Back From School

This past weekend, I decided that a retreat was in order.   I am not sure why it is called a retreat to be honest... I battled more with myself during these weekends than any time throughout the year.
Maybe that is not the way it should be, but in my case, I come back exhausted on one end, but renewed on the other.

My first "retreat" was last year around this time.   I spent time alone in a cabin on a lake.  I read, prayed, listened to audio-books, worshiped, prayed some more, cried, prayed some more, hiked... while praying, listening to an audio-book, and worshiped,  sat by the campfire... while praying, listening to an audio-book, and worshiped...

Trust me when  I say that I am not overly spiritual.  This was out of necessity and coming to the end of myself.

This year was a bit different...

For one, the location was different.  I failed to make reservations early enough and the cabins were all booked up.  As of Tuesday last week, I did not have a place to stay, however, my resourceful wife contacted a local retreat center... Rest Ministries.

Chuck and Becka were amazing...   If you need a place to unplug, be prayed for, and simply REST this is the place.  

I went in with not much of a plan.  I started the weekend basically by taking my devotional from last week and saying... I need to be a student... and God needs to be my teacher.   I grabbed several books, a couple bibles, a notepad and some headphones.  I took my phone with some downloaded playlists and headed out Friday afternoon.

I arrived late as I had work to finish until around 5:00 P.M., so they had already started dinner.
I joined the other guests with some water and coffee.   After some introductions and some conversation, we were all off to do our own thing.

Chuck met with me briefly and talked, then he prayed.  It was impacting.
I spent the rest of the evening in my room, continuing to pray and asking God for where I should start.

This brings me back to my devotion from Friday..."Going to School"
I started by re-reading the devotion and outlining the 4 points that Tripp identifies.

1) A healthy cynicism toward your own wisdom
I can honestly say that I don't think I know it all or know how to apply it all.   That is why I was there after all.  To glean some knowledge and wisdom from God.

2) A humble sense of need.
I can't express enough how "IN NEED" I am.  I went into the weekend weary.  I went into the weekend with doubts.  I went into the weekend with a sense of my lack.

3) A willing and open heart
Now we are getting into tough territory... It is one thing to understand your own lack of wisdom and your need, but now... I may be asked to change.   I may be asked to commit.

4) Discernment, focus, and determination
Going into Friday, I was not there yet.   I didn't know what I needed to focus on.  I desperately needed discernment.   Determination... yes, but for what????

So the weekend began.
I started in Psalms transitioned to Proverbs, began reading a new book Greater by Steven Furtick, listened to entire playlist, prayed...   and went to bed.

 Some things I jotted down during this time through things I read, or listened to.

"I'm going to see a victory!... The Battle Belongs to the Lord!"

Psalm 19:12
How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?
Cleanse me from these hidden faults!

2 Corinthians 12:9
My Grace is sufficient for You
My strength is made perfect in weakness

My Great Deliverer - My Strong Defender - Jesus!

I closed my eyes listening to music, something I rarely do.

Saturday would be a new day.... and a new post.


  1. Sounds like what the doctor ordered my friend. Can't wait to hear what else you have learned.

    1. More in store for sure. The prescription for this weekend was written... I believe I followed the instructions. Now as long as I follow through with the rest of the Doctor's orders.

  2. So glad the retreat worked out for you, Ryan, even if you weren't sure about the direction in which God would lead you. Like Bill, I'm looking forward to hearing more about it.
    And thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing those suggestions for Floyd - they worked!!! He's right back on board, and we are both thrilled and grateful!

    1. Thank you Martha, I am glad it worked out as well. As for helping out, I am just glad it worked. Sounds like there may be more help needed for other things down the road as well. I chime in where I can.

  3. Wow. I respect the discipline to draw night unto Him. Those tough times seem to bring a peace that goes far beyond our weary state.

    Well done. I'm encouraged.

    1. I can only hope that I develop the discipline needed to continually draw unto Him. Many times it is out of pure desperation... something tells me God doesn't want me to wait until then. Thank you, Floyd, for stopping by.


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