t that what we’re called to!
But our life in Christ, the Vine, will only flow in and through us as we learn to rest in Him. That is what Restore Retreats are all about - Rest and Restoration - as we seek the heart of the Father for our lives and soak His Word, prayer, and worship!
As we finished up our time together, we shared things for which we are grateful and stories of how the Lord is working in our lives. It was a morning of sweet fellowship, laughter, vision, love and hope! We are so very grateful and blessed by the women who have shared their faith journeys with us in Restore!
Resting in His Abiding Love,
Kathy and Sherry
See the details below on the upcoming Restore Retreats and make plans to join us, bring a friend or gather a group to schedule your own date! Register before September 10th for the "Early Bird" rate on the October retreat.
2 Upcoming Restore Retreats
The Gift of Abiding in Christ
Friday, October 10 - Sunday, October 12, 2014
Friday, April 17 - Sunday, April 19, 2015
Limited to 25 Women
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