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Antioch Womens Retreat March 31 st 2011. Words given during the event To come: To come as we are, even if we are at different stages Come to me my love,

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Presentation on theme: "Antioch Womens Retreat March 31 st 2011. Words given during the event To come: To come as we are, even if we are at different stages Come to me my love,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Antioch Womens Retreat March 31 st 2011

2 Words given during the event To come: To come as we are, even if we are at different stages Come to me my love, come Salvation has come to you today. We are not quite ready for Jesus. But Jesus is inviting us: Come to me you thirsty… Take heart, it is I, COME You have come to Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant, His blood speaks a better word for us and for our salvation Psalm 62 Bring me all your trouble, all the things in you that trouble you, and I will show you the seed of your sin and deliver you

3 Hope: Let us renew our hope in Him When we are in the darkness, we become slaves but when we are in light, the consolation that comes from the Lord is with us. => Let us give space for the wind of the Holy Spirit to light the flame of hope Psalm 130: Put your hope in the Lord… Rest: Listen, take time to sit down All of us are flowers, but we look at the beauty of the other flowers and compare ourselves to them. But the Lord is saying: Look at me and you will see your beauty.

4 1. Loving Neighbour begins with loving God

5 Love: 1 John 5: invitation to have root in loving God by obeying his commandments 1 Cor 13: Invitation to be women of love. What stops us is our selfishness => Pray for grace to overcome that and to be free of being women of love Others: Cal to follow God: Mission and evangelism Reflect on the testimony of God Himself and be amazed by it All the jar of perfume: Spend yourselves on god, its not a waste! Spend your time on God and seek His Kingdom

6 Matt. 22:34-40 (NIV) 34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? 37 Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. Loving neighbour begins with Loving God

7 1 Jn. 4:7-8 (NIV) 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

8 2. Loving God begins with understanding the priority of God's love for us

9 1 Jn. 4:9-10 (NIV) 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Loving God begins with...understanding God's love for us.

10 3. Loving God begins with allowing God to love us...on His terms...Grace!

11 Jn. 13:3-8 (NIV) 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, Lord, are you going to wash my feet? 7 Jesus replied, You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand. 8 No, said Peter, you shall never wash my feet. Jesus answered, Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.

12 1 Jn. 5:1 (NIV) 1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.

13 Matt. 5:44-45 (NIV) 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

14 4. God uses others to create that space

15 2 Cor. 4:12 (NIV) 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

16 5. God uses the (objective or subjective) 'restrictive' & 'confining' spaces of my circumstances of life to create that space

17 ... I've found what others, who have become less voluntarily housebound through illness, have no doubt discovered: that to get to know one small piece of God's earth very well is a blessing, and to be spared the often taxing choice of where next to go on holiday a kind of liberation. It's a question of depth of experience against that compulsive need to experience everything which can lead to superficiality:

18 By accepting and even choosing those things which we can't change and seem to limit us, it becomes possible to break through into a new dimension. For the Welsh poet, Waldo Williams, life is 'finding a spacious hall between narrow walls'. These are words that can be applied to the discovery of freedom in any situation that threatens to hem us in.

19 6. Humility: the soil of that space … from which love is received … & grown

20 The earth is always there, always taken for granted, never remembered, always trodden on by everyone, somewhere we cast and pour out all the refuse, all we don't need. It's there, silent and accepting everything and in a miraculous way making out of all the refuse new richness in spite of corruption, transforming corruption itself into a power of life and a new possibility of creativeness, open to the sunshine, open to the rain, ready to receive any seed we sow and capable of bringing thirty-fold, sixty-fold, a hundredfold out of every seed.

21 I am completely finished. I can't move Godwards, but it is God who steps down to me.

22 Bible Passages

23 A letter from Christ... 2 Cor. 3:1-3 (NIV) 1 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

24 Lightening the burdens of one another It is the strength &, I may say, glory of this District at present, that there is a general emulation amongst the Brethren, what each can do to lighten the burden of another, and a readiness to lay down if necessary, their lives for their brethren. It is thus that we are propped up rather than anything else, by each other, and it is all of God that it is so - for if not, we should even now sink & others would come, not to be our fellow labourers but our successors. -Richard Lythe, Methodist Missionary Fiji 1830s

25 Gal 6:2 (NIV) 2 Carry each others burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

26 Love that... shares (... out of the little )...love that is grateful

27 2 Cor. 8:1-9 (NIV) 1 And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lords people. 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. 6 So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But since you excel in everythingin faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in yousee that you also excel in this grace of giving. 8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

28 A culture of 'my rights'...to a culture of grace

29 Matt. 22:36-40 (NIV) 36 Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? 37 Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

30 The most important truth in the world, said John,is not our trying harder to love God or others, but God's acts of love for us. If you don't get God's love into your bones, you will become very dangerous people," he warned. "Especially activists like you!

31 We could either hold on to our grievances, demanding that all our hurts be redressed, or we could follow God's example, give each other grace, and trust God for the lack. We chose grace...We decided to replace a culture of demands with a culture of grace.

32 "Although we must continue to speak on behalf of those who are oppressed and warn oppressors, my willingness to forgive them is not dependent on how they respond. Being able to extend grace and to forgive sets us free. We no longer need to spend precious emotional energy thinking about the day oppressors will get what they deserve

33 "What I am learning about grace lifts a weight from my shoulders, which is nothing short of invigorating. When we can forgive and accept those who refuse to listen to God's command to do justice, it allows them to hear God's judgment without feeling a personal judgment from us. In the end, this gives our message more integrity. The ability to give grace while preaching justice makes our witness even more effective."

34

35 Motivation to love...Christ Himself the Reward

36 To take his yoke upon us means that we are content that he appoint us our place and our work, and that he himself be our reward. Excerpt from the Methodist Covenant Service

37 Christ has many services to be done: some are easy, others are difficult; some bring honour, others bring reproach; some are suitable to our natural inclinations and material interests, others are contrary to both. In some we may please Christ and please ourselves; in other we cannot please Christ except by denying ourselves. Yet the power to do all things is given us in Christ, who strengthens us.

38 Singing the wrong note for the sake of a deeper harmony

39 Learning to sing with the body of the monastic choir has been for me a kind of microcosm of all the challenges of living in community: to listen, to contribute one's gifts and talents but not to dominate, to appreciate and accept the gifts, talents and limitations of others and oneself, and sometimes even to sing what may seem to one's own ear the wrong note for the sake of a deeper harmony.

40 Questions for Reflection The Foundations: Receiving the love of God John 13:1-8 Receiving the love of Jesus Imagine yourself present in that room with Jesus and the disciples, and reflect on who this person Jesus is, and has become in the last 3 years...the incredible miracles, the profound words that pierce the heart, the power over nature, the extraordinary peace yet authority that surrounds him. The haunting, startling glimpses of his true identity as the cloak is drawn back at times....then see him changing his dress to that of the lowest servant...turning his attention to you, fixing his gaze on you, then coming toward you, then stooping and beginning to wash and clean your feet. What do you feel? What are you thinking? What do you do? What does He say? What does He do?

41 Spacious halls between narrow walls Where and 'how' have you found spacious halls between narrow walls in the past?...or seen this in others? Where are the narrow walls in your life now...or narrow walls that loom on the horizon?How will you respond to them? Spacious halls between narrow walls Where and 'how' have you found spacious halls between narrow walls in the past?...or seen this in others? Where are the narrow walls in your life now...or narrow walls that loom on the horizon?How will you respond to them?

42 Humility...the fertile soil from which love is received...and grown Reflect carefully on Metropolitan Anthony Bloom's reflection on humility. The word 'humility' comes from the Latin word 'humus' which means fertile ground. To me, humility is not what we often make of it: the sheepish way of trying to imagine that we are the worst of all and trying to convince others that our artificial ways of behaving show that we are aware of that. Humility is the situation of the earth. The earth is always there, always taken for granted, never remembered, always trodden on by everyone, somewhere we cast and pour out all the refuse, all we don't need. It's there, silent and accepting everything and in a miraculous way making out of all the refuse new richness in spite of corruption, transforming corruption itself into a power of life and a new possibility of creativeness, open to the sunshine, open to the rain, ready to receive any seed we sow and capable of bringing thirty-fold, sixty-fold, a hundredfold out of every seed. I said to this woman 'Learn to be like this before God; abandoned, surrendered, ready to receive anything from people and anything from God.' Indeed she got a great deal from people; within six months her husband got tired of having a dying wife and abandoned her, so refuse was poured generously, but God also shone His light and gave His rain, because after a little while she wrote to me and said 'I am completely finished. I can't move Godwards, but it is God who steps down to me. What does this picture of humility stir in you? How does it speak to you? Humility...the fertile soil from which love is received...and grown Reflect carefully on Metropolitan Anthony Bloom's reflection on humility. The word 'humility' comes from the Latin word 'humus' which means fertile ground. To me, humility is not what we often make of it: the sheepish way of trying to imagine that we are the worst of all and trying to convince others that our artificial ways of behaving show that we are aware of that. Humility is the situation of the earth. The earth is always there, always taken for granted, never remembered, always trodden on by everyone, somewhere we cast and pour out all the refuse, all we don't need. It's there, silent and accepting everything and in a miraculous way making out of all the refuse new richness in spite of corruption, transforming corruption itself into a power of life and a new possibility of creativeness, open to the sunshine, open to the rain, ready to receive any seed we sow and capable of bringing thirty-fold, sixty-fold, a hundredfold out of every seed. I said to this woman 'Learn to be like this before God; abandoned, surrendered, ready to receive anything from people and anything from God.' Indeed she got a great deal from people; within six months her husband got tired of having a dying wife and abandoned her, so refuse was poured generously, but God also shone His light and gave His rain, because after a little while she wrote to me and said 'I am completely finished. I can't move Godwards, but it is God who steps down to me. What does this picture of humility stir in you? How does it speak to you?

43 Questions for Reflection A letter from Christ...a Culture of Grace A culture of grace What would a culture of grace look like amongst us?...in the different relational groupings of which we're a part?...immediate family, broader family, neighbours, community, church... How and where (in the practical circumstances and relationships in my life) can I be an instrument of grace in initiating this culture......where it's shared by others...where it's not shared by others?.

44 Loving as a disciple of Christ...Christ our reward Reflect on this excerpt from the Methodist Covenant Service. To take his yoke upon us means that we are content that he appoint us our place and our work, and that he himself be our reward. Christ has many services to be done: some are easy, others are difficult; some bring honour, others bring reproach; some are suitable to our natural inclinations and material interests, others are contrary to both. In some we may please Christ and please ourselves; in other we cannot please Christ except by denying ourselves. Yet the power to do all things is given us in Christ, who strengthens us. Excerpt from Methodist Covenant Service Now apply it specifically to the landscape of my relationships with others...especially where service and self-giving to others is …unacknowledged,...taken for granted,...or not reciprocated. Where have I got this prayer re-written or reversed? Sometimes we give a lot, but then we measure what we get back and are attacked : we stumble and start counting and are disappointed that our needs don't seem to be met. Consider where this might be relevant for you.


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